Gay marriage: What about Australia?

I notice that Bishop Peter Elliot told parishioners at the London Oratory recently that the Australians had just voted against Gay marriage.

Funny that the European papers kept that quiet.

Cardinal O'Brien is, we are told, a bigot because he thinks gay marriage is 'shameful' and 'grotesque', but what about the whole of Australia, which obviously came to the same conclusion, through the democratic process?

Let's not be bullied by the politically correct.

Pity about O'Brien, though. In the middle ages, oddly, a bishop could probably just have done public penance (rather like Clinton after Monica Lewinsky) and then have just got on with life.  His authority would not be diminished in the way O'Brien's has been.

I have been re-reading Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter, and there the medieval parish priest berates his flock for their moral shortcomings, and tells off the children when they deserve it, but also has no complex about providing for his daughter, begotten out of wedlock. Such arrangements were common in an age where having an abortion would have been a theoretically capital offence, but having an illegitimate child was just one of those things.

What about an eldery bishop, then, who admits to having a sometimes difficult-to-control weakness for young priests, but is sorry about it, asks us to bear with him, and still tries to teach us how to live
a good life? The fact of being honest about it might help him to overcome it. I wonder, would that kind of honesty and lack of hypocrisy work in the twenty-first century? After all it worked for many kings, emperors and bishops in the past. Probably not.

Funny old thing, original sin, isn't it? And a funny old thing is progress, too.

I suspect that we will soon live in an age, if it it is not already upon us, where we will all know everything about each other - a kind of awful anticipation of our joyfully resurrected state - so we will have to get used to the fact that although everyone's sins are different, we all have something so badly wrong with us that only the death of God's own Son is enough to make up for how shameful and grotesque we all are. And in his love and mercy we are all made beautiful and holy again; a little every day, and most perfectly in the resurrection. Isn't that great?

In the meantime, may God have mercy on us all.

BTW, another BIG recent story, ignored by our papers, was the public penance done by the President of Uganda back in November. One big issue for the Ugandans has been to face up to their own sins in order to fight more effectively against the foisting of gay marriage and other liberal agendas on them by the post-Christian north. Here is what he said, just before Christmas:

"Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us.

I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness.
We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.

We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.
Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict.
These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins.

We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity.

We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.
We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.

I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.

I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Now, there is a leader one could follow with a joyful heart! God bless you, President Museveni!

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