Monday, 16 November 2015
Pope Francis has declared a year of mercy from 8th Decemeber until the Feast of Christ the King 2016 (Novos Ordo calendar). He is encouraging Catholics to go to confession during this year of mercy.
Confession is a much neglected sacrament in the Catholic church. You see priests sitting in the confessional on Saturdays (usually) - with hardly any people taking advantage of this necessary means of grace. The problem is many Catholics have lost the sense of sin, and therefore don't think they need to confess anything! It's a good habit to try and go monthly, Fr Thwaites (RIP) used to advise. If children have made their First Holy Communion, it's a good idea to get them to go monthly aswell. Then it becomes a normal part of their routine.
In addition, Pope Francis has given Catholics the permission to go to the priests of the SSPX (Society of St Pius X) during the year of mercy. Now many would argue, that Catholics have always been 'allowed' to go to the SSPX for the sacraments, but I won't go into a theological debate on this one! The fact is, we can go to the SSPX for confession, end of!
If you want to know where the SSPX chapels are, look at their website:
If one has had a major change in life, it is a good idea to do a "general confession". This is where one confesses every sin one can remember since the age of 7, up to and including any unconfessed sins. For this, you really need to make an appointment - half an hour is what is recommended for this, although I believe some people need longer than this! Half an hour does seem quite short.
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Bishop Athanasius quietly takes apart some of the recent Vatican Synod proposals, shredding them with precision. Saint Athanasius II in the making?
The very erudite and holy bishop Athanasius Schneider is taking on the Vatican Synod proposals, and ripping into the ambiguous and disingenuous language. He has a style reminiscent of the pre-Vatican II era, where Church language used to be clear and precise, unlike the oftentimes rather woolly esoteric double-talk, so typical of the post 1960 era. He co-authored a recent book on the family, which was a guide for worried Catholics, stating in clear language what the Catholic Church can and cannot do regarding altering doctrine under the disingenuous mantra of false mercy.
I think this bishop is another fearless prelate, like his namesake, the first St Athanasius, who valiantly fought the Arian heresy of the 4th Century, earning himself the punishment of being excommunicated 4 times. In the end St Athanasius was right and Pope Liberius and the hierarchy were wrong. Pope Liberius was the first Pope not to be made a saint as a result. Popes can and do make mistakes.
The modern day heresy is 'modernism' which is the synthesis of all heresies. Modernism says dogmas change with the times. This notion is embraced by the majority of the non-Catholic denominations. Unfortunately a large portion of senior Catholic hierarchy have also fallen for this heresy, which appeals to sentiments rather than objective reality.
Please click on the link.
Monday, 26 October 2015
Father Luigi Villa - fighter of freemasonry in the Catholic Church, under the authority of Blessed Pope Pius 12th
After this devastating Synod on the family, which is being interpreted in many and various ways, just as Vatican 2 was also open to conservative AND liberal interpretations, it seems there is now a general unease in the Catholic Church by faithful Catholics. It isn't just the Synod on the family which is troublesome, but the fact that Pope Francis plans to decentralise the Church so that local bishops have greater automony on pastoral practices, which could contradict official doctrine. How would this decentralisation work? - Well one example is the following:
The following names are fictitious;
Bishop Kevin Condry in an English diocese is a bishop who does not agree with Church teaching on birth control - so under the decentralisation he is given greater authority by the Pope. With this greater power, he could tell his flock that they can happlily follow their own un-formed conscience on birth control. This of course is not Church teaching. Catholics are duty bound to read the official Catechism to form their consciences in line with Church teaching. So this is a real danger.
Meanwhile in a neighbouring diocese, Bishop George Pelham unlike Bishop Condry, is a bishop who accepts all the teachings of the Church, and under decentralisation, he will continue to teach his flock that birth control is morally wrong.
So 2 dioceses with 2 bishops who are at odds with eachother on fundamental issues.
Can you see the problem here?
This is how decentralisatoin works - each bishop in effect becomes a mini pope. This would turn the Catholic Church into little federations of churches and it would lose its universal character. They would be no different from all the protestant denominations.
Let us be honest here. The Catholic Church has been in turmoil since the close of the Second Vatican Council. The turmoil just accelerated after this Synod. I urge you to read the very excellent analysis by John Smeaton of SPUC and the lay group - Voice of the Family. Google this and you will find the pages.
Now the other confusing factor about this recent synod - Cardinal Pell says that the divorced and re-married emphatically cannot receive Holy Communion, but Cardinal Kasper says they can! They both can't be right! Father Z - the priest blogger in America also thinks that the Kasper proposal has entered the Church via the back door - and by just 1 vote! A local priest in my deanery says that the "internal forum" solution cannot happen - whereby a priest advises a divorced and re-married couple privately on whether they can receive Holy Communion or not. If this latter is put into a magisterial document, then the Pope will have overturned 2000 years of teaching. This is very dangerous, as it leads people, not just Catholics, to think the teachings change over time.
But the other source of information which I have found is from the Chiesa Viva website. I think it sheds a lot of light on the present crisis in the Church. This apostolate was started by the late Father Luigi Villa, who was directed by St Padre Pio and Blessed Pope Pius 12 - to fight ecclesiastical freemasonry within the Church. Father Luigi Villa died nearly 3 years ago, in his 90s - having survived no less than 7 assassination attempts. Father Villa won many awards for his investigative journalism and he said he never printed anything that he could not later substantiate. [I would stick with what Father Villa wrote up until his death in 2012 - his private secretary Dr Adessa took over from then, and I would be cautious of the later magazines. While I am sure Dr Adessa is trustworthy - caution is still advisable].
So here are some links
It makes uncomfortable reading but that is what writers have to do - research and investigate.
One final thing.
A lot of Catholics have been left demoralised by the Synod - I have spoken with many. The trust has been severed.
A pope and the Vatican are not above Holy Scripture.
A pope and the Vatican are not above Tradition.
A pope and the Vatican are not above Doctrine
Jesus Christ is the head of the Catholic Church. The Pope is His vicar on earth. If a pope does not safeguard these three items, then the laity are not expected to follow him. This, by the way, was said by Father Linus Clovis - of Human Life International, when he came to London a few months ago - his talk is on utube.
Except we have 2 popes - and the one who resigned for 'health' reasons is rather well. It's all rather murky isn't it? Hmmm.
My goodness - it's never dull in Rome!
Annonymous comments aren't generally published.
Saturday, 10 October 2015
Catholic laity have the right to challenge church leaders if the Faith is in danger, and in public if necessary.
It can be a grave sin of omission to be silent when one should speak out - including in public! And yes, you may lose much for standing up for Truth.
As I write this in October 2015, we are in the middle of the Ordinary Synod on the Family, which is taking part in the Vatican. It follows on from last year's Extraordinary Synod, which was one of the most shameful events in the history of the Catholic Church. It would have been even more deplorable if that great Cardinal George Pell hadn't bashed his rugby playing fist on the table telling the synod mafia to "stop manipulating the synod!". His intervention prevented total disaster and chaos. The ecclesiastical blows were well and truly punching on all fronts last year, and Cardinal Kasper was seen shouting at Cardinal Burke. Cardinal Kasper of the German faction is pushing a heretical agenda, while Cardinal Burke is standing up for perennial teaching.
It later emerged that the Synod was most likely pre-rigged according to EWTN's veteran journalist Edward Pentin - see his online book - now the top seller in the Catholic section.
This year's synod is starting to resemble a pantomime except no one is laughing but many are weeping. Many clergy and laity alike are feeling extremely perturbed and confused by the proceedings, which seem to change daily according to the whims of the very slick and quietly spoken Italian Father Lombardi.
This synod is meant to be about families, and how to pass on the authentic Catholic Faith. But has there been anything on the family? In short No. But there are clearly lobbies with different 'agendas' - the gay lobby, and those pushing for communion for public adulterers. These lobbies seem to stem very much from the West, and in particular Germany, where there is a church tax making the Catholic church there terribly rich - but the churches are largely empty. The German hierarchy seem to think they need to ditch all the teachings in order to fill the pews. Martin Luther would be proud of them.
Other heresies being proposed are things like devolving bishops conferences, so that they can each decide their own solutions to problems, which would naturally touch on doctrine. But this would make them no different from protestant communities. If this were to happen, the Catholic Church would cease to be universal. Other ridiculous ideas are to change language, so that words like "indissoluble" become "faithful" - sorry but the 2 terms mean entirely different things. This is a very clever tactic used by progressives, to enable behaviour change.
The root of the problem of this year's Synod is the working document, called the Instrumentum Laboris. Veteran pro-lifer John Smeaton of SPUC has taken this document apart, and gave an excellent interview on GloriaTV about why this document is flawed. He says the use of ambiguous language is of concern, together with proposals which are frankly not Catholic. I would urge you to watch this interview. John is in Rome for the duration of the Synod, representing a new umbrella organisation called, "Voice of the Family". He goes so far as to say, that the working document is a danger to families, and to the unborn.
So what are faithful practising Catholics to do when confronted by this sort of shenanigans in the Church?
Do we just lie back, and think of the Vatican? Just sit in our comfy zones, heads in sand and all that? St Thomas Aquinas - angelic Doctor of the Church does not agree with this attitude at all!
in St Thomas' huge work called the Summa Theologica, point no 33 says,
"Fraternal Correction, including that of prelates (i.e. clergy) by their subjects is a precept of charity. If the Faith were in danger, a subject (i.e. a lay person) ought to rebuke his prelate - even publicly." The implication is that to do and say nothing is a sin of omission.
There is a famous saying - I forget who said it. It goes something like this - "It only takes good men to do nothing, for evil to triumph". The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a list of sins of omission - and this includes the sin of silence when one should speak out.
At last year's synod, Bishop Schneider of Kazakstan thanked Catholic bloggers for exposing the machinations.
So Catholics - and I address especially those from conservative groups - you have the right and duty to speak out when the Faith is being attacked. Certain groups (like Opus Dei) hold a position of 'never criticising' the hierarchy (I would agree with this when the Church is behaving normally. But the Church has NOT been behaving normally since the close of Vatican 2). We are in emergency times in the Catholic Church, where there has been tremendous confusion since 1965. One only has to look at the lapsation rate of Catholic school leavers, currently at 96%. Has silence got anywhere? - has Church of Nice made many converts? NO and NO. We need to get back to Church of Truth, and bin the Church of Nice, with its touchy feely happy clappy nonsense!
The Code of Canon Law also says the laity have the right to challenge clergy if the Faith is in danger, as John Smeaton stated in his recent interview.
I saw this in action on Twitter a few days ago, where that towering prince Cardinal Wilfrid Napier challenged Father Thomas Rosica publicy. (Father Rosica is a synod organiser, who has a certain 'agenda'). Cardinal Napier says Twitter is the most important platform for getting information on what is happening in the Catholic Church.
There are some truly excellent blogs out there and I will name just a few.
Father Ray Blake's
Fathers Tomlinson and Hunwicke of the Ordinariate
1 Peter 5
Edward Pentin for the National Catholic Register
Deacon Donnelly for Catholic Voice Ireland
Voice of the Family
Catholic Family News
Eccles - biting satire and wit
Louie Verrecchio - razor sharp insight
Arm yourselves spiritually with frequent sacraments, the daily rosary and the wearing of the brown scapular of Carmel.
Sunday, 13 September 2015
Even the established EWTN TV channel is talking about fishy goings on in the Vatican, as seen in their interview with investigative journalist Edward Pentin - author of the No1 Amazon bestseller under Catholic books. He also writes a column for the UK Catholic Herald and The National Catholic Register.
This short clip explains quite a lot
Thursday, 3 September 2015
This book is only available as an e-book from the well known Ignatius Press headed by Jesuit Father Fessio.
Edward Pentin - the author - now works for the Catholic TV EWTN.
I am a quarter of the way through and frankly I am shocked by the behaviour of Cardinal Baldisseri - who headed the Synod of 2014. Other shameful prelates were Mgr Forte, Cardinals Kasper and Marx.
Sorry but UK Cardinal Vincent Nichols does not come out very well either.
Zenit news agency comes off badly too. They only want to cover "Church of Nice" stories.
The book has been written in the hope that the Synod 2015 does not follow the same disgraceful pattern as in 2014. It should also alert other journalists to watch those agenda-driven high ranking prelates, who quite honestly should be removed from all the proceedings.
Cardinals Napier, Pell and Burke are heroes, along with other faithful Archbishops and bishops especially Bishop Athsanasius Schneider.
Click on the link - it is the official press release.
Wednesday, 26 August 2015
Father Michael Clifton, former archivist of Southwark Diocese feels the concept, "people of God" has undermined everything in the Catholic Church.
An interview with self-styled "infamous" Father Michael Clifton, who thinks the subtle concept of "people of God" has undermined everything in the Catholic Church.
This is a variation of my article which is due to be published in the next issue of Catholic Life magazine.
I am at the refurbished and rather swish "Holy Cross Village", East Sussex, which is in the South East of England. It is home to the Grace and Compassion nuns, a branch of the Benedictine Order. It is also a retirement home for diocesan priests, including the recently retired but very busy Fr Michael Clifton. The latter describes Holy Cross in the following way;
"The nuns have provided a home for retired people, mainly Catholic but open to all. It consists of flats, and a separate unit which contains a residential retirement home at ground level and a full nursing care unit upstairs. The main sisters' chapel doubles as the parish church for Heathfield and the parish priest lives in a flat there, and the sisters have their own chaplain who also has a flat there".
At 80 Father Clifton has an extraordinary mental energy and a variety of hobbies and interests. He is an avid follower of current church affairs and this flows from his passion as a church historian and archivist, a position he held for 25 years in Southwark Diocese. He is right up to date on the Catholic blogosphere - of which he had a blog himself, until Father Herbie Brush (not his real name) threatened to sue him!
Father Clifton lives in one of the new flats in the Victorian mansion of Holy Cross Priory, and apart from his extensive reading collection, has managed to fit in his beloved electric train-set. I will refer to Father Clifton simply as, "Father".
Father was ordained at 24 in 1959 and lived in the heady days leading up to and during the turbulent years of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican 2). For him and many others, it was an exciting period. For others it was an anxious time.
I ask, "So Father, as a newly ordained priest what were your feelings leading up to Vatican 2?".
"Oh, I was completely liberal - yes - all my contemporaries went liberal - for a time, we thought the Church needed some 'brushing up' - we welcomed Vatican 2! Oh, and I was reading "Slant" - a magazine produced by a group of dissidents - they have all died now. The magazine was proposing all the horrors - which we more-or-less have today - as a result of the aftermath of Vatican 2". He continues - "I was converted from all that rubbish in 1968, when I was teaching at the St John Fisher School - and Father Nesbitt put me back on the straight and narrow, as soon as Humanae Vitae appeared". [This was Pope Paul 6th's encyclical, which re-iterated the Church's perennial teaching against birth control]. After that, Father became very traditional, unlike a fair few of his fellow priests, who remained and still remain in the liberal mind-set.
At around the end of the 1970s, at the request of a dying lady's wish, Father had to re-learn the Old Rite Mass, as the Novos Ordo vernacular Mass of Pope Paul 6th had been introduced around 1969. He says, "I hadn't said the Latin Mass for years, but after that episode, I became hooked on it, and began to say the Old Rite regularly". He was joined by a group of priests, who went to Rome to get an indult (permission) to say the Old Mass, which they were able to get. Many would argue that an indult was unnecessary as the Old Rite could never be abrogated since the Council of Trent anathematised anyone who tried to stop priests from saying it!
In 1981 Father was chosen by his local deanery to be their representative at a big meeting called the National Pastoral Congress in Liverpool. He says, "We were there to meet the other deanery priest representatives, and 6 or 7 of us "traddies" met together every evening at "The Shaftesbury Hotel". We became the "Shaftesbury Group". As a result of the Congress, an official report was written, which was dreadful, so I then produced my own counter-report, which I sent to all the bishops in the country. That is when I became famous, or rather - infamous really!"
"But Father", I ask - "Didn't that get you into trouble?". He replies, "No I wasn't in trouble, as I had started becoming the official historian and archivist of Southwark Diocese. I was almost 'untouchable' even when I 'got into trouble' - I became immune in a way. My position gave me a certain 'protection'. Then I started writing books, the first one was, "The Life of Bishop Amigo", followed by, "The Alliance of Dissent" - the latter of which caused me more notoriety". Father cheerfully laughs about this. The book was a catalogue of so called 'Catholic' organisations, which were seeking to undermine and/or change Church doctrine. The book gave a full description of these organisations, together with named people. Father mentions that he co-authored this book with a stalwart layman called Peter Hoare (RIP). The latter did copious research and he has surely reached his reward in Heaven.
The other books Father authored are, "The Life of Bishop Grant - first Bishop of Southwark ", "Five Victorian Converts", and "A History of Southwark Diocese".
"What about your blog?" I ask. Father replies, "I started the blog only at my last parish of Ham, Richmond. I wasn't early on the blogging scene. I had a big disaster which made me stop my blog, when a certain priest tried to sue me for libel, as I had called some of his writings heretical". This particular priest has a regular column in the Catholic Times weekly paper. Many Catholics have complained to his bishop about his unorthodox articles. Yet he gets away with it as he knows no one in the hierarchy will stop him. A very bad state of affairs.
Now I ask him about his junior seminary, which used to be at Mark Cross, a village not far from Holy Cross. Father isn't terribly complimentary about it, and says, "It was a very strict regime and we were not allowed hobbies or outside interests. It was too Victorian. Everything we read was censored - to make sure it was suitable material for young gentlemen. Luckily my railway books passed the censor test!" At that time, the Catholic Church also had a list of forbidden books, called "The Index" and Father thinks it wasn't a such a good idea, as it only encouraged them to read the books on the list! He gives an example of one silly harmless book on the list - "The Three Musketeers". He says the only reason it was censored, is that it might encourage duelling! Having said all that, he thinks caution and advice should be given about certain books and authors of the Modernist era, for example he feels Fathers Tyrrell and Loisy should be avoided. The former was expelled and the latter eventually left the priesthood.
"Now Father", I say - "What about this up-coming Synod on the Family in October 2015 - or rather, what would you do if you were a Synod Father?" He looks at me very seriously, and calmly states, "I support the good cardinals supporting the proper unchanging position on marriage, i.e, not adopting the "Kasper Proposal", which proposes allowing Holy Communion to be given to divorced and re-married couples (without annulments). This is going to be the make or break point. I don't think the Pope will endorse Cardinal Kasper's proposal. It would be terrible if he did, it would make him a heretic!" He turns to me with a look of horror on his face at the mere thought of such a thing happening! He continues, "I think parish priests won't follow the "Kasper proposal", they will ignore it". One thing Father thinks can be done, is to simplify the annulment process. He is cautious even here though, as he feels there can be complications and you still need witnesses in every case. In other words, only so much can be done in this delicate area. Father also feels that good marriage preparation is essential although problems can arise if the priest giving the lessons does not believe in what he is teaching!
Father laments the almost complete lack of Latin in recent Church documents coming from the Vatican - and feels this has led to bad translations and mis-translations - leading to ambiguous language and fuzzy thinking, which only confuses and worries the laity. He says he is worried by some of the things the Pope is alleged to have said on various contentious issues. On the latest encyclical "Laudato Si", which is on the ecology, Father says, "I don't agree with the Pope on climate change. Climate change has been going up and down for centuries and it's normal. I agree with Cardinal Pell, who says the Catholic Church has absolutely no authority to speak on these issues". The Catholic Church's only mission is to save souls, not the planet!
Father feels the next papal encyclical should deal with the errors of Modernism, which he says are rampant now. He feels Pope Benedict XVI just put a lid on modernism temporarily. Modernism was repeatedly condemned by many Popes prior to Vatican 2, and was described by one Pope as, "The Synthesis of all heresies".
Father has much to say on the aftermath of Vatican 2, describing it a having an independent "spirit" of its own and giving licence to all sorts of bad things. He laments Catholic education, which he says was "wrecked" after the Council, under the popular mantra of "spirit of Vatican 2". The publication of the erroneous Dutch Catechism was another result of this so called free "spirit". The three years after the closing of the Council in 1965 and Humane Vitae, gave birth to a rebellious spirit in the Catholic world, and a vast majority were agitating for change in the Church's perennial teaching on birth control. So much so, that when Humanae Vitae was finally published in 1968, a layman started an anti Humanae Vitae protest outside Southwark Cathedral, even daubing the walls. 1968 also marked a cultural line in the sand - certainly for the rich Western nations. There were student riots and the popular concept of, "Just do whatever you want to do", giving birth to the "Me Me Me" generation. This selfish thinking has led to the atrocious practice of "selfie-sticks", the height of vanity. What is even more ghastly, is people do these 'selfies' brazenly in public. There is no humility or modesty.
Another practice which Father says was never authorised by the Council was the introduction of receiving Holy Communion in the hand and standing. He says the result has been a catastrophic weakening of the belief in the Real Presence in the Host, which is tragic. Many Catholics have totally lost the Faith.
Father thinks that the current crisis in the Catholic Church stems from a very subtle idea, which was introduced at Vatican 2. He says, "There is one fundamental weakness of V2 - so subtle that many haven't really cottoned on to it yet. The concept that; Vatican 2 introduced the idea of The Church as "The People of God", as a model. Now this isn't quite right. The best model of The Church, is the Mystical Body of Christ; with the role for the laity explained. This term "People of God" introduced the idea that the laity are on the level of priests. In fact the progressive theologian Schillebeeckx said anybody could be a priest, with just a little training! That is the big weakness as it affects everything including the liturgy, and now we have chaos".
Another ambiguity of the Council he feels is that not much is mentioned of the fact that Catholics are still obliged to convert non-Catholics, which has led to a collapse in the missionary activity of the Church. I ask Father about the Jewish Old Covenant - which has caused confusion due to some cardinals stating that the Old Covenant is still valid on its own. Father says, "No. The Old Covenant came to an end with the veil of the Temple splitting. Or rather, more correct to say that, The old Covenant was subsumed (taken into) into the New Covenant. It was not cancelled entirely, as The Ten Commandments which are part of the old Covenant still exist as the basis for morality in the New". He says clarification is needed to dispel the post-conciliar confusion on this topic. The fact still remains that, Catholics are duty-bound to try and convert non-Catholics including Jews.
Father mentions that Cardinal Biffi (RIP 2015) said that the post Vatican 2 Church is virtually a new church. I mention to Father that Our Lady of La Salette revealed that the Catholic Church would be eclipsed. He nods and sighs - "Well there you are then".
For the interview Father is wearing a mid-grey shirt with his clerical collar - he has strong views on clerical dress which is - "keep the collar on!". Even in hot climates, a priest can wear a white shirt and collar. He says in England there is no excuse not wear the collar. Even retired priests should keep it on. You never know when you might be needed! For example, If a penitent sees the collar, it may encourage him or her to go to confession.
Although Father is retired he has taken on useful roles at Holy Cross, including saying Masses for the parish priests when necessary. He likes to help the lay residents if he can. The new bishop of Arundel and Brighton has also given his blessing to Father Clifton saying the Latin Mass on 4th and 5th Sundays of the month, within Mayfield deanery. Indeed, Bishop Richard Moth (who replaced Bishop Conry) has ordered these Latin Masses to be publicised as widely as possible!
Two trainee altar server boys of which one is my son, were delighted to be given a guided tour of Father's electric train-set.
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
I must applaud John Smeaton who heads the pro-life charity SPUC, for his sterling work on exposing the true 'agenda' behind the up-and-coming Synod on the Family, which is due to take place over 3 tortuous weeks from 5th October 2015.
Please click on the link to read his latest article, highlighting the really insidious and dangerous ideas coming from the working document - called, "Instrumentum Laboris". He says the proposals would put families in grave danger - if they are adopted. One wonders, how such a nasty document can come from the Vatican - it makes you think the Church has been hijacked from within! This document is anything other than Catholic.
He writes in an easy-to-read style and puts his points accross succinctly.
John Smeaton founded this umbrella group "Voice of the Family" after last year's fiasco Synod 2014.
It has many supporters especially pro-life groups.
As I write this, there is some good news, in that no less than 11 cardinals are opposing this 'agenda' and have just published a book due to be released in September. Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider have already been vocal opponents of Cardinal Kasper's proposals, which would endanger the sacrament of matrimony.
Be ready for ecclesiastical fisticuffs and fireworks in October!
Monday, 10 August 2015
Bishop Athanasius Schneider (a living Saint in my opinion), thanked the Catholic blogosphere last Autumn. He thanked them for exposing the real 'agenda' behind the Synod on the family in November of 2014. This infamous Synod became known by many names, such as "Sinnod" and "Spinod". Why? Because many cardinals were openly pushing for the acceptance of certain grave sins, (used to be called mortal sins in pre-Vatican 2), and the whole affair was being spinned, by the use of disingenuous and slippery language. Many good Catholic journalists such as Edward Pentin, did sterling work in uncovering some very naughty behaviour. Like the sabotaging of orthodox books on the family.
Anyhow - what do you readers think?
I have had 2 schools of thought put to me.
On the one hand, various Catholics think blogs which expose scandals in the Church, can cause harm to 'weak-in-faith' Catholics, as they might drive Catholics out of the Church altogether. I can see that this might happen, as it did when all the pedophilia scandals were being exposed. I think many weak Catholics did leave. I know of one personally, who left as a result. Only 1 though.
On the other hand, I know of Catholics who say their faith has been strengthened as a result of these blogs.
So what do you readers think?
Should Catholic bloggers only write about fluffy kittens and Church of niceties, or should the scandals be truthfully reported on, however horrid they are?
Personally, I have found them to be a great help, because I pray more as a result of scandals.
Another thought. If Catholic blogs didn't report on scandals, they would be accused of being complicit in the 'cover-up'. If Catholic blogs only reported on the good things, then those prelates, who reject Church doctrines, might think they can get away with sowing yet more confusion to the Faithful.
Something to ponder - what would have happened if there were blogs before and during the Second Vatican Council?! There would have been a bloggonic explosion. The blogosphere would have been in overdrive.
It is complicated isn't it?
Friday, 7 August 2015
This is a rather frivolous post but actually there is much sense and thrift to this unique idea developed by Colleen Hammond, a former beauty pageant, and weather girl.
The utube is very short - 3 minutes.
In it, Colleen takes 16 items of clothing, 4 of a type, so 4 bottoms, 4 tops, 4 shoes, 4 jackets and/or accessories (necklaces)
They are mentally put onto a 16 grid chequer board (or if you are like me, you will have to write it down). You have to put them in a particular order to make it work.
You use 2 - 3 colours. The example she gives is black and royal blue, or green and pink. The combinations of 2 colours are limitless. Usually 2 accent colours, or 1 neutral and 1 accent. Or 2 neutral plus 1 accent.
You go through each column and each column is an outfit. You go diagonally and you have an outfit. 4 accross and 4 down and 2 diagonals, making 10 outfits in total. This is fashion on a budget!
Please watch! Link is under the photo
Actually rather than frivolous - it is a jolly clever and thrifty idea!
I have followed Colleen's tips and in 5 minutes put this very rough sudoku of my clothes, using black, white and yellow. So I could keep the photo at all times, so that when I go shopping I can liaise with what I already own.
The experiment has shown me some combinations I would not have put together before. So I think it is a brilliant idea!
I could swap the yellow for salmon pink next time.
Here is my rough display
Thursday, 6 August 2015
I can't believe I am writing about telephones but life is suddenly rather peaceful. I no longer have the phone ringing every 15 minutes - every day of the week, including weekends. I stopped answering the land line ages ago as it was constant nuisance calls. I started hating the phone with a vengeance and even pulled the plug out on occasions.
Since I became a subscriber to "Which?" magazine, their latest issue is a godsend. In it was a snippet about blocking almost 100% of nuisance calls.
So I have now purchased the phone. I got it from John Lewis as they offer a 2 year guarantee.
Here it is.
It is utterly brilliant
"Which?" magazine is excellent too - it is a very interesting magazine in its own right.
Sunday, 19 July 2015
A very important article on the abuse of "Natural Family Planning". What happened to "serious reasons"?
Is "NFP" the Trojan horse in the Catholic bedroom? I am coming to the conclusion that it is.
Pope John Paul II never approved of the term "NFP, Natural Family Planning", as it has undertones of a contraceptive mentality. It also sound like the abortion group, "Planned Parenthood". Pope John Paul II preferred the term, "Natural Fertility Awareness". This is a cumbersome term though, and you get blank stares when you use it in polite conversation. The Catholic Church has NEVER promoted NFP. In fact the doctrine of the Catholic Church is that there has to be a truly serious reason to avoid having children. A serious reason would NOT be doing up a house or upgrading a car.
Of course - this all requires the cooperation of both spouses.
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
On the Feast of St Boniface, 5th June 2015, it was Fr Michael Clifton's 80th birthday.
Fr Michael was archivist for Southwark Diocese, a role which has given him an encyclopediac knowlege of Catholic history and the characters involved, including Catholic eccentrics, infamous and saints alike. He has also authored 5 books, one of which was "The Alliance of Dissent" - written in the 1980s - to expose disident 'Catholic' organisations, trying to undermine the Church. Although written some time ago, it is an important work as it shows how dissent has flourished in the Catholic Church - certainly in England anyway. Some of the names and groups he exposes no longer exist, but newer groups have emerged such as ACTA (A Call To Action) - again another 'group' which plots to undermine church teaching under the guise of evolving dogmas and other nonsense. Thankfully ACTA has been exposed and several bishops have warned their parishioners not to take any notice of it.
Father Michael recently moved into "Holy Cross Priory" - which is also called "Holy Cross Care Home", in Cross-in-Hand, East Sussex. His flat is one of the new conversions in the old listed building, which was designed after Pugin. It is at the top of the building overlooking the car park and the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. Walk into the flat and you instantly witness a priest of many interests. His love of pictures of trains and old buildings - he has a painting of Scotney Castle - Lamberhust, in his sitting room (he told us of the priest hidey hole in the tower of Scotney castle). There are bookshelves full of books and archival materials. In the corner is another great hobby - his train set - which he is still building.
On the TV and laptop there are various soft animals - a cat I think and other soft toys, possibly childhood memorabilia.
I collected Father Michael and another resident of Holy Cross to take them to Pam Talbot's farmhouse, 5 minutes away, where Father was to say Old Rite Mass, followed by a birthday lunch. The farmhouse has a chapel in the grounds. I wrote about the chapel in the post before this.
The fun and games began, when a sparrow flew into the chapel and perched himself on the wooden crucifix. Father Michael was getting ready to say Mass. Anyhow, this young sparrow wasn't a bit scared and sat still on the right arm of the crucifix (but left from the pew view). Father with all his knowledge said that in the Armenian Rite, the crucifix has a bird in exactly that spot on the crucifix, to symbolise the Holy Spirit. The bird was there for a considerable time.
Birdie started flying around the chapel. Luckily one of the other guests was the formidable Marigold Turner - who is the Latin Mass representative for Southwark Diocese. She suggested we get a fishing net, which Pam Talbot had 2. Eventually the sparrow flew out having avoided both nets.
At the end of Mass, Father sang "Panes Angelicum".
Lunch was a combined effort. Sharon, a serene nurse from Hailsham provided a very tasty cooked salmon. Pam supplied vegetables from her garden, and an array of sauces. This was followed by Pam's exquisite homemade banana icecream - out of her ice cream maker, which must be one of the earliest machines. Meringues accompanied the ice-cream, followed by cheeses. Then birthday cake and coffee.
The guests were, Pam Talbot (hostess), Father Stephen Hardaker - dean of Mayfield deanery, Marina Napier, Marigold Turner, Sharon and myself.
Father started telling us eccentic stories and I think he had a jolly time. At 80, his mind is razor sharp and I put this down to his avid reading and writing. He had a blog up until 2011 or thereabouts, but a well-known monseigneur, who writes for the Catholic Times threatened to sue him (on unsound grounds) so Father decided to stop the blog. However, he has a weekly email letter, which he sends to people on request. I can supply his email if you contact me.
Now I must mention the delightful Marigold Turner. Her pink lipstick did not move throughout lunch. I had to find out which brand it was - a Bourgois in shade No7, from Boots. Apparently it is made by Chanel but a fraction of the price. Her dress was an animal print by Mulberry and her shoes were by a famous Italian designer, as was her bag. She is quintessentially English but favours Italian designers - presumably because she goes to Rome quite often. She is a great lady - and has done great work for the Latin Mass Society - managing to arrange Latin Masses every Sunday in her part of Southwark Diocese.
Saturday, 6 June 2015
Bethany chapel is in the grounds of Diamond Farmhouse, owned by the Talbot family.
The front page of the brochure says,
"Every priest needs a place to get away from parish life and chill out. A place where he can re-charge his batteries, physical, mental and spiritual. Bethany is just such a place".
Pam Talbot runs the estate or small-holding - where there are many animals such as chickens, ducks, and fish, not to mention a dog and even a hedgehog. These all have names. The farmhouse sits in the East Sussex countryside with lovely views.
Bethany chapel forms part of the old outbuildings of the farm, and is attached to a 2 bedroom single-storey building, including a combined drawing-room, dining room, a kitchen and a shower-room.
One of Pam's sons is Father Anthony - and he built the altar in the chapel. See the photo below. The chapel is fully equiped for Mass and provides a tranquil space for prayer.
The brochure says priests can be totally independent - cooking for themselves, or they may have a meal prepared for them by Pam (a jolly good cook too! Pam's homemade icecream is amazing!). There are a number of country pubs nearby, and there are a number of takeaways in nearby Uckfield.
There is a wood within walking distance, called Slays Wood. This is a great place for walks.
There is no charge to stay at Bethany but donations are much appreciated to help defray the maintenance costs.
If you would like to enquire further, please contact
MRS PAM TALBOT
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Fr Nicholas Gruner - the famous Fatima priest, died suddenly of a heart attack on 28th April 2015.
I had the privilege of meeting Fr Gruner when he came to give a "day of recollection" at a friend's house nearby. He was quietly spoken and very humble. For all the controversies that surrounded him, I happen to believe he was telling the truth. That was my gut feeling anyway.
Just before he died, he went to the Vatican in April of this year on Fatima business, and met with the most senioir living exorcist - Father Gabriele Amorth - now 90. Father Amorth gave him an urgent message.
Father Amorth said that, unless Russia is consecrated as per Our Lady's instructions, by the end of October 2015, the dark prophecies of Fatima may well happen any time after that. One of the prophecies says whole nations will be annihilated if men do not repent.
I think one should take this very seriously - Father Amorth seems to have insight.
Father Amorth is author to various books - here is one example. It is a good read.
So what does one do? If you are a Catholic, make sure you are in a state of grace, and if you haven't taken up the daily rosary - now may be a good time to start! If you are not a Catholic, you can still pray the rosary - as this will lead you to the Truth. There are plenty of web resources on how to pray the Rosary. You can get rosary CDs for the car, or buy a version from the App store. The rosary may be the greatest weapon of all time.
Monday, 16 March 2015
50 Shades of Marriage
1) I have never read or watched, nor intend to read or watch "50 Shades of Grey" - a novel which delights in glamorising the breaking of the 6th Commandment. I am shocked that some friends of mine have read and even seen the film. I wonder why?
2) So why am I writing a blog on marriage? Well - I am pretty qualified. You see, we are about to celebrate our Pearl wedding anniversary and I am even more besotted with my husband than the day we got engaged 32 years ago, at the age of 20.
3) But I also feel the institution of marriage has never been so under attack as it is now. Successive governments have made it practically impossible for a husband to support his wife and children, by penalising marriage in the tax system. This has forced many mothers out to work, many of whom would rather look after their children (many surveys confirm this). This has indirectly affected marriage and led to many break-ups. The consequences are self-evident - many children now grow up in broken homes - making them feel insecure, not to mention other problems associated with marital break-up.
4) Shockingly - marriage is even under attack from within the Catholic Church - with the up-coming Synod on the Family in October. A cardinal by name of Kasper has decided that the term "adultery" is now offensive and he thinks it an out-dated Commandment. His nasty 'agenda' is to allow divorce and re-marriage in the Catholic Church. He appears to have a legion of cardinals following him. We have a God-given duty to resist this agenda. More on this in another blog soon.
5) Marriage is the oldest institution in the world. God instituted it through our first parents - Adam and Eve. Adam was made before Eve. Eve was made to help Adam and St Paul confirms this in one of his letters to the Corinthians - woman was made for man.
6) Marriage was instituted primarily for the procreation and upbringing of children. Studies show children brought up in traditional marriages thrive more than those who are in single parent families or broken homes.
7) Nowadays many men no longer know what their role in life is - the genders are so blurred that they have lost sight of their masculinity. Women have fuelled this by their demands for equality - making them strident and harsh feminists - who have lost sight of their femininity or their natural role in life.
8) Many women now swear like troopers. They have lost sight of their soft nature.
9) Many women now drink like men - making themselves so drunk they end up sleeping with any man who takes their fancy. Their availability makes them unattractive, and they are unlikely to find a decent man who will marry them. That is very sad.
10) Of course men and women are equal - BUT they are different. They are complementary.
11) My Catholic granny taught me a lot, and on marriage she said it was for life - end of story! You see - if you go into a marriage thinking that if it goes wrong you can just get divorced, I guarantee you will divorce. You have to go into marriage with the right mentality.
12) Don't be unfaithful to your husband before you meet him. Keep yourself pure and your marriage is more likely to last. Statistics bear this out. The more bed-partners you have, the more your eventual marriage is likely to fail. By contrast, those couples who waited - generally do not divorce. Again - statistics bear this out. I think the charity, "Family and Youth Concern" have the figures.
13) Don't let yourself 'go' when you get married. Your appearance is still important. Men are visual creatures - women are not so influenced by what they see - they are more affected by emotions. St Paul says married women should adorn themselves for their husbands - lest the husband runs off with another woman.
14) But he exhorts single girls not to adorn themselves, but to dress in modest attire, so as not to tempt men to sin. If only young girls of today would take his advice! Look at what some girls wear - nothing left to the imagination at all!
15) Artificial birth control has arguably done more to contribute to divorce than any other factor. If you remove the procreative element from the marital act, any behaviour is permissible, such as adultery. Adultery usually results in divorce. Divorce is bad for society and costs the taxpayer millions.
16) Artificial birth control is a passion killer - literally. The pill and other hormonal devices reduce a woman's libido - giving her the classic, "I have a headache tonight dear" excuse. If the woman is not carrying out her marital duties, the husband could be tempted to look elsewhere for it - leading to adultery - divorce etc.
17) Artificial birth control is a spiritual killer too. The person contracepting, is telling his or her spouse - "you can have me, but not my fertility". Pope John Paul II taught that fertility is part of our personhood. It is part of who we are. The Catholic Church teaches that, if there is truly a grave reason to avoid having a child, the natural method is allowed. A woman is only fertile for 24 hours per month at the most. It isn't difficult to spot the fertile signs.
18) Artificial birth control has many dangerous physical side-effects - which often don't get pointed out. The physical barriers are bad for the cervix - sperm actually helps prevent cervical cancer, so if you have a barrier in the way, you won't get the benefits.
19) Keep yourself trim - best to weigh yourself once a week - the pounds can so easily pile on - and after age 35 the metabolism slows down drastically! I know!
20) Keep the flame of romance alive by going on 'dates'. This is very important. Join a babysitting club if babysitters are unaffordable. When you eat in - light a candle and turn the lights down. Put on nice music.
21) Keep up to date with your wardrobe - have an evaluation of your clothes twice a year - chucking out anything which doesn't suit you, or fit you. A very good tip - John Lewis do a personal shopping service, which includes having your colours 'done' by a qualified person. The service is free if you spend a modest amount. It is a good investment as it should stop more 'mistakes'. Look on their website for details. They are brutally honest, and will tell you if an item of clothing suits you or not. You can always donate old clothes to charity or sell them on eBay.
22) Nothing is more unfeminine than seeing swathes of women of all ages in these awful black leggings/jeggings/trousers whatever you like to call this hideous fashion! The fabric leaves nothing to the imagination at all - showing every lump and bump (in the private regions). The same for all trousers (in my opinion). My spiritual father St Padre Pio would not give absolution to a shop lady until she got rid of all the trousers in her shop! This is true, and recounted in his biography. Out of deference to Padre Pio, I don't own a single pair.
23) A woman generally has nice legs below the knee - a wife should not cover them up.
24) Nothing is more of a passion killer than a wife wearing a hideous 'onesie' - golly how on earth do husbands put up with this awful piece of clothing, which is nothing other than a giant babygro! Usually in garish colours and patterns. BIN THEM NOW!
25) Another passion killer is thick pyjamas in hideous colours and patterns. BIN THEM NOW! They are also terribly uncomfortable.
26) Nightwear is very important - a nightdress or long nightshirt in a soft material like mercerised cotton is much more romantic. Keep the colour simple with maybe a self-stripe.
27) Make sure you don't have a grannyish quilted dressing gown in a garish colour and/or pattern. There are some very nice soft ones in velvety and satiny materials.
28) Underwear is terribly important - bin any out-of-shape grey pants, vests and bras. Get yourself measured every 6 months and a good supportive bra is very important -otherwise your chest can droop to the knees! I went to Rigby and Pelier recently to be measured properly. Marks and Spencer's also offer a bra measuring service. Don't be afraid to wear coloured bras. Best have a variety of colours and neutrals.
29) Wear nice pants - Marks and Spencer do a nice French range in tasteful colours - in silky and lace materials. Don't go to Ann Summers or Agent Provocateur. These tasteless shops only fuel the porn industry - the scourge of society. If you are a man reading this, pornography causes impotence! Bin pornography!
30) The sun causes 90% of skin ageing. If you go into the sun - at least wear a 30 factor sunscreen. A wide-brimmed hat also helps, and sunglasses with thick sides. You don't want to look like a wrinkled lady, if you can help it! Sunscreen factor 30 should be worn all year round according to dermatologists. Also sugar ages skin, causing wrinkles. Wean yourself off sweets and sugar products. Honey is a great substitute and called a 'miracle' food.
31) Wear a nice perfume - if you have been changing nappies and doing household chores all day, you won't like to smell of baby vomit etc.
32) Lipstick is pretty essential - and cheap. Go to Boots and get a free personalised service which photographs your skin tone to tell you which colour lipsticks will suit you. It is the biggest 'pick-me-up' and quick as a flash to apply.
33) When you start going grey - unless it suits your skin tone, you will want to dye it. You may need to go a couple of shades lighter than the colour you were born with. The downside - the more grey you go, the more often you have to have the roots done - every 2-3 weeks. You can always go home with wet hair and dry it yourself if the costs get too much. Some women use home kits - but this is not recommended if you have a light coloured carpet in the bathroom!
34) Keep your hair washed as often as needed for your type of hair. Lank hair is a turn-off.
35) Apparently there was a news item recently which said many women no longer bathe daily. Don't they care if they smell?!
36) A few drops of bath oil in the bath is as good as a body moisturiser. And it makes the water smell nice.
37) It is probably a good idea to keep hair at bay from legs and under-arms. Facial hair can be problematic and needs dealing with.
38) Buy your husband little treats every now and then.
39) Don't expect your husband to wash and iron his shirts! This is so emasculating.
40) Have your hair cut or trimmed every 6-8 weeks - or you will look unkempt like Mrs Havisham in Great Expectations.
41) Don't let the children just leave their toys all over the house. If you have to - just bung them in a cupboard somewhere, so they are out of sight.
42) Evaluate your weekly menu-planning. Learn new recipes. Plan your menus for the week ahead, and only buy the ingredients necessary. Otherwise you end up buying a hotch potch of ingredients with no advance planning. You end up having to go back and get more groceries if there is no plan.
43) Don't chew your finger nails. Nothing is more unsightly. Keep nails filed and shine them with a buffer.
44) Use hand cream every day, or you will get prune-like hands!
45) Keep abreast of news from a variety of sources, so you have something intelligent to say.
46) Don't forget your husband's parents' birthday and Christmas presents. Men are not particularly good at these little tasks.
47) My granny taught me that the husband is the head of the house.
48) Don't row in front of the children. It sets a bad example. Also, don't use coarse language in front of your husband and children. It is a turn-off.
49) Flirting is a NO NO. It can give the wrong idea and lead to unintended consequences. It is dangerous and unkind to your spouse.
50) And finally - tell your husband that you love him - as often as needed. And promise me - you won't go to bed in curlers!
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Have people obeyed God's First command - to "Increase and Multiply"? NO. We only take up 3% of the Earth!
God commanded Adam and Eve to, "Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it..." Why I disagree with Pope Francis and his "rabbits" comments.
Pope Francis said recently on a plane back from the Philippines, that it is not necessary for Catholics to "breed like rabbits" in order to be good Catholics. I thought this was a very odd thing to say, because the majority of modern-day Catholic families are not large, having succumbed to the contraceptive mentality of the secular world (exceptions of course!). This contraceptive and anti-child mentality started in the 1960s, when The "Pill" was invented - and women were told that they could "have it all". Unfortunately, apart from a few brave clergy, the majority have been silent from the pulpit, and the laity do not know what the Catholic Church actually teaches anymore. This silence has been a grave sin of omission.
But whether one is Catholic or not, the fact of the matter is, we have been rather naughty "bunnies" and deserve a jolly good spanking, just like Beatrix Potter's mummy rabbit used to scold Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter. Why? Quite simply, because we have not obeyed God, who commanded us to "Increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it..." (Genesis 1: 27-28). Here is a fact which illustrates this. Michael Coren's recent book, "The Future of Catholicism" - pg 76 says, "People occupy approximately 3% of the earth's land surface. If 1,200 square feet was given to every person in the world, they would still all fit into an area the size of Texas". Now that is a staggering fact! People only take up 3% of the earth's land! Have we obeyed God's very first command to our first parents? Quite simply, No! God did not even mention anything about "responsible parenthood" - or indeed, "family planning". And God showed His feelings on "family planning" when Onan used birth control, "And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing", (Genesis 38: 9-10). God killed Onan on the spot for this act of birth control! As a result of abortion and birth control we now have an ageing population, with not enough young people to look after the elderly. These are the natural consequences of disobeying the Natural Law.
Unfortunately Pope Francis's remarks on rabbits were ill-timed too. He had just visited the Philippines, which was a sensational trip and one of the most successful papal visits ever, in the history of the Catholic Church. The Philippines is one of, if not the last bastion of authentic Catholicism, where large families are still the norm. His remarks undermined the heroic witness of the Catholic bishops in that country, who have battled their government's drive to push the contraceptive agenda onto its people, known as the HR Bill. Was this intentional or not? Who knows? - Pope Francis often says what he thinks not realising that there could be unintended consequences of his words. His rabbit comments are likely to give fuel to the anti-life Philippine government in their drive to force artificial birth control onto its citizens, the majority of whom are Catholic. No doubt the main media outlets in the Philippines have seized on these comments too.
Before the "Pill" and other devices were invented, it was quite usual to see large Catholic families. When the 1960s came along, the Catholic Church opened an investigation into how the pill worked - many Catholics thought that the Church would change its teaching. This investigation lasted nearly 5 years, during which time, a sizeable majority of Catholics embraced the Pill revolution, encouraged in many cases by their parish priests and silent bishops. They were shocked when Pope Paul 6's encyclical Humanae Vitae came out in the Summer of 1968, which condemned artificial birth control as gravely immoral. It caused outrage throughout the Catholic world - and this outrage expressed itself in rebellion against this teaching, even though this teaching is based on Sacred Scripture. It is also part of the Natural Law. This rebellion is on-going.
So what does the Catholic Church teach with regards to procreation? The Church is very clear. Marriage between a man and a woman is the only place where the marital act should take place. That is because the first end of marriage is the procreation of children. Any act which frustrates this - i.e. birth control, is gravely immoral, and if done with full knowledge and consent, is a mortal sin.
The Church does allow natural methods, but only, if there is a grave and serious reason. These grave and serious reasons should be the exception rather than the rule. What constitutes a serious reason for using natural methods? A long-term illness - whether physical or mental would constitute a serious reason. A mother who has just given birth would need recovery time, and this would be a serious reason (although new mothers are generally too exhausted anyway!). Where a country such as China has imposed the one-child policy would be another grave reason. Where the husband has lost his job would also be a grave reason. It can be helpful to ask a Catholic priest for advice, but make sure they are in agreement with Church teaching first! Of course - this teaching also requires the full co-operation of the husband and wife. Mixed marriages can be problematic in this regard, and this would require another blogpost to go into this!
Unfortunately the mantra "NFP" has become a bit of a buzz word in Catholic circles - where it is almost promoted as a licit "life-style" choice. The trouble with Natural family planning, is that it can be abused by the couple, and therefore it too can become mortally sinful, if the couple don't have a grave reason for using it. Some reasons it should not be used are if the family want to get more material goods into their house, of if they want more holidays or better cars. These are not reasons for using NFP. These are selfish motives and are not in accord with God's plan for us. The other modern problem is that girls are told they must have a career and that babies must not stop them! If God has called a girl to marriage, then that is a vocation in and of itself. If the husband and wife have been blessed with fertility and good health, then God's plan is for them to have several children. And yes, it is a demanding and physically tiring job, but sacrifice and 'offering things up' is part of the teaching of the Church. We won't get to Heaven on a feather bed - we have to earn our salvation. Life on earth is but a pin-prick of eternity. If we try and have a rose-bed in this life, and avoid all suffering and discomfort, we may well be on a ticket to Hell! Bottom line - you still need God's approval to use natural methods of avoiding children.
On the other hand a married couple may not be blessed with children, but this too can be a blessing - they can always adopt children. The worst thing is if they resort to the gravely immoral IVF - forbidden by the Catholic Church, which separates the unitive from the procreative. IVF also involves the destruction of 'spare' embryos. Children are not a right, but a gift.
As a teenager I witnessed a Catholic family, which included at least 12 children. They were always impeccably behaved at Mass. Once the children got older, the mother helped at the family bakery business. This family has been blessed with a vocation in the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. This family was doing God's will and therefore God gave them the necessary graces to take on the task of a big family. But this large family should be the norm and not the exception! Remember God's first command - "Be fruitful and multiply".
A very good book on this subject is by Jay Boyd, PHD, called - "NFP. Trojan Horse in the Catholic bedroom?" Jay says the danger of NFP is that many couples attempt to control their family rather than leaving it up to God. It adds to the contraceptive mentality. The Catholic Church teaches that God should be the decider of these things, and yet in the USA the bishops websites are promoting NFP as if it should be used whatever the circumstances of the couple! This is so wrong. It undermines trust in God.
Saturday, 10 January 2015
Twitter is a great platform for sharing information - and this little gem was on Twitter, posted by a great Catholic blogger called Ben Trovato.
As you know, I am doing much research into the controversies surrounding the Second Vatican Council - it isn't pretty, I can tell you! But I have a love of Church history and this period leading up to and after Vatican 2 is important. The Penny Catechism edition of 1971 was printed after the council and it seems impossible to me that there could be ANY changes to the Penny Catechism - after all - the Catholic Faith does not change with the times! So you may want to print out the 1958 version - I will.
The changes are subtle but this is the problem. Even a subtle change of terminology can alter one's perception of the Truths of the Faith.
I have read through it and my biggest worry is no 265 of the penny catechism. It is regarding the new rite of Confirmation - I was confirmed in the new rite. I am worried. Why?
This is what it says.
The 1958 edition says - the words used for confirmation are these: "I sign thee with the sign of the Cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
The 1971 edition says - with the 1976 revision - says, the words used in Confirmation are these; "N.........be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit." This is extraordinary!
The shocking thing here, is that the new rite of Confirmation omits the sign of the Cross, the chrism of salvation, the words 'I confirm', and the first two Persons of the Holy Trinity. Thus the proper form is absent, and the validity of the sacrament is open to question (see Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas, III, a.72,4).
This shocks me - I now ask the question - is my confirmation valid?? Do I need to get confirmed again? If I am not confirmed properly I don't have the fruits of confirmation.
I have made it a policy now, that I only consult catechisms up to 1958 and not after. The ambiguities of Vatican 2 scare and scandalise me.
Here is the link