The Pink Triangle Trust

News Release – 9 May 2008


KENILWORTH, 9 MAY 2008 — Britain’s only gay humanist charity has strongly criticised the leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales and accused him of wanting things his own way.

Commenting on Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s Westminster lecture last Thursday night, in which he talked of reaching out to non-believers, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) says he gave the impression of wanting to do so only on his own turf.

“Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s lecture does not once mention the very real friction between the Catholic Church and LGBT people,” says George Broadhead, secretary of the PTT. “How can he possibly speak about reaching out to atheists, when many of these can have no truck with Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, because of its sustained and vehement hostility towards their relationships and rights.

“In 2006 the reported sacking of his press aide by Murphy-O’Connor was condemned by the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) as ‘sickening hypocrisy’. Murphy-O’Connor had written to The Times saying that homosexuals ‘have the same entitlement to legal rights as anyone else’ and that ‘the Church has consistently spoken out against any discrimination against homosexual persons’. Yet only a few weeks earlier he had presided over the hounding of one of his colleagues from his job for being gay. ‘Such sickening hypocrisy is almost unbelievable’, GALHA declared.”

Mr Broadhead goes on: “The cardinal says that believers ‘need to recognise that they have something in common with those who do not believe’, but presents his argument entirely from the presupposition that there is a God. He does this by saying, ‘Britain should not become a God-free zone.’

“But that presupposes that it’s wrong to be an atheist.”

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said in his lecture: “Our life together in Britain cannot be a God-free zone and we must not allow Britain to become a world devoid of religious faith and its powerful contribution to the common good.”

Mr Broadhead countered: “Why must it not be God-free? Why does the cardinal imply that only a belief in God can bring about the ‘common good’?

“Tellingly, the cardinal was given nearly eight minutes on the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 on Friday morning to make his case, but in the previous hour Professor Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, was given just over three minutes to demolish his argument.

“It was good to hear Professor Dawkins lay into the presenter, John Humphrys, to some extent, by challenging him on why interviewers insist that politicians prove their arguments, but never do the same with clergymen. The cardinal was not once made to justify his basic beliefs, but was allowed to waffle, as he did in his lecture, about how faith is not ‘founded on the conclusions of reason’, but grounded in the word of God.

“He then goes on to say that such thinking is compatible with reasoned thought. But he can argue this only from the presupposition that there is a God, and for that, I’m afraid, there’s no proof whatsoever.”

Further information from George Broadhead on 01926 858450.
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Created : Sunday, 2008-05-11 / Last updated : Tuesday, 2008-07-08
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