Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Marie Stopes advertise vasectomies on beer mats in Dublin pubs. Should I laugh or cry?

Blimey, I’m out of touch with what’s happening in Ireland. Or maybe I’m just out of touch. Marie Stopes have started an advertising campaign in Dublin pubs – advertising vasectomies on beer mats.
I thought it was a joke – it sounded so vulgar. So, the marketing idea is that the next time some Dubliners go for a pint, they will see Marie Stopes vasectomies advertised under the glass.
What I would like to know is that what pub or any respectable business advertises medical procedures on their counters and tables? It shows that they don’t really respect their customers; why else would they flagrantly put adverts for a contentious medical operation under their noses? It’s a very sensitive, private topic. Perhaps the Dublin pubs will have the good sense not to use these beer mats – they risk making the atmosphere in the pub uncomfortable. And this would be especially true for Irish pubs. In Ireland such topics remain acutely controversial.
I haven’t been able to find any pictures of these beer-mat-adverts. But I’m thinking of calling a few of the well-known Dublin pubs and asking them if and why they are stocking these beer mats.

Let’s recognize Sr. Myra’s false ‘comparison’ between Pope Benedict and the BNP for what it is: fantasy and fancy. There is nothing but contrast between Pope Benedict’s papacy and the BNP.

Pardon me for writing more on “Catholic” Voices for Reform, and for making the next obvious point, because I’m beginning to wonder why we are taking them seriously. But I think we ought to understand this slur for what it is.
In October 2009 Sr. Myra wrote in The Church Times:
“The only unity Pope Benedict XVI and his advisers want is the unity with those who are “right-wingers”, to use a political term. If the Pope had to appear on the BBC’s Question Time, he would get an even worse reception than the British National Party leader."
According to Sr. Myra, Pope Benedict has the same reputation as Nick Griffin. And Sr. Myra thinks that Pope Benedict would be treated like the leader of a neo-fascist, xenophobic party? So, Sr. Myra places Nick Griffin (Griffin’s sanity is in doubt) on a par with Pope Benedict? Benedict XVI, the greatest intellectual of this era and the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics of every race and ethnicity? This is pure fantasy and myth-making. It's not a credible comparison in any way. Looking at the reality of the role played by the BNP, a party that encourages white supremacy, and Benedict’s papacy there is no ‘comparison’. There are only contrasts.

This ‘comparison’ is not based on reality; it’s based on false fictionalising of our Pope. And the actual reality of the Pope’s visit will demonstrate this. In Britain all races and nationalities will greet the Pope. Most particularly in Hyde Park, the Pope will embrace a huge multi-cultural and multi-racial range of the population during the prayer vigil in Hyde Park.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

“Catholic” bullies attempt mischief during the papal visit and to harass Vincent Nichols and the Pope with childish letters. This gang hold us in the same contempt that a bully holds its victim. Because of what we believe, we deserve this rude nastiness.

I know sighing is impolite – but really I can’t help it. This ‘new’ “Catholic” group is just so passé. A faction called ‘Catholic Voices for Reform’ plan small-time mischief for the papal visit. During Benedict’s visit they hope to grab the media spotlight! Are they opportunists or what? Their name – ‘Catholic Voices for Reform’ – isn’t a fluke. They have set themselves up as the phony opposition to the admirable ‘Catholic Voices’. The Guardian is in hallucination heaven giving this group favourable coverage. But The Guardian is oblivious to the fact that this reform group seek to bully ordinary, loyal Catholics.

This reform group claim to want a liberal revolution. They want the Catholic Church to encourage homosexual acts, allow married priests and ordain women. This group are entitled to their opinions – but they actually care very little about these issues and are merely using these hot topics to get publicity – for themselves. And as I will explain – this group is not Liberal.

In the Guardian, key founder (Sister) Myra Poole has publicized that they will hand deliver two letters to the residence of Archbishop Nichols. Sr. Myra has said, "One [letter] will be for the archbishop and the other will be for the Pope. We will be asking six very simple questions on reform. We're working on them now." Hmm, schoolyard bullies use better tactics. If Sr. Myra were to put such letters under the door of any other public figure, she would be a laughing stock. This ‘reform’ group is still wording these mischievous missives, and we have yet to see how spiteful the letters will be. But the whole project smells of arrogance and jealousy. Who are they to tell the Archbishop how to change Mother Church? Why do they think they know best? Archbishop Nichols will probably consign the letter to his the loony-letters file. But we should probably note that Sr. Myra is a staunch supporter of female ordination.
This ‘reform’ group claim to be passionate about the ordination of women, and have shelled out £15,000 for 15 red London buses to carry the message "Pope Benedict - Ordain Women Now!" Do they fail to notice that in 2010 there are religious communities that allow women clergy?
But perhaps, we should put it to them that they should change, not the Church. If I may use a comparison – they are like a forty year old who still lives at home but complains All The Time that his mother won’t allow him have a girlfriend, that his meals aren’t hot enough, and that his Peter Pan bedspread is a bit dated. Well, if this forty year old were to move out, he wouldn’t be able to complain and blame his parents for his problems. This reform group are in a similar situation – perhaps they should move out – or make themselves at home in the Church. Both alternatives are open to them. But no, they want to kvetch like bitter old folk, and make the Church change to their way of thinking. It doesn’t matter about the rest of us who believe in the Church’s tradition. As far as this reform group is concerned, we are part of the problem. This reform group hold us in the same contempt that a bully holds its victim. Because of what we believe, we deserve this rude nastiness.

Sr. Myra and her ‘reform’ group of “Catholics” are more united in their hate for Mother Church than in their love for her. There’s something so very unattractive about their loathing of Mother Church. The sad fact is that they thrive on the adrenaline of hate, and desire to hate Mother Church. This group like being the agitators in the Church. And having a reason to splatter their group on the London buses.

This reform group’s big claim is that they are presenting an ‘alternative’.Yet, it’s a fact that there are religious organisations that allow women clergy and encourage parishioners to come out, and there are Protestant clergy that are active homosexuals. But you see, were this group to join a ‘liberal’ religious community, then they wouldn’t be the revolutionaries, would they? They wouldn’t be the ‘rebels’. May I suggest to this reform group, that those of us who are joyful Catholics don’t need to be patronised with their antics?

This is all the more unfair because their anti-Catholic Church campaigning is taking place in London – where Catholics are a minority anyway. Can they not allow us to enjoy our customs and our traditions in peace – without their disrespectful letters and big-bus adverts?

For the immediate future, we must take an objective, pragmatic approach to their nonsense. Ultimately, what can they do? Pass patronising letters into the hands of the Archbishop? Make a few anti-Catholic Church statements in the media? The worst they can do is to cause others to lose their enthusiasm for welcoming the Pope. I for one am not going to let this faction and their funny frolics upset my zeal for the papal visit.

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Sorrowful mysteries with St. Therese of Lisieux

Finally finished my Rosary after a long day…Whenever I need a little inspiration to help me concentrate on the mysteries, I find a good You-Tube video to help me meditate. In line with Our Lady’s request at Fatima, I have just finished my five decades.

Catholic gays who stick to Church teaching may have more to suffer than the rest of us Part One

Stuart Reid has started a very interesting debate (click here to join in) on whether some homosexuals are dealt a tougher hand of cards than the rest of us. Stuart Reid received a letter from an anonymous Catholic homosexual where the man politely rebuked Stuart Reid. Reid had previously written that some homosexuals form ‘a rich and privileged minority.’ Here I reproduce most of the letter sent to Reid:
“… I can’t for the life of me understand why you think that some homosexuals are ‘a rich and privileged minority’. Often the opposite is true. I, for example, am not rich. I live a rather empty and lonely life, never fully able to be who I am, for, yes, I encounter prejudice often (especially at church). I will never have the privilege of fathering children, or of having a loving relationship…
“Many ‘gays’ such as myself go to church and try to lead a good (and chaste) life. I try to live by the precepts of the Church I love.
“It is quite hurtful when our priests talk of ‘the evil of homosexuality’ in the same breath as abortion, prostitution, etc, as if there are no ‘gays’ in the congregation at all! As I am sure you are aware, finding oneself homosexual is not a choice, whereas these other situations are avoidable…
“Some time ago, one of your articles made mention of an outrageously dressed individual in a post office queue. You assumed he was ‘gay’. But in my experience, gay men usually dress quite conservatively, and often with a more pronounced masculinity than is usual. I am sure, for instance, you may have passed me at the 9am Mass [traditional Latin] at the Oratory, as I’m there every week, but I suspect that I blend in with the other traditional Catholics in my sombre jacket and tie…
“But to finish, please take care what you say – there are more people of ‘homosexual orientation’ in the Church than I think you realise. Meanwhile enjoy your privilege of children and grandchildren, and the privilege of acceptance by all.”
Stuart Reid finishes with this comment: “self-denying homosexuals – homosexuals who try to live by the Church’s teaching – often have a lot more to mourn and weep about than the rest of us.”
PS – I think the anonymous man who wrote to Stuart Reid has made some London Oratory excellent points.  And I applaud his bravery in writing so sincere a letter. This man did not choose his orientation, but chooses to live by Church teaching whereby he does not engage in homosexual acts. And there is something to be learned here – we may not condemn an individual on the basis of his/her sexuality. 
PPS - I will be careful in selecting which comments to publish.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

St. Zephyrinus: he abolished wooden chalices, and replaced them with glass ones for the Holy Sacrifice

“But why can’t we use wooden chalices in the Mass today? Huh, I mean shouldn't we do as Jesus did?” is an oft-heard query from people who think that the Catholic Mass should be more like common pictures of The Last Supper. But the use of wooden chalices was abolished by St. Zephryninus, who replaced them with glass ones in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice.  Also, reading up on the history of chalices used for Holy Mass, I was surprised to learn that apparently, it is not certain that Our Lord used a wooden chalice. It may have been silver or onyx. 
This is especially interesting when you consider that the current law of the Church is that a chalice (or at the very least the cup of it) must be either silver or gold. A silver cup must be gilt on the inside. In times of poverty or persecution, a pewter chalice may be allowed, but the bowl of it must be gilt. 
Among St. Zephryninus’ other achievements are that he defended the dogma of the Trinity. He prescribed that all the faithful should receive Holy Communion on Easter Day.
Mulier Fortis has a post on a Mass celebrated in Blackfen in honour of St. Zephyrinus.

Embryonic stem cell research: I just hope we're not destroying anyone important...

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

U.S. Judge Rules Against Obama’s Embryonic Stem Cell Policy. Judge Lamberth writes "(embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed"

"A federal judge on Monday issued a decision forcing the Obama administration to stop funding embryonic stem cell research with taxpayer funds. The judge ruled the executive order Obama issued allowing such funding contravened a federal law prohibiting taxpayer funding of the destruction of human embryos.U.S. district court Judge Royce Lamberth granted a preliminary injunction against the funding.
Judge Lamberth's ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by stem cell researchers who said the Obama executive order and subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health violated the Dickey amendment.

Judge Royce Lamberth noted that the imposition of an injunction required that those challenging the government's funding demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits for their arguments. Apparently, they succeeded.
"(Embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed," Lamberth wrote in the 15-page ruling

The Court noted, "Embryonic stem cell (ESC) research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo," and concluded that funding such research violates existing law. 

The Obama administration can try to appeal the decision granting the preliminary injunction or could try to rewrite the guidelines to comply with the law. With the initial decision in place, both sides will likely present arguments about whether the order should be permanently blocked..." For the full LifeNews.Com report click here.

PS – Judge Lamberth who has put the kibosh on some of the Obama administration's plans to obliterate human embryos was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Essential book: 'Pope Benedict XVI and the Sex Abuse Crisis'

The book described in this Rome Reports video should be essential reading as we get our facts together to defend our Pope. Also, it may encourage us to pray for our Pope, as we learn more about his battle to combat sexual abuse. The book does seem to concern the situation in the US more so than Europe, but I will read it, and see.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Aug 22 1679 - St John Kemble at age 80 suffered prolonged hanging and was then beheaded

“In 1679 he was sentenced to be hanged under an Elizabethan statute which defined being ordained a Catholic priest overseas as treason.
First, though, the 80-year-old was strapped on to a horse like a pack, facing backwards, and taken to Newgate in London for interrogation. Kemble disdained to win his freedom by disclosing a non-existent plot. The old man was then obliged to walk back to Hereford.
Informed on August 22 that he would be executed that day, he asked to be allowed to finish his prayers and smoke his pipe.
After being dragged on a hurdle to Widemarsh Common, Kemble declared on the scaffold that he died for the religion that had made this country Christian, and that he forgave all his enemies. He was then obliged to encourage the executioner, who had no stomach for his task.
The hanging was horribly botched, so that Kemble took half an hour to die. Subsequently he was beheaded, and his left hand cut off: this may still be seen at the church of St Francis Xavier in Hereford.
On August 22 there will be a pilgrimage to John Kemble’s grave, starting from St Mary’s, Monmouth, at 10am.”

The Bashing Secularism blog also has a good bit on St. John Kemble, noting that St. John is a wonderful saint for old people; that in memory of his horrific suffering, that they may pray to him that their ailments of old age are alleviated.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Pope St. Pius X- Pope of the Blessed Sacrament

I would advise watching this on full screen

I might tattoo this Pius X quote to my forehead

“All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics.” (Pope Saint Pius X, Discourse at the Beatification of St. Joan of Arc, Dec. 13, 1908)
If you should see an emaciated girl/waif with the above quote in black gothic lettering tattooed across her forehead and she is attending a Tridentine Mass at the Oratory, well you’ll know it’s me. But I might go for blue ink, as in Our Lady’s blue Mantle. The blue may look slightly more becoming with my whiter-than-white skin.
Yet, whenever I feel like criticising a non-Catholic, I read this quote and scold myself with, “it’s time to go to Mass and pray for them and your fellow Catholics.”

Thursday, 19 August 2010

“How does anyone know that my kid won’t go to a gay couple?”

‘There’s no way that I can keep this baby myself. I share a bedroom with my mother and the money mom makes from waitressing isn’t enough as is. But let me tell ya, I don’t want the abortion’ said ‘Latoya’, an articulate teenager who was three months pregnant. She wore a serious older woman’s face and kept a very straight posture.
She had popped into the New York pregnancy centre where I worked, and she had many questions. Primarily, what hope was there for ‘the kid’ if she did give birth? Latoya was perceptive – she was only fifteen but had seen her friends go through abortion after abortion and was clear that, ‘I don’t want it in my book o’ life that I killed my first….I wanna bring the kid out into the world! And I can’t raise him, so maybe there’ll be a nice family who will…’
Some might find it strange that it is 'these girls' from the gang-land, New York black spots who think of adoption. ‘These girls’ are accustomed to raw, emotional pain. Their father is with another woman, and doesn’t keep any contact with them. Their mother’s boyfriend starts eyeing them up when they’ve tired of the mother. If their mother is drunk or shooting up and they don’t want to go home of an evening, well, they have boyfriends who can find them somewhere to stay. The boyfriend will then find someone new in the morning. They live in danger of being shot, share lifts with men who have knives swinging in their trouser pockets and a lot depends on what gang or group you happen to be in. And if they become pregnant, what’s so wrong with wanting ‘the kid’ to have the family life and the opportunities that were denied them? Queries about adoption were still very occasional – about two girls out of every hundred would ask.
In this instance, Latoya discussed the possibility of adoption. But abruptly, became very quiet, fixed her eyes on me and asked, ‘how does anyone know that my kid won’t go to a gay couple?’
I was really taken aback. What?! Wasn’t she afraid of being called ‘homophobic’? But Latoya didn’t have fancy terms such as ‘relationship instability’ to describe gay relationships, but she did use her eyes and ears. Friends of hers got paid to go places and play…ahem…certain sexual roles for gay couples. And she knew that some of these homosexual couples spoke about adopting children.
I told her that there were still heterosexual couples who adopted children. Latoya wasn’t sure she was allowed to give her child to a (I can hear the politically correct police siren blare as I type) ‘straight couple’. ‘Isn't it just gay couples who get the babies?’ she said in a worried voice.
How many Latoyas are there? How many of them have abortions because adoption to them seems so risky?
I didn’t live Latoya’s life – but she was certain that whatever she had seen in her parents’ broken heterosexual marriage was better than that of the gay couples that she knew. She was a fifteen year old who still had childish clips in her hair, but she knew more about the hard facts of life than most of the government.
Oh, and if someone had called her ‘a right wing nutter’ - because she only wanted her baby to go to a homosexual couple – well Latoya would have shrugged and asked what ‘right wing’ meant.
I have seen hundreds of women who are mentally blitzed about whether they should or not continue their pregnancy. From the hundreds of girls who are in a crisis pregnancy that I have met, whenever a girl enquires about adoption (although this is rare), she blurts something like, ‘understand it’s not that I have anything against gays, but I don’t want the kid to be raised by a gay couple’.
In all the hysteria about homosexual couples’ ‘rights’ to adopt children, NEVER are the views of the actual mothers of these prospective adoptive children heard. Would it hurt the pride of the gay community to hear that mothers considering adoption do not usually want the babies to go to them? Why don’t these mothers have any choice? Especially here in England, as the last Catholic adoption agency – Catholic Care – has had to close because it won’t give children to homosexual couples? I'm a young woman, and if I want to place a baby for adoption, where do I go?

PS - William Oddie has written about the closing of Catholic Care.

One month for the beatification of Cardinal Newman

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Escape from Planned Parenthood!

“The following is a story of the humble beginnings of my son Nicholas and me. We thank God daily for the Pro-Lifers who were present in body, mind, spirit, and prayer so the life of my son was spared. 
As a young woman, abandoned at the church altar after seven years of engagement, and with a child in the womb, I was fearful of telling angry parents displeased that their eldest daughter was the first in the family tree to become pregnant out of wedlock. 
Three turmoil-filled weeks later, the father of the baby returned to escort me to the abortion clinic. After sitting through a slide show of how my child would be suctioned out of my body to end this "untimely pregnancy," I was assigned the state-mandated "professional counseling." The clinic worker asked if my parents could help me with the pregnancy, then if the father of the baby might. After only those two questions, she closed my folder, sighed, and said, "Well, it's decided then." 
In the waiting room, two giggling girls laughed at their simultaneous abortions after their simultaneous one-night stands. As I looked around, I saw a middle aged woman, looking miserable, and several college-age mothers whose boyfriends didn't even bother to show up. I stared, stricken, into the eyes of a Chinese couple, as a wicked arm slid across my own shoulders and a voice whispered, "I don't know what a couple like us is doing in a place like this." 
Quietly, heads held low, the mothers were called up to the desk for the privilege of paying Planned Parenthood to kill our children. Suddenly startled, I asked, "What's that there, on top of my file?"
The cashier quickly hid my ultrasound from sight. "Wait! I saw a head, little arms, and little legs!"
The check had been taken, and all the woman said was, "Go back to your seat now, dear, and wait for your name to be called." 
I returned to the father and pleaded, "This is not right. I saw the baby.  We must find a way to work this out. We must leave this place!"
His only reply was: "I can't." 
Again, the clinic workers began shuffling the group of mothers into individual bathroom stalls, an eerie reminder of junior high days, in simpler times than these. Dressed in our hospital gowns, we were shown to the abortionist' s "Procedure Room." I slowly slid onto the cold metal table, next to a silver tray perfectly lined with sharp polished knives of every shape and size. 
A craggy woman hobbled into the room.  With a voice as cold as ice, she said, "The doctor will be here in five minutes.  Be ready! That was the extent of my "doctor-patient consultation. " 
But wait!  The faith-filled are in prayer, in adoration chapels, in nursing homes, in Catholic Churches: Christians are praying even at these gates of Hell. Men and women kneel with reverence, raising rosaries and their hands to Heaven: "Save the unborn!  Save them, God!" 
Courageous Christian women are working in a flurry, in offices, on computers, budgeting pro-life funds, recruiting professional counselors with master's degrees. Archbishops, bishops, monsignors, priests, brothers, and deacons are untiringly proclaiming life from the pulpit.  Sisters are serving God's most vulnerable in maternity homes and in foster care. Donors give monetary gifts and grandmothers are providing baby layettes, complete with mini-crocheted Afghans. Real men, strong men, are marching in pro-life pilgrimages, building pregnancy shelters and telling their daughters, "I love you.  Always come to me in an emergency." 
One single client and her baby slipped away that day.  I tore off the hospital gown, dressed, and rushed to take that first unforgettable step out of the abortion clinic. I'd be mother and father to this special baby boy. 
Six staff members surrounded me and asked, "Where will you go?  What will you do?"
I turned my head over my shoulder as I ran out the door, "I don't know -- but this, this I know is wrong!" 
Barely audible in the background, a nurse whispered, "She could go to Birthright." 
Thank you to the beautiful Christian women who continue to walk steadfast in Christ's steps, yet bend down to pick up the less fortunate along the way. It is up to us to spread our pro-life beliefs at every opportunity. We know there are countless more rosaries to be prayed. We must always, in every way, strive to do more for the pro-life cause in service to our God. 
God Bless your families and your children and may He keep them safe and protected always!”

Jillian & Nicholas Stojeba
Missionaries of Life

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

St Clare: An extremely brave bride of Christ, and not a hippie-Barbie-on-speed!

 Happy Feast of St. Clare! St. Clare certainly had fervour-in-faith when she stood up to the army that attacked Assisi and surrounded her convent! Taking the Blessed Sacrament, she went to the walls of her convent and facing the army she prayed to God, “Does it please you, oh Lord, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenceless children that I have nourished with Your love?” The army were seized with terror and fled.

The same St. Clare depicted above doesn’t quite match the flower-child, winsome and willowy girl in this Brother Sun Sister Moon clip. We must be mindful that an entire generation of 1970’s Catholics’ experience of St. Clare was probably informed by watching Brother Sun Sister Moon. The young Clare looks delusional and madly enamoured (even infatuated) with St. Francis, as opposed to Our Lord. Clare is illustrated as more hippie-Barbie-on-speed than Bride of Christ. I’ve come to agree with my parents, “on reflection…that film made St. Clare look like she was flouncing about in a groovy wonderland. And did it date!”

St. Padre Pio and the Cure of Ar’s Devotion to St Philomena

Two years ago I interviewed various elderly nuns who had known Padre Pio, and who had received spiritual counsel from Padre Pio. One nun was a mother superior, and Padre Pio had told her that she had a vocation to be a nun. The nuns explained to me that St. Pio held St. Philomena in great esteem, and never doubted her intercessory powers. During his lifetime Padre Pio said to an Irish lady, Mary Philomena Mulcahy, "Saint Philomena is in Paradise, the confusion is the work of Satan."

The Curé of Ars used to bless cords of St Philomena, and gave them as gifts. He also composed the following litany to her.

PS - Happy Feastday of St. Philomena to one and all!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

'Why Audrey Hepburn was a real star'

After Emma Thompson criticised Hepburn as not having been able to act or sing, Frederic Raphael has leaped to Audrey’s defence, and offers an impassioned and gallant rebuttal of Thompson’s vituperative comments.

We commemorate the horrific martyrdom of St. Philomena this day, August 10th

St. Philomena was beheaded on the 10th of August, but we celebrate her feast day tomorrow the 11th of August.

The epic task of finding respectable clothes for little girls, when the shops stock such ‘tarty’ dresses

Recently padded bikinis aimed at young children were removed from Primark; the selling of such ‘sexy’ clothing to little girls was called “disgraceful” by David Cameron. Marks and Spencers have been caught out too; in recent months they ran a range of “bra tops” for six year olds, but thanks to campaign pressure these items are gone from Marks. But really, Marks would want to do something about the low-cut dresses and the achingly tight t-shirts for little girls. It’s my God-child’s birthday today, and during the past two weeks, I spent hours flicking through their rails of clothes in an effort to find her decent present. Half-exhausted I almost succumbed to buying a M&S flowery top until I saw the see-through, ‘sheer’ quality of the material…

And why is some of the material so patchy and scruffy in parts, like it’s been washed a million times already? Oh, it’s the grunge look for five year old. I see. Also, what’s with little girl dresses that are cut in weird angles across the chest, dresses that are more appropriate for a sixteen year old who is going clubbing? Or the M&S 1920's slip thing for seven year olds?
There was not one ‘decent’ dress for a six year old in any of the shops that I trudged through. My God-child will be disappointed; she lives in rural Ireland and was looking forward to a 'fancy' dress from Eng-er-land.  Finally, I found a long t-shirt in Zara with rose-print, little pockets and little-girl lace around the edges. But dare I say it; Zara is not a British shop. But why is it next to impossible to find respectable clothes (in British shops) for little girls?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

"Stop calling me pro-abortion! I'm pro-choice!"

‘It’s rude to call me ‘pro-abortion’, you should know by now, I mean you’ve known me for long enough, that I’m….’ cue self-satisfied smile and proud-of-oneself tone, ‘I’m pro-choice’ said ‘S’.
‘But you were telling me that you believe with all your heart that abortion should be ‘a right’ throughout pregnancy, and even during the labour…?’ I asked.
‘Yes, but it can only be a proper choice if abortion is allowed all the way through pregnancy. It stops being a choice if the mother can only abort up to twenty four weeks.’  I’ve known ‘S’ for many years, and while I’m a pro-lifer, and openly anti-abortion, ‘S’ detests being called ‘pro-abortion’ and while she champions ‘brave, defiant women’ who tell the world about their abortions, ‘S’ will always refuse to say yes or no to whether she has had an abortion.
‘Ah, why are you using words such as ‘the mother’?! I don’t mean to sound like a kindergarten teacher, but if you are a pregnant human mother, you must be pregnant with a human baby…And the choice you advocate means by process of abortion, means either killing the human baby or letting the baby live. If you advocate the destruction of the baby regardless of how long she or he is in the womb, than you are pro-abortion.’
‘No! No! I’m pro-choice. If I were pro-abortion, then I would think every pregnancy should be ended by abortion’ ‘S’ said urgently, she thinks she will eventually win me over to the pro-‘choice’ side.  
 ‘But if someone chooses to abort you in your ninetieth trimester, do they have the right?’ I enquired.
‘Look, don’t confuse abortion with actual killing of live human beings. I’m pro-choice while the products of conception are in the womb for three trimesters…’
‘But your pro-abortion to the point of agreeing to abortion during birth…which is actually at the end of the third trimester and into what would be a fourth trimester.’ I said, making a huge effort to keep my voice calm.
‘Stop calling me pro-abortion! I'm pro-choice! All this talk about trimesters! There’s no such thing as a fourth trimester abortion."
‘Really? I was born in the fourth trimester. My mother conceived me around April 28th, and I was born quite a bit late in February. But if, as you say ‘all women should be able to abort up to and during birth, than had my mother aborted me, that would have been a fourth trimester abortion. Look maths was never a strong point of mine, but the fourth comes after the third...’
‘Alright, lets forget trimesters, limiting abortion to a specific trimester is anti-choice. I’m like Obama, he’s not pro-abortion, he’s pro-choice. We respect the woman’s decision. So, stop calling me pro-abortion, it’s just not true!’
So, ‘S’ prides herself on being ‘pro-choice’ like Obama. ‘S’ is not alone, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, praised Obama for being ‘pro-choice’ and not ‘pro-abortion’. LifeSiteNews ran an excellent article by Hilary White on the matter

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Novena in honour of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary..better late than never

I learned of a novena that Priests for Life are circulating. The novena was officially meant to start on the 7th of August, but I will begin today, the 8th of August. There is also a brief form on the Priests for Life website; which allows them to make a tally of who is reciting the novena.The more who say the novena the merrier! The novena is also available en Espanol.
The Novena Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
 You have conquered the power of death
And opened for humanity
The hope of eternal life in body and soul.
You granted your Mother
A share in heavenly glory,
And did not allow decay to touch her body.
As we prepare for the Feast of the Assumption,
Grant us new confidence in the victory of life over death,
And renewed reverence for the human body.
As we honor Mary, Assumed into Heaven,
                                                                       May we proclaim the hope of Your Gospel:
                                                                         That you want every human life seated on your throne.
                                                                    May that hope strengthen us to protect every life here on earth.
                                                                     You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Reflections on the First Saturday Devotions

At this time of writing, I have almost completed my First Saturday Devotions.
At Mass, my intention was to offer reparation for many friends of mine who have had abortions, especially friends who really struggle (ten years on) with the consequences of their ‘choice’; the extreme heavy drinking and their shattered relationships, and most of all the lifelong regret of having aborted the child of their first love. It’s very difficult for some of my friends to accept that I help out in a pro-life centre that gives people practical help, so that they may chose against aborting. Very old acquaintances of mine say things like, “why are some people being given the choice not to abort, when our parents just smilingly and gushingly took us to abortion clinics?”

So, I prayed today that others may be given the encouragement they need so that they may keep the life of their unborn child.
I must complete the fifteen minutes of meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, which I will do in the tube to work as the tube pulls its way from High Street Kensington to Paddington and on and on through the murky tunnels of underground travel. One handy ‘tip’ for this meditation is to devote a minute to contemplating each mystery, and to keep before oneself pictures that depict the mysteries. 

PS - There is also a Facebook page devoted to the First Saturdays Devotion. Only seven people have ‘liked’ this page, seven out of over one billion Catholics worldwide.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Us Catholics and our 'hideous tat'

Earlier this week The Catholic Herald (online version) ran an article ‘no one does hideous tat quite like us Catholics’. I’m still laughing after reading it three times. The author Milo Yiannopoulos has a favourite piece of ‘tat’; the Virgin Mary USB stick (pictured above). The manufacturer’s description defies comment. ‘Is there anyone who hasn’t sometimes wished for holy backup to protect their most precious data? It’s finally available in the form of the Maria USB!

She’s appeared in modern guise to secure and safely store what is most important and precious to us, offering heavenly support next to the computer; especially for those situations where prayer is the only solution.Standing dignified on her socket, enshrined in Plexiglas, when work calls she frees herself of her surroundings. Connected with the computer she comes to life, her red LED heard starts to beat – in passive state slowly, quicker whilst connecting or saving data. On her halo is engraved the prayer – “Oh Maria, keep my data safe!”
Confession: I want to buy the Virgin Mary USB stick… I can’t wait to show it off to all my friends. In the meantime, there is a Miraculous Medal tied to my USB stick and a very third class relic of St. Padre Pio sellotaped to my laptop.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

"It’s summer, and I'm gonna wear my hot pants ‘round the Vatican"

Anyone who has queued to enter St. Peter’s Basilica knows the scene, "c’mon, it’s summer I’m only wearing my bikini because it’s August. It’s not my fault that the heat is unholy…" while a Vatican security guard shakes his head, and directs her to come back when she is wearing more. Or the man who has two pasty legs on display under tight red shorts and says, "in my ‘ome church at ‘ome, I can wear shorts, no matter how short, whenever I want." Eventually woman-in-bikini and man-in-shorts go to buy shawls or these capes. One journo described this as; ‘turning St Peter's Square into a giant open-air changing room’ They gain entry, only to try and discard the shawls and the capes when they are inside St. Peter’s. Gee, is this the only way they get their jollies, flouting modesty conventions when flouncing around the sacred precincts of St. Peter’s?
According to some news reports, as of this summer, the Vatican Swiss Guards appeared to have taken a more stringent attitude to sartorial slackness and starkness. According to ‘liberal’ reporters, the Swiss Guards are extending the rules of modesty throughout Vatican City State. The stricter dress code also applied to tourists using the Vatican pharmacy, supermarket and post office.  Some scantily-clad tourists were refused entry all together. Of course, we now have tourists being quoted as saying that the Vatican has ‘no right’ to stop the barely-dressed traipsing around the hallowed halls of St. Peter’s, because of the abuse scandals. As one hack crassly puts it, ‘pervert protectors in glass cathedrals really shouldn't be tossing stones.’  This fallacious reasoning begs the question; if they really believe that the Church consists of ‘pervert potectors’, why are they bothering to visit St. Peter’s?
PS - Other holy places have modesty dress codes. Visitors to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem are instructed to cover their arms and legs,  and may take dark-coloured shawls and covers from a basket.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

New blog; a man travelling to Mother Church and trying to bring his wife with him

I found a new blog ‘Quam Angusta Porta’. It’s a very sincere and from-the-heart blog, and the writer has chosen the name ‘Malvenu’ as his blogger-name as it means out-of-place, because he is 'outside the Catholic Church, wanting to come home. But my other half doesn't want me to, doesn't understand why I want to and I can't give her the answers...'
Aspects of his journey swimming the Tiber include;
“Watching the funeral of Pope John Paul II I was struck by the manifest demonstration of the universality of the Catholic Church (it may have been at this point that I began to despise the insular nature of my former, Church of England Church)…

Whilst reading ‘The Story of a Soul’ I was struck by St. Thérèse’s description of the Holy Eucharist in which, she says, Jesus comes into your Heart to make his home there. At last, I had the answer to a question I had despaired over for fifteen years or more, ‘How does Jesus get into my heart?’ These moments also seemed to affirm that the Catholic Church was my home – was the answer to all my questions….
I have come to the belief that the Catholic Church is the ‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,’ the Church that Christ said was His Church that he would build on the rock of St. Peter, that the Gates of Hell would never overcome. There are still items of doctrine and practice within the Catholic Church with which I still struggle, but I am convinced not only that this is the ‘One True Church’ but also that the Protestant Church is utterly illegitimate and heretical…

If I were free to choose without having to consider anyone else I would have become a Catholic by now. This blog is about my difficulties in getting to Rome…”
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