Page 1, 19th February 1971

19th February 1971
Page 1
Page 1, 19th February 1971 — 'ADORATION OF PURE TOLERANCE'

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Organisations: Catholic Church
People: Murphy
Locations: Cardiff


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Keywords: Religion / Belief

Anarchy's coy er says Archbishop


AN Archbishop hits out this week at Catholic complacency and mass media Catholic pundits who showed the "cowardice of their convictions" in failing to state the position of the Church in a society where permissiveness has caused "more neuroses than the whole Freudian idea of repression. was supposed to provide."

Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff, in a pastoral letter to be read on Sunday, also speaks of the present-day "adoration of pure tolerance" which is a cover for anarchy.

The Church faces two heresies: that there are two ethics, a religious and a secular ethic; and that in education no one must be instructed, but all must be self-discovery.

Archbishop Murphy says in the letter: "One of the tragedies of the day is that just when the world needs the Catholic Church and its message, just at that moment, we seem to have lost our nerve. This is not because we have lost the Faith or have any misgivings about its message. "It is just because, at the moment, there is such an atmosphere of tolerance and love, that any firm pronouncement on the moral law, whether we like it or not, seems to be provocative, insulting and interfering."

PLURALISTIC He says that at the moment, love is very much "in" but. unfortunately, at the expense of law which is very much "out." "So, whenever one is tempted to speak out strongly, one is immediately reminded that we live in a pluralistic society, that the whole stage is not exclusively ours and that, in fact, it is only since Vatican II that we have come in from the wings. "At this moment, when the world needs us so desperately, even though it may be unaware of the need, we are tempted to drop back on the defensive with one idea in mind—not to lose out, not to offend.

"A position which, you will agree, is a most unchristian and uncharitable one: a Catholic complacency which, finding itself on the right bus, is fearful to be thought trium phant by mentioning the fact to anyone. "Nor is our position improved by occasional Catholic pundits on the mass media Who give a marvellous display of the cowardice of their convictions which exasperates even the non-Catholic question-master."

In fact, says Archbishop Murphy, one has often to wait for the layman and the nonCatholic to speak before one hears an unequivocal statement of Christian belief.

"One has merely to add to this confusion, on the one hand the ambiguities of certain theological Inkfish' who appear to be squirting ink on their pages to prevent anyone discovering where they are going, and on the other hand, a 'theological Securicor who would question the orthodoxy of every step the Church has taken since Vatican II, and we realise that, at the moment when we should be giving a lead to the world, we are all feeling a little bewildered ourselves."

It •is for this reason that the bishops recently spoke clearly in a collective statement on the moral law. But the bishops' statement, as they themselves realise, will be forgotten within weeks. It is only our own individual witness which will have any lasting impact. Before we give that witness it is well to understand what we are up against. he goes on.

REASON DETHRONED "There is, first of all, the adoration of pure tolerance of which we have already spoken. Pure reason has now been dethroned and pure tolerance has taken its place.

"This is not the Christian tolerance which is binding on us all but a new tolerance which is really a cover for anarchy."

He says: "It is unlikely that in this atmosphere an appeal to the moral law will have much impact."

There is another heresy, the idea that there are two distinct ethics, a Catholic or religious ethic and a Humanist or secular ethic, and that for a Catholic to try to impose his ethic on the whole community is unjustifiable interference.

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