Wednesday, 11 November 2020

The Moral High Ground

In having had sex with a 16-year-old boy, Theodore McCarrick would have committed no offence in the United Kingdom today, and he would not, as a matter of policy, have been prosecuted for any such offence committed before the law was changed. Indeed, convictions of that kind have now been annulled by Act of Parliament. But the Code of Canon Law establishes a specific offence of sex with anyone under 18. It is quite clear who has the moral high ground here.

Then again, McCarrick might indeed have been prosecuted, because he was a Catholic priest. Catholic priests alone are still subject to legal and social sanction for having sex with teenage boys. If anyone else were, then the political and media elite would collapse. Much as if, for example, the drug laws were enforced. Indeed, it is a curious fact that while allowing one's premises to be used underage sex is theoretically a criminal offence, allowing one's premises to be used for illegal drug use no longer is.

Can you imagine an Archbishop of Canterbury who spoke with a Scouse accent, even only that of the son of two teachers from Crosby? The attempt to bring down the Catholic Church is an assault on the newly realised power of the areas where She is strongest, at least relatively speaking. That power has in fact existed for decades; if General Elections had been won and lost in the South East, then the Conservatives would have won in 2005, when Labour lost almost every seat there. But the 2016 referendum, the 2017 General Election and the 2019 General Election have made it dangerously close to impossible to ignore. The foundations of the Red Wall are therefore under attack. One such is the Catholic Church.

Here along the Red Wall, the Labour Party is glad to be rid of us, while the Conservative Party resents having needed our support. But I am a declared and active candidate for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham at the next General Election, and my Campaign Patrons include, as private citizens, the 12 archbishops and diocesan bishops of the Red Wall dioceses of Birmingham, Hallam, Hexham and Newcastle, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Nottingham, Salford, Shrewsbury, and Wrexham, together with the clergy of the Escomb and Pontop Partnerships, each of which falls partly in the North West Durham constituency.

They also now include the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, the Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, the Ethiopian Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Maronite Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem and Palestine, the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem, and the Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem and Amman. Please give generously.

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