eu-flag-0f4141b72658cb9eThese are sad days indeed for the Church in Europe.  One wonders what is really going on.

On the one hand, we have non-believers saying that church and state need to be separate.  Agreed.  On the other, we have EU governments telling the Church what to do.  Where’s the separation there?

Much of this news hit the media during the past fortnight:

  • Churches could be forced to conduct same-sex marriages: LifeSite News reports that the EU Anti-Discrimination Directive adopted on April 2, 2009, could force churches to perform these marriages and be obliged to offer Communion to non-believers in their churches.  Whoa.  Not only that, but Church-affiliated schools look likely to admit anyone and everyone.  The EU looks on churches as ‘organisations offering services to the public‘ and has removed exemptions for ‘organisations based on religion and belief.’  Watch the mischief-making lawsuits flood in.  It will be interesting to see if churches alone are targeted or if other faiths will be as well. 
  • Tony Blair says Catholic Church needs to ‘rethink’ its position on homosexuality: Surely Mr Blair knew what the Church’s position was before Cardinal Murphy O’Connor received him into its ranks two years ago?  Everyone knows what the Catholic Church stance is on various issues.  It’s unbelievable that a Catholic — particularly a recent convert — would ask the Church to change.  The question is not whether one agrees with the issue at hand but rather the principle of asking a religious institution to alter what it believes to be a valid point of doctrine.  Translation: if you don’t like where the Church stands on an issue, don’t sign up.  Uhh, that’s why we had a Reformation 500 years ago.  But, it gets better: Cardinal Murphy O’Connor is set to become the first Catholic member of Mr Blair’s Faith Foundation International Religious Advisory Council after his retirement in May.  Hmm. 
  • Catholic adoption agencies in the UK  find themselves between a rock and a hard place: In his blog, Cranmer reports that the 20-month transition period is coming to a close for UK agencies ‘during which they have been obliged either to close or conform to the 2007 legislation on the provision of goods and services to homosexuals’.  Cranmer explains, ‘Some languish in prison, others await their day in court, while still others have sacrificially thrown themselves onto the flames. These have voluntarily and completely severed their links with the Roman Catholic Church in order that they might comply fully with the legislation and place children with homosexual couples. The five largest agencies in the country have cast the Church aside, changed their constitutions and even their names in order to comply with the law.’  The other problem is that agencies may no longer use Church property and donations from individual parishes will not be allowed to go towards adoption services.  They can, however, be used for other children’s services. 

tony-blair-66988767495cffba1So, it would appear that the Catholic Church is affected most by these laws.  Yet, these laws really aren’t necessary as there are loads of secular organisations offering adoption services, for example, and they are not allowed to discriminate.  As far as education goes, we have state schools everywhere in Europe. 

As for Holy Communion, that’s a different matter.  Why would a non-believer want Communion?  The Host is not aspirin or Tixylix.  Therefore, why pick on the Church unless it’s just to destroy its influence in society. 

To all those secularists crying for the separation of church and state, Christians are right there with you.  Live and let live, we say.