Timing is everything. Someone should have reminded him of that before he spoke out.

No, not the pope, silly. I’m talking about a functionary in the Westminster archdiocesan curia who spoke out candidly about England’s serious social and cultural problems.

After reading this article, my first thought was that, to whatever extent what he said may be true (and much of it probably is), it would have been much wiser to have refrained from saying this until after Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK in two weeks. This will only make the pope’s already difficult work there even more difficult.
Edmund Adamus, an adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster, said five decades of liberalising abortion and gay rights laws had made Britain more anti-Catholic than countries where Christians can be subjected to violent persecution.

The director of pastoral affairs in the diocese of Westminster blamed Parliament for allowing the country to become “the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death.” Mr Adamus told Zenit, a Catholic news agency: “Whether we like it or not, as British citizens and residents of this country … Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death.” The expression “culture of death”, first used by John Paul II, is often used to refer to liberal policies on abortion and euthanasia.

He added that Parliament over the last 50 years had been “the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes, culturally speaking – more even than those places where Catholics suffer open persecution.”

Speaking about marriage and gender roles, he said Catholics should “exhibit counter-cultural signals against the selfish, hedonistic wasteland that is the objectification of women for sexual gratification.”

He said “permissive laws advancing the ‘gay’ agenda” were one example of how Britain had become such a “wasteland.” . . . (continue reading)


  1. doanli aka "orange blossom"

    I agree with the timing being bad, but what he says is true. (And it's not only limited to the UK as we all should know.)

  2. Anonymous

    While I don't believe the average Brit is all that bad, I do think that to get this "hidden fortress of evil," within their midst: somewhat out in the open, may allow the Pope's visit to actually have some positive impact on it. I for one wish Pope Benedict was taking an army of exorcists with him to expell the demons from London and Soho etc. to free the English from themselves. Long live Pope Benedict XVI. After that; perhaps, he could come to Hollywood and New York, etc. to do the same for us.

  3. Lisa Graas

    Sometimes a ruckus in the media can bear good fruit. How can anyone get out of complacency unless he's boldly challenged to take a side? Better to have lively debate than be wallflowers.:-)

  4. Michael

    I disagree with you all. The timing can never be bad for the truth. The Pope is a big boy. He can take care of himself and Christ's Body. If he couldn't, then he wouldn't be the visible head. Silence and hesitation has gotten the Church in the mess it is in today. Time to change the tactic a little. Sometimes you have to force the hand to do what is right.Pax Christi,MP

  5. A Catholic Dad

    I wish we had more Catholics in America speak out like this. Pat, didn't you have a caller a few weeks ago complain because priests don't speak out on abortion and/or contraception from thhe pulpit? I think this is what that guy was looking for.

  6. Elizabeth

    So to sum up, anonymous, the Brits are not all that bad, but those average Brits who are also English, actually need delivering from themselves. HUH?! Sheesh, I am glad you added that last sentence, as I am both English AND Catholic, and I have to tell you, whilst I have to agree there are indeed ungodly trends in English culture, you are tarring 'the English', all 51 million of them, with the same brush; that's a VERY BIG brush and A LOT of tar! I blame Lord Tarleton myself.There are even more Brits (NOT interchangeable with 'English' people, by that way), 61 million of them, although I am not sure how many are 'average'. However I am sure they (we, assuming I'm average)would be so grateful that at least you consider them not 'all that bad'. Cheers mate! To make sure I end on an affirmation, I DO agree with you on this matter: LONG LIVE THE POPE! And God bless you.

  7. Anonymous

    It is not clear to me whether Mr. Adamus is railing against abortion or against the anti-Catholicism that he sees. If his argument is a pro-life one, it is very poorly stated.

  8. Elizabeth

    Moving on for a minute…John Henry Cardinal Newman may be 'looking down' on his fellow Englishmen and women, and seeing through a glass perfectly, that drenched in a culture of death, England has never been closer to the second Spring that he spoke of in 1852. So is Adamus making things worse, or simply tilling the ground for the seed to be sown?

  9. Laandan Taan Catholic

    The important word used here is selfish. I am not sure sure if this was a leftover from the "I'm alright Jack" Thatcherite 80's, but it is endemic. It's the "culture of lying" that makes me want to look at the glass half empty.

  10. Anonymous

    Right on the mark I'd say. But are Brits as anti-Catholic as all that?

  11. Anonymous

    Dear Elizabeth,Thank you for speaking up for the English. Your admonishment is accepted humbly and gratefully. My remark was based on ignorance and so I ask your forgiveness. God bless all good Englishman. You see so much about Anti-Catholicism in England in the news. It is refreshing to hear the other side. God Bless!

  12. Elizabeth

    Well hey anonymous, THANK YOU!! I do indeed forgive you. I repeat, I agree England IS on a downward slide culturally, – morally speaking – but I am hoping it will bring on purification, repentance, revival…the second Spring! Shalom.

  13. Gregory

    I don't get it, Patrick, how, what Adamus said, will make the Pope's visit more difficult.It think it will only serve to crystallise, for observers, the true landscape that the Pope will enter into later this month. Truly God help him.Of the four home countries, I would say that England is the most hostile insofar as it is broadly anti-Christian (with a special pedestal of revulsion for Catholicism) and virulently secular bordering on militant atheism. Scotland and Wales, whilst having pockets of historical anti-Catholicism, are still relatively tolerant towards Christianity and religion in general. It's virtually impossible to quantify Northern Ireland (for instance the one issue that united all sides of the sectarian divide during "the troubles" was the pro-life agenda…and, ironically, it's Sinn Fein, the so-called Catholic-leaning [neo-Marxist more like] party that is more pro-abortion than others).Although I have distaste for the still lingering, ingrained and historical anti-Catholicism evident in parts of Scotland and Wales (goes without saying that similar is evident in parts of Northern Ireland) at least it's a considered and thought-out hatred (i.e. those typical anti-Catholic Scots and Welsh would at least be able to articulate as to why they revile Rome, "the Whore of Bablyon etc, yadda yadda"). In England, however, especially among the baby-boomers and below, you don't even get that. There's just a lazy-minded, no-thought, don't-bother-me-with-that-God-claptrap hatred (yep, hatred!) for anything that remotely speaks of "bronze age sky fairies".I'm glad Adamus has said this. I'm glad he's said it now, too. I'll be at Cofton Park for the Beatification ceremony and, I'll level, I'm part overjoyed with anticipation and part eager for it all to be over and the Holy Father safely ensconced back in Rome. What a hideous way to mentally prepare for what should be one of the biggest days of my whole life!Truly, I used to think I was well-tuned to the religious landscape in this Godless nation but I tell you, I have simply never known anything like the sheer, naked revulsion shown towards Pope Benedict. The anti-Catholic sentiment in England has ratcheted-up exponentially in the last five years and especially in the last six months (the BBC, Sky News and The Guardian newspaper – the unholy trinity – gleefully lapped-up the distorted feeds from the New York Times and they more than any other media organisations have stoked the fires with their sneering asides, selective editorialising and Islington-chatterati-speak replete with its oh-so-smart-set, self-congratulating moral-relativism).Dawkins and Hitchens are pushing at open doors.One can only pray that Elizabeth is counter-intuitively on-the-money. Things are so bleak here that we're that much nearer purification: the 181˚ principle.AMDG.N.B. The elections for the post-Gordon Brown Labour party leadership coincide with the papal visit; the main TV event is just before His Holiness arrives; get your money on the candidates being quizzed, not so much as to whether they deplore the papal visit…but how much. Put it this way, if the TV debates ahead of the General Election last May encompassed questions about how appropriate a papal visit is to the UK, then you can bet your life the Labour leadership play-offs won't pass-up a chance (not when there's all that Pope blaming to score regarding the genocide of Aids victims in sub-Saharan Africa).

  14. Patrick Madrid

    I agree that speaking the truth "in season and out of season" is always a good thing. What I don't agree with, is the notion that one should not exercise discretion and prudence in deciding when it is most opportune to speak. For example, it would be unwise to announce to the whole family that you have terminal cancer on the morning of your daughter's wedding day. That's a truth that needs to be told, but it doesn't need to be told (in fact, it shouldn't be) at that particular time. We have to use common sense. It was imprudent for those remarks about England to hit the press when they did. A day or a week after the pope's visit? Perfect. But two weeks before? Nope.


    elizabeth, im so terribly sad for you that you have to call yourself english. i liken it to me having to call myself american. it disgusts me anymore really. the english (and feel free to not pick at the meaning of every single word) have played the villain in every age and for the very good reason that england is EVIL. the hunger strikers knew it, sir thomas moore (saint) knew it. please dont take offense when people trash your country, and remember to never allow patriotism to make you join the ranks of those who call good evil, and evil good. that hung me up for far too long and i thank God i didnt have to stand before judgement as an american patriot, and i was allowed to come out of that haze, and see the whore for who she was, my country

  16. Laandan Taan

    Thank you Gregory for saying what I wanted to say, but far more eloquently. However, Elizabeth is right and there is hope. I have spent most of my adulthood as a part of the Islington Chatteratti, I awoke from the moral vacuum to find a truth so intense it brings a genuine joy to a soul that was so once filled with hate, cunningly disguised as a worldview, where I was tolerant, fair-minded and non-judgemental, except of course towards anyone who disagreed with that view. Two years ago, I honestly would have been standing next to Peter Tatchell, Hitchens et al protesting the Holy Fathers visit. I know how nasty and dishonest secular relativism can be, because that's who I was. Now is not the time to describe what happened, but it's enough to say I really understand your part feeling of wanting it to be over and the Holy Father safely back in Rome. I think Patrick that Gregory's point is well made, the timing in this case will hardly make any difference, such is the antipathy towards anything Catholic.

  17. Gregory

    It's humbling to read that testimony of yours Laandan (love that moniker!). Be assured of prayers for your continued progress in Faith. Yes, Elizabeth provides for us a timely note of hope before the utter despair (a sin against the Holy Ghost, which I all too often fall into) sets too deeply. I would also say that each post in this thread is relevant and complementary and contributes to the overall truth of a murky picture – however eye-popping it may be for global readers to learn of matters in "Mary's Dowry".And, really speaking, concerning many other countries, Patrick would be quite justified to fear that Adamus' words were ill-timed and may be counter-productive to a forthcoming papal visit. As we sadly know, though, the UK is an unhappy exception to the rule and Adamus' words simply won't make any negligible difference. Just another grain of sand chucked into the arid desert, basically.

  18. Jackie Parkes MJ

    Pat whilst I respect most of your views I have to say that Edmund Adamus is a very discretionary & careful commentator on English matters involving controversy amongst Catholics & the Church & the Press. If he chose at this time to speak out he being very central to events & teachings will have made the most informed decision. You Patrick I'm afraid are living in another country & do not have his pastoral expertise or experience. If I'm right Pat you are an apologist who writes books & speaks on TV. Edmund is neither..he has a different job to you & I feel you do him a diservice voicing your criticisms at this time. I particularly am concerned that it gives you publicity personally. Silence may have been the best option for you. God bless

  19. Fred

    "A spokesman for Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales told The Independent Mr Adamus's views 'did not reflect the Archbishop's opinions'".One thing that seems to be missing in this maelstrom is that the comment was made by a lay person with an agenda that seems to be at odds with his Archbishop. I find it amazing how one extremist, citing opinions at odds with the Church, can garner the attention of so many!Perhaps this disgruntled employee should resign and emigrate! If not that, at least not pretend to speak with a hint of authority he doesn't have.And let's not forget that the Brits have a history and tradition of "enthusiastic" political debate we don't share or understand on this side of the pond. Just watch the weekly meeting with the Prime Minster!So, as an American Catholic I think not only timing is bad, the messenger and the message leaves much to be desired. And if this is the vitriol coming from Catholics in Britain, no wonder the Brits are so anti-Roman!

  20. Robert Colquhoun

    Hi Patrick,I think your work is fantastic and especially your apologetics, which is really amazing. We need you in Britain, badly!However, What Edmund said was true, and hence the negative reaction from those who have helped to build up the culture of death here: http://loveundefiled.blogspot.com/2010/07/britain-geo-political-centre-of-culture.htmlYes maybe timing is everything, but we also need to speak out to build a culture of life.keep up the great work!

  21. Seven Star Hand

    Hey Patrick,The current problems facing this cabal of practiced liars and child rapists are nothing compared to what currently lurks just below the horizon. If you really want to see the Vatican squirm and then disappear in a proverbial "flash of light" then start talking about me and what I have proven.Here is Wisdom…

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