Showing posts from March, 2011

India: Population rise slows, literacy grows, girls vanish

The Times of Indiareports...

'Census 2011`s provisional data, released on Thursday, affirms the India growth story — population growth slowing down and the number of literates growing, especially female literates. The census is the sole data base in India that the government uses to formulate its policies.

The Census also reaffirms another fact — a fact so disturbing that it could cast a shadow on the positive developments: Girls seem to have no place in India`s growth story. The data shows that the sex ratio for children below 6 years has dropped from 927 to a dismal 914 girls for every 1,000 boys. The gender bias yet again draws attention to a lingering societal flaw that economic growth is not being able to correct.

India`s literacy rate has gone up to 74% nationwide for people aged 7 and older, from 64.8% ten years ago. Offsetting the general gender bias is the fact that of the 217 million literates added, 110 million are women, outnumbering men.

Improved medical technology…

Study: Abortion Increases Suicide Risk

I posted some of this article on Tom Chivers' post for The Telegraph yesterday. The next time I looked at his comments section it had been wiped. I wonder why...

Study: Abortion increases suicide risk 13-year examination also finds higher rate of accidents, homicide 'Women who have an abortion face a 248 percent greater risk of suicide, accidental death or homicide in the following year, according to a newly released 13-year Finnish study. The survey also found the suicide rate among women who had an abortion was six times higher than for women who had given birth in the prior year and double that of women who had miscarriages.

The study was conducted by Finland's National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health and published in the European Journal of Public Health. The researchers studied data from the years 1987 to 2000 on all deaths among women of reproductive age, 15 to 49.

While the risk of death among women who had given birth in the prior year was lowes…

Hot Cross Buns are Addictive

On offer at the moment on a 2 for 1 deal at Sainsburys. I'll bet these little beauties are selling like hot cakes. They are meant to be Lenten, I think, but personally I find them very moreish! I'm hooked and its getting sinful! If you really want to save money, you can make them, care of a recipe from our Delia.

Get a Jacuzzi in Your Bath!

A friend of mine has bought a jacuzzi for his bath. It looks rather frightening but it could be yours for just £64.99. Thought you could only get a jacuzzi in your bath by breaking wind repeatedly? Think again and buy it here.

Runner for Andrex Commercial

Tomorrow I am going to be a runner for an Andrex commercial being staged in Brighton. Bizarre but true. This could be my big break in TV. I don't know about you but I've always wanted to see the Andrex puppy in real life. I wonder if he is the same one from the 1980s and 90s. He's so cute when he runs off with the toilet roll!

Update: I've been told it is actually a Dulux commercial not an Andrex commercial. It is definitely not a Durex commercial. It is a Dulux commercial. So the question is, will I get to meet this dog?

Michael Voris on the 'Taliban Catholics' Slur...

You tell 'em, Bro!

Planned Parenthood Exposed...

It would be grossly naive to think Marie Stopes and BPAS are any better than this. It would also be grossly naive to think you can trust an organisation that kills human beings routinely, daily, with the task of providing women with information concerning the physical and psychological risks posed by abortion.

This video is something else. Incredible, in fact. The head of Planned Parenthood's 'operations' in the US says on national TV, that if federal funding is removed or cut, women will be denied access to mammograms - which would deny them not just abortion, but healthcare (even though Planned Parenthood usually couches abortion in the language of healthcare anyway...). LiveAction's Lila Rose got on the phone in the wake of the Cecile Richards interview to call loads of Planned Parenthood clinics and ask whether they provided mammograms. The answer? None of them do! Either the head of Planned Parenthood in the US is totally ignorant of the services her organisation…

Myra Hindley was 'pro-choice'...

...until she became a Catholic, that is, and became 'pro-life'. The only difference is that Myra Hindley exercised her choice to kill other people's children.

Tom Chivers has written a Telegraph blog post entitled 'Abortion and the Right to Know'.

In the post, he maintains...

'I don’t want to get into the abortion debate as a whole, especially. Regular readers will know I’m firmly pro-choice, but I acknowledge that, for people who believe (I don’t) that human life begins at conception, it is indistinguishable from murder. It’s an important debate and a serious one, but not one to be had here.'
That's convenient. Needless to say, however, the debate is being had there anyway, in the comments section. He has taken to task Frank Field and Nadine Dorris and others over a website advocating the 'Right to Know' of expectant mothers concerning the psychological trauma caused by abortion that affects a percentage of those who undergo the ghastly procedur…

Jesus of Nazareth II by Pope Benedict XVI

' Well, I've just finished reading Jesus of Nazareth Part II by Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father's exploration of the Person of Jesus Christ is really quite fascinating, engrossing - I found it hard to put down.

The book is scholarly, displays the Holy Father's great erudition but is tenderly human as well, revealing a true Pastor's heart. Much of it is highly quotable - too much of it to quote really here.

As well as using this book as an opportunity to make a comprehensive account of the Faith of Christ, His Holiness also cuts like a surgeon's knife through so much modern theology produced by men and women (mostly Germans it seems!) that create confusion over the Person of Jesus. This the Holy Father does largely by rooting the portrait of Jesus in the Scriptures - not just the New Testament - but constantly referencing the Old Testament, pointing to Jesus as the one who was to come - the Messiah.

Several things leap out of the book. Again and again Pope Ben…

Cuts Protest

Apparently there is a big anti-cuts protest going on in London today. I didn't think there was much point protesting because Labour bankrupted the country's finances, but after Libya I must say I have my doubts about the cuts because obviously someone in the Department of Defence found a few billion pounds in his trouser pocket a couple of weeks ago and exclaimed to his colleagues, "Well would you credit that!? I had enough money for another war in my back pocket all this time and I didn't even know about it! Thank God my wife didn't wash these!"

Chicken Kiev 'Back in Fashion'

Ever since I moved into my place in Brighton I've been eating chicken kiev on a regular basis. Today, The Telegraph reports that chicken kievs are back in fashion. I don't understand it when people say some food product in 'in fashion'. How can it be 'in fashion'? It's something you eat. Some things, like going for a Chinese, or making spaghetti bolognese, are surely perennial. You either like it or you don't!

Does this mean some people are eating chicken kievs only because its fashionable and that they don't really enjoy eating them, like people who wear really tight jeans even though they cut off their blood circulation? Why should we who have been as loyal to the kiev as we have to the Magisterium be considered as 'fashionable' now when we haven't even been looking at the food going on the catwalk?! To be honest I really only buy them because Sainsbury's consistently have it on offer as buy 2 for £3.

Anyway, just in case you live …

Soup runs for Westminster Homeless to Stay

H/T A Reluctant Sinner

Good news and a victory for religious freedom and yes, even common sense. I still have to say, however, that I am getting sick and tired of news agencies, Councils, authorities, reporters and perhaps even homeless charities - all who are involved with the homeless - talking about them, but not to them and with them.

People talk of soup runs as causing dependence and the rest but once again, when news agencies want the views of homeless men and women on a subject like the effectiveness of soup runs, why do they never consider asking the homeless? They do, after all, have voices and views and opinions! Would that in itself not be a little bit of empowerment for those who remain voiceless? Why do people always think that the poor need spokespersons, but then never seek spokespersons among the poor!? Isn't it funny how its always a rich guy speaking on the poor guy's behalf? Always!

In all of the reporting on this issue, I did not see one quote, not one, fro…

Hands Up for Hand Outs

I've been following the argument on A Reluctant Sinner's blog. He cites the founder of The Big Issue as an example of an organisation that offers people hope. The next time you see someone selling The Big Issue in the pouring rain, ask him whether he considers that selling The Big Issue really constitutes a 'hand up' not a 'hand out'.

Personally, I don't know anyone who buys it out of anything but sympathy for the seller. Buying The Big Issue is an act of kindness, like giving money to a beggar or that glorified beggar, the busker.

You don't hand over the money because you like what you've received. You do it because you know that acts of kindness like that are what makes the world go round. The founder did quite well out of it though, didn't he? It all rather reminds me of the slave trade.

The Poor Can Identify With Our Lord

The poor attract 'do-badders' as often as 'do-gooders'. They rarely attract people who are genuinely interested in them - in their stories, their experience and their gifts, sorrows and joys. Evangelical Christians want their souls, others want them for their bodies, but few people want them. This really is an issue not just in Westminster piazza, but in Brighton and in every city around the World.

Yet the very poor have much to teach us. On London Road, in Brighton, where many stand and sit drinking, there is no shortage of courage, love, compassion, friendship and to a degree, a sense of family - community. It is the only place they find these essential dimensions of human life. Amid the misery of alcoholism and addiction, there is also love, a common understanding, a common bond, friendship.

So, the question is why? It is a question in which the Police don't seem to interested. Neither the Council. Why are on average 10 - 20 men and women in Brighton standing b…

Vassula Ryden

I don't know about you, but pictures of 'seers', 'visionaries' and 'mystics' 'transfiguring' and turning into the Blessed Virgin Mary before an audience of 6,400 people, to me personally, remove credibility from the 'mystic' rather than increase it. It is really very out of character for Our Blessed Lady to appear in like manner as is pictured left, through a 'visionary', in a conference hall before 6,400 people. It is really very out of character with those mystics whose private revelations have been deemed authentic and trustworthy by the Church to be used in such a way.

I'm not saying it is not possible, I'm just saying it is more than a little out of character with what we believe about those authentic apparitions, visions and devotions approved by the Church. My gut feeling is that the source of Ms Rydens message's is diabolical. That's why her message goes down so well with Anglicans who can, according to Vassul…

Soup Runs: For or Against?

A Reluctant Sinner has written a blog post that has surprised me somewhat, entitled 'Soup Runs: What would Jesus Do?'

It is not often I express criticism of other blogs written by Catholics who are loyal to the Magisterium. The following is not meant to be personal, just an attempt to address the question the blogger has raised. In the post, while commending the work of The Passage and The Cardinal Hume Centre, the blogger takes issue with other groups, which may contain Catholics, who give food and soup to the homeless in the Piazza, saying,

'Jesus never used others just to make himself look good - he really wanted them to be better people, to get well, to move on, to convert, to give up sin, to change! Sometimes, I fear, those who think they're helping rough-sleepers by handing out a sandwich and a cup-of-tea at midnight on Westminster Cathedral's piazza are actually doing the opposite - they are merely colluding to keep the poor, the sick and the vulnerable depe…

Bizarre Big Questions Debate in Brighton

Thanks to All the Little Epsilons for drawing my attention to this. BBC's 'The Big Questions' was held at Patcham High School in Brighton this week, an event that passed me by completely, with combatively biased Nicky Campbell hosting a three-pronged debate among a throng of eccentric characters including guest speakers, Peter Tatchell, Sussex clergyman Rev Peter Owen-Jones and our own Christina Odone. Incredibly, all three guests either defended or promoted same sex unions of one kind or another with Christina expressing tentative 'concern' over  homosexual marriage because it goes against the 'rules' in 'my' Church.

The debate had the appearance of your average Church of England synod, with the voice of truth clamouring to be heard only to be drowned out by a veritable tsunami of liberal detritus. No surprises there. That is what daytime TV debates are all about. What was surprising was the woefully ineffective performance of our own Christina Odo…

Evangelium Conference 2011

Just in case you had not heard, this years Evangelium Conference will be held on 5th - 7th August at Reading Oratory School. You can join the Facebook Group here.

Young adults (18 to 35) are invited to attend the fourth Evangelium weekend residential conference on the theme of explaining the Catholic faith in the modern world:

dynamic talks by excellent speakersmix with other young people who share your faithdiscuss and talk informally with our speakersdaily Mass and eucharistic adorationopportunities for confessionrelax in the beautiful groundsopportunities for sport and evening entertainment

The Conference this year, organised by the Evangelium Project and sponsored by the Catholic Truth Society, is also delighted to welcome Rt Rev. Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, as a principal celebrant and homilist:

Confirmed speakers to date:

Rt Rev. Mark Davies - Bishop of ShrewsburySteve Ray - World famous Catholic evangelist and former BaptistDr Caroline Farey - Head of the Maryvale Institu…

Libya: Is it so different to Iraq?

How is that Nobel Peace Prize looking on your mantelpiece, President Obama?

Look, I'm no expert in diplomatic relations or the geo-political scene of the middle east. I know that Gaddafi is a brutal tyrant and all the rest, but isn't this 'humanitarian war' starting to look a little bit more like just another war? I pray that I am wrong, but I still don't believe that heavy artillery and bombing brings 'peace and stability' to the region. Any region. Like Iraq, do we really expect Libya to be a peaceful, serene city after the 'job' is done and 'mission' is 'accomplished'?

We know that Gaddafi has had the West over a barrel, a barrel full of oil, for many, many years. We know that he promised to cut off his new enemies (the West) and give new contracts to his friends (China and Russia). Sensing blood, or perhaps sensing the running dry of the oil tap, the West now steps in to once more 'liberate' the people with the Arab Leagu…


Lent is a time when the bellies of the rich should grumble, as they seek God's mercy, and the bellies of the poor should be full, as they find it.


...Jews have more reverence then, than do Catholics today, for the Holy of Holies?

The 'Rubrics' Cube

Look. This is your average parish Novus Ordo 'rubrics' cube. So confusing! What's going on!?

And look, here is the 'rubrics' cube of the Traditional Latin Mass. That's more like it. Everything fits into place...

Hey! Look Who it Is!

Commemorate St Patrick's Day by buying this 4 inch statue of the Saint who brought the Faith to the Irish. St Patrick is being sold on a special St Patrick's Day offer for just £3.49. That's right! £3.49!

I found him yesterday, so give a Saint a home, get him blessed and he will surely bless you. Ah, to be sure, to be sure!

Happy St Patrick's Day.


Voris in Rome Covering the Wait for Summorum Pontificum Instruction...

Fr Reto Nay: Christ Confronted in Our Name With 3 Big Temptations

This priest has a wonderful way about him, doesn't he?

Christ in the Wilderness

Before even His Cross and Resurrection, before even the beginning of His Ministry, the nature of God's love becomes manifest in Christ's 'exile' in the wilderness.

While 'normal' life is continuing in the rest of the land, Our Lord fasts for 40 days and nights. The Gospel of St Luke tells us, '...he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.'

He sacrifices his own bodily needs, for He is fully human. Already, He is sacrificing himself, his self -  for being fully human - we know that He has a self. It is a self that He will eventually lay down upon the beams of the Cross.

So, why? Why does He do this? Who is He doing it for? For His Heavenly Father? For us? For both? Is this act of self-offering for 40 days and nights, to the Eternal Father, borne out of a different motivation to His Passion or is it the same? Is this not already, in some sense an interior Passion that prefigures His Cross? He has no need to do this! He has comm…

Census 2011

As a supplement to Fr Ray's poston the 2011 Lockheed Martin Census. Click on the image to enlarge.

H/T UK Indymedia

Invitation to Oxford Newman Society

The President of the Oxford Newman Society who happens to read this blog, has invited me to be on a panel possibly speaking about the issue of homosexuality in the context of the teaching of the Church or maybe something on the Church's social teaching. Details are sketchy at the moment, but will update when I know more...

If anyone read the original draft of this post, they will find the revision of it to be very amusing indeed...

"Where is the Justice?"

A couple (let's call them 'Sarah' and 'John') who I know have been evicted from a squat onto the street. Currently, I believe they are staying in a youth hostel. I'll relate to you what I remember of what I have been told so far.

The couple were made homeless a year ago following rent problems in a flat nearby the squat. The case of the couple was not helped by a misunderstanding in which their housing association was complicit. The result was still their eviction.

They discovered an empty property (one of many in Brighton) and moved in. The place was a dive, having been empty for over 11 years. Rat faeces were everywhere, bins of rubbish were everywhere, it was filthy. Rotting food ran out of the refrigerator. They cleaned it up to make it tenable. Though not paying rent, as squatters, they paid Council Tax on the property. They bought and installed a boiler. I assume they paid for heating and electricity. I know that squatting is an illegal activity, but havi…

Fathers-to-be Should Stop Smoking to Protect their Unborn Child

Perhaps they should stop pressuring the mothers-to-be to dump their unborn child in an abortion clinic bin as well. That said, some fathers are never given a 'choice' concerning the life of their unborn child.

It appears that this University of Nottingham study seems more concerned with the 'perfectness' of the baby in question, out of a desire not to see any babies born with cleft palate, club foot and other imperfections. Of course, if these imperfections exist, then abortion is recommended in order to protect society. The whole study would fit in well as subject matter for a Galton Institute (formerly British Eugenics Society) meeting chaired by Professor Steve Jones, the good friend of Dr Richard Dawkins.

According to the BBC's report...

'Fathers-to-be should stop smoking to protect their unborn child from the risk of stillbirth or birth defects, scientists say. University of Nottingham researchers found that pregnant women exposed to smoke at work or home i…

Many Waters Cannot Quench Love...

So pray for the victims, living and dead of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Is CAFOD our only way of donating?

Infant Child of Prague

I found this plastic Infant Child of Prague. I know this isn't a very lenten thing to do, but I have been updating my Bones Store with some nice things. Just thought I'd keep people updated with it. Other items include a crucifix necklace, a Catholic devotional bracelet and a 'Pieta'. I've posted some of the history of the Infant Child of Prague on the store also.

Ten dead in Egyptian religious clashes

'Ten people were killed and 110 wounded in religious clashes Tuesday in Cairo, the health ministry said, as Egypt's mew military rulers struggle to steer the post-revolution country through  a transition."The total number of injured received by hospitals after the violence (Tuesday) in the areas of Moqattam, the Citadel and Sayeda Aisha is 110, while 10 people were killed," said Sherif Zamel, head of emergency services at the health ministry, without specifying if they were Christian or Muslim.
Earlier a Coptic Christian priest said at least six Copts were shot dead and 45 wounded by gunfire in the clashes between Muslims and Christians."We have at the clinic the bodies of six Copts, all of them shot," local priest Samann Ibrahim told AFP, referring to a medical centre attached to his church. The clashes between Christians and Muslims erupted in the poor working class district of Moqattam mid-afternoon Tuesday when at least 1,000 Christians gathered there to…

Sex and Cigarettes

Two stories worth comparing today, aside from the article that leaves us wondering whether Prime Minister Cameron is just Caroline Lucas in a clever disguise...

1. The Government is to stop cigarettes being displayed in shops, in an effort to cut the numbers of young people and children smoking.

2. Children as young as five years of age are being exposed to "shocking" and "explicit" sex education through literature and films.

So, basically, the Government doesn't mind encouraging little children to have sex as soon as they hit puberty. They just don't want them lighting up afterwards because that's not "healthy".

The Daily Mail has more on the sex education for five-year-olds story. Is it just me, or is one of the books a little more 'pro-life' than we would expect...

The Holy Father is to be Interviewed on Italian TV...

Courtesy of The Telegraph

'For the first time in the history of the Vatican, the Pope will respond to questions about his faith on a television programme.

Benedict XVI is expected to speak mostly about Jesus – he has just written the second of two volumes on Christ's life, "Jesus of Nazareth", due to be published on Thursday. He will appear on a religious affairs programme called "In his image", which will be aired on Good Friday - April 22. It will be broadcast at 2.10pm in Italy (1.10pm GMT), the time recognised by the Catholic Church as the moment that Christ died on the cross after being crucified.

A special website will be launched on Sunday to which Catholics can send suggested questions, from which just three will be chosen and put to the German-born pontiff, who was elected in 2005. The programme, on Italy's state broadcaster, RAI, will be pre-recorded at the Vatican a few days before, either in the Pope's study or his personal chapel.

It is …