Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

'Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.' ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Monday, 30 April 2012

Twitterers: Stop What You Are Doing and Promote This!

On Tuesday 1st May, Mgr Andrew Wadsworth, dubbed the 'man behind the new Missal' will be giving a lecture at St Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton.

It is a must-be-there event for those interested in the liturgy of the Catholic Church and the direction in which the Church's liturgy is heading in the future.

If you are anywhere near Brighton or live further away but have the means to attend the event, do try to go.

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth is the Secretary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) and is therefore exceedingly well-placed to give his thoughts on the future of the Liturgy to both clergy and the lay faithful, especially at these times of liturgical renewal promoted by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

There is, I believe, a Diocesan event taking place on the same evening, in which members of the lay faithful will be revisiting the documents of the Second Vatican Council. It is a shame that many of those people attending that Diocesan event shall not be able to make it to this undoubtedly fascinating lecture from Mgr Andrew Wadsworth, since his lecture will surely touch on some of the issues facing the Church as Her members learn about the Second Vatican Council and its influence on the future of the Catholic Church's mission to the World. Share it on Facebook if you can. Perhaps those Catholics on Twitter would like to take a break stabbing each other in the back and tearing each others throats out in order to share this advertisement on the World's most slanderous social network forum in order to use it for the spread of the Gospel in the United Kingdom. Just a suggestion.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Preparing for Battle...

This week Archbishop Antonio Mennini has called for the Catholic Church in England and Wales to join forces with other faiths in uniting to combat the Government's plan for homosexual marriage to be introduced in the United Kingdom.

It's been quite a couple of weeks on that front, at least in terms of the media coverage and let's face it, this is a national 'debate' that is being directed by the media.

Recently, I've been wondering whether, due to recent spats that have taken place between Catholic friends, whether the World would be a better place without Twitter.  Would the United Kingdom be a better place without 'the media'? Certainly the Fourth Estate are there to hold Government to account. It's meant to be another check on the power of the Executive. So often, however, it merely perpetuates its own agendas or the agendas of its owners towards either directing Government policy ('the Government must do 'this' and 'that') or laying the groundwork for new policy to be accepted. What we are in the middle of now is a concerted propaganda campaign to lubricate the nation in order that the nation be shafted from behind. That is the Church and wider society and freedom in general. I'm sorry to be crude but that's how it is.

The Guardian, that bastion of public morality, reacted with fury when a Catholic school had the audacity to encourage or ask Catholic children whether they might like to sign the Coalition for Marriage petition to keep marriage between one man and one woman. Worse than this, the Catholic Education Service, the arm of the Church that we so often have lamented as ripe for amputation, actually defended the Catholic school in question because Catholic schools were, you know, founded so that children may not only understand the water table, learn to read and write and add up, but so that Catholic children may know and proclaim their faith.

For the school to do that was, however, a shocking crime because to do such a thing is 'political'. It was so 'political' that Michael Gove is to investigate the school in question. What rot. Everything we think, say and do is 'political'. Politics and religion don't mix, so they say, but they do when Government decides that it would be a good idea to mix them by trampling over an institution that Catholics and people of other faiths, as well as those who recognise the inherent good of marriage, are, by their sacred consciences, obliged to defend. And what a hideous cocktail of politics and religion the Government have concocted! A veritable molotov!

Of course, it wouldn't be 'political' for the CES to roll over and allow the government to tickle their tummies so much as they have done in the past and it wouldn't be 'political' for Catholics schools with their little, vulnerable lambs to be dumb before the shearers and indeed the slaughterers of their innocence. Strangely, it is, however, 'political' for Archbishops and Bishops to address these lambs in a school assembly and to warn them of the Government's intentions to alter first of all the fabric with which society is knitted together first and the school curriculum second, because it isn't at all 'political' to shape the PSHE lessons of the 21st century to include a portrayal of 'marriage' that is completely at odds with natural law and Catholic social teaching. No, that isn't 'political' is it? That's just good and sound governance, right? Of course! The very fact that Gove is planning to investigate the CES and the schools that read out the Archbishops' letter for being 'political' does rather confirm that the Government's proposals for same-sex marriage might just be shaping up to be more than a little totalitarian in how it deals with 'dissent'.

PM David Cameron: The gay-friendly sock puppet
While I agree with Archbishop Mennini that the battle against the Government's proposals require a concerted effort that demands some 'joined-up thinking' with leaders of other faiths, I do believe that what the United Kingdom requires in order to stop the Government going ahead with the plan is something that does not fall a millimetre short of a Miracle.

We should remind ourselves that the marriage for gays juggernaut has driven through democracies across the World far more tuned in to religion than ours with an ease which is nothing short of staggering.

If they did not stop this Pride float for same sex-marriage ram-raiding through Parliament in Catholic Argentina, what on earth makes people think it will not go through the heart of the British Establishment with even greater ease?  I've made the point before, but this is a global effort to reshape every democracy possible - an effort funded and guided by globalists for ends which have little to do with the liberation of that incredibly thin strand of gay men who hitherto were not the marrying kind, but now desire marriage.

Few governments have either the integrity, the will or the balls to stand up to the most powerful (mostly) men on Earth driving this agenda through every country in the West and beyond. We know that money buys you access to power and influence in this country because you can get a dinner date with David Cameron for £250,000. How much more power and influence can you get with all the leaders of the West, or at least members of their cabinets, if you are a billionaire or a trillionaire? Going by this list, it looks like rather a lot. I would be incredibly surprised if the subject of 'gay marriage' had never been discussed there, what with its spread across the West like a case of avian flu.

Of course, I've no hard, concrete evidence. I'm just joining up the dots of circumstantial evidence that suggests that I might just be right. Ah, maybe not. Maybe the richest and most powerful men on Earth just play blackjack and Scrabble with the CEOs of giant corporation and the West's ministers and shadow ministers, but then why would that kind of meeting need to be held in secret with none of the subjects under discussion published? Whether you believe what I believe or not, there can be no doubt that a petition is not going to stop this agenda from passing Parliament. The liberty of speech, Catholic education and the Church Herself will be crucified by its being enacted in law. The decision to go ahead with gay marriage has already been made. The 'national debate' is illusory. There is only one outcome that will be deemed acceptable by the political and media elite of the United Kingdom and only a Miracle will have a chance of stopping it. May I politely suggest that we give Twitter a break and intensify our prayers. Hey. Lucky all those globalists aren't on Twitter. Otherwise all of hell would break loose.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Brazillian Bishop Honoured by Freemasons

How bizarre.

If I saw pictures of our Bishop being honoured at a local Masonic event, I would be going ballistic right now.

Rorate Caeli reported that Brazillian Bishop, Luiz Demetrio Valentini of the Diocese of Jales, went on April 10th to the Masonic Lodge "Colonel Balthazar" in Jales, in honor of its 53rd anniversary.

Here is His Lordship being welcomed into the Lodge. Why is everyone in 'clerical dress' except His Lordship, I wonder? It couldn't be, could it, that involvement with Freemasons diminishes Catholic truth, Catholic belief and Catholic identity? All very odd and more than a little concerning. Hopefully, the involvement of Bishops with Masonic lodges is confined to the Diocese of Jales. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Nuns on the Run

The 1980s comedy worked only because the robbers actually dressed as nuns...
Both Sister Act and Nuns on the Run, the lesser known 1980s comedy worked as nun-based musicals or comedies because the characters dressed distinctively as nuns.

Yet, people dressing up as a nun nowadays appears to be more common at stag parties and hen nights than in convents. Many nuns have outgrown their habits and fallen into new ones.

Well, you can imagine that there are nuns out there either going into hiding or dusting off their wimples in the attic in case there is some kind of inspection of the convent because the times 'they are a-changin'.

Meanwhile, great supporters of nuns who openly disagree with doctrine and tenets of the Catholic Faith, like The Tablet, are speaking up in defence of those poor sisters whose only crime was to move 'beyond Jesus'.

Professor Margaret Susan Thompson, writing for The Tablet's blog says that support for the renegade nuns is 'overwhelming'. It certainly is in The Tablet's office and perhaps, to a point, support for dissenting nuns is 'overwhelming' in parts of the Church which believe that the Second Vatican Council called for the Church's members to distance themselves from Catholicism. Professor Thompson reports on the recent investigation into 'the orthodoxy of the US's Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the "visitation" of active congregations of US sisters'...

'Although carried out entirely in secret, its outcome was made public on Wednesday, 18 April, when it was announced that a three-man committee of bishops, chaired by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, Washington, has been appointed to "oversee" and "reform" its operation.'

The key phrase there is that this investigation was led by a committee of Bishops. Guess what! Those Bishops were men! A secretive three-man patriarchical power grab over women has taken place and they're working from Seattle! Sisters! Rise up! Just going by the tone of The Tablet's writer, you get the sense that the movements taking place within the Church, as She calls to account those Catholic orders and religious that refuse to recognise dissent for what it is, or who aim to move 'beyond Catholicism', are getting some people rather worried.

Perhaps, The Tablet are a little concerned that one day they may come in for some serious investigation themselves. By that time, of course, the 'overwhelming' support for The Tablet which they could rely on in bygone times will have dwindled somewhat. Who would mind if The Tablet disappeared or lost its claim to be a 'Catholic weekly'? Re-defining Catholicism has been The Tablet's big idea for a long while now. Now, however, that the Catholic definition is being defined - re-presented - by Rome, assertively and authoritatively, the Tablet board must be wondering when it will be their turn for some close inspection.

Another Tablet blogger, Fr Kevin Hegarty complains that the investigation into the LCWR is an indication that the Church is becoming a cold place to be for liberal Catholics. Hmm...that's because, Father, someone, somewhere has worked out where the heating switch is, having gained access to the boiler room. It had to happen sooner or later. There's only one answer: Send pullovers to liberals.




Monday, 23 April 2012

Why?



A friend of mine emailed me to tell me that the above music makes him feel like the music below...




He asked me to do a blogpost on why it might be that 'Bread of Life' and such ditties repulse him so much. 'There must be a reason', he said. There is, Bro, most certainly.

It's because the 'Bread of Life' song is sh*te. The Church's back catalogue of incredible, transcendent music written by geniuses inspired by the Holy Spirit is extensive and yet parishes still wheel out 'hits'  from the 1970s. It's enough to make anyone want to slit their wrists in desperation.

However, if you have any more penetrating thoughts on the subject of quite why the music still sung in many Catholic parishes is so repellent, do go over to my friend's blog and give him your ideas. My opinion is that 'Bread of Life' isn't the music of the Catholic Church. It's the music of a strange 1970s cult. That's presumably why so many people fled the Church in droves.

The vast majority of Catholic music before the 1970s is surely either itself prayer inspired by God, or prayerful music to dispose us towards Him, or, more common than not, both. 'Bread of Life', in trying to praise the Divine on man's terms, instead of God's, fails to honour either the Divinity or even our humanity. That's the key to it.  It's not reality. It's a smokescreen.

It speaks of a concept of God or a notion of God, rather than of God Himself. It is trying to 'explain' God, rather than allowing God to explain Himself or reveal Himself on His terms. The psalms contain the vast range of human yearning for God and desire to seek His Face. Similarly, the music of the Catholic Church is a prayer, expressing joy, gratitude, sorrow or awe in the Presence of God. The 'feelings' associated with those prayers are not the focus, however. The focus of prayer is upon God who has given us the 'spirit of adoption' so that we could do Him praise and worship with due reverence.



Secular music works in its proper setting because it is from the heart, whether they be tales of woe or joy. Take Portishead, for example. You can tell that woman was heartbroken for some reason or another. It respects our humanity.

Music used in the worship of God works in its proper setting because it is from God Himself.  Man could not find a way to praise God so God gave man the prayers and the music in order that He may be praised as is fitting for Him to be praised.  Gregorian Chant respects God's Divinity and in doing so, not only respects our humanity, but lifts our humanity out of whatever bizarre hovel we happen to be inhabiting in our lives in general at any given time. Prayer is about Christ condescending to us and us being taken up by Christ to glory. Then along came the 1970s and some men thought they could improve on the genre of Church music altogether by completely destroying it and replacing it with something entirely new, but incredibly dated.

The fact that the vast riches of the Church's traditional music and liturgy are a gift from Almighty God consigned to the history bin in the vast majority of parishes in the United Kingdom is something else altogether, something that really needs to be discussed, hopefully at Episcopal level.  I think the Holy Father wrote a letter or an encyclical to the Bishops about it.  What were those documents, again? Anyway, whatever it was, whatever they were, I'm sure their Lordships will read them one of these days.

It must be somewhere in the 'in-tray'. They'll get around to it, its just there's so much paperwork nowadays.

Abortion: Live with the BBC

The Daily Mail reports...

'The BBC will make broadcasting history when it runs a live two-hour show from an abortion clinic, it has been revealed.
Victoria Derbyshire, one of Radio 5 Live's top presenters, will interview patients and staff at an as yet unnamed clinic. The programme is due to be aired next month and is likely to feature conversations with women set to undergo terminations.
The show comes after a series of high-profile attempts by hackers to bring down the websites of abortion clinics and jeopardise their work. Since early March there have been at least 2,500 attempts to hack into the British Pregnancy Advisory Service's website with a third of those in the cyber-attack traced to computers in North America and a third to Russia.
James Jeffery, 27, was jailed for two years and eight months recently for stealing about 10,000 personal records of women held by BPAS. Derbyshire told the Independent: 'We have asked an abortion clinic for permission to broadcast and they have agreed. 'We appreciate the sensitivity around it and I would hope listeners would trust us to do it carefully.'
 She added that the show would 'give us an insight into an area of British life which is taboo'. Last month an undercover investigation revealed doctors at some abortion clinics were illegally allowing women to have terminations just because they wanted a baby of the opposite sex.
The Government told the Care Quality Commission to urgently investigate 320 abortion clinics and it has since emerged up to a fifth may be breaking the law. While visiting the clinics the watchdog’s inspectors found doctors were signing off consent forms for women to have abortions despite knowing nothing of their circumstances. Doctors are meant to have either seen patients in person or at the very least read their medical records.
A spokesman for the Prolife Alliance said that she felt the programme should not be aired. 'I think it will promote abortion more and trivialise it even more and show how easy the process is. 'We oppose all abortion but we would like to see a more robust implementation of the law. I think it will inevitably just promote the clinic that's doing it and will trivialise the issue even more.'
She added: 'This is the abortion lobby fighting back and if you do get on the websites you will find promotions that show how squeaky clean it all is, but this doesn't sound like cutting edge journalism. It's more like advertorial product placement.'
Darinka Aleksic, campaign co-ordinator at Abortion Rights said: 'We welcome the news that Radio 5 Live is planning to broadcast from an abortion provider. There is so much scaremongering and misinformation about abortion, in the media and especially online, that any move to destigmatise the procedure is a step forward.
'Provided it is handled sensitively, then this could be a useful way to let women know about the reality of abortion: that it is a safe, legal and common medical procedure. 'It's not about trivialising the issue – no woman takes the decision to have an abortion lightly. It's about letting people know that if they experience an unplanned pregnancy, abortion is one option open to them. 'One in three women will need to have an abortion at some point in her life, yet the issue is shrouded in so much shame and secrecy that it can be very hard for them to talk openly about.
Anything we can do to reduce that stigma is to be welcomed.' Last week it was revealed that women will soon be able to have the morning-after pill delivered by courier to their office. A 'pill-by-bike' emergency contraception service is being launched in London to save women from visiting their GP or waiting for the post to arrive. This is the first time the morning-after pill will be delivered to the door like a business contract, with the service prompted by customer demand. Women will be asked to fill out a form online and confirm they are 18 or over. The form is assessed by a doctor, with the pill delivered up to two hours later on a normal working day, although it may be possible to order online overnight and book a time for delivery the next day.'

St George, please pray for the BBC.

Happy St George's Day

A very happy St George's Day, readers. St George is the patron Saint of England, as well as a host of other countries. You can read his biography here. According to this BBC description, yes, BBC...(St George, please pray for the BBC!)

'Very little, if anything, is known about the real Saint George. Pope Gelasius said that George is one of the saints "whose names are rightly reverenced among us, but whose actions are known only to God." 


According to the Beeb, these are the 'facts in brief'...

'Everything about Saint George is dubious, so the information below should be taken as mythical rather than real.

  • Born in Cappadocia, an area which is now in Turkey 
  • Lived in 3rd century AD 
  • His parents were Christian 
  • Later lived in Palestine 
  • Became a Roman soldier 
  • Protested against Rome's persecution of Christians 
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith 
  • Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine 
  • 23rd April was named as Saint George's day in 1222'

I know we don't know that much about St George, but if these are 'facts in brief' about the life of St George, then why should these 'facts' then be described as 'mythical'. Is there such a thing as a 'mythical fact'?

I'm planning to go and see my friend George today, so will wish him a happy St George's day from long-term readers. These days we need St George's sense of chivalry, devotion, honour and love for Christ and His Church.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

EDL: Not the Friends of St George

This Sunday, 22nd April, just shy of St George's Day, there will be a 'March for England' in Brighton. The march is being organised either by the English Defense League or a group linked with them.

The Anti-Nazi League will be present to make their own protest against the march.  This will not be the first time that Brighton has been witness to an EDL march.

The EDL claim on their website that they are 'peacefully opposing Islamic extremism in the UK'. The various pictures and videos that I have seen of the EDL suggest instead that the group is comprised of hooligans who enjoy sinking twelve pints, spewing hatred across the streets of the particular town or city in which they are marching and then protesting against Islam by going for a chicken korma afterwards. Perhaps a giveaway that this is the case is given on the website of the group who ask that instead of donations, supporters buy them a pint instead.

Of course, politicians of the mainstream parties have only themselves to blame for the creation of a sub-culture of disaffected white youths through an immigration policy that uses immigration to replace the population of white British babies who never come into existence by contraception or who are prevented from being born through medical and surgical abortion. There has been a rather reckless and determined attempt by Labour, in particular, to water down the British culture of the country through immigration - a deliberate social engineering process that we see is now bringing tensions to the surface, especially in troubled economic times. However, it is clear that EDL are attempting to tap in to these tensions and frustrations in order to direct animosity towards the muslim population of the United Kingdom.

EDL: Falsely tapping into Christian cultural heritage

If you read the website of the EDL, you could be mistaken for wondering whether you had stumbled across a resurrection of the Knights Templar. The group deliberately attempt to portray this as a Christian initiative to combat Islamic extremism and a 'takeover' of the host country. The reality, of course, is that the football hooligan community have very little in common with the original vision of the Christian Knight and that the victory of Christianity in the UK, if it is ever to occur, will not be won by thuggery, but repentance.

I saw a Muslim who I taught at the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project yesterday and he talked about the banks, the economic crisis and how the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. He told me that until the UK embraced Sharia Law things would remain the same. I responded, "Or even the Church's view" saying that "we too condemned usury". He responded positively to that. Muslims believe in social justice and naturally believe they have the answer. There is a great deal of justice in Islam, if not a great deal of mercy where it is the national State religion. Most Muslims in Britain however, I expect, do not desire to 'takeover' the country to impose upon it Islam's way. I think that the young man agreed with me that traditional morality in general had been dispensed with in every sphere of British life and therefore everything was falling to pieces.

I don't know the Muslim chap that well, but I must say that I despise the idea of him and the other young man I taught feeling like they should stay indoors on Sunday because the EDL will be marching through Brighton calling for an end to the building of mosques and the expulsion of Muslims from the United Kingdom. People like Abu Qatada, of course, do not help the Islamic cause in Great Britain and certainly colour people's view of Islam in the UK, but then, again, politicians are to blame for that case dragging out into eternity. The other danger is that the angry mob of the EDL, who almost certainly are a cover for the far right in the UK, eventually draw Muslims to confrontation and we end up seeing violence and bloodshed on the streets of Luton, Bradford, Birmingham, parts of London and even Brighton.

While the EDL presents itself as an organisation under the banner of the Cross, let it be said that they have more in common with hardline Muslims that they do with the Church. It is likely that hardline Muslims and EDL marchers share common ground on their view of homosexuals. While in Iran, they are hung or stoned to death, or beheaded, EDL marchers, I expect, wouldn't mind 'beating up a queer'. While they present themselves under the banner of the Cross and St George, the likelihood is that a return of the United Kingdom to under the Mantle of the Blessed Mother of God and to the Catholic Church would have EDL marchers running a mile. Don't be fooled by them. While there may be an element of 'peaceful protesters' in the EDL marchers, the majority, I expect, are just up for a drink, a fight and a late night curry and I doubt, given that the event will be on a Sunday, that these (mostly) men will have been to Mass prior to the 'March for England'. Say a prayer for peace in Brighton this Sunday and for the protection of the Muslim community in Brighton.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Paganism in Schools

According to the Daily Mail, 'paganism has been included in an official school religious education syllabus for the first time'.

This is interesting because it suggests that prior to the arrival of Christianity on these isles there was no such thing as a religious education syllabus, or, indeed, any education whatsoever. It was the Church that was the great educating force of the British Isles.

Why is the Church depicted as being an institution trapped in the 'dark ages' but paganism now gets a free ride even though it precedes the Church? The Sacrifice of the Mass is 'medieval mumbo-jumbo', but the superstitions of paganism and its historical sacrifice of children (I know pagans don't sacrifice children anymore, at least not outside the womb), a practice which archeologists assure us was commonplace in pre-Christian England, is just one of those aspects of the pagan religion which we should now overlook. Hey, at least we educated pagans not to do that. Not that that fact will be taught in schools. To me, it just seems like more evidence that liberal progression is anything but. It's about regressing to a time before the arrival of the Church but with better technology.

Cornwall Council has told its schools that pagan beliefs, including witchcraft, druidism and the worship of ancient gods such as Thor should be taught to children as part of the syllabus. Ah well, should this become more widespread, at least Catholic schools can just carry on as normal. We seem to churn out pagans by the lorry load.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Becket Fund on the Obamacare Mandate

Prison Planet picked up on this CNS News interview with Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

It's a very good interview.

"Ale Mary" Bar in Baltimore in Sacrilege Storm

A Facebook page has been set up by a Catholic to protest against a bar in Baltimore, USA, called "Ale Mary's".

A Catholic themed tavern, at first, doesn't sound particularly offensive. Done tastefully, it could even be a good thing. In Spain and Italy, for instance, you'll find many cafes and bars with a pious image of Our Lady or a particular Saint. However, it is obvious that in the bar in Baltimore, there is a serious lack of devotion.

Pictured left is an image of a Monstrance standing in the bar. At the bar, drinkers can order alcoholic drinks in Sacred Chalices. I think we can assume that these folk are neither priests or nuns and that this bar makes even the sale of Sacred Vessels at auctions pale in comparison in terms of sacrilege.

The Facebook page, '500,000 Against "Ale Mary's" Abuse of the Sacred and the Sublime' has attracted the attention of the local press in Baltimore for standing up and criticising the tavern that uses sacred items once used to reserve or contain the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord in Churches.

I shudder to think that one day the vessels that are used for the Consecration of the Body and Blood of Our Lord or to house Him at Benediction at my local parish could find their way one day to be used for such blasphemous purposes in a Brighton bar. Could anyone actually do anything more disrespectful of the Catholic religion? The Facebook page introduces the reasons for the protest and what Catholics would like to happpen to the vessels.

'Why the Protest?: We're protesting the abuse of consecrated vessels and religious items of the Catholic Church. If American Indians can successfully protest place names or the use of the sacred lands for other purposes, we can certainly protest the use of our sacred heritage for commercial purposes.

We propose simply that the owner sells the items back to a representative of the Catholic Church, or an individual who intends to return them to the Catholic Church for their intended purposes.
 Appealing to Free Speech obviously doesn't allow you to slander, threaten or libel individuals or institutions and we're prepared at this point to state our case, pray a Rosary at Ale Mary's at 2pm this Saturday, the 14th of April.'
This group has been formed to protest, and make known, the deeply offensive and blasphemous use of sacred objects used in the Catholic Church in Her most profound rituals and liturgies by the bar Ale Mary located in Baltimore, Maryland.
In this establishment Chalices that contain the precious blood of Christ are being used as common drinking cups, and a Monstrance that is to be used to display the Sacred body of Christ for adoration is being used as a kitch decoration sitting on a bar where patrons while their time over drinks. A holy water font is also used as a simple candy dish.

The owners and patrons of the bar, many of them professing Catholics, are not concerned about the deeply disrespectful ambiance of this place. It is part of the purpose of this group to educate people, especially those who patronize and profit by this establishment, about the beauty of the Mass and the Sacraments, and why it's wrong to utilize holy items in a blasphemous and careless manner (even if it isn't malicious), by using these objects in profane ways is wrong!

It is no exaggeration to say that such use of these Sacred objects is hostile to the Catholic Faith. In any other circumstance, no one would have thought about taking sacred furnishings, objects or writings and using them for profane purposes, decorations, and their intended purpose mocked.

This group has been formed to object to this obvious contempt for these beautiful and sacred things, and to effect change in this establishment so it may celebrate and uphold the genuine beauty and grace of the Catholic Faith in it‘s walls, or respectfully remove it entirely.

Ale Mary's contact information is as follows please do voice your concerns respectfully and prayerfully.

http://alemarys.com/

1939 Fleet Street Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 276-2044

Let's lend this group some prayerful support, join the Facebook page and increase their membership, pray that the vessels will be restored to the Catholic Church, that the owners will see sense that the use of such sacred objects is a grave scandal and that the Catholic Faith and the Lord God, though rarely revered in pubs and bars, will at least be shown the respect that these sacred objects do not belong in such a place, since these have contained the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Achievements

A Reluctant Sinner has an excellent post on the life of St Joseph Benedict Labre. Dylan's blog just seems to get better and better each week.

I must say I have a real liking for 'loser' Saints. I call St Joseph Benedict Labre a 'loser' Saint, because while all the Saints go against the grain of secular cultural values, I have a particular liking for St Joseph Benedict Labre because even when he had decided what to do, by becoming a Trappist, as well as being of frail mental and physical health, it seems that he just didn't 'fit in' at the monastery. Nothing seems to have gone according to plan. And yet...

He is a patron of people who refuse to conform or cannot conform and fit in with society, community, or even religious communities, only to be met with bemusement. He wasn't attention seeking, he wasn't performing marvels or building great projects, he simply loved Christ. He preferred nothing to His love. He died at 35 and lived off what he found to eat. Living the life of a tramp his life appears to be a monumental failure until he died and children starting crying out 'the Saint is dead!'

Personally, I don't know what my achievements are. I don't feel that I have any whatsoever. People like St Benedict Joseph Labre I draw comfort from because his glory was hid from the World until Christ wished the Church to know of it, unlike other great Saints like St Anthony of Padua and St Francis of Assisi, who were known well as Wonderworkers. He seems to have wanted to go nearly completely unnoticed through his time in this World. That glory appears to be something so simple that the World could well miss it, like so many in Rome would have. That glory is the love of God - the love of the Lord Jesus and Our Lady.

It may well be that for many of us today, our achievements are small and success appears to us to be elusive. St Joseph Benedict Labre teaches us that failure can be success and success, failure. It may be that we don't appear to ourselves or to others to change the World in any special way. It may be that our only achievements have been and will be wrought by our prayers. It may be that as we go like tramps digging around bins, in terms of our own life, that we appear to make little progress either in our lives or in loving God.

St Joseph Benedict Labre teaches us that our prayers may be the most important achievements of all. For not long after he had collapsed outside St Mary Major, his favourite Church, the children cried out, 'the Saint is dead!' Yet, he doesn't seem to have actually 'done' very much at all. A man with no abiding community or city, or shower, he did, however, seem to go on as many pilgrimages as he could manage. He is, perhaps quite rightly, the Saint that even Catholic parents do not want their children to know about. And who can blame them? Parents don't spend their time delousing their little children only for them to later become...St Joseph Benedict Labre...Ora pro nobis! I believe I may have unwittingly honoured St Joseph Benedict Labre today by missing my dental appointment accidentally.

Yes, kids, you can be a tramp and be a Saint! I very much doubt the Holy Father will read this, but, regardless, Happy Birthday to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. May God bless His Holiness with long life and may He be generous to us so that His Holiness may continue to reign gloriously for a long, long time! Viva Il Papa!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Divine Mercy Sunday

Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday.

After having initially prayed the first day of the Novena, unfortunately every other day has gone out of the window.

Nonetheless, there are great graces attached to the devotion of Divine Mercy, as well as a plenary indulgence for those who go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday, so I believe.

You can read about the devotion here.

Is tomorrow the last day we can eat chocolate as if the Government has issued a chocolate drought warning, or can we carry on until Pentecost?

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Discovery of Oz, the Terrible!



An analogy of the power of the 'gay community' in politics and the media?

Anyone would think the whole country supports the Stonewall agenda, but in reality its just a few guys behind screens...

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Playground Politics of the Buses

The bus ad that's caused so much controversy...
Well, you've got to hand it to born-again Christians. They've got a way with words and they know how to get under the skin of secular society.

While our Catholic Archbishops make 'prudent' and 'pragmatic' allowances for such things as gay civil partnerships, evangelical Protestants are grabbing the bull by the horns and saying outrageous things that have mayoral candidates, the Pink Paper and The Guardian united in a call to suspend the principle of freedom of speech in the UK because the spirit of an advert runs contrary to the tenets of liberal tyranny. Yes, that's right: liberal tyranny, not liberal democracy.

Before I go any further, however, I thought I'd just say that I don't personally like the bus ad that has Boris Johnson falling over himself to win 'pink votes' and endorse Soviet-era censorship on London buses at the same time, something which, by any stretch of the imagination, is quite a political feat. I think that the tone set by the advert is wrong-headed primarily because it stoops to the playground mentality of Stonewall, whose original advert looked like this:

The ad that wasn't controversial at all...
Na-na-na-na-na-na! The gay community say some people are gay and we should all 'get over it' while the evangelical Christian mob say 'Some people used to be gay, but now are not, so there!'

The headmaster, Boris Johnson, has stepped in to side with the gay community and letters are being sent to the evangelical Christians parents to say that this 'really is jolly well not on' and that, for the time being, the Christians are suspended.

The reality, of course, is that both Stonewall and the evangelicals at Core Issues Trust are extremists. There are, naturally, men and women who have been through the gay lifestyle, and who 'come out' the other end finding someone of the opposite sex, fallen in love and had children. After all, birds do it, bees do it and even educated fleas do it, so why should humans not do it? Not, I hasten to add, that a proportion of the birds, bees and fleas are engaged in a sub-culture of homosexuality.

Personally, I do have very serious doubts as to how effective the therapeutic counselling offered by the Core Issues Trust really is and Protestantism does have a pretty long track record of offering 'healings' for a vast range of disorders, both moral and physical, only to later be found to be quite fraudulent. Despite this, it may be that there are men known to Core Issues Trust who have benefited from their service. Who am I to say that they have not? However, that is not why the Core Issues Trust have produced the advert. They have produced the advert to have a good old dig at the Stonewall crowd and while a part of me thinks 'about time' another part of me thinks that this is not the way to do it.

Are we really so anti-democratic as a nation that the forum for the discussion of politics, religion and belief has become adverts on buses? The same thing happened with the Dawkins adverts concerning God's existence/non-existence. Didn't a Christian group then respond with similar playground antics? To me it shows the depth of extremism in the United Kingdom that really flourishes only when a liberal elite smother debate and the voices of those who seek to engage in the political debate, but find themselves excluded, ridiculed, silenced, ignored and marginalised. It reminds me rather of George Galloway's recent electoral success in Bradford West.

The 'Some People Are Gay, So Get Over It' ad by Stonewall is strident and aggressive. What if, for example, you know that some people are gay, but you don't actually go along with the idea that society should embrace the culture of homosexuality. What if you're a bit, you know, old fashioned? There is a sense that politicians, media types and trendy liberals look down upon anyone who isn't quite au fait with so called, 'queer politics'. I personally dislike the Core Issues Trust in terms of their approach, their theology, their playground tactics, and quite frankly unChristian approach to tackling the stridency of the gay community. It may be that there are people who used to be involved in the homosexual culture but who moved on and settled down. It may be that there are people who moved on so much that they would call themselves an 'ex-gay', like perhaps some alcoholics might move on so much at AA that they describe themselves as 'ex-alcoholics'. These people are surely free to say that this is where they currently feel they are in life. However, is a London bus the best place for this to be said? I doubt it.

And yet, despite my doubts about the Core Issues Trust, despite the fact that I think they're being a bit silly, are probably a little bit on the loony fringe of the Evangelical mission, and despite the fact that this episode shows us just how far removed are politicians are from the concerns of a larger percentage of Britain than that of the homosexual community - despite all of this - something about Boris's dabbling with censorship for personal political gain and the instrinsically totalitarian and freedom of speech crushing defense of the gay agenda by our elite leaves me feeling rather uncomfortable.

Personally, I think the Core Issues Trust is a silly and ungracious response to a silly and ungracious advert by Stonewall. Even if men move away from homosexuality and into heterosexuality, Christians aren't meant to be 'proud' in that way. They're not meant to rub their new found life in marriage in the faces of those they would doubtless see as 'backsliders'. In God's eyes we are all sinners dependent on His mercy who are loved greatly, infinitely, by Him. In conclusion, I think the Core Issues Trust ad is plain silly. That said, in a liberal democracy we are allowed, or should be allowed to say things which are even a little bit silly and even offensive to some. As Boris should know, we are, in this country allowed to say things that are both silly and offensive. As far as I know, it isn't actually illegal.

After all, the Stonewall ad was, frankly, silly and offensive to some. People are entitled to our different points of view and the expression of that view. Or, at least, people used to be. In Boris's London and in Cameron's Britain, it seems, double-standards, hypocrisy, the stifling of debate and censorship are the way ahead. Eventually, I fear, in the long run, the refusal of our metropolitan elite to facilitate a full and frank public discourse on the issue of homosexuality because of the lobbying and media-generated power of Stonewall is likely to lead to more extremism or even violent extremism against the gay community, because it will be perceived that it was the gay community that destroyed freedom of speech and thought. It's becoming like a coup d'etat by a small clique of radicals hell-bent on destroying the country's heritage, religion, morality and culture in order to force society to worship the sexual desires that they themselves worship.

The gay agenda is essentially totalitarian. Eventually, it has to be to enforced to be believed. The fact that the bus ad has been banned by Comrade Boris will ensure that more and more people wake up to that fact. That is not, despite the silliness of the approach of the Core Issues Trust, healthy for democracy. Even Tom Chivers today has it right. Boris Johnson, today, is the Mary Whitehouse of the 21st century. That may win him votes in Soho, but he'll likely still go down in history as the man who suspended freedom of speech in London.

"London is one of the most tolerant cities in the world and intolerant of intolerance." - Boris Johnson, 12 April 2012

I thought it was Ken who was meant to be 'red'...

Survival of the Wittiest: Dawkins Vs Cardinal Pell



There is a really fascinating look on Dawkins's face when Cardinal Pell discusses his belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and the real bodily Resurrection at the End of Time. I'm astonished at how composed Pell is before the high priest of atheism. I've nearly finished all the chocolates in the house, yes, even the coffee and cherry filled ones. Time to move onto the tiramisu, I think...

The Liberal Fantasy Claims More Young Victims

Apparently, now young girls are made vulnerable to depression and suicide because young boys are sending pornographic images of them across social networking sites.

We could teach children to wait until marriage for that special person. Perhaps the Church had it right on sex all along. But we can't go back, can we?

At all costs, we must continue to promote morally vacuous sex to young children, because if we taught children Christian morality we'd have to admit the liberal fantasy was deeply flawed. Best carry on as normal then. And they said the Catholic Church had 'child protection issues'... 

In every age, societies and governments bury Jesus Christ. In every age, He triumphs over Death and in the tomb He is not to be found. He triumphs in every age is because He is the Truth. You can try to bury Truth with any liberal fantasy you please, but eventually it emerges victorious. Of course, it will take another generation before the liberal house of cards comes falling down, because these children will one day be adults. Shall we just set fire to our neighbourhoods now and get it over with? Poor kids. What an age to be a child.

By the way, readers, I went to look for my van the other day where I parked it. I can only assume it shares in the Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord, for it is no longer there. Perhaps some scrap metal merchant saw it and thought he could get some money for it. The Lord brings good out of every evil, however, since I couldn't have afforded the insurance this year anyway.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Perfect Love

We are now bathed in the radiant glory of the Resurrection of Our Lord which casts out the darkness of Good Friday. God has brought triumph and the most incomprehensible Good of all possible goods out of the evil of all possible evils.

We cannot fathom the depth of God's love. It surpasses all human understanding and knowledge. On Good Friday we were mourning and we grieved the bitter Passion of our Saviour and yet the joy of the Resurrection casts out all fear and grief by the supernatural power of Easter Day when the Lord rose from the dead, not merely to comfort us, but to destroy and banish forever the power of sin and Death.

In Holy Week we saw how very perfect is God's love. The Lord Jesus did not force His divinity and authority upon even those who believed in Him, even the Apostles. The perfection of His love is shown in His willingness to perfectly respect our free will. This we would never have expected from God. How can God who is Almighty allow the crowd to walk away when He told them that unless they ate and drank His Body and Blood, they would have no life in them? How can a God who is Almighty and Who is worthy of all our love allow Judas to walk away and betray Him into the hands of those who sought His life? How can a God who is Almighty let His creatures come to Him and yet let them go when they don't understand His mission? Why does He not compel all of those who misunderstood Him or who deserted Him because they were disappointed in Him to know His power? If He loved them, surely He would compel them to love Him!

Yet, no. He allows and permits all to be done to Him, allows even followers to walk away from Him, subjects Himself to human incomprehension, ridicule and failure. In this we see His perfect love, the Cross, the fulfilment of His mission. He allows Himself to be subject to human mockery, misunderstanding, ridicule, cruelty, betrayal and the death of a criminal. He compels nobody to love Him. No, it is we who, instead, tried to compel Him to be what we thought the Saviour should be for God must be, above all, strong, Almighty and demand our love and worship, for if we were God, that is what we would do! What a show of power and strength we would perform if we were God!

Ah, but how different are God's ways to our ways! How different are God's thoughts to our thoughts! How long-suffering and wise and holy and patient and perfect is the supreme love of our God! Freedom fighters fought for freedom, yet the Lord Jesus, Who was more free than any man, because He was and is God, respected and respects our freedom to choose Him, or reject Him, to follow Him or to leave Him. That is all part of His perfect Love and without it, it would not have been, nor would it now be love at all. On Good Friday a bloodied corpse is taken down from a Cross and laid in the arms of His Blessed Mother. How can this be the Body of God!? Is this God? All lifeless, bloodied and bruised, naked, scourged, tormented, tortured and hung on the Wood of the Cross? He could have made it stop, or compelled onlookers to believe and to stop! He does not. He allows the faith even of His Apostles to collapse into a heap on the floor. He allows the Magdalen to weep at the foot of the Cross with the Beloved Disciple, all hope shattered and broken.

Yet, on the Third Day, everything is transformed. The news breaks forth among the Apostles that what was incomprehensible defeat, the Death of the Lord, is now inexpressible and overwhelming joy, for He is not in the tomb. He has risen as He said. His love was perfect for He loved them to the end. Nobody could ever love more, love them more, more perfectly. Even as he had hung on the Wood He forgave his enemies and always prayed for sinners. Yet now the Perfection of God's love is made manifest for despite all that man could do to the Son of God because of his fear and rejection of the Divine Person is overturned, transformed to the Glory of God.

All the evil that the World could do to God is not spat back in the World's face but turned, overturned and transformed to man's favour. The light of the Resurrection fills the whole Church with inexpressible joy. The Blessed Trinity has raised the Lord Jesus from the Dead. He is the Living One and is Alive for evermore. The powers of Hell are bound and chained. The Gates of Heaven are opened! Eternal life is man's destiny! His destiny is union with God forever! Mourning and grief is turned, unfathomably, inexplicably by the power of God, to joy in the Resurrection, to gladness and awe. St Peter who denied the Lord thrice, said he would willingly lay down his life for the Lord, yet for fear he could not. Who could possibly die for God!? Yet Peter will do when God has died and rose again, for him! God has wilted with love and died for the love of men! Now men will wilt with love and die for the love of God!

Let Heaven and Earth rejoice! Christ has risen as He said! Allelulia, for He makes all things new! Allelulia! Allelulia!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Polish Taize

Guitar, Latin, the vernacular and chant. It shouldn't work, but there's something about Taize that I rather like. Once it gets in your head it doesn't leave.

Happy Easter, Readers!



V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia. R. Pray for us to God, alleluia. V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia. Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Regina caeli V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia. R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia. Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

'Catholic' Andy Burnham Tells Andrew Lansley to Stop "Chasing Headlines"

Andy Burnham MP: Labour's Shadow Minister for Health
Greetings, readers.

The Telegraph today reports that Andrew Lansley has come in for some concerted criticism of the substantially increased workload created for the Care Quality Commission by The Telegraph's investigation into abortion clinics.

The paper's investigation into clinics gave some particularly bad PR to abortion clinics in the UK and, credit where it is due, Andrew Lansley has made good on his promise to investigate procedures at abortion clinics across the United Kingdom. That investigation is now well under way and abortion clinic workers, the BPAS and Marie Stopes International must feel rather like how Fred and Rose West felt as their house and garden in Cheltenham received a visit from the police. Hot under the collar and sweaty brows, indeed.

So, why the criticism? Well, perhaps there is an innate feeling among abortionists that because it is plain as day that abortion is by itself an act which no civilised society should endorse and that it is, when all is said and done, morally indefensible no matter how many 1970s slogans you throw at it,  the fact that abortion clinics are not upholding even the rather loose and basic restrictions placed upon the practice in the Abortion Act (1967), should be so unsurprising that nobody should be concerned about it. In fact, the act of killling a fetus is so morally unjustified that any investigation into it is morally unjustifiable. Ultimately, if you're allowing the taking of innocent human life in the womb for one reason why should it be appalling for human life to be taken for any given reason that walks through the door. If you're going to kill an innocent human being, does it really matter whether one doctor or two have signed the forms authorising the execution?

And, frankly, I can see their point. I mean, if you're going to let a gang of unrepentant murderers hover like vultures over a woman's private parts in a clinic so that you can kill her offspring, you'd feel pretty aggrieved if you were an abortionist and a Government minister is investigating you for something so risible as the standard of your documentation and the suspicion that you won't just do this for some women for some reasons, but for any women, for any reasons.

It's Holy Thursday today and no Holy Thursday would be complete without a Catholic taking it upon himself to start batting for the other team, while leaving the innocent to die without a word said, but, indeed unequivocable support for the opposition.  Step forward Andy Burnham, the 'Catholic' Labour Shadow Minister for Health who, as a good Catholic ready to forfeit morality for political points scoring for his earthly career, has, according to The Telegraph, accused Andrew Lansley MP of "chasing headlines" and 'seeking to divert attention away from the struggling health bill'.

Of course, the simple truth is that it is, in reality, highly unlikely that Andrew Lansley MP is "chasing headlines", because it is unlikely that Andrew Lansley MP is particularly pro-life in his outlook. It may be that the investigation is simply a cosmetic effort to reassure the public that despite what The Telegraph unveiled, the Government is committed to the ongoing slaughter in the womb and that this investigation will yield results which will require abortionists to conform to the guidelines in the future. Abortionists will reply, 'Of course, guv'nor. Never again, guv'nor," to the Government and then go back to what they do best: serial killing babies indiscriminately for many different reasons, none of which are morally justified.

Ah, but the other thing to consider is the cost. Apparently, this investigation will cost the Government an extra £1million. I don't know from quite where the pro-abortionists got that figure. Obviously, the abortion industry had few complaints to make against the Government for the long duration of time that it has been a recipient of vast sums of Government expenditure into their coffers for the explicit purpose of doing just what abortionists do for a living. Those scandalised by these investigations are doing the 'Wouldn't this money have been spent better on the elderly?' act because apparently abortionists are really very worried that the CQC's investigation of elderly care homes will be hampered by its increased workload thanks to the abortion clinic investigation.

Of course, people who kill unborn babies for a living love the elderly. Oh, hang on, isn't it at least some of the same people who most champion abortion who also champion the voluntary euthanising of the elderly? Could it really be? And these people are 'worried' about the 'cost'? The cost is, of course, 200,000 dead human fetuses a year and, given it is Holy Week, it is worth saying, the Sorrowful Passion and Death of Our Lord. If the Government spent £100 trillion on the investigation and the result was the closure of all abortion clinics and the imprisonment of the abortionists, that would be a price worth paying, but ultimately, as things stand, the ones who will most likely continue to pay the ultimate price for our sins are the innocent unborn. May the One who paid the ultimate price for them and their murderers and for all of us give political leaders the courage to defend the defenseless and to stop defending the indefensible.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Everything's Going in the Right Direction

Not an Olympic stadium: GCHQ
Everything's going in the right direction, if the Government is trying to build a surveillance or police State in the model of 1984.

Ken Clarke has today appealed to us to accept 'secret courts' because, er, that's what the US Government would like us to do.

Meanwhile, bloggers beware, because the Government also wants GCHQ to have wider access to every UK citizen's emails, social network accounts, mobile texts and phone calls. Both moves are being justified 'in the national interest' and in the interest of 'national security'. That is, the Government's interest at the cost of our liberty and, indeed, 'security'. It is worth noting that both Ken Clarke and George Osborne are members, or, at least, participants of the secretive Bilderberg club that meets annually to 'discuss' global affairs.

Anyway, its Holy Week, so we shouldn't be thinking about any conspiracy theories save for the conspiracy that led to the Passion and Death of Our Blessed Lord who allowed Himself to be handed over to a band of the wicked in the name of 'national security' and to shed His Precious Blood for our salvation.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Protests Against Protests

...are rare.

I know 40 Days for Life is a vigil, but why is there really only one protest that inspires a protest against the protest?






BPAS: Rattled as a Rattlesnake in Rattleshire

Abortionist advertisement by Marie Stopes in the BMJ
Courtesy of the Daily Mail

'New doctors will be put off from providing abortion services after recent pro-life protests at clinics around the UK, medical providers have warned.

Activists from groups such as '40 Days for Life' have been holding daily prayer vigils outside clinics run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in London.

Although the group claim their protests are peaceful some have accused them of intimidation. Last month one woman complained she was filmed leaving a BPAS clinic.

Abortion providers said trainee medics will also be put off from training as the service has recently come under intense political scrutiny. A spokesman for the BPAS said: 'Abortion is a vital yet stigmatised area of women's healthcare which few doctors train in. The current politicisation of abortion provision is likely to make it even harder to recruit a future generation of abortion doctors who are prepared to provide the care that a third of women will need in the course of their lifetimes.'

In other words: "Don't even think about 'turning the clock' back or of campaigning against what we do because otherwise doctors won't come forward to kill the unborn"...

A couple of things become apparent in this recent bit of media engineering by BPAS. Firstly, they are complaining of the current 'politicisation' of abortion provision. Well, back in 1967 and the years running up to that fateful year, I guess BPAS were not concerned about the 'politicisation' of the issue of abortion. After all, abortion was part of the 'women's liberation' and the 'sexual revolution' movement in general. There were banners, there were placards, there were demands for 'choice'. It was highly charged and a heavily politicised issue. If it hadn't been so 'politicised', I guess the Abortion Act wouldn't have passed.

BPAS and Marie Stopes continue to lobby the Government for wider access to be made available for abortion services in the United Kingdom. BPAS don't have a problem with politicising abortion. What they do have a problem with is not being in control of the debate. The activities of 40 Days for Life, The Telegraph's investigation, as well as the recent Care Quality Commission findings about illegal procedures taking place at clinics is throwing the spotlight on the abortion issue in a way that makes BPAS a little uncomfortable. And, uncomfortable, they most definitely should be. BPAS are upset not because the issue is politicised, but because they are no longer in control of the debate. In fact, they are uncomfotable because, suddenly, there is a debate.

There has been significant and more clamourous protests against abortion in the United States for a long time since Roe Vs Wade, but that has not stopped Planned Parenthood from extending its services all across the US. Similarly, however, Planned Parenthood is now worried because similarly illegal activities have been exposed in the US. Will pro-life campaigning, awareness-raising and prayer vigils impact on the number of doctors willing to become abortionists in the UK? It is hard to say, but then this is an issue of freedom of speech and until the day that it becomes illegal for people to bear witness to the unborn outside clinics, pro-lifers can surely only hope and pray that such vigils awaken the conscience of not just doctors performing abortion, nor just doctors thinking of applying for work as abortionists, but indeed that of the whole nation.

The BPAS statement also throws some light on whose choice an abortion really is: It is not the choice of the mother - the mother exercises choice in giving her consent - the real choice is that of the doctor who performs the procedure and the choice for that doctor is to hold life and death in his or her hands and to choose death for the unborn. The procedure is not carried out by the woman, but by the doctor. It is interesting to note, too, that actually, not many doctors want to go into this area of work. Now, why could that be?

Thanks to one of my readers for pointing out to me the Daily Mail's other interesting story today for pro-lifers. Apparently, babies are being medicated in the womb to prevent them from becoming obese. Whatever you think about that, because personally I think it is highly dubious, well done to the Mail for recognising the humanity of the pre-born. I suppose its better than killing them because they've inherited the 'fat gene'. Yes, that's right - incredible as it may appear to modern eyes and ears, babies in the womb really are babies and Robbie Williams already knows his unborn baby is a girl! Good for you, Robbie, good for you. All of these stories aren't good for BPAS. Ah well, too bad...

"What My Mum Fought For Is Now Being Threatened..."

Thanks to Neil Addison for this.

The Guardian have a video of their coverage of the culture clash over abortion in the United Kingdom.

It includes this statement from a pro-abortion campaigner:

"What my Mum fought for is now being threatened..."

Incredible. Do these people not think about what they're actually saying? Also, why is the BPAS nurse in Brighton blacked out? Is she worried that her friends and family will find out where she works for a living, or does she think she'll get attacked by a gang of murderous pro-lifers? Weird.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Experience the LMS Pilgrimages of 2012



If you want to go but can't walk, I have a van.

That would get me off the suffering!

What We've Lost

I was thinking today about the 'right to die' push that has been steadily gaining momentum in the United Kingdom.

Fr Tim Finigan has today posted on a man suffering 'locked-in' syndrome and how he differs in his belief about his life's value while living with the condition to that of another man who has publicly and through the courts campaigned for the right to die without the prosecution of his doctor.

I don't know what either of these men's private beliefs are about God and religion. It may be that some people, when it comes to such terrible afflictions are naturally positive, whereas others are naturally negative. Despite the scientific and medical progress that we have made, however, there does seem to be a huge void left by atheism which means that when people are diagnosed with terrible conditions that it will be the case that some will retain natural optimism and some will feel like giving up the ghost completely. I admire and take my hat off to anyone who is willing to remain positive and courageous in the face of severe adversity. What atheism has left us with however, is no real and meaningful response to suffering. What we've lost with atheism, and perhaps Protestantism as a whole, is the sense that suffering has meaning.

What we've lost, I expect because of Reformation thought and Enlightenment thought, is not the sense that to suffer is necessarily to be heroic, but that to suffer in this World is glorious. Suffering could rarely feel glorious, perhaps it does to a few eccentrics, but Christianity, real Christianity has affirmed for nearly 2,000 years that suffering for Christ is glorious. The Catholic Faith has witnesses, in the Martyrs and the Saints (known and unknown) who affirmed by their lives that the way to the Resurrection is reached by the Via Dolorosa, the way of the Cross. We've lost the idea, the concept, the sense that patiently accepting suffering and the Cross is salvific.

That is to say, that those who accept their suffering for the love of God bring a whole new supernatural dimension to suffering itself. It is only by suffering and death that the Lord Jesus redeems humanity. It is only by suffering and death that the Martyrs' blood is the seed of the Church. When St Anthony of Padua set out to join the Franciscans in Morocco, he did so in order to be a glorious Martyr. The Lord had other plans for him, plans which would secure the Salvation of many, but St Anthony of Padua desired martyrdom.

Today he would be called quite mad by men and women inside and outside the Church. We've lost the sense of the power of suffering for God and men, in as much as we've lost the sense that real good can come out of our suffering. I know holy men and holy women who I know suffer a great deal, but who offer it up for the salvation of souls and for other intentions, such as the refreshment and repose of the souls in Purgatory.

All such concepts would be anathema to atheists, but actually the atheist response to suffering seems to be simply nihilism and the 'right to die' and escape suffering altogether.  It is a perfectly human response to avoid suffering. None of us desire it. Even Our Blessed Lord wished in the Garden to be spared the Chalice that awaited Him. Few of us would seek it, but I cannot for the life of me see a better response to it than the Catholic Church's response to it. It may very well be that when a man in Berkshire offers to God his suffering in his gammy leg, or his migraines, or his inability to walk after a car crash, that he rescues the unborn baby of a woman in Bolivia, or frees the soul of a very grateful person indeed from Purgatory and into the light, peace and joy of Heaven.

Of course, the other side of the Christian response to suffering is the duty of those who know the person to care for them, to pray for them and for those responsible for that person's care to show that person compassionate care and relieve their pain. The problem is that once all of the Christian vision is ridiculed as 'fairy stories', society has no replacement response to suffering that offers hope and certainly no response that says that there is glory and redemption in suffering - for those who suffer and for perhaps the whole Church and even the whole World.

Suffering maybe ugly and very unpleasant, or even an evil, but it is the method by which God chose to redeem our fallen human nature and restore us to the possibility of friendship with Him. Suffering has been made holy by the All Holy One. Christ's suffering and death became the source of our salvation and the source of our sanctification. Our suffering, therefore, if accepted and offered to God, means that we can share in Christ's passion and therefore also be sharers in the ongoing redemption of the human race.

In 20 years time, are Catholics going to really be standing outside extermination clinics for suffering adults with signs saying 'Feeling suicidal? We're here to help', only to be shouted at and jeered at by atheists with signs saying, 'It's my life' and 'It's my body' and to be confronted by pro-extermination and suicide enthusiasts outside extermination clinics when we pray for those inside? Will Catholics be seeing our unbelieving mothers, fathers, grandmas, grandpas, friends and relatives go in to the clinics and shouting after them, 'I love you, please don't do this! If I could take all your pain and suffering on myself, I would!'

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