Thursday, 4 September 2008

More on grave-robbing

Newman was, of course, unaware that he might one day achieve sainthood. But he was mindful that the church might, after his death, seek to intervene in determining the placement of his remains. Although a modest man, he was conscious of his international status as a cardinal and an esteemed Catholic theologian. He feared there might be attempts after he died to transfer his body to a mausoleum. That is why Newman three times added notes to his instructions to his executors which, according to the scholarship of the Christian historian Alan Bray, variously "confirm", "insist" and "command" that he be buried with St John.

Nothing could be clearer. Newman was absolutely insistent that he should be buried for ever alongside the man with whom he shared his life and home.

No Catholic tradition, dogma or ritual about cardinals and saints can justify the Vatican's heartless, self-serving decision to violate Newman's categorical, unambiguous instructions. No one gave the Pope permission to defy the cardinal's wishes. It is an act of shameless dishonesty and personal betrayal by the homophobic Catholic Church.

Peter Tatchell, writing on CIF today. I've made my own views clear already.

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