By Hilary White
LONDON, January 29, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – British Catholics heard a flurry of naked anti-Catholic sentiments expressed last week by some government Members and Cabinet Ministers in the “row” over the government’s decision to force Churches to adopt children to homosexuals.
Anti-Catholic, anti-clerical and anti-papal slurs had been, until as recently as fifty years ago, standard fare in Britain’s political discourse where the established state Protestant religion is officially anti-Catholic, but most British people, both Catholics and Anglicans, were grateful to assign them to history’s waste bin.
“I’m not going to have some bloody reactionary German Pope dictate the law of our land,” said one minister quoted by Mary Ann Sieghart.
Sieghart writes in an Op-Ed in the Times, that another admitted, “only half-jokingly,” that his mother had always told him, “Never trust a Catholic.” A third asked, “Where’s all the child abuse and paedophilia? In the Catholic Church. They should get their own bloody house in order and sort out the way paedophilia lies hidden.”
The anti-Catholic sentiment of Labour’s hard-left elite, however, is not shared by everyone on the government side of the House. Of the 40 Catholic MP’s of Blair’s Labour party, a majority wanted the exemption.
The Telegraph quotes Peter Kilfoyle, MP for Liverpool Walton, a working class region, “This is just one more reason not to vote for us.” Kilfoyle’s seat is considered one of the Labour Party’s safest since 1964, with Labour polling over 70% of the vote in every general election since 1992.
Kilfoyle said his constituents and many like-minded Britons would not take kindly at voting time to a Labour Party that appears to be bullying churches. Describing his constituents as “not the most enlightened people” Kilfoyle said, “They would be viewed by the London liberal tendency that is pushing this agenda as reactionary.”
“But they are decent people, with decent values, and they do not understand why the Government is doing this. They will react with disgust if any of the agencies do close. We will pay a heavy price and lose votes all over the country.”
Joe Benton, the MP for neighbouring Bootle, said, “I have strong reservations over this. Nothing has persuaded me that it is right. There should be an exemption for the Church. We are getting ourselves into a terrible mess.”
British public opinion is almost exactly divided, with polls showing 42 per cent favouring an exemption and 43 per cent against. The Guardian reports today that the most recent polls show public trust in the Labour government has fallen to 21%, with “personal satisfaction” of Blair rating at just 26%.