Today is Good Friday, when Catholics commemorate the death of Christ on the cross with fasting and abstinence from meat. We have several Catholics as members of the Cabinet. The Daily Mail report this Good Friday is chilling to me as a Catholic and parliamentary candidate. It speculates that
Catholics in the Cabinet may either have to resign or be forced to commit a serious sin of scandal.
The Embryology bill wending its way through Parliament is anathema to Catholics, and I use the word advisedly. For months, Catholic churches across Britain have been praying for its defeat. Geoff Hoon, Labour's Chief Whip, is quoted in the "source close to" format, disgracefully, as saying Catholic members of the Cabinet must not prevent passage of this bill.
Let this Catholic lay it on the line for Messrs. Brown and Hoon. We don't whip conscience votes in this country. David Cameron has asked Brown twice at PMQs to repent of this disgusting violation of his colleagues' beliefs. It is not nearly enough for a Catholic to abstain on this bill. We are all honour bound to fight - and vote, if we can - against it. No faithful and believing Catholic, that is, one who follows the teaching of the Church as opposed to a "cultural Catholic", can do otherwise.
Over the Easter season, there is still time for Brown to decide if the message he wants to send to Catholic voters is:
"You may not follow your beliefs under my Government. Catholics are not welcome."