Saturday 11 April 2015

Putting it in perspective

On Twitter, Ed Rennie has been complaining that our letter to the Herald was counter-productive, as it only had 500-odd signatures and therefore 'it creates the perception that those who oppose Kasper are a tiny minority that can be ignored.'

I disagree with him on two counts. Firstly, the letter should be judged primarily on the merits of its arguments, not the number of signatories. Of course we wanted a decent showing, but the real question is: is the argument correct?

The second point is that I disagree that 500 is a small number in the context of that letter. ACTA has been organising for years; it claims a membership with groups in every diocese. It has a dedicated website, a mailing list, and several organisers with time on their hands. For some time they have been promoting a 'Survey on the family' doubtless to try to bolster their heterodox agenda with some semblance of popular support.  So far they have just over 150 responses, and are hoping (and working hard) to try to get that up to 200, as I learn from this, which somebody sent me, having been emailed it yesterday.

(I have to admit that I was tempted to contribute to their survey, but that involved joining ACTA, which involved stating that I agreed with their aims, so I resisted the temptation. I suspect, however, that others of like mind have contributed, which would mean even their 150 are not all ACTA supporters...)

Whereas Mark and I had no database of email addresses of supporters, no organisation, and precious little time on our hands (it was the Easter holiday, and both of us prefer to spend time with our families to lobbying...). Nonetheless, thanks to the willing support of other Catholic bloggers, and the readiness of their readers to sign up, we collected over 500 signatures between the launch of the blog campaign at noon on Palm Sunday, and its close on Easter day.

That seems to me to suggest the relative weight on the side of orthodoxy is pretty substantial.

Thanks to all who signed: names are continuing to come in (we are now up to 527 - I will publish an updated list soon).

We are also planning to suggest further ways in which ordinary lay people can prepare for and contribute to a successful outcome of the Synod.  More later...


Pétrus said...

Ben joining ACTA involves agreeing with their aims. You can only agree with the aims which they have published.

As the only aim they have actually stated publicly is "dialogue" one can quite happily join ACTA in good conscience.

Patricius said...

"...the perception that those who oppose Kasper are a tiny minority..."

Perhaps only a minority are aware of what is really at stake. Here is a link to an interesting article about where Cardinal Kasper is coming from-

I fear that the Marriage issue is merely the tip of an iceberg.

Ben Trovato said...


Yes, I looked at that and thought quite hard. But given that I know what their unpublished aims are, and that the sign up process didn't refer to 'published aims' but to 'aims' I felt that I could not (and indeed did not want) to indicate agreement.

Patricius: thanks - I will look at that on my return from walking the dog...