Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cedar (and old chestnuts, circa1970)

 What happens when you bring feminist ideology, selective statistics and the National Board of Catholic Women (an advisory body to the Catholic Bishops Conference),  to bear on the problem of domestic violence?

You get a publication with the title:  'Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse', which I found on Cedar, the recently announced resource for Catholics who experience domestic abuse.

One section, by Prof. Mary Grey, is packed with helpful nuggets such as these:

"..through its institutions, laws and use of power, patriarchy has sanctioned the control of male over female cross-culturally.."

"Frequently Mary the mother of Jesus is used as a role model as 'Virgin-Mother'. In Mulieris Dignitatem, Pope John Paul II wrote that all women are called to be either real mothers or spiritual mothers[....]To assume that motherhood is synonymous with being female and to lump all women together as mothers, while simultaneously idealizing motherhood, only serves to mask the suffering and vulnerability of many reak mothers, And Christianity's frequent stress on the importance of suffering and sacrifice in Christian discipleship makes it worse."

"The Church must be seen to be facing the truth about the violence in womens' lives[...]and overcome the reluctance to face the truth about female sexuality." 

And there's more:

"Eradicating the roots of violence means facing the truth about patriarchal structures which maintain this violence. It means querying the subordinate position of women both in  Church and society, and exposing false theories of gender and sexuality,"

" Public valuing of women needs to be reflected in the language we use for worship. Sadly, despite a few token changes, the language of liturgy is still exclusive of women.[.....] the tacit message remains powerful: that she is not valued."

Without doubt, the Cedar website has some helpful advice and links for sufferers of domestic abuse, and we would all want battered wives, mothers or girlfriends to get the help and support they need, even volunteer our own support.

 But,   piggybacking aspects of  a rigidly feminist worldview to the tragic problem of domestic abuse, to imply that the Church, in her structure, has responsibility for this evil done by some men (and, incidentally some women),  sounds suspiciously like agenda setting.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Finding space on the 'to do' list

This is for all busy mothers and fathers!

Thanks to Fr. John Bartunek

Ordinations, lots of snow...and prayer request

Phil did get home on Saturday, eventually, and the last mile and a half was on foot. My husband walked down to the train station to meet him, bringing wellingtons and an extra layer or two of clothing against the freezing cold.

They made their way home by the light of the moon and a couple of torches, over snow crusted roads which even the most robust of four wheel drives have hardly attempted.

Earlier, on Saturday, Phil sang in the seminary schola, led by Fr Stephen Dingley, at the ordinations of four seminarians   to the Diaconate by Bishop Kieran Conry. Sadly, Bishop Hollis, who had been expected to ordain the candidates, was taken ill.

Mulier Fortis has some lovely photos of the great day at Wonersh.

Please remember Bishop Hollis in your prayers.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snowed in!

  This is a view of our village this morning. From upstairs, I can't tell where the village hall car park ends and the road begins!
I don't know how long the white stuff will last; the trouble with being snowed in, is that that others are also 'snowed out'.

We are hoping that Phil will make it home from Wonersh today, but we're not quite sure how......the last mile or so, might have to be on Shanks's pony!
And our daughters are due back from university .....

 (Shanks's pony=on foot)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Anglican Nuns to join the Ordinariate

 Three nuns of the Anglican  Society of St. Margaret in Walsingham, have left their community for a period of discernment with a view to joining the Ordinariate, which was announced by the Holy Father last year, and is about to be established.

"Statement from three sisters of the Society of St Margaret, Walsingham, regarding the Ordinariate:
“On 2nd December 2010, Sr. Wendy Renate, Sr. Jane Louise and Sr. Carolyne Joseph left the Priory of Our Lady in Walsingham for a period of discernment with the intention of joining the Ordinariate when established. We ask prayers for ourselves and for the Sisters remaining at the Priory of Our Lady."

According to the website of The Society of St. Margaret, Walsingham,  one of the nuns, Sr. Carolyn Joseph,  was elected as Mother last year.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for them.

Thanks to  Damian Thompson and the Ordinariate Portal

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Our Lady of Good Help-Marian Apparitions approved


"GREEN BAY, Wis. (December 8, 2010) — Bishop David Ricken announced today that he officially approves the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.
The announcement was made during a special Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.
Declared with moral certainty
Reading from his decree, the Bishop stated, “I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful.”
Today’s declaration makes Our Lady of Good Help at Champion the first and only site in the United States of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

Thanks to Catholic Vision  and Stella Maris

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Happy Feast Day!

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady,  and  a very special day on which to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Congratulations to John Gilbert, a former Anglican vicar, who became a Catholic today.

May Our Lady continue to guide and direct him to the vocation to which God calls him.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Liberal idealistic notions

I have read of a couple in the last week,  both of which I find not only scary, but quite frightening.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, Helen Preece of the London School of Economics,  is proposing that sex offenders ought to be considered as potential adopters, that is, a conviction for a sex offence should not necessarily be considered a contra indication where someone applies to adopt a child, because that would be discriminatory.

"A report by a family law expert argues that some sex offenders should be allowed to adopt or foster children, and claims that the current blanket ban is discriminatory.
"Sex offenders shouldn't all be tarred with the same brush," said Helen Reece at the London School of Economics, who wrote the report. "People need to be carefully screened for adoption and fostering, but each case should be taken on its merits.
"There shouldn't be blanket rules. What somebody has done before is not necessarily what he or she will do again. When someone has served a sentence, as far as you can, you should treat them the same as anyone else."

The UK 2003 Sexual Offences Act spells out  what constitutes a sexual offence. I wonder which category(s)
Helen Preece would have Adoption Panels disregard?

 Then, there's 'Ecocide'

"The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference, which opened in Cancun, Mexico on Monday, has yielded another example of how supposedly idealistic notions concocted by Western liberals, no matter how daft, can be transformed into weapons for international power politics. Bolivia has renewed its call for the establishment of an International Tribunal for Climate Justice that would be able to sanction governments that engage in "ecocide," defined as crimes against biodiversity, nature and Mother Earth."

"The tribunal idea did not originate in Bolivia, but in the United Kingdom last April. It is the brainchild of labor lawyer-turned-Green activist Polly Higgins. Her idea was to prosecute industries such as fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, chemicals and forestry before the existing International Criminal Court at The Hague. Even more alarmingly, some supporters want to prosecute ''climate deniers'' who oppose actions to combat global warming as eco-criminals. It's the stuff from which fears of world government grow." 

So, being off-message, having a different point of view or simply disagreeing, would become a prosecutable offence?

Matthew Archbold cautions:

"remember that liberal ideas start off as being jeered at as crazy but they just keep returning again and again until they're taken seriously and finally enforced."

Thanks to Creative Minority Report and Orwell's Picnic

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Bishops' Conference and the Magic Circle

 Among the comments made by Dominic Scarborough, in an article with the title 'Outside the Magic Circle' , are the following:

"Where an English bishop has dared to step out of line and question the BCEW’s liberalism, the result has been criticism and ostracism by colleagues"

"One of the most controversial issues affecting the BCEW is its continued support for the so-called “Soho Masses” in the Westminster Archdiocese, Masses that minister to “homosexual Catholics.” The current archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, has made several public interventions in interviews recently where he speculated as to whether the Church might in time approve gay marriage.

He also confirmed that when the Labour Government introduced civil partnerships legislation, the BCEW made a deliberate and conscious decision not to oppose it 
.He continues to support the “Soho Masses” and told a radio program that those who do oppose them should be silent. He also declined to disagree with a fellow panelist’s assertion in a television debate after the papal visit that the policy of the BCEW on homosexual rights follows a markedly different line from that of the Vatican’s policy."

"The BCEW also organized three-week-long “training” classes for Polish priests and other foreign priests who intended to work in England. These classes were delivered by the then-president of Ushaw Seminary (which is shortly to close), Msgr. Terry Drainey, who has said, “Some foreign priests working in Britain tend to be too dogmatic about the Church’s moral rightness on just about everything.” He added, “That’s not how we do things here. This course shows how we deal with a whole range of issues affecting Catholics, including the role of women, divorce, the lay ministry, and homosexuality.” Shortly after delivering the courses, Msgr. Drainey was selected to be the bishop of Middlesbrough."

 Disturbing? Yes, I think so; the link to this article is above, do take a minute to read it yourself.

I hope and pray  our Bishops would be Shepherds, in unity with the Chief Shepherd, the Pope, thinking with the mind of the Church, teaching what She teaches, upholding the Magisterium and witholding nothing of the Truth.
But, as Dominic Scarborough puts it:

"No observer of Catholic affairs in England is in any doubt that the BCEW in its current form has pursued policies that distance itself from the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI and criticize and marginalize those lay Catholics who openly support papal teaching."