Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Michael Voris on 'Taliban' Catholics

Ok, you know who you are!
Thanks to Linen on the hedgerow

Cell lines from aborted babies used in food flavour enhancing tests

"LARGO, Florida, March 29, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and Nestlé are among the corporations partnered with a biotech company found using aborted fetal cell lines to test food flavor enhancers. 
The internationally recognized biotech company, Senomyx, boasts innovation and success in “flavour programs” designed to reduce MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products.  Senomyx notes their collaborators provide them research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.
Pro-life watchdog group, Children of God for Life (CGL), has called upon the public to target the major corporations in a boycott, unless the company ceases to use aborted fetal cell lines in their product testing.
“Using isolated human taste receptors,” the Senomyx website claims, “we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”
“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years."

Lynn Stratton,  freelance writer and independent investigative reporter based in the U.S.  sheds some further light on the activities of Senomyx, including its collaborating companies, i.e. Nestle, Cadbury, Tropicana, Campbell Soup and others, here

And as she further points out, it's all about making money:

And why is Senomyx collaborating with the largest companies on the planet? From an annual report dated February of this year: "Our current collaboration agreements provide that we will receive royalties of up to 4% on our collaborators' sales of retail and food service products, and in some cases higher on our collaborators' sales of ingredient supplies containing our flavor ingredients." I recommend taking a look at that document (a link follows this article), especially Page 5, where you'll see that Senomyx has noted that worldwide sales of products that might potentially include their products are in the hundreds of billions. So 4% of that is, let's see . . . a lot.

Thanks to Lifesitenews   and Lynn Stratton

Campbell Soup has said it is no longer in partnership with Senomyx
Source: Catholic Culture

Monday, 28 March 2011

Go Sisters!

I've just found the blog  iBenedictines, and it looks very good.

 From iBenedictines 'about' page:

"The World seen from the Cloister . . .
This is a blog written by Benedictine nuns from Holy Trinity Monastery, East Hendred, UK. We prefer to call ourselves cloistered rather than enclosed because the word “enclosed” may suggest a closed mind. We have a special interest in using contemporary technology to reach out to people who would never otherwise come to the monastery.
Our community web site is at http://www.benedictinenuns.org.uk (desktop and large-screen devices) and at http://www.benedictinenuns.net (small-screen mobile devices). Our Online Retreat Service will be found at http://www.onlineretreats.org."

Thanks to the Anchoress

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Archbishop Dolan on the seriousness of sin

From St. Patrick's Day Pastoral letter to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of New York:
+ Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York

"If the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance are at the very heart of the Christian life, why is the latter neglected? It is a lamentable characteristic of the Church’s life in our time. Almost thirty years ago, soon to be Blessed Pope John Paul II convoked a Synod of Bishops addressed to the very topic of Reconciliation and Penance in the Mission of the Church. The penetrating analysis of the Holy Father’s subsequent apostolic exhortation retains its force today. He wrote in 1984 that, in an age when God is pushed to the margins, the awareness of our need for forgiveness will diminish, for “the loss of the sense of sin is thus a form or consequence of the denial of God: not only in the form of atheism but also in the form of secularism.”[4]
We do not only observe a diminishing sense of sin in the secular culture around us. We find it in the Church herself. Perhaps it is an over-reaction to an earlier period, as the late Holy Father suggests:
“Some are inclined to replace exaggerated attitudes of the past with other exaggerations: From seeing sin everywhere they pass to not recognizing it anywhere; from too much emphasis on the fear of eternal punishment they pass to preaching a love of God that excludes any punishment deserved by sin; from severity in trying to correct erroneous consciences they pass to a kind of respect for conscience which excludes the duty of telling the truth.”[5]
Fair enough. Not everything was perfect decades ago when most Catholics routinely went to confession – perhaps too routinely. But whatever problems existed in the 1950s are now a half-century in the past, and subsequent generations have grown up without any knowledge of whatever excesses may have existed. They have indeed grown up without what belongs to them as part of the patrimony as Catholics – the liberating, joyful experience of God’s mercy in the sacrament of penance.
We receive the gift of mercy to the extent that we realize our need for it. We desire forgiveness only if we acknowledge the seriousness of sin. The recently-beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman expressed the magnitude of sin with his characteristic literary force:
“The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse.”[6]
Do we think today that Blessed John Henry Newman is right? How many of us would argue that opposite – that a little sin here and there is no big deal? How many, both inside and outside of the Church, argue that a little sin here and there is worth this technological advance, or that public policy goal, or is an acceptable means to some desired end?  As someone jokingly observed to me, “It’s the Lamb of God, not our culture, that’s supposed to take away the sins of the world!”
We just heard this past Sunday, the First Sunday of Lent, the account of the temptations of the Lord Jesus. Satan offers to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He would just bow down in worship. A little “devil worship” and Jesus would have the whole world! Wouldn’t that be more efficient than God’s own plan – the passion, death, resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, and two thousand years of evangelization? But no sin is worth even all the kingdoms of the world.
Blessed Cardinal Newman is only one in a tradition of saints who have spoken with great ferocity about the horror we should have for sin – including our own beloved Saint Patrick, who emphasized the essential role of penance in his conversion of Ireland.
We can speak so boldly about the horror of sin because the good news is that the Lord Jesus did not just die for sin in general, but for my sins, and yours. So our horror at sin should be accompanied by a serene confidence that forgiveness is ours should we ask for it with true contrition. Together with Saint Paul we can give thanks that where sin increases, grace abounds all the more (cf. Romans 5:20)!  We’re not “hung-up” on guilt and sin; no, we’re obsessed  with God’s mercy."

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Church in the public square: Bishop Crispian Way

"The road outside Bishop’s House, Portsmouth and St John’s Cathedral was re-named Bishop Crispian Way on Sunday, to mark his forthcoming retirement after 22 years service.

The road naming was a surprise for the Bishop and was revealed to him after Mass on Sunday morning by the Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Bishop Hollis was installed as the seventh Bishop of Portsmouth on 27 January 1989.

Bishop Crispian said: "I am overwhelmed by the honour that is being done to me by the renaming of what I might call our section of Edinburgh Rd. As far as I know, no such honour has been done to any of my predecessors and I am still at a little bit of a loss to know what I have done to deserve this honour.

"I have now lived in the city of Portsmouth for nearly 23 years and I have come to love it as my home. I have always tried to engage myself in the life of the wider community of the city and when the time comes for me to leave, I will do so with great sadness.

But I don't want to dwell on that today. Suffice it to say that I thank the Leader of the Council and his colleagues for the honour that they do me and the honour that they do to the whole diocese at the heart of which is our great city of Portsmouth."

Congratulations to Bishop Crispian on receiving this well deserved honour.
I wonder if other councils are contemplating similar honours for Catholic bishops who are likely to retire over the next  few months or years?
Might we see a Bishop Thomas Avenue,  or a Bishop Christopher Close,  or possibly an Archbishop Patrick Walk?

Thanks to Independent Catholic News

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Equalities and Conscience Petition

An Equalities and Conscience Petition has been launched by Christian Concern, following the recent case of Owen and Eunice Johns.

The Petition reads:

Recent Equalities legislation and its interpretation in the courts has led to several individuals who hold to mainstream Christian teaching being barred from different areas of public life and employment, running counter to our country’s long heritage of Freedom of Conscience, and creating a serious obstacle to the Christian community's full and active involvement in the Big Society initiative.

We call on the Prime Minister to act decisively to address this situation, securing the change necessary to ensure that the law provides a basis for widespread involvement in serving society whilst properly upholding the dignity of every individual, including those who seek to live with integrity to Christian conscience and teaching.

(The petition can be downloaded and printed, so if you are feeling brave, you might ask your parish priest to give it some space at the back of the church).

Thursday, 10 March 2011


O Jesus who for love of me
did bear Thy cross to Calvary
in Thy sweet mercy grant to me
to suffer and to die with Thee

I remember this prayer from my childhood, it was said during the Stations of the Cross, between stations, as the priest walked from one to the next. I knew the prayer by heart, but, as a small child, I was a little worried about the 'suffer and die with Thee' part, imagining the pain and torture of death by crucifixion. So, there was always a certain reserve in the way I prayed: how could  God want me to suffer and die a horrible death? After all, He loves me. When you love someone you want good things for him/her: in my childish mind, good things were always nice things-sweets, treats, trips out and so on. It would not occur to me until sometime later that suffering can be a blessing in disguise, almost always so, when freely undertaken for the love of God.
The season of Lent calls us to accept  freely a degree of suffering through renunciation of  self. We deny ourselves something that we enjoy or  find pleasurable. Choosing to 'give up' or deny ourselves, helps us on the road to gaining mastery over our selfish desires. It teaches us to say 'no' to our own will and 'yes' to God's will for us.
For many of us, I suspect, the 'giving up' of something for Lent can mean  certain savings to the wallet or purse.In Lent, we are often encouraged to donate what we have saved to  charity, which is one way to help others. On that subject, I  agree with  Fr. Ray Blake:

"One of the things that annoys me is that Lenten discipline; fasting, abstaining, even almsgiving, has been taken over by Catholic aid agencies. Despite sharing many people's problems with Cafod, I have to ask where else do we send money for emergency relief?
I do resent the notion that fasting and abstainence should be presented, especially in our schools, in terms of the cash value to aid charities. "I fast in order to save, in order to give to an orgainisation that gives to the poor", has a hint of commercialisation, literally the cash value of fasting.
Primarily fasting and abstainence are acts of worship, they go together with prayer. A by product is a strengthening of the will, a cutting loose of ties that bind us to Self, much less important might or might not be more spare cash, health benefits etc. Almsgiving is important too but Jesus expects us to use it as a way of getting involved with the poor, using a "agency" of some kind seems a bit like "buying in services" to distance ourselves from face to face giving."

Happy Lent to all readers- just think of the riches you will be storing up in Heaven by self denial and the taking up of your cross to follow Jesus!

Monday, 7 March 2011

News of the Ordinariate in the Southwest

Southwest Ordinariate Clergy give notice of their resignations

"As part of the preparation for the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham arising in the West Country the following stipendiary clergy gave notice of their resignations at their parish churches today, Sunday 6th March. They are as follows:

Rev Fr David Lashbrooke, Vicar of St Mary's, Marychurch and pastor of the Torbay Ordinariate group who will be attached to the Catholic Church of the Holy Angels, Chelston (TQ2 6BP). Tel 01803 329054. The group will be meeting this Ash Wednesday at Holy Angels for 7pm Mass.

Rev Fr John Greatbatch, Vicar of St Paul, Charlestown, St Austell and pastor of the St Austell Ordinariate group who will be attached to St. Augustine of Hippo, St Austell. Tel 01726 73838.

Rev Fr Ian Hellyer, Rector of the United Benefice of Moretonhampstead, Manaton, North Bovey and Lustleigh, and also Priest-in-charge of St John's, Bovey Tracey, and pastor of the Buckfast Ordinariate group who will be attached to Buckfast Abbey. Tel 01626 833451 or email: swordinariate@btinternet.com The group will be meeting for mass on Ash Wednesday at Buckfast Abbey (12noon) or Chelston, Holy Angels (7pm) or in local catholic parish churches. The group is also meeting on Thursday at 2pm (contact us for more details), and for Sunday Mass at Buckfast Abbey at 10.30am.

Rev Fr Simon Chinery, Asst Curate of St Peter and the Holy Apostles, Plymouth, and assistant pastor of Torbay Ordinariate group meeting at Holy Angels, Chelston (see above).

God-willing they will be ably assisted by four 'retired' clergy also entering the ordinariate in the area, including Fr Robin Ellis (former Archdeacon) and Fr Colin Furness. It is estimated between 50-80 members of the laity of all ages will be joining them.

The Rite of Election held at Plymouth Cathedral (Sunday 13th March, 3pm) will also welcome the prospective members of the Ordinariate for the first time."
 The Southwest Ordinariate blog has a number of final sermons and statements from Anglican clergy in the region who have now resigned their offices, starting with  one given yesterday by Fr. Lashbroke. He includes the main reason for his decision to join the Ordinariate:

"I believe that The Church is not a human institution but a gift of God perfectly expressed on that wonderful day of Pentecost. I believe that bishops are the successors to the Apostles and that Saint Peter and his successors have a unique role within The Church. I believe God calls the bishops to lead and to help us be faithful to all that we have received especially what we receive through Word and Sacrament.I believed that through our ordination rites the Church of England, with the exception of the Petrine Ministry, held that view. I believed that with the work of ARCIC and with The Papal visit in 1982 that the Church of England was serious in her desire to find unity again and anything less than the full visible unity of The Church is not good enough as The Church should reflect the perfect unity of The Trinity and should strive ‘to be one’ and anything less is a scandal.

However, this important desire for unity became sidelined when a new understanding emerged within The General Synod and over these last years the General Synod has taken powers upon itself which it had no right to do which has moved us further away from unity. Many are now of the opinion that The Church of England is ‘Episcopally led and synodically governed’ and that the power is within The Synod and in 2010 The Synod refused to listen to the Archbishops and was not prepared to be episcopally led Like other parts of the Anglican Communion The Synod is paying scant regard to Scripture and Tradition and is consequently making decisions that both the Catholic and Orthodox Church regard as moving the prospect of visible unity further and further away. I believe that Synod is trying to make The Church conform to the culture rather than being faithful to New Life found in Jesus Christ."
May God bless these clergy who have in this particular way, left everything to follow Christ. May they find a warm welcome in the Catholic Church and may God richly reward their trust in the Lord who calls them to  
" Follow Me".