General Discussion (16)

If 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, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

Readers, all too often, go 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 – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you! Your “news” may simply be a different angle on a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here. OR it would be helpful if you could check out the most recent thread on that subject, in case it is still open. In which case, your comment would be best placed there. Example: if your news is about the Mass or the SSPX, scroll or check the archives to find the most recent thread on that topic. If there is no thread still open, then it’s safe to post on the GD thread.

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions on this thread. Whatever. Enjoy!

To read previous General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.

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Catholics MUST Be Pro-Life – Action!

This thread is dedicated to sharing news about pro-life issues. 

Where possible, we suggest that bloggers make and respond to calls to action in defence of the unborn child – whether that entails emailing MPs or supporting various vigils etc.  

Try not to simply post a link to news – publish an extract and/or make a suggestion about possible action, that will encourage readers to click your  link. 

Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an “unspeakable crime”.54

But today, in many people’s consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake. Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). Especially in the case of abortion there is a widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as “interruption of pregnancy”, which tends to hide abortion’s true nature and to attenuate its seriousness in public opinion. Perhaps this linguistic phenomenon is itself a symptom of an uneasiness of conscience. But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.

The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder... Pope John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae –  on the Value and Inviolability, of Human Life #58  [Emphasis added]
Click here to read the entire encyclical 

17/03/18: Hail, Glorious Saint Patrick!

I cannot allow the Feast of my patron saint to pass without marking it, so I wish everyone, bloggers and readers, A very happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

As always with devotional threads, feel free to post relevant comments, stories and jokes, favourite prayers and hymns… As well as the above rendition of the hymn to Saint Patrick, I’m posting the lovely Irish hymn to Our Lady of Knock… Enjoy!

Russia Increasingly Threatening – Pope Francis: Consecrate Russia NOW!


I watched the entire Prime Minister’s Statement on Live Parliamentary TV this afternoon, and noted, with much interest, the alarm from MPs on all sides about the perception of growing aggression from the Russian State, as they questioned Theresa May after her formal Statement.  

One of the more famous Catholic MPs – Jacob Rees-Mogg – was notable by his absence.  I got to thinking, though, that even if  he had been present in the Commons, he is unlikely to have asked the Prime Minister, using the formal style of the House,  if “she agrees with me that Pope Francis should be approached with a request to consecrate Russia in accordance with the Fatima Message, since all other means of ending the threat to world peace from Russia seem to have failed…”  

There was representation  on the matter in the EU in 2012 – click here – and it would be wonderful if some insightful Catholic MP were to raise the matter in the UK Parliament – but I’m not holding my breath.  

Is the current incident, the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter, a sign that the geo-political crisis is worsening – or is it a storm in the proverbial teacup?  

Presbyterians: Bible Vs Transgenderism – Bishops Must End Ecumenical Farce

From Breitbart… 

Testimony featured in Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care includes the demand for a “21st century” update to the “patriarchal” Scriptures, and complaints that “Christian culture” makes life hard for “gender nonconforming” individuals.
“I struggle with the wording of the Lord’s Prayer because I see God as my parent not my father,” writes Andrew, stating that: “God is genderless to me: it’s not father God it is parent God.”

“The Scriptures are very patriarchal; we need to update them for the 21st century,” adds the churchgoer, who was born female but identifies as a man. Read entire report here, but note, it contains crudities – which almost prevented me from posting this thread. However, it’s crucial to our understanding of the depth of depravity in the C of S and – if the Scottish Bishops do not withdraw from all ecumenical activity – the depth of the loss of Catholic Faith and Morals of the Scottish Bishops who, by their complicit silence, reveal their acceptance of this depravity. 


Take a look at this Open Letter from the former Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland (Thanks Martin Luther, John Knox et al, for all the confusion you’ve caused) addressed to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, dated 1st April, 2016.  Let’s hope he is still of the same opinion – in any event, I doubt if there is much enthusiasm for ecumenism within the Free C of S. I’ve just paid a flying visit to their official website and can see no mention of it.  And little wonder – it’s pointless, is it not? Should the Bishops withdraw the Catholic Church from all ecumenical endeavour and simply return to seeking converts, following the example of Our Lord Himself who told us that if we wish to follow Him we must give up everything – which, self-evidently includes depravity… 

Marriage & Modernist Double-Speak…

Extracts below from Catholic Herald article entitled: Cardinal lays out plan for parishes to implement Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has issued a broad and detailed pastoral plan for parishes to implement Pope Francis’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”).

“Amoris Laetitia is a call to compassionate accompaniment in helping all to experience Christ’s love and mercy,” the Archbishop of Washington said in the 58-page pastoral plan.

The plan, “Sharing in the Joy of Love in Marriage and Family,” was posted on the archdiocesan website late on March 3. Cardinal Wuerl planned to officially introduce the document to the archdiocese with a Mass on March 4 at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle…

“Some may ask, ‘Is the teaching [on marriage] always binding?’ The answer of course is yes,” he continued. “Yet Amoris Laetitia invites us to adopt a complementary perspective and to look with a parental attitude at those families who find themselves in a position where they struggle to even understand, let alone embrace fully, the teaching because of the concrete circumstances in which they live.”

Cardinal Wuerl said his pastoral plan is “directed to parishes, priests, religious and laity” and is meant “to encourage reflection” on:

• “The richness of the Church’s perennial teaching on love, marriage, family, faith and mercy.”
• “The essential aspect of pastoral ministry, called accompaniment.”
• “Several significant themes such as the new evangelisation, the role of conscience, and the privileged place of the parish where we find and experience Christ’s way of living and loving.”  Read entire article here


So, “yes” Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is always binding, but here’s how to get round it… is essentially what the Cardinal is saying in typical modernist double speak. After all, a competent teacher,  confronted by a student who “struggles to even understand, let alone embrace fully” a subject  puts his/her mind and skill to working out ways to explain the subject more fully, more clearly, but doesn’t change the truth to make it more palatable.  2 + 2 will never make 5, no matter how much the student (and exasperated teacher) wishes it were so. 

Check out the bullet points – closely. Notice one of the “significant themes” is the role of conscience… Code for the heresy of “your choice,  your decision”, objective truth, objective morality does not exist but even if they do, well, rules are there to be broken, as the old saying goes. However it’s dressed up, and whatever the motivation, Amoris Laetitia (AL) is all about breaking the rules.

Still,  Cardinal Wuerl is a bit behind the AL times.  Here in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, we had retreats for priests and teachers almost as AL was rolling off the press, so chop-chop over there in the USA – we’re well ahead of you on this…

Call No Modernist “Father”…

At school, we were taught to call priests “Father” because they are the father of our souls. They care for our spiritual well-being, and work for our salvation. Easy enough to understand. No problem.  Answering the Protestant criticism that the Bible says “call no man on earth your father” was/is also easy – click here to read  a very clear explanation of the correct interpretation of that biblical verse.

There are, however, priests who dislike the title, which is purely honorific – that is, it is simply a means of showing respect. It is meaningless in terms of the status, ministry, duties etc of the priest. 

When I come across priests who dislike being called “Father” or who fall into the “Call me Joe” category, I simply avoid calling them anything. I cannot bring myself to address them by their Christian names.  A deep respect for, and love of, the priesthood is instilled in Catholics and few among us wish to show disrespect for the priesthood, even if we are less than impressed with the aforementioned “Fr Joe” and his ilk.  

Lately, however, I’ve been re-considering this – more in terms of writing than speaking. Take Cardinal Marx, for example. Please. Take him. Anywhere. The German cardinal, Reinhard Marx, who is about as Catholic as Sadiq Khan has as much right to a Catholic title denoting honour and respect as Theresa May, if you ask me, which I know you didn’t… 

Anyway, what about it.  Should Catholics show respect for an individual churchman (by applying honorific titles) simply because he is ordained, no matter how much he abuses his office and betrays Christ by his words and actions?  Or, is it acceptable to say “Hi Joe” or to write about “Marx” – what do you think?