Monday, December 14, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Austin Ivereigh has emailed a correction which we are happy to carry: he condemns Michael Moore's pro-abortion views. We are glad to hear it. It is after all entirely characteristic of The Guardian to tamper with people's words with a view to creating divisions in the Catholic world.
From Austin Ivereigh
This is the email I sent to John Smeaton of SPUC and asked him to publish it under his post. He has ignored me. Let’s see if you have the guts and integrity to publish it.
In my piece for the Guardian which John Smeaton refers to, I never call Moore a “committed Catholic”. Those words were added by the editor in the standfirst. What I say in the piece is that Moore goes to Mass each Sunday. When I questioned whether this was true in a post for America magazine (read it here ) I received an emphatic message from his office which led me to apologise for questioning the fact (my apology is here ). As for failing to mention that Leo XIII in the same year as Rerum Novarum spoke out against abortion, mea culpa– but I don’t see anything worth apologising for. I have a strong record of speaking out against abortion, and I deplore Moore’s failure to do so.
Journalist and Commentator
5 Cumberland St, London SW1V 4LS
Thursday, October 15, 2009
From Lifesitenews: The head of the United Nations' food agency has said that population
control is not necessary to combat food shortages. Dr. Jacques Diouf told a
synod of African bishops meeting in Rome this week that "On the earth,
there is a sufficient number of financial means, effective technologies,
natural and human resources to eliminate hunger in the world once and for
all." [LifeSiteNews.com, 13 October] Dr Diouf's position
is in marked contrast to the calls for population control frequently made
elsewhere in the UN system.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
The Kennedy clan is the most prominent Catholic family in the highly dynastic world of US politics, and it is firmly pro-abortion. How did this come about? The promise of money and allies from the abortion lobby was underpinned by a group of dissident Catholic theologians who actually had a formal meeting in 1964 to coach family members in the sophistical distinctions they could make to rationalise their position. What they advocated appears to have been basically the familiar claim that a politician can be 'personally opposed' to abortion but as a matter of policy various considerations, from the need to maintain public order to the 'distress' of a woman who might be refused abortion, can justify voting to make abortion easier in every possible way - as if the state's duty to defend the lives of the innocent could be set aside so easily.
Mr. Jonsen writes that the Hyannisport colloquium was influenced by the position of another Jesuit, the Rev. John Courtney Murray, a position that [AGAIN… pay attention…] "distinguished between the moral aspects of an issue and the feasibility of enacting legislation about that issue." It was the consensus at the Hyannisport conclave that Catholic politicians "might tolerate legislation that would permit abortion under certain circumstances if political efforts to repress this moral error led to greater perils to social peace and order."
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Business as usual in The Tablet last week - claiming that abortion is just 'Catholic' issue and that therefore Catholics should not let it get in the way when they decide what political policies to support (er, right!). This is a central tenat of the implicitly or explicitly pro-abortion dissident network of 'Catholic' organisations which feed off the Church and neutralise her public teaching. On this occasion The Tablet was addressing not a UK issue but an American one, so Archbishop Chaput pf Denver has posted a reply. (H-t Damian Thompson) In part:
Last week a British Catholic journal, in an editorial titled “US bishops must back Obama,” claimed that America’s bishops “have so far concentrated on a specifically Catholic issue - making sure state-funded health care does not include abortion - rather than the more general principle of the common good.”
It went on to say that if US Catholic leaders would get over their parochial preoccupations, “they could play a central role in salvaging Mr Obama’s health-care programme.”
The editorial has value for several reasons. First, it proves once again that people don’t need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues. Second, some of the same pious voices that once criticized US Catholics for supporting a previous president now sound very much like acolytes of a new president. Third, abortion is not, and has never been, a “specifically Catholic issue,” and the editors know it. And fourth, the growing misuse of Catholic “common ground” and “common good” language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Those who strive to be Politically Correct have been tearing each other apart over the demands of Muslims to adhere to their own customs. Special sex-segregated sessions at public swimming pools with vastly stricter dress codes have been established by many left-wing local authorities, and have attracted criticism from other lefties. A Labour minister walked out of a Muslim wedding when he discovered men and women had separate rooms, and has been practically accused of racism by a Labour peer. Sharia courts have been recognised as legitimate forums for arbitration by the Government, to the dismay of those who think they are sexist.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
It seems that following the demise of the Pro-Life Party as a political party, a new party was formed which would be specifically Catholic. The Pro-Life Party never won any seats but it got some good publicity for life issues at election times, and won a battle with the BBC over an election broadcast. To have the BBC accused of exercising 'censorship' in a court ruling was an important acheivment.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The final two modules are aimed at young people over the age of 16 and deals with methods of contraception.
There is no discussion of the morality of the methods with the focus on function and effectiveness. The manual hails condoms as 98 per cent effective in avoiding pregnancy, and the Pill, the coil and hormonal injections as 99 per cent effective, but says that NFP methods are far less reliable.
"If you have a regular menstrual cycle, it [NFP] is 80 to 98 per cent effective, but can be lower if your cycle is irregular," the manual says. "NFP is not often suggested for teenagers who might not be considering committed relationships as yet." The manual was criticised by NFP teachers who insisted that their methods were nearly 100 per cent effective.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Warning: contains nudity.
See Catholic and Loving It for more commentary. If you don't want your 9-year old to see material like this, don't send him or her to a Catholic school where Archbishop Nichols' ideas on sex education have influence.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.
Friday, July 17, 2009
'A fundamental commitment to the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church, particularly as expressed by the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.'
This is explained in more detail: 'The word 'fundamental' relates to the key objectives of the organisation as formally written and as corporately pursued. It is tolerant of some variety of emphasis in expression and in operation, but not of deviation from ultimate loyalty to the Church, nationally or internationally.'
Head of Marriage Care exhorts Church to re-think the family.
Gay couples can lay equal claim to their married heterosexual counterparts when
bringing up children in stable relationships. That is one of the many
challenges laid down by Terry Prendergast, Chief Executive of Marriage Care, in
a speech to members of QUEST, the community of lesbian and gay Catholics at
their annual conference this weekend. His remarks come as a timely contribution
after many Catholic adoption agencies have, in recent months, had to agonise
about whether to fall into line with new legal arrangements which oblige such
bodies to make adoption available equally to same-sex as well as heterosexual
Mr Prendergast will address the gathering in Leicester with his wife, Kate, a
lecturer in social policy at Brunel University. The conference theme is:" We
Are Family: New Thinking for the Twenty First Century."
"Statistically, children do best in a family where the adult relationship is
steady, stable and loving, " he says. "Note that I stress adult, not married,
since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with
heterosexual couples, " he adds.
A dominant theme of his address centres on how the Church has often built up a
romantic image of a golden age of the nuclear family which, in truth, has not
really found expression in reality, often with unwelcome consequences for those
that "do not fit." These include single parent families, and also co-habiting
and same -sex families. He says that often "those individuals.want to live good
lives according to the precepts of the Gospels. They are an advert for the
Church, an advert that the Church often ignores, or consigns to the waste bin."
He says that in all relationships, the institutional aspects are less important
than the sacramental qualities, "the presence of God mediated through
commitment, consent and covenant. The move from the institutional to
companionship, choosing for love, has been marked, possibly more deeply, in
co-habiting and same-sex couples."
Inspired by Professor Margaret Farley's book, Just Love: A Framework for
Christian Ethics, Mr Prendergast lays out seven norms or criteria for
evaluating the richness of relationships and family:
Do no unjust harm,
Terry Prendergast is Chief Executive of Marriage Care, formerly CMAC, and has
been in that role since 2000. He was born in West Yorkshire and joined the
Montfort Fathers in 1967. He left the Montfortians in 1970, marrying Kate. He
trained as a social worker in 1975 and as a Psychotherapist in 1980, but has
been involved in management in the charitable sector since 1989. He has an MA
in Managing Change in Community, from Bradford University. He is concerned
about long-term relationships, their management and support, as well as the
development of their spiritual and sacramental aspects
For further comment, Terry Prendergast can be contacted on the following mobile
number: 07771 768631.
Kate Prendergast's address is entitled: "Chance, Choice and Caritas," and will
also feature as part of the conference proceedings . It is hoped a full
transcript of the paper will be available soon after the conference on the
Quest website at www.questgaycatholic.org.
Sit Stephen Wall, a former adviser to both Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and
Tony Blair, will be the after dinner speaker on the evening of Saturday July
18th. Sir Stephen has been a member of Quest since January 2008.
The 2009 Quest Conference will be the 27th in the organisation's history and
will take place between 6pm on Friday July 17th and 4pm Sunday 19th July at
John Foster Hall at the University of Leicester.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Fr Tim Finnigan has posted on the latest Government initiate: to promote masturbation by children. Yes, things have really got that bad. 'An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away', says the leaflet. This has now been roundly condemned by Peter Bradley, Deputy Director of Kidscape, a charity concerned with bullying, including the sexual bullying which, unsurprisingly, is on the rise in schools. His message:
Sexual bullying has become much more prevalent. On the Kidscape helpline we used to get maybe one or two calls a year. Now we are getting two or three a week. It’s probably the tip of the iceberg.I wonder what Kidscape think of the latest initiative from NHS Sheffield which has prepared a leaflet for young people telling them that it is good to have an orgasm a day, and encouraging them to masturbate. (See the promotional article in "Children and Young People Now".) The booklet is, of course, strongly endorsed by the Family Planning Association and the Brook, whose spokesman extols the value of sex education before adolescence. (See also the report from the Christian Institute: Pupils told: regular sex is good for you.)
How long will it be before feminists, child safeguarding agencies and ordinary parents begin to cotton on to the clear and present danger that this kind of explicit sex education presents to their children?
Friday, June 19, 2009
Comment: Luke Coppen makes a good case for Benedict XVI being what commentators said before his election, a man who cracks down on abuses. The Holy Father is doing it in different places and on different subject with seriousness, but no fanfare - sometimes even with a degree of necessary secrecy. As Coppen points out, this means that his reforming zeal has gone largely unnoticed; it also fails to fit the stereotype of a liberal reformer which many commentators assume is the only kind.
Investigating America's seminaries: Not long after his election Benedict XVI oversaw an apostolic visitation of seminaries in the United States. The investigation was inspired by the clerical sexual abuse crisis of 2002 and covered all schools of theology as well as college-level seminaries, houses of formation, and academic institutions that form future priests.
Scrutinising American female religious orders: The Pope has also ordered a wide-ranging investigation of American women religious. The apostolic visitation of institutes of women religious in the United States, which is currently underway, covers approximately 400 apostolic religious institutes of women and approximately 59,000 women religious. It is likely to lead to a shake-up of American female religious life.
Deposing the leader of an African Church: Earlier this month Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Archbishop Paulin Pomodimo of Bangui, the most senior Catholic cleric in the Central African Republic (CAR). The resignation followed a visit to the CAR by a papal emissary, Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, in March. It is widely thought that the Pope requested the archbishop's resignation because he tolerated priests keeping mistresses.
Calling for a thorough accounting of abuse in Ireland: Also this month Pope Benedict called for a profound examination of the state of the Irish Church following a damning report into "endemic" abuse in schools run by religious orders.
Crisis talks with the Austrian bishops: And this week Pope Benedict held an emergency meeting with the leaders of the Austrian Church. The gathering followed the appointment and subsequent resignation of Gerhard Wagner as auxiliary Bishop of Linz and reports that priests in senior positions in the diocese live with mistresses. The Pope reminded the bishops of "the urgency of going deeper in the faith and the integral fidelity to the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Church" - a coded message that the Austrian Church is in serious need of reform.
These events together show the determination with which Pope Benedict is confronting the gravest scandals in the Church today. They have all had considerable publicity, but nevertheless have not created the perception that Benedict XVI is a bold reformist pope.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This has rendered Damian Thompson speechless and it has had the same effect on us. But focaccia was used as the host at a Mass in Linz, Austria, and under the appearance of focaccia the Blessed Sacrament was paraded around in this 'monstrance'. That's assuming focaccia is valid matter, which it probably is; it is certainly illicit.
Hat-tip to Cathcon.