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Senior Catholic blames UK's 'moral wasteland' on equal rights

A leading adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster has blamed abortion and gay rights for turning Britain into a "selfish, hedonistic wasteland" which has become "the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death". Edmund Adamus, director of pastoral affairs at the diocese of Westminster and an adviser to Archbishop Vincent Nichols, said Parliament had turned Britain into a country which is more culturally anti-Catholic than nations where Christians are violently persecuted such as Saudi Arabia, China and Pakistan. His comments, made with only weeks to go before Pope Benedict XVI's historic state visit to Britain, will cause embarrassment between organisers of the visit and government officials, because they reveal how some members of the Church's hierarchy believe that the pontiff is travelling to a hostile and anti-Catholic country.

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Paul Vallely, a leading Catholic apologist, has responded in the same newspaper with an article called

Airing these extreme views now is spectacularly unhelpful

Mr Adamus has allowed his extreme views to add things which are palpably silly. Whatever Catholic traditionalists may think about the past five decades of British legislation being progressively anti-life, anti-marriage or anti-family, it makes no sense to say that Britain is more anti-Catholic than countries like Pakistan, Egypt, China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia where Catholics suffer physical persecution.

All this is spectacularly unhelpful on the eve of the papal visit. The Catholic Church has insights to offer the rest of society about the dangers of putting materialist individualism before the common good; about social justice at a time of spending cuts. It has good questions to ask about the relationship between laddish culture and attitudes to women and sexual violence.

But that will not be heard above the indignation generated by Mr Adamus's incitement to cultural war. He is no doubt about to get a major ticking off.

TAGGED: POPE, RELIGION, VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM


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