Sunday, 28 September 2008

This and that from the media

The Times newspaper yesterday published two letters highly critical of the decision of governors at St Monica's school in Prestwich, Manchester that their pupils should not receive the HPV vaccinations at the school. The Catholic Church was called upon to condemn this irresponsible action by one of their schools.

As Zero pointed out to me, would there have been half the fuss if the school had not been a Roman Catholic school? I think the media have taken the chance to "have a go". I post a copy of the governors letter to the parents of the school below, and I think you will see that it demonstrates a willingness of the school to fully co-operate with the Primary Care Trust in the Trust making arrangements for girls attending the school to recieve the vaccination in other settings. H/T to Catholic Mom of 10, where I first saw the text. I posted on this matter earlier; Fr Ray also had a post which addressed different aspects of the matter. Mulier Fortis has also posted, with the comments to her post developing other elements of the discussion.

[If you aren't able to open the image in such a way that you can read the text, follow the link to the post at Catholic Mom of 10, and you will be able to see and read the text.]

The Conservative shadow home affairs minister is reported today as criticising the idea of "multiculturalism" in favour of a greater sense of British culture. This seems to have become the accepted wisdom these days. However, he is also reported as advocating recognition of the role of Christianity in British culture. This according to the BBC news website:

Mr Grieve also said the part played by Christianity in Britain should not be ignored.
"The role of Christianity is really rather important. It can't just be magicked out of the script. It colours many of the fundamental viewpoints of British people, including many who've never been in a church."
I do have a caution about this advocacy in favour of Christianity. Yes, I think it is is important to recognise that many of Britain's laws and much of its societal practice can only be fully understood in the light of their Christian origins. But for this to carry any force in policy debate today, we must also recognise that Christianity is a religion that is still lived and practiced by many people in Britain today. The Christianity that is entitled to a stake in the public square is not the Christianity of yesterday, or the day before that, or the year before that ... it is a Christianity that is still a living, practiced religion of today, yes, in continuity with the past, but definitely lived and experienced today. Just arguing the place of Christianity in public life on the grounds of its historical contribution can only be part of the story, and has the danger of Christian practice being isolated to its own "corner" where it is not allowed to take part in the life of wider society as a whole; it must be accepted that Christianity will contribute to contemporary moral and political discourse, something that may challenge the assumptions of many of no religious belief.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

zero says
As you are a man of letters how about you writing to the Times informing them that the school wawsn't saying for the girls not to have the vaccine? and making the point that would there have been the fuss if it weren't a catholic school and indeed are there other schools that have a policy of not giving vaccines on their premises and it hasn't made the headlines?