I thought Father handled the situation very well.
The protester writes…
On the 11th March 2012, every Roman Catholic parish priest in the UK was obliged to read out a letter from Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith.
I only decided to attend the service less than an hour before it started. By the time I was sat in the pew, my intention was simply to video the priest reading out the letter, then post the video on YouTube to stimulate discussion. I stood up to start the video because I didn’t want it to seem like a secret action – I wanted people to know what I was doing. Once the letter had been read, I then planned to walk out of the church, possibly inviting anyone who felt the letter was an inappropriate thing for a church service to join me outside and discuss the matter.
The preacher rather cleverly took the wind out of my sails by choosing not read the letter, but inviting people to pick up a copy at the door as they left. I salute him for that move. You can hear that I was nonplussed by that and not sure what to do. Whether what followed was wise on my part I’m not sure. I felt that I had to make clear to the congregation why I was there and what I was doing. I never for a moment intended to upset or offend anyone, but in the heat of the moment, I may have done so. If I did, that’s a matter of regret. Those who know me, know that I am a gentle, courteous, caring person.
I have never before taken direct action, never been on a march or demo or taken part in any public protest. But the idea that an institution currently notorious for covering up the abuse of thousands and thousands of children by its representatives over many generations should condemn the public declaration of love and commitment between two people just because they happen to have similar genitalia was just too much for me. No doubt many people in this congregation are good, kind, generous, liberal people. But they need to take responsibility for supporting a corrupt and hypocritical organisation. That’s why I spoke out on this occasion. It was a very untypical action for me.