Monday 31 January 2011

Musings on the Outer Edges of the Abyss

"Make her's a bitter. A pint, naturally..."
Damian Thompson and Fr Ray Blake today both post on The Tablet Trust Director, Dr Tina Beattie, who has appeared on nominally Catholic correspondent, Edward Stourton's, BBC Sunday Programme to voice concern over the shocking and revelatory conversion of Anglicans to Catholicism and the dreadful and poisonous increase in the number of Catholic priests that have resulted.

To find out just how damaging to the Church this injection of fresh blood into the Priesthood is and why these men should, in fact, be women, read Tina's blog here.

Damian Thompson gives us the fascinating exchange between two Catholics whose loyalty and love for the Most Holy Faith is about the same temperature as the average pint pictured left. Why is it that, in the Church, only the froth is at the top of the glass from which the public drink? I can think of so many public speakers on Catholic matters who could represent Catholicism better than Tina, but, hey, I guess that reputation is everything in the media game and having a 'Dr' before your name just gives you that special kudos to get on the BBC. Oh, and being a liberal Catholic and making a habit of being contentious and dissenting from Church's Magisterium helps enormously too...

Edward Stourton: 'Do all Britain’s Roman Catholics welcome the ordinariate, the body set up by Pope Benedict to allow disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church while maintaining many of their own traditions. No, is the short answer. Tina Beattie teaches Catholic studies at Roehampton University and, Tina Beattie, your problem with this is what?'

Readers. Guess what...You're not going to believe this, but I get the distinct impression that The Tablet is not happy about the Ordinariate. I don't know what it is. Let's call it a hunch. Now, that is what I call a surprise.

Tina Beattie: 'Well, I don’t want to call it a problem, but I think many of us are perplexed about what this means in terms of the Catholic Communion, and indeed obviously for relations between our two Churches. The Catholic Church has a unity that’s not based on like-mindedness or sameness, and it’s very puzzling to know how this very homogeneous, small group of like-minded people, offered a quasi-independent place within the Catholic Communion, is going to fit in and become part of us.'

Us? Us? Is she talking about the Body of Christ or herself and the rest of The Tablet team? Us? Hmm...Interesting. Well, Tina, since their reception into the Church they are a part of us, though, I have to say that when you use the term 'us', I just think of that bit in the Gospel when the demoniacs start lashing out at Our Lord saying "my name is Legion, for we are many." Further, I may have missed a couple of news stories today, but since exactly when has the Catholic Church been called the Catholic Communion? Anyone would have thought that Tina gets mixed up between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church. It isn't that surprising, of course, because her vision of the latter is frighteningly similar to the reality of the former. I say frightening not because I am frightened of women, but rather of the liberal-in-guise diabolical insurrection taking place against God's Church and all the hellish havoc these heretics seek to wreak upon souls and Her.

Edward Stourton: 'And is your objection partly to do with the fact that you don’t like what they stand for? Particularly on the question of women’s role in the Church?'

Hilarious. You'd think these two had only just met! As if Mr Stourton isn't fully aware that the question of women's role in the Church is precisely the one thing (though, in fact, there are 'many') about which Tina is unhappy.

Tina Beattie: I’m not happy about that, no. And I think actually, dare I say it, it’s a peculiarly Protestant thing to join a church because of what one doesn’t like, as a gesture of protest – that’s where the word comes from. It would be wonderful if they were coming in for the positives, and the joy, and the wonders of being part of this worldwide Communion.

Gosh. Well, who says further education is a waste of time? The English Church's most gifted theologian-cum-teacher of 'Catholic studies' has informed us that the word Protestant is rooted in the adjective, 'to protest'. This is mind-blowing stuff. Yet again, Tina makes the same 'Communion' slip. Or is it? No longer is She the 'Universal Church', nor is She the 'One True Church', nor the 'Bride of Christ', nor the 'Ark of Truth' and 'Instrument of Salvation', but the 'worldwide Communion'.

Don't get me wrong, of course we Catholics rejoice that we are in Communion with our Priests, Bishops and Pope. Of course, Tina, it is of particular importance, as a Catholic, to be in 'Communion' in mind and heart with the Successor of St Peter since he is the Rock upon which the Gates of Hell shall never prevail. The Successor of St Peter. You know? The guy dressed in white, with the white hat, who instigated the whole idea of an Ordinariate that, much like the liberation of the Traditional Latin Mass, by-passed the tragically abused authority of the World's largely liberal-minded Bishops? You don't appear, by your musings on the edge of the outer abyss, to be in 'Communion' with the Successor of Peter. It's important you teach the importance of that to your students, by the way. No, what you seem to inhabit, is a kind of 'quasi-independent place within the Catholic' Church. Most Catholics loyal to the Magisterium, to the Successor of St Peter and to Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ are wondering just how and just when you and your professional Catholic friends are 'going to fit in and become part of us'.

Just as an aside, one of these days I am going to make a list of all the men and women who make really rather a lot of money out of being Catholic (especially in the media) and find out what percentage of these professional lay Catholics are actually Catholic. Tina, darlin'...this one's for you. Oh Tina! What 'a peculiarly Protestant thing' you are!

Sunday 30 January 2011

Fr Ray Blake on Gloria TV again...alongside Fr John Boyle and Fr Sean Finnegan!

I don't know who made this video, but its on Gloria TV's website. No sound, caption video only. I'm not sure these Priests would actually thank the maker of the video, but thought I should draw their attention to it. Their pictures come up at 1:50 mins. As far as I know, these Priests are not anti-Vatican II, but of a similar mind to the Holy Father that the two rites offer the Church's liturgy 'mutual enrichment'.

Saturday 29 January 2011

Christ the Consoler Statue and Black Victorian Cope for Sale at Snoopers Paradise

Snoopers Paradise: Second-hand tat sellers (not like the Open Market)
I came up with a script to aid my selling of a rather splendid Victorian black cope and a handless Christ the Consoler statue. I wanted to film it but was, perhaps unsurprisingly, not given permission to film inside Snoopers Paradise by the shop manager. So far I have had no word back from my suggestion that I act as a go-between for them for religious objects of devotion and the Catholic community at large.

It starts out as a spoof of Michael Voris's Vortex presentations on the Catholic Faith but ends up going a bit mental. Shame I was unable to film it. I (for one) would have found it amusing to get down on camera...Spoilsports! It would have been free publicity for their store as well...

"Hi, I’m Laurence England and welcome to The Cortex [twirls index finger around head], where lies and falsehood are trapped, exposed and injected into the brains of heretical corpses, whose heads are even more full of mush now…than they were when they were alive!
Today, a Bishop has shocked the Catholic community by saying that…Oh, I'm bored of bad news about the bishops…Let’s go shopping instead! You join me outside Snoopers Paradise, Brighton’s premier traders of local second hand goods, the kind of goods Brighton and Hove City Council call junk when its for sale at the open market ran by poor people. This is the trendy area of Brighton, so its different!
Somehow, I don’t think the Council will be knocking this building down because the traders aren’t working class. Still, let us be thankful, at least, for that, because at least they recognise that, when people who aren’t poor are selling stuff, that it isn’t junk. Just ask Mr Luzar of Luzar Vestments, who sells traditional and used, as well as those modern sacred vestments!
Readers. Three days ago, I was just a bum. Today, I’m probably, if not the most important antique dealers in the United Kingdom, then I’m one of them. Why? Because I give devout homes to objects of pious devotion that, scandalously, remain unloved in fleamarkets in Brighton and beyond. Firstly I would like to thank Nick Clegg and David Cameron, who have released the entrepreneurial spirit across the length and breadth of the country. Students! Don’t riot! Sell stuff instead!
However, be warned, readers, that the footage you are about to see may shock you, may disturb you, may indeed, horrify you. The awful truth is that religious objects remain alone, unloved, sitting in marketplaces across this country, once called Our Lady’s Dowry. Some viewers may find the following scenes upsetting...
Let’s go inside and investigate!"
[Walk over to religious stall]
"Behold readers, a black cope, of the Victorian era. A little frayed at the top but really rather beautiful. Perfect for that Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Here, to our left, we have….
Readers! It’s a Miracle! This statue of Christ the Consoler is crying!"
[Bend knees]
 "O Lord, I thank thee that Thou hast chosen me to be witness to this Miracle. I am not worthy, a poor sinner in Thy sight. Lord! Tell us, Lord, why are You crying?
Yes…yes…He says that He is crying because he is languishing in this flea market and belongs in a Catholic home, most favourably that of a Priest.
O Lord! Why do You favour a Priest?
Uh-huh…yes…He says because as you will see He has no hands on Earth but for the hands of Priests, without whom bread and wine would never become His Precious Body and Blood. But, Lord, why have You no hands? Was it modernists, Lord? Was it pagans? Was it vile protestants? Was it those Vatican II church wreaking modernist types?
 Uh-huh, yes, yes, uh-huh. Got it! He says it is not important but that the Priest that buys him will always recall that the Lord has no hands on earth but for those of His Priests. Not only that, but the Priest that buys Him shall enjoy a Happy Death and only spend 4 days in Purgatory.
Readers, read the fine print of this contract because it is said that to the Lord a day is like a thousand years.
Uh-huh, yes, yes, yes, yes, uh-huh, got it, yes, yes, uh-huh. Great!
He said he wants £500,000 and for this statue and for half of the money to go to the Building Restoration Fund of St Mary Magdalen’s Church, and for me, His humble instrument, to have the other half. 
Uh-huh, uh-huh, okay. Okay, Lord. He told me not to fib. He said £50. Well, readers, especially Priests, I would take those words very seriously because obviously I believe they came for Our Blessed Lord and if I believe it, then hey! It must be true! I'm off to Medjugorje to meet Marija, Vassula and other go-betweens between the Lord and humanity!
I’m Laurence England and I’m contacting the CDF straightaway about this stunning flea market private and yet public revelation and may God bless you. Buy, buy, buy!"
[Cue music and voiceover. "To help us to produce The Cortex, please send money to..."

New Posters for Sale

Readers! Buy your 'Priest Warns of Hedonistic Gay Lobby' Posters at The Bones's Catholic Store.

Postcards: £1 each

A4 Prints: £2 (framed £10)
A3 Prints: £5 (framed £20)
A2 Posters: £12 (framed £30)

I am thinking this might have particular appeal to Catholic students.

Hedonistic gays can also buy these posters, now available in pink...

Student BMJ: Marriage is good for men's bodies and women's minds

Interesting article from The Telegraph...

'A study published in the Student BMJ says that committed couples live longer than singletons, with the health benefits of companionship increasing over time.Meanwhile having lots of sexual partners can shorten lifespan and divorce can have a devastating impact, the editorial claims.
But spouses benefit from marriage in different ways. Married men are kept physically fit because their wives ensure they lead a healthy lifestyle, while women’s emotional health benefits because they value being in a relationship.
David Gallacher, a trainee at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, and John Gallacher, a reader at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, write: “Love is a voyage of discovery from dopamine drenched romance to oxytocin induced attachment. Making this journey can be fraught with hazards and lead many to question the value of romance and commitment.
“Nevertheless, the impact of stable long term exclusive relationships on longevity is well established. In a study of one billion person years across seven European countries the married persons had age adjusted mortality rates that were 10-15 per cent lower than the population as a whole. So, on balance, it probably is worth making the effort.”
They cite evidence that romances among teenagers are linked to “increased depressive symptoms”, while relationships among young adults do not improve physical health. So it seems that a degree of maturity is required before Cupid is likely to bring a net health benefit.”
For more click here.

A Few Thoughts on the Traditional Latin Mass from a Non-Catholic

Last night Ben, who has somewhere to stay (for the time being - the Council are housing him for as long as the weather is 'very cold'. Presumably they'll kick him out of the hostel when it warms up) came along to St Mary Magdalen Church for the Latin Mass.

Long term readers will remember that this individual was once thrown out of Midnight Mass by a parishioner two years ago in a rather violent fashion and has never returned to the parish since...until yesterday. I think you'll concede that it takes a brave and courageous man to come back to a parish Church about which his only recollection is that someone hit his head against the wall of the building.

Thankfully, his experience this time was far more hospitable. Midnight Mass, with all the singing, the hymns, the active and vocal participation demanded by the Novus Ordo and the sheer volume of people attending was, looking back, not a very good time for an introduction to the Catholic Faith. In contrast, however, what a very much more pleasant introduction to the liturgy of the Church is a Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

I wasn't serving and so was able to sit by Ben. At first I showed him the red English-Latin translation Missal published by Ecclesia Dei. I started telling him the format of the Mass. Soon after Mass begun, however, I told him not to worry about the book. This is because a first-timer is going to find it hard to keep up with what stage of the Mass we are at anyway. I realised it is really best just to be at Mass. One gets this immense feeling at the Latin Mass that everything depends on God, rather than us, a sense that it is us who depend on God, rather than God, or the Mass, indeed, depending on us. We are allowing ourselves to be in the Presence of God who deigns to come to us out of His own pleasure. We are being fed. This is the liturgy in which God does the teaching.

Ben drifted in and out, not of the building, but in his being, dozed a bit at times, he told me. What he did say was that it is a "beautiful Church", that the Mass was "beautiful" and that it was very "peaceful". He said it gave him a special, "tingly" feeling that he remembers from his childhood. "Outside in the World," he said, "life is all about running around, its so hectic", whereas "this place is peaceful".

Well, they were Ben's thoughts and while Ben is not a Catholic they are really rather important. Whether Ben becomes a Catholic in the long term is a mixture of his choice and God's choice. That, however, is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to express the very positive experience of a man who came to St Mary Magdalen's Church who, though 'heavily burdened' found "rest". The question is, if it had been a Novus Ordo Mass, would he have found that same sense of "rest"? Well, he certainly didn't the last time and to be honest, while it was my fault that I left him unattended at the Midnight Mass (something which contributed to his being evicted, mea culpa), at this Mass I could have probably performed my Altar serving duties and not worried about him.

The Latin Mass is accessible to people who are not Catholic because people don't have to do anything but sit, or kneel if they choose, and simply be in the Presence of God. This is its timeless strength! As a newcomer to the Novus Ordo, one would naturally feel as if there was something one had to do, in order to participate. It is noisy and noisiness is just something one finds everywhere on the outside World. The World is full of noise and 'participation'. Ben said that during the Mass he forgot all about his worries, woes and cares. He felt lifted away from them for 40 minutes. He didn't feel like he needed a drink or a smoke or food or money or anything else but what was there. When he dozed, he said he wasn't sleeping, but "resting". The important thing is that, unlike at the Novus Ordo Midnight Mass, he did not feel like a 'fish out of water' but felt included. He felt included, yet he wasn't asked to do anything!

He came to the Presbytery for coffee and got along with other parishioners, though some of the conversations did perhaps leave him not knowing quite what was being talked about all the time. Ben gets evicted from everywhere, has been beaten all around town and is in some ways a 'man of sorrows'. Contrasting the two Masses that Ben attended, it really does make me wonder whether the Church may have lost many a poor man in the last 40 years who will have been put off by the noise of the Novus Ordo or who will have found the Mass in the modern rite difficult to comprehend, perhaps more difficult to comprehend than the Latin language itself...Say a prayer for him and say a prayer that more Priests will learn to say the Traditional Latin Mass, for its benefits to souls, Catholic and non-Catholic, are many and numerous.

Selling Blessed Objects

A reader pointed out to me that it is a sin to sell blessed objects. If the Catholic Store takes off and I sell on blessed objects then remember that what you are actually buying is this postcard of St Mary Magdalen's Church. The item that comes with it which is blessed is something that comes for free. So remember whether you are spending £2.50 or £49.99, you are buying this postcard of the Church, if the object I am selling is blessed.

I know this is alright because I went to an Abbey once where this is more or less what they did with Rosaries blessed by the Holy Father.

Seriously, I need advice on this, since simony is a serious sin. Any objects which we know are blessed should not really be sold. Perhaps I can ask for the cost of the postage to send the object on, as a service to the Catholic community, rather than making any profit out of it, for things like Rosaries. Only one of the objects posted so far, I know to be blessed. I'll remove the price tag for now, on Our Lady of Montserrat.

Nice postcard isn't it? Looks quite good in black and white too, when scanned in.

Friday 28 January 2011

The Bone's Catholic Store on Ebay

I've set up an Ebay account and am in the process of putting stuff for sale from the Catholic Store on. If there is anything you want let me know and I can stick it up as a priority for you to buy. This means that even if you're in Azerbaijan, you can buy stuff off my blog on Paypal!

Today, I am going to Snoopers Paradise to see if I can strike a deal with one of the stall holders there to put her religious stuff on my Catholic Store. I'm hoping to film some of the stuff she has for sale and put it up on the blog.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Catholic Health Worker Wins Fight for Her Job

Thanks be to God.

Courtesy of Daily Mail

'A Christian health worker who faced the sack after giving an NHS colleague a booklet about the potential dangers of abortion has been allowed to return to work.

Margaret Forrester, 39, claimed to have been ‘bullied’ and ‘treated like a criminal’ for expressing her religious views, but said yesterday that she has now been offered a better job at the same NHS trust.

Christian campaigners yesterday hailed it as a ‘victory for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech’.

Miss Forrester, a Roman Catholic, claims she was suspended in November last year after she handed the £4 pro-life booklet called Forsaken – published by a charity – to her colleague.

It detailed the physical and psychological trauma experienced by five women from Taunton, Somerset, who terminated their pregnancies.

She said she offered it to a family planning worker during a private conversation because she felt the NHS did not give enough information about the potential risks of abortion.

The mental health worker, who has been employed by the NHS for six years, said there was no sign her colleague, with whom she had discussed abortion, was offended by the booklet or by their conversation.'

Read more here...

Foot Massager

Well, my days of paying hundreds of pounds a year for foot massages at the local foot masseurs are well and truly over. I found this delightful wooden foot massager at the open market for just 50p.

I can't put this on my Catholic Store blog, unless I fabricate a story about how this is the foot massager used for bizarre penitential practises by St Josemaria Escriva.

Business is slow and it looks like just 2 days into my life as a self-made Catholic objects for piety merchant, there has been a drop in sales from no sales to even fewer sales. This isn't a want, it's a need!

Still...there's no way I'm selling this.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme to...Repent all ye sinners!

Sunday I went to St Luke's Church (Anglican I think) and saw what they were doing for Brighton's homeless community. They lay on food every third Sunday of the month. St Luke's were low on Bible-thumping and high on music volume. While the liturgy of some Catholic Churches would suggest otherwise, hopefully we would never consider laying on a gig inside a Church even if it were for such a noble cause as performing for the homeless. That's what pubs and community centres are for, after all.

I was unable to film 'Dirty Old Town', which I personally liked, but managed to interrupt my game of Scrabble in order to film this band playing 'Scarborough Fair'. I liked them. The atmosphere of the place was warm, friendly and while you had the odd person going around offering to pray for homeless people with the 'laying on of hands' it didn't appear to me to be too 'full on'.

One of the organisers was interested in my suggestion of seeing if we could form a band with the homeless because I know that some have musical talent. He said he'd been giving it some thought already for quite some time and that the church could be used for practise on Sundays. The drum kit, amps, mics are already there, so if people were interested in it, the idea could take off, could kick off or could go, which is most likely, down in flames.

As the week for Christian Unity in the One True Church gathers apace I attended a Bible-study group at Montpelier Baptist Church, where, alas, I was unable to hold my tongue in conversation with Pastor Stephen Nowak. I shall not go into too much detail, but, suffice to say, the pastor ended up giving me his card and telling me that it is "probably best" if I don't attend groups on a Wednesday because he and I only argue and cause a scene.  He kept referring to 'the Church' throughout the evening, so I asked him whether I am in the Church. He said there were conditions;

(1) That I "believe that Jesus Christ is the Incarnate God, Saviour of the World, that He died and rose again", to which I replied, "Yes, I believe that. So, Catholics are in the Church", I said. 
"Ah yes, (2) but you must be born again..." said Steve.
"...of water and the spirit - Baptised, you mean," I said.
"No, but you must be born don't understand..." he said.

You know the story...

I lost my temper a little and told him that he can give it out when it comes to preaching but he can't take it and asked him why he doesn't take the words of Our Lord literally and seriously when He says, "This is My Body...This is My Blood," since it is clear as day what He meant. The reply? "Jesus spoke in parables. That is a parable."  He said he believed in "liberty of conscience" and that the Catholic Church shouldn't dictate to people how to live their lives. This is not in any particular order, you understand. I asked him what "liberty of conscience" the homeless had when they had to do Bible study before they were able to eat. My project of ecumenical work reaching out to other 'ecclesiastical communities' is, sadly, unravelling. Fair enough, is his 'turf' and all.

The Bible reading was 1 Corinthians 15, on the Resurrection and how our faith would be in vain were it not for the Lord's rising from the dead. See, there is so much on which we Christians can agree! I don't know, however, how he is going to convince the homeless of something so contrary to reason as the Resurrection when he thinks that the idea that Our Lord actually meant what He said about His Body and Blood, rather than it being an example of Our Blessed Lord "speaking in parables" is, in his words, "ridiculous." Still, he knows best. I mean, after all, he's "studied theology and knows the Greek". We ended with a mutual "God bless", the basic Christian courtesy we all wish Protestants had extended to Catholics instead of them being beheaded, disembowled or hung, drawn and quartered for not renouncing the Faith and for not denying Christ and His Church (Stephen was under the impression only Catholics killed other Christians).

If you want to send him some CTS pamphlets, you can do so by sending them to Pastor Stephen Novak, Montpelier Place Baptist Church, Montpelier Place, Brighton, BN1 3BF or you can email him papal encyclicals at I think I am joking.

Oh, and "all Christians are Saints", apart from St Paul because Saints are things the Catholic Church "made up". The Saints are just "believers in Christ". Uh-huh...Hang on...that David Koresh guy...wasn't he a "born again" Christian? So he was a Saint, after all that!'s always the quiet ones isn't it!

Brighton's Open Market to be 'Re-Developed'

Brighton's open market in happier days...
I can't help thinking that Brighton, perhaps Britain, is closing down. Brighton's open market is to close in June for 're-development'. I just talked to one of the stall owners who is very depressed indeed. Livelihoods will be lost.

The market is to be flattened by developers from June to make space for flats and a new, modern market. Those currently trading there will have no priority over the new leases when they come up after the 18 months it will take before the site re-opens for business. I expect that stalls will be taken over by middle-class cheese and chutney sellers, somehow. Don't get me wrong, because I love cheese and chutney, its just that, speaking to one of the stall traders, it became obvious that the demolition of the market (and the livelihoods therein) is part of a Council plan to 'clean-up' the area.

The site is owned by Brighton and Hove City Council. Since the closure of Mears and Sons fruit and vegetable stall (though Mrs Mary Mears still owns the lease on the shop while it remains closed) the market has been decimated with a huge drop in the numbers of customers walking through the market, since the entrance from the Lewes Road side is derelict and hardly looks inviting for custom.

What is sinister is that I am told that it is Mary Mears, who is a Council leader, has most to gain from the re-development of the site, while other stall holders have the most to lose. According to the Open Market website...

'Pat and Mary Mears are often present. Pat's grandfather was among the earliest traders in Brighton's Open Market in the early 1920s - one of those returning from World War 1. In the early years, 90 % of Brighton's residents bought their produce at the Open Market, which boasted 16 greengrocers originally. Pat and Mary are among the 6 or 7 traders who are preparing plans for a £11 million make-over of Brighton's Open Market.'

It looks very much like Mary is selling the rest of the stall traders down the river and that her pocket will gain most out of the proposed redevelopment. Sainsbury's is just up the hill from the Open Market and that has hit the traders. Meanwhile, the 99p store on London Road, just opposite the London Road entrance will not have helped. The Argus reported that Mrs Mears was due to keep her stall open, having sorted out cash flow problems and arrears that she apparently owed for the stall. Yet, as one man told me today, that never happened. It never did re-open. Strangely, nobody else can take over the closed area either, since she hasn't let go of the lease. Much like the fish counter of the market, something smells fishy...

The website continues...

'The £11 million revamp will make provision for 56 permanent market stalls, 58 art and craft workshops, a café and 26 one, two and three-bedroom flats (40% of which will be affordable).

These enterprising traders have taken time to study successful markets in other parts of the UK. Their experience and research has now been incorporated into a complete plan, drawn up by Lomax Cassidy Edwards, the architects behind Brighton’s £14 million, award-winning Jubilee Library. Inspiration has also been taken from study of old Spitalfields Market and Borough Market in Southwark near the banks of The Thames.'

Shops are closing down all over Brighton along the Western Road and here on the London Road. Major stores like Millets have closed down a shop. Long-standing, established firms like Sussex Stationers and British Bookshops are axing staff and closing down more of their shops.

The decimation of a working-class trading community in Brighton

I was going to enquire about the rent rates of the market in an effort to start a stall with some friends, but obviously there is no point considering hiring a space to sell things because, in June, the whole historic area is going to be demolished and replaced by a modernised residential and refurbished market area. One stall owner who I talked to didn't know what he was going to do in June. Sign on, I guess. The stall doesn't make much money, he scrapes by, and he has no existing plan of action for when his livelihood will be taken away from him by Brighton and Hove City Council and the new developers.

I am sure there has been some shady dealings going on. The Argus reported in December 2009 that...

'A tyre dealer is moving to make way for the £17million redevelopment of Brighton's Open Market. Fields Tyres is relocating from Francis Street, Brighton, to a new site in Hove. The move was agreed with Brighton and Hove City Council which is helping the firm to relocate. Developers Hyde-Marlet want to build 87 homes on the site to help fund a dramatic redevelopment of the Open Market.'

It sounds rather like certain lynchpins of the trading community are being bought off individually to gain access to the lucrative land. Apparently, something similar happened in parts of the east end of London, especially near the docks, when developers moved in on working class communities and basically got rid of working class traders only to replace them with new, post, expensive flats and market traders with money who set up their dream delis. This aspect of 'regeneration', I believe, is traditionally called gentrification, something that marks Brighton out, perhaps even a little more than other towns, because property here is so sought after.

Whitehawk and Moulscombe were designed, built and created far out of the town centre in the 1950s and 60s so that 'slum areas' of the town could be cleared and made safe. Rather, what actually occurred was that slum areas were indeed cleared but the slum dwellers, the poor, were moved out of town to two outposts where, surprisingly, there is a higher crime rate, the community is more deprived and the whole areas both have terrible reputations. I believe that the intention in the case of the open market is rather similar in motive.

Life is not fair, I know that. Bad things happen, money talks. Yet, at a time of recession, it looks rather like, under the guise of 'regeneration', a buzz-word that makes you think of children playing in nice parks and nice houses being built for poor people, London Road's communities of traders are being roundly spat upon by big business, big developers, the Council and even some of their fellow traders. My mum came to visit only the other day and told me how cheap it was to get some eggs and bacon and stuff, telling me I should go there more. When the market re-opens, somehow, I think cheap eggs will no longer be sold at the open market.

Regarding the new leases, when they are finally available, the website tells us what kind of stall traders they will be looking for when it finally re-opens in 2012/13...

'There would be space for somebody who wanted a print and design workshop, a nail-polishing stall and even perhaps a local solicitor’s office. However, they would resist any trader who was selling anything too inferior in order not to invite people who merely want to offload junk.'

How insulting! Well, I've just picked up some things to sell on from one of the stalls. Some people like 'junk', after all! Why do you think people go to car boot sales?! As far as I can see, this is just appalling, downright, Victorian-era snobbery from the Council, lording it over a traditional working-class market where people sell things, second-hand items, to get money to feed themselves and their families and kids. What do charity shops (and there are loads of them on the London Road, Scope, Oxfam, British Heart Foundation, Age Concern etc) sell, if it isn't junk!? It really makes me quite furious that the space now dwelt in by one of the traders complaining to me of what is taking place will eventually be taken by a solicitor! I like junk! Everyone, send me your junk, especially if its even vaguely Catholic!

There is no doubt that London Road is very poor, that the shops along it are a bit naff, loads of them are charity shops, it is in a valley, away from the town centre and independent businesses find it hard to survive here. However, what with the closure of the London Road open market and its redevelopment into nice flats and market for cheese sellers, along with the police's consistent entrapping of homeless men and women in order to get them arrested, and put in jail it is more likely that, rather than the Council and the authorities truly aspiring to the 'regeneration' of London Road, they want to clear the area of the very poor, homeless and now working-class people too. So much for the 'entrepreneurial spirit and the 'Big Society'! I wonder what Caroline Lucas MP makes of it...

The Bones's Catholic Store

Following a suggestion by a well-known Priest, I have started a new, online, second hand Catholic shop selling religious items, imaginatively called, The Bones's Catholic Store.

As well as selling items that I find in charity shops, second-hand stores and donations, as well as stuff I find around my flat, I can act as a seller for readers of this blog who wish to find a devout home for Catholic devotional items which they no longer use.

Many of us have more Catholic items than we really want. As pilgrims we pick them up along our journey - books, statues, prayer cards, medals and some of them end up in a drawer somewhere. Some people have religious objects which belonged to other members of their family that they do not want, but may wish to find a home for them with someone who would use these items for their Catholic devotion.

If you have any Catholic items that you no longer want, that you would like me to sell then you can either leave a comment in a post or contact me at I will sell it online for you and I can then send you the address of the buyer. If you would like to buy anything, similarly, contact me either via the blog or at my email address and I can send you the item, or, in the case of another selling on my website, send that individual your address.

For the time being, I have not set a price for any of the items. Imagine, if you like, that this is an online car boot sale and that I am asking you to make me an offer.

10% of any money I make from selling will go to the Building Restoration Fund of St Mary Magdalen's Church, whether I sell something that I have found, or whether I sell something that I have sold online for someone else. 10% of the money goes to me, for my living expenses. If I sell for you, the remaining 80% of the money is yours. If, on the other hand, you wish to donate this money to the Building Fund of the Church, to a charity of your choice, or even to me, then that is your choice and it can certainly be arranged.

As well as browsing the items that I have posted so far, let me know if you would like to buy anything from my new Catholic second hand store. If you would like me to sell something for you, icons, statues, crucifixes, rosaries, medals, books, traditional missals etc, then send me a picture of the item, I will post it and then we'll take it from there. In the case of selling your items, you can set the price!

So have a dig around your house, see what you'd like to find a home and spread the Catholic faith!

God bless you, readers!

Sunday 23 January 2011

"You Don't Have to Be Gay to Teach Here, But It Helps!"

An absurdly crude stereotype of of the homosexual culture
"Hi, kids! So, today we're teaching maths. Look. I've got here with me two friends. Now, who can tell me, if I have sex with these two men consistently over a lifetime, how many children will result from these encounters?"

The Telegraph today reports that....

'Children are to be taught about homosexuality in maths, geography and science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to "celebrate the gay community".

The mind boggles. Gay maths? Gay geography? Gay science? How the? What the? For more information on the section of the Stonewall website entitled, ahem, 'What We Do...At Schools', click here.

"God hates..."

God 'hates' gays, abortionists, shrimp, figs and Catholics...
Catholics, apparently! I met a lady after Mass today who is really rather poor. By co-incidence she told me that she recently went to Montpelier Baptist Church, on a Wednesday evening, because she is living on the breadline and needed some food. Say a prayer for her mother who is gravely ill.

Apparently, when the pastor found out she was Catholic, due to his enthusiastic embracing of what can only be some kind of equal opportunity scheme in the distribution of Christian charity, he told her she shouldn't really come to the Baptist Church for food because, er, she's a Catholic!

I guess, what with being a Catholic, she is already a "lost sheep" in the eyes of pastor Stephen, ensnared, as she is, in Popish superstition, sacramental folly and abject rejection of sola scriptura theology. He indicated to her that because she doesn't go to the Baptist church, she shouldn't come for food. If, by some Miracle, I am allowed back in this Wednesday, I'll gladly point out to him that, as far as I am aware, none of the homeless and poor of Brighton go to attend Sunday services at the Baptist church, so why pick on just the Catholics?

After all, shouldn't he be thanking us since it was the Catholic Church that compiled and translated the Bible from the original Hebrew, then Greek, then Latin or whatever? No Catholic Church = no Bible = no Baptist church = no pastor Steve! It's simple maths! In this week of Prayer for Christian Unity, it only seems fitting to remind him of Christ's proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven to the Poor and that true Christian unity is to be found in God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I'll give the lady in question a bell this week and see if she fancies praying the Rosary in the corner of the room while pastor Stephen gives his biblically-based exegesis on why God sends all Catholics to Hell, or pick him up on any erroneous doctrines that result from his Bible study.

When is a Marriage Not a Marriage?

The Bulls: "Not while you're under my roof, you don't!"
The Last Knight, whose blog, Noise of the Crusade, is producing some welcome online activity, has posted some thoughtful legal analysis of the Hall and Preddy v Bull and Bull case in which Judge Rutherford assessed that there is no difference, in application of the Equality Act, between a civil partnership and marriage.

On 18 January 2011 His Honour Judge Rutherford handed down judgment at Bristol County Court in the case of Hall and Preddy v Bull and Bull. Martin Hall and Steven Preddy, who had contracted a civil partnership with each other under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, had booked a double room at the Chymorvah Hotel, run by Mr and Mrs Bull, for the nights of 5 and 6 September 2008. The learned Judge appears to have accepted that they made the booking in ignorance of the fact that the hotel operated a policy whereby double rooms were let to “heterosexual married couples only”. Mr Hall and Mr Preddy were informed of this fact by an employee of the hotel on their arrival and left to secure alternative accommodation. They then proceeded to bring a claim against Mr and Mrs Bull for damages and a declaration to the effect that they had been subject to unlawful discrimination. The claim was founded on the provisions of the Equality Act (Sexual Discrimination) Regulations 2007.
The relevant provisions of the Regulations are as follows. Under Regulation 3(1), direct discrimination is defined as the state of affairs which obtains when “A treats B less favourably less favourably than he would treat others” on the grounds of B’s (or another’s) sexual orientation “in cases where there is no material difference in the circumstances”. Indirect discrimination is defined by Regulation 3(3) as a criterion or practice (a) applied equally by A, but which (b) “puts persons of B’s sexual orientation at a disadvantage compared to some or all others”, (c) “which puts B at a disadvantage compared to some or all persons who are not of his sexual orientation”, and (d) which A cannot reasonably justify by reference to matters other than B’s sexual orientation. As with Regulation 3(1), it applied where there is “no material difference in the circumstances” of B and those with whom he is compared. Regulation 3(4) reads thus: “For the purposes of paragraphs (1) and (3), the fact that one of the persons (whether or not B) is a civil partner while the other is married shall not be treated as a material difference in the relevant circumstances....”

For full article click here.

Something tells me the Last Knight has some legal knowledge!

Saturday 22 January 2011

Bishop Athanasius Schneider Calls for New Syllabus to Clarify Vatican II

A excellent speech by Bishop Athanasius Schneider has been doing the rounds on the blog-o-sphere. For anyone who missed it, here it is....

The Challenge of Opposing Interpretations
by Athanasius Schneider

'For a correct interpretation of Vatican Council II, it is necessary to keep in mind the intention manifested in the conciliar documents themselves and in the specific words of the popes who convened and presided over it, John XXIII and Paul VI.
Moreover, it is necessary to discover the common thread of the entire work of the Council, meaning its pastoral intention, which is the "salus animarum," the salvation of souls. This, in turn, depends on and is subordinate to the promotion of divine worship and of the glory of God, it depends on the primacy of God.
This primacy of God in life and in all the activity of the Church is manifested unequivocally by the fact that the constitution on the liturgy occupies, conceptually and chronologically, the first place in the vast work of the Council.
The characteristic of the rupture in the interpretation of the conciliar texts is manifested in a more stereotypical and widespread way in the thesis of an anthropocentric, secularist, or naturalistic shift of Vatican Council II with respect to the previous ecclesial tradition. One of the best-known manifestations of such a mistaken interpretation has been, for example, so-called liberation theology and the subsequent devastating pastoral practice.
What contrast there is between this liberation theology and its practice and the Council appears evident from the following conciliar teaching: "Christ, to be sure, gave His Church no proper mission in the political, economic or social order. The purpose which He set before her is a religious one" (cf. "Gaudium et Spes," 42).
One interpretation of rupture of lighter doctrinal weight has been manifested in the pastoral liturgical field. One might mention in this regard the decline of the sacred and sublime character of the liturgy, and the introduction of more anthropocentric elements of expression. This phenomenon can be seen in three liturgical practices that are fairly well known and widespread in almost all the parishes of the Catholic sphere: the almost complete disappearance of the use of the Latin language, the reception of the Eucharistic body of Christ directly in the hand while standing, and the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice in the modality of a closed circle in which priest and people are constantly looking at each other.
This way of praying – without everyone facing the same direction, which is a more natural corporal and symbolic expression with respect to the truth of everyone being oriented toward God in public worship – contradicts the practice that Jesus himself and his apostles observed in public prayer, both in the temple and in the synagogue. It also contradicts the unanimous testimony of the Fathers and of all the subsequent tradition of the Eastern and Western Church. These three pastoral and liturgical practices glaringly at odds with the law of prayer maintained by generations of the Catholic faithful for at least one millennium find no support in the conciliar texts, and even contradict both a specific text of the Council (on the Latin language: cf. "Sacrosanctum Concilium," 36 and 54) and the "mens," the true intention of the conciliar Fathers, as can be seen in the proceedings of the Council.
In the hermeneutical uproar of the contrasting interpretations, and in the confusion of pastoral and liturgical applications, what appears as the only authentic interpreter of the conciliar texts is the Council itself, together with the pope. One could make a comparison with the confused hermeneutical climate of the first centuries of the Church, caused by arbitrary biblical and doctrinal interpretations on the part of heterodox groups. In his famous work "De Praescriptione Haereticorum," Tertullian was able to counter the heretics of various tendencies with the fact that only the Church possesses the "praescriptio," meaning only the Church is the legitimate proprietor of the faith, of the word of God and of the tradition. The Church can use this to fend off the heretics in disputes over true interpretation. Only the Church can say, according to Tertullian, "Ego sum heres Apostolorum," I am the heir of the apostles. By way of analogy, only the supreme magisterium of the pope or of a future ecumenical council will be able to say: "Ego sum heres Concilii Vaticani II."
In recent decades there existed, and still exist today, groupings within the Church that are perpetrating an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and its texts, written according to this pastoral intention, since the Council did not want to present its own definitive or unalterable teachings. From the same pastoral nature of the texts of the Council, it can be seen that its texts are in principle open to supplementation and to further doctrinal clarifications. Keeping in mind the now decades-long experience of interpretations that are doctrinally and pastorally mistaken and contrary to the bi-millennial continuity of the doctrine and prayer of the faith, there thus arises the necessity and urgency of a specific and authoritative intervention of the pontifical magisterium for an authentic interpretation of the conciliar texts, with supplementation and doctrinal clarifications; a sort of "Syllabus" of the errors in the interpretation of Vatican Council II.
There is the need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against the errors coming from outside of the Church, but against the errors circulated within the Church by supporters of the thesis of discontinuity and rupture, with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application. Such a Syllabus should consist of two parts: the part that points out the errors, and the positive part with proposals for clarification, completion, and doctrinal clarification.
Two groupings stand out for their support of the theory of rupture. One of these groupings tries to "Protestantize" the life of the Church doctrinally, liturgically, and pastorally. On the opposite side are those traditional groups which, in the name of tradition, reject the Council and exempt themselves from submission to the supreme living magisterium of the Church, from the visible head of the Church, the vicar of Christ on earth, submitting meanwhile only to the invisible head of the Church, waiting for better times. 
In essence, there have been two impediments preventing the true intention of the Council and its magisterium from bearing abundant and lasting fruit. One was found outside of the Church, in the violent process of cultural and social revolution during the 1960's, which like every powerful social phenomenon penetrated inside the Church, infecting with its spirit of rupture vast segments of persons and institutions. The other impediment was manifested in the lack of wise and at the same time intrepid pastors of the Church who might be quick to defend the purity and integrity of the faith and of liturgical and pastoral life, not allowing themselves to be influenced by flattery or fear.
The Council of Trent had already affirmed in one of its last decrees on the general reform of the Church: "The holy synod, shaken by the many extremely serious evils that afflict the Church, cannot do other than recall that the thing most necessary for the Church of God is to select excellent and suitable pastors; all the more in that our Lord Jesus Christ will ask for an account of the blood of those sheep that should perish because of the bad governance of negligent pastors unmindful of their duty" (Session XXIV, Decree "de reformatione," can. 1). 
The Council continued: "As for all those who for any reason have been authorized by the Holy See to intervene in the promotion of future prelates or those who take part in this in another way, the holy Council exhorts and admonishes them to remember above all that they can do nothing more useful for the glory of God and the salvation of the people than to devote themselves to choosing good and suitable pastors to govern the Church."
So there is truly a need for a Syllabus on the Council with doctrinal value, and moreover there is a need for an increase in the number of holy, courageous pastors deeply rooted in the tradition of the Church, free from any sort of mentality of rupture, both in the doctrinal field and in the liturgical field.
These two elements constitute the indispensable condition so that doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral confusion may diminish significantly, and so that the pastoral work of Vatican Council II may bear much lasting fruit in the spirit of the tradition, which connects us to the spirit that has reigned in every time, everywhere and in all true children of the Catholic Church, which is the only and the true Church of God on earth.'

Friday 21 January 2011

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Responds to Abortion 'House of Horrors' Discovery

Women's Medical Society, Philadelphia, USA
According to Zenit...

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has responded to a grand jury report about a doctor in the city who has been charged with eight counts of murder, seven for babies born alive at his abortion clinic and then killed.
"It was both a shock and a horror to learn of the practices of Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell and his staff who now face criminal charges, including murder, in connection with the Women's Medical Society at 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia, which was closed after a raid in February 2010," a statement from the archdiocese affirmed.
"As Catholics, we believe in the dignity and sacredness of all human life from conception until natural death. The repeated actions of Dr. Gosnell and his staff were abhorrent and intrinsically evil in their disregard for the lives of the unborn and the welfare of the women who sought their services."
The grand jury report was released Wednesday and details a list of shocking circumstances at the clinic. Though the clinic has been operational for decades, despite repeated reports to authorities about various horrors including the death of a woman in 2009, it was not until a raid last year as part of a drug investigation that Gosnell's crimes were brought to public attention.
The doctor, his wife, and several employees were charged Wednesday. In addition to Gosnell, various of the staff face murder charges. The 262-page jury report, available at the Web site of the Philadelphia Office of the District Attorney, devotes considerable attention to the question, "how did this go on so long?" It notes that media attention was key to get government authorities to face the complaints leveled against the doctor.
The archdiocesan statement also noted that the jury report's use of "the language of 'infants and babies' for the unborn and the charges of murder underscore our conviction that every child in the womb is created in the image and likeness of God."
"The Archdiocese of Philadelphia offers fervent prayers for all who have been affected by these heinous practices," the statement concluded. "We are prepared to assist with support services for the women who suffered these abortions and stand ready to provide proper burial at the appropriate time for the aborted babies previously stored in Dr. Gosnell's office."

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Waste babies in storage, bagged little corpses awaiting removal from clinics is, shamefully, the reality of abortion in the US, the UK and nearly all Europe. There is nothing more 'hygenic' or acceptable about the conduct of Marie Stopes or Planned Parenthood. Abortion is horrific full stop. There was universal condemnation of this doctor when the Daily Mail highlighted the story, yet the idea that a week before birth or even months before birth, the baby is 'less a baby' is a nonsense. When it comes to the law, what a difference a day seems to make.

"No Pinky! We can't do it! It's a mortal sin!"

"One more won't hurt." Classic. It has to be asked whether the great Catholic novel died after Vatican II. After all, not many Bishops and Priests talk about mortal sin anymore...

I can't wait to see this, but Dicky Attenborough will be hard to beat.

Christ the King Statue in Poland

Video from documenting the absolutely huge statue of Christ the King, and its construction in an unpronouncable place in Poland. The music's a bit much but great video...

Brighton Man Speaks About Eviction from Hostel and Arrest for 'Homophobic' Remark

A friend of mine, Ben, who I met a couple of years ago, was thrown out of New Steine Mews hostel in Brighton, for making a "homophobic" remark. I really had no idea that you could be arrested for saying something to someone which offends them, but then, hey, this is Brighton and this is modern Britain.

Having been arrested, cuffed and taken for 15 hours to Hollingbury Police Station for making a 'remark', Ben was released because the Crown Prosecution Service saw that no action was necessary and that the 'remark' had been misconstrued. I find it frightening that one can be arrested in modern Britain for saying something that someone else finds offensive.

More than that, though, Ben was thrown onto the street, in the cold and rain, by a homeless hostel, for Heaven's sake, for nothing other than saying the 'wrong' thing. Aren't these hostel workers just so 'sensitive'?! This is a flagrant abuse of power by New Steine Mews, the Brighton and Hove City Council ran homeless hostel. Ben had no sleeping bag, nothing, nothing but his clothes on him, and was turfed out to sleep in the cold and wet. I do sometimes wonder whether the hostel workers are suitable to working with vulnerable people with 'issues', or whether they really belong to a desk job in an office where they don't have to face the homeless people who they clearly secretly despise or who they fear, or both.

Gay rights advocates seem to have won an enduring battle to ensure that they are never offended, yet, as far as I can see, no human rights organisation exists in order to secure any fundamental rights for homeless men and homeless women in Britain in the 21st century. Where, exactly, is the 'equality', not just for Christians, or any other religious group, but for the most vulnerable in society?

I am certainly not in the habit of buying homeless people guitars, but Ben is a friend and an excellent blues guitarist and I'd just so happened to see a very cheap one in a charity shop when I met him recently. If I can, I'll post up a video of him playing either some of his own material or some John Lee Hooker. It would be criminal for him not to have a guitar. Not much seems to ever go right for Ben and he is very much misunderstood by the very people who are in the business of offering support for those troubled individuals who suffer with homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. I told Ben that I could try and write an article and send it to The Argus, but I'm not sure whether they would publish it. The Council get away with an awful lot of unjust behaviour in Brighton and I believe that, at some point, the fourth estate needs to bring them to account.

St Mary Magdalen's Church in The Telegraph Online...

 Caroline Lucas votes at St Mary Magdalen's Community Centre
The venue of the polling station is, of course, not the feature of the article by James Delingpole.

James, who more or less broke the Climategate story last year, the revelations of made-up data in order to 'hide the decline' in temperatures at the University of East Anglia, takes aim, on his blog, at Caroline Lucas's eco-extremism.

Ironically, Ms Lucas is hosting a 'meet your MP' at St Nicholas Church, the 11th century Anglican church just 5 minutes down the road from St Mary Magdalen's Church, tonight. I'd go and give her a good old piece of my mind, but I think the Traditional Latin Mass takes precedence over political activism - God first, berating of MPs second.

The Greens, thankfully, remain a peripheral party in Parliament and Ms Lucas, I doubt, is taken particularly seriously. After all, most of the parties are of the 'something must be done' mentality when it comes to the climate change issue anyway. 'Climategate' did, however, blow several holes in the eco-disaster-is-looming-unless-we-cull-human-beings argument, a nastiness that you just know is at the dark heart of misanthropic eco-fanaticism. I actually went to Confession after I voted for her. I hope God really does forget when He forgives.

Interestingly, James cites a book recommended by a homeless man in Brighton called Neil, entitled Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, whose book cites fascism as being a product of the left, rather than the right. He urges Caroline to read it, so she can get a grasp on the reality of what she advocates, but, one suspects that she is aware of the reality of State control of society but blithe about the consequences. James quotes from Goldberg's book...

'Crisis is routinely identified as a core mechanism of fascism because it short-circuits debate and democratic deliberation. Hence all fascist movements commit considerable energy to prolonging a heightened state of emergency.'

Fascism, Goldberg explains, is not a movement of the political right but of the political left. It is a “religion of the State”.
'It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure.'

James continues...'Now compare this with what Lucas says in The Guardian today':

'Of course, much of what we cover in the report is really the responsibility of government. But it is as if the country’s politicians are scared of their own people. They know that we must act now on climate change, but are frightened to introduce the necessary measures in case it alienates the voters. I hope this report will increase pressure on politicians and reassure them that, once people in Britain understand what needs to be done and are convinced that everyone will be treated fairly, then they will respond with the same creativity and commitment as in the dark days of the war.'

I agree with James. There is more millenarianism within the Green Party than there is in the Seventh Day Adventists. The Greens are like a kind of acceptable religious group, that, the more you read into them, the more they look like Jim Jones's cult in Guyana which resulted in the voluntary poisoning of hundreds of people wrapped up in apocalyptic hysteria.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Bible-Disbelieving Christians

Bible-believing evangelicals don't believe the whole Word of God...
Yesterday I met an evangelical Christian pastor at Montpelier Baptist Church in Brighton and I have to say that, at the end of the day, it reminded me why I'd rather be in a room of activist homosexuals than in a room of born-again Baptists.

This is because you are even more likely to get a violent reaction against Catholicism among Baptists than homosexuals on the gay scene.

I'd only just sat down with some of the homeless chaps from the Soup Run to have a chat with some, as one of them had invited me to go on from the Soup Run on a Wednesday to the Baptist church on Montpelier, where they are plied with yet more tea, coffee and generosity. Of course, its a great thing that Montpelier Baptist Church have the homeless into their community centre on a Wednesday for tea, biscuits, warm food (the homeless do say you can never go hungry in Brighton which is a good thing) but I think the homeless find the whole 'Bible-study' thing a bit much. It seems to be a hallmark of Protestant thought that if you are going to feed the poor that you should ram the Lord Jesus Christ down their throats first. Just don't discuss His Blessed Mother!

Indeed, it was concerning His Blessed Mother and His Sovereign Pontiff that the pastor and I had a dispute. I didn't go in there looking for trouble, but once he found out that I was Catholic and that I go to St Mary Magdalen's Catholic Church he fixed his eyes on me and suddenly I was being interrogated. "Do you know Christ?" he asked, "Have you met Jesus?!" The way he asked "Have you met Jesus?" made it sound as if meeting Jesus is someone you meet every now and then in Waitrose or Sainsburys...

"Hi Jesus! O Lord, I haven't seen you for a while! How you been keeping?! What are you up to nowadays? Bread and wine, eh? Nice choice! Gotta dash!"

I always think its dangerous to say, 'I know Christ,' not in so much as we should ever deny Him, but just that the Lord says so many times in reference to the Last Judgement that He will turn to people, many who 'sang and danced' for Him and say, "Depart from Me, I never knew you." In answer to the question, "Have you met Jesus?" I tried to explain Holy Communion and that as Catholics we believe that we meet Our Lord when we receive Him in the Mass. I should also have explained that He is personally present in His Poor. Still, I don't think the pastor was satisfied with my answers.

The pastor then went on to denounce Catholic "worship of Mary" because he had "been to Mexico" and seen "so many Mexicans praying to her". I tried to explain that praying to someone, like Our Lady, was not the same as worshipping them since you are asking for their intercession before the Throne of God and that we venerate her as the Mother of God. He then went on to call "Mary" a "sinner" and authoritatively told me that Our Lord was one of "many children". Our Lady had more kids, because the Bible describes there were some who were Jesus's "brothers".

So, the pastor had managed to, in a miraculously short space of time, announce three heresies (perhaps more, but one ends up stopping counting) and I wasn't even on my second biscuit. The first heresy to was say that Our Lady was not a Virgin. The second was to say that Our Lady was a "sinner", like fallen humanity, and thirdly that Our Lady went on, after having given birth to the Son of God, to have loads more 'normal' not Son of God kids! He was angered at Catholics seeing her as a 'Co-Redemptrix', even though, without Our Lady's 'yes', without her 'co-'operation with God, Salvation is a non-starter. I wanted to mention Our Lady of Guadalupe and the story of St Juan Diego, but you have to remember the pastor was really coming at me!

Aside from the obvious scriptural quotes concerning Our Lord's passing down of authority to His Apostles ("He who hears you, hears Me") and His building of His Church on St Peter, against which the 'gates of Hell shall never prevail', I should have quoted Revelations, and asked him who he thought was the name of the woman referred to by St John, when he says...
'And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars,' 
Whoever she is she sounds awfully important! Powerful enough to defeat a gigantic red dragon! I should perhaps have asked him whether that woman might be rather essential in the fight against Evil and the triumph of God's goodness.  He then said that the Papacy started under Constantine and there should be no such thing anyway. I told him he could look up the chronological order of Popes since St Peter, but this didn't satisfy him either. No answer did. At some point in the following discussion I mentioned the word, "heretics", not addressing him personally, mind, and he became very offended, asking if I thought he was going to Hell for all eternity because he is a "heretic", something that I certainly never said. Anyway, the last words I said to him were, "The Bible won't save you!" which was a bit mean-spirited of me and he replied, "Neither will the Pope!" which, though quite a witty riposte, is a bit of a misunderstanding of the scriptural text referring to Peter's 'binding and loosening' power on Earth. Do you think he'll let me in next week? I don't like quarrels but remember...he started it. I left and the homeless went in after a fag to 'hear the word of the Lord'. Verbum Domini, indeed.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Bandits Bulldoze Bulls's Business in Bed and Breakfast Bedlam Blowup in Bristol

Martyn Hall and Steve Preddy
I'll say anything for an alliterative headline. Why can't I get a job at the Mail or the Star? Looks like its going to be one of those gay days.

Q. When is a civil partnership the same as marriage?

A. When a judge says so. That's according to a verdict at Bristol County Court.

Q. When is a civil partnership not the same as a marriage?

A. When the Government says so.

My thoughts on this in purple, bold.

Courtesy of Daily Mail

'Two Christian hotel owners punished for refusing a bed to a gay couple claimed yesterday that their religion is being suppressed. Peter and Hazelmary Bull said Christianity had been pushed to the margins of society, and added: ‘Some people are more equal than others.’
They spoke out after a landmark court decision awarded £1,800 each to civil partners Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who were denied a double room under the Bulls’ policy of allowing only married couples to share a bed in the hotel that is also their home.

The ruling by a judge in Bristol sealed the supremacy of gay rights over Christian belief under the Sexual Orientation Regulations pushed through by Tony Blair four years ago. The laws prevent discrimination against homosexuals by businesses and state organisations, but have had the knock-on effect of requiring Christians who run small concerns to set their principles and beliefs aside if they wish to stay in business [which is ironic, because that's exactly what Tony Blair did...].

Now we get to the important bold and underlined bit...

And Judge Andrew Rutherford also broke new ground by insisting that in the eyes of the law there is no difference between a civil partnership and a marriage. Although civil partnership conveys precisely the same rights and privileges on a gay couple as marriage does on heterosexuals, the Labour ministers who introduced civil partnerships always said they were merely contracts and did not amount to marriage [What does it matter what Labour MPs said? It's what is on the Statute book that counts and how that law is interpreted in court. Oh, you mean everyone was misled apart from the interested party of the legislation - Stonewall. How very Tony Blair. Meanwhile, I see there has been another suicide bombing in Iraq today...].

But the judge said: ‘There is no material difference between marriage and a civil partnership.’

His ruling may lead to a long legal battle if the Bulls appeal, with a possibility that the case will go as far as the country’s highest tribunal, the Supreme Court.

The Bulls were sued over their married-only policy on double beds. They were ordered to pay each of the victims £1,800 in compensation for the ‘hurt and embarrassment they suffered’. Outside court, Mrs Bull said the verdict had serious implications for the religious liberty of Christians who would be forced to act against ‘deeply and genuinely held beliefs’.
The 66-year-old and her husband, 70, live at the seven-bedroom Chymorvah Private Hotel near Penzance, Cornwall, and have only ever allowed married couples to share a double room since they opened for business 25 years ago. They had accepted a booking for a double room from Mr Preddy, 38, believing he would be staying with his wife. It was only when he arrived at the £80-a-night hotel with his 46-year-old civil partner that they were turned away.
IT workers Mr Preddy and Mr Hall described themselves as feeling ‘angry and humiliated’ and contacted police, who helped them find alternative accommodation. The two men deny suggestions that their booking was a set-up on behalf of gay rights group Stonewall, which had previously written to the hotel owners about their rules.
Christian hotel owners, Mr and Mrs Bull
Mrs Bull said: ‘Our double-bed policy was based on our sincere beliefs about marriage, not hostility to anybody. It was applied equally and consistently to unmarried heterosexual couples and homosexual couples, as the judge accepted.’
She left Bristol County Court to visit her husband in hospital where he was due to have triple heart bypass surgery yesterday. Their legal battle was aided by the Christian Institute think tank, while Mr Preddy and Mr Hall were supported by the taxpayer-funded state equality body the Equality and Human Rights Commission.  Mr and Mrs Bull, who have previously admitted they are struggling to pay debts, are facing financial ruin after being ordered to pay most of the costs of the commission [activist gays get financial/legal support from EHR Commission, Christians have to pay costs of EHR Commission. All sounds fair and 'equal'...]

Mr Hall and Mr Preddy, from Bristol, had asked for £5,000 damages, claiming sexual orientation discrimination. In his 12-page ruling, Judge Rutherford said that in the past 50 years social attitudes had changed. He added that the Bulls ‘have the right to manifest their religion or beliefs’ and said both sides in the case ‘hold perfectly honourable and respectable, albeit wholly contrary, views’.

However, he concluded that the Bulls ‘discriminate on the basis of marital status’. ‘There is no material difference between marriage and a civil partnership. If that is right, then upon what basis do the defendants draw a distinction if it is not on sexual orientation? [Could it be because the State has no moral right to decide that two men can be married? Could it also be because even the State does not recognise this situation as a marriage - hence the term, 'civil partnership'?] The only conclusion which can be drawn is that the refusal to allow [the claimants] to occupy the double room which they had booked was because of their sexual orientation and that this is direct discrimination.’

Mr Preddy said: ‘The judge has confirmed what we already know – that in these circumstances our civil partnership has the same status in law as a marriage between a man and a woman, and that, regardless of each person’s religious beliefs, no one is above the law.’ Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society, said: ‘The court has resisted the pernicious claim that exercising conscience, be it Christian or any other kind, is a carte blanche to defy the law.’ But Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said: ‘This ruling is further evidence that equality laws are being used as a sword rather than a shield. Christians are being sidelined.’

So, you got that? When Christians complain that civil partnerships are immoral because they create something that looks rather like gay marriage, they are told, "No, they're civil partnerships. They're not the same as marriage!" When Christians are taken to court they are told, "There is no difference between civil partnerships and marriage." Now it all makes sense!

It's not OK! World Exclusive

OK! interviewer: "So, Elton and David, how much do we owe you for this World Exclusive interview?"

Elton: "Oh, about £100,000 should do the trick."

David: "Gosh, there's a thought. Why stop at one? Make it £200,000."

OK! interviewer: "O wow! That's a whole new angle on the story! So you are saving up for another?"

Elton: "Write 'trying' for another...You know, this is even more exciting than when I bought Watford Football Club."

OK! interviewer: "Great interview, guys. So, I'll send you three copies in the post so you can keep them for the family album."

Elton: "Three copies?"

OK interviewer: "Yes. That's right. One copy for you, Elton, one copy for David and one copy for Zachary. When he's older I just know he'll want to read all about it. He'll be delighted when he finds out how he was born to gay celebrity dads who paid money up front for IVF to some random woman the other side of the globe and using the egg of another. 'I'm a special baby', he'll think. After all, you could snuff it and he'll need something to remember you by and, you know, he deserves to know about his roots..."

Monday 17 January 2011

Party Poppers and Party Poopers

Fr Ray Blake today posts on Tina Beattie's latest 'musings'. Tina's 'inspirational' blog, in as much as it inspires Catholics loyal to the Faith to denounce her near constant dissension from the Church's position on a number of matters, continues to entertain and depress at the same time.

While it is true to say that we don't really know what Heaven is like, it is hard to imagine that English martyrs such as St John Fisher, St Margaret Clitherow and St Thomas More, as well as Blessed John Henry Newman, have not been 24-hour party people over the past few days, as party poppers stream across Heaven, while Our Lady of Walsingham looks on in loving approval. That party has been reflected in the great joy of the Faithful on Earth, still in awe, both at the inspired ecumenical master stroke of Pope Benedict XVI and the surprisingly enthusiastic response from disaffected formerly-flying Anglican bishops and nuns who have flown the nest to roost in the One True Church.

Unfortunatley, Tina is 'saddened', because the stunning news of the Ordination of three men, Father Burnham, Father Broadhurst and Father Newton, as they follow in Blessed John Henry Newman's footsteps, while leaving behind them a Church of England writhing in acrimonious disharmony and without a paddle with which to steer up that insalubrious creek, doesn't reflect her feminist-marxist-theology-is-like-any-social-science world view. But hey, it isn't just Tina who is upset and so our hearts must go out to the entire editorial team and readership of The Tablet as well as Jo Siedlecka of Independent Catholic News, who also voices her approval, sorry, dissent, on Tina's blog, because the 'silent majority' of the Church are all thinking the 'same thing' about women priests, celibate clergy and the other 'marginal musings' that Tina's self-promoting blog promulgates every time she puts finger to keyboard and woe to the Church, because their voices are not being heeded. It all starts to make me wonder who was calling the shots in Heaven; the Lord God of Hosts or the Devil and his fallen angels, who, for a time, must have thought themselves some kind of 'silent majority' and campaigned for Heaven to be more demo(n)cratic.

On the Ordination of the married, formerly Anglican bishops to the Priesthood, Josephine Siedlecka writes, "I'm not sure this makes Christianity look any more comprehensible or attractive." Well, Jo, I'm not sure feminism, socialism, Marxism, liberalism or any other -ism but Catholicism makes Christianity look more comprehensible or attractive. It has to be said, looking at the Church of England, that the more -isms are embraced in a Church, the less it looks like a Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ and the more likely it is to become less attractive and less comprehensible over time, a truth to which I am quite sure these new Priests will testify.

I understand that '90% of the British population don't go to Church' and that it concerns you. But did the Lord promise the Church some kind of enduring popularity with British society, or, indeed, any society? What would be the point in the whole British population coming to Church if they all understood the Catholic Faith along the same feminist-marxist-liberal-humanist-getting-close-to-atheist nexus that some Catholics appear to, were catechised to believe in the same 'marginal musings' as Tina does, and never knew nothing of Our Blessed Lord's merciful love for poor sinners and the Salvation of God to be found within our Holy Mother the Church? What would that profit their souls? Thankfully, those being received under the Ordinariate have been receiving sound teaching in the form of Evangelium, a truly excellent tool for catechesis. Things bode well...Deo gratias!

Sorry, love, the Lord called men to be Priests
Tina, love. The reason your musings are 'marginal' is because they are not Catholic. If you want to convince more people of your Catholicism, why not try putting a picture of the Sacred Heart or Our Lady of Walsingham in your sidebar, a favourite Saint, like St Joan of Arc, or some other Saint who you can pretend was just another feminist or someone to whom you have a devotion other than yourself and some famous feminists? Heck, why not a little picture of Pope Benedict XVI or something? How about showing a little loyalty to the Holy Father? As far as I can see, your blog is all about you, since yours is the only picture that appears in the sidebar.

Tina, Jo and various campaigners within the Church, along with those Priests, Bishops, and Religious who privately egg them on to dissent against the Magisterium, had better get used to the events that took place on Saturday, because it looks very much like those events will not be all that rare. I sincerely hope and pray that one day you will join us in praying for the conversion of England, once called Our Lady's Dowry, without bitterness and weepy, gin-soaked disappointment that the Church is not ran along the lines of your local Borough Council. Thanks be to God! For sure, 'equality' needs to be addressed within the Church. It needs to be put in a fire-proof envelope and addressed to the circle of Hell from whence it came. There is no 'equality' in Heaven. The Devil and all his fallen angels will tell you the same if you meet them in the next life. I pray none of us do.

Long live Pope Benedict XVI, now reigning gloriously! Say a prayer for the party poopers...

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...