I witnessed a very unpleasant piece of internet bullying last night. A Catholic GP was engaging with some fairly vehement 'pro-choice' people on Twitter, and expressed himself strongly, referring to 'slaughtering babies.'
That got them upset, and they then said they had reported him to the GMC, and also had identified his wife, her facebook account and other details of their life, referring to their activity as 'hunting,' which seemed about right.
The GP has subsequently deleted his Twitter account, and is concerned for his job and his family: please pray for him.
I have no idea if the GMC will take an interest in this case or not; but that fact alone is a sad indictment of how far we have come.
What is undoubtedly the case is that if the current direction of travel is followed much further, many Catholics will find that their professional careers are jeopardised if they express their Catholic convictions in public. It was interesting to see last night's bullies referring to their target as 'openly Catholic' - another telling phrase...
So I am wondering whether there is any scope for setting up an informal network to support such people when they are in the eye of the storm.
Support must include prayer, of course; but also, I think, practical support, such as access to sympathetic professional colleagues, good legal and union representation and so on; possibly even financial support.
I am sure there are other ways we could consider helping, too. Having a large house and two daughters away at University (and therefore some spare bedrooms - but don't tell the government) I'd be happy to offer a bolt-hole to any family who needs to escape the glare of hostile media for a while, for example.
Any other ideas?
How might this best be co-ordinated?
Because I think the need will be with us very soon, if it is not already upon us...
Thoughts for Lent from Father Willie Doyle (d. 1917) - “The path of life is rough and stony. Sharp flints and hidden thorns are thickly strewn upon its surface, wounding our weary feet as we toil ever onwards a...
3 hours ago