Friday, 31 July 2009

How Long before 'Dignitas' opens in the UK?

Mother Teresa--February 1997 - National Prayer Breakfast in Washington attended by the President and the First Lady. "What is taking place in America," she said, "is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child,

how can we tell other people not to kill one another."

What Debbie Purdy appears to be seeking, is some kind of immunity from prosecution on behalf of her husband, should she, being unable to kill herself, by herself, wish to commit suicide with assistance from him.
That requires not clarification of the law, but a change in the law.

If the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK does not uphold the law, how long before 'Dignitas' opens in the UK?

Thursday, 30 July 2009

600 miles to go!

Having pedalled through the most challenging part of their sponsored cycle ride, the Alps, Dom and Phil have a mere 600 miles to cover before eventually finishing at Our Lady's Shrine in Walsingham.
They have just updated their blog, from which the photo above was taken. Do pop over to catch up with their travels, and, keep in mind their request:

"Please continue to keep us in your prayers. God has literally moved mountains for us in the Alps, and brought us through what we both expected to be the toughest part of our trip without too many tears."

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Myth of 'Overpopulation'

A short video from the Overpopulation is a myth website, setting out some of the facts, rather than the fantasy.

Thanks to Fr. Finigan and American Papist

Just 'Chillin!'

Well, the school holidays are here at last, and it's a great joy to have nearly all our children at home with us for the six weeks.
We can do things in our own time, live life at our own pace, away from the demands that school life can impose on families, for a while.
So far, we have enjoyed a wonderful camping weekend, with other family members- lots of aunts, uncles and cousins to share news, relax among, as they say, 'chill out'.

Then, our friends, Richard, Rosie and their family came to stay with us for a short visit, as did my sister and her husband, so the relaxation and 'chilling out' was extended for a little longer!

Spending time with the family and friends has been lovely, but as it meant that I had no time to catch up with other bloggers' news, or post any myself, I thought I'd post this short explanation of absence, in case anyone thought my blog had gone into hibernation for the summer!

Also, I'm going to have to get down to some serious housework soon...........

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Welcome on board!

I posted a few weeks ago about former Anglican clergyman, Jeffrey Steel, who,
with his wife and family of six are 'crossing the Tiber'.

Well today is the day!

May God Bless the courageous Steel family, and may they receive a warm and loving welcome in the One, True, Church.

'Catholic' Marriage Care?

The Chief Executive of 'Marriage Care', also known as 'Catholic Marriage Care' and formerly known as 'The Catholic Marriage Advisory Council', has made some extraordinary statements concerning marriage and the family, in a speech he gave at a Quest conference. Quest is an organization which describes itself as being a group for lesbian and gay Catholics and whose first purpose is:

"associating lay men and women who are seeking ways of reconciling the full practice of their Catholic faith with the full expression of their homosexual natures in loving Christian relationships, and providing opportunities for them to meet together for worship, discussion and study;"

Terry Prendergast has apparently claimed that:

"Statistically, children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving.....Note that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples."

"many families, and the individuals that make up these groups, other than married man, woman, and added child, find themselves discriminated against or denigrated... all these attempt to live out good, Catholic lives whilst being judged and bracketed by those in authority, or those who appear to have reached the Kingdom already."

"It is ironic that the state appears to be much more pastoral and compassionate in its acceptance of what family is. The fact that there are all kinds of benefits available for different family forms, and legal imperatives to support families suggests that the state is even more concerned for families than Church."

He said that many families who pray together "then prey on other people through their self-righteousness", and said that abuse is "rampant" in the traditional family, citing the cases of Josef Friztl, who raped his prisoner daughter over a period of years, and Fred and Rosemary West, the serial killers.

'Catholic' Marriage Care is listed in the Catholic directory and partly funded by the Catholic Dioceses in England and Wales.

'Catholic' Marriage Care is a registered charity (no. 218159); a quick look at its latest Annual Report and Financial Statement (March 08) on the Charity Commission website, reveals the following:

Under the heading 'Voluntary Income' the charity received:

Infrastructure grant from the Department for Children ,Schools and Families (DCSF).......................................................................£42.500.00

Strategic grant from DCSF....................................£380.000.00

Council grants............................................................£81.982.00

Other Grants..............................................................£11.515.00


Church Grants.............................................................£81.982.00

Listed also is a grant from the 'Every Child Matters' grant programme, amounting to £101.900.00, made in 2006/7

The 'big money' to finance 'Catholic' Marriage Care comes therefore from one of the biggest UK Government departments, and as the Chief Executive comments in the Annual Report and Financial Statement:

"The current concern in relation to parenting has caused us to work more closely with
the adult couple as parent, both in our own work and in partnership with other agencies.
In this, we have worked closely, and have been supported by, our Government partner,
the Department for Children, Schools and Families."

"In all of this work, we have been indebted to our Government
partner, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), for its financial backing
and also strategic direction in relation to the support for families."

If 'Catholic' Marriage Care wishes to become a sub-department within the DCFS, perhaps it should do so, and cease any pretence of being a Catholic charity.

From the Catholic Herald :

"A spokesman for the bishops' conference rejected Mr Prendergast's arguments.

He said: "Defining 'family' is a notoriously difficult task. Yet the views expressed by Terry Prendergast about the definition of family and marriage are clearly not a reflection of the Church's teaching, nor those of the Bishops' Conference."

I don't think that the remarks made by Terry Prendergast (which I quoted at the top of this post) would cause any ripples at the DCSF but they may well disgust faithful Catholics who always believed that Catholic Marriage Care was about helping to prepare couples to live out the Sacrament and vocation of marriage according to the teaching of the Church, and supporting couples in marriage difficulties to continue their sacramental vocation.

So, what will the Bishops' Conference do about this scandalous situation?

Friday, 17 July 2009

Prayers for the Holy Father's recovery from injury

We will be offering the rosary tonight, for the Holy Father, who has broken his wrist, following a fall. May God grant him a swift recovery.

Monday, 13 July 2009

They're Off!

Dom, Phil, his sister, Maria and family friend, Miriam
This picture was taken just before Dom and Phil set off from

A spot of gelati!

Camping in Frankavilla

Back on the road, Guiseppe and Phil


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Abortion for control of " populations we don't want too many of"

Justice Ruth Ginsberg of the U.S. Supreme Court in an interview with the New York Times :

"Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of ".

No surprise in that 'revelation', except that it was made. For years International Planned Parenthood, and other major abortion providers have denied any links with eugenicism, but now the cat is out of the bag.

Thanks to the Blue Boar


More African American babies have been killed by abortion than twice the total number of deaths from these other causes combined.

Brain Vessel......364,586
Heart Disease..1,532,362

Abortion is a silent killer in our community. From 1981-2000, 9.6 million black children have lost their lives to abortion. This number is more than twice the amount of the other six leading causes of death combined. Since the legalization of abortion in 1973 by Roe vs. Wade, it is estimated that 14,000,000 black children have been aborted.

Found on the Seminarians for Life blog on the the website of Human Life International.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Papist picture of the day

"None of the proposed nun habits passed papal muster"

Shamelessly lifted from American Papist

Prayer Request

Of your charity, please pray for my sister-in-law, Angela, who is going through some intensive chemotherapy, in her battle against cancer.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Deo Gratias

Lord Falconer's pro assisted suicide amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill has been rejected in the House of Lords.
See John Smeaton's post for further details.
I was intrigued by the report of what Baroness Kennedy apparently said:

Baroness Kennedy QC, contrary to expectation, opposed the amendment. Although generally favouring personal choice, she argued that in the situation of offering assisted suicide to the terminally ill, the offer of choice would result in an erosion of choice. (my italics)

Isn't "choice" the mantra of the pro-abortion lobby?

Monday, 6 July 2009

And, staying with the topic of Marriage/family....

What can one make of this , found on the Diocese of Plymouth website?

Here's a taster: the first Task of the 'Celebrating Family Initiative":

" has been to
affirm families in all their
different shapes and sizes,
as being holy in the way in
which they love and care
for one another."

Melanie Phillips on Marriage Breakdown.......

Writing in the Daily Mail, Melanie Phillips has a useful article on the effects of marriage breakdown to couples, children, the wider family and the nation.
There are, of, course, all sorts of personal reasons for marriage breakdown, but how far are those influenced by a climate in which marriage seems no longer to be perceived as a good in itself, but rather a lifestyle choice among many, apparently equally valid, lifestyle choices?

As Melanie says:

"The family is the building block of society. If the institution of the family is broken, society breaks with it.

That is what has happened in Britain over the past four decades as part of a deliberate attempt by the 'progressive' intelligentsia to reshape society around the unrestrained gratification of adult sexual desire under the banners of ' liberation', 'equality' and 'rights'.

As a result, nearly half of all babies are now born outside marriage; Britain has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe; and women and children are at far greater risk of sexual and physical abuse.

Children from fractured homes do worse in general in every single area of their lives.

As the High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge recently observed, the family courts are overwhelmed with cases involving damaged, miserable or disturbed children.

Yet for years the evidence of this catastrophe has been swept under the carpet or denied outright by those pushing this agenda.

Anyone who drew attention to it was pilloried as a bigot who wanted to turn back the clock to some mythical 'golden age'.

Marriage was progressively undermined. With divorce court judges deciding they were no longer prepared to make judgments about who was to blame for the breakdown of a marriage, divorce soared. "

Those who favour the gay rights agenda continue to push for their notion of equality in all areas of life; Melanie Phillips made some interesting points about what that agenda seeks:

"But is the gay rights agenda really about tolerance, or is it about trying to stop heterosexuality being the behavioural norm?

Because it entails treating gay relationships as identical to heterosexual ones in every respect, any differences - over marriage or adoption, for example - are damned as discrimination and bigotry.

As a result, what started as a decent intention to eradicate intolerance has turned into intolerance as morality has been stood on its head.

Thus opposing gay adoption on the grounds that children need a replica mother and father is denounced as 'homophobic'."

Try the"Time for some New Hymns" Challenge!

The Mulier Fortis has had us all in stitches with her 'Time for some "New" Hymns' post!
She begins with:

Chris plays the organ at the 9am Mass. He apparently asked, "Shall I play Colours of Day during Communion?" I'm pretty sure he was joking. "Yes," came the reply, "do that... and I'll send the boys round to break both your legs, and you can follow on with I watch the sunrise (through my hospital window)."

Mulier is inviting (creative) comments, my late offering (if I remember correctly) was:

'If you kum by yah one more time, I won't lay my hands gently upon you, and there'll be no more walk, walk, walking in the light for a while!'

Here is the link to Mulier Fortis.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Charles Moore: 'Life, the Gift we treasure most yet refuse to bestow on others

Charles Moore, former editor of, and current columnist for the Daily Telegraph, has raised his head above the parapet in an article in today's D.T.
Questioning a view, dear to the hearts of some, including such as Jonathan Porritt, of the Optimum Population Trust, Moore argues that shrinking populations will continue to have disastrous economic effects in the western world.

"If you are getting 2 or 3 per cent richer each year, you can see a path of widening opportunity ahead. If you are getting 2 or 3 per cent poorer (let alone, as is currently the case, nearly 5 per cent), the future prospect narrows.

So it is with population; and the change is not marginal, but drastic. In 1960, OECD countries had a fertility rate of 3.2 children. Today, they have one of 1.6, well below the "replacement rate" of 2.1. So the rate has halved in my lifetime, moving from fast increase to steady decline. We in the West are collectively deciding not to bestow on others the gift which we most value for ourselves – life."

Charles Moore also addressess some of the non-economic arguments:

"And some of the strongest cultural changes of the past 50 years seem to reflect a strange anger at the idea that the perpetuation of the human race is important. The abortion argument is conducted between "right to choose" and "right to life". It is interesting that "choice" and "life" are seen almost as opposites and that, in public opinion in the West, "choice" wins.."

"And the indifference to life applies to its end as well as to its beginning. A society that increasingly refuses to reproduce itself does not have enough people to look after the old. It resents them hanging around. We have the money and medical skill and, as in the Hospice Movement, the spiritual understanding to help people endure the experience of dying, but we get impatient with the idea. The phrase "die with dignity" is now the cant term for being killed by doctors. "

Watch out for the 'brick bats'!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The "Catastrophic" Dissent from Humanae Vitae

Fr.John Corapi

In an interview with Legatus magazine, Fr. Corapi sums up the damage caused by the widespread dissent from Pope Paul's encyclical, Humanae Vitae.

"One can recall what happened during the tenure of Pope Paul VI, when he came out with his landmark and prophetic encyclical Humane Vitae. Significant numbers of bishops, priests, theologians and others rejected it. They absolutely rejected it. The majority of Canadian bishops signed the infamous Winnipeg Statement that just categorically rejected Humane Vitae. That kind of rebellion is catastrophic. Paul VI was prophetic with that encyclical and much of what he warned about has come to pass."

"The long-term effects of rejecting the papal encyclical are "profound," says Fr. Corapi. "The argument can be strongly made that the proliferation of abortion can pretty much be traced to artificial contraception," he said. "It's almost a cause-and-effect kind of thing, and Paul VI warned about that. But large numbers [of] Church leaders rejected it and were so bold as to even reject it in writing, and that's not without consequences. There were profound consequences not only in the Church but in the United States, Canada and the whole world. It's had a profound effect on de-Christianizing the culture."

Read the interview here

Thanks toLifesite news and the American Catholic, pro-life journalist and blogger,
Patrick Novecosky

It costed .. how much??

I took our youngest daughter to hospital this morning, for a routine check up with the paediatrician.
Childrens' Outpatients is a floor up, and so we took the lift. I always seem to get the lift that is going down, before it goes up and we could not avoid hearing some conversation between some staff.
The gist of it was that a new desk had been purchased for hospital use- at a cost of £20. 000. One said that the cost explained why they couldn't have a pay rise; another said that they could have had another nurse for that money. All seemed mystified that a desk could cost so much.
Over the years, I have been on the parent side of many hospital desks and they have all looked like the kind of furniture that you could once buy from MFI, if perhaps a little more robust.
So what sort of desk costs £20.000? A rare antique perhaps? In 22 years, I've never seen a rare antique desk in a hospital.
Maybe the Daily Telegraph should turn the spotlight on NHS spending............