Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster (who is basically the Catholic archbishop for London) fired his spokesman after the spokesman brought his gay partner into the office and introduced him to the cardinal. Now British columnist Peter Hitchens, while disagreeing with the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, criticizes the gay spokesman for being oblivious to the consequences of working for an organization whose principles are so at odds with his lifestyle.
But first Hitchens claims, without any external evidence, that the Church “seem[s] to attract homosexual people.” He admits he has no reasoning for this, and in fact he asserts this without providing any proof. Then he says that the way the Church deals with this seeming contradiction (attracting gays while excoriating their predilections) amounts to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I have rarely seen a more simplistic and dumbed-down explication of the Church’s teaching. Hitchens seems incapable of understanding the distinction between having an inclination and acting on it. He even acknowledges that such a view of the Church’s teaching is “a problem with modern society.”
But despite disagreeing with the Church, at least Hitchens sees the apparent contradiction of a gay man claiming to be a devout Catholic who didn’t know that parading his immoral relationship around the office would focus attention on the hypocrisy. Hitchens adds that the spokesman’s claim that he did it because he wants to change the Church from the inside is ridiculous because the Church isn’t going to change.
Then we learn that Mr Noon did not take his case to an employment tribunal because - according to a ‘friend’ - he ‘wanted to fight to change the Church’s attitude to homosexuality from the inside’.
Well, I could have told him not to bother. Leave aside the fact that the Roman Catholic church doesn’t work that way, some organisations just don’t change certain things. If you worked for an Islamic organisation you would have a hard time campaigning against Sharia Law. If you worked for the Labour Party I think a campaign to get them to back restoration of the death penalty would be foredoomed. And if you were working as their press officer, I think it might lead to employment difficulties.
What baffles me, actually, is that a person who disagrees profoundly with the principles of an organisation, and actively ignores them in practice, should go to work for that organisation as a spokesman in the first place.
At least he gets credit for seeing that. Of course, my question is whether the cardinal knew that the spokesman was gay and whether he acted only because his employee flaunted it before everyone and forced his hand.
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