Archbishop of Birmingham the Most Rev. Vincent Nichols said faith provided the basis for shaping and forming relationships, and youngsters should be taught “clear moral principles”.
What does that mean, then? That young people – or anyone, for that matter – can’t form moral principles without “faith”? Don’t be an idiot.
Oh, but you’re a Catholic. You have to be an idiot. It’s in the job description.
We’re back to that idea again that only “faith” can make us moral. This geezer’s words of infinite wisdom came in a sermon at St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham, which, says the Telegraph, attacked “the assumption that society can be self-sufficient and exist without God”.
Well what if there is no God, Vince? Society is self-sufficient and certainly exists. And, if there is no God (and there is no evidence for such a being), then, ipso facto, society is existing without him. QED.
His remarks come on the back of some stats that show a rise in the pregnancy rate among under-18s in England and Wales. Nichols’s thesis seems to be that people should commit to each other in “faithful, unswerving love”.
“Casual, come-and-go liaisons only damage us,” he says. “Sex education, as popularly understood, no matter how many millions are spent on it, will never alone guide our youngsters.”
It depends on how the sex education is constructed. In principle, it can contain advice on loving relationships. It doesn’t need faith in fairies.
Sex education should also be equipping youngsters for the real possibility that some relationships just don’t continue to work, and advising that the best course is often to end them. But nutty Catholics would believe that you can continue to love the same person for ever. It’s possible, but often life just isn’t like that. It's great when it is, and we should, indeed, strive for good strong relationships, for our own sakes and the sakes of our kids.
But, then, this twaddle is coming from a man who’s not supposed to have sex or be in a sexual relationship. Let’s assume this is the case and that he's stuck to his vows, and ask: what authority is he speaking from?
Young people, he says, “need clear moral principles to guide our actions, principles which arise from our very being and are not, therefore, repressive impositions from without”. Er, what’s he prattling about? From without? Does he mean imposed by Catholic priests and other deluded souls? They, after all, deal in repressive impositions. It’s all “Thou shalt not” with these people.
And “from our very being”? If it’s from our very being, then what’s this “faith” lark got to do with it? Isn’t he just being a tad opaque and waffly?
But, then, he is a preacherman.
Yes, of course people need clear moral principles. That’s what being human is about: treating one another with respect and love. Such things spring “from our very being” because we are human, not because we subscribe to some airy-fairy nonsense.