Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Paddington Bear Against Abortion

I've had Frodo Baggins To End Abortion and Hobbit Takes On Sauron, Marie Stopes, so why not Paddington Bear Against Abortion? Some 40,000 Peruvians took part in a march commemorating the Day of the Unborn Child on March 19th in the northwestern province of Piura. During a Mass at the event, Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren of Piura urged Catholics to “be committed to building a culture of life, which must begin with heeding the voice of every unborn child” in Peru. “We are all responsible for what science has amazingly revealed to us to be a child from the first moment of his existence at conception,” the Archbishop said. “The mother who bears him in her womb is responsible first and foremost. Then, those who are around her, the baby’s father and her family. And last but not least, civil authorities and society in general,” he said. Authentic development demands that the “inalienable rights of the human person – especially the right to life from conception to natural death – be defended,” the archbishop continued. Consequently, he added, the legalization of abortion in Peru “would always be an injustice and never a right. The right to kill does not exist. Only the right to life does. Abortion solves nothing. Let us pray to the Lord of Life that abortion is never allowed in Peru.” Archbishop Eguren also expressed regret that the campaign season underway in the country has been characterized by “insults and attacks from one side to the other. “Candidates are using language and expressions filled with double meanings to attack each other like never before.” “Voters deserve more respect from those who seek to govern us, whether from the presidential palace or the congress,” the Archbishop said. Voters also deserve to know the political agendas of each of the candidates, he continued. “An important part of this is that they clearly tell us what they think about the issues of abortion, the family and drugs,” he stated. At the conclusion of his homily the Archbishop prayed for the Japanese people impacted by the recent earthquake and tsunami. “May our prayer be a sign of our solidarity with our noble sister nation of Japan with whom we have historical and cultural ties. May the Lord help them to overcome the dramatic situation they are facing.”

This story is from Catholic News Agency, but I tip my Panama to John Smeaton as that is where I saw it.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Rap Song Worth Listening To!

I'm not exactly a fan of rap music, but this music video of a young white boy singing about his four year old sister, who has Down Syndrome is well worth 3 minutes and 24 seconds of your time.

I tip my Deerstalker to John Smeaton for this one.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Tomb Of Captain Sir Richard Burton

I have just had the privilege of visiting the Parish of Saint Mary Magdalen, Mortlake, London. As part of a Good Counsel Retreat. The Church has been serving the Mortlake community for over 150 years.

The most interesting tomb in St. Mary Magdalen's churchyard is the mausoleum in the shape of an Arab tent where the coffins of Sir Richard Burton and his wife Isabel Arundell can be seen through a window at the back.

Richard Burton lived from 1821-1890, at a time in history when exploration and scientific knowledge were advancing at a gallop. Full of the spirit of the age, Burton possessed a passionate curiosity about life in the little known Arab world and he persuaded the Royal Geographical Society in London to fund a series of adventures. He was a brilliant linguist, utterly fearless and a master of disguise, and so was able to penetrate the cities of Medina and Mecca. He secretly drew plans of the Great Mosque and its sacred inner shrine, the Kaaba, at Mecca.

Inspired by his part as an Arab pilgrim he then went to Harar, which was totally forbidden to non-Moslems, and made notes about the East African slave trade.

His notebooks were crammed with information, geographical, commercial and anthropological. His travel books were a literary success in London and the Royal Geographical Society agreed to fund the next expedition - to find the source of the White Nile. He set of with John Hanning Speke but the two explorers fell out at Lake Tanganyika. Their dispute over the source caused a furore at the Royal Geographical Society which only ended with the sudden death of Speke in 1864.

Being the British Consul in Fernando Po, West Africa, Santos, Brazil, Damascus and Trieste gave him time to explore and write. He married his Catholic wife, Isabel Arundell, in 1861. She was completely devoted to him, and tried to keep up with his rackety life, obeying his instructions to "pay, pack and follow", as he moved around the world. The Burtons were happy in Damascus, where they mixed easily with Arabs and Christians, but were eventually expelled for their over-enthusiastic involvement in local politics.

His last Consulate was at Trieste, where he spent his last years quietly with Isabel. It was at this time that he privately published his translations from Arabic of the Karma Sutra and The Arabian Nights. He published 27 books in his lifetime.

When he died in 1890, Isabel built this mausoleum and paid for the stained glass Memorial Window in the church.

It seems that he was not much of a Catholic, unlike his Wife who Baptised him when he was very ill!

Of modern interest is the plaque on the south wall of the church, near the entrance, in memory of Sir James Marshall who died in 1889 and his wife Alice.

He was Chief Magistrate of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and the plaque was unveiled in his honour on the centenary of his death by a Ghanaian lay organisation, the Knights and Ladies of Marshall.

He is credited with having invited two French priests from the Society for African Missions to come to the Gold Coast to found what was to become the Catholic Church in present-day Ghana. Already prayers are being offered by our African friends for his eventual canonisation. His grave in our cemetery is visited by them every year.

And lastly there is an Old Rite Mass, offered by Fr Whinder the PP, in the Parish on the First Friday of each month at 7pm.
St Mary Magdalen, 61 North Worple Way, Mortlake, Surrey, SW14 8PR.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

John Pridmore Talks About An English Martyr

Whilst looking for a picture of Saint Margaret Clitherow, I came across this short video of John Pridmore, reformed east end gangster talking about St Margeret Clitherow, English Martyr, in Dublin November 2007 at Youth Rosary Rally.

Prayer for the Conversion of England

O Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother look down in mercy upon England thy Dowry and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our Hope was given unto the world and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children whom thou did receive and accept at the foot of the cross O sorrowful Mother, Intercede for our separated brethren that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd the Vicar of Thy Son. Pray for us all dear Mother that by faith, fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen

For Prayers for Wales or Scotland

Friday, 25 March 2011

Mass For Our Lady Of Walsingham, At Westminster Cathedral

On Saturday, 26th March in the Cathedral (map) of The Most Precious Blood in Westminster at 2pm there will be a National Mass (New Rite) in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham, to open the 950th Jubilee Year of the Foundation of the Shrine and the apparition of Our Lady of Walsingham to Richeldis in 1061. Archbishop Nichols is Chief Celebrant along with many of our Bishops. It is suggested that you arrive early!

There is to be a Trumpet Fanfare to welcome Our Lady of Walsingham into the Cathedral!

As the Wales against England football (that's soccer to those in our small former colony) match kicks off at 3pm, I trust that the sermon (if we really must have one) and any singing will be as short as possible!

Day of Consecration, Happy Feast

On the day of consecration, either fast, give alms, or offer a votive candle for the good of another (or all of the above); do some spiritual penance and approach consecration in the spirit of mortification.

Now go to Confession and then receive Communion with the intention of giving yourself to Jesus, as a slave of love, by the hands of Mary. Try to receive Communion per the method described in the Supplement of the book, "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary".

Now pray the words of the consecration. Copy them and have them with you at church, read them after the Mass (in front of the tabernacle would be nice), and sign your copy of the Act of Consecration.

The words of consecration are:

O Eternal and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, N_____, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.

Sign your name here.


I have taken the above from Fish eaters, it is in fact step 4 in the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, as explained by St Louis Marie de Montfort. You can make this Consecration at any time, but today is quite a good day as it goes. For more details of the normal preperation for this Consecration do see the Fish eaters.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Archbishop Nichols Does It Again

The Latin Mass Society Celebrated St Joseph’s Day with an overflowing morning of Recollection, followed by a successful Solemn Mass in The Cathedral of The Most Precious Blood, Westminster. The Cathedral of Vincent Archbishop Nichols.

The sun shone on the Latin Mass Society’s (LMS) Morning of Recollection on the theme of St Joseph and Lent and its afternoon Solemn High Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 19th March (St Joseph’s Day).

Fr Andrew Southwell, well know Pro-Life Priest and the LMS's National Chaplain, gave the Morning of Recollection at St Vincent's Convent, Carlisle Place, close to the cathedral. Nearly 60 people attended the event, exceeding the seating capacity of the meeting room so that extra chairs had to be brought in for those who arrived slightly late.

Many aspects of St Joseph and the Season of Lent were covered in the hour-and-a-half talk which concluded with the Litany of St Joseph in Latin and several people commented afterwards that they very much appreciated the insights given by Fr Southwell on Our Lady’s husband and foster-father to Our Lord.

Father Southwell was also the celebrant at the High Mass in Westminster Cathedral in the afternoon. Father Martin Edwards was deacon and Fr Patrick Hayward was sub-deacon; the Mass attracted a congregation of some 300 people.

Music was provided by members of the Cathedral Choir, which centred on Mozart's Coronation Mass. There were blue skies outside and the sunshine streamed in through the windows high in the Sanctuary sending beams of light through the clouds of incense rising from the altar. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the Feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church.

Now off you go and sign up to say a Rosary for the Archbishop, so far 11 people are saying 21 Rosaries a month for His Grace.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Leeds People For Life annual Pilgrimage to Walsingham, Friday 25th March. Patronal Feast of the Shrine and the start of 950th Anniversary celebration. Non Leeds Pro-Lifers welcome


6-7am Depart Leeds. Joyful and Luminous Mysteries on coach

11-11.45am Confessions (chapel of Reconciliation)

12noon Angelus and Holy Mass

1.30pm Lunch

2pm Eucharistic Adoration

3pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction

3.15pm Holy Mile Walk-Sorrowful Mysteries

4pm Stations of Cross in Church of Annunciation or optional visit to Priory grounds.

5pm Depart for home (stop en route for refreshments)

Coach £15 concessions for children , students and families

Pick-up points:- 6am St Marys Horsforth; 6.15 Leeds Playhouse; 6.20 St Augustines; 6.35 St Theresa’s Crossgates

Possibly Heckmondwike or Wakefield 7am

TEL 01132582745. Mob 07747698553. Email:

Priests invited to lead the Pilgrimage, our 18th Annunciation pilgrimage of Reparation

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Former 'Bishop' of London On Television

The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Monsignor Graham Leonard, who died on 6th January 2010 aged 88, was the most senior Anglican churchman to convert to the Roman Catholic Church since the Reformation. EWTN will show his conversion interview on The Best of the Journey Home on Sunday 20th March at 8pm and repeat it on Wednesday 23rd March at 11am. This hour long interview should be of great interest to your local Anglican, so if you know any let them know that it is on. It is of interest to everyone of us as well. (sky 589 or online)

Thursday, 17 March 2011

God Bless Bishop Davies Of Shrewsbury

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury has announced that he is negotiating with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, an international order of priests who solely celebrated the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, for them to take control of the landmark Church of SS Peter and Paul, New Brighton, on the Wirral. The church is commonly known as ‘the Dome of Home’ for its prominence and visibility, even from sea.

In response, the Latin Mass Society has announced that it warmly welcomes the news that Bishop Mark Davies is negotiating with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) to enable the ICKSP to assume responsibility for the much-loved Church of SS Peter and Paul on the Wirral and for it to become a centre for Eucharistic devotion. The local membership of the LMS has been campaigning for the church to be reopened and for the Traditional Latin Mass to be regularly celebrated there.

This initiative is sure to promote Church renewal in Shrewsbury diocese to the great benefit of all Catholics regardless of which Form of the Rite they are attached to. The LMS will offer every help and assistance to Bp Davies and the Institute to bring their plans to fruition and invites all those attached to the Extraordinary Form to pray for Bishop Davies’ intentions.

Doctor Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman, said: ‘This initiative is a clear expression of the harmonious reintegration of the Extraordinary Form into the life of the Church which Pope Benedict XVI so patently desires. It is a wonderful idea to have a centre for Eucharistic devotion in Shrewsbury diocese and the ICKSP are second to none in their devotion to Our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar’.

The LMS provides regular financial support both to the Institute of Christ the King (ICKSP) and the Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) for their missions in England and Wales to reintroduce use of the Extraordinary Form; further financial support is given to English and Welsh seminarians at ICKSP and FSSP seminaries.”

So off you go and sign up to say a Rosary for Bishop Davies

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Saint Patrick's Cartoon On Television

On St Patrick's Day EWTN's Faith Factory will be showing Patrick, Brave Shepherd from the Saints and Heroes cartoon series. Kidnapped and enslaved by pagans as a child, Patrick makes a daring escape home to Catholic Wales, only to return and lead his captors and the rest of the Irish people to Christianity. The true story of this tremendously loved and celebrated Saint.

This 30 minute cartoon will be on at 4pm on Thursday 17th March, on sky 589 or online. Another good opportunity to evangelise the pagans around you. If your Grandchildren don't go to Mass, because you children are lapsed, they may well watch a cartoon! In fact anyone with an Irish or Nigerian background should be interested, and there is no age limit, as I plan to tell my Dad who is well into his sixties and my youngest nephew who is not even two and a half yet!

Monday, 14 March 2011

SPUC Leader Totally Backs Humanae Vitae

John Smeaton, the head of The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has written another blinding post on his excellent blog supporting the Catholic Church's stance on contraception. Let us hope that it is not long before SPUC takes John's stance as policy. I reprint the whole post below as I know that no one except Rita ever clicks on links! (I have not put all the links in the reprint, so if you want them click on John's blog);

Sir David Attenborough, the famous naturalist, gave a speech yesterday promoting population control. He said:

"Stop population increase – stop the escalator – and we have some chance of reaching the top – that is to say a decent life for all.
In my view all countries should develop a population policy – some 70 countries already have them in one form or another – and give it priority. The essential common factor is to make family planning and other reproductive health services freely available to every one and empower and encourage them to use it – though of course without any kind of coercion.
If you belong to a Church – and especially if you are a Catholic because its doctrine on contraception is a major factor in this problem – suggest they consider the ethical issues involved."

To my mind it is clear that Sir David's speech shows why pro-lifers should support the Catholic Church's prohibition on contraception. In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI wrote:

"[C]areful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone."

In other words, once it's regarded as good that individual couples should have access to contraception, and necessary that humans reduce their numbers, then the imposition of population control becomes inevitable. China and Vietnam already have long-standing forced abortion programmes, and India and Peru have had forced sterilisation programmes in the recent past.

The high incidence of abortion around the world, whether voluntary or forced abortion, has been created and fuelled by the contraceptive mentality, which thinks that children are usually a burden to be avoided. If the Catholic Church worldwide - the world's largest religious denomination, comprising at least one in seven of the world's population - were to concede that contraception (or even those prophylactics which impede conception e.g. condoms) were licit, then both abortion and mandatory population control would become irreversible worldwide.

That is why pro-lifers should fall four-square behind Humanae Vitae, and why the undermining of Humanae Vitae by Catholic bishops, by high-profile Catholics such as Tony & Cherie Blair, and by Catholic publications such as The Tablet, is of grave concern even to secular pro-life groups such as SPUC.

And so it is very interesting to read, reproduced in this weekend's Tablet, this Tablet report from exactly 50 years ago today:

"The cardinals and archbishops of France, who assembled in Paris last week for their annual spring meeting, published when it was over a statement on the subject of birth control ... They made it equally clear that the Church condemns the artificial prevention of births by the use of contraceptives, as she also condemns sterilisation and abortion ... The unnatural limitation of births, they went on, is not the remedy for overpopulation and hunger; the remedy lies in the provision of more and better housing, and of all that is necessary for the normal development of family life."

P.S. You can find resources to rebut Sir David's bogus arguments for population control listed in my blog of 9 February.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Comment On The Comments, Re Archbishop Nichols

Someone commented to me recently, about my blog on Archbishop Nichols, "Why should we thank the Archbishop for providing a period of Exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament? Is it not part of his duties as a Bishop. Should we thank him for providing clergy to hear confessions as well?"

I think we should thank him when he does something good as we can be very quick to criticise him when he does something wrong. As the Cathedral has gone from having no Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, to over ten hours a week I think we should thank him. I don't know if it says anywhere, that one of a Bishop's duties is to arrange Exposition in his Cathedral, but why this would stop us thanking him, is beyond me. If you invite me to your house for dinner, you then have a 'duty' to give me dinner, but that would hardly excuse me for not thanking you anyway. My wife says that she has a duty to wash and cook for me, but that should not stop me from ever saying 'thank you'. Why only this morning she stopped me going out in a shirt and tie that clashed quite badly, God bless her!

I know people who live in parishes where there is never a Priest who will hear Confessions, so my reply would be; You are right to suggest that we thank His Grace for providing so many hours of Confession each week at the Cathedral.

Another commenter, Gareth Hurley said, "Great idea to thank His Grace. Eucharistic Adoration will bring many graces to Westminster, London and England." But he went on to suggest that we complain about the "Soho Mass" at the same time.

From a tactical point of view I would not put the two together, but that is up to you. I have not seen that complaints to Bishops bear much fruit, but like yourself that will not stop me. However I do remember a Diocese where the Old Rite Mass was never allowed (well for 20 years or so) on a Sunday in spite of many complaints. Then the Bishop did something Pro-Life and was thanked by the local Old Rite group and that Diocese started to have an Old Rite Mass every Sunday not long afterwards!

Gareth ends, "Praise where it's due. Charitable discourse where it's due too"
Now go to my last post below and sign up to pray a Rosary for a Bishop or ten!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

God Bless Vincent Archbishop Nichols

One day last week, as I ended up in the Victoria area of London after a meeting, and realising that I would not get back to the Good Counsel Network's chapel in time for Adoration, I wondered into the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood to say a few prayers. I thought, having seen the Westminster year book, that there is never any Adoration in the Cathedral. As I got closer to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel I noticed 8 large candles burning. To my great joy as I got even closer I found that there was Adoration going on. There were no posters, no fanfare, no front page of the Westminster Record asking us to attend, but so what. I finally found a newsletter pinned up on the bottom of the notice board which said that there will be Adoration Monday to Friday after the 1.05pm Mass (New Rite) until 4.45pm.

So there you have it, please come and pray there if you can, then thank Archbishop Nichols ( and then sign up to Pray the Rosary for him and any other Bishops you like.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Mass For Doctor Bernard Nathanson RIP

Others have written and will write much more about this former abortionist turned Pro-Lifer, turned Catholic who died last week, than I will. But I was privileged to serve Mass for the repose of his soul in the chapel of the Good Counsel Network on Monday evening, the day he was buried. It was also nice to hear that he became Catholic in 1996, the year that I was Baptised.

If you have not seen his short Pro-Life film The Silent Screem click here.

Dies irae, dies illa
solvet saeclum in favilla:
teste David cum Sibylla.

Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando judex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
judicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus,
cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendae majestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me fons pietatis.

Recordare, Jesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae:
ne me perdas illa die.

Quaerens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti Crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.

Juste judex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce, Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meae non sunt dignae:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum praesta,
et ab haedis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextra.

Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis:
voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.

Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla
judicandus homo reus.

Huic ergo parce, Deus:
pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Aids, Condoms & Blessed Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

What might Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta say about the use of condoms to protect another person from AIDS? What would she say in the case of two homosexuals? Or in the case of a married couple where one spouse has AIDS? Or in the case of a heterosexual couple who are not married?
Some years back a friend of mine wrote to Mother Teresa for the answers to some questions about condom use. She received the following reply from a Priest who had answered at Mother Teresa’s request, Fr Lawrence Abello S.J., a Jesuit who was at that time writing from St Xavier’s College in Calcutta. His powerful reply was also signed at the bottom, with a little message offering prayers, by Mother Teresa. It’s not short but it’s very clear and worth a read for anyone struggling with this issue.
The Peace of Christ
Mother Theresa requested me to reply to your letter, dated 9/6/93
Your first question is the following: “What is the teaching of the Catholic Church for a married couple when one partner is H.I.V.+?” You add that “The Catholic Church allows natural family planning, i.e., sexual intercourse that will not lead to conception. Is it therefore wrong to use a condom in order to try to prevent harm to one’s partner?”
The Catholic Church teaches that contraception is an inherent moral evil because contraception falsifies the very meaning of the marital act which MUST EXPRESS THE LOVE OF THE SPOUSES. By the very nature of contraception, at least one of the spouses must manipulate self to destroy the power to conceive. This self-manipulation necessarily turns attention to self (i.e. is narcissistic), whereas, to be an expression of love, the marital act should turn attention to the spouse. To posit any act which, in its very nature, turns attention to self, falsifies the marital act and is, therefore, an abuse of a gift of God, which can never be morally justified.
In other words, the marital act can be an unreserved, total self-giving only if there is no deliberate manipulation of self to destroy the power to conceive – as happens in contraception. Being a self-manipulation to destroy the power to conceive, contraception necessarily is a narcissistic act which falsifies the expression of conjugal love by the marital act. Thereby, contraception is inherently evil.
Pope John Paul II expresses this narcissistic element of contraception as follows: “When couples, by means of recourse to contraception, separate these two meanings (i.e. the unitive and pro-creative), they manipulate and degrade human sexuality by altering the value of total self-giving. Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. When, instead, by means of recourse to phases of infertility, the couple respect the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meaning of human sexuality, they are acting as ministers of God’s plan and they benefit from their sexuality according to the original dynamism of total self-giving, without manipulation or alteration.” (Familiaris Consortio, by Pope John Paul II, No 32.)
Note that the reason why contraception is wrong is not that conception does not take place, but that a SELF-MANIPULATION is deliberately posited to destroy the power to conceive. Obviously, even when the married couple know that conception is not possible, they may perform an infertile marital act, as happens, not only during the infertile phases in cases of natural family planning, but also during pregnancy and in old age.
Note also that, even though a couple could not conceive a child for other reasons, such as old age, they may not use a condom or any other device to prevent the spread of AIDS. Being a self-manipulation, the use of any such device necessarily is a narcissistic act which falsifies the expression of conjugal love by the marital act. Thereby, the use of any such device is inherently evil and may never be morally justified for any reason whatsoever.
In short, the reason why contraception is wrong, i.e., self-manipulation in connection with the sexual act, applies equally to the use of a condom which merely “prevents” the spread of AIDS and is not strictly a contraceptive because the couple can not conceive for other reasons. When the “couple” are both men, there is not only the inherent evil of self-manipulation in using the condom; there is also the inherent evil of homosexual relations.
In the case of the married couple, it must be pointed out that marriage does not confer an unlimited right to sexual relations. Far from it. There is a right to the marital act only when it is an expression of love. For an H.I.V.+ person to have sexual relations with his or her spouse can never be an expression of love because – condom or no condom – such relations always have a certain risk of transmitting the lethal AIDS virus. The only loving and moral solution for the couple, when one spouse is H.I.V.+, is to live like brother and sister.
In his Encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae,’ Pope Paul VI teaches that “any action is prohibited which has, as its purpose, to impede procreation regardless of whether such an action is posited before, during or after the conjugal act. Nor may one adduce as valid arguments (to justify contraceptive acts) either that one must choose what appears to be a lesser evil or that these (contraceptive) acts participate in the moral goodness of fertile acts already posited or to be posited” – cf. ‘Humanae Vitae’ No.14.
Those who propose the “lesser evil” argument, i.e., that the use of a condom is a “lesser evil” than the spread of AIDS, never distinguish moral evil from physical evil. The use of a condom for whatever reason is a moral evil, i.e., the violation of the Sixth Commandment, whereas, death as such, even from AIDS, is a physical evil. The Catholic will accept the Church’s official teaching that, knowingly and willingly, to violate any of the Ten Commandments always involves personal sin. Basing herself on the true sense of the infinite evil of sin inasmuch as it is an offense against the Infinite God, and also basing herself on the witnessing of the martyrs, the Church teaches that no good end can ever morally justify the violation of any of the Ten Commandments.
Moreover, quite apart from the morality, on the purely practical level distributing condoms as a protection from AIDS gives false hopes. The use of the condom is not at all a complete protection against AIDS. The condom has a significant failure rate even as a contraceptive and, from recent literature which did not give reference to the scientific sources, the AIDS virus is 450 times smaller than a sperm! Whatever be the accuracy of this figure, distributing condoms to stop the spread of AIDS involves implicit approval of deviant sexual behaviour because one is formally cooperating to overcome the problems to practice such behaviour. Hence by distributing condoms one is promoting the addictive use of sex, i.e., contraception, and the other perversions which turn the attention inwards to self, reduce sexual relations to a habit which, like narcotic-drug habit, has to be fed. Cf. The literature of ‘Sexaholics Anonymous’.
Consequently, although the use of a sterilized syringe to inject oneself with a narcotic drug, or the use of a condom, may prevent the spread of AIDS in concrete acts to feed the drug or sex habit, promoting such practices promotes the behavior patterns which led to the AIDS problem in the first place. After all, addicts will feed the drug or sex habit even when a sterilized needle or a condom is not available. Hence, even from a purely practical point of view, distributing condoms as a protection from AIDS gives false hopes. Such an approach to control the spread of AIDS is based on an erroneous position, i.e., that one can control the diseases spread by addictions by means of protective devices which promote the addictive behaviour.
From all that has been stated above, it follows that a person working in an AIDS Center may not formally cooperate in the evil of homosexual relations, or of contraception-type heterosexual acts (e.g., between spouses) by having anything to do with the distribution of condoms. Likewise, the person working in such a Center may not formally cooperate in the evil of drug abuse by distributing sterilized syringes to drug addicts to avoid the spread of AIDS. Such an AIDS worker must SUFFER the AIDS-related deaths that addicts inflict upon themselves instead of FORMALLY COOPERATING in the moral evil of degrading the addict further by helping him to solve his problems in practising the addictive behaviour. In this connection, we must remind ourselves that God permits or suffers evil but never commits it, and we are called to be God-like. We must also remind ourselves that the highest value of a person is to reach eternal life. Cooperating in degrading the addict further, by formally cooperating in fostering “safe sex” or “safe drugs”, jeopardizes the addict’s eternal life and is a much greater evil than death – such cooperation is not true compassion.
You may reproduce and pass on this letter to whomever you wish. I shall be happy to answer any further questions you may have.
Sincerely in Christ,
The letter is then signed by Fr Lawrence Abello, S.J.
Below this is added in handwriting: I will pray for you God bless you M Teresa MC

Support the pro-life work of The Good Counsel Network through prayer, or donate to our work.
Clare McCullough

I lifted this from the Good Counsel blog, well done Wife.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Taliban Murder Catholic Politician

Murdered Pakistani minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, made a video in which he talks about his own assassination. Mr Bhatti, a Catholic, who was shot dead by the Taliban in the capital, Islamabad, had been calling for the abolition of Pakistan's, so-called blasphemy laws.

When the State run BBC showed part of this one minute clip earlier today, the reporter talked over the bit about Jesus. One wonders if this was to appease the Taliban or their fellow travellers in the British High Court!

Launch Of Juventutem Oxford & Support For Good Counsel

The first meeting of Juventutem Oxford will take place on Wednesday 2nd March. The usual Wednesday evening Mass at SS Gregory & Augustine will become a Sung Mass: it is the Feast of St Chad, the patron of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. There will be the usual 'social' afterwards.

See the Juventutem London blog.

Mass will be accompanied by the Schola Abelis.

If you can't come, please say a prayer for the success of this new apostolate.

I have taken this from Dr Shaw's blog and have been informed that the Mass will be offered for Good Counsel

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Wales For Wales Etc

I think that in light of the following post, Paul Smeaton must be Welsh!

I read a wonderful story today from Wales online about parents who say they are delighted to have given birth and had six wonderful days with their baby Charlotte Grace. Charlotte Grace was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, also called Edwards Syndrome, whilst still growing in her mother's womb. I strongly encourage you to click the link and read all of the article.

The doctors, as is normal procedure, advised the parents to have an abortion. Instead they decided to continue the pregnancy. The parents had the great joy of knowing their child for nine months in the womb and for six days after birth. From the article:

Tiny Charlotte amazed everyone with her fighting spirit, feeding through a nasal tube every two hours and receiving lots of special cuddles from her proud parents and big sisters.

Dilys said: “I just kept thinking, ‘If she can just live long enough for us to look into each other’s eyes’ and she did. She was so beautiful, absolutely perfect. We were able to stay with her at the neo-natal unit in the hospital but we couldn’t wait to bring her home. We just wanted to be a family again with the girls.

And for six wonderful days, they were able to hold, cuddle and feed their baby daughter Charlotte Grace, creating memories they will treasure forever.
The alternative option for them would have been to have a dangerous, invasive surgical operation that would have violated the mother and cruelly destroyed their unborn child. Why would anybody suggest this to be the more compassionate, loving, or even practical choice?

Happy Birthday Strider

'He is Aragorn son of Arathorn,' said Elrond; 'and he is descended through many fathers from Isildur Elendil's son of Minas Ithil.' (The Council of Elrond; The Lord of the Rings) A film about his parents can be seen online.

In the year 2931 of the Third Age of Middle Earth, Aragorn son of Arathorn II was born on March 1st. (Appendix B; The Lord of the Rings)

So there you have it Aragorn is as good as Welsh in the eyes of Tolkien! Very little is written about Aragorn's search for Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, but there is a film of it online.

Oh yes, and HAPPY SAINT DAVID'S DAY to you all. A National Saint who is from the country of which he is the patron, what ever next?