Friday, 25 February 2011

This will move you to tears - the trailer for Don't Cry For Me Sudan

Access this site to watch the trailer for the film that has made about Fr. John Lee Tae-seok's mission among the people of Sudan. The glimpses in this trailer of the peaceful and joyful way Fr John tended to the lepers really had me reaching for the kleenex.

The 21st-century ‘saint’ you’ve never heard of

Fr John Lee Tae-soek was once so scared of lepers that he hid from them, but he became their champion...check out the full article that I wrote for The Catholic Herald here. 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ireland: Is the Morning After Pill being mistaken for smarties? Only Smarties have the answer


 












The Irish Medicines Board (‘IMB’) has given the go-ahead to one brand of Morning After Pill – ‘NorLevo’ – to be given over the counter. This is so-called ‘emergency contraception’ is to be sold without prescription. While it is thought that individual pharmacists will check the ages of the customers who want to buy it – it’s a grey area whether or not it will be an offence to sell it to someone who is underage and without their parents or doctor knowing. And it cuts out the role of a doctor examining the ‘customer’ to find out if they are suitable for the MAP. Girls buying the Morning After Pill aren’t patients – they will be ‘consumers’ randomly buying this mega-dose of hormones along with cotton wool and cough sweets. It certainly lends a very casual attitude to taking the MAP. In effect, a precocious thirteen year old could walk giggling into a pharmacy and procure the MAP. This is being hailed as progress by pro-abortion pressure groups in Ireland because they say that if it’s taken earlier, NorLevo will be more effective in ending an early pregnancy. The pro-abortion lobby may care nothing for the utter and absolute destruction of the early pregnancy – but you would think they would care more about the health of the girls taking the MAP. Giving out the Norlevo MAP like they were smarties does not take into account that the MAP could interact negatively with other drugs in the system of the girl taking it. Nor does it take into account Ireland’s social context – some of the highest rates of binge drinking in Europe are recorded among older primary school pupils and young teenagers. Why are they so blithe to think that there will be no medication and alcohol complications? Is it so unlikely that Irish teenagers will swig strawberry vodka over the weekend and pop the MAP on Monday? Has Ireland changed since I left it? The secondary school that I attended when I was thirteen had a hard drinking crew – everyone had a head ache on Monday morning, and girls cowered over desks while they tried to piece together their memories of the weekend. Now that the Morning After Pill has less restrictions than pain killers – will people be more cautious about taking it? My guess is that the Morning After Pill will come to seem as innocuous as smarties. Or maybe only smarties have the answer. PS - LifeSiteNews quoted Dr. Seán Ó Domhnaill of the Life Institute as saying that the IMB were being negligent towards young girls; “In the case of an emergency, parents will not even know that their children have taken this medication,” he said. “Parents of these children would be unaware, with potentially serious results, especially if there is bleeding involved.”  It makes a satire of the whole matter of parental consent. Irish schools are rigorous about sending home paperwork of all kinds (e.g. about exams) to be signed by parents. But Irish society is being very selective in what the role of a parent means. Parents have to sign forms and pay exam fees to the Irish government, but it’s highly unclear how parents will be informed that their daughter wants a cocktail of hormones.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Let’s all say ‘the bullet’ for three days that the integrity of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum will be preserved and the celebration of the Tridentine Latin Mass will be extended

Please post this prayer on your blog, it is the one the Holy Father calls "the bullet", it is so fast and effective, it goes straight to the heart of the Queen of Heaven:


A Prayer to the Blessed Virgin – never known to fail

O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, faithful Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein thou art my Mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech Thee from the bottom of my heart to succour me in this necessity. (Make your request).
There are none that can withstand Thy power.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us (repeat three times)
I thank Thee for Thy mercy towards me and mine.

This prayer should be said for 3 days

Twitch of the mantilla to Linen on the Hedgerow.

Padre Pio: "When the Lord entrusts a soul to me, I place it on my shoulder and never let it go."


May we always remember and take comfort in this promise from Padre Pio. When Padre Pio spoke of his devotion to his spiritual children, he said that he keeps the souls entrusted to him on his shoulder, and never forsakes them. It is believed that Padre Pio during his life on earth, offered up the slicing pain of his shoulder aches for his spiritual children.
In the summer of 2009, I was fretting that I had not prayed to Padre Pio in some time, and was worried that Padre Pio had ‘forgotten’ me. A friend of mine who is mid-twenties like me, and who became a nun said to me that Padre Pio never neglects anyone who has prayed to him. Just because it had slipped my mind to pray to him - it didn't mean that Padre Pio would cease to intercede for me. Padre Pio puts his spiritual children on his shoulder – the very place where he felt the most agony. This shows the love and importance Padre Pio gives his spiritual children, he would offer up his greatest physical trial for the souls that are his children in spirit.

Padre Pio: "On my shoulders is the whole world."

From this beautifully researched article by Frank Rega. At one time, Padre had confided to his paisano from Pietrelcina, Brother Modestino Fucci, that his greatest pains occurred when he changed his undershirt…On February 4, 1971 Modestino was assigned the task of taking an inventory of all the items in the deceased Padre’s cell in the friary, and also his belongings in the archives. That day he discovered that one of Padre Pio’s undershirts bore a circle of bloodstains in the area of the right shoulder. (The picture is of Modestino Fucci). This reminded Brother Modestino that he had once read about a devotion to the shoulder wound of Jesus, caused by his bearing of the heavy cross beam, the patibulum, to Calvary. The beam could weigh up to 100 pounds…
On that very evening of February 4, 1971, Brother Modestino asked Padre Pio in prayer to enlighten him about the meaning of the bloodstained undershirt. He asked Padre to give him a sign if he truly bore Christ’s shoulder wound. Then he went to sleep, awakening at 1:00 AM with a terrible, excruciating pain in his shoulder, as if he had been sliced with a knife up to the shoulder bone. He felt that he would die from the pain if it continued, but it lasted only a short time. Then the room became filled with the aroma of a heavenly perfume of flowers – the sign of Padre Pio’s spiritual presence – and he heard a voice saying "Cosi ho sofferto io!" – "This is what I had to suffer!" Modestino remarked that he had a strange sensation after the pain subsided: that being deprived of this pain was also a suffering. His body had suffered from it, but his soul had desired it. He said, "It was painful and sweet at the same time."
What is the mystical and spiritual significance of the shoulder wound of St. Padre Pio? The book by journalist Saverio Gaeta, Sulla Soglia del Paradiso, reports that Padre Pio said this of his spiritual children: "When the Lord entrusts a soul to me, I place it on my shoulder and never let it go." From this statement, it can reasonably be inferred that the saint offered up the suffering and the extreme pain of his shoulder wound for his spiritual children.
Cleonice Morcaldi once said in the presence of Gaeta, "On the shoulders of Padre Pio rests the whole world and the Church." This expression seemed an exaggeration to the writer. But on the very same day that Gaeta had heard this, he later joined Padre Pio and some others in conversation. Padre Pio was telling the story of St. Christopher, and how he had carried the child Jesus on his shoulders across a river. Then, turning his gaze to look directly at Saverio Gaeta, Padre Pio pointedly said to the writer, "On my shoulders is the whole world."

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Padre Pio confided in the young John Paul II that his shoulder wound was his greatest suffering


From a fascinating article by Frank M. Rega. Shortly after World War II was over, a young Polish priest who was studying in Rome, Fr. Karol Wojtyla, visited Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo. This encounter took place around 1947 or 1948. At that time in post-war Italy, it was possible to have access to Padre Pio, since travel was difficult and great crowds were not besieging the Friary. The young priest spent almost a week in San Giovanni Rotondo during his visit, and was able to attend Padre Pio’s Mass and make his confession to the saint. Apparently, this was not just a casual encounter, and the two spoke together at length during Fr. Wojtyla’s stay. Their conversations gave rise to rumors in later years, after the Polish prelate had been elevated to the Papacy, that Padre Pio had told him he would become Pope. The story persists to the present day, even though on two or three occasions "Papa Wojtyla" denied it.
     Recently, new information about this visit has come to light, according to a new book in Italian published by Padre Pio's Friary, Il Papa e Il Frate, written by Stefano Campanella (1).  As reported in this book, the future Pope and future Saint had a very interesting conversation.  During this exchange, Fr. Wojtyla asked Padre Pio which of his wounds caused the greatest suffering. From this kind of personal question, we can see that they must have already talked together for some time and had become at ease with each other. The priest expected Padre Pio to say it was his chest wound, but instead the Padre replied, "It is my shoulder wound, which no one knows about and has never been cured or treated." This is extremely significant, not only because it reveals that Padre Pio bore this wound, but because, as far as is known, the future pope is the only one to whom Padre Pio ever revealed existence of this secret wound.
     Centuries earlier, Our Lord himself had revealed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux in a vision, that his shoulder wound from carrying the heavy wooden cross caused him his greatest suffering, and that the cross tore into his flesh right up to the shoulder bone.

As ever, I am indebted to Frank M Rega for his fastidious research on Padre Pio.

Abby Johnson, Former Planned Parenthood director joins staff of Live Action

Read the full article from LifeSiteNews here.

February 16, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today the pro-life group Live Action announced the addition of Abby Johnson, the former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility turned pro-life advocate, to the Live Action team. She will assume the role of Chief Research Strategist.
Live Action has been prominent in the news in recent weeks, after the release of a series of videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers apparently willing to aid and abet underage sex trafficking by advising a “pimp” how to obtain abortions and birth control for his young “sex workers.”  See a previous post for the footage of this 'pimp' in action.
Author of the new book “Unplanned,” Johnson worked and volunteered for Planned Parenthood for eight years until October of 2009 when she witnessed a 13-week old baby in an ultrasound-guided abortion lose the fight for its life in the womb. She is now a pro-life advocate. Since her high profile conversion, Johnson has said that the alarming incidents revealed by Live Action’s undercover investigations are not isolated incidents... Johnson says:“I can tell you from experience that Planned Parenthood often turns a blind eye to sexual abuse and trafficking – what you see in Live Action’s videos is not a rare occurrence. But ignorance is no defense, especially when it has turned their clinics into a safe haven for those who sexually exploit women and girls. This is not a training problem so much as it is an ideology problem.”
Live Action has previously released more than a dozen hidden camera videos from ten states. The body of visual evidence shows several alarming patterns of illegal Planned Parenthood activities including the willingness to aid and abet the sex trafficking of young girls, the cover-up of sexual abuse of minors, the skirting of parental consent laws, citing unscientific and fabricated medical information to manipulate women to have abortions, and Planned Parenthood’s willingness to accept donations earmarked to abort African-American babies.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

'Any vote for the Labour party is a vote for abortion' David Quinn on looming elections in Ireland

Heading into Mass on Sunday I spotted the local Fine Gael and Labour candidates canvassing outside. The presence of the Labour candidate struck me as odd, to put it mildly. Labour party policy is pro-abortion. Therefore, on a very important issue Labour is utterly at variance with the beliefs of the vast majority of serious-minded practising Catholics.
Politicians seek votes where they may, but given the profound gulf between Labour and the Catholic Church on this issue, it seemed particularly cynical to be canvassing for votes in this way.
I've been amazed in the last few weeks at the number of practising Catholics I've come across who are considering voting for Labour. Given that Labour is pro-abortion, how do they justify this?
It turns out a lot of them haven't the first clue about Labour's position on abortion. Amazing, but true. They don't know, for example, that Labour wants to legislate for the X case ruling of 1992.
That ruling allows for abortion, and furthermore, it permits abortion simply on the say-so of a medical practitioner -- it doesn't have to be a doctor or psychiatrist -- who is willing to say that his or her patient is suicidal.
In addition, Eamon Gilmore favours abortion where the 'health' of the mother is in danger. In practice, this would replicate in Ireland the British abortion law. In Britain, abortion is permitted where a woman's life or health is at risk. Health includes mental health. In practice, this translates into abortion-on-demand.
Gilmore favours this policy despite the fact that Ireland is the safest place in the world for a woman to have a baby, according to World Health Organisation figures.
And from a Catholic and Christian point of view, it is not only Labour's stance on abortion that is problematic. It favours same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption. Its attitude towards denominational schools is also a problem.
If the first category of Catholics and Christians thinking of voting for Labour are those who don't know the party's position on abortion, there is a second category that somehow manages to rationalise away the Labour position, to say that it doesn'tmatter, or that there are more important issues to be considered.
Some Catholics I've come across seem to think Labour doesn't really mean it. Sorry, it does. If it gets a chance -- and that will be up to FG -- we will have abortion in this country.
Others protest that they are not single-issue voters. But no one is asking them to be. However, some issues are of first-order importance and one of them is the right to life.
Still others will say that Labour's position on abortion must be balanced against its position on other issues also of importance to Christians, namely those that generally fall under the heading of 'social justice'.
They claim that Labour's policies on such issues as poverty, health and education outweigh its policy on abortion.
At a stretch this might be true if Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were championing policies that would definitely and deliberately harm the poor and the sick and the uneducated.
But the differences between the three main parties on these issues are actually rather small, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. We can argue 'til the cows come home about which set of policies will do more harm or more good to this or that set of people. But this is a prudential judgment, not a moral one.
At a minimum, neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fail is setting out to do harm to the poor and the sick, whereas Labour's policy on abortion would do very deliberate harm to the unborn. That is not a prudential judgement. That is a fact.
Read the article here.  

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Why We Saved Sex for Marriage Part Two

From the interview they gave The Irish Times.
TOM and JACKI ASCOUGH


Jacki : “When Tom and I met there was an instant attraction. Very early on we had to make some tough decisions about how far we were going to go sexually. Because the attraction we felt was so strong, it took a lot of self-restraint on both our parts to draw a line and not cross it.
“But we both felt our relationship had the potential to be long term, and that kept us motivated to save sexual intercourse. It wasn’t always easy. Because when you are in love and the attraction is so strong, the desire is to get closer and closer physically.
“We both wanted to save sex for marriage whether that was going to be with each other or with someone else. A big key for us was communication. As our relationship progressed, we discussed it a lot! When I felt weak and wanted to give in to my sexual feelings, Tom would stay focused and remind me what we were at and visa versa. It wasn’t always easy, but because we loved each other so much, we managed.”
How do you think this has impacted on subsequent married life?
Tom: “Neither of us fears disloyalty from the other. We feel stronger knowing that we were able to show practical commitment to each other before we married. Our focus now is on being a strong family. The idea of considering other potential partners just doesn’t enter the picture for either of us.”
Jacki: “It has had a huge impact on our married life. We have a bond that is amazing. We’ve been married 15 years now. We are a normal couple with ups and downs in our relationship, but overall we have a very healthy and strong marriage. Because we both know that we are capable of controlling our sexual desires, I think that has built more trust into our relationship now.
“I trust Tom to stay faithful to our marriage vows, and he trusts me. That kind of trust doesn’t just happen – it is built. Our time together before marriage is the foundation that we have built our marriage on for today.”
Do you see any changes in Irish society in relation to this issue?
Tom : “There has been a marked increase in relationship breakdown along with the sexual boom of recent decades. Although not the only factor, it is a major one.”
Jacki : “Yes. Logically it seems like a good idea to have sex before marriage and even live together to see if you are a compatible couple. Many people would say if you’re in a committed relationship, then why not have sex if you love each other? But from my own personal observations, it seems to me those kind of relationships seem to have more difficulties. They don’t go the distance. Why? I’m sure there are many factors. Relationships are complex, but I know I wanted to do whatever I could to give the best start to our marriage. For us, that meant waiting to have sex until after we said, ‘I do’.”
Read the full interview here. 

With heavenly perfume Padre Pio helped a couple put their marriage back together

A married couple in England were experiencing marriage problems – they were almost at the point of splitting. They felt unable to resolve the problems by themselves, so they wrote to Padre Pio but did not receive a written answer to their problem. The couple decided that they would go to St. Giovanni Rotondo to meet Padre Pio in person. But at that time, the journey was very arduous and it was in the middle of winter with snow falling. They put their doubts to one side, and embarked on the journey. 
On the way, they spent a night in Bern where they could only afford to stay in a shabby, rundown hotel. They were filled with doubt – they had travelled so far – and what if Padre Pio did not want to see them? Should they turn back? As they were discussing what to do, the room filled with a magnificent perfume, and the married couple became calm and still with this peaceful scent surrounding them. The wife looked for a source of this perfume, and thought that someone had left a bottle of perfume behind. But she found no bottle. A bit of time passed, and the beautiful perfume faded and the room’s usual stench came back. The married couple enquired of the hotel owner where the smell could have come from. But the owner said it was the first time any of the guests said they smelled perfume in his decrepit hotel!
When they reached San Giovanni Rotondo, they approached Padre Pio, and the husband who spoke good Italian, asked Padre Pio: “We wrote to you, Father, but since you have not answered us…” “What?” Padre Pio interrupted saying: “Why do you tell me I did not answer you? Did you not smell anything that evening in the Swiss hotel?” The couple finally understood the meaning of the perfume, and understood that it was sent to help them with their marriage troubles. Padre Pio counselled them on their marital strife, and they were able to put their problems behind them.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Padre Pio prevented a gangster from murdering his wife, who then left crime and had a baby with his wife

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The year was 1921, and a hoodlum from a gang of hardened criminals had decided that he would murder his wife. His reason? He wanted to be free of her, so that he could marry another woman. But, he needed an alibi, and he coldly decided to kill his wife after she had been to confession to Padre Pio. 

His wife was a follower of Padre Pio, and the man suggested to her that they take a trip to see Padre Pio. When they arrived, he left his wife in a hotel, and went alone to arrange for her to have confession with Padre Pio. He plotted that while his wife was at confession, he would be seen in town to corroborate his alibi. He looked for an inn where he would invite others to have a drink with him. 

He would then make an excuse to leave the inn, kill his wife who would have just left confession and then return to the inn. Very much a plan of ‘have a drink, kill the wife, then have another drink’, not exactly the storylines of romantic comedy, but the mindset of the psychopathic gangster. He went to make an appointment for his wife’s confession. Evening was setting in and the light was getting fainter – he was sure that no one would see him murder his wife. He felt proud – his plan of murder was perfect. 

He went in, and approached Padre Pio’s confessional. The gangster felt an impulse that he couldn’t contain. He knelt in front of Padre Pio’s confessional, and began to make the sign of the cross. A cry came from Padre Pio: “God way, go away! Go away! Don’t you know that it is forbidden to kill somebody?” Padre Pio grabbed the villain by the arm and led him out. 

The man was utterly shocked. He ran away into the Italian countryside. Tripping on a boulder, he fell on his face and into mud. For the first time in his whole life he started to see the horrors and the dreadful sins that he had committed. He was overcome by his wickedness and willingness to slaughter others. 

In this moment of torment, he went back to Padre Pio and asked him to hear his confession. 

Padre Pio consented, and with immense gentleness Padre Pio spoke to this base criminal as though he were an old friend. Padre Pio recounted for him his life, minute by minute, crime after crime – in exacting detail. Until finally, Padre Pio came to man’s most recent plan to kill his wife. 

The man heard Padre Pio tell him about the murder that he had so sneakily strategised. The man had never told anyone else about his sordid plan to do away with his wife. The man threw himself at the feet of the dear friar and begged forgiveness. There is more. Before Padre Pio absolved him of his sins, Padre Pio asked him, “you have desired to have children haven’t you? Well, do not offend God anymore and you will have a child.” 

One year later, the man returned to Padre Pio, completely converted from his life of crime and the father of a child who was born to the same wife he had so wantonly wanted to kill.

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood's Racist Founder

Bronx, NY Planned Parenthood tells pimp he can pose as "guardian" for underage sex slaves



When I lived in New York, the abortion 'clinic' featured in this Live Action video was rumoured to be the 'busiest' clinic in New York, by 'busy', it meant that this place did the most abortions. And because I worked across the road from this 'clinic', I saw multitudes going in, and from spot across the road, we were able to see the ambulances pulling up to take girls to hospital when 'the safe and easy procedure' hadn't gone well...
I went into this Planned Parenthood clinic in the Bronx with my friend Charlie Quinn. We were armed with a pro-life pamphlet that we were going to just show it to the staff. We got chased out by the security guard, with very colourful language shouted at us. Far more successful strategies are being used by Lila Rose to show the true colours of America’s largest abortion provider nefarious' practice. Moral of the story - go into Planned Parenthood with a pro-life pamphlet and be chased down the street. Or go in as a pimp and be treated like one of them. Sweet.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Lila Rose - the new face of the pro-life cause

Check out the interview  that I did with Lila Rose which is on The Catholic Herald's website. Last week Lila Rose generated global headlines when she released this undercover video footage of staff at Planned Parenthood giving advice to a man posing as a pimp seeking abortions for under-age prostitutes.


Friday, 4 February 2011

Why We Saved Sex for Marriage Part One


PATRICK and THERESE McCRYSTAL gave The Irish Times their reasons.
What was your attitude to sex before marriage?
Patrick : “Growing up, my mum instilled in us that pre-marital sexual activity before marriage would deeply offend God. This was a strong enough motivation in all my relationships at university and afterwards to maintain my purity, so that I could save myself as an unspoiled gift to who would be my future wife – whoever she would be!”
Therese : “I made the decision at a reasonably early age, about 13, that I would not ruin my virginity before marriage. I was neither a prude nor naive, as I had two sisters both conceive babies as teenagers. The heartache it caused the whole family probably helped strengthen my resolve.
My parents were nothing less than heroic in their support of my sisters and that taught me a lot too. I was a virgin on my wedding day and so was my spouse. In fact, most of our friends present were too, so it’s not as unusual as you might have thought.”
How do you think this has impacted on subsequent married life?
Patrick : “Waiting until marriage has meant we were free to give ourselves freely to one another and what a gift this was!
“My friends who did sleep with others before marriage tell me that there was a discontent sowed in their hearts towards their wives, because they had all these other experiences to compare her with. I am truly glad I waited and would fully recommend it to every young person.”
Therese : “The biggest impact is I trust my husband and I know he respects me. Our decision to marry was not based on physical involvement or emotional dependency.
“We were, of course, attracted to each other but just had clearer heads than if we had been sexually active. It also meant it didn’t take too long to figure out if this was ‘the one’ or not. Ten years on he’s still the one!
“Marriage was, for me, automatically associated with children. The two were one in my mind.”
Do you see any changes in Irish society in relation to this issue?
Patrick : “The marital act is the exclusive gift of husband and wife to one another. The unrestrained promotion of contraception has caused a desecration of the marital act, and its widespread abuse.
“Couples who refrain from sexual activity before marriage are just going to be happier. We see this from even all our friends and people we know.”
Therese : “Not too long ago Ireland was great talking about God and sex was a taboo subject.
“Today, the media would have you believe that sex is the god and God (particularly anything to do with Catholic beliefs) is now the taboo.”
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