The Tablet, that bastion of things of dubious orthodoxy, reports that Monsignor Marcus Stock attended the recent meeting of ACTA at Hinsley Hall.
ACTA is a fairly noxious organisation, as Mark Lambert has documented here. They agitate for all the usual causes: contraception, women priests etc. I think, as I have observed before, that this flurry of activity is nothing more than the dying gasps of a group of sad old has-beens.
However, the attendance by Monsignor Marcus Stock, who is General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, risks causing scandal, by lending some veil of credibility to them and their agenda.
Certainly many sensible Catholics were expressing shock last night having read the Tablet's report, and seeing the implications. As one put it: 'What was he thinking?'
My hope and expectation is that Mgr Stock was there to observe, to judge and to report - possibly even to admonish. Were that the case, I would not expect the Tablet to mention such a fact, as they clearly have their own agenda.
But now that his presence is being used as part of the propaganda of dissent, I think it behoves Mgr Stock to answer that question: 'what was he thinking?' and to make clear whether he is with the Church laughing (albeit compassionately) at ACTA, or with ACTA, laughing (albeit bitterly) at the Church.
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