Monday 21 June 2010

Bernie to meet the Pope!

Bernadette, our second daughter, has been chosen by the Parish as one of those to go on the diocesan trip to London to meet the Holy Father when he meets the Youth of England in London.

She is rightly excited and looking forward to seeing His Holiness.

Perhaps 'been chosen' is a bit overstating it - there were three places available (as some parishes nearby can't find a single youth to send) and only 3 people of the right age who attend Mass with any regularity...

That in itself is something of a scandal.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Obsessed with Sex (2)

When people accuse the Church of being obsessed with sex, I think what they really mean is that the Church confronts a world that is obsessed with sex. The Church's insistence on teaching the Gospel truth about human love is so counter-cultural that the sex-obsessed world thinks this is all that the Church has to say.

Of course it is not, but it is an important front in the battle. Why is that?

Principally because it is one of Satan's chosen battle-fronts. From the dawn of time he has hated Love; and in particular he has hated the dignity bestowed on human beings in being able to express love in a way that is co-creative - co-operating with God in bringing new life - including a new eternal soul - into the world. That is something the Angels cannot do.

And from the earliest time he has attacked this: there can be no doubt that one of the effects of the Fall of Man is disorder in our sexual nature - and that is why the Church's witness in this area is always so unpopular, and always so important. For it is the truth that sets us free, and those who live by the Church's teaching - the teaching of Our Lord Himself - can attest to the fact that it is truly liberating and love-promoting.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Obsessed with Sex

There is a rather boring troll at Laurence England's blog who has raised the age-old question: Why is the Catholic Church obsessed with Sex?

It's a fair question, when you consider the posters of scantily clad women outside every Catholic Church, beckoning you in, the fact that no parish bulletin is complete without a page 3 starlet, the parish youth workers in all the schools arranging abortions for other peoples' kids without their knowledge and consent, the huge revenues the Church generates form its porn, condom and abortion interests, EWTN's most popular show 'Sex and the Sinner' and so on and so on.

What is it about Catholics?...

Sunday 13 June 2010

Where are we going?

Quoted from the Telegraph article on the fact that 89 girls aged 17 or under had their third abortion last year,

Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said repeated pregnancies among teenage girls were often caused by chaotic lifestyles and difficulties they had in using contraception.

She said: “With teenage girls, often they feel able to handle sex, emotionally and physically, yet aren’t able to handle the planning that comes with contraception.”

Note that they 'feel' able to handle sex etc... The fact that they are clearly mistaken in that feeling - and wrecking their lives (not to mention ending their babies' lives) is clearly of no concern at all to Ann Furedi - after all BPAS makes no money from kids who don't have abortions...

What can one do?

Prayer, fasting and alms-giving, I guess...

All you need to know about Brighton?

All you need to know about Brighton?

(sorry Laurence, couldn't resist...)

Wot no Bowdler?

I've complained recently about the re-writing of hymns to make them more suitable for modern sensibilities (eg taking the Catholic content out of them...)

But today we had 'Lord for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray,' complete and uncensored: including the line 'help me to mortify my flesh....'

How did that slip past the Bowdlerisers?

Incidentally, I was reflecting on my own changed response to this hymn. When I was small, I thought all that 'just for today' stuff was very short-sighted, unambitious and.. well.. wrong. Surely I should want all these things all my life.

Now in middle age, just for today seems absolutely right: the focus I need to maintain on the present moment, trusting the rest to Our Lord....

Sunday 6 June 2010

Young Catholic Adult Retreat: Douai, September

I've been asked to post this, and am pleased to do so...

The annual YCA weekend at Douai Abbey has always been aimed at the UK (or more precisely England and Wales). For the first time it has gone international! The annual Juventutem Conference is usually held in Switzerland; however, for 2010 it has moved to Berkshire in England.

During the weekend of the 10-12 September 2010. Young Catholic Adults will be running a Traditional Retreat at Douai Abbey, the retreat will be led by Juventutem Ecclesiastical Assistant Fr de Malleray .

The weekend will be full-board

Places are limited so please book early

* YCA will have half of the retreat centre to itself
* There will be a Marian Procession, Rosaries, Sung Mass, Low Mass, Confession and socials
* Fr. de Malleray FSSP head of Juventutem will preach the retreat, Masses will be in the Extraordinary form

Prices range from £5 (approx 6 Euros) to £51 (approx 60 Euros) per person per night .

See for more info:-

How to book - limited places so please reserve your place early
To reserve your place FOR THE WEEKEND (no deposit needed if you are coming for the day on Saturday 5th July), please a 20 pound deposit (NON RETURNABLE) to Damian Barker, Flat 5, 12 St. Catherine Street, Kingsholm, Gloucester, Glos. GL2 9DU (please make any cheques payable to Damian Barker). For enquiries ring 07908105787.

Saturday 5 June 2010

A great half term

Along with the rest of the country, I think, we had fabulous weather for the half term week - and we made the most of it, with some serious walks, a bit of rock climbing, messing about in boats on the lake, some gentle gardening, and some idling around not doing much; hardly spent a penny (except on a few ice creams) but had a truly memorable and highly enjoyable week.

The only exception was Bernie who spent most of the week revising for her remaining AS levels.

It's tough these days:- when I was at school the lower sixth was a very relaxed year: only studying subjects you had chosen to study and with no pressure. Not so nowadays...

Thursday 3 June 2010

Are the Modernists getting Paranoid?

I am not invited to post on Val Farrell's blog (which I have mentioned before) since he closed it to public comment, after a couple of comments from me challenging some of the more idiotic things he was saying. (see previous posts here and here about his spamming invitation, his life is better when we engage philosophy, and his humpty dumptyness)

However, I was struck by this, in his comments about the invitation to the young of the diocese to attend the Holy Father's visit to England:

'I daw (sic) it to your attention now SOLELY for this sentence about the requirements of those chosen to attend: "someone who can stand up and tell parishioners what they have experienced, and who will also be a good witness amongst their peers".

Now it is just possible that I am wrong, but that sentence sounds to me like Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and the rest, who carefully "organised" in advance, the peoples' response to their every public utterance.

What a blessing this must be to diocesan newspapers up and down the land who now already know what the correct reaction to the papal Visit will be: joy, inspiration, holiness. Get working on those headlines right away. Blow the FACTS, we have already been told what the MESSAGE will be.

From all this, people can surely only conclude that Gospel Truth no longer matters; only the survival of the institution counts.'

Is it me, or is the non sequitur (from 'tell what they have experienced' and be a good witness' to 'correct reaction... joy, inspiration, holiness...') and the whole language of Stalinesque manipulation reading rather more into the sentence he analyses than it warrants?

Clearly from Val's perspective (remember his prayers for women priests et al) anyone who thinks the Holy Father is Holy or a Father is severely deluded - but nonetheless, I think this smacks of paranoia.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

The New Morality...

Of course David Laws is an honourable man, as all the politicos are quick to point out. He was quite right to...

- move in with his male lover (after all homosexual relationships are legal, so they must by right, according to the new morality)

- live a duplicitous life, deceiving his parents and others about the nature of his relationship with his male lover

- seek public office while living a duplicitous private life

- claim thousands of pounds of public money to pay to his male lover in rent (a rent boy?) before it was, technically, against the rules to do so (because if it's not against the rules, it must be right, right?)

- continue to claim thousands of pounds of public money to pay his male lover once it was clearly and explicitly against the rules to do so - because it was only to protect his privacy... (nothing to do with the money at all...)

- resign promptly in the hope of quick rehabilitation and return to high office (which must be right, as it's almost certain to happen - the manoeuvring has already begun).

And Cameron and Clegg know they have to say he's honourable, because they don't know how many more such scandals will emerge from their parties. It's in nobody's interests to suggest that Laws may be a dishonest fool who does not deserve a penny more from public funds.