Action: ladies, please take a moment to fill in the questionnaire, here.
As always, this is an opportunity to remind the government that parental child-rearing is a worth-while occupation and needs to be supported, not attacked, by government policy. Hat-tip to 'Full Time Mothers'.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Action: ladies, please take a moment to fill in the questionnaire, here.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Update : although Fr Quiligotti wrote to the Catholic Herald denying that his diocese had failed to back him up, the Catholic Herald's 'Pastor Iuventus' and Fr Anthony Smondson SJ have written with appalling stories of hosptital obstruction of chaplaincy services. This is a national scandal; Catholics with friends or relations in hospital should be aware of the problem.
Briefing 10/08/07: Bishop Brain of Salford is failing to support a priest who has been struggling with the same NHS obstructionism against chaplains that prompted the Scottish Bishops to complain last December: see our post here.
From the Catholic Herald (in part): Fr David Quiligotti, 51, was appointed a chaplain by Bishop Terence Brain of Salford in 2003 and worked at Trafford General Hospital for four years. But he says he was forced to stand down last month after hospital managers complained to diocesan officials.
Fr Quiligotti believes he is paying the price for criticising standards at the 450-bed hospital. In the run-up to his departure he had claimed that some wards were routinely understaffed and that “unnecessary” bureaucracy was making it difficult for chaplains to locate patients who needed emotional and spiritual help.
Fr Quiligotti had regularly asked for access to electronic patient records in order to facilitate his contact with Catholic patients. He claimed that other hospitals had more effective ways of alerting chaplains to patients’ religious needs.
“Some trusts have set up an additional computer field so chaplains can log on to the system but only see patients’ names and their religion without being able to see any of their medical records,” he said.
“Sometimes families would tell me they had asked to see a priest when their seriously ill relative came in weeks before – but that the message had never been passed on.”
See the local paper's story here.
Briefing. Regular readers won't be surprised.
From CFNews: The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has appointed several pro-abortion ministers to life-related portfolios in his new UK government, a move which means any reform of the abortion law is likely to lead to more abortions. Ms Dawn Primarolo MP, appointed a minister of state for health, has voted for abortion on demand to be extended to Northern Ireland. Mr Ben Bradshaw MP, also appointed a minister of state for health, supports the Abortion Act 1967. Mrs Ann Keen MP, appointed a parliamentary under-secretary of state for health, believes in a woman's right to choose abortion. Mr Jim Knight MP, appointed a minister of state for children, families and schools, signed a parliamentary motion in 2002 calling for "universal access to comprehensive reproductive health services", a phrase normally understood to include abortion on demand. Beverley Hughes, also appointed a minister of state for children, families and schools, signed parliamentary motions in 1997 calling for abortion on demand and for the Abortion Act 1967 to be extended to Northern Ireland. Gareth Thomas, appointed a parliamentary under-secretary of state for international development, is one of parliament's leading promoters of abortion on demand and population control.
From CFNews: The British government has confirmed that it supports population control in Africa. Speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon said, 'The Government is committed to improving sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, across Africa. In 2006, the Department for International Development provided £25.1 million to the UNFPA and £7.5 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation to support work on sexual and reproductive health and rights. We also work at country level and are funding reproductive health services in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.' Pro-life spokesman Anthony Ozimic, commented, 'The British government's renewed commitment to spreading the culture of death abroad makes all the more worrying the Baroness's nomination to the post of EU special representative to the African Union.' [House of Lords / Hansard]
Briefing: there must be parallels in the UK.
From CFNews: California-based lecturer and author Dr. Judith Reisman, who has served as an expert witness in lawsuits involving sexual abuse, urges bishops to take action against sex therapy 'experts' who have advised the Church. Her research paper, 'Reliance of the Catholic Church on Sexuality Advisors Whose Moral Foundation Differs Markedly from that of the Church,' was submitted to a select group of bishops in 2002, so far without official response. California Catholic Daily interviewed Reisman on Aug. 12.
A number of Catholic priests later convicted for sex abuse were ex-patients of sexual therapy centers. What's the problem here?
Reisman: 'Human sexuality education' has always been based on the Kinsey model. The 'Harvard' of the Kinseyan field was the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco . The IASHS 'education' canon reflected the frauds created by Kinsey, a pedophile advocate.
Kinsey's research was ultimately used to eliminate laws banning pornography and sexual deviancy in all fifty states. Didn't anybody realize he was a fraud?
Several highly respected academicians, including Abraham Maslow, charged that Kinsey's work was shoddy and un-scientific. Even Warren Weaver, a lead scientist with Kinsey's funder, the Rockefeller Foundation, knew and warned that Kinsey's statistics were worthless; but Weaver was ignored.
Is there evidence of fraud perpetrated against the Catholic Church?
Susan Brinkman gives the details in her book, The Kinsey Corruption (Ascension Press). Certain Catholic Church administrators hired sexuality educators who taught Kinseyan values. This employment pattern held as well for some selected psychologists who screened aspiring seminarians, many of whom were rejected because they were said to be too sexually 'orthodox,' not 'tolerant' of homosexuality. Bishops sent pedophile priests for treatment to therapists who accepted pedophilia as an 'orientation.'
Which experts and treatment centers?
The Johns Hopkins clinic and St. Luke Institute [in Maryland] are two Kinseyan therapeutic venues. Fr. Rossetti took over St. Luke Institute after its founder, Michael Peterson, a priest and practicing homosexual, died of AIDS. Some of their infamous pederast patients included Fr. Rudy Kos of Dallas and Fr. John Geoghan of Boston .
The key experts were Dr. Fred Berlin and his mentor, the late Dr. John Money of the Johns Hopkins clinic. Yet, Money claimed his failed sex change operations were complete successes. He originated the notion that there is no genetic woman or man. Culture only determines one's sex, he said.
Money also told The Journal of Paedophilia that sex between men and young boys was healthy. He advocated an end to age of consent. His protégé and successor Fred Berlin refused to report his patients who were actively offending pedophiles and pederasts during his 'treatment.'
You want the Church to sue the clinics where the priests and psychologists had been trained. Are there legal precedents ?
Yes, medical malpractice is one approach that immediately comes to mind. These 'sexperts' held themselves out as authorities; bishops and vocations directors listened and commonly followed their directives. Yet, almost all of these 'sexperts' built their therapies on the fraudulent research of Kinsey and his disciples.
Could the ordinary Catholic laity seek damages, for instance through a class-action suit?
I did speak with several attorneys who confirmed that the Catholic laity was empowered to seek such damages. As 'the Church' the laity would have legal standing for redress of grievances, loss of religious trust and amity, and other claims due to the fraud and harms perpetrated by bogus sex experts [California Catholic Daily]
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Briefing. Pre-natal testing with a view to destroying babies with apparent abnormalities is itself gravely wrong; amniocentesis is also extremely dangerous.
From SPUC: Prenatal tests for Down's syndrome could cause women to miscarry their healthy babies, according to a British doctor. Dr Hylton Meire, formerly of King's College Hospital, London, warned that the amniocentesis test can be needlessly invasive and can lead to miscarriages of unborn children. Writing in Ultrasound, he calculated that there are 160 healthy babies lost for every 50 cases of Down's or Edwards' syndrome detected.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Briefing: a new book by the Chair of one of our favourite organisations, 'Full Time Mothers'. We haven't read it but it sounds useful: 'Detoxing Childhood' by Sue Palmer.
From FTM: parenthood can be the most exciting and rewarding time in one's life but it can also be the most demanding and challenging. It is a sad fact that Britain's teenagers have more problems than those in any other country in Europe. So what is going wrong? Why is there such an increase in childhood depression? Why are more and more young people suffering from stress? Why are behavioural problems on the increase? Why is there a rise in substance abuse, violence and self-harm amongst young people?
Sue Palmer in 'Toxic Childhood' explored the pressures and demands which affect children's and young people's emotional, social and physical development. In this text, the sequel, she offers a range of insights, ideas and practical advice showing how negative influences on children's development can be defused. Every parent and every teacher should have this clear-sighted, immensely readable and accessible book to hand." (Gervase Phinn, author and former school inspector)
Briefing: congratulations to them!
From SPUC: A demonstration against China's one-child policy was yesterday held outside the Chinese embassy in London by SPUC's youth and student division. The silent protest drew attention to the forced abortions and sterilisations carried out under the policy, as well as to the injustices suffered by those who have attempted to stand up to the Chinese government over this issue. Fiorella Nash, co-ordinator of the demonstration, said: "Anyone concerned with human rights should be uniting to fight this atrocity, which has been responsible for the deaths of millions of unborn babies." A similar demonstration by university students was due to take place in Sydney, Australia, today.
Briefing: euthanasia is one aspect of the appalling attitude of many in the 'caring professions' to the old; this is another.
From SPUC: A report by British MPs and peers has warned that many older patients are being neglected in their hospitals and care homes. The Joint Committee on Human Rights heard evidence of care home residents subjected to neglect and discrimination, and has concluded that 21% of facilities have failed to meet even minimum standards of dignity and privacy for elderly patients. Mr Andrew Dismore MP, committee chairman, said: "Neglect and ill-treatment of the elderly is a severe abuse of human rights. We must see a complete change of culture in the health and care services." Mr Ivan Lewis MP, health minister, has said that reforms of services for the elderly are on the way: "We are strengthening our leadership role and embarking on a major programme of change which will seek to address the issues raised in this report."
Local action as appropriate: in an article in the Catholic Herald (10/8/07), Guy Stair Sainty laments the small number of papal knighthoods being awarded, and priests being made 'monsignori', in England and Wales.
In the last few years the Papal Orders have been awarded in just 12 out of the 32 dioceses. One may conclude that the other 20 bishops do not believe exemplary service to the Church or Holy See should be publicly recognised.
Serving the Church can be a thankless task: laity and clergy should not forget to nominate worthy recipients of papal awards to their diocesan bishop and/or the Papal Nuncio, who have the role of recommending them to Rome. There is a series of ranks of monsignor, for clergy, and a number of different 'orders' (and see here), with different ranks within them, for laity. For ordinary laity in Britain (ie not heads of state etc.) the two appropriate ones are the Order of St Gregory and the Order of St Sylvester.
Local action as appropriate (see end).
This attempt to frustrate the Pope's intentions is simply breathtaking. The purpose of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, which clarifies and changes certain provisions of the Church's law, is to give priests the right to celebrate Mass according to the 'previous liturgical tradition' whenever they wish: privately, or where the pastor judges there to be demand from the faithful, publicly. Again, all the sacraments and rituals in the traditional form may be used at the discretion of the 'pastor'. And faithful who want Mass and the sacraments in the traditional form have the right to ask for it: if their parish priest cannot provide it, the bishop and the Ecclesia Dei commission are to seek a solution.
Archbishop Conti of Glasgow, in a letter to his clergy, is trying to turn this on its head: he demands the right to veto public and even private celebrations on the grounds of a lack of demand or the priest's lack of knowledge. He simply does not have the right to do this: the Pope, as supreme legislator of the Church, has given this discretion to individual priests.
As St Augustine wrote: when the governor says one things, and the emperor another, we should obey the emperor. (Quoted by Aquinas, Summa Theologiae Ia IIae Q.19 q.5 obj.2.)
Hat-tip to Holy Smoke; full chapter and verse on Conti's letter and its legal errors from Fr Zulsdorf. Fr Zuhlsdorf remarks that this is the most hostile reaction to the Motu Proprio he has seen from anywhere in the world. Local complaints should go, first to Archbishop Conti, then--without fail--to Cardinal Hoyos and the Ecclesia Dei commission.
Archbishop Mario Conti
196 Clyde Street,
Glasgow G1 4J
Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos
Palazzo della Congr. per la Dottrina della Fede,
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Briefing: informative rather than entertaining, but the Population Research Institute is to be congratulated on its work.
The first: on uncovering the brutality of the Chinese one-child policy.
The second: on countering American pro-abortion NGOs in Latin America.
Briefing: but they're not even enjoying themselves.
From CFNews: The UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases in Europe. In 2005, 51,509 young women under 18 became pregnant. Just over half of them gave birth but most under-16-year-olds had abortions. 110,000 cases of chlamydia were diagnosed in 2005. In a recent survey almost a quarter of 14-year-old girls claimed to have had sex -- with an average of three partners. 60 percent said they were drunk at the time, half regretted it later and over a quarter 'did not even like their sexual partner'.
Briefing. This is no joke, despite the denials of the 'Gay Rights' advocate quoted in the story. European clerics and parliamentarians have already been fined or imprisoned for pro-life or pro-family statements: see here, here and here.
From CFNews: The Vatican is worried its opposition to abortion, embryonic stem cell research and homosexual marriage could one day land it before an international court of justice, a senior Vatican official said in an interview published yesterday. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, who heads the Pontifical Council for the Family, reiterated traditional Roman Catholic Church positions and criticized some European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and France, for giving legal recognition to civil unions. 'We worry especially that, with current laws, speaking in defence of life and the rights of families is becoming in some societies sort of a crime against the state,' Lopez Trujillo told the Catholic news magazine Famiglia Cristiana for its issue scheduled to hit the stands today, Thursday.
'The church is at risk of being brought before some international court if the debate becomes any tenser, if the more radical requests get heard,' the cardinal said, speaking ahead of the Church's World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain from July 1-9. Lopez Trujillo did not comment further about any legal problems the Vatican could face, but his words touched upon a concern among religious organizations everywhere: the right of religious freedom versus countries' anti-discrimination laws.
Chai Feldblum of Georgetown University's Law Center said the chances of the church being punished for stating its beliefs were slim to none, at least in the United States, though its stances could lead to Catholic organizations losing state funding. 'I cannot fathom a religious organization being punished for speaking its belief against abortion or gay marriage,' said Feldblum, a veteran homosexual rights advocate. 'What is illuminating is not the reality of the legal penalties they face, but an acknowledgment that public morality is shifting under their feet,' Feldblum said. In recent years, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Canada legalized same-sex marriage, while Britain and several other European nations now give such couples the right to form partnerships that entitle them to most of the same tax and pension rights as married couples - laws the Church is firmly against.
In the interview, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo reiterated that according to church rules, women who have abortions, the doctors and nurses who help them and the father, if he is going along with it, are excommunicated. The same goes for embryonic stem cell research. 'It's the same thing. Destroying the embryo is equivalent to abortion,' Lopez Trujillo said. He also criticized what he described as a movement to impose new human rights. 'It's happening for abortion, which is a crime, and instead it's becoming a right,' the cardinal said. He also compared homosexual marriage to 'absolute emptiness,' saying the only possible couple is made up of a man and a woman. Earlier this month, the Pontifical Council for the Family issued a 57-page document in which it said that the traditional family has never been so threatened as in today's world. It also lashed out against contraception, abortion, in vitro fertilization and same-sex marriage. The Vatican's document did not break any new ground, but marked the first sweeping comment on the issues during Pope Benedict XVI's papacy.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Briefing: two sobering stories, from the US and Ireland, from Damian Thompson's blog. The situation in the UK seems not to have been as bad as this.
An American journalist, William Lobdell, who decided to reverse his decision to become a Catholic, writes:
I discovered that the term ‘sexual abuse’ is a euphemism. Most of these children were raped and sodomised by someone they and their family believed was Christ’s representative on Earth. That’s not something an eight-year-old’s mind can process; it forever warps a person's sexuality and spirituality.
Many of these victims were molested by priests with a history of abusing children. But the bishops routinely sent these clerics to another parish, and bullied or conned the victims and their families into silence. The police were almost never called. In at least a few instances, bishops encouraged molesting priests to flee the country to escape prosecution.
I couldn't get the victims' stories or the bishops' lies — many of them right there on their own stationery — out of my head. … the children were so innocent, their parents so faithful, the priests so sick and bishops so corrupt.
An Irish journalist, ex-priest Peter de Rosa, writes:
Between 1985 and 2006 when I was living in Ireland I wrote numerous press articles on child sex abuse by Catholic priests. I prophesied that it would lead to a crisis of faith worse than at the Reformation and the final payouts to victims would lead to an economic meltdown.
If anything should prevent the beatification of John Paul II it is his Great Silence on this issue. His condemnations of so-called lay sins like contraception came out fast as salt from a salt shaker. But he never could bring himself to put together the two words “priest” and “paedophile”.
The cost to the Irish Church alone is unfathomable. Try to imagine the unimaginable. Suppose a paedophile-ring in Belfast, all Protestants, had targeted Catholic children.
Pretending to be devout converts, they insinuated themselves for years into Catholic life as sacristans, teachers and youth workers. When senior Protestant clerics learned about this, instead of going to the police, they covered it up to save face.
When the media highlighted this vile scheme, the Pope immediately expressed his utter disgust. Irish Bishops went ballistic. They demanded of the British PM a public enquiry into this obscene violation of Catholic children.
The true story is far more sinister. For decades, Catholic children were sexually tortured not by outsiders but by pervert priests who sometimes broke the seal of confession to do it. Some abused altar boys just before or after mass.
The Vatican knew and was silent. Many bishops knew but seemed to say, they're only children; they have no rights. The “Church” was more important than children.
They weren’t really bothered with investigating these appalling allegations. They didn't - as honest citizens should - report the rapists to the police. On the contrary, they secretly moved them from the parish where they’d committed rape to another where they raped children again.
Christ's so-called shepherds reversed his teaching. They tossed the lambs to the wolves.
Why not clear the whole mess up once and for all? Every priest known to have sexually abused a child should be dismissed and forbidden to say mass ever again.
I'd go further. Any priest who is sexually involved with a woman should be laicised, too. Because what is really at the basis of this terrible calamity for the Catholic Church is that Rome demands celibacy of its priests but not chastity.
Until Pope Benedict faces up to this, we shall merely substitute one priestly problem for another and the agony will go on and on.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Local action as appropriate: it is unfortunately perfectly credible that Bishop Kelly has been told, and correctly, by his lawyers that sacking this teacher would be contrary to the SORs. On the other hand, the story notes that 'The couple, who live together, had a reception in a parish centre.' The Parish Priest who authorised this should be reprimanded.
From The Telegraph (in part): Lawyers have told the Roman Catholic Church that it cannot sack a Catholic headmaster who has entered a civil partnership with a male teacher.
The Archdiocese of Liverpool has been unable to take action against Charles Coyne, the head of St Cecilia's primary school, who has registered a partnership with Richard Jones, who is believed to work at a nearby school.
Pope Benedict XVI has called civil partnerships "anarchic" and a danger to the family.Local Catholics and family campaigners have urged the authorities to take action over the "scandal". One churchgoer said: "Senior officials are aware of this yet they have done nothing. It's unacceptable."
Full story here.
Action: protests, please (see below). Few readers will still need to be convinced of this, but the latest example:
Churchgoers to Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street, at 5pm on Sunday 5th August, were handed hymn books with leaflets entitled 'Notes and News'. Just another parish newsletter, perhaps? Well, it comes from a group called the 'Soho Masses Pastoral Council', who organise these Masses on the first Sunday of every month, and it contained the following item:
Stop AIDS! Gay Men Fighting AIDS (GMFA) is holding a sports-day at Vauxhall, Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August. They’re inviting teams from those listed in their social groups directory to enter sponsored teams –
But the 'Gay Men Fighting AIDS' group, to which the 'Soho Masses Pastoral Council' is proudly affiliated, is not about promoting chastity. Rather, their website (warning: we like to give sources but that link will take you to indescribable filth, of which the quotation below is the most harmless sample) tells us:
Sex is great - we love it! So believe us when we say that we're not trying to piss on anyone's parade by saying there are risks involved. The more informed you are about the risks, the easier it will be for you to navigate them. In this section you will find information about different kinds of sex, and the related HIV and other STI risks of each of them. All STIs are preventable, treatable or curable, and some are all three, so it's worth taking care of your sexual health.
That is not enough for the Soho Masses Pastoral Council. Their own website informs us that they regularly have prayers for members of the congregation who have contracted Civil Partnerships; they invite dissident Catholic theologians - and non-Catholics - to preach, and they were a 'registered group' at the LondonPride march, an unashamed celebration of the hedonistic 'gay' lifestyle.
When it gave permission for these Masses, at the request of the Soho Masses Pastoral Council, the Archdiocese noted that
Information about the Mass will be sensitive to the reality that the celebration of Mass is not to be used for campaigning for any change to, or ambiguity about, the Church’s teaching.
This is not the 'reality' for those attending these Masses. It is worth repeating once more the pertinent section from Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's document, 'The Pastoral Care of the Homosexual Person', 1986: (See here for the full text.)
17: 'All support should be withdrawn from any organisations which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it, or which neglect it entirely. Such support, or even the semblance of such support, can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous...'
These Masses must stop. Please protest to the Cardinal and to the CDF.
Cormac, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor,
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
11 Palazzo di S. Uffizio
Vatican City State,
Update: (original post here.) The link between the Bishops' Conference and the book is confirmed by a press release on the BCEW site recommending the book. In case they take it down, here it is:
Caritas social action celebrates the publication of “Catholic Social Justice – Theological and Practical Explorations”
A collection of informative and challenging essays on Catholic social justice has just been published focusing on the encounter with God in all human experience to nurture action and help the poor, vulnerable, excluded and marginalized.
“Catholic Social Justice – Theological and Practical Explorations” features chapters by a number of leading academics and practitioners involved in social justice including MP John Battle, his essay entitled “Hearing the call of the poor”, Jim Richards on the “Rights of the Child” and Stephen Wall on “The Nature of the Catholic Advocate” to name but three of the 14 thought-provoking chapters.
In his foreword to the collection, Bishop Christopher Budd, Chair of Caritas social action Theology Commission on Social Spirituality recognises the contribution Catholic social teaching makes to the wider world:
“The overall message of the Incarnation is that God is concerned for all people. We the Church are custodians of that message and we need to be vocal about it and active in using it to influence the arrangement of our societies”
This collection will challenge, inform and provoke debate in the field of Catholic social action.Briefing 11/08/07: if anyone wondered about the influence of the Bishops on our Catholic press, this comment from Damian Thompson, Editor-in-Chief of the Catholic Herald, is revealing. Referring to the book 'Catholic Social Justice', whose attacks on the Pope he brought to public attention through his blog, he comments (in his own comment-box):
I think I've done all I reasonably can by blogging about this despicable publication. I don't want to drag my Catholic Herald colleagues into what the bishops see as a mad crusade on my part. Yet I defy anyone to read those quotes and deny that the bishops' conference is being manipulated by people on the far Left.
Guys, it's up to you: do something.
Faithful Catholics must understand: there are no Catholic leaders out there, no bishops, no newspapers, no mass-membership lay groups, who are prepared to defend even the Pope from the latest twaddle from the Bishops' Conference. It is very rare for a Catholic organisation to long survive being excluded from the Catholic Directory, or from selling its wares in churches; even the best bishops are terrified of contradicting the Conference 'party line', and most faithful Catholics are still reluctant to support anything criticised by the Bishops. It follows that all the people who have an official mandate to oppose attacks on the Church are unable to oppose those attacks when they come from the most dangerous quarter: within.
Faithful Catholics must wake up. They must support the small and non-official groups who are doing this work, notably Pro Ecclesiae et Pontifice; you can also sign up to our own 'alerts' emails.
This blog will always defend the Church. Often, that means defending our bishops, and we do so whenever we can. Sometimes, the Church -her teachings, her traditions, her Supreme Pontiff - has to be defended from our own bishops. That is not the moment to lay down your arms. 'Guys, it's up to you: do something!'
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Action, please: please protest to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and the Holy Father. Not only Bishop Budd, but all the Bishops of England and Wales are implicated in the work of the 'agencies' of the Bishops' Conference. We are told that the Pope’s views on social justice are “hardly credible” in view of the Church’s historic record of violence, torture and theft. We learn that the Catholic clergy teach that “men are superior to women” because they are more in the image of Christ. Pope John Paul II is also criticised. According to Fr Tissa Balasuriya, the author of the relevant essay, both John Paul and Benedict lived their lives “in a world dominated by white racism” and therefore could not understand the developing world. ...
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
11 Palazzo di S. Uffizio
Vatican City State,
A book has been published, ('Catholic Social Justice: Theological and Practical Explorations') 'in association with' 'Caritas Social Action', an organ of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. Its main editor, Philomena Cullen, is 'Policy Co-ordinator' at Caritas, and it has a forword by Bishop Budd of Plymouth (pictured), which criticises the Pope in the most severe terms, ridicules his first Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, and uses inverted commas when referring to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 ("the 'terrorist' attacks"). It even has a chapter by the dissident theologian Hans Kung, who was stripped of his licence to teach as a Catholic theologian in 1979, but was given an award by Freemasons in 2007.
From Holy Smoke (Damian Thompson) (see his full post here, and more quotations from the book here): Benedict is accused of taking an ideological position in favour of “the capitalist system and colonialism”.
See here for a good post on this by Fr Finigan, who points out another of the authors was condemned by the CDF in 1997: "In publishing this Notification, the Congregation is obliged also to declare that Fr. Balasuriya has deviated from the integrity of the truth of the Catholic faith and, therefore, cannot be considered a Catholic theologian; moreover, he has incurred excommunication latae sententiae (can. 1364, ß1)."
We are told that the Pope’s views on social justice are “hardly credible” in view of the Church’s historic record of violence, torture and theft. We learn that the Catholic clergy teach that “men are superior to women” because they are more in the image of Christ.
Pope John Paul II is also criticised. According to Fr Tissa Balasuriya, the author of the relevant essay, both John Paul and Benedict lived their lives “in a world dominated by white racism” and therefore could not understand the developing world. ...
Briefing. Please look out for calls for lobbying in the coming Parliamentary session. The embryo issue we have already covered; the Prostitution issue is an attack on public morality; the attempt to criminalise smacking is an attack on parental authority and the family; the Equality bill is likely to be another turn of the screw seen in the SORs.
From CFNews: Embryos. The Human Tissue and Embryos Bill will allow scientists to grow combined animal-human embryos which will be destroyed at 14 days of development. It will also end the requirement for doctors to consider a child's need for a father when referring women for fertility treatment. The Bill allows the creation of a genetically-modified child who has two mums and one dad. The Bill may also be used to open up debate about abortion laws. The Christian Institute has published a 30-minute DVD on this subject. 'Cloning Humans'.
Prostitution. The Criminal Justice Bill includes changes to the law on prostitution. Under the Bill the term 'common prostitute' will be scrapped and, instead of fining those guilty of soliciting for prostitution, courts will be able simply to order them to attend counselling sessions. Further consultation will be undertaken on whether to allow 'mini-brothels'.
Smacking. The 2004 law on smacking - which bans any smack leaving more than a temporary mark - is to be reviewed by the Government. This could open the way for another attempt at an outright ban. Some Cabinet ministers have been calling for Labour MPs to have a free vote on the issue.
Equality. The Government is holding a review of discrimination law with a view to introducing an overarching Equality Bill. It raises several consultation proposals which affect religious liberty including plans to outlaw discrimination against transsexuals in the provision of goods, facilities and services; placing a duty upon public bodies to actively promote equality based on sexual orientation; and making 'harassment' based on sexual orientation or religion unlawful. [Christian Institute].
From CFNews: One of the country's largest and oldest Catholic adoption agencies, Catholic Care, will stop finding parents for children in need due to the government's new laws on homosexual adoptions. The Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR), which were rushed through Parliament earlier this year despite opposition from many MPs and religious leaders, require adoption agencies to accept same-sex couples as prospective parents. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor had warned of the possible closure of seven Catholic adoption agencies if the regulations were passed. According to a report in The Daily Mail, Catholic Care, which is based in Yorkshire and run by the Diocese of Leeds, became the first to pull out of the adoption business after a vote by its trustees. In a statement, the charity said it had reviewed its work in the light of new government legislation and decided to gradually reduce its adoption activity and refocus its energy on other vulnerable groups that receive less support. The Daily Mail also reported that Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue of Lancaster wrote to Catholic Caring Services, an adoption charity in his diocese, about his thoughts on ending its adoption program as well by December 2008. Bishop O'Donoghue said the adoption law demands the welfare of the child should come first. Pointing to research, he said: 'We know that what is best for children is to live with (heterosexual) married couples.' [CNA]
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Action: please sign the Petition. Iraqi Christians are suffering while the country is under occupation by the UK and its allies: we have an obligation to tell our government to protect them more effectively.
Hat-tip to Hermeneutic of Continuity.
The Petition reads:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Acknowledge the plight of the indigenous Christian communities of Iraq and to bring to bear on the American and Iraqi governments the need for adequate and just protection for these ancient Iraqi communities. Further information:
While Iraq is constantly in world news reports the plight of Iraqi Christians goes mostly unnoticed. According to the Society for Threatened People in Goettingen, Germany, Iraq currently experiences the biggest persecution of Christians of our time. In fear of murders, bomb-attacks, kidnappings, and torture Christians have been fleeing the country by the thousands. Approximately 75 percent of the 650,000 Christians in Iraq have been driven from their homes. They have fled mainly to neighbouring Syria or Lebanon. A Christian community with a history of 2,000 years is in danger of becoming extinct, according to the human rights organization. Hundreds of Christians have been kidnapped in the past years. The Society claims that Christians are being driven out of Iraq systematically by Muslim extremists. Security forces and Arab militia do little to protect Christians. Even the US & UK forces do not provide ample protection according to the society.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Action, please: respond to the consultation to defend the right of doctors to avoid cooperation with abortion, IVF, and contraception. Note especially that the GMC's current position is that doctors opposed to abortion may refuse actually to carry out the procedure, but they must hand over to another doctor: this would be material cooperation in a grave evil.
From SPUC: British parliamentarians have produced a report on the government's draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill and SPUC is deeply concerned about it. If the committee has its way, wide areas of embryo research would be exempt from licensing and the regulatory authority would have unprecedented new power. The legislators on the group propose much more generous permission for inter-species embryo creation than is even in the draft bill, and they want broader grounds for creation of 'saviour sibling' embryos as well as a weakening of the law against so-called reproductive cloning. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "The report is good news for ethically insensitive researchers, would-be cloners and other maverick scientists. It is bad news for IVF embryos and for the idea that law should have an ethical framework." [SPUC media release and longer critique, 1 August] The proposed law could mean that birth certificates would indicate the origins of people conceived with donor gametes. The 18 members of both parliamentary chambers heard nearly 50 witnesses and received more than 100 written submissions, including from SPUC. [Guardian, 1 August] Two members of the committee have also expressed anxiety. Mr David Burrowes MP and Ms Geraldine Smith MP write: "We are very concerned that, by facilitating 'hybrid' experiments, the Bill will inevitably have the effect of further diverting money away from adult stem cell research - which has given rise to more than 70 successful patient therapies - to embryonic research, which has produced no therapies whatsoever." The committee had lacked consensus. [letters, Daily Telegraph, 1 August] It has already been announced that the draft Bill will be introduced to
Parliament during its next session later this year.
Briefing. The right of pharmacists, like doctors, to refuse to cooperate in abortion is a big issue in the US, but this UK case is unusual. Referring a customer to a less conscientious pharmacist would, of course, be cooperation in evil.
From SPUC: An unidentified pharmacist in Staffordshire, England, reportedly refused to supply morning-after pills to a 26-year-old married woman on grounds of conscience. A spokeswoman for the pharmacists' professional body said that their ethical code required practitioners who objected to providing such drugs to refer customers to colleagues who would. Mrs Sarah Luke, the person requesting the pills at Lloyds pharmacy, Hednesford, expressed anger. [icCannock, 2 August]