I haven't been blogging much about this issue and do not intend to start making it a regular occurrence. To be honest, I don't know enough about it to make very many useful contributions, and it appears patently clear that no-one really knows what is going to happen and what the solutions are.
And its really that which would be such a relief. For any of the parties to say - actually, we haven't got a bloody clue what to do but we are going to give a few things a try and see if they work. Because that really is the truth, even though they will not admit it
There was a news story in the paper yesterday regarding a young man with child abuse convictions who was placed with a family with children. Clearly, this is not an acceptable situation. But it was interesting to watch the bandwagon-jumpers. You had the 'this is as a result of PC' brigade which suggests that this was done entirely deliberately. Then the 'its all the fault of the incompetent social workers', alongside the 'sack them all, someone must be blamed'. Clearly something went wrong. But what is to be gained by fulminating until we actually know WHAT went on? Then, perhaps, some sensible suggestions can be made?
And now we have Murphy O'Connor complaining again about the fact that his church is just one of many groups who are taken into account when considering public policy. They don't have an automatic veto. For some reason he seems to think that the fact that much of the population was kept in hock to him and his fellow control-merchants in the past should give him a permanent central position in determining what happens in the UK. I do think the church can express its view - just like many other organisations. But like those others, they will have to make a case for their stance - and I think they are unaccustomed to doing so because their mindset is one of obedience to their 'truth', not rational argument. Murphy O'Connor is relatively liberal. Word has it that Ratfinger is determined to install a hardliner to do his bidding - notably to clear all gay men out of the Catholic seminaries. I cannot understand why any gay man would want to join an organisation where they cannot be open in any case, but I do think that many will have a very rough time. Fr. Gerry Proctor's appearance on Cherie Blair's programme on the future of the church displayed that their certainly are good, well meaning people within the Church, but I can't help but think they are fighting a losin g battle. Similarly, although Cherie is clearly a liberal herself - highlighting the sexism and homophobia in the church and calling for inclusion - she confused the surface level 'inclusion' of the US megachurches with genuine liberalism. Those churches may appear 'modern' but they follow a highly reactionary creed. She did not appear to be aware of what they teach, which is miles away from the liberals she interviewed on her C4 programme