Saturday 19 March 2011

An Unusual Award

My friend, Edmund Adamus, who works for the Archdiocese of Westminster, has just received an unusual award - in that is comes from the Church of the Latter Day Saints! The award is for his work encouraging family values. Edmund tells me that in this area the Mormons have quite a bit in common with Catholic teaching and, unlike many Catholics, are not afraid of teaching and preaching it. All I can say is that if the Mormons like what Edmund is saying and doing, they must hold some properly Catholic values in high regard.

In his thank you speech at the Awards Luncheon, Edmund spoke of the urgency and importance of proclaiming and defending what he called the 'doctrine of the primary educator'.

He said: 'Nothing is more intuitive and instinctual than the parents natural desire to love and protect their child. But what is needed in society and the Church more than ever today is the fresh and newly energised grasp by parents of their inalienable rights and divinely instituted responsibilities especially in the area of the moral formation of their children. It is an awesome task' he said 'and one which society too often undermines and even the Church can sometimes take for granted at their peril.'

He went on to describe how much the soon to be Blessed John Paul II inspires his work in the Diocese of Westminster and beyond in supporting marriage and family: 'John Paul in quoting St Thomas Aquinas speaks of parents as the 'priests of the domestic church' but in one sense I think one can take the spiritual analogy further by saying that all Christian spouses are the priests of the domestic church but those whom God calls to be parents one might designate as 'bishops of the domestic church' given the charge of souls in their care. And given the sacerdotal authority we associate with bishops (to teach govern and sanctify) then it makes sense pastorally to inspire parents with such language and imagery so that they might reevaluate the moral power they are entrusted with for the sanctification of their homes and families for they too must teach govern and sanctify their children like no one else can. And of course we take our ultimate inspiration' he reminded the guests, 'from Our Lord himself who we are told by St Luke 'went down with them (his parents) to Nazareth and lived under their authority'.The point being that Christ would not have been the man and figure he was when he undertook his mission were it not for the enormous influence of Mary and Joseph his first educators in humanity. So if the work of the New Evangelisation is to have the desired impact and outcome it must rest on the reality of the primary educator as a real and living force for good. '

It's slightly ironic that he has received recognition of his work from the Latter Day Saints movement when just last year he was disowned by his own Archbishop whose spokesman said that his views "did not reflect the Archbishop's" in relation to Edmund's criticism of modern society in an interview on the Zenit news agency. You can re-read that post here.

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