I notice that SPUC has launched a campaign against gay marriage.
As the more discerning readers of this blog will have noticed, I am not a fan of gay marriage.
However, I do wonder about the wisdom and appropriateness of SPUC launching into this one.
I understand John Smeaton's belief that attacks on marriage are fundamentally attacks on a culture of life: indeed I share that belief.
Nonetheless, given SPUC's remit and declared non-religious nature, I think that this risks leaving many supporters behind, as the amount of catechesis needed to get the average non-Catholic (and probably, alas, the average Catholic) to understand the linkage is immense.
Further, by attacking gay marriage, SPUC is provoking a very vehement counter-attack: they had better be ready for it; and they had better have made sure that every last comma of their position paper and their background briefing is unassailable academically, or they will bring themselves - and the whole pro-life movement by association - into disrepute.
Of course, if the Bishops were leading the charge, John Smeaton would not feel the need to do so. But I think he needs to be clear: is SPUC's purpose to advance the Pro-Life cause on a non-religious basis, or is it to make up for the deficiencies (real or imagined) of the Bishops in this country? Latterly, a lot of energy seems to have been expended on the second of these alternatives.
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