Posts

Showing posts from February, 2010

Modern Miracle of the Miraculous Medal

Image
Lorraine had been taking her groceries out of the trolley, and lining them up so that they could be scanned. She was in the Iceland shop in Middlesex. She bent over and her miraculous medal caught the light and its shine caught the attention of a middle-aged man behind Lorraine in the queue.The man gave Lorraine a scorching look. He gave Lorraine’s miraculous medal a look that would have melted Everest. 
A bit taken aback by the man’s obvious hate for the medal – or what the medal represented – Lorraine took a deep breath and asked him, ‘Am, is there something the matter?’ ‘You’re wearing a miraculous medal’ the man said stonily in an Irish accent. ‘Oh, have you got one?’ asked Lorraine, a bit nervous of this Irish fellow at this stage. ‘Huh. I put it in the gas meter years ago because my sister was abused by Catholic priests in Ireland.’ ‘That’s terrible’, Lorraine sympathised. ‘Those priests should not have been put in that position of caring for children. But the majority of priests do …

Outside the abortuary. 'C’mon now, cast the first stone! You’ve sinned, how can you throw a stone? '

Image
Peaceful vigil outside BPAS Bedford Square Abortuary WC1

'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her' Gospel of John



‘How dare you?! How dare you stand there, tell my girlfriend that she’s doing some reeelly dirty thing, like she’s some baby killer or something. You with your rosary! You’re meant to be some kind of Christian? C’mon now, cast the first stone! What’s that bit from the Bible? You’ve sinned, how can you throw a stone? Cast not the first stone!’ The boyfriend then screws up his eyes at the ‘side walk counsellor’ and any further effort on the part of the counsellor to discuss the dangers of abortion, and the detail that by going into the clinic, they are enabling and witnesses to their child’s murder is prevented by the boyfriend sniping ‘cast the first stone!’ The body language of the boyfriend is always very telling. He clenches his teeth guard dog like. If the girlfriend tries to peer around him, and merely make eye contact with the pro-life…

Outside the abortuary. 'C’mon now, cast the first stone! You’ve sinned, how can you throw a stone? '

Image
Peaceful vigil outside BPAS Bedford Square Abortuary WC1

'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her' Gospel of John

‘How dare you?! How dare you stand there, tell my girlfriend that she’s doing some reeelly dirty thing, like she’s some baby killer or something. You with your rosary! You’re meant to be some kind of Christian? C’mon now, cast the first stone! What’s that bit from the Bible? You’ve sinned, how can you throw a stone? Cast not the first stone!’ The boyfriend then screws up his eyes at the ‘side walk counsellor’ and any further effort on the part of the counsellor to discuss the dangers of abortion, and the detail that by going into the clinic, they are enabling and witnesses to their child’s murder is prevented by the boyfriend sniping ‘cast the first stone!’ The body language of the boyfriend is always very telling. He clenches his teeth guard dog like. If the girlfriend tries to peer around him, and merely make eye contact with the pro-life…

Solzhenitsyn: Our Lady’s Historian

Image
What Our Lady Foretold: Solzhenitsyn Chronicled


When Solzhenitsyn’s died, the worldwide press were in a competition to out-do themselves in admiration of the literary giant. Solzhenitsyn was lauded as one of the greatest writers to have ever lived. He is accredited with having played a crucial intellectual role in the fall of Communism. And contrary to the usual candy-floss schmaltzy eulogizing the Western press doles out when a celebrity dies, the praise given Solzhenitsyn is justified. Incredible. Could it be that the liberal media were ‘waking up’? Not quite. And since Solzhenitsyn’s death, there has been very little discussion of his real vocation in national newspapers and even on the blogosphere. No corner of the press – religious or secular has yet given Solzhenitsyn what is rightly his greatest honour. It is this: Solzhenitsyn was the artist who dramatized what Our Lady at Fatima foretold about Russia and the world. No comparison exists between Solzhenitsyn and the Queen of H…

Fr. Rupert McHardy: ‘Lent is about taking responsibility for our own sins’

Image
London is having one of her maddeningly muggy and heretically humid days. The smug clouds hold rain that will bathe London’s streets, but instead of releasing a cleansing shower, the clouds hold on jealousy to their charge of rain, instead there are just odd splashes of escaped water. I walked through South Kensington passing groups of gals with their Harrods bags and at one point helped a lady from Spain to find the post-box. The trees begin to betray winter’s austere fashion of exposed limbs, and sport the odd shy patch of leaves; their edgy silhouettes cast patterns of lace against the rough grey cotton of the sky.

Leaving the bustling thoroughfare of Brompton Road, I crept into The Oratory and prepared for the 5.30 ‘Extraordinary Form Mass’.


Fr. Anthony offered the Tridentine Mass in the side chapel. Every time I attend such a Mass, I am startlingly aware of my own Catholicity in the instant the priest recites ‘Agnus Dei Qui tolis pecata mundi, misere nobis’. My character as a Ca…

Your Name is Needed to Help Catholic Adoption Agencies...

Image
And the petition reads: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Amend the Equality Bill to make space for Catholic Adoption Agencies.
The Background Info:
Forgive the revision book style bullet points, but to be succinct...
-The  means of access of the Equality Bill allows Parliament its FIRST opportunity to modify (FOR THE GOOD OF CATHOLICS) the sexual orientation goods and services legislation that originally led to the near-abolition of Catholic adoption agencies....in 2007.  -In the Commons, Ann Widdecombe MP has already put down an amendment to ensure that Catholic adoption agencies may continue, and gained 22 co-signatories from across the parties.
-The e-petition (see link) is a great way of clustering Catholic co-operation for an amendment that will once again allow Catholic adoption agencies the agency they need to be holistically Catholic.
-

Scuppered by Scrupolosity?

Image
‘Scrupulosity’: the trusty term for select individuals who strap themselves to a self-made mental rack. The reasons they may mentally castigate themselves are inevitably bound to practices of the faith. Catholics who painfully pinch their hands when they forget to bless themselves when they pass a church. Or bite lips when they are not sure if it was an hour they fasted for Communion or a mere fifty-nine minutes... Or did we break our fast by brushing our teeth with toothpaste thirty minutes before Mass? Those of us who attend PG films but feel sullied for watching the graphic clips from trailers or, sharpen our nails on our scalps, when we find ourselves laughing at some seedy joke in a cartoon. It's a good job we gloss over the detailed translations of Shakespeare's works. Could it be the bard was partial to the bawdy?!

Scrupulosity may take the form of trawling through the waters of the conscience for any type of minor sin. In my case, should I have had extra toast? Oh no…

Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart. ~Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

Image
There was a time, and a very funny time it was when the author of this blog dressed in glitterati sequined tops, shimmering minis and fluorescent eye-shadow. Hair was accustomed punk style. 17/18 years of age or thereabouts.  And that was just to do the odd exam or attend a lecture. Those were my salad days/bright green days when I would hear ‘she looks like she is constantly going clubbing’ walking into an 9AM class. The joke was on me, especially days when I wore orange feather earrings and matching feather necklace. Mater told me that I looked like someone who had got carried away in a fish tackle shop. Some young lads that I bumped into on the street corner told me that I looked like a peacock.   I had a pink rose in my hair, that was permanently attached, and the family doctor (Dr. Ronan Gleeson RIP) used to sing ‘are you going to San Francisco, remember to wear some flowers in your hair...' But in recent years, a grave dignity has come upon me, and I will only be found wearing…

Selling The Pill at the back of our churches when the Pope visits? Part Two

Image
The Pill writers are more in favour of Barack Obama’s policies, than Pope Benedict’s

Page after page of Pill articles have the same thrust, 'we the suffering progressive members of the Catholic Church must endure this regressive pope'. The irony is that while The Pill is trenchantly arrogant, it is also cowardly and anything but progressive. Let's look at this week's page 31 offering 'Vatican Shelves 200-page condom study'. The article makes it sound like a grand pity that a study on condoms, has been ‘apparently’ discarded. The word ‘apparently’ is their get-out clause here. The Pill writers or ‘Tabletistas’ as Damian Thompson calls them do not have absolute confirmation that this ‘study’ has been abandoned. But The Pill writers are reporting that this study, commissioned by the Vatican, looked into allowing married couples to use condoms if one of the spouses was HIV positive. Even if the Pill writers do not know for certain that the Vatican have jettison…

Selling The Pill at the back of our churches when the Pope visits?

Image
There is so much talk about how broke the Catholic Church is in Britain, and how 'strapped' all the parishioners are, and how we will have to scrimp and scrape to prepare for Pope Benedict's visit, that it's time to do something that would cost nothing, and would rid our churches of a resident poison.

I propose that those glossy piles of The Pill stacked at the back of our churches be removed - without delay - and consigned to the recycling bin. Sure, would anyone on their editorial board resent a bit of rubbish recycling? It would improve our green status immediately. Ms Pepinster will be proud!

Forgive my use of arguably vulgar language with the term 'rubbish', but The Pill often resembles hate notes that bullies write to ridicule their victims. I'm sometimes confounded to read the nasty belittling of Pope Benedict, and belittling is what it is. There is always an attitude that The Pill knows best, and must point out the woes and wrongs of Pope Benedict…

‘I was pregnant once...didn’t have it...I mean I didn’t think twice about it, that’s what smart girls did.’

Image
‘I was pregnant once...didn’t have it...I mean I didn’t think twice about it, that’s what smart girls did.’
Cue for straining-not-to-cry sighing. ‘I just wonder sometimes whether...they would be funny...or clever...or...or...neurotic...stupid really’
Thus confides Emma Thompson to her co-star Dustin Hoffman as they sit, stranded and wallowing in their sorrows by the fountains near Trafalgar Square. It’s the 2008 flick Last Chance Harvey, and Emma and Dustin are two old fogies falling for each other, as Emma the native from Willesden Green accompanies New Yorker Dustin around London.



They meet first in some austere looking bar at Heathrow where Dustin downs multiple shots, tries to make conversation with the sharp-tongued Emma, then decides to go for broke by cataloguing the rotting vestiges of his life. Dustin’s been fired from his job as a jingle writer for an advertising business, he never made it as a jazz pianist, he’s had a painful divorce, his wife has married some smoothie who …

On the whole, does the European Court of Human Rights 'defend' Catholic traditions? Part One

Image
Inside the European Court of Human Rights

My last post posed a question; does the European Court of Human Rights defend Catholic traditions?


Last month, the European Court of Human Rights did well to instruct the Romanian Orthodox Church to restore schools and churches to their rightful owners: the Romania-based Greek Catholic Church. These Greek Catholic Church owned buildings were seized immediately after World War II, by the then Romanian Communist government, and made the property of the Orthodox Romanian Church. Perhaps a simplistic but distinction between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Greek Catholic Church in Romania is that the former is an instrument of the government, whereas the latter obeys Rome.

The Court has also decreed that 23,000 Euro be given the Greek Catholic Church by the Romanian Government. The 23 grand is compensation for the fact that the Romanian government previously would not return the properties to the Greek Catholic Church. The Romanian government …

The European Court of Human Rights is 'Defending Traditions?'

Image
Interior of Greek Catholic Church

Mr. Kenn Winters wrote in earnest to The Catholic Herald to assert that, contrary to what I had written, that the European Court of Human Rights does (on occasion)help defend Catholic traditions.



SIR_-_Mary O'Regan's party political attack on " distorted human rights laws" in the European Union (Comment, January 29) was somewhat ill made, and blurred the distinction between the EU's European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, serving 27 member states, and the non-EU European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, serving all 50 European countries.

Another Catholic paper, The Universe, reported on the same day the latter's recent ruling that Romania's Orthodox Church must return 5,000 churches and schools to the local Greek Catholic Church outlawed after World War II - and which has lost nearly one million members in the meantime.

Miss O' Regan's recalling the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone's counsel that …