Showing posts from November, 2010

Anthony McCarthy on the condom debate

Anthony McCarthy has written an important article regarding the Holy Father's recent comments on condoms. He has had some trouble getting it published elsewhere so I am happy to post it here as a Scribd file which you can view, download, or print as convenient. I think that this is an important and helpful contribution to the debate that the Holy Father has instigated and I agree with Anthony. Pope Condoms (McCarthy)

33 Martyrs of Yang Kia Ping

Theresa Marie Moreau at Veritas Est Libertas writes of the story of the 33 martyrs of the Trappist Monastery of Yang Kia Ping. The photo to the right is of Father Chrysostomus. Theresa tells of his fortitude at the final ludicrously unjust people's trial before he was shot with several of his brothers. Here is just a small section: Father Chrysostomus Chang plumbed the depths of his human will for a supernatural strength. With only a few minutes remaining of his life in the material world, he lifted his thoughts to the spiritual. Through screams from the mob, he addressed his confreres at his side one last time, to prepare them not for death, but for life, everlasting life. “We’re going to die for God. Let us lift our hearts one more time, in offering our total beings,” he said. After being shot, the bodies of the holy monks were thrown into a sewage ditch where wild dogs came to lick their blood. The whole account tells of unspeakable active cruelty combined with the delibe

Changing vocabulary instead of saving lives

In the USA, the term "mental retardation" has now been replaced by "intellectual disability". Good: but it would be more convincing if children with trisomy were actually allowed to live. Leticia Velasquez is a co-founder of Keep Infants with Down Syndrome , has written for MercatorNet, pointing out that drawing a new word from the thesaurus, while welcome in itself, is a hollow gesture if we continue to abort most children with trisomy. She says: My point is this; if an entire class of people, those with three sets of the 21st chromosome, are routinely targeted for destruction -- at a scandalous rate of 90 per cent -- can merely changing the term we use to describe those 10 per cent who escape the net increase respect for their human dignity and intrinsic value to society in a meaningful way? Isn’t a more fundamental change required before having a child with Down syndrome goes from being the greatest fear of pregnant women to being widely accepted by society? S

Winter stable at Papa Stronsay

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and the Sacred Heart of Jesus are watching over the cattle, sheep and donkeys at Papa Stronsay. The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemeer, also known as the Transalpine Redemptorists, have posted photos of preparing the winter stables and getting the animals in safely, with the bull segregated into the Nazareth stable away from the cows. See: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib... . The Holy Island of Papa Stronsay calendar is still available to purchase on ebay.

Papal ninjas build snowman

You never know when the Papal ninjas will strike. A correspondent had just gone round the corner for some shopping. By the time he returned, the ninjas had stolen into his back garden, scaled the wall of his house to retrieve the St Ninian tartan scarf and made a pastoral staff with other handy objects lying around.

Rare footage of St Pio

This charming video of St Pio of Pietrelcina shows some rare footage of the saintly Franciscan with his brothers. At times there is an atmosphere of playfulness redolent of the Fioretti of St Francis. At the end, they are obviously teasing him about the camera and he hits the cameraman with his cincture. We see him in the refectory and in the Church, and there are scenes of his brothers dealing with the massive postbag which he generated. Starting at 4'23" there is some footage of Padre Pio as celebrant at High Mass.

Danger of censorship under the guise of crime prevention

Are we seeing the beginning of attempts to control the internet if material embarrasses the government? Guido Fawkes' runs a massively influential English political blog. Today he has posted an article regarding an agreement by Nominet ("which controls the .uk part of the internet") to allow the police to take down any website without recourse to the courts. Guido refers to Richard Baron's article Internet censorship on his blog Analysis and Synthesis. The post includes a well-argued letter that he has written in response to Nominet's request for feedback. Of course we all want sites that run scams, show child porn, or facilitate terrorism to be taken down. The question at issue is whether this is simply a decision to be made by the police or whether some kind of due process (such as obtaining a court order) should be observed in order to ensure that such censorship is not inflicted arbitrarily. I agree with Richard Baron that sites should not be closed dow

Praying for the dead

Many thanks to the Mulier Fortis for composing this slideshow of photos from our Mass for All Souls and the blessing of graves the Sunday after. In the last few days of November, don't forget to pray for your deceased relatives and friends and for all the forgotten souls in purgatory - and indeed nowadays, those who have never been prayed for.

Talking about the English Martyrs

At the John Fisher School in Purley today, I gave the boys at the Faith Group a talk about the English Martyrs. I made a rather dismissive comment about the teaching of history nowadays and then proceeded to be thoroughly corrected by their impressive knowledge of the monarchs of the period between 1535 and 1681 (and the " Commonwealth ") and many details of the history of the period. That was actually a great help since I could leave aside all that and speak about some of the martyrs, their sufferings, their character, and the dirty tricks that were played on them in an attempt to discredit them. The questions were intelligent and it was my initiative to call things to a close after about an hour, rather than having to throw in the towel (as sometimes happens with talks to youngsters) when restlessness sets in. It was relatively easy because there are so many stirring stories associated with our glorious martyrs. After the talk, there is tea and buttered toast - a long-

bonum ex integra causa malum ex quocumque defectu

There are two helpful and thoughtful articles today on the Great Condom Debate. At Joseph Shaw's Casuistry blog, there is a discussion very much in the style of articles that I read as an undergraduate (Joseph is Fellow and Tutor in philosophy at St Benet's Hall). It is rigorously and methodically argued: The Pope on condoms: some conclusions Then K Gurries at Opuscula has a look at the question using the traditional Catholic analysis of the moral act in terms of object, intention and circumstances: The sources of morality . I found the latter article very helpful because I spent some time the other day reading Noldin (a standard Latin manual of moral theology) on this very subject, as well as H J Davis - a similar book but written in English. I was reminded of a Latin tag: bonum ex integra causa malum ex quocumque defectu Literally this means "good (thing) from an integral cause, bad (thing) from any defect whatever" which isn't terribly helpful. A more Rona

Superb issue of Catholic Herald

The Catholic Herald is the best Catholic paper in Britain but this week I felt that it had excelled itself. The banner headline "Benedict XVI: the inside story" was exactly right with an excellent summary article by Anna Arco who confessed on Facebook on Tuesday "Grrrrrr. Press day = stress day" I imagine it must have been particularly stressful this week since as well as the front page article, she has several others on pages 2-3 on which she and and colleagues provide good, accurate and concise summary and comments on Light of the World . Following the Herald on Twitter, I learned that Anna had also got hold of a copy of the German edition. This illustrates the kind of attention to accuracy and detail which puts the Herald out in front. Ronald Knox once quipped that a typical headline in the Catholic papers was "Nun stung by bee on way to Benediction". I remember once at Oxford when this quote was doing the rounds, that a Catholic paper had the headli

Celebrating San Clemente (and St Catherine)

A firework waterfall, relic of St Clement, and a procession through the street with people milling around randomly. All very Roman and it does look fun. (H/T Orbis Catholicus for the video) When people from the parish tell me that they are going to Rome and ask what to visit, I always recommend that they visit the Basilica of San Clemente. It is near the Colosseum which they want to see anyway, and it gives a good introduction to Rome. The basilica is 12th century and has a cosmatesque paving, choir, and basilica altar. As so often in such Churches in Rome, the beautiful Paschal candlestick and Ambo were not, in my time in Rome, actually used for the Liturgy, as was the case at the basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le mura when I visited a couple of years ago. (See: Bl Pio Nono and the new liturgy ) Underneath the 12th century basilica, there are the remains of a fourth century which has several frescoes such as this 8th century Madonna and child. Below that, there are remains of a

BBC to show Nativity series

This is just a heads-up for the series to be broadcast by the BBC in December dramatising the story of the Nativity. My first reaction was to groan and wonder what on earth they were going to come up with this year. Looking at one or two notices for it, I have now suspended judgement. The Churches Together in England carries and enthusiastic endorsement from Peter Greystone of the Church Army, an evangelistic organisation which operates within the Church of England. The BBC have issed a . Press Release where you can find which TV programmes the various actors have been in: I have absolutely no clue about any of them except "Eastenders" whose script writer has written the series. it will be shown as four 30 minute episodes in December though unfortunately the press release doesn't say when these will be. I very much hope that this will be as good as Peter Greystone says: Basically the serial tells the stories as they have been handed down to us with straightforward

Happy Thanksgiving!

Warmest good wishes to all readers from the USA for Thanksgiving Day. God bless your families and God bless America! (And enjoy the turkey!)

Molotov cocktail of planetary magnitude

A Vaticanista looks at the background to the publication of extracts from Light of the World by L'Osservatore Romano . On his blog Sacro e Profano , Andrés Beltramo has a fascinating article Benedicto XVI no es un ingenuo ("Benedict XVI is not naive"). He says that a few hours before the worldwide launch of the Light of the World , Fr Federico Lombardi expressed his fears to Pope Benedict about the impact of his having agreed to do a book length interview with Peter Seewald: "Holiness, in the current media environment, would you not think a book like this is a huge risk?" Perhaps a "dynamic equivalence" translation would be Sergeant Wilson's "Do you think that's wise, Sir?" Apparently, Lombardi's concern was met with the "knowing smile of a Pope who knew what he was doing"; he knew that his words could be misinterpreted and that he was going to talk about condoms anyway. Beltramo feels that the great value of the

"Light of the World" published in UK by CTS

With all the furore over "Light of the World", I forgot to give details of the publisher. The book is published in the UK by the Catholic Truth Society by agreement with Ignatius Press who are the publishers for the USA. The book is beautifully produced and typset. There is a foreword from George Weigel and and introduction by Peter Seewald. I am glad that CTS got the rights to publish such a prestigious title and I hope that the sales of this book will assist their many other good works. Currently Light of the World is available from the CTS at the special offer price of £11.21. (240 pages. Hardback)

Bicycle handlebar Rosary attachment

There are many apps for saying the Rosary on your smartphone. Michael Guglielmo, a Catholic and a keen cyclist wrote with an idea that he has come up with for a bicycle handlebar Rosary attachment. Unlike smartphone apps, this is one you make and install manually. Here are the instructions: There's not much to making it. Two decorative pipe cleaners, two light brackets, two longer screws to replace the short ones that came with the brackets and one or two old rosaries which I hope would carry their former blessings with them. You can also use craft store beads and with the intent of bring the completed project to church for a blessing. The beauty of this is that the pipe cleaners hold the beads in place so they stay in place when moved. In addition, if it breaks, the beads don't scatter and its an easy fix. Michael does add the caveat that it should only be used in safe areas. Probably not wise to use it when weaving through traffic in central London.

Pope praises "Heralds of the Gospel"

CTS sent me a copy of Light of the World this morning. Let me begin by congratulating the " Heralds of the Gospel " who are singled out for praise by the Holy Father in the chapter on the Dictatorship of Relativism. Asked by Peter Seewald whether Christianity has played itself out as other civilisations have in the past, Pope Benedict replies that his meetings with Bishops around the world help him to look beyond the Western world. He adds: In Brazil, for example, there is, on the one hand, strong growth among the sects, which are often very dubious because, for the most part, they promise only prosperity, external success. There are also, however, new Catholic awakenings, a dynamic of new movements, for instance, the “Heralds of the Gospel”, young people who are seized by the enthusiasm of having acknowledged Christ as the Son of God and of bringing him into the world. As the Archbishop of São Paolo tells me, new movements are being formed there constantly. And so there

Pope/condoms IV - "Do you think that's wise, Sir?"

Having given some background in the previous posts, I must offer a reaction of my own to the Holy Father's comments on AIDS and condoms. It would be along the lines of Sergeant Wilson in Dad's Army: "Do you think that's wise, Sir?" On the one hand, we know that the widespread distribution of condoms to tackle the problem of HIV/AIDS has not worked in practice: the Holy Father affirms that and it has been the subject of much comment around the internet over the years. On the other hand, secularists and militant gays use the condom issue to attack the Church as heartless and out of touch since in some individual sexual acts, a condom will reduce the risk of infection. (There are, of course, acts in which condoms do not apply, so to speak.) The Holy Father uses the example of a male prostitute ( Prostituierter in the original German ), saying that the use of a condom can be: "a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibi

Pope/condoms III - division at the Vatican

An important background story related to the Holy Father's remarks on AIDS and condoms is that of a longstanding division between Cardinals and Vatican officials on the question. Austen Ivereigh, one of the co-ordinators of Catholic Voices, and now acting on behalf of the Catholic Truth Society in relation to the release of the Pope's interview with Peter Seewald, "Light of the World" to be officially launched tomorrow, has written for America magazine on the background to the Pope's words . He puts forward the argument that it is not condoms themselves that are intrinsically evil but contraception, and that therefore the use of condoms as a prophylactic against HIV/AIDs can be justified. As he rightly points out, this has been an argument proposed for some time by some Catholic moral theologians. (I am not sure that is can be rightly described as the "consensus".) Back in 2004, Austen Ivereigh commissioned Fr Martin Rhonheimer, a priest of Opus Dei (a

Pope/condoms II - some Catholic reactions

All over the Catholic blogosphere you will find Catholics defending the Holy Father's remarks regarding condoms and HIV/AIDS. It is rightly pointed out that the Holy Father reiterated his position, stated on the plane on the way to Cameroon, that "we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms". He also said that "the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality", that the condom "is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection", and that the Church does not regard the use of condoms as "a real or moral solution" However, he also said that the use of a condom by a male prostitute may be "a first step in the direction of a moralisation" and that in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, there may be "a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality." There have indeed been some silly headlines and interpretations in the media but the

Pope/condoms I - Can we disagree?

Certainly we can. In his book "Jesus of Nazareth", Pope Benedict himself spoke clearly on this matter. He said: It goes without saying that this book is in no way an exercise of the magisterium, but is solely an expression of my personal search "for the face of the Lord" (cf. Ps 27:8). Everyone is free, then, to contradict me. I would only ask my readers for that initial goodwill without which there can be no understanding. It is reasonable to assume that the same applies to an interview given to a journalist. Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (n.25)speaks of a religious submission of mind and will which should be shown to the bishops teaching on matters of faith and morals in communion with the Roman Pontiff and says: This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra . This religious submission of mind and will is not required

L'Osservatore's unhelpful leak

The National Catholic Register carries an important article by Jimmy Akin in response to the leaked bits of Pope Benedict's interview with Peter Seewald "Light of the World". Jimmy Akin comments: The controversy erupted Saturday morning when L’Osservatore Romano unilaterally violated the embargo on the book by publishing Italian-language extracts of various papal statements, much to the chagrin of publishers around the world, who had been working on a carefully orchestrated launch for the book on Tuesday. Here is a link to the full text of the question and answer on condoms and Africa as published by Catholic World Report. Janet Smith has also written a good piece for CWR .

Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer in London tomorrow

I just picked up from Facebook the great news that the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer (aka Translapine Redemptorists ") will be in London tomorrow for the traditional confirmations at Spanish Place. One of their postulants is being confirmed and he will be accompanied by Fr Anthony Mary F.SS.R. and some brothers. I'll be there as I have a recently-baptised adult who is being confirmed so it will be great to meet the FSSR guys. After the confirmations, Fr Anthony will say a private Mass at Spanish Place and will then be available to meet people at the Cafe Caldesi, 118 Marylebone Lane, just a couple of minutes' walk from Spanish Place. For details, see the Facebook note or the blogpost by Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman . And you can get your Papa Stronsay calendar for 2011 via the Translapine Redemptorist blog.

Analysis of Archbishop Dolan's election

Not being American I rather hesitated to get involved in comment about the election of Archbishop Dolan as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I liked his book "Priests for the Third Millennium" and recommend it to students and young priests. I think I am right in saying that he turned the Pontifical North American College round so that it was on track to become the excellent institution that it is today. Some of my American friends, however, come across decidedly lukewarm, hence my reticence to step in. John Allen has an article that can help us in blighty to understand some of the issues. (See: Three keys to reading the Dolan win at the USCCB ) Allen suggests that first of all, Archbishop Dolan is a good man in terms of PR: the "most gifted natural communicator" of the US Bishops. Mmm Kay. Secondly, although the Archbishop is considered as conservative, he is good at building up relationships. Ho hum. Thirdly, he is likely to be made a

How smartphone users see themselves and each other

Sometimes in the Parish Club there are arguments about the merits and demerits of various smartphones. The graphic above seems to be a fair distribution of insults. (I'm an Android user btw.)

Pope Benedict recalls adoration in Hyde Park

The Holy Father devoted his General Audience address today to the figure of Saint Juliana of Liege who was instrumental in promoting the feast of Corpus Christi which was instituted by Pope Urban IV in 1264. The address is well worth reading. Here is a link to the google translation which is not bad. I expect Zenit will carry the text soon. The Holy Father also mentions the miracle of Bolsena in which drops of blood dripped from the host onto the corporal which is preserved in a chapel in the Cathderal of Orvieto. I had the privilege of celebrating Mass at the altar of the corporal ( above ) during my first year as a priest. Pope Benedict spoke of a "springtime of the Eucharist" especially among the young, and said: It is consoling to know that many groups of young people have rediscovered the beauty of praying in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. I think, for example, of our adoration in Hyde Park, London. I pray that this "springtime" of the Eucharist w

Iraqi Christians - the world must act

Asia News reports that the Archbishop of Mosul, Mgr George Basile Casmoussahas ( right ) warned of a change of strategy in the attacks on Christians by Iraqi muslims. In response to the question whether there was a surge in attacks against the Christian minority in Iraq, he said: Yes and a new, dangerous growth: the novelty is that the terrorists are attacking people directly in their homes. There is a change in strategy. Two days ago in Mosul, Iraqi Christians Nabil Ghanem and Nashwan Khoder were murdered by terrorists who broke into their homes and gunned them down with automatic weapons. This is in accord with the statement of Al Qaeda that Christians are "legitimate targets". The Archbishop also made an appeal to the United Nations: We are asking the United Nations to seriously discuss the issue of Iraqi Christians. To send a real commission for an inquiry. To put pressure on the Iraqi government to ensure attention and the highest security to churches and Christian

CTS announces publication of "Verbum Domini" and "Light of the World"

The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini was first published by the Vatican as a 208 page pdf which was inconvenient. It is now on the Vatican website in the usual html format: Verbum Domini . This is useful if you want to copy and paste quotations but such a lengthy document is easier to read in printed form. This is where the CTS step in. They have it available to pre-order now (publication date 23 Nov) at £3.95 / $6.28. It is an A5 paperback of 144 pages. Reading various blogs, I have felt a little as though someone is poking my arm with a cocktail stick as there have been comments about how blogs have not taken any notice of Verbum Domini . I take the point but really want to read this document carefully in full. There is a good section on the approach of Lectio Divina and much on the relationship of the Word of God and the magisterium, including the following: [...] it is important to read and experience sacred Scripture in communion with the Church, that is, with

Family Day photos

We had a Family Day at Blackfen last Saturday with the theme "Angels, Saints and Nations sing 'Praised be Jesus Christ Our King'." Above you can see a picture which was printed up and tiled together by one of the dads so that the younger ones could work on it. There were prayers at various points during the day Lunch was shared enthusiastically with the various families bringing food A Tug-o-War in the presbytery garden expended some energy And as always, there was a blessing for the children at the end Family days bring a lot of good to the parish and to the families who take part. I heartily recommend them.

Floreat Cantus - Advent Music in aid of Little Sisters' work

On 18 December, from 7.30-9pm, Floreat Cantus, a choir of talented young people directed by Wilfrid Jones, will be presenting a programme of Christmas and Advent music in support of St Anne's House in Stoke Newington, a care home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. The evening includes old favourites but also some lesser known works from across the centuries and the first performance of a Christmas piece by the conductor, Wilfrid Jones. There will be refreshments sold before the concert and during the interval with wine and mince pies afterwards. The evening promises to be very enjoyable, the programme is intended to appeal to all. Programme : O ADONÁŸ (Gregorian Chant, c. 1300) ANGELUS AD VIRGINEM (14th century Irish melody) COVENTRY CAROL (Trad, arr Martin Shaw) ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY (H. J. Gauntlett) E’EN SO LORD JESUS, QUICKLY COME (Paul Manz) INFANT HOLY, INFANT LOWLY (Trad Polish) HARK! THE HERALD-ANGELS SING! (F Mendelssohn) ﴾Interval﴿ IN DULCI JUBILO (T

Keeping the "Benedict bounce" going

Twenty priests gathered today at St Bede's, Clapham Park for "Ratzinger Fest No. 2" to go over the Papal Visit and highlight the great blessing which God gave to us in the few days when the Holy Father came to our country. Fr Basden, " Monsieur le Curé " led the proceedings, referring to many of the great moments of the visit and emphasising the way in which the Holy Father changed the terms of discourse in our secular society. My brief was to speak about the media coverage of the visit - I focussed on the remarkable change from the vitriol in the weeks leading up to it, to the positive coverage once Pope Benedict's plane landed in Scotland. I also took the opportunity to speak a little about the contribution of Catholic blogs. Fr Zuhlsdorf of What does the Prayer Really Say gave an interesting reflection from a US perspective, comparing and contrasting the way in which Pope Benedict made an impact in the US and the UK. Fr Andrew Southwell took us through

Juventutem London - next meeting

I heard good reports of the Juventutem London meeting last week. If you missed that one, there will be another gathering on Friday 10 December for Mass (EF) at 6.30pm at Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane (organised by the Good Counsel Network) at 6.30pm, followed by a meal somewhere nearby. (Juventutem is for people aged 18-35 - but everyone can go the Mass, of course.) Here's the Facebook Event to sign up.

Garrigou-Lagrange Colloquium at Oxford

The Dominicans at Oxford are organising a colloqium dedicated to one of the great 20th century thinkers and writers of their Order, Fr Garrigou-Lagrange. The Colloquium will be taking up the relationship of Garrigou-Lagrange's thinking to some other influential 20th century thinkers. I would be fascinated to attend this day but unfortunately my parish commitments prevent me - but I will be most interested to read the papers if, as I expect, they are subsequently published. If you are a student of Catholic theology, this would be a day well spent. Here is the information: The Aquinas Institute, Blackfriars, Oxford RÉGINALD GARRIGOU-LAGRANGE AND SOME DISPUTED QUESTIONS IN 20TH CENTURY CATHOLIC THOUGHT Saturday 27th November 2010 10.00 - 17.00 "Philosophical Adequacy: Garrigou-Lagrange on the Thought of Bergson and Blondel" Richard Peddicord OP Aquinas Institute of Theology, St Louis, Missouri "Garrigou and de Lubac on Divine Revelation" Aidan Nichol

FSSP - Vocation discernment weekend

There will be a Vocation discernment weekend at St John Fisher House in Reading (the residence of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter in England & Wales) from 17-19 December. This is for men aged 18 to 35 years of age. The weekend will start on Friday 17 December at 6pm and end mid-afternoon on Sunday 19 December. Location: St John Fisher House 17 Eastern Avenue Reading RG1 5RU There is limited overnight accommodation: please book now. Here is some further information from Fr De Malleray concerning the weekend: Programme: Spiritual conferences, socials, Holy Mass each of the three days (Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite), silent prayer, private talk with Fr de Malleray, FSSP. Fr de Malleray will explain what is a vocation in general and to the priesthood in particular. Read here the Holy Father’s recent Letter to seminarians . Extract: “The proper celebration of the Eucharist involves knowing, understanding and loving the Church’s liturgy in its concrete form. In the lit

Backbone award: Bishop Morlino

It is important for us pesky Catholic bloggers to give credit where it is due. Today I would like to highlight the excellent witness given by Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison  in Wisconsin USA. Bishop Morlino has been outspoken in his defence of human life and of the family. For this and for his support of Pope Benedict, he has been attacked in the press by non-Catholics and, as so often today, some of his most bitter opponents have been liberal Catholics. "Call to Action" even took out a newspaper advert to attack him. One firestorm has been his appointment of priests of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest to the parish of St Mary's in Platteville. A group of parishioners presented a petition to the Bishop asking him to remove the priests. Bishop Morlino sent back a cracking response to the whingeing complaints, offering a point-by-point answer to the petition. Here is point 1: Allegation: Introduction of faith doctrine that is pre-Vatican II in format an

Catholic bloggers joining the battle for libel law reform

Both Dolphinarium: Catholic bloggers for Libel Reform - Fight for Free Speech and James Preece: Catholics for Libel Reform have highlighted a petition for libel law reform . I agree with it and have signed it. It is important to have a libel law. If someone writes seriously damaging things about you that are false, you should have some redress against them. To obtain a retraction, an apology, and some reasonable financial compensation is fair enough if your reputation has been seriously damaged. Unfortunately in England at the moment, the libel law can be used to stifle debate, even to prevent scientists from publishing their research freely, and to intimidate people instead of engaging in rational discussion. It is a matter of balance between free speech and the prevention of calumny. We have not got that balance right and therefore I support the reform of the libel law.

500 Crosses for Life - this Saturday

Click picture to enlarge This Saturday, 13 November, there is a Pro-Life Prayer Procession in London. Here are the details 500 Crosses for Life Prayer Procession London Saturday, 13 November 13:30 Start at Westminster Cathedral Peaceful Prayer Procession with a Mourning Ceremony at Westminster Bridge End at Westminster Abbey at about 16:00 "500 Crosses for Life" is an European, ecumenical initiative of "European Voice of the Unborn Children: Protect Our Life" (EuroProLife, Westendstr.78, D-80339 Munich) and partners. Contact in London: Joe Clovis (0208) 690 8314, Email: Join the united prayer forces of European and British prolife groups for our unborn brothers and sisters, their parents, doctors and all other children of God, who are involved in abortion. Do go along if you can.

Just the beginning - from Barcelona

Video from Barcelona: H/T Bara Brith

A discerning cat

It seems that the blessing received by Monsignora Mastai Furretti has taken. I write "Monsignora" since she seems, as far as I can tell, to be a traddy womyn-prelate. Since she doesn't have a spiritual and immortal soul and therefore cannot have a sacramental character, perhaps there is some way of justifying this theologically, though I shall resist the temptation to include it as a scholion in my (sometime) forthcoming book on Sacramental Theology. The Mulier Fortis who is carer to the feline Prelatess has posted photographs showing that the Monsignora who claims family links with the Blessed Pius IX was presented with the article of Mgr Basil Loftus in which he said that Christ "was not physically present when he appeared to the disciples after the resurrection" and a copy of The Remnant . The result are incontrovertible. Here is but one of the photos:

The dangers of "Woman's Weekly" spirichooaliddy

A priest friend sent me a copy of his diocesan newspaper in which he had highlighted a particular article concerning a Mass celebrated by the Bishop for catechists. After Holy Communion there was a quiet reading of the following meditation. Put on your best soothing voice... WHAT HAPPENS AT THE EUCHARIST It could be said that the bits and pieces of each day’s jigsaw puzzle are put together at the altar; [ well, it could, I suppose ] that the separate, often discordant notes of a day in our life are fused into one flowing symphony; [ this is the "Woman's Weekly" spirituality that goes some way to explain the absence of young male Catholics in the Church, something James Preece  rightly points out regularly ] that the hurts, fears and betrayals of our lives are all held and embraced [ yes, that "holding and embracing God" who hugs you and rubs your back, buys you flowers, goes clothes shopping with you and will chat for hours on the phone sympathising with all

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