Showing posts from May, 2011

Julia Holcomb: "I could not imagine a world where a tiny baby could be born alive and tossed aside as worthless without ever seeing his mother’s face."

Did Julia Holcombe, the ex-girlfriend of Steve Tyler leave a comment on this blog post? After I read the story about Steve Tyler being haunted by Julia's ['Diana Hall' as he calls her in his book] abortion, I went to St Anthony's statue in The London Oratory, and asked the saint to 'find' Julia, and give her the strength to render her testimony.  Julia has ended her three-decade long silence, and explained her side of the story. It differs significantly, in many details from that of Steven Tyler, such as the fact that her pregnancy was planned and that Julia had never been pregnant before. This is an extract from her story. Meeting Steven Tyler A few months before I met Steven, while I was still 15, I became friends with a girl who had access to backstage parties at concerts…. She quickly taught me to dress in revealing clothes to get noticed and use sex as a hook to try to catch a rock star. I still remember dressing to go to the Aerosmith concert, intending to …

196, 109 lives lost...

These are the abortion figures for 2010...
* In total, there were 196,109 abortions notified as taking place in England and Wales in 2010.
* 34% of women had one or more previous abortions with Black or Black British women being 48%
* The abortion rate in 2010 was highest at 33 per 1,000 for women aged 19 and 20.
* 96% of abortions were funded by the NHS.
* 91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation.
* 2,290 abortions (1%) were carried out under ground E (risk that the child would be born handicapped),
* In 2010, there were 85 abortions which involved selective terminations. In 51 cases, two foetuses were reduced to one foetus.

In denouncing abortion, may we simultaneously deplore single motherhood?

The wording, images and jokes in this video may offend some. When I saw the title ‘The Hilarious World of Abortion’, I thought it was a pro-abortion comedian poking fun at pro-life arguments. But this video, furthers the debate by, instead, finding inconsistencies in the pro-abortion position, and making fun of discrepancies such as a woman having the right to kill anyone in her body… The video does have its own grave incongruity; it might show that abortion and ‘illegitimate births’ (that word ‘illegitimate’ insults many people whose mothers struggled to bring them into the world alone) have both ‘skyrocketed’. The video is from the pro-life position and states that children from single parents are at ‘enormous risk of ending up on welfare or in prison’. But, as pro-lifers, can we have it both ways? In denouncing abortion, may we simultaneously deplore single motherhood? And associate their children with high rates of unemployment and imprisonment? The visible single mothers chose li…

Latest Communiqué from Vatican Blogmeet

This just came into my in-box...
Dear Bloggers,

As the buzz and excitement of the Vatican Blogger Meeting settles and your feedback and discussions take flight through the blogosphere, we wish to send to the blogging community, through the 150 representatives, a word of thanks and encouragement.

The pastoral presence of the Church in this emerging cultural reality is our concern and it is our desire to sustain and support the work you, be you Catholic or other, are undertaking to make the net more human. Besides reflections on copyright issues and what it means to be a Catholic blogger, this meeting has been a first step in recognising this expression of human experience, not just as an alternative and supplementary form of news diffusion, but as a lively community with its own needs and expectations, anxieties and difficulties. It is our intention to listen to you, walk and work with you as social networks and micro-blogging evolve and the effects of these rapidly developing languag…

The Tablet uses The Royal Wedding to bash Catholic teaching on cohabitation...

The Tablet editorial is trying to sell this formula; Catherine and William are the golden couple who long-term cohabitated (we assume), but went on to get happily married, and that therefore a high-profile example of cohabitation-leading-to-marriage has been set. And we should all follow… Because as The Tablet in its usually patronising way concludes; “This intriguing feature of their story raises questions. They are marrying in accordance with Christian teaching, which regards marriage as a lifelong commitment. The Church no longer denounces cohabitation as “living in sin”, and many of its clergy prefer to turn a blind eye to what is increasingly regarded as a sensible precaution against incompatibility. In this respect, society seems to have figured out something about stable marriage that the Churches have, officially, yet to grasp.” The ‘something about stable marriage’? That ‘something’ is cohabitation? That ‘the Churches’ should cotton on to this ‘something’, and start promoting …

Queen’s Visit Essentials...

Queen Elizabeth bows her head before the memorial to those who died fighting her grandfather’s armed forces Gordon Rayner gives an impassioned view of the historical context to the fact that Queen Elizabeth was the first British Monarch to set foot in the Republic of Ireland: "It was a moment that would have been impossible a generation ago, but which had become an imperative in laying to rest the two countries’ troubled past following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998…The unprecedented security measures surrounding her four-day state visit meant that no members of the public were able to witness the moment, but millions were watching on television as Ireland’s troubled relationship with the Royal family was finally banished… Republican terrorists had tried, predictably enough, to hijack the visit by planting a bomb on a bus, hours earlier, but nothing was going to allow a vanishingly small minority to thwart the will of the Irish people and their president, Mary Mc…

Musts for the Queen’s Visit…

Enda Kenny (the Irish prime minister or 'Taoiseach' pronounced 'tuh'ee'shuck') and David Cameron on the visit.

Love and Responsibility...

Check out this post on Love Undefiled for details on a great weekend in Oxford...
Twitch of the mantilla to Love Undefiled.

The Queen views The Book of Kells

The Queen wears the traditional colour of Ireland, and is the first British Monarch to visit Ireland in over 100 years.
object classid='clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000' id='telegraph_player_427482' width='460' height='258' codebase=''>

The lighter side of Queen Elizabeth....

This video does not have footage of her cheerfully greeting the Pope to Britain...

Much as I love him...

During Lent, I outed myself as a big Fawlty Towers and John Cleese fan, and during the past week, many have brought this interview  to my attention.  
Christians who advocate that marriage is for one man and one woman are practising “a kind of Christianity that I don’t think would be recognised by Christ”, according to John Cleese.
The comedy actor made the comments during a BBC Radio Merseyside interview.
The 71-year-old actor, most celebrated for his role in Fawlty Towers, said: “Some of the fundamentalist Christians seem to be performing or practising a kind of Christianity that I don’t think would be recognised by Christ.”
On the subject of marriage, Cleese said; “I don’t think Christ said a lot about abortion or even about single sex marriage.”
“I don’t know where all these Christian doctrines came from but that had nothing to do with what Christ ever said in the Bible.”
During the interview Mr Cleese argued that the Life of Brian film, which was banned in some countries on the groun…

To set sail for the US in a little boat...

Today is the feast day of St Brendan - who some believe reached America long before Columbus. It's not a tenet of Catholic belief that he did, we just are open to the idea that St Brendan may have.

There was an orchestral suite for uilleann* pipes composed in 1980, called The Brendan Voyage.  Below is a clip.
 *'uilleann' means elbow in the Irish language.

The tickets have arrived for...

I heard about the tickets on Linen on The Hedgerow, who opined that the talk should be mandatory for all English and Welsh bishops.

30 years ago today, John Paul II was shot, and accredited his survival to Our Lady of Fatima

The Holy Father credited Our Lady of Fatima with preventing the bullets from piercing his main abdominal artery. Blessed John Paul II went on to say: “One hand fired, another guided the bullet.”
The Pope forgave Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish sniper who attempted to kill him, without hesitation:
“I pray for that brother of ours who shot me, and whom I have sincerely pardoned. United with Christ, Priest and Victim, I offer my sufferings for the Church and for the world. To you, Mary, I repeat: 'Totus tuus ergo sum.'" (I am all yours).

Why this royal wedding may last...

I shamelessly nicked this from Ed West's blog at The Daily Telegraph. Here’s some cutting-edge research from Penny Mansfield, director of the marriage think-tank One Plus One, that points to a long and happy marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Mansfield has spent the last 30 years collating more than 3,000 academic studies into marriage and divorce. And, she says, William and Kate’s relationship is likely to be strong. Here’s why:

1. The bride is religious: Kate was confirmed into the Church of England in March, apparently at her own insistence, while William was confirmed at the age of 14.

2. The bride’s parents did not separate: Michael and Carole Middleton have been married for 30 years.

3. There are no children of previous partners in the household.

4. They both have high levels of education – both William and Kate graduated with a 2:1 honours degree from St Andrews.

5. William and Kate own their own home – no fears about getting on the property ladder certain…

My Reflections on the Beatification of John Paul II

The election of John Paul II will be remembered as perhaps one of the biggest bombshells of the 1970s – a pope who had rock-star magnetism, virtuous charisma and the vigour to engage a culturally divided post-Woodstock Catholic Church. The world did not agree with his firm stance on the wrongs of abortion and contraception, but the world never stopped loving John Paul II. This handsome Polish Pope with his angelic smile became a globe-trotting phenomenon, visiting a total of 129 countries. John Paul II went all over the world, but during his Beatification last Sunday in Rome, the world came to venerate him.
Arriving in Rome on Saturday for John Paul II’s Beatification, the first sights were of priests and groups of nuns gathered in every station and on every street passing huge rosary beads in their hands. During the Beatification, Rome became New Poland. Everywhere you turned, there were representatives from every Parish in Poland, young Polish families with tears in their eyes, cr…

Padre Pio’s first hospital is a success, but an earthquake strikes

Surely it is a shame that more people, especially people devoted to Padre Pio, do not know of his great practical works; especially that he founded hospitals? Padre Pio had superhuman compassion. It was Christ who said that ‘I was thirsty and you gave me a drink…sick and you visited me.’ And Padre Pio who defined for us that ‘in every sick person there is Christ who is suffering. In every poor person there is Christ who is languishing. In every sick person who is poor, Christ is doubly there.’ And the outlook was at times – very bleak - for the poor and sick in San Giovanni of that time. We must not neglect the fact that Padre Pio lived in San Giovanni of the 1920’s – then it was a primitive town situated on the Gargano Mountain. Health care was basically nonexistent, with the nearest hospital being quite far away – and over extremely rough terrain. Only people with serious medical emergencies took the arduous journey to the hospital. Among his followers, Padre Pio sought collaborators…

Padre Pio as he launches hospital called; 'The House for the Relief of Suffering'

The footage contained in this video is amazing. However, an extremist sedevacantist vein runs through this video's title and the other videos that YouTube presents in the right margin. Perhaps the '10 Wise Virgins' who said that Padre Pio was surrounded by 'vultures' of Vatican II might like to read the very supportive letter that Padre Pio wrote to Paul VI.

 The text from Padre Pio's speech (as it appears on the video above) translated into English:
“Men and brothers in Christ, ‘The House for the Relief of Suffering’ is complete. I thank the benefactors who assisted from all around the world. This is the project that Divine Providence, helped by you all, created. I introduce it to you: admire it and bless it together with me and Jesus Christ Our Lord.

A seed was laid in the ground and He will warm it with His rays of love. A new defence force, made of renunciations and love, is going to rise to the glory of God and to the consolation of the sick souls and bo…

"I survived an abortion" Melissa Ohden

The beauty of this video is that it is done with good taste and with a very gentle, calm approach. It leaves the viewer with a serene sense of that awesome virtue of Hope - that a life can endure an abortion. But also there's the implicit question that if Melissa had not survived...the human race would be impoverished for her loss.

Melissa has clearly forgiven her biological parents, but admits to having felt a lot of personal guilt. I take it that this is 'survivor's guilt' where the abortion-survivor asks; 'why did I survive, when thousands each day are falling dead to the same 'procedure' that nearly killed me?' We can give thanksgiving that her life was saved, and that she is a great asset to the pro-life cause. We may offer her mission in our Rosary intentions.

'This is the secret of a man in love with a woman...'


Blogmeet kit anyone? Blogmeet style becomes the fashion?

Cyberteologica reports that (So Far) reactions to the Vatican for Bloggers Meeting are contained in more than 17 million Web pages. With the Blogmeet garnering more interest than pop concerts, it's only a matter of time before this paraphenalia hits the street.

Could this garb become de rigueur?

Here is a snap of my identity card, which I will be keeping safely, in the event that I have children and can pass it on to them.

And the t-shirts above are printed in a very Marian shade of blue.

Below: Would this battle-cry of the blogosphere look good on a t-shirt? Or even as a car sticker?
Thanks to Cyberteologica for the image of the t-shirt and 'Let the Bloggers Blog' sign.

Bloggers to Replace New York Times? Blogmeet Memoir Part 3

Preferring to be energised and caffeinated – I’d stuck with the coffee and avoided the prosecco. We took our seats for the second panel. There was still an atmosphere of whatever-will-happen-next, as 150 bloggers’ eyes bugged to see the next speakers take their place on the panel. And now for the moment we had all been waiting for; the second panel will answer the question; in what esteem does the Vatican hold blogging and social networking? Fr Spadaro, S.J. moderated the panel, and was flanked by five Vatican representatives. Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J. told us that his background is in studying literature, and that he views each blog as a novel. Fr Lombardi gave a lengthy talk, but it was peppered with Pope Benedict’s plans to use social media. Lombardi opened with some insights on Pope Benedict's reaction to social media. "He doesn't blog and he doesn't use Twitter," Lombardi said, "but he does understand the power of new media." Lombardi included that…

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler haunted by girlfriend's abortion

Long before he won accolades as an American Idol judge, Steven Tyler was a bona-fide rock star, with all that that implied. In 1975, when he was in his late 20s and the lead singer for the band Aerosmith, Tyler persuaded the parents of his 14-year-old girlfriend, Julia Holcomb, to make him her legal guardian so that they could live together in Boston.
When Miss Holcomb and Tyler conceived a child, his longtime friend Ray Tabano convinced Tyler that abortion was the only solution. In the Aerosmith “autobiography,” Walk This Way (in which recollections by all the band members, and their friends and lovers, were assembled by the author Stephen Davis), Tabano says: “So they had the abortion, and it really messed Steven up because it was a boy. He … saw the whole thing and it [messed] him up big time.”
Tyler also reflects on his abortion experience in the autobiography. “It was a big crisis. It’s a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us tha…