Showing posts from 2016

My interview with Aurora Griffin, author of How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard. How was Aurora a devout Catholic going to Harvard?

It was nothing short of providential that I would meet Aurora, a rising star when she was in Boston at the headquarters of the Catholic TV station to promote her book, How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard. John Carmichael and I found ourselves in the studio of Boston Catholic TV at the exact same time as Aurora; we were there for filming; John and I were interviewed in studio for a show called The Gist that will be broadcast next fall.

After a few minutes of chatting, Aurora and I joined the dots and found that we had several people in common; I had co-hosted Episode 2 of Extraordinary Faith a show showcasing a dynamic group of Harvard students where I interviewed on camera some of Aurora's college friends. Prior to meeting Aurora, I had been curious about her, knowing of her from afar as someone steely and spunky who stood up to satanists in Boston when they attempted to hold a Black Mass.

Aurora ascertained I would be going to Los Angeles for an extended period, and that we would be…

The precise reason Padre Pio refused absolution to a woman who had an abortion and why he eventually granted her absolution

Throughout my adult life I've been surrounded by young female friends who tell me that they view me as a Latin Mass Catholic who takes sin and the sin of abortion in particular too seriously. They wear rictus smiles and claim it's not really so dire a sin when a woman employs a doctor to slaughter the little one inside her because she wants to prioritise her career or doesn't want a child with her current boyfriend. Or they reiterate the reason that I heard from the lips of hundreds of women when I was with them during their crisis pregnancies: that they can have a baby and provide for one, but they do not feel ready. 

In response I have often tried to defend the Church's teachings on the gravity of abortion as a mortal sin by reminding my coffee companions and colleagues that Padre Pio took the sin of abortion so deathly seriously that he was known to have refused absolution if a penitent confessed to having had an abortion.
While this has led to the smiles melting fro…

We are living during the unfolding of the Third Secret of Fatima

Today, the feast of the Most Holy Rosary, I'd like to share with you my latest column for The Latin Mass Society Magazine.  HAPPY FEAST!

On my tombstone, I'd like the inscription At Fatima Our Lady asked us to offer a daily Rosary, please do so in my memory.

Now we are in Autumn 2016, we are beginning a vital year of preparation: Autumn 2017 will be the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary one hundred years after Our Lady appeared at Fatima. How can we use the coming 12 months to ensure that Our Lady's requests at Fatima are better observed?
I think we are living during the unfolding of the Third Secret and I wonder if we are meant to spend our time making better known the theories that surround the ThirdSecret. The Third Secret, of course, is one of the distinct revelations granted to Fatima visionary Sister Lucia in connection with Our Lady of Fatima's Church Approved Apparition in Fatima Portugal. 
One of the great controversies in the Catholic Church and in the world in …

The doctors' union admits that pro-life medics face discrimination and harassment

The British Medical Association has given written evidence to members of Parliament that confirms pro-life doctors face pressure to take part in abortions, and discrimination if they do not comply.  There is a full and detailed report by Simon Caldwell, which I urge everyone to read. 
In the wake of the BMA's presentation of such evidence that will form part of an inquiry into the working of the conscience clause of the 1967 Abortion Act,  I am re-posting a story I wrote for The Catholic Herald which chronicled the challenges pro-life doctors who are practising Catholics have to overcome. I'd like to draw attention to one point that was made by Richard, a medic who I 'followed':  "As students we were given a lot of misinformation. We were instructed that if we didn’t want to be involved in an abortion that we ‘must’ refer a woman. The 1967 Abortion Act does not state that doctors ‘must’ refer, and neither does the General Medical Council. But we should tell a patie…

Now for something other than Brexit, a piece on Jennifer Fulwiler, the author of Something Other Than God

I hold Jennifer Fulwiler in very high regard.  I got to know her after she got in touch with me regarding John Carmichael's Drunks and Monks.  Jen was the first radio host to have John on her show, you may listen to the first ever interview here at 43:40  I may know this radio interview by heart, as I listen to it many nights before falling asleep in my West London nest.

Today for The Catholic Herald, I have done a post on Jen and the new e-book that she edited, The Our Father Word by Word:

If you’re like me, you have a set of snippets from favourite You-Tube videos that you watch to cheer you up and inspire you.

One that puts me in a good mood is American Catholic author and radio host Jennifer Fulwiler’s conversion story, where at 17 minutes in she shares the moment that she came to offer her first prayer. Until that moment, Jennifer had been a life-long atheist, and the catalyst for causing her to question if God did in fact exist was the overwhelmingly strong love she had for h…

The papal broadcast on 'the loss of the sense of sin' that healed my suffering

A good few years ago someone took advantage of me for money. At the time and for years afterwards I felt mistreated, yet the loss of money and was never the reason for my pain. No, the sickening sorrow that stirred in my gut accrued with interest because the person who did something regrettable to me thought they had done absolutely nothing wrong. I wasn’t looking for the money back. Yet they strangely claimed they had done something positive and told me they were being “charitable” by “persuading” me into doing a “good work” that benefited them. It didn’t matter that I suffered hideously. At that point in my very young life I believed in God and understood that the Church taught about sin, repentance and forgiveness but truly it was all a bit of an abstraction still. I was confused and scrupulous and learning that the world at large didn’t concern itself with ‘sin’ as a supernatural affront to God’s order, or even really acknowledge it, except in the context of that which was clearl…

Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Welby are continuing St Augustine's work on Facebook...

The first Archbishop of Canterbury, St Augustine, was no coward. Yet when Pope St Gregory the Great sent him to England, Augustine turned back en route. He lost his nerve when travelling to England after he heard tales of Saxons savagery and feared he would fall prey to them. In earlier years, missionaries had come to Britain. But after the Saxon conquest they had retreated to the margins of society, keeping quiet about their faith. When Augustine returned to Rome, Pope Gregory encouraged Augustine with the news that Ethelbert, King of Kent, had taken Bertha, a Christian, as his wife. A far-seeing Holy Father, Gregory believed that Ethelbert would give Augustine his blessing and help in evangelising the English. And he was right. When St Augustine and his band of 40 brothers arrived on the shores of the isle of Thanet, King Ethelbert was there to greet them. Augustine was from a high-born Italian family and Ethelbert was impressed by his good manners and gentility. Giving Augustine f…

What should you say to a woman pregnant through adultery?

I was having lunch with a Catholic acquaintance who mentioned St Rita of Cascia is popular in the Philippines because the rate of domestic violence is high and battered wives beseech her for graces to cope with bullying husbands. Thoughtlessly, I said I would look into praying to her. The person sitting opposite me raised an eyebrow and asked if I was having “man trouble”. Quickly, I clarified that I wasn’t, but was eager to pray to St Rita for work and money intentions. It is not surprising that some of my female friends say they become tongue-tied when St Rita comes up.  Our being tight-lipped is due to St Rita’s reputation as the saint for heartbroken women, victims of punch-throwing husbands and those in unhappy marriages. Were we to admit praying to her, we fear others may wrongly draw the conclusion we have been or are being abused at the hands of our boyfriends and husbands. St Rita herself was in an abusive marriage – she had been married off as a child of 12 – even though sh…