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Irreligious Britain is entering a ‘frightening new Dark Age’

Irreligious Britain is entering a ‘frightening new Dark Age’

Bishop Philip Egan of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth – pictured above with a glum young novitiate – warned at the weekend that a ‘frightening new Dark Age’ brought on by the end of faith in society is imminent for Britain.

According to this report, he said in an April 15 pastoral letter:

The demise of faith and religion, the demise even of people praying, is rapidly undermining in Britain the foundations of ethics. This dilution of our Christian patrimony threatens to usher in a frightening new Dark Age.

He added:

No wonder a death-wish is arising for assisted suicide and euthanasia. As Catholics, as people of life, we cannot ignore these challenges. We must act. We must ask Jesus to help us reach out in love to those around, to assist people develop a personal relationship with God.

In his letter, the Portsmouth bishop touched on sexuality, love, and human dignity. He also discussed a half-century of legalised abortion in England and current government efforts to ban pro-life advocates from helping women outside abortion facilities.

Consider this. It’s over fifty years since the 1967 Abortion Act, one of the most liberal in the world, came into effect. Since then, ten million babies in the UK have been aborted, one in five pregnancies.

As a people of life, our efforts to defend the unborn child, to care for pregnant mothers and to reverse or blunt this Act have had mixed results and it now looks as if, unjustly, our secularist government will no longer allow us even to pray outside hospitals and clinics.

He then explained he was in discussions with pro-life groups and diocesan staff about new ways to witness, and announced a diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life each year on the Abortion Act’s October 23 anniversary. Priests are asked to offer a Mass for the Progress of Peoples, while wearing the purple vestments of penitence.

The Portsmouth city council voted last fall to ban pro-life vigils outside a local abortion facility. Other British municipalities have also moved to enact buffer zones.

Bishop Egan also mentioned the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, “Blessed” Pope Paul VI’s landmark encyclical reaffirming Catholic teaching on married love and artificial contraception. He called the encyclical “prophetic.”

It restates the Church’s doctrine on the integrity of sexual intercourse, reserved to a husband and wife in marriage, as an act of love open to life and that these two aspects, openness to life and love, must not be split or artificially separated.

Otherwise, the Pope warned, there would be catastrophic consequences for persons, families and societ. Years on, we can now see exactly what he meant in broken family relationships, the reduction of sex to a casual activity, the trafficking of people for prostitution and pornography, the sexualisation of the young and the explosion of addictive behaviours leading to despair, shame and guilt.

There is now in society great confusion and conflict about what it means to be human, about relationships, sexuality and love. but also, most seriously, about the actual value and dignity of human life itself from conception to natural death.

Bishop Egan also released a statement on Wednesday that was critical of proposed “no-prayer zones” surrounding abortion facilities.

In it he said such bubble zones were “disrespectful to vulnerable women” and:

Unhelpful, unjust and unnecessary. Abortion is not a morally neutral topic, nor a taboo. It can cause  mother grave psychological damage.

So how can those who speak of a woman’s ‘right to choose’ not also acknowledge a woman’s ‘right to change her mind’?. Or her right to hear other options to choose from?

To remove from the environment of the abortion clinics alternative voices is to limit freedom of choice. Indeed, research shows that many women have been grateful for the last-minute support they have thereby received.

22 responses to “Irreligious Britain is entering a ‘frightening new Dark Age’”

  1. L.Long says:

    “… as people of life, we cannot ignore these challenges. We must act. We must ask Jesus to help us reach out in love to those …” Who asked for your incompetent help anyway!! Mind your own business! If I want to die, that is my business, not yours you interfering ahole!!!

  2. Daz says:

    Anyone who thinks it’s a lack of faith leading us into the new dark age hasn’t spotted the vicar’s daughter in number ten.

  3. Marcus says:

    Daz, the vicar’s daughter in No 10 – the Blessed Theresa – IS taking us into a new Dark Age. It’s called Brexit.

  4. phhht says:

    “We must ask Jesus to help us reach out in love to those around, to assist people develop a personal relationship with God.”

    Why don’t you start by showing how to distinguish your religious beliefs in gods from religious delusions. I bet if you did that, you could dispense with your authoritarian theothuggery – as well as the funny hats.

  5. Daz says:

    Aye. That’s what I were getting’ at. Not to mention the food banks in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the disabled people driven to suicide, the absolutely disgusting Windrush affair…

    Why, it’s almost as if her religion has provided no moral compass whatsoever.

  6. Ate Berga says:

    Were the “original” Dark Ages not caused/perpetuated by the rcc whom burned books and women. Worried only about power, control, patriarchy and despised independent thought, now called science. Oh, and spoke a dying language?
    Fear not Flippy, the dark ages will never return.

  7. Daz says:

    @Ate Berga

    Not really. The term generally refers to the period between the collapse of the Roman empire and the emergence of the Europe-wide church. And, to be fair, the church did give some stability and semi-unity for a while. Not so much because of the religious aspect, but because it provided an arbitration service and a source of often-secular-ish international law of sorts.

  8. RussellW says:

    “….the foundations of ethics”
    For the umpteenth time, religion is not necessary for the development of ethical systems.

    Ate Berga,
    Yes,the Church didn’t cause the “Dark Ages ” but the clergy certainly delayed the Enlightenment for a thousand years.

  9. Vanity Unfair says:

    Consider this. It’s over fifty years since the 1967 Abortion Act, one of the most liberal in the world, came into effect. Since then, ten million babies in the UK have been aborted, one in five pregnancies.

    Actually, the number of abortions is much higher and the number of medical abortions is much lower than that of the “natural” or “God-ordained” abortions that are the main feature of the system that the RC church seems to prefer.
    As for the 1967 Act, this is, presumably, morally worse than the natural state of affairs ordained by your deity. For obvious reasons precise statistics are impossible to compile but the following will give some impression of the sanctity in which any deity holds human procreation and the perfection of the design. It might also give the religious an idea of who actually is responsible for abortions of millions of babies.

    http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/conception_how_it_works/
    In nature, 50 percent of all fertilized eggs are lost before a woman’s missed menses.

    http://patient.info/doctor/miscarriage-spontaneous-abortion
    Early pregnancy loss accounts for over 50,000 admissions in the UK annually.
    Miscarriage occurs in 15-20% of recognised pregnancies.
    85% of spontaneous miscarriages occur in the first trimester.

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/abnormalities-of-pregnancy/spontaneous-abortion
    About 20 to 30% of women with confirmed pregnancies bleed during the first 20 wk of pregnancy; half of these women spontaneously abort. Thus, incidence of spontaneous abortion is about 10 to 15% in confirmed pregnancies. Incidence in all pregnancies is probably higher because some very early abortions are mistaken for a late menstrual period.

    http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Stillbirth/Pages/Definition.aspx
    Stillbirth is more common than many people think. There are around 4,000 stillbirths every year in the UK and 1 in every 200 births ends in a stillbirth.

    http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-loss/stillborn-trying-to-understand/
    Stillbirth occurs in about 1 in 160 pregnancies. The majority of stillbirths happen before labour, whereas a small percentage occurs during labour and delivery.

    As an afterthought, in my lifetime the world population has more than trebled. In the context of necessarily limited resources this puts an ever-greater strain on the materials required for the support of that population. If the situation keeps on deteriorating then the cracks will show. Malthus has only been deferred, not defeated.

  10. Daz says:

    …Not to mention, of course, that the very same church which so vehemently opposes abortion also opposes the easiest methods of avoiding the need for abortion. Let’s face it. Their opposition comes from a deep-seated belief that sex itself is abhorrent. Prudes, in other words.

  11. Robster says:

    Hang on you silly fellow and forlorn sidekick (unusually, over eleven years of age) , the Dark Ages have already been done, back in the day when your unsavoury lot ran the show. I’d have thought that these ‘people’ would perhaps be welcoming Dark Ages 2 on the off chance that somebody gives a sh*t.

  12. Broga says:

    As well as St Theresa at No 10 don’t forget the “religious” Trump kept in power by his hysterical religious followers. May is now wading through the detritus of her wrecked government and our “democracy” has no means to stop this weak and incompetent woman from destroying our lives.

    Meanwhile this bishop dares to blame a lack of faith.

  13. AgentCormac says:

    The prospect of a religion-free future may seem frightening to Bishop Egan, but I for one can’t wait.

    Ans as for St Theresa, I’m afraid she is an automaton who is going to destroy this country. And she knows it. And she doesn’t care – she will have ‘obeyed the will of the people’. Well, the half whose views are the only ones that seem to matter.

  14. H3r3tic says:

    “To remove from the environment of the abortion clinics alternative voices is to limit freedom of choice. Indeed, research shows that many women have been grateful for the last-minute support they have thereby received.” – But of course, who better to provide advice on abortion than, to quote Hitchens, a bunch of sinister virgins in frocks? And a big thank you to Vanity Unfair for saving me the time in researching the links; it’s my weekend off and time spent composing a scathing retort regarding the clearly demonstrable fact that ethical behaviour is in no way dependant upon a pre-existing religious belief.

  15. barriejohn says:

    The downturn in religious belief is only frightening to people like him, who need to believe in a magic being in the sky who controls everything that happens in the world. They can’t bear having this cosy, comforting fiction challenged, as they might need to face up to reality for once – especially the reality that this life is all that we have, so we need to make the most of it.

  16. Michael Glass says:

    There’s no evidence that the decline of religion is ushering in a dark age. Countries with less religious belief are certainly no worse than countries with more.

  17. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    @Michael Glass, although no nation is perfect and there are problems everywhere yet, countries with less religious beliefs and more atheists definitely rank better in all human development indexes than religiously obsessed nations.

  18. Barry Duke says:

    ‘Countries with less religious belief are certainly no worse than countries with more.”

    Studies have shown that “democratic nations today that are the most secular, such as Scandinavia, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, etc., are faring much better on nearly every single indicator of well-being imaginable than the most religious nations on earth today, such as Colombia, Jamaica, El Salvador, Yemen, Malawi, Pakistan, the Philippines, etc.”

    See https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secular-life/201410/secular-societies-fare-better-religious-societies

  19. sailor1031 says:

    Barriejohn: I’m afraid you are attributing the wrong motivation to this pompous RCC vice-president. The truth is that he already knows that what he spouts is fiction. What he is concerned about is that a business that has been highly lucrative and kept him and his ilk in luxury for some seventeen hundred years is going down the tubes and if nothing is done the priestly class will have to work for a living just like the “laity” they look down upon. This is the reality he doesn’t want to face. Boo Hoo!!

  20. StephenJP says:

    It is par for the course that a representative of this death cult should point his finger at the sexual mote in other peoples’ eyes while ignoring the enormous, cantilevered, reinforced concrete beam in his own. But everyone else can see it; and nobody who has not drunk the Kool-Aid is going to take any lectures on morality from the RCC ever again.

    Religion should be an activity for consenting adults in private. I look forward to the day when it becomes little more than a harmless hobby – like watching non-league football, say, or Morris dancing.

  21. Dave Godfrey says:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/poverty-britain-joseph-rowntree-foundation-report-theresa-may-social-mobility-commission-million-a8089491.html

    Consider this. It’s over fifty years since the 1967 Abortion Act, one of the most liberal in the world, came into effect. Since then, ten million babies in the UK have been aborted, one in five pregnancies

    10 million abortions since 1967 compared to 14 million people currently living in poverty in the UK. Seems to me that a large number of people have potentially been spared the misery of poverty.