TUESDAY
February 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 37
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

NEW BRITISH ARCHBISHOP CALLS FOR END TO CATHOLIC MARRIAGE BAN, AGREES WITH HIS COUNTERPART ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP WHO SAYS POLITICIANS' PRIVATE SINS AFFECT PUBLIC LIFE

    LONDON (CWNews.com) - The newly elected archbishop-elect of Westminster has called for an end to the law which bars the heir to the British throne from marrying a Catholic.

    Speaking on BBC television's breakfast show yesterday, Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said he hoped to continue the work of his predecessor Cardinal Basil Hume which has given the Catholic community a higher profile in British life.

    He said: "I think that, inasmuch as the Catholic community is part of this country, there is a strong part of me that would say that an heir to the crown should be free to marry whoever he wishes, whatever denomination, and there must be freedom here. I think that this is a question that needs to be looked at."

    Bishop Murphy-O'Connor said that, while he was "compassionate" to people who got into difficulties in life, he upheld the Vatican's teaching on contraception, priestly celibacy, and abortion which was "always an evil."

    Meanwhile, the leader of Britain's Anglicans yesterday called on politicians to remember that their private lives do impinge on their roles as decision makers.

    Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury said, "Anybody who thinks that morality can be viewed as purely a private affair, a matter of individual opinion, a matter of what feels right for me is, in my opinion, deluded. That view is untrue and hugely destructive."

    He added: "The question reasonably arises in the public mind, why should we have confidence in someone in public life who cannot be trusted not to cheat in their private life?"

    The archbishop's words were welcomed by Bishop Murphy-O'Connor, who said that "the moral life of any person affects his or her integrity."

    But Catholic MP Ann Widdecombe -- a convert from the Church of England -- said it was unfair to pick solely on politicians.

    She told today's Daily Telegraph: "It is all very well to see the Church of England at last speaking out about moral anarchy but it is not good enough to just mention political figures. The archbishop should be sending this message to all his flock and have the courage to say this to everybody in the country, not just pick on politicians. It's not just public figures getting it wrong."

          

February 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 37
NEWS & VIEWS

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