Saturday 30 January 2010

Catholic Turns Against Caesar over Abortion

The Telegraph reports that a pro-life campaigner has launched a test case against the BBC by refusing to pay her licence fee because of what she sees as the corporation's support for abortion.

Veronica Connolly, a practising Catholic, claims she is entitled to withhold her payment because the BBC has in the past "censored" a graphic election broadcast from the Pro-Life Alliance, the anti-abortion group.

Mrs Connolly, 53, a grandmother from Birmingham, is being prosecuted for the non-payment of her £139.50 television licence for 2008-9. The anti-abortion campaigner has instructed Paul Diamond, the leading religious rights barrister, to act for her. He will use a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to support her action that the compulsory payment of the licence fee has breached, or violated, her "conscience".

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mrs Connolly said yesterday: "I want to highlight that the BBC has become the mouthpiece of the Government, which is generally very pro-abortion. "We get pro-abortion propaganda thrust down our throats and it's time someone said 'no, enough'."

Mrs Connolly, who has been an anti-abortion campaigner for the past six years, added: "Abortion is the biggest human rights issue of our day." In a crime drama screened last year called Hunter, the BBC portrayed anti-abortionists kidnapping and killing children. This representation outraged pro-life campaigners and resulted in numerous complaints.

Mrs Connolly, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair after suffering from ME for 22 years, hopes her case will be heard later this year. If she is convicted, she will take it through the courts on appeal to highlight what she sees as an injustice....

For full article click here.

Latin Mass, Post Mass Drinks Last Night

After the Traditional Latin Mass at St Mary Magdalen's the congregation went to the pub and had a drink. Here we all are. Just goes to show that the Traditional Latin Mass attracts a youthful crowd, eh? Didn't we just have a great time. I know it was Friday but it is good that we are all getting to know each other.

Disclaimer: This post is a total fabrication.

CCC's New English Translation of the Mass Out Soon

Catholics for a Changing Church have announced that a new English translation of the Roman Missal will be released soon.

In what amounts to a radical shift in the liturgy the group maintain that their translation is 'more faithful and accurate to the latin'. The new missal will be strikingly different to what the Church has been used to since the Second Vatican Council.

Controversial aspects of the new translation include the replacement of the phrase 'God our Father' with 'Daddy', 'Lord' with 'O Lordy, Lordy' and 'we ask this through Christ our Lord' with 'for Chrissakes'.

The Kyrie, or 'Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy' part of the Mass has been replaced by the new translation, "Oops, we did it again, soz Lord."

References to the 'Mother of God' are to be replaced with 'Ma' and the 'St' before names of saints and martyrs of the canon has been removed to be replaced with absolutely nothing.

The new translation of the Sanctus is one part of the Mass which has drawn the most criticism from the more traditional wing of the Church, who are angered that the 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts' has been replaced by the prayer, "Once, twice, three times a holy, man, this dude in Heaven is holy and there ain't no doubt 'bout that, man."

The Agnus Dei, also, has drawn criticism as the phrase 'Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the World' has been translated as, 'Lamby Lord, with minty sauce, you take away the discrimination of the Church, both here and er...abroad.'

A spokesman for Catholics for a Changing Church defended the new translation last night, saying, "The Pope has to get with the times and so should the whole Church. God has changed, its part of His nature to change constantly and above all, we think He wants the Christian community to celebrate the fact that we're all mates in Christ our Diversity. The new translation of the liturgy is reflective of the fact that we're Jesus's mates and we're all mates in Jesus. Talking to God should be like talking to your mates down the pub. Catholics for a Changing Church are waiting for the Pope to acknowledge that. Like, chill out, man! It's only God! Do you know where I can get some pot?"

The head of the Latin Mass Society was unavailable for comment, having been said to have gone into a state of long term catatonia upon reading the CCC's new translation. His wife asks for prayers to be said that he may emerge from it soon.

An Heretic Wrapped in an Enigma Wrapped in Teflon

Watch footage of the nauseating heretic with 'no regrets'. I hope, for his sake, that he doesn't display this kind of arrogance at the General Resurrection...Mind you, I'll grant that in the Face of Almighty God, it will be difficult.

Matthew Parris
has written a good article on Tony Blair's defense of his record in the run up to the Iraq War. I particularly like this bit...

Tony Blair is a Manichean, or dualist. He believes that the Universe is best understood as an eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil, in contention for dominance. Christians are supposed to believe that the battle is already won, and Mr Blair’s dualism is (paradoxically) closer to Islamic fundamentalism than to the Gospels. For Mr Blair at least “Axis of Evil” was not just a Bushite soundbite: it was a profound philosophical insight into the meaning of world history. Once you understand this, there is no arguing with him.

Matthew Parris is correct in this analysis. Blair did and still does refer to Saddam as a "monster". The unfortunate characteristic displayed by Blair is not reflective of the way in which the Church describes anyone. We are capable of horrific choices, choices which destroy human life, choices which are mistaken, choices which we then attempt to justify because the 'ends justify the means', or so we think. But that does not make us a "monster". I agree with Matthew Parris, that there was, essentially, not one born-again, Bible-bashing fruit-loop running the war in Iraq, but two. Tony Blair will never 'repent' of the Iraq invasion, primarily because he believes that Saddam was the 'baddy' and he and George were the 'goodies'. Essentially, what we are talking about, here, is a man who treats the issue of war like a child playing soldier games with his friend. "Neeeoooow! Bang! Whoosh! We got him!"

As far as Tony is concerned, it does not matter whether the Iraq war was grounded in deception, spin and fabrication. It does not matter if it was illegal in international law. It does not matter if Parliament was mislead and with it, the British public. It does not matter, either, what we think of him. It does not matter that so many lives were sacrificed and it does not matter whether our soldiers died. Today, it did not appear to matter that the bereaved families were listening to his testimony.

The Iraq war was justified solely on the grounds that Saddam was a "monster". To Tony, it does not even matter that 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq. Saddam was the bad guy and he and George were the good guys, so private sins such as wilful murder, habitual lying and the worship of money don't matter or are absolved by the removal of the "monster". We all fall short of the Glory of God, of course, but I am beginning to wonder whether the reason that Tony Blair took this country to war was solely because he was and still is, an heretic, unable to accept the teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Well, let him take his money and his fortune and leave him in peace. After all, he is going to have all of eternity to reflect on his premiership. We should pray for the poor man because 'all the money in the World will never buy back your soul'. Hopefully, in years to come the story of his tenure will be used in Catholic classrooms in teaching the children about the dangers of heresy, moral relativism, religious fundamentalism, faith without reason and the seduction of the proud by money and power.

Of course, I'm not saying he's a "monster" exactly, just a poor sinner, a wounded creature, like me. The saddest thing of all is that he just can't admit that. If I were responsible for that much devastation, death, cruelty and barbarism, I'd just want to put my head on Our Lord's breast and weep until there was no more tears left to be cried. Still, that's what we should all be praying for...

Tony, this one goes out to you.

Friday 29 January 2010

Too Funny...

Please, check out the website for

In response to the Catholics for a Changing Church website,, a vastly more interesting and amusing campaign has been started called Geriatrics for a Changing Church. The home page really hits the spot.

Geriatrics for a Changeling Church, earlier known as Middle-aged Catholics Trying to Re-live the Sixties, began as a bunch of professional whingers who didn't like being told what to do by the Pope after being encouraged by various liberation-theology cranks to think that Vatican II meant you'd be able to do what you like and there'd be no such thing as sin any more. They were soon joined by assorted trouble-maker ex-priests and lesbian nuns in civvies.

Nobody sensible listened to them, so they started to meet among themselves, talk bollocks, and ignore the fact that no-one was interested. All along it has been a thorn in the side of any parish priest unfortunate enough to have a nest of these vipers (or even one or two) on his manor. Despite a lot of grandiose hogwash about 'a new way of being church', there's nobody involved in this outfit under 70. Nevertheless, we're still trying to foist on younger generations the "Changeling Church" of the Freemasons and Crypto-Protestants who hi-jacked the legacy of Vatican II. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be buying it. But we can't accept we lost the argument after all this time, so we'll keep going as long as they keep bringing us our pills. Oh no, I've been again. Can someone call the nurse?

Just to clarify the group's status, the anonymous author of the fun-poking site has reminded us that it is, 'In no way related to Catholics for a Changing Church. No way at all. Definitely not.' Victor Meldrew chairs this satirical website dedicated to the enthusiasm of a group of elderly Catholics with an unhealthy devotion to Paul Inwood and indebtedness to an age that gave us the pill, the Beatles and a sudden explosion in the recreational use of LSD.

It has been said before and it will be said again that the Benedictine project of liturgical renewal, liberating the Latin Mass from the shackles of appalling guitar strumming and equally appalling loud drumming, amid the cackles of gnostic men and women more interested in their star signs than the one and only Light of the World, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is a movement particularly attractive to men and women in their youth.

Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meum.
I will go to the Altar of God. To God Who gives joy to my youth.

H/T to a friend.


Here is a whited sepulchre, full of dead men's bones. To check on the progress of Tony Blair in the Iraq Inquiry, click here.

I've been watching some of this inquiry and it appears that certain questions have been omitted. The former Prime Minister was only able to go to war in Iraq because Parliament backed him. Why did Parliament back him? Because of the dossier concerning weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed within 45 minutes. No weapons of mass destruction were found, ergo, it is apparent that Parliament was mislead, democracy was subverted and the nation was deceived.

Ultimately, this is not the Court at which Mr Blair will be held truly accountable. That Court will be the Court of Heaven. That Court will answer the cries of the innocent who died at Blair's behest; the soldiers, the civillians, the children, the women, the men who were sacrificed in an illegal war which served US and UK interests in the region, in a country with no weapons of mass destruction, a country which had already been brought to its knees by sanctions, a tin-pot dictatorship, governing a country rife with poverty and misery. That is the Court that will ask Mr Blair the very real and very difficult questions. That is the Court that will ask probing questions of us all.
"Does power corrupt?"
"Yes, power corrupts."
"Does absolute power corrupt?"
"Oh, yes....Absolutely!"
This inquiry will be toothless. The one to come will be the one that really matters and so let us all join in a chorus in the wilderness and cry out with one voice, "Repent!" Hopefully, Mr Blair and many others, will hear us.

Thursday 28 January 2010

Paul, Daryl and Andy

Had a good night last night. Mister 'P' came over and Daryl, (browsing a calendar of Pope Benedict XVI!) and his friend Andy came over a bit later on. I love cooking for people, as I'm a bit rubbish at doing it for myself. I have rediscovered a fondness for chicken kievs. Andy is really interested in the Catholic Faith and we had a big discussion about the plethora of churches you could join. Obviously, I told him which Church was the One True Church and he might come along to the Latin Mass on Friday. I think that the low Latin Mass is a gentle and kind introduction to the Catholic Faith, as it is not too 'in your face'. Non-Catholics would understandably feel intimidated by a high Mass on Sunday, as everybody else is singing and you wouldn't know the parts of the Mass and you could find yourself feeling like a fish out of water so to speak. At a Latin Mass, there is more space simply to be and to pray.

Andy is a trained carpenter but is out of work. 'Mister P' is a trained cabinet maker. I'd love to learn how to be a carpenter to go along with my gardening stuff. I wonder if me and my friends could start an 'odd job' business in which we pooled out skills which are currently unemployed and made a go of things. It is hard in a recession but it would be great to be our own bosses so to speak. We could do a bit of gardening, a bit of cleaning, a bit of handiwork and all that. That reminds me, I have to do my tax return and sharpish! By the way, Fr Ray, thanks for the digital camera! I'm going to take it everywhere!

Wicker Man

A charming edition to my studio flat...

I did a job for an elderly gentleman in the parish today, throwing out old papers he needed no longer. He generously pays me for doing odd jobs for him and checking up on him everyday. On the way to driving over to his place to pick up some papers to recycle at the refuse tip, I found this delightful wicker bookcase by St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church. Needed a bit of a clean but other than that it fits perfectly in my studio flat. St Pio of Pietrelcina now guards it. I have a few books and videos and they nearly all fit nicely. I picked up this sofa from a guy who does freecycling in Brighton. I was just passing him with my friend Paul when I was moving in and he asked if I needed a sofa. I was over the even reclines! Next to it are some pine drawers I found near my place.

At the tip I was horrified to see a man taking a fish tank, almost exactly the same size as mine over to the landfill section. Does nobody think about what they are throwing away to put in landfill? Believe me, even though I live in an eco-flat and enjoy finding things people don't want anymore and selling them, or keeping them myself, I'm not an eco-warrior. I found this small office cabinet near my street. I found the computer desk near my street and I found the stereo on the road near St Mary Magdalens. I found the TV, with an in-built video player near St Mary Magdalen's Church with a sign on it saying, "Merry Christmas!" The stereo sounds great and you can put 5 CDs in at the same time and change which CD you want to hear! I must say, that since I got a place of my own I've become somewhat materialistic, but when stuff is literally going begging, what are you meant to do!?

It just seems to me that there's so much waste going on. Why throw out stuff that other people might need or want only for it to go into landfill which is hardly an infinite place for refuse? Finding that bookcase brightened up my day! Someone might have really quite liked that fishtank and now its smashed up on a rubbish dump! Look! I found this splendid shelf unit with matching clothes wardrobe by a bin near the station! Very nearly a whole flat decked out with furniture and electrical goods for free! I regret not throwing myself in front of him and imploring him to give it to me to sell or give to someone! I might have to start hanging out at rubbish dumps all day saying to people, "You're not really going to get rid of that, are you? I'll find a home for it!"

Wednesday 27 January 2010


Inspired by the example of Pope John Paul II, who it is said mortified his body with a leather belt, I have bought some wool from the local fabric shop. I'm going to give myself the hardest thrashing I ever had in reparation for my sins and to mortify my passions. If you don't hear from me again, its because I've got tangled up in it and am unable to make it to a phone or my computer.

Why should we count it as something evil that Pope John Paul II did this to himself, as a penance for his shortcomings in imitating Christ. This is the same age that increasingly condones suicide and assisted suicide, saying, ‘It’s my life, my body, my choice'. What is really disturbing? A light bit of flaggelation every now and then as penance for ones sins, or an act of total self-destruction?

Furthermore, he was inflicting some corporal punishment upon himself – not others – it wasn’t 'self-harm’ – it was self-discipline. He was truly a ‘man for others’, people who met him realised that. Being a ‘man for others’ he chose to be a man going against his own desires or interest. It might seem medieval, but who amongst us wouldn’t like to see a few public Catholics doing some public penance?

Keep Praying!

Rico Dibrivell, 35, covered in dust and dressed only in underpants, was carried out from the ruins of a building in the centre of the capital Port-au-Prince.

After apparently being trapped under rubble for 14 days, Mr Dibrivell would be one of the world's longest survivors of an earthquake, though experts on the scene said it was possible that he had been caught in more recent days when a damaged building collapsed. He did not appear to have serious injuries.

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Don McCullin's 1989 Newsnight Film on London's Homeless

Newsnight celebrates its 30th anniversary today. In honour of their journalistic endeavours, they have posted some good and memorable reports from their archives on their website. Click here for Don McCullin's 1989 film about London's homeless. It is as relevant today as it was then. Human dignity is not something to be decided by the State or any man. Human dignity has been raised by Christ who redeemed us, by taking upon Himself our humanity. He has raised our dignity to heights of which we cannot fathom and no man, no Government, no culture and no law can take that dignity away from us.

Martin Amiss

Martin Amis, when he was better looking and younger. Corduroy jacket? Check! Serious, 'I'm an intellectual, don't you know?' writer's face? Check! Cigarette in hand? Check! Bowl of fruit? Check! Insulting, existential-angst-ridden, sixth form common room musings on the dignity of the elderly? Check!

Defending his scandalous words in yearning for a day when the elderly will have euthanasia booths on street corners, Martin Amis said, “To be human is to have a certain amount of dignity, and I don’t see that dignity in the demented. It’s unworthy of a human being to have to go through that. The choice to die is a noble privilege we should all have.”

Without wishing to go all Graham Greene on his arse, this really does get to the 'heart of the matter'. The whole problem with moral relativism is that if you define yourself by its morbid obsession with the evil twin cults of self and death then you don't see the true dignity of any human being, yourself included.

The children of the World, in contrast to the children of God, give people value by a set of arbitrary and grossly materialistic and shallow standards. These people believe that people have dignity if they are say youthful in apperance, attractive, monied, working, productive and healthy.

These people believe that people do not have dignity if they are old, unattractive, poor, unemployed, unproductive or ill, mentally, long-term physicially or mentally. Martin Amis's whole premise on making such foolish statements is totally and utterly infused with relativistic despair and ultimately, a deathly and chilling nihilism.

Martin Amis does not believe that 'the demented', by which we take it he means those suffering dementia, have dignity. This is extreme and insulting language indeed, since who is he, an over-rated novelist, to decide who has dignity, and who does not? Of course, he might believe that those with dementia do have a kind of innate dignity, but they don't look like they have dignity, but he's left it rather open-ended, hasn't he? By extension, we can assume that Amis believes the same of all long-term disabled men and women with say, cerebral palsy. I mean, if people can't just jump out of their wheelchairs and write yarns while living off the back of their father's literary success, then the disabled might as well just be wheelchaired off Beachy Head now, right?

We are living in dangerous times indeed, times in which if someone doesn't 'appear' to have dignity, then they are judged not to deserve it. Dignity, Mr Amis, is not in the eye of the beholder. It just is. It is the dignity of the human person, precisely, which should protect individuals from the clutches of people who fail to see it. Like Mr Amis, we may not always conduct ourselves with it, but we have a God-given dignity which cannot be removed. If you try and remove dignity from some people, or say that certain groups do not possess it, then you deny these people their humanity and eventually you view them as sub-human.

This is the real reason that assisted suicide has come back to the headlines with two cases in quick succession this week. In neither of the cases were the children who were 'helped to die' by their mothers accorded their true dignity. Both were treated as sub-human. Our dignity, from conception to natural death, is the only barrier between a civilised society and the gas chambers, but senseless writers like Amis don't think about this, instead choosing to spout off their sick view of the human race. I hope his latest characters have more depth and love for people than he does!

Assisted Suicide Laws Thrown Into Disarray

The Government's Director of Public Vacillation, Keith Starmer.

The Telegraph reports on a disturbing case, the precedent of which hardly bodes well for the future of the protection of the vulnerable in the UK. The law is said to be in disarray because, according to the Daily Mail, 'the case was in stark contrast to that of Frances Inglis, the mother given nine years last week for injecting her brain-damaged son with a lethal dose of heroin, because Lynn had said she wanted to die.'

The law surrounding the prosecution of relatives who help their loved ones to die was thrown into disarray last night after a mother was cleared of trying to kill her daughter. Kay Gilderdale walked from court after being acquitted of the attempted murder of Lynn, 31, despite previously admitting to helping her commit suicide.

Lynn decided she wanted to end her life after her body had been left “broken” by 17 years of the chronic fatigue illness ME. At the age of 14, a sporty, athletic Lynn began a downward spiral that would see her confined to her bedroom, unable to move her legs, swallow or eat. At her most severely ill, she could recognise no one. Mrs Gilderdale initially tried to stop her daughter ending her life but backed down after she said: “I want the pain to go — I don’t want to go on.”

Mrs Gilderdale admitted assisting her suicide by giving her sleeping pills, antidepressants and injecting air into her veins in December 2008 after her daughter had injected herself with morphine.

But she was also prosecuted for the attempted murder of her daughter, only to be cleared unanimously by a jury yesterday in less than two hours. It emerged that Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), had taken the decision to pursue the attempted murder charge in November, a month after issuing guidance on assisted suicides. The move came after law lords backed a call for clarification of the law by Debbie Purdy, a multiple sclerosis sufferer.

The Gilderdale case revived the debate surrounding both “mercy killings” and assisted suicide after issues were raised over why the 55-year-old was in court at all. Last year, two judges questioned whether it was in the public interest to prosecute her for attempted murder, given that she had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting suicide. One suggested the case be dropped rather than “let this defendant get tangled up in a messy trial for the sake of some legal mumbo jumbo”...

So, there we have it! Whether someone actively participated in someone's suicide, instead of assisting them to live, is now 'some legal mumbo jumbo'...) Both this lady's daughter and the boy with brain damage were vulnerable. Consent to being killed, suicide, is not the mindset of a healthy, balanced individual. Suicidal tendencies require supervision, care, compassion and love.

[Full article, click here...]

Monday 25 January 2010

Calling All St Mary Magdalen's Parishioners!

Do you want to raise money for the St Mary Magdalen Building Fund?

Run the Brighton Marathon! That's you, I mean...not me! Fr Ray? I'll do it, if I must, but you had better be generous with your donations! Now that is what I call penance!

Chris Morris's New Jihad Comedy

Michael Deacon of Telegraph Blogs has posted this video clip of a new Chris Morris movie about rubbish terrorists.

Above is a clip of Four Lions, the debut feature-length movie from Chris Morris, the controversy-monger behind the viciously funny Brass Eye, The Day Today, On the Hour and his short-lived but excellent Radio 1 music show (as well as the clumsy misfire Nathan Barley).

The comedy, which received its debut at the Sundance festival at the weekend and whose release date hasn’t yet been confirmed, is said to be a kind of Islamists’ Dad’s Army: it follows a group of howlingly inept Islamic would-be terrorists who yearn for jihad without really understanding what it means or how properly to achieve it. A bit like all Islamic terrorists, then.

We thought satire had been trumped by fact with the pants bomber but this new movie could be rather funny. If it reaches the heights of 'The Day Today' or the outrageous and funny 'Brass Eye' then it could be worth seeing. This was the 'bombdogs' alert.

This was Chris Morris interviewing Australia and Britain into war.

The Bigger Issue

We have a few problems with The Big Issue magazine. It is sold with the slogan 'a help up, not a hand out', but just how true is this? For anyone unfamiliar with this magazine, The Big Issue is a magazine started by John A. Bird which is distributed by the homeless and hostel dwellers. The homeless take a cut of about 50-60p per issue, the rest of the money going into The Big Issue Trust for the running of the magazine and any projects the company want to operate. It has a good reputation but there are a few obvious problems with it.

Firstly, we don't know anyone who buys the magazine because they are loyal to the magazine, or because they thoroughly enjoy reading it. It doesn't make you laugh, its tediously written and we don't know anybody who likes it. Our experience of buying the Big Issue is that motive for buying it is charity, not interest in the magazine which is usually dull, uninteresting and irritating to read. We know that many people give a bit of money to the vendor and tell them to keep the magazine, so they obviously feel the same as we do.

Secondly, it is sold as a 'help up'. There is dignity in working, selling a magazine on the street, so it isn't a 'hand out'. This is how it is sold. But, the reality is a bit different. Big Issue vendors stand, often for hours in a day, often in rain, wind, snow, sleet, calling out 'Big Issue' to members of the public and waiting, hoping that someone will buy it. The amount of money the vendors make depends on how long they work. Having met a couple of vendors I know that they often work 10-12 hours a day, if not more.

It is not a guaranteed income and so they could stand there all day, make next to nothing and walk back to a hostel with change in their pocket. This is not dignity in work, this is tantamount to slavery. Meanwhile, the owner of The Big Issue, who professes to having been on the streets himself, having got off drugs and drink and become a successful social entrepreneur is rolling in it. Meanwhile, also, The Big Issue makes money from advertising, the rest of the cost price of the magazine and pays its writing, editorial and sales/marketing team substantial wages for producing the publication every week. This is how a good idea can go wrong. Those who sell the issue, in real terms, make peanuts, pittance out of selling it, nothing like a living wage, while the writers and workers and the owner make a lot of money.

This central injustice also affects the content of the magazine because it is true to say that the majority of the writers and editorial team have never experienced homelessness or had drug or drink problems which are often experienced by the homeless. At worse, The Big Issue makes slaves of the homeless and vulnerable who sell it, while writers and editors and the owner have the kind of salary of which the homeless can only dream. It is not a 'help up'. It isn't even much of a 'hand out'. A good magazine which addresses homelessness would be one which was written, produced and owned by the homeless and the marginalised, where their voices were heard instead of used to shout out 'Big Issue!' on street corners everyday in the rain, sun or snow, because frankly, a magazine written by the homeless would be better than The Big Issue, more interesting, probably funnier and more truthful than what is being presented at the moment.

Laurence England & George Horvath

Sunday 24 January 2010

The Ultimate Cheese

Buy delicious new Low Low Cheese. The Ultimate Cheese.

Sorry...times are hard. They called me having seen my blog. They offered me a months supply of cheese and a cheque for £100 and in the end I crackered.

Keep Praying!

Guardian reports...

A man was dramatically rescued tonight after spending 11 days under the rubble of a hotel in Port-au-Prince, hours after the Haitian government declared search and rescue operations over.

I heard today that the UN have said that the search and rescue operation is 'over'. Thank God some agencies are still looking for the living. Nothing is impossible for God, as we have seen over the last few days.

Saturday 23 January 2010

Watch this! So funny!

Massive send up of Pet Shop Boys.

A Very Catholic Song!

Electronic formed from the break-up of The Smiths. Crystal cut, diamond guitarist Johnny Marr on guitar, Bernard Summer of New Order on vocals and Pet Shop Boys man doing backing vocals on this track. 'Getting Away with It'. Enjoy! I've realised that I don't need to move a friend's drum kit into my flat as I've got my keyboard back. Home recording is go, with a little help from my friends...New Order and Electronic used synth drum beats, don't you know!

Rising Baseball Star Leaves Profession for Priesthood

Soon to be seminarian and 'L'Osservatore Romano' 2015 Calendar Priest for November, Grant Desme. Sorry, ladies, he's off limits!

May God be praised! What a generous and courageous man!

Oakland Athletics prospect Grant Desme has turned his back on professional baseball - to join the Priesthood. The 23-year-old outfielder was the Most Valuable Player in last year's Arizona Fall League, where major league clubs send their top prospects each autumn. But Desme, a lifelong Catholic, plans to enter a seminary this summer.

"I was doing well at baseball. But I really had to get down to the bottom of things - I love the game, but I aspire to higher things," he explained. "I wasn't at peace where I was at. I have no regrets. I felt that while baseball is a good thing, I thought it was selfish of me to be doing that when I really felt that God was calling me more

Desme, who had looked set to receive an invitation to spring training with Oakland's major league players next month, had been considering the move for over a year, despite hitting 31 home runs and stealing 40 bases in the minor leagues in 2009. "Last year before the season started, I really had a strong feeling of a calling and a real strong desire to follow it. I just fought it," he explained. "As the year went on, God blessed me. I had a better year than I could have imagined, but that reconfirmed my desire. "I felt that while baseball is a good thing, I thought it was selfish of me to be doing that when I really felt that God was calling me more."

He informed the A's management on Thursday evening, and now expects to begin "a 10-year process" towards becoming a priest while he studies at St Michael's Abbey in Orange County. Oakland general manager Billy Beane added: "We respect Grant's decision and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavours."

So, he's traded in whacking balls for whacking the Devil, the flesh, the World and the self. Great news!

Keep Praying!

BBC reports that an 84-year-old woman has been rescued after spending 10 days under rubble following the Haiti quake.

Doctors say the woman has multiple wounds and her condition is grave, but are doing all they can to save her...[Full story here.]

Friday 22 January 2010

Fr Bing on St John Bosco & Sex Education

Interesting video by a Priest called Fr Bing on the Church's role in instructing children in the Faith and the new battle looming over sex education. He offers St John Bosco as a model of wisdom in the daunting task ahead.

A man of ideas, a man about town, but not a man of action...

Front page of a magazine I developed and placed under the patronage of St Anthony of Padua. First draft and as you can see, I'm still obsessed with the West Pier.

I can be a prize idiot at times. You know, I have a lot of ideas. I tell them to other people and in the end people say something like, "You're barking." I come up with ideas for how to raise money for the Church, like collecting jars and selling my Grandma's recipe for apple chutney outside the Church. Then I say stuff like, I think we should get a load of cucumbers and pickle them and sell them to the Poles who go to Mass. They could get all their Polish food from us. Then I think about nicking a few soup recipes and selling soup.

People compliment my spaghetti bolognese sauce and I think to myself, 'We could sell that'. People love my carbonara sauce. I think, 'We could sell that!' I've done a gardening course, a book-keeping course (nearly!), a journalism course and a politics degree, I've humiliated myself during half of a primary school teaching course and walked away with a shattered self-esteem. I've done a desk-top publishing course and know how to use the packages and yet still, I am here, blogging, scraping by, falling into debt and then running back to mummy and daddy at the age of 32, just so I can keep my car on the road. I think now and then of going back and trying to do a teaching course in R.E, or nursing, but I have done SO MANY courses, it is getting beyond a joke. There must be another way.

The idea of a magazine, a new magazine, has been buzzing around my head for a long time. I think of the many ways that monasteries are able to generate an income for their necessities and find it inspiring. They move in somewhere and put their heads together and say, "Right...How we going to pay for this place, then?" One of the brothers turns around and says, "Let's buy a beehive and keep it in the larder. We'll sell honey and stuff."

I am unemployed and know more than a few unemployed people. The worse aspect of unemployment is the feeling useless and feeling like you are not contributing to society, so you become enclosed and insular. All too easily you can become and outsider and feel outside of society, cast adrift. All my ideas, I'd like to do. I'd like to start a magazine with the help of unemployed people, perhaps homeless people too, something in which people could tell their stories and raise awareness of what life is really like in poverty in Brighton, if not in the UK. Things start small and like a mustard seed, can grow with faith and prayer. I know two guys who sell the Big Issue who are fed up with it. They like the idea of a magazine which is developed and written by people really living poverty.

I talked to a volunteer at Voices in Exile who told me he works in Shoreham and runs a company with friends selling pies. How great is that! He just got together with some friends and they all thought and said, "Let's sell pies." So, they did! I know that there is funding for some projects.

I guess what I am saying is that I'd like to be some kind of a 'brother' and start a kind of lay community of unemployed people doing monastic type things, living a monastic-type life, like praying the Rosary, going to Mass, working, but being a self-sufficient community of people. I know that these things are difficult, very difficult in fact, but not impossible. All I do know is that it cannot be done alone. Strength is in groups, even relatively small groups to pool together their talents and their skills and come up with something that works. I'm not a communist, but I do think that capitalism drives people apart rather than brings people together. Thatcherism was too individualistic. I think that Caritas in Veritate picked up on the truth that we are a little inter-dependent. We need other people and other people need us. I think...I think that what I am saying, is that I am a hippy. We wouldn't have to live together, but we could do something positive.

The Holy Father is Coming...the Liberals Quake!

Catholic Voices are coming...and they're not the voices the UK are used to! Hopefully the majority will be voxes catholicam. My Latin is terrible, isn't it?

Mark Dowd of The Guardian is worried about the Holy Father's visit. He's not worried about his safety, oh no. He's not worried about him being pilloried in public, oh no. Having swooned at Pope John Paul II when he graced the UK, he doesn't much fancy Pope Benedict XVI by the sounds of things. The former friar turned big public spokesman on Catholic issues, at, err, The Guardian, the paper so renowned for running in front of buses to push the Pope out of the way of oncoming media calamities, is worried that truly Catholic voices will be heard by Our Lady's Dowry. Well, it may be that a chap from Opus Dei is doing the PR for the Holy Father's visit because some within the Church are aware of just how popular the Holy Father is amongst our Bishops. Now, where's that cardigan I'm so fond of...

"The Pope is coming! The Pope is coming!" cry excited Catholics and this time, with no tricky Falklands diplomacy to navigate around, it is to be an official visit. In early autumn, Benedict XVI will be accorded all the pomp normally associated with a head of state. So why am I already full of fear and apprehension? After all, in May 1982, when John Paul II came to these shores, I got up at 4am, donned my white Dominican habit (yes I was a friar for a brief period from 1981 to 1983), and joined five thousand other religious in Roehampton. We sang. We cheered and waved our wee yellow and white flags with the Holy See's coat of arms on them. The Popemobile swept past within an inch or two. John Paul. What a face! He positively seemed to look through me. He smiled. I felt reduced to total insignificance, yet touched by something from beyond. Only the Polish Pope has ever had that kind of effect on me...' [Full article here]

And this is the best bit of the whole, rather shoddy article.

'In truth, this is a scary time to be a liberal Catholic. '

Ha-hah! Isn't it just!? Good time to be a Catholic though, wouldn't you say?!

Masters of War

I've been having an argument on the blog of Fr Dwight Longnecker which is most unseemly. I have not helped in making it seemly, but some things need to be said! He is a Priest, so I should be more respectful of his blog than a layman's, but I took objection to his post on the gun sights scripture story on US soldier's guns, for more than one reason! What I really do not like is nationalism to the point of blindness towards our own Government's corruption and agendas. I watched, very recently a TV programme about hospital workers in Afghanistan who are daily treating our British soldiers, who arrive, at the age of 18, 19, 20 with their legs blown off from roadside bombs. We honour their sacrifice, but should we honour the Government that spends our brothers' blood so cheaply!?

Both Iraq and Afghanistan can, now, be nothing but endless wars, drenched in futility, the original motives of which will always be dubious, in light of revelations new and old. We, we, as Catholics, should never put the pride of our nationality above our identity as children of God, nor should we forget the dignity of those, even those who hate us! Our Blessed Lord said as much when he said, "Love those who hate you."

I, personally am not a British Catholic. I am a Catholic! Of what use will our nationality be in Heaven! That means that if the Government who runs the country in which I was born, or the Government in the US, or whatever powerful Government is running a war which is highly circumspect from the outset, and, indeed, whatever evil they claim they may be fighting to win our support, until I see a Papal Bull backing it, I'll not consent! It is not being done in either my, nor the Church's name and never has Pope Benedict XVI, or, I think, his predecessor, given his blessing to either of these wars.

Both the US and the UK, we shall doubtless reap what we have sowed over there. Our presence there is by no means defeating terrorism. No, we are merely pouring petrol onto the flames of a fire and I dare say that no matter how many body scanners you put in airports now, thanks to Tony and George, we're gonna get burned someday! Just for those who are interested, here is a list of countries with whom America has been at war, since 1945. You'll notice, they are all big, heavily armed, industrial, militarised countries!

China (1945-46 & 1950-53)
Korea (1950-53)
Guatemala (1954 & 1960)
Indonesia (1958)
Cuba (1959-60)
Congo (1964)
Peru (1965)
Laos (1964-73)
Vietnam (1961-73)
Cambodia (1969-70)
Guatemala (1967-69)
Grenada (1983)
Libya (1986)
El Salvador & Nicaragua (all of the 1980s)
Panama (1989)
Iraq (1991-2002)
Sudan (1998)
Afghanistan (1998)
Yugoslavia (1999)
Afghanistan (2001-02)
Iraq (2002 -) it just me, or does that kind of look like a near perpetual state of war? Anyone heard of the military industrial complex? Believe me, I know our Government does it too, but just because a war is sold to us on the basis of a 'sexed up dossier' of spin and lies, or 'we gotta go hunt the guy with the funny name who used to be employed by us', does not mean, that just because we are Catholics, those of good faith, that we should give the Government our blessing. God knows we should pray for our troops, like the brave men that they are! But those who sent them there, oh my, if I ever make it to Heaven, I'll happily take a break to watch them...

I remember going to one of the first Masses I ever went to at a Church in Brighton and being graced with the words of a Priest, who, during his homily, said, "We pray for our leaders and Governments. May they understand that evil is never justified, no matter how good the desired outcome", or something along the same lines. An unjust war is just like abortion. You lash out, for you were unprepared! You weren't ready and it wasn't planned! And just because you've been hurt, you kill the innocent. They took 3,000 of your men, so you take 100,000 of theirs! Then, you're surprised when go they hide in the mountains and come back when you're not suspecting! God help us! Some Americans think the Devil is in Afghanistan. I assure you, that if anyone has access to the corridors of power in the US, the White House and 10 Downing Street, it is the Devil. He isn't just operating in Muslim strongholds, after all!

Looks like our current PM is about to go before the jury which will not convict him of signing the cheques for Iraq. He was totally blameless, of course. After all...he is the Prime Minister of Great Britain! Tony was the bad guy, remember that. We do, at least, remember that!

Guess Who...

Sorry, James and Ella, to nick your child for a still image! Awww...actually...Awe.

"We even baptise children, thereby condemning them to an assumption that they will inherit the religion of their parents for life."

Guess who said this...Why, none other than Richard Dawkins! Of course, it is true. After all, there is no greater abuse of a child than baptising them, right? It's worse than waterboarding! What is going on in Mr Dawkins's head? He just can't let it lie!

Mr Dawkins! Now, really! If there is no substantive, substantial effect of Baptism upon the soul of a newly born baby, what with God not existing and God's existence being such a load of hocus pocus, then, frankly, why would you be so worried about the tippling of some water, not made holy by the power of God, made manifest through the Priest's blessing, onto the infant's head?

What is it with this guy!? What is it with him that he doesn't want to see newly born babies being baptised!?

Why not just say, "Oh, those Catholics, nutjobs! As if baptising a child in water could bring them into the Divine life of sanctifying Grace!" But, no. It frightens you. Therefore you'd like to see it banned and seen as child abuse.

Mr Dawkins, if Baptism is just water....pray tell, why are you so fearful of it!? I'm no exorcist, of course, but the more I hear and watch of Richard Dawkins, I think he's a good example of perfect possession. I hope over your senior years that you evolve into being a person who is as tolerant of Catholicism as you are of your own religion.

I know he'll never read this, but boy, it needs to be said.

Thursday 21 January 2010

Religious Extremists

Fruitloop alert! A dangerous, Catholic extremist. Behold this Carthusian's wickedness and malevolence. This image strikes fear into the heart of civil society and so it should. Look at him, dressed in white and wearing sandals. What a nutter! Thank God he is in a closed order, praying to the spaghetti monster in the sky, where he can do no harm! Mentalists!

Look! Here's a Redemptorist...gardening! Watch out! He's got some kind of vegetable in his hand! Phew, that was close...

Just a few of many adherents to a religion of peace and brotherly love. A welcome addition to the diverse cultural life of the United Kingdom. What a colourful and vibrant faith they have! Go on chaps!

Have a good time at the shooting club, boys! Cheeky rogues! Awww...Catch me a pheasant, why not?! Ahh...I dunno, eh? Eh? Bless 'em!

H/T to Henry, address withheld! Run, Henry, Run! No, not that way!

Blessed are the Poor

New St Mary Magdaleners and Soup Runners!

These are my friends George and Diane. George is a busker who I met on London Road not much over a year ago. At the time George and Diane were living in a flat off London Road but were evicted and now stay in a single room near the Marina, in Brighton. They have barely anything. George is Diane's carer.

They came over for a cup of tea yesterday and helped me do the sandwiches for the Soup Run. It usually takes me an hour and a quarter for 4 loaves of cheese, pickle and salad sandwiches. George is a former chef, but is Diane's permanent carer now. It took just 15 minutes to do it with three people. It was like a little team, a chain. They enjoyed doing it, knowing that the sandwiches were going to feed the hungry, so they said they would like to come round every Wednesday and do it.

I've got quite a few friends who are not living on benefits, who are not poor, who are not unemployed, who I've asked if they'd like to help me to do sandwiches as its quite a big job on your own but nobody really wants to. George and Diane, on the other hand, wanted to help and want now to make a commitment to it, knowing they can help to do it at my place. The poor have understanding of what it is like to be poor, to have to beg or borrow, to be in need and when they are in receipt of generosity, want to give, whereas so many rich do not want to give. When the poor give, they give in abundance as well, whereas the rich scrimp and save.

Diane had a bad experience once when she knocked on a Priest's door asking for help a long time ago as she was going through a rough time and I think that put her off the Catholic faith, even though she says she always prayed to Our Lady and Our Lord from an early age, more then than nowadays. Without saying too much, she has been through a lot in her life and so has George but they are fighters, survivors. Diane says she'd like to come to Church and asked last night if Fr Ray would baptise her, since she never received that when she was a baby. George is a Catholic who hasn't been to Mass since he was in his late teens, early 20s. Perhaps this might be a re-awakening of his Catholicism. We're going to go to Mass together at St Mary Magdalen's on Sunday and then come back to mine for a roast, which George, the ex-chef, is going to cook lamb. Can't wait! Perhaps some others from St Mary Magdalen's might like to join us, who knows?

Strangely, I didn't know George was Catholic until last night and I was overjoyed to hear that Diane wants to get baptised and convert! Few things could possibly give us more joy than that! She has been through so much and still struggles. The Lord has brought us together, the Lord defends and upholds the poor and the poor, unlike the prudent and learned rich, want the Gospel. They know that God loves them! They, like us, may not know what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like, but they know how it operates! I don't usually put pictures of my friends on my blog but in George and Diane and our friendship, God is doing good things! May God be praised!

We listened to this song a lot. Mesmerising videos Massive Attack did! This is deep s**t!

Hey Jude

How cute is this?!

Wednesday 20 January 2010

Teardrop - Massive Attack

Best music video of all time? Watch it, its beautiful. What person could watch this music video and fail to be moved by its beauty and the humanity of the unborn?

Can the Taliban be 'Bought Off'?

Good luck, Dave! Rather you than me, mate!

Will Heaven has brought this Guardian piece to Telegraph Blog readers attention. I was talking with a parishioner called John today as I had to nip into the office and get some stuff for the accounts. We discussed Afghanistan briefly. He said, "Nobody has gone to Afghanistan and defeated them. They can't beat them. They fight differently to the US. They like fighting! Even Alexander the Great, the greatest general of all time couldn't beat them. They are guerilla warfare experts. In the end he had to cut a deal with them on land and marry some warlord's daughter to save face in ending the war."

So it is that history is repeating itself and the British, who have apparently tried it on with Afghanistan and lost something like seven times, are supporting Karzai's bid to tempt the Taliban into compliance with land, jobs and I-Pods. Will it work?

I mean, you can just imagine Karzai's first meeting with the Taliban. They walk into the room and Karzai is sitting there on the internet.

"Hi guys!" says Karzai. I was just downloading the new Killers album from I-Tunes. Would you like to have a go?"

The Taliban warlords look puzzled but say, "Sure, we'll give it a go." One turns around to the others and says, "This s**t is good! What's this band's name again? But isn't the lead singer a mormon? Okay, just give me five minutes. Oh, boy, that tune rocks! Turn it up!"

"And this," Karzai says, "this is an I-Pod, which means you can listen to your favourite albums anytime, any place. It's genius isn't it!?"

"Oh my!" says the Taliban chief. This is too good. Where can we get this stuff?"

"Well," says Karzai, "in exchange for peace and an end to blowing people up and chopping people's heads off, we will give you as many of these as you like!"

"Really!?" reply the Taliban. "Just give us 5 minutes to confer."

The Taliban leaders murmur to themselves for a while before saying...

"Karzai. You've got yourself a deal! But wait, we need something else. This day of peace is a great thing indeed. We insist that as a sign of our pledge of an end to fraternal emnity and war, Mr Miliband, he must marry my daughter!"

Karzai says, "Ah...Secretary, can you get me Miliband's number!"

Miracles of Hope in Haiti Carnage

A 25 year-old, named locally as Hotteline Lozama, was pulled from a shopping centre in the capital, and was said to be "conscious and in good form".

A second woman, Anna Zizi, was found alive and singing in the rubble of Port-au-Prince's Roman Catholic cathedral. Rescue workers wept and hugged each other as Ms Zizi, caked in debris and dust, was placed on a makeshift stretcher, put on a drip, covered with a heat-conserving wrap and driven by truck to a hospital, witnesses said.

"It was an amazing thing to witness, no one could believe she was still alive," said Sarah Wilson, of British charity Christian Aid. It seems rescuers were communicating with her and managing to get water to her through a tube. She was singing when she emerged. Everyone clapped and cheered," she added.

Ms Zizi, said to be 69 or 70, was rescued by Mexican firefighters at about 3:30 pm local time, two-hours short of a full week after a 7.0-magnitude quake hit Haiti. Her rescue gave hope to hundreds of rescue workers still digging for survivors in the ruins of the capital, where the stench of crushed and decomposing corpses filled the air.

Finally! Exclusive Pictures of My Fish!

Action shot! Happy, happy fishies! My fish, swimming, with Pope Benedict XVI in the background, looking on. The blue one on the Holy Father's head is the tank fluesy. She sleeps with all the other orange fishes and gets up the duff constantly. Still, even though she's the tank bike I respect her pro-life stance.

Pope Benedict XVI in even better light, shrouded mysteriously by the vegetation symbolising the new life of Christ, also symbolised by, err...the waters of err...Baptism. To the right you can see George Best celebrating with his Man Utd team-mates and a bit of a crumbling monastery fish tank feature I got for Christmas from my uncle! I love my fish. When one dies I am comforted by the fact that they breed like rabbits and more are always on the way. The tank now is a smaller version. I had a massive one until recently which was too big for the room. This size fish tank is just right!

I had a meeting at the Brighton Unemployed and Families Centre Project (BUCFP) yesterday to restart the Magazine Group they have there. A few people want to join. They say I could teach Desk Top Publishing as well, if I want to. The magazine group had a bust up a couple of years ago, when I wanted to put a LIFE support number on the back of the issue. It was printed then there was a couple of complaints from centre users, don't know who. Anyway, I said, if the number stays, I stay, if the number goes, I go. They said, "Bye" and I said, "Bye!" They managed to produce one or two magazines after that then the whole group fell apart. Now, the guy who was at the meeting when it was decided the pro-Life number should go seems to have forgotten all about the massive row and says, "Sure, come back."

Still, I really need a job that pays as I'm really in the proverbial and have to sell my car and that means the gardening business has disappeared down the crapper in much the same way as 'Sanctam', that beloved fish of mine, who discoloured, turned on its side and tragically died, had to. Oh well! We live to fight another day! I suppose we Catholics should get used to unemployment and economic misery, since we are promised by both Sacred Scripture and holy mystics of the Church, that during the reign of the Antichrist, which looks like its on its way, we shaln't be able to buy, trade or sell anyhow. But after that, Our Lord will return and those who inherit Eternal Life will live in the City of God where money is replaced with the golden, priceless currency of Love, Mercy and Justice. I hope and pray I and all who I love make it there! Still, I'll keep looking because someone around here's got to pay the bills! If only real employment was as rewarding as volunteering. I think city traders should spend a day at the Unemployed Centre and see the goodness and kindness of people to each other. People actually care about other people there (even if some don't recognise the unborn as people). On the whole, its very refreshing.

I did an interview with Fr Ray for that magazine and a couple of people looked at it today, including one guy who used to go to St Mary Magdalen's for a while and was thinking of instruction. A British-born Indian lady, Narinder, I think, said the story about how the Church has a mission to love the poor, about Fr Ray helping the rentboy who'd got beaten up one day in 2007, I think, was 'moving and inspiring'. She said she was depressed until she read that. That's the kind of thing that cheers people up, she said. She said we might be able to get funding for it. I was wondering if we could get advertising for it, over time and generate money for the BUCFP, as it can't be a Churchy thing. I could declare myself to be Editor in chief and say that henceforth all articles are to be Catholic and any profits go to the Church, but I think that could result in another bust up!

Coptic Martyrdoms in Egypt

I found this on YouTube. Didn't know this had happened! How did I miss this?! Guess the media didn't report on it that well. Wouldn't surprise me!

A Massacre in Nag Hammadi - Muslim Gunmen Killed 9 Christians on Coptic Christmas Night in Egypt.

Massacre of Coptic Christians in Nag Hammadi, Egypt: Nine of the dead in the prime of youth and more than a dozen wounded, including five in the case of danger after automatic weapons opened fire on worshipers leaving the church on the night of Christmas day. Assassination attempt Bishop Cyril bishop of Nag Hammadi and miraculously survived. For more visit The attack took place early Thursday in the town of Nag Hamadi in Qena province, about 40 miles from the famous ancient ruins of Luxor.

Puts the appearance of Our Lady in Egypt beforehand in a new light.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

BBC Magazine: "Why does God allow natural disasters?"

Whoah there, Auntie Beeb! Hold your horses! In order to ask why does God allow natural disasters you have to have already come to the theological conclusion that He exists. Steady on, guys! Then, after they've opened the debate, having settled the existence of God issue, while near constantly promoting anti-Christian polemics via TV, radio and the internet, they hire a 'philospher' to answer the Big Question, rather than, say, a Catholic priest or credible Catholic theologian! Yet, its not a bad stab at the arguments involved for and against the existence of suffering, but I am sure accomplished theologians would disagree with me. For instance, he manages to write an entire article on God and suffering without mentioning the Suffering and Passion, Crucifixion and Death of Our Blessed Lord. I think this could be one occasion whereby if you can go over and put your view across the BBC might not actually censor it. Also, when Our Blessed Lord died at 3 o' clock on that Friday, didn't the Gospel say that an earthquake sent tremors throughout the land?

Diary of a Humanist Minister

A Humanist Minister presides over a wedding.

Humanism...Odd thing. Odd developments going on in the World of non-belief itself, actually. As Dilly Day Dream shows in her humerous comments on the last post, the humanists appear to be imitating various aspects of Christianity, without God, thus declaring their meaninglessness at the same time, while still performing ceremonies which are meant to have some kind of meaning. Check out this guy, 'Chartered FCIPD Humanist Minister'. I remember reading 'The Diary of a Country Priest' by George Bernanos a few years back. So, I've come up with 'The Diary of a Humanist Minister'. Here is an exclusive excerpt from my stunning new work of humanist fiction. How long before they start making it a matter of grave public offense if they don't go to a service on Sundays, or Tuesdays, or whenever?

September 27th

Dear Diary,

Well, its been a busy day. Got up early because I had a baby-naming celebration to do. I love the baby-naming celebration! We humanists are getting the hang of this religion stuff! Catholics do baptisms, and so we do baby-naming celebrations! Of course, we're not building a religion based on the absence of God, just celebrating the birth of a newly born infant into this world of death, despair and hopelessness. "Congratulations!" I said, to the little baby. "You're called Roger, and this life is all you've got, so enjoy it, it ain't a rehearsal, you won't get another!" How wonderful it would be if all babies were born into a World without religion other than this fabricated man-made one with similar rituals but zero meaning!

November 5th

Dear Diary,

November the 5th! My day off! What a joyous day! Spent the day throwing darts at a Pope Benedict XVI picture with the children and then went to a Guy Fawkes night to watch that Catholic mentalist burn! Thank God he was caught, otherwise, his religion might have caught on in this country...again! God forbid!

December 25th

Dear Diary,

Its Christmas. Everyone's feasting. I'm depressed. I'm fasting in atonement for all the pleasure, feasting and happiness indulged in by Christians as they celebrate the sky-fairy made incarnate. Weirdos!

January 4th

Dear Diary,

A humanist funeral. Oh, diary. I wish I could be more comforting to families who have lost a relative or family member. I must admit the religious do have one up on us on this front. He was a good man, he cared for his wife who was, frankly, a bit of a bitch to him. He couldn't take the strains of the relationship and finally hung himself. I looked at the faces of the children and his shattered spouse. I know she was a handful but she did love him. Anyway, so I pronounced the words of assured oblivion and eternal nothingness and let them go on their way. Poor things. If only God existed, maybe he could help them! Nah!

February 14th

Dear Diary,

Took the wife out for a Valentine's meal. I don't know why she insists! I tell her not to maintain these Christian feasts, but what does she do? "I'm a humanist minister!" I tell her, "We don't celebrate St Valentine, martyr of the Church." But, no! Just like she gives Easter eggs to the children at Easter and even insists on a mangy old, spangly, gold, Christmas tree at Christmas in the corner of the room, she insists on being taken out for Valentine's Day. Note to self. This year devote more energy to proselytising her on the truths of the humanist beliefs! She's so unorthodox, it feels like some kind of mixed marriage. Note to self. Urge caution to humanists to only marry humanists so they can bring the children up to be humanists. Humanists should marry within the, err..non-faith. It just creates problems later down the line if they don't!

March 9th

Dear Diary,

Oh my, err! Got a call from Richard Dawkins! The man himself! My knees trembled as if I were talking to the most important man on earth! He's so charismatic and charming! He's like our Pope or something! Anyway, this has to be the proudest moment of my life. I've only been a humanist minister a year or two but he has commissioned me to write the Catechism of the Humanist Association! Oh boy! Me, oh my! Who would have thought it, eh!? I know I'll need time to think about this but let's just ponder for a moment. Who made me? Err...Well, my mum and dad made me. Why did they make me? Err...Because they were feeling randy? No, that sounds silly. Must be something more to it than that! Hmm...Why? Why are we here? There is no why! Just...Hmm...Maybe I could collaborate with another humanist minister on this one. Two heads are better than one, I say! Got it! We evolved and we are here to evolve more. That sounds right. No, still sounds like there would have to be a Hand behind even that. We're just here by total, freakin' accident! What more can I say! It's a miracle, but NOT one from God because He doesn't exist. It's Lent...Lent, for Chrissakes! So, obviously, I've taken up smoking again and I'm back on the Big Macs. Putting on a little weight. Oh, my body looks so haggard. Must admit the Christians have one up on us there as well, bloody nutjobs. They think they'll receive perfect bodies at the Resurrection! Mentalists, but I envy them that! Now, how much is botox?

April 4th

A wedding! Oh, I do love a good wedding! All the smiles, all the flowers, the sun shining, the birds singing happily. The bride was beautiful and I knew the groom, Alan, from my University days. Glad he has come over to the Humanist brigade. Thankfully, Christine, a humanist volunteer, was there to do the flower arranging. Oh, but I do love a good wedding! It is simply a joy when I stand there, as a humanist minister and say to the couple, "Do you promise to love, cherish, honour and obey each other as long as it is convenient and until the sex dies back a bit and you find someone new?" They say, "I do!" and when they say that, I just know that this one is the one that will last! Just had a thought. Humanists need some kind of protection from the Equality Act so that they aren't offended. Harriet will help everyone I hear...Well...nearly everyone!

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

It has been a long time since I have put finger to keyboard to write about our holy Catholic Faith, something I regret, but which I put larg...