One of the most prominent Roman Catholics in Britain is simply outraged over being called a hypocrite by the Daily Mail. In fact, he's so outraged that he's suing the Daily Mail for libel. (That's not a rare event for the Daily Mail).
The former spokesman for the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales was "robbed of his moral authority" by a newspaper article which accused him of hypocrisy over abortion, the high court heard yesterday.The devil, so to speak, is in the details of course.
Austen Ivereigh, 41, says that he lost his £46,000-a-year job as head of public affairs for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor because of the June 2006 article in the Daily Mail.
His QC, Ronald Thwaites, told Mr Justice Eady and a jury at the high court in London that the article robbed Ivereigh, a Catholic, of all moral authority, destroyed his credibility and ruined his reputation.
The article claimed that an ex-lover of Ivereigh's had accused him of hypocrisy over an abortion she had in 1989. It alleged that he had given her "no choice but to have a termination". Ivereigh told the court that the abortion had taken place against his will after he had got his then-girlfriend pregnant when they were both students at Oxford in 1989. Although brought up as a Catholic, he was not a practising Christian at the time, he said. He added that neither he, his mother nor his girlfriend wanted the pregnancy terminated, but her mother had overruled them. After the abortion he had paid half the costs of the operation to placate her mother, he said. The relationship ended soon afterwards.I am not now, nor have I ever been a Catholic, but I wasn't aware that one could sort of... go on leave. I mean, I know people drop and adopt religion all the time... but anyway.
While working for Murphy-O'Connor, Ivereigh began a relationship with a divorced mother of two. When she became pregnant with twins in early 2006 Ivereigh told the court the couple agreed to have the babies and get married. But after relations between them deteriorated and he felt that they should not get married, she said she had been contemplating an abortion, which, he said, left him "completely gutted and devastated".Hmmm. At the time of the second event, with a woman the court only identifies as "X", Ivereigh was working in the court of the Roman Catholic Cardinal of England and Wales. He was a practicing Roman Catholic. That means he kind of has to obey church law.
Ivereigh can claim anything he wants, but if he got "Madame X" pregnant, and he wasn't married to her, he is, by Roman Catholic definition, a fornicator. A grave sinner who has engaged in a lustful carnal union with a woman who was not his wife.
At what point in the Roman Catholic church does hypocrisy kick in anyway?