Dear Bishops

Dear Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales,

Some of us* got a little soggy yesterday in Birmingham, and being called a Nazi wasn’t much fun, but it was a very light and easy cross to bear in the grand scheme of things, and we did it out  of love and witness, and it was on the whole a joyful occasion. So when I read your ‘Letter to Catholics…’ on the upcoming election this morning, you’ll have to forgive me for finding it a wee bit pathetic.

Did you mention 50 years of abortion? Did you mention the unborn at all?  Did you even mention conscientious objection?  Or, as per usual, did you take the easy ride?

I’m not known for my advocacy of women’s ordination, but I’ll tell you something, dear Bishops’ Conference: the speakers at yesterday’s March for Life – all women as it happens – had more masculinity in their little fingers than you seem to be able to summon up in your whole conference. It reminds me of a story – you may have heard it – about a certain band of apostles abandoning their Master right when He needed them most, leaving the dangerous work to the women.

I’m not saying that Life From Conception, No Exception has to be The Number One Issue for Catholics in the upcoming General Election, but, you know, couldn’t it even just be a consideration? A footnote perhaps? A tiny scrawl in the margins? A hyperlink?

Oh, but we did mention it, I hear you say. That’s precisely what that paragraph on Issues on Family and Life was all about. Oh really? Let’s have a look:


In 2015 Parliament voted overwhelmingly to protect society’s most vulnerable people, by preventing the legalisation of assisted dying. Will your candidates uphold this decision? Will they support measures to promote the intrinsic value of life at every stage?

The family is at the heart of the health and well-being of society, above all the well-being of children. What policies do your candidates propose for the flourishing of family life?

Oh, well, that spells it out nice and simply. You’ve ticked that box. Good for you. That’ll keep the weird pro-lifers off your back. Pat on the back. Have a lollypop.

You know what gets me most about this? It’s not even the abortion issue – it’s integrity; it’s faith. I mean, how on earth is this letter any different from a secular virtue-signalling checklist? This is what I think: you don’t really, truly believe that God will judge you. In fact, in my view,


So that makes me wonder: why should we believe in God? If your words and actions don’t convey true faith in the true faith, then why on earth do you think we should believe any of it? Or to put it in language you might understand, why should we turn up to Mass on a Sunday morning and cough up our offertory donations? Hmm?

Dear Bishops’ Conference, MAKE A DECISION.


Lord have mercy on us,

Our Lady of Life, pray for us.

Holy Michael, defend us.


*including, one must gratefully acknowledge, some representatives from the Bishops’ Council: +McKinney, +Byrne, and +Heskett. Praise God.