by Hilary White
ROME, March 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Catholic Church in Britain, and presumably abroad, must abandon its fight against “gay marriage” and “make peace with the gay world and move on.” So says The Tablet, Britain’s “international Catholic weekly” magazine, sold across the country in Catholic parishes and often endorsed by the Catholic bishops.
The fight over marriage, the magazine’s editor said, is largely over within the Church, with over half of Westminster Catholic MPs voting in favor of the government’s “gay marriage” bill last month. Citing a U.S. poll that found more Catholics than non-Catholics supported “gay marriage,” the editorial said, “These results rather scotch the idea that Catholics are mindless zombies who do whatever the bishops tell them to.”
“There is no more mileage in this issue for the Catholic Church,” the editorial continued, “and the sensible course would be to put it on the back burner with the heat turned low – to make peace with the gay world and move on.
“Technically yes, homosexuality is against the rules – but so is contraception; so is living together before marriage; so are lots of things people do together in private. As the late Archbishop Derek Worlock once said of contraception, these issues are ‘not the acid test of Christianity.’”
The announcement of The Tablet’s endorsement of homosexual activity will come as no surprise to Catholics in Britain where the magazine is a fixture, sold at the back of many Catholic parishes. From its founding in 1840 until 1968, The Tablet was a Catholic publication that examined world issues from the perspective of belief. In 1968, however, a de facto state of civil war was declared throughout much of the Catholic Church in the western world over the publication of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reiterated Catholic teaching on artificial birth control.
At the height of the Sexual Revolution, The Tablet, under the guidance of a new editor, followed many formerly Catholic publications, organisations, religious orders and universities and did a sudden about-face.
So annoyed have Britain’s younger generation of faithful Catholics become with the persistent undercurrent of dissent from The Tablet that some have launched an unofficial campaign, including a Facebook page, to have the magazine formally stripped of its connections with the Church. The Latin phrase “Tabula delenda est,” (Close the tablet) appears frequently on the blogs of British Catholic writers who say that The Tablet is a major stumbling block for many Catholics who may sincerely want to know and accept Catholic teaching but who are led by the paper into error.
Anthony Ozimic, the communications manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and a leader in the fight to preserve the traditional definition of marriage, told LifeSiteNews.com, “One of the most practical tributes that Catholics in the UK can pay to Pope-emeritus Benedict would be to eliminate The Tablet from Catholic life.
“The Tablet is a tool of ‘the dictatorship of relativism’ which Pope Benedict condemned so forcefully. It has given succour to many of the lobbies which constitute the Culture of Death.”
John Smeaton, SPUC’s director, wrote last week that The Tablet must be formally censured by the bishops for its long decades of opposition to Catholic teaching and promotion of far-left political ideology. While the magazine, he said, “claims to be an ‘international Catholic weekly,’” it is in reality, “the de facto house-journal of British dissent from Catholic teaching.”
In its latest issue, editor Catherine Pepinster has again endorsed the liberal Catholic dogma that the way forward for the Catholic Church is not reform of the Vatican’s curia, but its abolition and replacement with a democratic model of governance by the national bishops’ conferences. The bishops, however, should not be governing by themselves: “It goes without saying,” she said, that the new “synodical model … would have to include substantial lay participation.”
Pepinster took particular aim at Pope Benedict’s attempts to restore traditional sacrality to the liturgy, saying, “The undermining of episcopal conferences must be reversed, and they should regain control of liturgical changes that the Vatican has wrested from them.”