Monday, January 2, 2012

Update On Tesco

Further to my previous post on Tesco, the company has apologised for creating "misunderstanding and mistrust" and will cease sponsoring the Gay Pride event in London.  See an article here by Francis Phillips in the Catholic Herald. 

I note the venomous comments by some at the end of the article, once again proving that for those who support the gay agenda tolerance and respect is a one way street: one-way in their direction.  

Anyway, that is good news about Tesco. 


  1. Good on Tesco. I certainly wasn't expecting that. Well done to all who complained, myself included. It's also great encouragement to us, because often we think ''What's the point?''

  2. Hi Fr. John,
    I just got an email from Tescos, as I had sent them one, and I was told that they will be supporting London Pride 2012.
    So it's a bit of a mixed message sadly.

    Hope you're well.
    God bless,
    Mary -Courage

  3. tesco are supporting the Gay rights events during the Queens jubilee I think. The Christian Institute here in the UK have boycotted Tesco and I encourage you all to do so.
    They say that they dont want to offend their Homosexual workers but they dont mind upsetting the Christians who must spend a lot oof money in Tesco.
    We must hurt them in the wallet and put an end to their support for those who want gay marriage and the end of a civilised society and much more.

  4. I am curious to know whether you deem the rights of Christians to be superior to those of other faiths and, indeed, no faith? How does Tesco's proposed action actually infringe *your* rights?

    With respect,


  5. It is not merely a matter of infringing rights -it is a retail outlet happy to take Christians' money yet giving an employee full rein to pursue a personal agenda which is contrary to orthodox Christianity, and then vowing to fight "evil Christians" who oppose him. If they want to do that, fair enough, but those of us who are offended and object will shop somewhere else.

    Today many deem the rights of Christians inferior to the rights of other religions, or none, or those of a certain political agenda. Christians are being forced to accept things that go against Natural Law, to which all of us, religious and non-religious, are subject, and the teachings of our faith. There is a problem there.

    Equal rights indeed, but that means that orthodox Christians must also be facilitated and not ignored or infringed.

  6. I see your point. It likewise behoves non-Christians, non-believers and "those of a political agenda" to spend *their* money where *they* are respected.

    I agree 100% that Orthodox Christians must be facilitated - just as people of all other religions and no religion should be facilitated. It is a difficult balancing act for businesses.


  7. I agree with you Chris. There are other issues about society, stability, morality and public order involved here. For example for people to go around naked in the streets is an offence against public decency laws and people are prosecuted. However during gay pride events, there are many who are partially naked,and some totally naked, and even some engaged in sexual acts in the street, yet none of them are prosecuted. I have a number of priest friends in New York who tell me that during the gay pride parade when it reaches St Patrick's Cathedral, participants make offensive gestures and some engage in sexual acts as an act of defiance against the Catholic Church, all while policemen stand by and do nothing. Where's the consistency?

    In terms of business - a difficult balancing act? We find ourselves in a position today in the world where businesses will support the gay political agenda, sponsoring events etc, but refuse to support and sponsor, for example, the pro-life cause and its events. One person in one of the blogs somewhere recently wondered if Tesco would allow the formation of a Christian/Catholic support group among its staff and through it sponsor major public Christian/Catholic events. I wonder would they? Consistency. Support all sides, or support none. God bless.

  8. Interesting. I agree with you on the issue of nudity in public parades: it is completely inappropriate and unnecessary. While I haven't seen it in the gay pride events that I have attended in either Dublin or London, I *did* stumble upon it in Berlin is a distinctly heterosexual context (including some pretty hardcore sexual activity). Sexual orientation aside, it is too much.

    I won't defend the aggression behind the obscene gestures against the Catholic Church that you mentioned above and while I don't agree with them, I at least understand the passion behind them.

    However, the tiny minority of gay people who *do* behave in this manner - the aggressive gesturing, public sex/nudity - are not representative of *all* gay people. I believe it would be maliciously disingenuous to imply that they are. It would be as wrong as suggesting that the vile behaviour of some clerics in the abuse of children is representative of all priests. Such crass, reductive swipes undermine the validity of arguments on both sides. As you say, consistency is important.

    As a gay man, I can't tell you how offensive and demoralising it is to have read the relentless stream of condemnation from the Vatican, particularly over recent years: the tip of the iceberg including that we are "evil and disordered"; that gay tourists are not welcome in Vatican city... etc. The Pope and the Vatican are, of course, entitled to uphold the tenets of their religion but, in doing so, should not be surprised that it engenders, shall we say, "bad feeling." As a catholic, I felt so utterly disenfranchised by the church that I formally defected. It didn't dent my faith in God one whit but the action made me monitor my behaviour towards other people more closely. I can honestly say that it was the most spiritually meaningful decision of my life and - you may find this ironic - but I feel closer to God than ever.

    As a customer of Tesco, I can't answer for them on the issue of whether they'd support (a) a group/event for Catholic/Christian staff or (b) other religous events. With regard to the former, I wonder if a staff member has ever made such a request?


  9. Clarification: my reference to "crass reductive swipes" was not aimed at your post, but at general commentary from all sides in the wider media.


  10. It's a matter of objective truth, not opinion: sexual relationships between two persons of the same sex are not wrong because Christ's Church says its wrong, but the Church recognises that, as a matter of reason, it is morally wrong. Some people may be more inclined to sin in that particular way than others, and most of us have a tendency to sin in one way more than in others. However, we should make the extra effort and pray for the grace to avoid sinning in that way; the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist are especially bountiful in such grace. With a good will, effort, prayer and regular confession, one becomes more and more free from the tendency or desire to sin, while being good, generally, becomes easier. The acknowledgement of our personal sinfulness is necessary to attain holiness - to which God calls all of us.

  11. Lynda, while I genuinely appreciate the love you exude in your post, I'm afraid I can't entirely agree with it. Because the concept of morality differs so widely from church to church, from country to country and from culture to culture, it *has* to be seen as subjective rather than objective.

    My generation was raised to believe, as you seem to, that concentration and prayer could change this fundamental part of ourselves. Indeed, it is the major building block of the American "Ex-Gay" movement. Unfortunately for all of the stakeholders, it has proven to be a spectacular and often dangerous failure. Rates of "recidivism" alone are so high that the concept is widely derided. The fallout includes a worrying suicide rate and sad numbers of sham marriages in which spouses and children suffer when the marriage collapses under the impossible weight of delusion. This is more like left-handedness than giving up smoking.

    In terms of morality, it strikes me as very odd that the formation of a loving relationship between consenting adults should be considered wrong or sinful. One might argue that, say, adultery or incest would likewise be between consenting adults but the problem there is that spouses and children would be hurt by the break of their family in the case of the former and there would be immense problems for the children of the latter union. And yet, society seems remarkably accepting of adulterous relationships.

    If marriage has shown one important thing, it's that societal support for the relationship influences how the participants enter and behave in it. The opposite side of the coin is that societal antipathy for homosexuality over the years has promoted the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't ideology. If such a huge part of who we are as people is, at best, dismissed, then what is the point in following any moral code in relation to sexuality? And yet the majority of us do.

    Centuries of prayer, denial, persecution, "corrective rape," exclusion, condemnation, violence, extermination, vilification, electroshock therapy etc have utterly failed to make homosexuality extinct. What is horrifying is realizing how many things on that far-from-exhaustive were supported and perpetrated by churches in the name of God.

    If God calls us all to holiness and if God made us all, then how come He can't include loving relationships in that notion of holiness? Is it that He has a blind spot (surely not!)? Is it that the shape of holiness changes shape over the centuries in line with the thinking of man and societal norms? Would those who, in following Leviticus, engaged in slavery and the execution of people for farming two different crops in the same field (or even for eating shellfish!) be regarded as holier than a homosexual who lived a loving and giving life in partnership with a partner of the same sex?

    As Father Director says above, consistency is important.


  12. Chris, thank you for your comments. I feel I have to point out that the Church does not regard you nor any same-sex attracted person as "evil and disordered". There is not one document from the Church which brands homosexual persons as such. Rather the documents state that sexual acts between two persons of the same sex are disordered, ie not order according to nature.

    You may disagee with that, but there is a difference which many in gay movement seem to ignore, or at best fail to understand. Indeed I have often found when I try to explain the difference, I am told there is no difference - but in the eyes of the Church there is.

    The Church believes we as human beings are greater than any one aspect of our personality, so we cannot be defined by one aspect (hence she tends not to refer to people as "gay" because, in her view, sexual orientation, while an important aspect of the person, is not the whole person). From this, then, she can differentiate between the disordered act and the person, so when the Church says the act is disordered and evil, she is not saying that the individual is disordered and evil. While the gay movement may reject that, I think it is time for it to acknowledge that the Church makes the distinction.

    That said, Church documents explicitly say that hatred towards same sex persons is wrong, and they should not be discriminated against. Now we are down to what we mean by discrimination, and here the Church and gay movement have different ideas.

    The Church works not only from the teaching of Christ and the Scriptures, but also from natural law and the natural orientation of things. In looking at man and woman in accordance with the natural law and with divine law as revealed in Scripture, she sees the complimentarity of man and woman which finds its natural expression in the marriage act. With due respect to you, and no desire to offend, that natural complimentarity is not present in the sexual act between two persons of the same sex, hence the act does not concur with the order of nature, and so is disordered. While that is difficult for people with same sex attraction to hear that, the Churchc must remain true to the natural law, which we believe is the law God has implanted in nature and in the hearts of all men and women, and to the teachings of Christ and Scripture. That does not mean we persecute, of course.

    As regards suicide, I agree with you, it is very high among persons of the same sex and it is a tragedy. However, I am surprised that the numbers of same sex attracted people committing suicide has increased and not decreased considering the success of the gay movement in having its objectives accepted by mainstream society. It is necessary to examine this and perhaps to ask the question, why homosexual persons commit suicide - it is rejection within society, or is it something else: perhaps deep down they know that something is not right, even though the gay movement and now mainstream society say that it is natural?

    There is a wonderful organisation called Courage which works with same sex attracted people and it is worth checking out. Having ministered to them I have met some of the holiest people in that organisation: men and women who live their lives in fidelity to Christ's teaching on morality as taught by the Church and have become shining examples of strength and goodness.

    A blog is not the place to discuss such issues, as forum it is limited and misunderstandings can occur. If you want to contact me I would be happy to meet with you. God bless.

    Fr John

  13. I am aware of Courage....

    You speak repeatedly of Natural Law and I suspect that you do not believe/accept that homosexuality is actually naturally occurring. Believe it or not, none of us chose to be born this way.

    I would reject the implication that rates of suicide amongst gay people - or indeed among any grouping of people - are increasing. My sense is that people are more open about and understanding of the reasons behind the tragedy of suicide. It is much more routinely reported and discussed these days. This may be partly because of the Church's refusal to bury on consecrated ground those who die by suicide.

    I understand all that you say about the Church's stance on homosexuality and I bore it carefully in mind when making my decision to defect. I should also say that it was not the only reason I defected.

    Ultimately, we will have to agree to disagree on this and many subjects.


  14. Chris. Thanks for your response. We will have to disagree, but I feel I have to correct you on the issue of suicide.

    Statistics show that suicide is on the increase - not decrease, for various reasons. In Ireland alone the number of those who are taking their lives has increased drastically. As a priest in ministry I am all too well aware of the level of suicide today. I have worked with police, hospitals, recovery units etc, and they all testify to a sharp increase in cases of suicide: they are on the front line and have to deal with it. And sadly, the manner of death is becoming more violent, as I have seen for myself. Various agencies also testify to this increase:,,,

    Secondly, while it was a practice in the Church, sadly, to refuse to bury those who committed suicide in consecrated ground for many years, this is no longer the case: you seem to imply that this refusal remains in force.

    You are partially correct when you say that I do not believe that homosexuality is naturally occuring in humans, not as an issue of faith, but as an issue of scientific research. So far, there is not one piece of credible, objective evidence that supports that people are born with same sex attraction. There has been a long search for the "gay gene" which has proved fruitless. Even if one had existed, it would have been rooted out naturally, since evolution tends towards that which reproduces the species and discards that which does not - Darwin's Natural Selection. (By the way, as the Church now acknowledges, faith in a Creator God does not rule out evolution - Blessed John Paul II spoke about that, as did Blessed John Henry Newman back in the 19th century.)

    On the other hand there is a vast array of evidence that supports the proposition that same sex attraction emerges from difficult or traumatic events in childhood. I would refer you to the work of Fr John Harvey, Elizabeth Moberly and Gerald van den Aardweg, on this. I am fully aware that no one chooses to be homosexual, and it can be very painful.

    Again, a blog is not the best place to discuss these issues, since they are very personal. If you would like to contact me I would be happy to listen to you and talk with you.

    With regard to the other issues which led you to leave the Church, I respect your decision. If people choose not to accept the Catholic faith and the Church, they should leave as you have done, and while it is sad, they are being true to what they believe.

    I will pray for you, and part of my prayer will be that you may return one day. But that said, I wish you every good for your life, and commend you and those dear to you to the care of Our Lady, our loving Mother. God bless.

  15. You're absolutely right, of course: I didn't complete my thought on the issue of consecrated ground Sorry for the inadvertent implication.

    I had a lovely childhood, devoid of trauma beyond the standard scuffing of knees. Certainly nothing of the difficulties usually outlined in such research. There is also, off course, the issue of same sex attraction in the animal kingdom but I think it best to draw a line under that: we'd be here for decades arguing the toss otherwise!

    You used the word "painful" above and it has its place, certainly. My pain, while it lasted, stemmed from this: the notion promulgated by society that homosexuality was bad. Essentially, it was about the judgement of *others*. Falling in love for the first time "cured" that. I woke up and saw that I was a complete person, unique and utterly respectable. I have never looked back. Some 25 years later I am very happily "civil partnered" (like it or not, I use the word "married").

    What drives me to comment on blogs and websites like this when I see them is the desire to challenge apparently inflexible and judgmental thinking. It is not driven by any 'inner conflict' or lingering self-hatred (but I *would* say that, wouldn't i? LOL). It is often a pointless exercise but I have had some successes, so I'll happily persist.

    And, with that, I'll sign off. For now anyway!


  16. Sorry - me again! I think this video makes a profound point very simply and clearly.