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Friday, 15 February 2008

"Lent Fast Day"

Some time ago, towards the end of the post Civil Partnerships and the Church. II Practice, I gave a brief summary of some of the problems that I have with CAFOD, the official overseas development and relief agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. These concerns are serious enough for me to refuse in conscience to support the agency until there is a clear change in policy. I arrange instead for money to be collected either for Aid to the Church in need or for the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

In Lent, we used to be asked to observe "Family Fast Day". Some time ago, it became "CAFOD Fast Day". Now it is called "Lent Fast Day". Dermot O'Leary has recently been engaged by CAFOD to promote the initiative which this year focusses on climate change and "going green". O'Leary is a television presenter who has apparently been involved in a number of variants on the "Big Brother" theme, the X-Factor and a breakfast TV programme called "Morning Glory."

In a Telegraph interview (Dermot O'Leary: The real Dermot stands up) he describes his work for CAFOD as his "John the Baptist moment." Leaning back in his chair, he says, "This is me washing away my iniquities and cleansing myself of my sins." (Actually, Dermot, we ask the Lord to do that for us - on his terms. Cf Psalm 50.)

In 2004, he presented a documentary entitled "Some of my best friends are Catholics". The article explains:
In the course of the programme, he made it clear, though, that his was not an unquestioning allegiance. He lives with his TV producer girlfriend, Dee Koppang, cheerfully admits to using contraceptives [...]
Last year, I posted an article about Channel 4 sex propaganda, which took the form of a programme called "Lets Talk Sex", presented by Davina McCall, promoting compulsory sex education. I summarised:
Davina will take you (and your children) on a visit to a Dutch sex education class where children as young as four are taught about homosexuality and shown cartoons of various sex acts. Also featured is that tried and trusted method of preventing teenage pregnancy: unrolling a condom over a prosthetic sex aid.
At the end of the post, I featured a picture of Davina McCall, saying that I hoped that it would help parents to decide whether this woman was a good person to trust to give advice to their teenage daughters.

Given this new context, it seems that opportune to post the photo again in the hope that readers will support Aid to the Church in Need, Cor Unum, the Medical Missionaries of Mary, the Missionaries of Charity, the St Francis Leprosy Guild, and the Little Way Association. As far as I know, none of these charities feel it helpful to use cohabiting celebrity breast-fondlers in their advertising.

(Feel free to list other good charities in the combox.)

UPDATE: In response to a comment, I have added a further post regarding Dermot O'Leary, in the spirit of "right to reply" together with some further comments.
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