Homily for All Saints’ Day, 1/11/22

posted 4 Nov 2022, 06:24 by Parish Office

Just before putting together this homily for All Saints’ Day I had a look to see what I had said in previous years, to avoid repeating myself. It seems that, in general, I have spoken about persecution of Christians and given examples of lives of the saints, with St John Paul II and St John Henry Newman being mentioned a few times.

Of course, those are also the themes of the readings today, as well. In the first reading, we have the “huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language” who are not just saints, but also martyrs. Then, in the Gospels, we are told that persecution in the cause of right, suffering insults for following the Lord, and hungering and thirsting for what is right, are behaviours which earns us a high reward in heaven. So for my homily this year, why break with the pattern of the last few years? What can I draw your attention to this year? How about what is being taught in primary and secondary schools as of this September? I’m not referring to how the faith is taught, and matters of catechesis. Rather it’s to do with moral issues instead.

Olenka Hamilton, writing for the Catholic Herald, recently took her two daughters, aged two and three, to Tate Britain, to look at the art and to try out the children’s play areas that had been recommended to her. When they got there, she was alarmed at the contents of the bookshelves. “Titles included My own way: Celebrating gender freedom for kids, Gender: A Graphic Guide from the makers of Queer: A Graphic History, and Kisses for Jet: A Coming-of-Age Story.” As she put it, “Not a single book that children actually want to read, let alone should be allowed anywhere near.”

When she asked one of the people working there if these books were really appropriate for children, and whether politics and ideology should be brought into a child’s play area, they became less friendly, said they would pass her comments to their supervisor, and they put the books back on the shelves. So Olenka whisked her children away.

But this kind of indoctrination isn’t just the preserve of one or two isolated locations. In September, the new RSE curriculum came into force. RSE stands for Relationships and [a word I won’t say beginning with “s”] Education. An organisation called Public Child Protection Wales has, with the backing of over five thousand parents, taken the Welsh Government to court. The curriculum is in place in England and Scotland as well, but the

Welsh government have gone further by saying there should be no parental opt-out of the classes. There is also, technically, no opt-out for faith schools either.

The content is truly shocking. For children aged four to six, not fourteen to sixteen, but four to six, they are to be taught about “enjoyment and pleasure when touching one’s own body”. I won’t use the words that follow to describe it all. Then there is “Gender Identity: How you in your head define your gender, based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender”.

Things go further. There certainly isn’t the intention to safeguard purity of heart; rather it is giving children ideas to then pursue, and opening them up to the possibility of being abused.

As I say, the curriculum is already in force, but, in Wales, attempts are being made in court to have it stopped. Parents and grandparents, both in Wales and in England, need to make their voices heard. As Laura Perrin wrote in a recent blog, we can’t assume that other people will do all the work for us by coming forward and speaking up. Many people don’t want any trouble. The thing is, that if we don’t do something now, we are just storing up trouble for the future.

Olenka Hamilton finished her article by saying, ‘Grooming children to be in a position to give “consent” before they are adults is seriously dark, but somehow it is those who object who are branded the evil ones’. We could perhaps add, that by standing up and being counted, we “run the risk” of fulfilling the last beatitude: “Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven”. It just seems that the revolution that began in the sixties is going from bad to worse – and it requires those who are saints in the making to oppose it and build something better. All the saints in heaven, pray for us.