I posted on the awful picture from the website of the parish of The Sacred Heart, Hove a few weeks ago and now, I have come across something equally, if not considerably more disturbing at the nearby parish of St Peter's, also in Hove.
It is many years since I have visited Hove but, for those from across the pond, it is (or was) a pleasant if a little suburban, seaside town, seamlessly attached to hedonistic Brighton and home to St Peter's Catholic Church.
It is, of course, in the Diocese of Abuse and Blasphemy and that fact may account for something nasty in St Peter's Parish woodshed.
The parish website looks the usual samey, bland gloop that most parishes dish up but, click on 'Wedding Planning' and you will find that couples wishing to marry are asked to contact the PP and then, so we are told, they will be given a referral, to undergo a mandatory pre marriage course at something called Brighton Marriage Care.
This link takes you to their website HERE
Now, to save you trawling through what Brighton Marriage Care has on offer, let me try to paraphrase it for you.
First and foremost I find it odd that couples are routinely directed to BMC following what appears to be a brief consultation with the parish priest. I would have thought that, when planning the conferral of an important sacrament, such as Holy Matrimony, the priest would wish to be the direct and primary contact.
Secondly, what in Heaven's name is the Church doing by dumping its role and responsibilities on a secular non Catholic organisation? One that appears to have directly opposing views to the doctrinal teachings of HMC.
(Since first penning this post I have discovered that the Catholic Church in England and Wales is one of the forces behind Marriage Care (I think the man downstairs is the other main force).
I have always understood that pre marriage courses focus entirely on matters Catholic, especially when one of the prospective spouses is not a Catholic.
But not, apparently, if you are a member of St Peter's parish.
Here is an extract from the BMC guidance note for Catholics....
If love is the answer, what is the question?
But then, we are living in the times of the Church of Nice where all is inclusive and no one needs to go to confession because sin does not exist any more - we are all beneficiaries of immaculate conception!
Part of me is horrified by all of this and part of me energised by being part of a critical moment in the history of the Faith (purely as an observer, you understand).
I think the reign of Pope Francis is going to produce many surprises and provide us all with the opportunity to be truly Catholic rather than just 'Sunday Catholics'.