littator COlUvIAC MuRPHY-O'Connor of Arundel and Brighton heads a group of Catholic notables who this week told the Catholic Herald the Government must fully endorse a moral "back-to-basics"
Lucy Lethbridge records their reactions to the spate of recent scandals that have rocked John Major's Government.
Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Arundel and Brighton: "Recent events and the media's treatment of them show what few yardsticks our society has to deal with. It is time for Church social and moral teaching to be presented more effectively and this is a challenge for all of us."
Mary Corbett, Catholic Marriage Advisory Council: "The Government does not have a real policy on the family. It needs a ministry specifically for the family and this is the loudest and most effective action it could take."
Mary Kenny, writer: "What I learned in my Penny Catechism is that you shouldn't move from the general to the particular. You should have general principles but you mustn't judge individuals. Now the Government seems that it's being a bit dishonest and trying to say that this is not what they meant in the first place. They should have guts and stick by their principles.
Greg Pope, Catholic MP (Labour), Hyndburn: "The issue here is not about the personal activities of individuals but people have a right to expect government ministers who heap abuse on single mothers, not to then father single parent families themselves."
Prof Elizabeth Anscombe, Moral Philosopher, Cambridge University: "It seems to me that 'back to basics' is a perfectly absurd claim on behalf of a Government that goes in for killing babies on a huge scale. This is a far more important issue than the kind of behaviour that MPs go in for."
Lord Rees-Mogg: "I think back to basics is a good idea. People feel that governments want to achieve relatively straightforward things like having effective policies on crime and standards of schooling. But this extends to individuals too, and people expect ministers to be prepared to live their lives inside the moral consensus of the nation, not inside some arbitrarily-defined moral framework of their own."
See Leader, page 4 See Lord Longford, page 5