Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Behold the wood of the cross

Soile Lautsi is not a name we know, but very quickly is making the rounds in the world media. Mrs Lautsi is an Italian national. She says she professes no faith. Her children go to the local school. All state schools in Italy, by law, should have a crucifix displayed in every classroom. Mrs Lautsi took exception as she would like to raise her children as secular atheists and has taken the state of Italy to the European Court of Human Rights.
Today this court has found in favour of Mrs Lautsi and ruled that Italian schools should remove the crucifix. Needless to say tonight Italy is in an uproar and it seems that they would have nothing of this silly ruling. Italy is a Catholic country and the symbol of the crucifix has not only faith connotations but even cultural ones. Now you might find hard to believe that I think that state non-confessional schools should not display religious symbols for veneration or edification, but, on the other hand, I expect faith schools to use for edification and devotion the symbols of faith to which the school adheres. However the real point is twofold: a sense of European “statehood” – now with almost its president and political correctness gone mad. Would this court ask all offending adverts to be removed from public places, an advert for British beef (yummy) might be offensive for a vegetarian Hindu as much as the crucifix is for Mrs Lautsi – what happened to living together and accepting and celebrating diversity, or was this a buzz word used by the political correctness brigade until they settled well and now are flexing their muscle of tyranny?
This reminds me of nearer home. The “statehood” of the C of E is now vested in General Synod. The claims of the catholicity of our church have been irreparably damaged when the doctrine of the church was opened up to a show of hands by elected members from any who claim membership of the Church, when what sounds trendy, appealing and complying to “common sense” must prevail. This synod is now heading towards political correctness gone mad. Anglo-Catholics never sat comfortably within these structures and that is to their credit. At this time when the landscape seems to be brightened with new light and new perspectives are coming to the fore, we realise the importance of the realignment of all Catholics to stand up against a very subtle but not less fierce persecution of the Faith Catholic. Faith does not need defending, it needs courageous and generous people to stand up and bear witness by reflecting its glorious light, that wonderful light that purifies us each year at the start of the Easter Vigil.

No comments: