Showing posts from January, 2012

Am I Being Hypercritical?

I know that Catholic Voices's brief is wide because the Church's mission and message affects every aspect of human life and that the project has become...

'...a school of a new Christian humanism; and a laboratory of a new kind of apologetics'...

But I can't help wondering whether the 'Academy' is a being a little complacent in the upcoming battle with the Government.

Don't get me wrong. The Church has plenty to tell the Government and society about Catholic social teaching and how it can be employed to make society more just in the work towards what has become known as the 'common good'. My personal opinion is that markets could possibly be made moral but that rich people who are more influential in the markets than poor people do not want them to be. It's one of the outcomes of Original Sin, as is homosexuality.

And last I heard, the Government wanted to redefine marriage over the next year or two and the 'common good' will, in thi…

Liberalism and the Last Chance Saloon

Life Site News today carries a report that 3/4 of British Christians believe that anti-Christian discrimination, though perhaps a better word is 'sentiment', is on the rise in the United Kingdom.

The same site informs us that the University College of London is to force the UCLU Catholic Society to invite pro-abortion speakers should any pro-lifer give a talk to their Society.

The same site carries a report that in Barcelona, peaceful pro-life demonstrators had insults, food and then rocks thrown at them for demonstrating against abortions being carried out in Catholic hospitals.  In the US, we have news that President Obama is doing all that he can to force the Catholic Church to burn incense to the emperor in a new and more open phase of his administration's desire to silence, divide and then rule the ability of the Catholic Church to proclaim Her faith in Her hospitals and institutions.

We are beginning to see that liberalism's true colours are anything but liberal…

Tabula Delenda Est!

Thanks to my friend Lawrence who played harmonica on this song and to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints who inspired me. If you like it then Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. If you don't then, sorry. I chose a car park for recording because the acoustics are good and we are the Catholic underground.
Tabula Delenda Est
Well I walked into the Mother Church of England and Wales To light a candle, say some prayers and confess Took a stroll around and found a magazine Enigmatically titled, ‘The Tablet’
So I read a couple of the articles and the more that I read, The more it dawned on me this mag once had Catholic zeal Now its a vehicle for dissent So I said:
‘Tabula Delenda est!’ Now I know why so few Catholics genuflect They're so comatosed by this infernal, liberal journal They don’t believe in the Real Presence
‘Tabula delenda est’ The barely beating heart of the Catholic Establishment Surely its days are numbered If their faith …

Why Do They Keep Banking?

Daniel Knowles today writes...

'Since starting at RBS in 2008, Mr Hester has been paid something like £4.8 million in basic pay, before we even consider his bonuses. Surely he has something better to do with all that money than carrying on working as a banker?'
I think I'd consider retiring after £4.8 million as well, but then I guess I don't have the Protestant work ethic.

The Church does provide us with an actual answer to the question of why no amount of money is ever enough for Mr Hester, but it would be uncharitable to say it. Sorry, I should correct that. It's not just any money. It's your money. RBS was bailed out by the taxpayer in the financial crisis. We must keep reminding ourselves that the economic crisis was caused by men and women on disabled living allowance in council estates. I need to fix my van and start a small business. Any chance of a loan, Mr Hester? No? Thought not. You see, no amount of money is ever enough for these guys. Also, import…

Christian Art for Sale in Brighton

I went for a walk (I nearly typed a welk) in Brighton yesterday and popped into an artists shop where he sells his art. He's called Daniel Laurence and one thing that I liked was his Psalm typography which he has put onto canvas. The one in his shop is quite large. You can see his website here. The Psalm typography is simple but very pretty I think. I asked whether he would like to use the Community Centre as a place to promote his art (a donation) or he could sell it there, like they do in pubs with a price tag and the name of the artist. He said he was open to the suggestion. I don't know whether its a bit Protestant to have stuff like this up in the community centre or not, but I just thought the simplicity of it was quite beautiful. Perhaps he could do one in Latin! I know that the AA group that meets has a serenity prayer. A nice big psalm would be nice for them as the whole premise of the AA thing is that people seek the help of a 'higher power' to overcome addi…

The Gambler

With President Obama making his intentions for religious freedom, especially for the Catholic Church in the US, abundantly clear, the question is, has he overplayed his hand, or revealed his hand too early?

In the United Kingdom, the Labour Party always cosied up to the Catholic voters up North just in time for the election. Once in office of course, they'd behave as if the Catholic vote was toilet paper, but strategically, you would call this sound politics.

It seems as if President Obama is gambling on the sentiment in the US being virulently pro-abortion and gay marriage, even to the point of declaring war on the Catholic Church. His plans, in the run up to the election, have drawn criticism even from Bishops and Priests hitherto seen as incredibly liberal and friendly to the administration. Though I dare say there is a culture shift going on still in America towards sex, sexuality, marriage and abortion, a lot of Americans are very frightened of the federal government removin…

Catholic Voices Poll

I have a Twitter account but I don't want to get involved in the incessant online tit-for-tat that I see flying between various Catholic Voices and various Catholic bloggers who are not in Catholic Voices and who tweet about it a great deal.

I'm sure readers are aware that I'm generally suspicious of any activity organised by Austen Ivereigh, but I'm not going to go on a massive rant about it and prejudice is always ugly. The mud slinging on Twitter is ugly, but I get the feeling that what is being fought over is truth, or the Truth. Even the great Councils of the Church have seen strong disagreements over the truth. The difference is that in the Councils the victors emerge in the end and something is definitely settled. I won't go on.

However, I do wonder what UK Catholics familiar with the blogs think about the project and especially with regard to the involvement of a number of Catholic bloggers. On Twitter the accusation that I see banded around is that Austen…

For Those Unsure of What's Down the Road...

"You are looking for Gay Marriage Avenue. For Gay Marriage Avenue turn left onto Cockspur Street. Go forward for 500 metres to...Whitehall. You have arrived at your destination. For Civil Partnerships Lane, Blessington, go 4 kilometres west to...Soho. For Care Pathway go to...Liverpool Street..."

Abortion Ads II

'You want it, you want it, you want it, you want it, you want it, you want it, you want it, you want it!'

'You don't want it, you don't want it, you don't want it, you don't want it, you don't want it, you don't want it, you don't want it, you don't want it...let us kill it!'


If you want to know why these adverts are in the pipeline, then remember that in 2009, according to the BPAS, there was a 3.2% fall in abortions in the United Kingdom. In 2010, there was a slight rise of 0.3%, but, that is a rise presumably of the drop of the previous year. Last year's stats are yet to be published, but perhaps there is a sense of alarm in abortion clinics that 'business' is not thriving as well as it did and therefore revenue is dropping. Why do companies advertise again? In the hope of bolstering revenue is the answer. Which celebrities are going to come forward to endorse their advertising campaign? If th…

Abortion Ads

Advertising works on the central premise that certain techniques employed in the media can persuade you to buy something or influence you to believe that you want something.

So, for example, Lynx are famous for selling their brand of deodorants because men want sex. 'Buy Lynx, get sex!' is the message.
Abortion adverts, on the other hand are trying to persuade the target audience that they do not want something. That 'thing' is, of course, a baby.

Marie Stopes and BPAS are charities, you could object, and so charities do not sell 'products'. No, what charities do is they try to persuade people to give money to help people in need.

Notice that what Marie Stopes and BPAS are doing falls into neither of the above categories. They are neither offering a product because people want it or desire it (it is the baby in their womb they do not want, they do not want the 'product' itself), nor are they asking people to donate to a good cause such as feeding the st…

"Literally Unconscionable"

Beware, readers, this post contains strong language which some reader may find offensive.

The US Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan has condemned as "literally unconsionable" President Barack Obama's plan to force religious institutions to comply with the Government's birth control bill by 2013. Obama, eh. He's not the Antichrist, he's just a very naughty boy!

In other news, Fr Ray Blake of St Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton, has condemned the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) who are, in his words, 'to allow abortionists to advertise tearing a child limb from limb in its mother's womb on television and radio.'

Strong language, indeed - uncompromising, hard-hitting, Catholic, truth. But if you think that is hard-hitting, wait until our Bishops fight back against the news that abortion ads on TV are going to be as acceptable to the viewing public as Persil ads or the news that the Wellcome T…

The Kids

For years the Church has been trying to get down with the kids...

Now is the time for the Church to take the kids up to Heaven.

Funny How Times Change...

Fr Ray Blake has picked up on Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith's post for The Catholic Heraldon the Crusades. Apparently, this new BBC series is not as concerned with 'black legend' as previous attempts by the mass media to portray or rather distort the hisstory of the Crusades.

Unlike the recent war in Iraq, the Crusades began in defense of the Holy Places and the Chrisitian pilgrims. In Iraq, on the other hand, Christians are fleeing in their thousands in the wake of 'democratisation', which leads us nicely onto a local charity working from St Mary Magdalen.

This afternoon we had Brighton Voices in Exile in the parish community centre. Funny how times change. The Voices in Exile charity gives food, advice and practical assistance to asylum seekers from various parts of the World.

Most if not all have no access to the state benefits system and many are trying to appeal against their ordered expulsion from the United Kingdom. Whatever you read in The Daily Mail, it isn'…

Catholic Herald Morning Must Read

William Oddie has written a piece for The Catholic Herald suggesting that despite his unwavering belief that conspiracies have no place in the Catholic Church, he is starting to wonder why the US Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter has been given a Church from which to build their mission, yet the English counterpart, the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, is still awaiting a Church headquarters.

Who knows what's down the road for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham? Well, unless as Oddie suggests, Rome takes action, the answer is...roadkill! It would be nice if down the road was a Church for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham but hey...accidents will happen!

'Greater Love Hath No Man Than This...'

Tom Chivers today adds his contribution to the growing press commentary on the Costa Concordia cruise liner disaster off the coast of Italy.

In his article, Tom tries (pretty desperately in my opinion) to argue that a captain of a ship leaving his passengers to their fate and dashing into the nearest lifeboat is in-keeping with evolutionary thought. But equally, Tom argues that bravery and self-sacrifice is also.

I'm not going to be the first to cast a rock at the cruise liner's now publicly humiliated and presumably rather guilt-ridden captain, since my actions were I in his position would depend upon whether I was open to the grace of God on that day, or indeed not. I'd like to think I would man up and 'face the music', so to speak, but with human nature as it is, I simply don't know whether I'd step up to the plate and put the needs of my passengers first.

The difference between the actions of the Titanic's captain and the captain of the Costa Concor…

I Missed This...

I missed this lecture by Archibishop Vincent Nichols, hosted by The Tablet, in October last year. I found it onThe Tablet's website.

I'd never seen or heard the Editor of the dissident organ before. Nice to be able to put a face to a name. The lecture itself is worth a listen, but is it right for such a dissenting magazine to be given this endorsement from England and Wales's highest ranking Bishop?

The lecture was called 'Holiness Today: The Formation of the Human Heart'.


Apparently the Latin word 'fundamentum',  translates into English as the word, 'foundation'. I find it quite interesting that the translation is 'foundation' because once you think about it, it starts to make sense why Catholics loyal to the Pope and the Magisterium are called 'fundamentalists'.

We are loyal to our foundations. The foundations of the Church were laid by Christ on the Rock of St Peter and were built on century by century by Peter's successors and the successors of the Apostles. It ties in with the sense of continuity that the Holy Father is trying to build on the foundations of those who preceded him. So, being a 'Catholic fundamentalist' shouldn't be so terrible. It means that you believe in the foundations, the continuity and the Holy Tradition of the Church.

You could argue that as 'Catholic fundamentalists' we are only being faithful to our foundations if we say that sacred music didn't arrive in 1960s and…

Great News

The Telegraph reports...

'A file on Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hambrough has been sent to the Vatican to be studied by historians and theologians. Her cause for sainthood was opened in July 2010 by the Diocese of Rome along with that of Sister Katherine Flanagan, marking the first phase of the investigations.

In a significant development, the causes of both women have together been sent to the Holy See’s Congregation of Causes for Sainthood, marking a significant, but early, step forward in the long road to becoming saints.

If it is concluded that the pair lived lives of “heroic virtue”, the Pope will declare the London-born nuns to be “Venerable” and the search will begin for two miracles to first declare them Blessed and then saints.

Both nuns belonged to a revived order of Bridgettine sisters nicknamed “the hot cross bun nuns” because of the distinctive crosses covering the tops of their wimples. Mother Riccarda helped to save the lives of about 60 Jews by hiding them from the N…

Singing at the Office

I've been looking at the Little Office and wondered what the hymns to Our Lady sound like. Some of them I know already, but this one is new to me and I must say this chap sings it rather beautifully.

I've noticed that on the application form for helping out at the homeless shelter that St Joseph's Church are organising in collaboration with other Brighton churches volunteers are required for a 'prayer team'. Of what does the 'prayer team' consist I wonder? I hope and pray that it isn't like what Protestant churches offer when they feed the homeless, asking if anyone wants anyone to come and 'pray over them' then there is a prayer team at the ready. I'm not sure whether I'll be doing anything with the shelter project, but if you were going to introduce those not used to Christian prayer to the beauty of prayer, you could do worse than sing the hymn above.

'Shine Jesus Shine' could well scare people (including me) off but Gregoria…

At Tale of Two Homilies

I went to Mass twice yesterday once in the morning and once in the evening.

The Gospel reading was about the calling of St Andrew...

'The next day again John stood and two of his disciples. And beholding Jesus walking, he saith: Behold the Lamb of God. And the two disciples heard him speak: and they followed Jesus. And Jesus turning and seeing them following him, saith to them: What seek you? Who said to him: Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwellest thou? He saith to them: Come and see. They came and saw where he abode: and they stayed with him that day. Now it was about the tenth hour. And Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who had heard of John and followed him. He findeth first his brother Simon and saith to him: We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And Jesus looking upon him, said: Thou art Simon the son of Jona. Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter.&#…

We've Moved On...Again...

I enjoy reading Brendan O'Neill's often cynical but frequently 'on the mark' assessments of the modern liberal agenda.

This week he posted on the new movie 'Shame' which depicts the issue of sex addiction. O'Neill, who was apparently raised Catholic, is rather scathing in his piece on 'sex addicts' desire for sympathy and understanding and especially in their seeking help from psychotherapy for their condition. Really, for some modern day addictions, psychotherapists have becomes secular replacements for Priests.

I must say that there is a certain lack of compassion in O'Neill's piece, but he is right to point out that the liberal cause enjoys creating new language for the brokenness of the human condition which was and is still (and will be until the Lord's return) the natural territory of the Church. So he says that good old fashioned lust has been transformed into 'sex addiction'. Good old fashioned gluttony has been transform…

Quando Quando Quando

A great Latin love song.

Starlings Over St Peter's Basillica, Rome

I'm a big fan of starlings as any readers will have guessed as they are now all over my blog in my latest redesign. Here they are over the Eternal City. There's also some fantastic footage of starlings over Rome in this documentary called Earthflight on IPlayer. The stunning flying formations, called murmurations, of the starlings are able to help them to evade capture by predators who want them for fodder, but, aside from that, God commanded that they do this kind of incredible formation thing because by doing it they give Him praise and glory. Benedicite sturnus vulgaris Domino!

"We've Moved On..."

During the week I posted on the publicity drive for homosexual marital unions. I received quite a few comments, some in support of what I'd written and quite a few lengthy comments (so lengthy I don't publish them) from supporters of gay marriage who basically said I was talking gibberish.

I'd like to spend more time answering comments from people who want to take me up on what I write and who write virtual essays on why I am wrong, but I have a life to live and can't stay on the computer constantly answering critiques of my blog from the enemies of the Church.

However, one point which seemed to keep coming up in the criticisms of my post was that all my arguments were imbecilic because the Catholic Church's teaching is irrelevant, gay marriage is none of our business and because society has 'moved on'.

The phrase 'moved on' or 'moving on' is quite attractive. It's a kind of catchphrase for the 'progressive' movement which is lib…

A Nice Email from Opus Dei

I received a nice email from a priest of Opus Dei which I post below for the edification of readers.

'I am a priest of Opus Dei, and I have come across your blog entry on Opus Dei with its humorous imagined conversation involving someone being rejected by Opus Dei on account of their being unemployed. While it is clearly of the essence that anyone who feels called to Opus Dei – a calling which requires a more or less lengthy period of discernment – should have the desire of seeking sanctification in the ordinary circumstances of life, unfortunately such “ordinary circumstances” are increasingly likely these days to involve some time or degree of unemployment. However, that is not a bar to sanctity: the effort to find a job can itself become a way to God, and there are many things that one can do during the period of unemployment to show one’s love for God “with deeds”, even if no payment is received for them. No one ever claimed that it was a requirement for holiness that one had …

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that Jason has been taken in by a friend who used to be on the streets. He has agreed to take him in for 3 months with some ground rules. Brave man! It means for the time being Jason lives in Moulescoomb. Deo gratias! Thank you for all who have been praying for him.

The bad news is I didn't wait long enough to receive that news and gave the garage the go-ahead to get the van fixed so the financial drain has been re-opened and I've thrown some more money down it.

A lesson for me to trust in God and the power of the prayers of the Faithful, rather than myself.

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Lord Alfred Tennyson

The Latest News on Jason's House

I have had a couple of very kind emails offering me legal advice on the situation with my van. I appreciated the emails very much but the van situation has moved on and so has the man dwelling within it.

I must say I pretty much crapped myself when I found the letter from the Council on the front of the van and so took the van to the to the nearest repairs garage as a friend had said he would pay for it to get fixed.

The date of the letter warning me of a £1000 fine was January 5th, so I didn't know how much time I had to get it off Preston Park. George had said he was interested in having the van for free but has now baulked at the £704.00 price for getting it back up and running and roadworthy. I don't blame him. The van has caused me nothing but grief ever since I bought it and he now knows that it is something of a drain.

Now I find myself in a moral dilemma. I could scrap the vehicle and receive £300-500 for doing so, with a local scrappage firm. It would be sad to see it…