General Discussion (6)

confusedIf there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.

Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here 

27th November: The Miraculous Medal…

miraculous medalThe Blessed Virgin herself designed the Medal of the Immaculate Conception—popularly known as the Miraculous Medal! No wonder, then, that it wins such extraordinary graces for those who wear it and pray for Mary’s intercession and help.

The First Apparition

The story begins on the night of July 18-19, 1830. A child (perhaps her guardian angel) awakened Sister (now Saint) Catherine Labouré, a novice in the community of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, and summoned her to the chapel. There she met with the Virgin Mary and spoke with her for several hours. During the conversation, Mary said to her, “My child, I am going to give you a mission.”

The Second Apparition   Mary gave her this mission in a vision during evening meditation on November 27, 1830. She saw Mary standing on what seemed to be half a globe and holding a golden globe in her hands as if offering it to heaven. On the globe was the word “France,” and our Lady explained that the globe represented the whole world, but especially France. The times were difficult in France, especially for the poor who were unemployed and often refugees from the many wars of the time. France was first to experience many of those troubles which ultimately reached other parts of the world and are even present today. Streaming from rings on Mary’s fingers as she held the globe were many rays of light. Mary explained that the rays symbolize the graces she obtains for those who ask for them. However, some of the gems on the rings were dark, and Mary explained that the rays and graces were available but did not come because no one had asked for them. The Third Apparition and the Miraculous Medal

The vision then changed to show our Lady standing on a globe with her arms now outstretched and with the dazzling rays of light still streaming from her fingers. Framing the figure was an inscription: O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.  Source

Comment

Share your stories about the graces you – or others – have received through wearing the Miraculous Medal.  Miracles, great and small, granted via the Medal are of much interest.  I’ve heard stories of people planting a Miraculous Medal in a house (garden, specifically) in the hope of being successful in purchasing or renting – and being successful! So, share your stories or ask questions – whatever. Let’s pay tribute to this wonderful sacramental. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee…

Coming Soon: “Paedophile Rights” ?

animatedchildrenplayingChannel 4 will screen a controversial documentary tonight in which a paedophile speaks openly about his attraction to four-year-old girls.

The broadcaster has been criticised by victim support campaigners for giving airtime to the 39-year-old man, called Eddie, and encouraging him to discuss his urges. Read more

Comment

I was alerted to a discussion this morning on the Wright Stuff, Channel 5 Talk  (Nonsense) Show on the subject of the above Channel 4 documentary. The Wright Stuff is a programme I studiously avoid for a number of reasons, not least because it is so predictable and so politically correct that I’ve never viewed one of their “discussions” without yawning.  This discussion was useful, though, because it demonstrates the need for what Lenin termed the “useful idiots” to get revolutions off the ground.  Playing the part of the Devil’s Advocate, Matthew Wright made the case for Paedophile Rights when the majority (if not all) of the members of the public who rang in to comment proved to be opposed to the screening of the Channel 4 documentary.

Bending over backwards to appear open-minded  Wright, wearing his Devil’s Advocate hat,  pushed the callers  to answer questions such as  “[but] do you know any paedophiles?” and “where  do you get your information about paedophiles from?” – that sort of thing. He wouldn’t have heard me, of course, but I shouted at the TV screen: “No, but then I didn’t know any homosexuals either until they started coming out of the woodwork thanks to the media presenting them as victims” and “I get my information about paedophiles from the same place that I get information about other undesirables – then they become “approved” and they’re not undesirables any more, you silly man”.

Is this documentary – as portrayed – simply so that we can view the problem differently, find ways to help these poor individuals overcome their disordered sexual attraction to children? Or are the useful idiots in the television industry pawns in the campaign for paedophile rights?  Present the nice guy, explain that he just can’t help it, maybe he was born that way and maybe this is yet another taboo we need to shed, just as “society” is no longer shocked at same sex couplings or even men having operations to become women and women becoming men.  If they’re born that way and can’t help it, society shouldn’t make “victims” of them, surely?

As Catholics, do we have something specific to contribute to the issues surrounding the screening of this Channel 4 documentary?  Comments invited. 

Will The New Bishop of Galloway “Embrace Change”?

mitreThe latest  press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office (SCMO) reports the news of Pope Francis’ appointment of the new Bishop of Galloway.  Below is a particularly interesting extract:

“Commenting on the appointment, Fr. William McFadden, Vicar General of the diocese, said: “On behalf of the priests of the diocese I welcome the appointment of Fr Nolan, and can assure him that the clergy of Galloway will support him in every way. We are aware of the demands that await him, particularly in the process of Embracing Change, but he can be sure that there is enormous goodwill and a real commitment to collaborative ministry awaiting him. I would also like to take the opportunity to express the gratitude of the priests of the diocese to Bishop Cunningham for his ministry as bishop, and to wish him well in his retirement.”  End of Extract

“Embracing Change” got me Googling and while – curiously – there appears to be no mention of this project on the Diocesan website, there is here

Fr McFadden is a former Rector of Scotus Seminary, which closed on his “liberal” watch.  He  has featured prominently in our newsletter over the years, and there is no question about his agenda.  So, it’s not surprising that his welcome to his new bishop is far from being unqualified. If the Bishop pursues Fr McFadden’s agenda, and “embraces change” he’ll be welcome in Galloway.   That’s how I read it.  Interesting times ahead in that neck of the woods.  Let’s hope and pray that the new Bishop is not of the same  “liberal” mindset as his Vicar-General.  That, frankly, would be the nail in the coffin of the Diocese of Galloway which has been in meltdown for years. It goes without saying that we wish the new Bishop every grace and blessing in his appointment to a diocese which a Galloway priest once told me was/is  the most sterile spiritual soil in Scotland, second only to the Diocese of Aberdeen for it’s impoverished Catholicity.

Comments invited 

Perspective: Vatican II in Retrospect…

VaticanII1962St. Pius X said at the beginning of the twentieth century that the main cause of the loss of souls was religious ignorance, ignorance of the truths of the faith. Sadly, this ignorance is everywhere in the Church today and it is getting worse as the decline in priests and sound Catechetics continues pace.

One of the principal errors to have arisen from this ignorance in our times is the belief, in thought if not by open declaration, that the pope is not just sometimes infallible but rather at all times impeccable.

Therefore, no matter what the pope says or does in the exercise of his ordinary magisterium it is incumbent upon all to blindly obey him. A similarly erroneous thought is held with regard to the bishops.

How far this mistaken belief is from the teaching of the Church, however, is exemplified by St. Paul in Galatians 2: 11-13, who recounts how he “withstood Peter to his face because he was to be blamed.”

 The above extract is taken from an article on Vatican II entitled: Fiddling While Rome Burns: Vatican II in Retrospect, by Martin Blackshaw, aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, and was originally published in the March/April 2014 edition of  The Angelus.   It is re-printed here by kind permission of the Editor.  Martin’s article is quite lengthy but bloggers are encouraged to take the necessary time to check it out before sharing your thoughts.  Comments invited.

Crisis: Would YOU Encourage A Young Person to be a Priest or Religious?

“Come, Follow Me.”

“GOOD MASTER, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?”  It was the eager question of one whom fortune had blessed with the Richyoungmanwealth of this world, but who realised that life eternal was a far more precious treasure.  He had come to the Divine Teacher, seeking what he must yet do to make secure the great prize for which he was striving.  He was young and wealthy, a ruler in the land, one whose life had been without stain or blemish.

“The Commandments? – All these I have kept from my youth,” he had said; “Good Master, what is yet wanting to me?”

Jesus looked on him with love, for such a soul was dear to His Sacred Heart. “ If thou wilt be perfect,” comes the answer, “go sell what thou hast and give to the poor, and come, follow Me.”

There was a painful pause: nature and grace were struggling for the mastery; the invitation had been given, the road to perfection pointed out. There was only one sacrifice needed to make him a true disciple, but it was a big one, too great for him who lately seemed so generous.  He hesitates, wavers, and then sadly turns away, with the words “Come, follow Me,” ringing in his ears, for love of his “great possessions” had wrapped itself round his heart – a Vocation had been offered and refused. “What a cloud of misgivings,” says Father Faber, “must hang over the memory of him whom Jesus invited to follow Him.  Is he looking now in heaven upon that Face from whose mild beauty he so sadly turned away on earth?”

Nearly two thousand years have passed since then, but unceasingly that same Voice has been whispering in the ears of many a lad and maiden, “One thing is yet wanting to you – come, follow Me.”  Some have heard that voice with joy and gladness of heart, and have risen up at the Master’s call; others have stop their ears, or turned away in fear from the side of Him Who beckoned to them, while not a few have stood and listened, wondering what it meant, asking themselves could such an invitation be for them, till Jesus of Nazareth passed by and they were left behind for ever.

To these, chiefly, is this simple explanation of a Vocation offered, in the hope that they may recognize the workings of grace within their souls, or be moved to beg that they may one day be sharers in this crowning gift of God’s eternal love.   Click here to read more from the writings of Fr Doyle SJ  on vocations…

Comment:

I’ve found myself in a number of conversations in recent years, where I’ve been asked whether or not, despite the crisis in the Church, I would encourage young people to try their vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  I’m always torn between saying that I would encourage them – although afraid that I may, thus, find myself an instrument of setting them on a road where they may  lose the Faith – or saying that I would discourage them  – and perhaps, therefore, be the cause of blocking God’s work in a soul. Quite a dilemma.

Some people think there’s no dilemma –  just suggest that they enter traditional seminaries and Orders. Then others again point out the possible danger of a certain extremism in those quarters.  So, what’s the answer. Would YOU encourage a boy who is thinking of the priesthood, to go ahead – and if so, details please! Or a young person who might feel called to the Religious Life; what would you suggest is the safest route for them to try their vocation, if you think they ought to do so.

Read Father Doyle’s short work and then share your thoughts on this important subject.  

Scottish Catholic Observer: No Future For Traditional Mass – Good Riddance!

In a disgraceful attack on the traditional Latin Mass in a recent edition of the Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO), Hugh Dougherty reveals himself to be about as Catholic as John Knox.   Martin Blackshaw, aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, wasted no time in submitting a rebuttal, which has been rejected by the editor on spurious grounds.  

Interestingly, the Dougherty masterpiece has not been published on the SCO website. However, you can read it by clicking on the title Ghost dancing won’t do us any favours and then read Martin’s response below. Thanks to the internet, the editors of the so-called Catholic papers can’t get away any longer with their blatant censorship and skewing of the truth.  We’re on to them. Big time!

The Traditional Latin Mass is the Catholic “Mass of all time.”

By Martin Blackshaw

TLMwithsaintsIt has been my experience that when a Catholic writer goes out of his way to denigrate the ancient liturgy of the Church, the Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs, it is because he is either ignorant of the subject he ridicules or he is a nominal Catholic of these morally relativist times; for whom the traditional holy Mass and discipline of the Church have become anathema.

In Hugh Dougherty’s case, I would venture to suggest that there is a little of both impacting on his objectivity (November 7).

Given that his article against the ancient Mass was clearly personal and superficial rather than scholastic, it merits only a statement of the facts in response. Fact number one is that the new vernacular Mass he values as progress is, in reality, copied from the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century.

Mgr. Annibale Bugnini, its author, admitted as much in a March 19, 1965 interview with L’Osservatore Romano. He was even more candid in 1974, describing his new vernacular liturgy as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church,” a statement not so far removed from Martin Luther’s “destroy the Mass and you will have destroyed the Catholic Church”.

Professor Peter L. Berger, a Lutheran sociologist, acknowledged the truth of Bugnini’s declaration in these words: “If a thoroughly malicious sociologist bent on injuring the Catholic community as much as possible had been an adviser to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job.”

Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by Pius XII “a twentieth century Doctor of the Church”, expressed himself a little more forthrightly, saying: “Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better.”

In 1967, the Synod of Bishops in Rome, having been privy to a first-hand celebration by Bugnini of his experimental liturgy (called ‘the Missa Normativa’), overwhelmingly rejected it.

This rejection was followed up by two senior Roman Cardinals (Ottaviani and Bacci), who wrote to Pope Paul VI on behalf of many prelates and theologians describing the new liturgy as representing “in whole and in part, a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass.”

Cardinal Ratzinger more or less echoed this observation when he famously described the Bugnini product as “a banal on-the-spot fabrication.”

So now let us consider fact number two, ‘the fruits’ as the method given us by Our Lord for discerning good from evil. The New Mass has resulted in more liturgical abuses in its short 45-year life than all Latin Masses together from the early centuries of the Church right up to Vatican II.

To recount but a few of the more documented scandals of recent decades, I cite those infamous clown masses; balloon masses; coffee table masses; milk and cookie masses, rock masses and ‘liturgical dance’ masses, including one performance of a Salsa in the Sanctuary.

I feel certain that if Mr. Dougherty digs a little deeper into this unprecedented catalogue of sacrileges he may even stumble across some of those “Indian ghost dancers” he referenced so contemptuously as analogous to Traditional Catholics who remain faithful to the Mass of the ages.

At any rate, more telling even than the sacrileges committed in the name of the New Mass is the effect this liturgy has had on vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the devastation it has wrought on the souls of the faithful.

It is no exaggeration to state that in the 45 years or so since Bugnini’s experiment was imposed on the Church millions of Catholics worldwide have formally apostatised from the Faith. This has resulted everywhere in the closure of parish churches, seminaries and religious houses at a rate unparalleled in history.

In Scotland alone we have seen the closure of all five seminaries, many religious houses and countless churches as vocations and Mass attendance continue to decline apace, and these same depressing statistics apply to each and every country in the Western world.

Indeed, I read just last week that in the U.S. another 100 parish churches are to be closed or merged in New York, and that in France priestly numbers have deteriorated to the extent that each priest now has a dozen parishes on average to care for.

In contrast with this inevitable decline around the New Mass, the last 10 years have witnessed enormous growth within the Church of seminaries, religious houses and parishes flourishing around the ancient Mass, which brings me to fact number three.

Contrary to the prevailing myth, it is the young rather than the old who are migrating in increasing numbers back to the pre-Council Latin liturgy of the Church.

This verifiable phenomenon brings to nought Mr. Dougherty’s depiction of Latin Mass enthusiasts as a small clique of coffin dodgers re-living happy memories of their youth like an exclusive group of ageing steam train hobbyists.

In truth, it is the younger generation which is emerging today as a sign of contradiction to those old liberal Catholic hippies who robbed them of their sacred patrimony in the name of conciliar reform.

These young faithful are being drawn in ever increasing numbers to the ancient Mass not by curiosity or nostalgia, but by that sensus fidei, that gift of the Holy Spirit which has the dual operation of attracting souls to the sacred and supernatural while making repugnant to them the irreverent and the profane.

In conclusion, then, the future lies not, as Mr. Dougherty suggests, in further radicalising our holy religion to appease the rebellious of this hedonistic age. Rather, the future lies in a return to the Latin “Mass of all time” and in fidelity to the Faith handed down unaltered for nineteen centuries up to Vatican II.

St. Paul puts it this way: “Jesus Christ, yesterday, today; and the same forever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines, For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which have not profited those that walk in them…” (Hebrews 13: 8-10).

Comment:

No prizes for guessing why Ms Leydon, the editor of the SCO wanted to suppress the above response to the appalling Dougherty attack on the Mass which she unconscionably published. I’d love to see her trying to explain herself to the saints and martyrs who loved that same Mass and even died in defence of it – the same Mass which she most shockingly allowed to be described as of no more importance than the steam train, happily now consigned to history.  The fact is, it is her newspaper which will soon be consigned to history, along with the tired and ignorant views of the likes of Hugh Dougherty, who is (in all fairness) not alone in writing palpable nonsense in what passes for Scotland’s only national Catholic newspaper.  There can be no good fruits from this publication which, in almost equal measure, routinely denies and distorts the Catholic religion.  Indeed, there can be only one justifiable reason for reading it, and that is to expose the errors therein, preferably by addressing a letter or article for publication, to the editor. But that’s a hit and miss business, as we can see from Mr Blackshaw’s experience.  Anyway, your thoughts on the Dougherty article and Martin Blackshaw’s response  to it, should make for an interesting discussion.  Comments invited. 

Anglican Brings Court Action Against “Gay” Lecturer For Alleged Assault…

scalesofjusticeThe following article is taken from the Sunday Times, 9th November 2014  and is self-explanatory. David Skinner, who is bringing the court action, contacted me a few days ago seeking prayerful support as the court date (17th November) approaches.  One of our readers remarked to me, as recently as this morning, that there is a notable absence of Catholic lawyers taking a lead in the current dire state of affairs in Church and State, which makes the legal action of these Anglicans of particular interest.

Comments invited.

 Christians urge sacking of gay lecturer with ‘1,000 conquests’

A CHRISTIAN pressure group is campaigning to oust a high-profile university professor who boasted about his 1,000 sexual conquests.

Eric Anderson, 46, a Winchester University professor of sports studies, told a gathering of gay and lesbian students at Oxford that he liked sex with “16, 17, 18-year-old boys”.

He dismissed Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, as a “total bigot” and “liar” and said “the damage that’s caused by child molestation is socially constructed by the western world”.

The pressure group Because Children Matter wrote this weekend to Joy Carter, Winchester’s vice-chancellor, urging her to dismiss the professor.

It warned that the group will distribute thousands of leaflets with his comments to members of the university’s board, head teachers of secondary schools in its area, students and members of the public.

The university says it has reprimanded the professor for his remarks, but defended him as an “internationally renowned gay scholar”.

The clash over Anderson brings into the open bitter hostilities being waged away from public gaze between gay activists and opponents of same-sex marriage, which became legal in Britain in March.

Anderson, an American sociologist, has become a particular bête noire for traditionalists because he questions the right of the church to set the standards of sexual morality.

He has achieved a high media profile and been happy to speak about his private life: on one occasion he brought his infant twin boys into a BBC television studio for a live broadcast on same-sex marriage.

Anderson married his partner, Grant Tyler Peterson, in America before it was legal in Britain, and the couple invited a camera crew to follow them as they used a surrogate mother to became parents in 2012.

He made his controversial remarks about sex to Oxford University’s LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) Society in 2011.

Anderson reportedly prefaced the talk by reeling off an explicit list of sexual practices and warning: “If you’re offended by discussions . . . then you should probably leave.”

According to a report of the event in The Oxford Student newspaper, Anderson laughingly agreed that he was a “sexual predator” and added that he had had sex with “easily over a thousand people”.

He said: “I like sex with 16, 17, 18-year-old boys particularly, it’s getting harder for me to get them but I’m still finding them. I hope between the age of 43 and the time I die I can have sex with another thousand — that would be awesome, even if I have to buy them, of course, not a problem.”

The professor said he liked to travel on cruise ships because “it’s like sex tourism” and “I always screw the dancers”.

Winchester University said last week that Anderson’s comments were “not appropriate and he was reprimanded shortly after”. It came to his defence, however, as “an internationally renowned gay scholar who publishes widely on sexualities, masculinities, sport and relationships.”

It added: “The university will not tolerate any targeting of its members of staff on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

Anderson faces more scrutiny next week when he confronts David Skinner, 70, an opponent of gay marriage, who is bringing a court case against him for alleged assault at the end of a lecture the academic gave at Bournemouth University in 2012. Anderson denies assault and accuses Skinner of harassment.

The professor plans to turn the spotlight on to Skinner’s own opinions. In one document expected to be submitted to the court, he attacks Skinner for allegedly writing online that “ the gaystapo do not believe in human dignity” and “I am not alone in seeing a parallel here between the rise of homosexual power and that of Nazism before WWII”.

When asked last week if he wished to comment, Skinner said: “This is what happens when the West rejects the Bible. Nobody can live in a vacuum.”

The Sunday Times also asked Anderson if he disputed the accuracy of the opinions attributed to him. He said: “Statements I made during the course of that lecture were reported without context and it is these Mr Skinner and others are using to conduct a sustained campaign against me. I am a gay man engaged in academic research on sexualities.”

He added: “I believe that sex should only occur between consenting adults. In 2011, I signed a letter supporting academic research into paedophilia which I believe is essential in order to keep children safe.”   Source

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