Saturday 31 July 2010

Remember When the BBC Was Good?

Even the theme tunes were good for their heartfelt, poignant sitcoms.

Oh BBC! Whatever happened to you? Is the World so bad you want to encourage people to be childless?!

Thursday 29 July 2010

If Contraception is the Best Way to Combat STIs and Teen Pregnancy...

...then why does the NHS Direct website suggest that contraception fails very regularly indeed?

The website home page has a link to 'contraception enquiries', which, if you follow it will bring you to the webpage above. Other 'Symptom Checkers', which appear on the NHS Direct site every time you visit it are 'male sexual health' and 'female sexual health'. In fact, given that these are the only 'Symptom Checkers' that appear on the home page of the site, one could be forgiven for thinking that the NHS only exists to provide advice about 'emergency contraception', the most pernicious phrase ever invented, since the 'emergency' only becomes apparant once you are worried that you have already conceived.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Breaking News: Pro-Lifers Arrested Outside Wiston Clinic

For one reason and another, I did not attend the pro-life display outside the Wiston Clinic off Dyke Road, Brighton today. By the way, I don't know why it is not called 'Wiston BPAS Abortion Clinic', but I suppose that abortion clinics would rather keep their practises available and legal, post-the Abortion Act (1967), but retain the 'backstreet' secrecy and shadowy vagueness of their operations pre-the Abortion Act (1967).

Why aren't they honest? They need to sell themselves more. "Wiston BPAS Abortion Clinic: Premium Providers of Abortions to the Community of Brighton and Hove".

Anyway, the Abort67 representatives in Brighton today went back to the same place they did last week, with the same placards as they did last week, when they were confronted by a policeman who told them that he could "see no problem" with what they, or rather, we, were doing. For those who do not follow this blog, basically the Abort67 representatives turned up outside Wiston Clinic last week with big banners showing what an aborted foetus actually looked like. Unpleasant, yes, but to do that wasn't a crime last week...But guess what...this is!

The Abort67 representatives, according to one of the organisers of the pro-life display who just emailed me, were arrested by Sussex Police, yes that's the same Sussex Police who have just been rocked by the scandal of employing a policeman who used £80,921 raised through cocaine-dealing to top up his Sussex Police Salary (believe me, I imagine that is the tip of the iceberg), today for doing exactly what they did last week. Apparently, it all depends upon whether a member of the public is 'offended' and whether the banner is clearly visible.

According to the organiser...

'We returned to the abortion Clinic in Brighton today. There was a good number of us so we could divide ourselves between the clinic entrance and the prominent junction of Dyke Road and Old Shoreham Road. We had two banners set up showing an 8 week old aborted embryo and a 10 week aborted foetus. Whilst the women who were well practised at approaching the girls stuck to the entrance.

When the police came out they said that there had been several phone calls about the banners. They therefore asked us to take the banners down. We explained that we were not prepared to do this as we felt that we had a right to show a legal procedure under freedom of expression. They talked amongst themselves for sometime to decide what they were going to do. Two more officers came out and explained the same thing; that as people were offended by the images that we had to remove them under the Public Order Act section 5. We told them that we did not believe that the Public Order Act was appropriate as we were not being abusive, threatening or insulting.

We said again that we were prepared to be arrested and this was probably the best way forward. So Kathryn and I got a ride up to Hollingbury police station, fingerprints, DNA and photographs all taken. It seems though they were reluctant to charge us perhaps because of the weakness of the case against us so they gave us a fixed penalty notice of £80 each which we have refused to pay as we want this in the courts where it can be fought. We were then released.

We aren't interested in civil disobedience but in restoring civil liberties robbed from the general public over the last few years. We will not make abortion unthinkable until we can prove to society that it is an act of violence that kills a baby. That is why we need to challenge the law in the area of freedom of expression first. We may well go out again next week with the banners we have left.'

If it goes to court, which apparently it will if they refuse to pay the fine, I will, one way or another, endeavour to attend the court hearing and report on the proceedings. The perverse logic of both the police and some of the general public in Brighton would be comical if it were not so diabolical.

"Quick, someone! Call the police! Some mad men and women are attempting to persuade someone not to agree to having their child murdered and they're giving the abortion clinic free advertising! Call the cops!"

Well done to The Argus, our local rag, though, who revealed today the cocaine cop story and the fact that Poundland, the discount chain that pledges to offer everything for the home, is 'selling pornography for a pound across Sussex next to children's books, drinks and sweets'! Hmm...Is that the Trading Standards Act or the Public Order Act? Was the local area manager arrested? I don't think so. Is he angling for a job in the CES? Possibly!

In 21st Century Britain and certainly in 21st Century Brighton, you see, everything is tolerated. You can be an active homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person and campaign for your 'right' to 'equality'.

Offensive: Ghastly lung cancer
Graphic images of sodomy, the heightened HIV risks associated with it and ghastly gender reassignment operations are rarely employed in their campaigning literature, just as the abortion industry shies away from the truth about abortion because, let's face it, if 'health warnings' were made widely available regarding sodomy and its effects, gender reassignment operations and abortion in the way they are with cigarettes, none would appear so appealing to the general populace, nor would human law endorse all three so readily.

A whole raft of new 'rights' are being embraced by society, but I'm yet to see men and women at the Pride parade, to be held next Saturday, rounded up and taken to Hollingbury Police Station and arrested for campaigning for 'gay marriage', something still illegal in the UK, much to the chagrin of Tatchell and Co Ltd.

Warning: The above video may contain some scenes of nudity!

Now that's what I call a breach of the Public Order Act! Heck! Maybe this whole Public Order Act offense lark depends upon how many people are doing it at the time! I haven't seen any of the 'naked bike riders' arrested under the Public Order Act, an Act which they yearly violate by cycling around Brighton stark bollock naked, but I'll bet you what I own, which isn't much, that if I walk out of my house now with my knackers hanging out I'll spend the night in the cells. I'm sure there must be a couple of old grannies who call the police every year and say, "Excuse me, but there's a load of men and women stark bollock naked outside on bicycles on London Road and I don't want my grandchildren to see that!"

Neither, for that matter, are the hoards who descend upon Brighton for Pride, every year, arrested for street drinking, copious amounts of class A drug abuse, noise pollution and shagging in the bushes, even though the homeless are persecuted by Sussex Police and the CPSOs everyday just for having a can of Special Brew in their hands. I might spend Pride weekend this year on a mobile phone camped on London Road calling the police and telling them that I've spotted some men and women breaking the Council's by-law against street drinking, while wearing a 'God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve' t-shirt, but I doubt they'll arrive since that law only applies to the homeless community, who are, clearly, targetted.

Everything is permissable because Britain is a permissive and 'tolerant' society. Yes, everything is permissable and nearly everything is tolerated. Everything, everything, that is, except the open expression of the Christian faith and the championning of the rights of the unborn by men and women who regard abortion clinics to be the places of industrial genocide that they daily and routinely are. It is all too easy to forget that only a hundred years ago in this country it was abortionists who most considered 'mad', not Christians.

There will be more news to come on this when I receive it, but suffice to say, I shall conclude by saying that it is quite clear to all and sundry that Sussex Police neither know the law, nor do they uphold it.

Why Emmaus UK is Nothing But a Modern Day Workhouse

I've just paid a visit to Emmaus Portslade. After a sudden 'recall' by Fiat, my car was at a garage in the area having the ABS fixed because, apparently, due to the problem of "salt and water getting in to the ABS system", my car could have exploded at any time during the last five years. Sobering stuff, eh?

Nearby was an Emmaus Community so I popped in and took a look around at the furniture store which used to be a consecrated chapel and had some beans on toast in their unconsecrated cafe. If you don't know anything about Emmaus a charity supporting homeless people, I'll give you a general introduction lifted from the Emmaus website.

'The first Emmaus Community was founded in Paris in 1949 by Father Henri-Antoine Groues, better known as the Abbé Pierre, a Catholic priest, MP and former member of the French Resistance during the Second World War. As an MP, he fought to provide homes for those who lived on the streets of Paris'

'Emmaus Communities spread across France, as the Abbé Pierre brought the horrors faced by the poor to the world's attention. One January day in 1954 the Abbé Pierre learnt that the baby of a homeless couple had frozen to death in the night. Some days later he heard that an old woman had died of hypothermia on the streets having been evicted from her home. Angered by these needless deaths, Abbé Pierre sent an open letter to newspapers and made a radio appeal to the nation. It turned Emmaus into a major international charity. The French public responded and gifts and support flooded in. Emmaus Communities opened across France. Abbé Pierre became an international figure and travelled the world spreading the word about Emmaus, causing Communities to be established in mainland Europe, French West Africa, the Far East and South America. Each one retains the ideals of the first Communities - giving people the chance to support themselves and help others.'

All very good and laudable. So, don't get me wrong when I say what I'm about to say. The work of Emmaus in the UK at combatting homelessness and helping people find their feet in life is highly successful. The founder of Emmaus, who we know now as Abbe Pierre, I believe, was a man of heroic virtue who follows in a rich long line of Franciscan Priests who dedicated their energy, life, work, skills, talents and love to the abandoned, the dispossessed and homeless.

Founder of Emmaus, Abbe Pierre
However, after my visit to the Emmaus Community in Portslade, I was struck by a couple of things that run entirely contrary to the spirit of the founder and, more importantly to the very Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Gospel that he embraced and preached with great fervour (click here for a rather good interview with Abbe Pierre).

I talked to one of the 'companions' there, I shaln't give the name. A 'companion' is a volunteer who lives and works in the community. I asked the companion how they were. The companion said 'okay'. I asked how long the companion had been there. The companion said '3 months'. I asked whether they enjoyed the work. The companion said, "Well, it is either this or the streets," which, I thought immediately, was not exactly a glowing endorsement of Emmaus. I found it rather disturbing, since men have been known to have said the same thing about prison.

So, we talked a little and I discovered that Emmaus in the UK require that the 'companions', a name for those who decide to live there, having been referred by hostels or local councils, give up their benefits (JSA/Income Support/DLA etc) in order to live there in a safe community for the vulnerable and homeless. In return, they are provided with accommodation, obviously, a room, a shower, heating and, I think and certainly hope, food.

I asked this particular 'companion' how many hours they worked a week. The companion answered that they work a week of 9am - 5pm, 5 days a week. There is a mixture of tasks, some are drivers, collecting unwanted goods from donors around Brighton, Hove and the surrounding area. Some are working in the kitchen. Some are cleaning, gardening, doing a bit of labouring, furniture restoration and the rest. It is a big house and I'd imagine it needs quite some work on it. The companions all work a 9-5 job and get two days off a week.

"Gosh," I said, "I hope they pay you for working 9am - 5pm, five days a week?"  Afterall, as Catholics, we all know that to defraud the poor, or to deny the labourer his wages is a sin crying out to Heaven for vengeance.
 "Yes," she said, "I receive £38 a week."
I looked at the companion, having done a very quick calculation in my head and said, "That's really not very much money at all."
It was then that the companion said, "I know...but it is either this or the streets."

Stay with me on this one and hear me out. Apparently, 'companions' do receive £49 a week after the first year but for the first year only £38. Now, I understand that in becoming a 'companion' with Emmaus, many homeless men and women find refuge, strength and a great sense of community where once there was none. In many ways it continues to fulfill the mission of its founder.

The great injustice of Emmaus, however, is that the 'companions', all poor, many destitute and homeless, in agreeing to live there and work hard for the community for seemingly between 77p and £1 an hour, make a commitment, of almost Franciscan proportions, to voluntary poverty. Not only do they do this, but many do so, not out of a desire to wed Lady Poverty and live in community, but because they have been referred there by councils and life in inner city hostels, or indeed the street, is utterly intolerable. Emmaus is a way out of a vicious cycle. In other words, some are living there because it is a good and healthy place to be and others are living and working there because they feel they have no other choice. I couldn't help thinking that Emmaus is, in fact, a modern poorhouse, a kind of workhouse for the poor and, in a way, a kind of slavery.

"How many people move on from Emmaus and re-establish themselves in the community?" I asked one of the workers there, a staff member, who, I believe, is paid a standard wage.

"Well, we're not really about 'moving people on'", he answered, "We work together as a community."
'Uh-huh,' I thought, 'You work together as a community but you get paid about £20,000 a year while they work for 77p an hour.'
I wish I said that, but instead I asked, "But some workers here are paid formally, have an annual wage, right?"
"Yes," he said, "Some workers here are paid an annual wage".
"I have a couple of friends who are homeless," I said, "What chance they could be referred here?"
He answered, "We have a long waiting list here, at least 12 people are waiting to get in here. Maybe he could try another Emmaus in the country."

Indeed, their waiting list is long. People are desperate to get out of the hostels hamster wheel that comes from being homeless in Brighton. However, it doesn't look good for those who are waiting to get in to Emmaus, since, once there, few of the homeless actually leave. Given that some staff, as you can see from the screenshot of their 'jobs' section, are on a good salary and the homeless are on 77p - £1 an hour, it struck me that Emmaus are manning something of a workhouse for the poor.

The homeless have been given a purpose there, sure, something we all crave, perhaps even institutionalised there. Many people struggle to live on the 'outside world'. To live in a Community, even if it means working all day and nearly all week long for peanuts, can be quite appealing if you find it hard to cope in wider society.

Unfortunately, however, there appeared to be a blindness among the 'companions' about there existing anything in between being a companion at Emmaus and sleeping in inner city hostels or sleeping rough. The two companions that I talked to seemed to have forgotten entirely about the idea of independent living - like, you know - having a flat or having a flatshare, or building a life outside of Emmaus, but, then again, how easy would it be to save up for a deposit for a flat or a flatshare outside of the Community and live independently, when you receive £38 - £49 a week? I mean, at Emmaus you may have most things paid for, but you'd need that 'pocket money' to buy toiletries, clothes, a bit of food, top up your mobile and all the rest. How would you get out of there once you'd recovered, found your feet and go out and meet the love of your life and settle down with someone or build a relationship with someone, or put roots down in a town and all the rest of the things we take for granted?

After all, if a homeless charity is there to do anything, it is to 'serve first the one who suffers most', as the founder said. One 'companion' said, "It is either this or St Patrick's Nightshelter". St Patrick's is a nightshelter which hit the news locally because the Anglican vicar who founded it and his family appeared to be driving around in Ferraris and were all conveniently trustees of the Lorica St Patrick's Trust, leading some to accuse the vicar who then fled Brighton and its local news reporters, of "tramp-farming".

A workhouse in Victorian Britain
I understand why the 'companion' expressed no desire to leave Emmaus, since his experience of life on the outside world has, I expect, been traumatising, but isn't helping the homeless to regain their strength, confidence, self-esteem and independence in order to live life to the full, in the wider community itself, rather than in a separated community running along the same principles as a workhouse, exactly what a homeless charity should be doing?

One would have thought so, but perhaps not. The great sin of Emmaus, or rather the terrible sin of those who run it, is not just that they get the homeless to work for 77p an hour, but that they refuse to work for the same wage themselves. The paid workers of the community no longer live in solidarity with the poorest, something that the founder, a Franciscan at heart, most certainly did do. Emmaus continue to claim to be running 'communities' across the UK, yet if it is truly a community, then why are some men and women on £15,000 - £37,000 a year or more and some men and women working for less than £1 an hour. Where is the justice in that? There is none - it is a shocking scandal and crime against Justice that Emmaus can any longer even claim to be a charity working for the poorest.

Charlatans! For, as you can see, the screenshot image which headlines this blog post shows that Emmaus, who do indeed take the housing benefits of the homeless who live there for their, ahem, "running costs", are able to pay some of their dedicated staff relatively well. What is the chance of any of the 'companions', the very poor, the vulnerable homeless, getting a job with Emmaus for £25,000 - £37,000 a year? I don't know, but possibly not that good!

That is why I came away from Emmaus rather disturbed and concerned. There is something strange about the Emmaus Community in Portslade. People come to their cafe from around the local, surrounding area. Many of those who come to visit, walk around the gardens, have food and coffee in the cafe and look at some second hand furniture are wealthy - substantially more wealthy than those who are doing the labour. And yet, Emmaus's cafe is an inversion of the Gospel. It is anti-Christ. Perhaps, once the founder of these inspiring movements die (yes, often they are Catholic Priests) it does not take long to be secularised and its mission to be distorted, de-Christianised, worldly, superficial and even usurped by the Devil. After all, the consecrated chapel is now a furniture shop. Even the little grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette is overgrown with weeds and ivy, left unattended. Abbe Pierre's mission was to serve the poorest, save souls and preach the Gospel.

And yet, there, at Emmaus, the poor serve the rich food and drink, for next to nothing in return. According to Our Blessed Saviour, it is not the calling of the poor to serve the rich for the love of God, as slave masters presumably justified their unjust employment arrangements, but the rich who are called to serve the poor for the love of God. Furthermore, if you are going to set up a charity, a community of people willing to be full-time volunteers in serving the poorest, it really is rather important that that policy goes for all workers - not one policy for the homeless workers and another policy for the other, 'real' workers! Otherwise, it is a con, a fraud, a sham charity that has betrayed its mission and now works not to serve the poor but to defraud the poor of their wages while others live off what rightfully belongs to them! I wonder what the Director of Emmaus UK is paid annually? I'm quite sure it wasn't Abbe Pierre who set up the wage structure!

Once you call yourself a charity, you see, you can get away with just about anything. Just look at Marie Stopes International. They're a charity and they get away with murder.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Be Persistent!

"Lord, I am dust and ashes but allow me, if You will, to be bold with You.

If I can find only ten just Bishops, will You spare us from liturgical innovations and 'Shine Jesus Shine'?


Wednesday 21 July 2010

A Rough Deal for Rough Sleepers

Paul is a regular recipient of soup and sandwiches on the St Mary Magdalen Soup Run. He's been in Brighton for 6 months having left Nottingham and is concerned about what he will do when winter comes.

I managed to talk with him on Sunday after Mass at St Mary Magdalen Church, having recognised him from the Soup Run. He sleeps at various points along the seafront of Brighton, in a tent with another homeless man.

We talked at length about homelessness and in particular the efforts, or lack thereof, of the Council to provide assistance to them. Paul's experience of the services offered by the Council have been less than satisfactory.

Paul says, "The big problems I am facing at the moment in my dealings with the Council is the local connection policy and in particular I have problems with the Rough Sleepers Team."

The Rough Sleepers Team's full name is the Rough Sleepers, Street Services & Relocation Team (RSSSRT). They do attempt to facilitate hostel accommodation and housing to rough sleepers, but for those without a 'local connection' to Brighton, a great deal of pressure is placed on those rough sleepers to 'relocate'. But what does this mean in reality?

Paul says, "I know several people in Brighton who have taken up the offer to 'relocate' only to return to the surprise and bemusement of the Rough Sleepers Team. What they basically do is buy you a one way ticket to Sheffield, or Portsmouth or wherever you are come from. Then that person is just expected to go and establish himself somewhere else with little or no assistance. It's ridiculous. Of course they come back here. They've got nobody where they came from. That's why they left. At least here there is the sea and they've made a few friends."

Indeed. Given that many of the homeless in Brighton have psychological problems and numerous issues, it is unsurprising that they are unable to put down roots where they are sent. Impoverished, they are sent away to a town where they may no longer have a connection with anybody. Nobody is facilitating housing for them at the other end, nobody is supporting them there either and there will be a wait for them to obtain benefits and who is to say that the housing crisis will be much better there?

Paul has no intention of leaving Brighton to go back to Nottingham and, indeed, why should he? Brighton is a welcoming town to those with money. Brighton is literally bending over backwards to make itself appealing to a certain kind of individual; wealthy, independent, perhaps unattached, employed, maybe even purchasing a second home by the sea. These people aren't asked to 'relocate', are they?

Paul talked about Brighton Housing Trust (BHT). I told him that I expected that they were a little 'too close' to the Council and that I had seen them talking with homeless men and women, giving them train tickets and getting as much personal information as they could from them. I was shocked to hear that Paul, due to his refusal to leave Brighton, has actually been excluded from the services offered by First Base, BHT's homeless service in the Montpelier part of town.

"I was involved in a project there, I was able to eat there, have a cup of tea, use their shower, use the computer and be involved with what was going on there. Then, after they talked with me about what my 'plans' were and I told them I didn't want to go to Sheffield or wherever they decided I should go, they excluded me totally. I can't use their services now. I can't have a shower there now. I didn't do anything wrong, I was just honest and told them that I'd really like to live in Brighton and establish myself here."

So, it appears that even a charity in Brighton purporting to be on the side of the homeless are, in fact, operating the same policy which stigmatises the homeless that the Council do. A half an hour walk around Brighton, not even taking into consideration the numerous empty properties you will see boarded up, many under Council supervision, will tell you there are plenty of properties 'to let'. If Paul had enough money to raise a deposit for a studio flat or one bed flat then Brighton would not be problematic for him and he would not be sleeping rough. If Paul were a 'professional' he'd be very welcome in Brighton. Unfortunately, he has not got the funds to do that. He isn't a drinker and he is not drug dependent, so he isn't spending his money on that. His JSA/Income Support money helps him to survive. Obviously, getting a job with no fixed address is impossible, so, he finds himself where he is, sleeping in a tent and being woken up at 6 am, sometimes earlier, being harrassed and asked to move on by the RSSSRT who keep asking him, "What are you still doing here?"

That is a question to which Paul replies, "Well, why should I not be here?" He is right. Freedom of movement, freedom itself really depends upon individuals being allowed to go where they want, when they want, to whichever town they choose. That freedom, to move, to locate, to ramble or to establish oneself in another city is not one that should be removed from anyone - and certainly not the homeless - and, what is more, should not be dependent on a person's personal finances alone. We cannot have freedom of movement for one class of people and internal deportation for another who are stigmatised.

So, the question is, why does the Council in Brighton and Hove operate a Rough Sleepers Team with an explicit internal deportation scheme for those who arrive here, hoping to live in the 'city by the sea'? The suspicion has to be that the Council is concerned not about homelessness nor for the welfare of rough sleepers, but the image of the city, the tourism trade and the fact that homelessness (and it is absolutely rife, have no doubt) in Brighton and Hove simply does not look good.

The Council's policy towards the homeless is itself contradictory. They claim there are only seven people sleeping rough. This is patently untrue and I know it because the Soup Run today fed 31 people by the peace statue alone. Well over half of these men and women are sleeping rough. Then, the Council claim that the 'local connection' policy is in operation because Brighton is 'full' and there is a crisis in housing so people must be sent back from whence they claim. Yet, surely, if there are really only 7 people sleeping rough in Brighton, putting up these 7 people should not be too problematic. There are properties for rent everywhere.

The Council perpetuate a 'crisis' situation in order to operate a policy which persecutes the homeless, quite deliberately. Not only that, but this Council wastes hundreds of thousands of pounds a year paying their 'rough sleepers team'.

If you think about it, just for a moment, there must be a team of around 20 'rough sleepers team members' on a salary of around £15,000 to £18,000 a year, at least. That's £300,000. Then, add to that figure the amount paid to the admin team in the 'rough sleepers' department. Let's say there are 10 of them in that department on £15,000 a year. That's comes to an annual cost of...


Let's say there are 40 people sleeping rough in Brighton, which, I know, is a low estimate. How much would it cost to raise a deposit of £1000 for these 40 people and put them in one bed flats?

The answer is...


Perhaps something for David Cameron and his 'Big Society' to think about.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Some Thoughts on Abortion and the Pro-Life Movement

On Tuesday I attended a pro-life vigil outside Wiston's Clinic. The vigil passed off peacefully. The police had been alerted by the organiser of the display and came to see us, telling us that it was all okay and above board and that they wouldn't be bothering us.

It is the first time I have ever stood outside an abortion clinic bearing witness to the victims of abortion. As the day progressed, it became more and more obvious that the victims of abortion included the women who entered in those clinic doors.

I must say that the pro-life movement has a fine line to tread. We held a large banner showing what an abortion at 8 weeks actually looks like, and obviously, it looks as horrific as it is. It is the terrible truth about abortion shown in its true graphic light. I couldn't help thinking, though, that although the image itself is powerful, thought-provoking and hard-hitting, that it would serve better to be displayed on the other side of the building, where cars lined the streets at the traffic lights on the Dyke Road intersection.

A man early on in the day approached us and said, "Why are you here with that image? My girlfriend is making a difficult decision here today? She's had to enter by another access point to avoid you." I replied that it was not a 'difficult' decision but a terrible one and as he went past us asked whether he would like to talk about it. Of course, he didn't. While I did not have much sympathy for his cause, it became more obvious as the day progressed that bearing an image of the truth about abortion at the entrance to an abortion gate does not make the pro-life vigil approachable. People already believe that the pro-life lobby is 'militant' and such imagery conjures up the kind of anger within people that 'anti-vivisectionist' people inspire because all they care about is animals.

In other words, the image may be true, but, if someone really had doubts about whether they wanted to go ahead with an abortion, would they really want to talk about it with you, if you are standing there holding that image? It has, according to the group, turned away some people in the past, but my overall feeling is that the pro-life movement needs to be open hearted and open to those who are going in to the clinic. They have already made up their minds. If there is any way their minds will change, you have to be accessible and approachable.

The image is helpful in itself in raising awareness more generally, say on the other side of the road, so that the passing general public can see the horror and, presumably, either agree or be very offended by it. It serves to shame the abortion clinic and all the so called 'doctors' and nurses who work there and cuts through the lies they tell, their deceit as they try to deny the humanity of the unborn child.

Later on in the day, the man came out of the clinic with his girlfriend. They sat near the door, the woman too scared or ashamed, I guess, to come out the entrance where the pro-life vigil were stood. There they sat, the woman, clearly terribly traumatised by what had taken place within those walls, realising what she had allowed them to do, realising the full gravity of what had taken place, and wept into her boyfriends arms. God alone knows what was going on in their lives. It was clear that what had taken place there on Tuesday would remain with her for the rest of her life.

I also saw another young woman, on her own, walk out of the clinic in tears. Abortion is murder, yes, but these women are consistently lied to by the British Pregnancy Advice Service about what abortion is, about its safety and its effects. The effects of abortion are devastating. Perhaps the most shocking thing I saw was a 15/16 year old girl being frog-marched into the clinic by her own mother. Horrendous.

The best pro-life vigil would be one in which those who are standing outside are largely women. Secondly, those who know best about the tragedy of abortion are those women who have had abortions and regretted it deeply. This is, I know, an issue that affects most closely the unborn child whose life is destroyed, but it is a women's issue. If women are going to be persuaded by anyone that the unborn child is a human life, is a baby, a baby they will regret having 'terminated', then it is by other women who now mourn the life that was once within them. These are the ones who have the experience of abortion at first hand. Their witness will convince people.

The other great weakness of the pro-life movement, or at least the one I encountered on Tuesday is a presentation of alternatives to abortion. Just saying, "This is terrible!" does not offer women an alternative to abortion. Where are the leaflets providing information to charities and organisations who can help women, like the Good Counsel Network and the Life UK charity, who provide practical assistance to those in distress?

Overall, however, a visible presence, however poorly equipped to deal with those coming in, are, at least, a Christian witness to the rights of the unborn on whose behalf few are fighting.  Women during an abortion procedure, are unable to see the 'contents of the womb', the unborn baby, the foetus, the human being who dies at the hands of the 'doctor'. The doctors and nurses see it! They don't wear blindfolds. The doctors and nurses know that this is a life. They know that this is a human being. They know that this is a baby and they should not kill it. The doctors do not allow the 'patients' to see what has taken place, because it is a 'surgical procedure'. These doctors continue to murder callously, every day, the babies of vulnerable women in crisis. This song, that I wrote a couple of years ago, is for those doctors. To procure an abortion is a terrible sin, as we know, but the guilt of the doctors who destroy the lives of innocent human beings and their mothers, is far, far greater. Murderers!

Monday 19 July 2010

A Guide to Penitential Gardening

Someone clever once said you are never so close to God as when gardening. This is, of course, patently untrue, because we are closest to God when we receive Him in Holy Communion. Flippin' Protestants!

Still, how much closer are we to God when suffering, especially when we suffer willingly for the sake of the God who loved us unto death, even death on a Cross? We can suffer gladly in reparation for our sins, in union with Christ Crucified and offer up these pains for the conversion of sinners, the Church Suffering in Purgatory and perhaps most importantly of all, in these times when a Papal Visit to the UK is starting to resemble a drive in Helmund Province, the liberty and exaltation of our Holy Mother, the Church.

Gardening is a perfect way to mortify the flesh. Are you finding it hard to overcome your fragile, fallen, human nature? Well, aren't we all, but, see, help is at hand. Let nature conquer nature! Let nature herself overpower you! Gardening, if done totally recklessly and in a spirit of outright rebellion to health and safety procedures, will mortify you quicker than you can ask, "So, what really happens at these Opus Dei meetings, then?"

1. Berberis: The sworn enemy of human skin. A shrub that causes even the most hardened and skilled burglar to admit defeat and say, "Ouch...I'm out of here, shall we try number 11?" Just walk up and brush yourself against it at first. Then, once you're getting used to it, climb up a ladder and throw yourself onto the prickliest bush this side of the Grand Canyon.

2. And that't it. Pruning Berberis is a nightmare! If you want self-flaggelation that stuff will do the job in half an hour. Oh, I did disturb a wasps nest last week and found myself running about the garden like a man fleeing a disturbed wasps' nest would. Aaaaargggh! It's a wasps nest! Ruuuuunnn! This evening I passed a lady in the car who I met at the Windmill last year. She's a protestant lady. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, she couldn't remember our having met and my having sat in her lounge debating Pentecostalism and Catholicism with her. I stopped in the car with a couple of friends as she was sitting on a park bench having a drink and asked if she'd like to come to the pro-life vigil tomorrow outside Wistons and whether she had anything she wanted to donate to the Building Fund Car Boot Sale.

She said, "Who was the first person to see Jesus? Mary Magdalen."
I said, "Well, no, the first person to see Jesus was the Virgin Mary, after he was born. Oh, you mean after the Resurrection."
She said, "Why would I want to hassle women at an abortion clinic?"
I said, "Well, its less hassling people and more bearing silent witness to the rights of the unborn to live."
So she said, "Well, I'm pro-choice. I believe in a woman's right to choose."
So I said, "What about the unborn child's right to live?"
She said, "What about women who've been raped."
So I said, "Well, that is not the fault of the unborn child."
So she said, "It's not the fault of the woman either..."

So, the lady rebuked me and said, fixing me with her eyes through her shades, something along the lines of, "My relationship with Jesus Christ goes much deeper than that. Do you know how I can tell a Christian? It's because they're smiling all the time. Whereas when I began to talk to you your face literally fell and a black cloud came over your head and it seemed you were full of hatred."

Clearly, I was unable to contain my horror. I don't think I hated her so much as felt outraged by someone professing to believe in Our Lord expressing views so brazenly against what mainstream Christians believe.  Okay, perhaps my thoughts were indeed sins against Charity. Mea culpa.

So I said, "Well, it's not that. It's just that I was shocked that you were a Christian who did not believe in the rights of the unborn to live."
She said, "Well, I don't believe a lot of things Christians believe."
So I said, "Okay, well the main reason we stopped was to ask if you wanted to come to the pro-life vigil and whether you had anything you wanted to donate to the Car Boot Sale for the Restoration Fund, since you had already given my friend something to sell." Indeed, she had, it was a Tomy baby cot protector.
She said, "No, I only gave him that because I thought he could get some money for it."
I said, "Okay, well we've got to go, bye."
So she said, "Bye, see you in Heaven...maybe!"
I turned around and said, "God bless."

Aaaarggh! It's a wasp's nest! Ruuuuunnn!

You see. The lesson is that you just can't assume that just because someone told you they are a Christian, that they will be pro-life and that our Charity must be sincere so that we don't give Protestants reason to doubt our faith. Still, it is a worry when even Pentecostals don't want to bear witness to the rights of the unborn. I thought we had some things in common!

Sunday 18 July 2010

State Cover Up of Child Abuse?

 Courtesy of Daily Mail Online...

'Disturbing' secret manual reveals brutal methods used on youths held in child prisons

A government manual instructing prison staff on how to inflict pain on teenage inmates was today labelled 'state authorised child abuse'.

The Ministry of Justice was forced to release details of its approved 'restraint and (Was it like some kind of a journalistic headlock, do you think?) self-defence techniques' for children in secure training centres after a lengthy freedom of information battle.

The secret manual, Physical Control In Care, authorises staff to 'use an inverted knuckle into the trainee's sternum and drive inward and upward.' It adds: 'Continue to carry alternate elbow strikes to the young person's ribs until a release is achieved.'

The document, written in 2005 but classified as secret, also tells staff to 'drive straight fingers into the young person's face, and then quickly drive the straightened fingers of the same hand downwards into the young person's groin area.'

Instructions to staff warn that the techniques risk giving children a 'fracture to the skull' and 'temporary or permanent blindness caused by rupture to eyeball or detached retina'. The guidance, designed to cope with unruly children, also acknowledges that the measures could cause asphyxia.

One passage, explaining how to administer a head-hold on children, adds that 'if breathing is compromised the situation ceases to be a restraint and becomes a medical emergency'. Carolyne Willow, national co-ordinator of the Children's Rights Alliance for England, said: 'The manual is deeply disturbing and stands as state authorisation of institutionalised child abuse. What made former ministers believe that children as young as 12 could get so out of control so often that staff should be taught how to ram their knuckles into their rib cages? Would we allow paediatricians, teachers or children's home staff to be trained in how to deliberately hurt and humiliate children?'

The campaign for publication began following the deaths of Gareth Myatt and Adam Rickwood. Gareth, 15, died while being held down by three staff at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in Warwickshire. he choked on his own vomit and died. In the same year, 2004, 14-year-old Adam, from Burnley, hanged himself at the Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham.

Phillip Noyes, director of strategy and development at the NSPCC, said: 'These shocking revelations graphically illustrate the cruel and degrading violence inflicted at times on children in custody. 'On occasions these restraint techniques have resulted in children suffering broken arms, noses, wrists and fingers. Painful restraint is a clear breach of children's human rights against some of the most vulnerable youngsters in society and does not have a place in decent society.'

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said the techniques were used 'very infrequently'. She added: 'For young people under 18, the use of restraint is a last resort. But where young people's behaviour puts themselves or others at serious risk, staff need to be able to intervene effectively, to protect the safety of all involved.'

"We only stab inmates in the eyes with our fingers when we really have to." What a surprise. And there were we all thinking that the Catholic Church had the monopoly on brutality, abuse and woeful neglect of the young and vulnerable. Of course, there's no sexual abuse in State care homes and prisons either, its only Catholic Priests that do that, isn't it? 

Important Women in the Church

There are so many aspects to the 'women priests' argument that are at odds with the Church that it is difficult to know where to begin. Theologically speaking, on so many grounds, those who seek a change in Church teaching on this subject (or indeed any subject) are all at sea.

It strikes me that those who campaign for 'women priests' in the Church really misunderstand what the Church understands by 'vocation', as well as the Church's mission as a whole. St Therese of Lisieux joyfully exclaimed that she had found her vocation within the Church. She was, as the large majority of Catholics know, a nun. Surely, anyone who has become a nun, one would have thought, has already discovered their vocation? However, St Therese, because of her great sanctity and profound friendship with Our Lord, suggests that she only discovered her true vocation after she had made her profession to enter a convent. Her vocation was to be 'Love in the Heart of the Church'. She wrote...

"O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction." 

She didn't say, "O my God. Make them change the rules so I can be a Priest. I can't bear this nun lark!"

The Church, by virtue of Her Holy Tradition and the Sacramental nature of Ordination, the Sacrament having been given Her by Her Founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ, cannot alter Her position on the requirement for Priests to be male. Not only this, but not even every male is considered to be suitable for the Priesthood. I mean, if all of the men who had been told explicitly that their spiritual directors believed that they did not have a vocation to the Priesthood and all of these men formed an alliance called, 'Men Who Wanted to Be Priests But Who Were Told, "You Do Not Have a Vocation to the Priesthood, Try Something Else", Priests Now!' then they would still not be able to become Priests since it would be abundently clear these men have a problem with Obedience.

That is not to say that women and indeed men, do not have a 'priestly' or 'apostolic' mission in the Church and to the World. Every Catholic is really called upon to defend the Church, to proclaim the Gospel and to evangelise by word and deed. St Therese of Lisieux certainly saw her role as missionary, priestly even, but with childlike simplicity and humility understood that her expression of Christ's saving love was different to a Priest's expression of Christ's saving love. A mother's expression of Christ's saving love is different to that of a Priest or a nun as is that of a husband's. Rest assured, however, that Heaven has little regard for human status and mothers, fathers, nuns, single people, Bishops, Priests and the Pope are highly esteemed and loved by God!

Becoming a Priest, is not like becoming a youth worker, or a journalist, a nurse, a doctor or an accountant. It is a Vocation to serve Christ in a special way, to be Alter Christus, 'another Christ', not merely to strive to imitate Him, but to be Him sacramentally. A Priest may or may not have sins many and large, but, regardless, it is Christ who acts through the Priest at the Consecration of the Bread and Wine, Who transforms these species into His Body and Blood. It is Christ Who absolves, through His Priest, the sins of the Faithful in Confession. It is Christ Who, in Baptism, acts through the Priest, bringing a human being into the life of the Trinity, Who bestows Sacramental Grace upon those adopted into the Family of God.

There can be no understanding of the role of women in the Church without recalling the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a woman so very highly esteemed by God and honoured above all women ever before and ever to come in human history, that she was spared the stain of Original Sin, having been conceived immaculately and bore the very Son of God Himself in her womb.

There will never be a woman so important in the Church as she. She is so important that we pray to her every Mass. She is so important that we are encouraged to pray to her very regularly indeed, to intercede on our behalf to her Divine Son. She is a model for all not by virtue of what she did, but who she was and is now before the Throne of God. None shall ever be so close to God as she. Look, here she is, literally bestowing the Church and the World with Grace because she is the Mother of God!

I mean, can you imagine being a woman, or indeed man, so important that everyday people get up in the morning and pray to you? St Therese of Lisieux knows how that feels, St Anthony of Padua knows how that feels and the Blessed Virgin Mary definintely knows how that feels...

St Francis of Assisi didn't even think himself worthy of becoming a Priest. He was a man, he was exceedingly holy, he was very humble and let's face it would have made a wonderful Priest, but he entrusted himself to Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary and allowed Heaven to do the rest.

No matter what heretical authors say, St Mary Magdalen was not a priestess, nor was she Our Saviour's secret lover or wife. Today's Gospel recounts how she sat at Our Lord's feet and just listened to Him. One can imagine she did that a lot, clinging on His every word that left His Sacred Heart and was delivered by His Sacred Tongue. Her part, that of a contemplative, was 'not to be taken from her'.

All the Saints and Martyrs tell us something about God, but their lives tell us that if you want to be important, ask to be delivered from that desire. I'm sure Blessed Mother Teresa said exactly that. Be close to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother, be loyal to your mother, the Church, pray, seek the Face of God, love God and your neighbour intensely and maybe, just maybe, one day, you will be a very important person indeed.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Pro-Life Display Outside Wistons Clinic

Callings all people in Brighton.

I have received an email from the local SPUC group.

'I wanted to make you aware of a display we are planning to do next Tuesday outside Wistons "clinic". Would you be interested in joining us at some point in the day? We would like to stay as long as we can but need more people to help hold banners. We are aware of one child being led to the slaughter that day but suspect there are more.'

If you are a Brightonian who would like to be present at the display and vigil outside Wiston's Abortuary on Dyke Road in Brighton, please contact Andy at

Andy has asked that I draw your attention to the Abort 67 website, but be prepared for some 'graphic' images which you may find very disturbing and profoundly distressing.

More information to come as soon as I get it.

If you cannot make it to the display...pray!

"This Time Next Year..."

I discovered with great joy yesterday that the Open Market off London Road is running car boot sales every Saturday 8am - 3pm throughout July and possibly every Wednesday in August.

I managed to cram a load of tat (remember Gerald Ratner's big mistake?) from the garage of St Mary Magdalen's today into my car and flog some. It's really incredible what crap people will buy if its a bargain!

Someone offered to buy my car. I said £5,000 minimum. He took my number! If I got that I'd get a half-decent van and start doing this buying/selling scam bigtime. We didn't do half-badly, not that great, but a weekly thing would be a regular source of income for the Building Fund. Who knows, maybe I can begin collecting stuff and make some money myself.

I do love a good car boot sale. Friends have been encouraging me to go to auctions and sell stuff to try and make a living. I've also got the pickles and chutney recipe book waiting if I should get a regular stall somewhere. Among other items, I sold some nice statues of Our Lady and one of St Therese of Lisieux so interest in the Faith is still alive in Brighton. I've no proof they were blessed so I don't think its simony...

Mario, a car boot trader next to me bought the statue of St Therese and told me that his mother, when alive, was visited by St Therese who he said was instrumental at various 'pivotal' points in her life. I remember seeing 'La Vie En Rose', the life story of Edith Piaf and being struck by her devotion to the Little Flower who, according to the film at any rate, appeared promising her protection to her and cured her of blindness when she was very little. He said he'd just started doing car boot sales and it had become already, 'like another religion' for him. I think trading can be a bit like that! Very addictive!

My friend George says he is into the idea as well, going to auctions and the like and getting a van and eventually getting a shop and restoring furniture and musical instruments and the like. Say a prayer for a chap called Ben, (a great blues guitarist, hope you see him in action soon) who I saw on the way home. He got badly beaten up the other week and has stitches. He was sleeping rough for three weeks having got kicked out of YMCA for being 'aggressive'.

I've been to the YMCA before and seen their 'banned' list behind the counter and its very long. I don't understand it. Surely, if you are in the 'business' of running a homeless hostel for alcohol and drug addicts you must be able to handle 'difficult' people! You can't just kick them out every time they lose their rag and leave them on the streets for 3 weeks, with mental health problems and expect everything to be okay for them! Ben said that if all the drug addicts and alcohol addicts suddenly got clean and sorted their lives out all the people who work at YMCA would be out of a job. There is a need for a hostel in Brighton that, having taken the housing benefits cheques from the Government, actually makes an effort to substantially support and help society's most vulnerable, rather than just using them for the funding and then spitting them out...

Anyway, to finish this post, I'd like to point you in the direction of a contributer of The Tablet and lecturer at Roehampton University in Theology who needs some Veritate in Caritas. I expect most people who browse this blog will have already done their solemn duty and given her a good denouncing already in her comments box, having seen Fr Ray Blake's post.

What fascinates and irritates me is that you get some very learned, very clever, highly educated people in this World who either are Catholic or become Catholic, having 'professed' that they believe that all that the Church teaches is true, but who then become obsessed with sucking the Love, Truth and Life out of the Church like bloodthirsty parasites, by constantly demanding that the Church be conformed to their personal ideas of what the Church should be like and demanding that their 'voice be heard'.

Then, on the other hand, you get people in the World who are simple-hearted and humble who just accept that the Church is Holy and cannot err in Faith and Morals and those people are then considered as dumb, stupid and contemptable because they accept what has been revealed by God to His Church. What was it Our Lord said about 'becoming like little children'? Why do these 'theologians' not take Christ at His word! All that education, all that theology and still no closer to the Truth! These heretics always want their voice to be heard, but rarely, it appears will they actually listen to Our Lord or want His Voice to be heard, nor seemingly, that of His Vicar on Earth, currently Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning.

Friday 16 July 2010

Exclusive: Bishops Conference 'Working Closely' with Apache Indian

Catholics in the United Kingdom, living in anticipation of the Papal Visit in September, have been bhoyed by the latest news sweeping across parishes concerning planned proceedings at Hyde Park.

Individual parishes with parties of parishioners eager to sign up to see the Holy Father at Hyde Park had already been informed that 'liturgical entertainment' would be an exciting part of the day when Pope Benedict XVI arrives to give his blessing the faithful in London.

It can now be exclusively revealed exactly what the Bishops Conference of England and Wales meant by 'liturgical entertainment'. Sources close to the Bishops had already mentioned that an exciting asian musical artist named may be involved in the planning and 'execution' of liturgical entertainment.

We can now exclusively reveal that the name of that artist is Apache Indian. The musician, whose hit record, 'Boom-Shak-Alak' reached number 5 in the charts in 1993 and featured in the Hollywood comedy movie starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, 'Dumb and Dumber' , is said to have been thrilled at being asked to perform and is said to have already begun choreographing the 'liturgical dancers' for new material to be presented before the Pope at Hyde Park.

A source close to the Bishops Conference said, "I can confirm we have been working closely with Apache for Hyde Park. We felt that his urban, cutting edge blend of ragga/synth music struck a chord with the liturgical preferences of the Holy Father and had already seen the video of the hit. We took one look at it and said, "That's the man for Pope Benedict XVI."

"Boom-Shack-A-Lak chimes quite nicely with the idea of 'Heart speaks unto heart' and we realised that Cardinal Newman would have loved this genre. For us, 'Boom Shack-A-Lak' is something of an anthem, a summation, if you like, of Christian belief, an expression of ethnic, cultural diversity and a musical meeting point, the theological references of which would be unlikely to go unnoticed by either Newman or Benedict XVI."

Thursday 15 July 2010

Don't Cry for Me, Argentina...

In the increasingly heated battle between the liberalism of the secular world and the Catholic Church, the culture of death has claimed an unlikely and surprising victim.

Now that Europe has largely thrown in the towel in defending Christianity, it looks very much as if Latin America, yes even Latin America, is going to fall, with Argentina the first country to cave in and 'legalise gay marriage'.

Both Europe and Latin America has been given so much, especially by Our Blessed Lady down the ages. How terribly, terribly sad that nations so highly favoured should reject Heaven's Messengers and embrace new ideas about love and marriage which run totally contrary to the Gospel!

Requiescat in Pace

Neil McCormick of The Telegraph has written about Mark Linkous, lead singer and songwriter of Sparklehorse, one of the few original songwriters in this age of terrible music. The singer/songwriter, who had a small but very ardent and loyal fanbase, committed suicide after years of depression, shooting himself in the heart in an alley in Knoxville, aged 47. The world has lost a tender musician out of whose sufferings came much beautiful music. Pray for the eternal rest of his soul.

All round, it has been a sad time. I lost my Godmother, Joan Sparks. She was a neighbour when I was growing up in Letchworth and was quite literally one of my favourite people growing up. She was very kind and I always remember that.

She was widowed many years ago but even death could not end her devotion to her beloved husband. On one of the very few occasions I went to see her in Norfolk, before her move to a nursing home in Swanage, a town she loved, I saw a massive photograph portrait of him in her room. She said to me, "Don't listen to what other people tell you to do with your life, follow your heart and do what you want to do."

That kind advise has always stood me in good stead, as I am still largely unemployed. She and her son, Peter, took my family sailing once from Southampton to the Isle of Wight when I was young. Apparently we came very close to capsizing in stormy seas and because I was little the whole family told me everything was under control even though the boat was at an angle of 45 degrees for most of the journey. Pray for her soul. May she rest in peace.

Pictured right is Henri Bossan, who I met at ATD Fourth World in London, one of many inspiring men and women who devote their lives to campaigning against poverty in the organisation founded by a French Catholic priest named Fr Joseph Wresinski.

A joyful man, full of warmth and compassion for the poor, he will be sadly missed by the charitable organisation that raises awareness of the scourge of poverty across the world. I don't know the full story of his life, barely anything, but I know that he met the founder of ATD Fourth World and was so inspired by his witness to the Gospel that he left everything to join him in Paris among the slums of the poor of post-war France, but his time in England was spent living in a poor and deprived area of Hull, living in solidarity with families in poverty and reaching out to them. A true hero, an inspiration to others, he committed himself to upholding the dignity of the human person and the human rights of those condemned to live in poverty. May he rest in peace.
Last, but by no means least, pray for Desmond Gregory who died recently. A kind and gentle soul, he was a historian and teacher. Fr Ray Blake paid a wonderful testimony to him on his blog.

Desmond employed me in the last six months of his life to do odd chores for him. After his very dignified and beautiful Requiem Mass, many paid tribute to his achievements, his travelling exploits and successes in the World, as well as his warmth and joy in human company.

I knew him only for the last six months of his life, so the Desmond Gregory I knew was Desmond the elderly, frail, weak but brave man, courageous in the face of grave suffering and death, patient and still kind and thoughtful of others, showing little sign of bitterness at the pains he suffered in his old age. He died fortified by the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, the Church to which he converted. Fr Ray and I would visit him with the Blessed Sacrament so that he may receive his Lord and God in Holy Communion. His last few weeks were agonising for him and painful for those who cared for him. He was able to eat only a small amount and was confined to his hospital bed. He was always so happy to receive visitors and friends in whom he took great joy. His nephew said I could have a picture of him and I found this one in his drawer, which is comforting as it looks like he's just about to go into his house in Heaven. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Royal Society Embraces Population Crackpots

Planet Earth. Isn't it beautiful? Earth. A planet on which tigers are a protected species but human beings in the womb are not. Who says there was no Fall?

Still, for all of our crimes and misdemeanours which spring therefrom there is something essentially wonderful about mankind, the pinnacle of all creation. It is just a shame that this view is not held by Royal Society.

I can't quite put my finger on why the Royal Society perturbs me. Perhaps its because there's too many people in it.

No, its not that. Perhaps its because there's too many people in it espousing Hitlerian solutions to the 'thorny' issue of population. Yes, I think that's it, though it has to be said that the population issue appears only to be 'thorny' to those who hate people.

According to the latest BBC report, who report some pretty controversial, highly contentious ideas more or less as articles of faith, they don't exactly say, "It's time for a massive cull of human beings," as if a massive cull of human beings wasn't already well under way, cleverly disguised as abortion and euthanasia by neglect, but you know its what they're thinking.

For instance, one would have thought that the near 200,000 humans beings culled every year in this country alone would satiate a group like the Optimum Population Trust, the patrons and trustees of which have been tasked by the Royal Society with overseeing a study to "shed some light" on world population trends, but, sadly, it appears not. How many more people do the Optimum Population Trust's patrons and trustees want to see culled? An unfathomable number no doubt. According to the article...

'The burgeoning human population is acknowledged as one of the underlying causes of environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation, depletion of water resources and loss of biodiversity.'

The BBC article reads like the awful propaganda that it is, but in a paragraph that would have had Orwell spluttering his tea and scones all over his laptop in apoplectic rage the BBC article uncritically quote Johnathan Porrit who says...

'Policymakers needed such objective studies, he said, in order to make effective choices - for example, deciding whether and how to support family planning policies in the developing world.'
Hang on. I thought throwing condoms at Africa was all about stopping HIV. Clearly, there's another agenda. Stop those blacks breeding!

In the wake of Britain's decline both as an empire and as a manufacturing giant, now that everything is made in China, perhaps abortion is the only thing we can export successfully to the rest of the World before China get there first. It is important to export it to developing babies in the developing world, first, obviously, because they're poor and black and we've always know what's best for them, haven't we?

Anyway, thank God the Royal Society doesn't fool the not at all racist and never have been, Royal Family. They'd never go in for those nasty Nazi ideologies would they? No, sir! Oh, what's this? Oh dear, it looks like Prince Charles is rather keen on this whole 'over-population-something-must-be-done' stuff too...Oh, dear.

'Policy makers need such objective studies..." What a load of total balls! As if these neo-eco-Nazis are going to produce an 'objective study' of world population trends and somehow not conclude that we should all have two children and abort the rest or get a third of the population sterilised! I'm serious, check out their website!

Related articles

Prison Planet: Depopulation Fanatics Eugenicists Launch Objective Global Population Study

Sunday 11 July 2010

Catholic Priest Spotted at Car Wash

I saw Fr Taddeusz, Brighton's Priest to the Polish Community yesterday, by sheer chance, at the Texaco Car Wash in Hove.

We had both decided to take advantage of the petrol station's 'budget' offer of a car wash for just £2 - an absolute bargain, I think you'll agree.

He was having trouble working the machine. The staff came out and sorted it out for him. What I found surprising was that he got out of the car just before the car wash started! He walked out and said, "I can't bear to be in the car when the car wash is going on. It frightens me."

This after years of Communist persecution in Poland! He's an Oratorian and when he came over here went straight to the Brompton Oratory and was then sent to Brighton to serve the Poles.

He was glad that there were three Polish players in the German team including Klose and Podolski. He's been busy with weddings, baptisms and the like and I had to inform him that the Germans had been knocked out 1-0 by the fearless Spaniards. He's a lovely Priest and obviously is keen to see my fiancee and I marry and unite both England and Poland in a wave of sentimental tear-jerking harmony.

Personally, I find it part of the fun of going to a car wash is being in the car while the machine does its thing. I love it! I can't get enough! Fr Taddeusz was kind enough to advise me to take the radio aerial out of the top of the Panda, something I've never done when going for a car wash. Then I watched as he drove off into the sunset. God bless him. God bless all you Poles out there, too.

Anglican Church Stocks CTS Leaflets?

I was shown a CTS (Catholic Truth Society) leaflet the other day by someone who went into the CofE Church, St Bartholomew's, near London Road. It appears that the church have CTS leaflets about The Blessed Sacrament at the back of the Church.

It's one of those 'high Anglican' churches. One of those 'Anglo-Catholic' churches. That's right, a Protestant church.

They like traditional liturgy and having sacred music performed in their church every day and now it appears that they retain a healthy belief in the Real Presence, even though last I heard 99.9% of Anglican Orders are declared to be invalid.

The questions I had in my mind when I looked at the leaflet were; 'Why believe in one doctrine of Catholic Truth? Or indeed, why believe in a few? Is it just the doctrine of Papal Infallibility and Teaching Authority they don't get along with? Why have one leaflet at the back of the Church and not the full range, so to speak? Why protest at the Catholic Church on just the grounds of Papal Authority if you sincerely believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, rather than it being a 'symbol'?'

The same Lord Jesus Christ that said, "This is My Body..." and "My flesh is real food...", said, "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I shall build My Church..." and prayed to His Heavenly Father, "That they all may be one.."

I know that history has given us quite a few translations of the Bible, thanks largely to Protestants, but then surely if anyone's words and testimony are true and credible it is those of Christ and His Apostles. Why believe some but not all? Why pick and choose aspects of Catholic Truth that you like and reject Catholic Truth that doesn't quite 'fit' with your worldview? It is either all true or it is all false, surely!? I suppose such questions were rife during the Reformation. Same debate, different century.

Damian Thompson has the latest on the 'wimmin bishops' crisis, a split so hazardous that the atomic discovery may yet pale in comparison. Here in the Catholic Church we don't do splits.

We do grudges which are much more fun. Look...

Still, you have to speak up when the Church established by God Himself has been infected with large numbers of Protestants in high places.

Saturday 10 July 2010

"You're Making Us Feel Uncomfortable"

On Thursday, George, Diane, Mister Paul and I went to Under the Bridge Studio, now under the Station, since they moved from under the viaduct in Beaconsfield Road and hired it for a couple of hours to rehearse a few songs.

Paul was on drums, George was on vocals, I was on guitar and Diane on tambourine.

One hour had elapsed before we were all thrown out. Ted, who readers of this blog will remember I caught on camera singing 'Flaming Star' by Elvis outside the Unemployed Centre, was waiting in the hall way with Ross, asking to come in. Ross is a very talented harmonica player, who I had asked to come and jam. By chance he brought with him Ted, who fancied a bit of singing.

Several of the impromptu band smelt of alcohol, but, still, none were causing any trouble nor I believe, would have. Some looked a bit rough around the edges, a couple are in hostels with a history of addiction (who doesn't have that history) and homelessness. Nobody was legless. Everyone was compus mentus.

The owner of the studio burst into the room and told us to get out because, "You're making other users of the studio (and presumably herself) feel uncomfortable." She said she needed to protect her equipment and her clients, though it came as a total shock to George, Diane and I, who were just getting into 20th Century Boy by T-Rex. George, respectfully shook the dust from his shoes and told her on leaving that her studio was shit anyway, which, actually, is a fair and accurate assessment of it, especially for £12 an hour and a distinct lack of vital drum equipment ready to hand.

I hadn't even had time to whip out the video camera to get Diane to film George doing his best Marc Bolan impression. What really annoys me about Brighton is that it is meant to be so 'free' and 'liberal' and 'easy-going'. The woman who owns the studio is a 'community activist'. She is constantly campaigning for human rights around the World and banging on about Guantanamo, although, strangely, since Obama has been president in the US, she's conveniently forgotten that the prison camp sited on foreign soil to get around international human rights law has yet to be closed since the 'anonited one' came into office. Also, I thought she was pretty mean concerning the human rights of those on her doorstep in Brighton who it seems are rejected wherever they go.

Ross and Ted walked on after a quick chat and a small busking jam outside the studio. George, Diane, Paul and I went under the bridge on Trafalgar Street and performed 'Gentle on My Mind' and 'Sweet Caroline'. We made, in total, 36p. Still, at least we didn't have to shell out for the studio. It seems to me that 'street' people are condemned by society to perpetuate a 'street' existence, never to find an embrace from society but for the arms of Holy Mother Church. Hostel dwellers and homeless in Brighton are consistently hounded by police and community police, judged by society, criminalised by the authorities and traders and despised or distrusted by even the most liberal of Brightonians you can imagine.

And, forgive me if I am wrong, but isn't the history of rock and roll littered with crackheads, junkies, alcoholics and smackheads? I mean, what would she had said if Pete, sorry, Peter Doherty had walked through the door with his band and asked for a rehearsal? I left feeling like some kind of 'equality law' had been broken. Think there's no leprosy in Brighton? Think again.

Friday 9 July 2010

"No 'Cult of Personality' Pathology to Be Seen Here...Move Along Now..."

According to The Telegraph

'Tony Blair met nine boys named after him as he visited Kosovo. The group of young Tony Blairs sang Michael Jackson hit "We Are The World" against the backdrop of a huge billboard that said "a leader, a friend, a hero" referring to Blair.'

Pass me the bucket.

I sincerely hope that during the upcoming Papal Visit, Mr Blair does us  a favour and lays low for a while, following his long series of public statements against the Teaching of the Church, his public record as PM and prolongued failure to suggest he has changed his mind on any of those issues at which he was at odds with the Church, but I'm not holding my breath.

Who knows, maybe he Cherie and Chris Patten have got a liturgical dance routine up their sleeve that they're not telling us about?

Thursday 8 July 2010

Guess Who?

 “I’m like a lot of other Catholics,” he says. “I don’t agree with everything that the Vatican says. But I admire this Pope intellectually and suspect he’s rather more open to dialogue with the 21st century than one or two of those who advise him.”

Guess who said it?

The answer will appear in small writing below...

We all know that Pope Benedict XVI is clever, learned, scholarly, intellectual, wise, highly intelligent and in possession of an IQ so high that he could beat the entire Tablet editorial team at 'Scrabble', 'Cluedo' or even 'Guess Who?' within minutes.

Even more importantly than all of this, however, he is the Successor of St Peter, in whom Christ invested His Authority to teach the Faithful, or in His own words, to "feed My sheep".

We are not called to believe that Pope Benedict is a 'great intellectual'. Indeed, we are not called to believe Pope Benedict XVI is anything, other than the Successor of St Peter, with Petrine Authority to teach Faith and Morals, with whom we are, in mind and indeed in heart, to be in communion, both in this life and the life of the World to come.

If we are not in communion with Peter in this life, then it certainly raises questions as to whether we shall be in communion with him in the life to come. After all, Peter is the man with the Keys.

I am not sure whether those who have decided to indulge the Faithful with 'liturgical entertainment', otherwise known as 'liturgical embarrassment' are in communion with our beloved Pontiff either.

I've been advised that Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, appointed a Member of the Congregation for Divine Worship the other day, is the man to write to, to warn Rome of the living nightmare that is liturgical dancing, being inflicted on His Holiness at Hyde Park.

If anyone can provide me with Archbishop Raymond's email, I will be only too happy to write to him to warn him and encourage others to do so.

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...