UK: Free Speech and Conscience RIP…

Glasgow midwives

“Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it”   (Albert Einstein)

Tell that to the highest court in the UK where the right of conscience NOT to participate in any way in the killing of unborn babies has been denied.  Click on photo (left) to read the details in the case of the two Glasgow (Catholic) midwives whose conscientious objection to being forced to participate in the administration of abortions at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow has been dismissed.

This, of course, is only one of many examples of the way freedom of speech and conscience are being destroyed in these days of imagined greater Bernadette Smythtolerance and alleged diversity.  Take the case of  the pro-lifer who was convicted of  harassing the manager of the Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast and who has today been sentenced: ordered by a court not to go within 20 yards of the premises for the next five years.

Bernadette Smyth, 53, founder of the Precious Life movement and an internationally known anti-abortion campaigner, was also ordered by a judge to carry out 100 hours of community service. She must also pay £2,000 in compensation to Dawn Purvis, the manager of the Marie Stopes Clinic.  Click on photo (right) to read more…

Meanwhile over on Facebook, the story of how a primary school teacher “came out” to his class, prompting a nine year old girl to write a letter to him saying how she wouldn’t treat him any differently, was discussed with the majority of contributors bending over backwards to say how “beautiful” it was.  Read more about this story here

The conversation soon turned sour when one contributor dared to express concern that homosexuality was being promoted and children were being used to do this.  The proponents of “diversity” soon became enraged and completely intolerant – calling the young man names, using crudities and even taking screen shots of his comments and emailing them to his place of work.

It’s quite clear that all the claims to value free speech and freedom of conscience in the countries of the UK are baloney.  They fall into the category of “Yeah right”. The useful idiots can believe that mantra if they want.  There are far too many examples of intolerance directed at anyone who dares to think outside the politically correct box and to challenge the immoral legislation imposed on us in recent years, for me to fall for that line. What about you?  Tell us your experiences of challenging abortion legislation, homosexual “rights” etc.  Or maybe you think we’ve no right to go against what “society” has deemed right and proper?  Let’s hear it, then, because as far as I’m concerned, we’ve witnessed the death of free speech and freedom of conscience in the UK for some time now – there are just a few more examples in the news today – that’s all. 

97 responses

  1. I hope those midwives appeal against this appalling ruling. All the talk about the winning of the war bringing us free speech etc is a load of hot air.

    As for the other examples – they are par for the course these days. Dare to say anything critical about homosexuality and you should know what to expect these days.

    I wonder if the conviction of Bernadette Smyth will make other pro-lifers less willing to stand outside the abortion mills. I hope not. I also hope her conviction doesn’t mean she faces the sack at work – does anyone know?

    All these cases are shocking and prove that we live in a very intolerant society. If you’re not pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality, you have to keep your mouth shut. That’s the reality.

    • Lily,

      I hope they appeal as well. I really do. They should keep this issue in the public eye and before the courts. All the so called Catholic politicians who are keep quiet and supporting abortion should be hanging their heads in shame.

    • I hope the two nurses appeal as well. SPUC is paying their legal expenses and it would be in their best interests not to let this case drop.

      The conviction of Bernie Smyth is an outrage and she should appeal as well. These cases should be kept in the public eye for as long as possible, until someone in authority realises it is outrageous to punish people for fighting to defend unborn babies.

      It makes me laugh when I see the news reports about outlawing smoking in cars if children are present. Just because they are now out in the world, they need to be protected. When they’re at their most vulnerable, they don’t matter. Before they’re born they have no rights and after they’re born their parents have no rights.

    • CTG

      It has obviously escaped your attention but these two brave ladies are fighting also for the rights of the less brave who are maybe afraid to voice their same opinions because they are a lot younger and afraid of losing their jobs.

      As for being ready for retirement: have you any idea of how long Peter Thatchell and Patrick Harvie to go before they go out to graze? Probably too long.

      • Frankier,

        “As for being ready for retirement: have you any idea of how long Peter Thatchell and Patrick Harvie to go before they go out to graze?”

        LOL !

    • Only a nasty piece of work would make light of such a shocking situation. Constantine the great, if this doesn’t shock you then you are an enemy of God.

    • Well, Bernadette Smyth isn’t ready for retirement – now she has a criminal conviction. If you think that’s OK, then you’re obviously not a Catholic by any stretch of the imagination.

      • I am glad this offender will be required to work hours as instructed, or be returned to court. I am also hopeful she will receive medical treatment or counselling, or attend an alcohol or drug rehabilitation centre if required to help prevent re-offending. The public must be safeguarded.

          • Why? What have I done. (Mind what you say, or I will take it to the nearest police station.)

            • Anyone who makes light of babies being murdered in the womb and defends homosexuality to the hilt is worth a watching.

              By the way, I nearly fell off my seat laughing about going to the police! Thanks for cheering me up, Constantine!

          • Petrus, have a little charity. This may be a call for help from Constantine. Perhaps he feels deep down that he is the one in need of counselling and has come here for help.

            Winky smiley wotsit.

            Ed: 😉 ?

            • Therese, you are right.

              Constantine,

              If you wish to meet up for cake and coffee, on the Catholic Truth credit card, let me know and I will endeavour to point you in the right direction .

  2. There may well come a time, Constantine, when you will need the services of nursing professionals. I wonder if you will be so flippant then when you realise that the compassionate, caring and life loving ones have all been silenced, sacked or retired, and you are at the mercy of those who are left? If you can kill a baby, you can kill anyone.

    • Therese,

      I’ve noted a certain sympathy for the “gay rights” movement in Constantine’s posts so maybe that’s why he is taking a flippant attitude to this thread. If my interpretation of him is correct, he will be intolerant of anyone who is not pro-abortion and pro-gay.

      • Actually, I was just thinking I couldn’t remember reading any comment from Constantine on the Jim Murphy thread so I went and checked just now – and he didn’t. I find that very interesting indeed.

        • Very interesting indeed. Constantine seems to be a homosexual who doesn’t care about the fate of unborn babies. Let’s hope he isn’t in a position of authority in the Church,like a teacher in a Catholic school! Imagine the bad influence he would have.

      • Josephine

        Exactly.

        We’re well into double-speak now. Those who defend the right to life of the most defenceless are termed “intolerant” and “hate filled”, whilst those who support the extermination of the inconvenient (unborn, disabled, old) are described as enlightened.

        They will be enlightened, one day; one must hope and pray that it is in this life, and not the next.

      • Anyone who is suspended is entitled to full pay.

        What is your opinion of the Supreme Court ruling Constantine?

      • Constantine I feel your comments are very negative and off puttting everyone is entitled to their opinion but maybe these are more fitting on a pro death web comes to mind when reading them …very disrespectful indeed not only to the Ladies but to Patricia as well

  3. It is absolutely abhorrant these two very brave and lovely Ladies in every sense of the word have been dragged through Courts for standing up to their morals and beliefs …..A Midwife,s job is to bring new life into this World not snuff that precious little life out
    We are living in dire times where perverse lifestyles and murderous actions flourish I think Sodom and Gommorah must have been idyllic compared to what goes on now !.
    Sadly we do have to blame ourselves to some degree its an honour being PRO LIFE yet how many people are willing to put their heads above the parapit or go the extra mile for their tiny voiceless Brothers and Sisters ? The saying “it only takes for good men to do nothing for evil to prevail “sums it up in a nutshell .
    We can NEVER write enough letters /e -mails /comments ..sign petitions ,contact MP,s Go outside Abortion mIlls /Hospitals ….yes they may laugh and chide us BUT hundreds of letters on one subject does make them think ..now the abortionists are calling on Parliament for Buffers ..This has been spurred on by the brave and fruitful efforts of Abort67 who against great adversity show the truth of abortion .and the vilest of lies you could think of
    We may never win this diabolical argument but at least we tried and if one little Life is saved then brilliant ..if one mind is changed ..wonderful .
    How sad that we should have to be having this conversation when soon the World will prepare to celebrate the Birth of a Little Baby in a lowly manger ?…oh yes it is indeed an very dark World unfeeling ,uncaring and completely lost the plot

    • Wendy Walker,

      What a beautiful comment from you! I completely agree with every word. Abort67 is wonderful and they have got the pro-aborts really worried, shaking in their shoes, in fact, so that they are desperately trying to get the buffer zones legalised. Then what happened to Bernadette Smyth today will happen to anyone who stands in the wrong place. How shocking. So much for democracy.

      Well said, Wendy Walker.

    • part of the job of the midwife is to support junior colleagues. They were senior midwives who have a duty to provide support, teaching and suchlike to their junior nurses. Professionals should not allow their religious beliefs impact upon the care their patients need, and should work within professional, evidence based guidelines.

      • SHP,

        You make the classic mistake, which is all over the internet, TV and radio in discussions about these midwives, in thinking that their objections are based on religious convictions. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

        The objection to abortion rests on moral grounds, not religion. The Catholic Church is known to uphold the moral law, to speak out to defend and promote it, but it didn’t invent it. Any person of average intelligence knows that it is immoral to kill another human being. Nobody needs any religion to tell them that.

        That’s because it is written on the human heart that it is gravely wrong to kill. And that is what abortion is – the murder of unborn babies, and no matter what the mother’s circumstances, there is no justification for choosing to kill her unborn baby. Circumstances can and do change – all the time. Pro-life groups don’t just picket outside clinics, or pray, they offer practical help and support for those tempted to kill their babies. That help, if accepted, would change the woman’s circumstances in jig time. And her baby’s life even quicker.

        So, please don’t blame “religion” for the consciences of these midwives. There are people (including doctors and nurses) of every religion and none who abhor abortion and recognise it for what it is – the murder of the unborn child.

        That understood, it makes a nonsense of conscience to argue that it’s acceptable that the midwives couldn’t themselves actually participate in the killing in the surgery, but it’s not acceptable that they refuse to help with organising of the killing.

        After all, as a secular health professional how would YOU feel if the Oxford Professor got her way who, a year or two ago, argued that the same arguments that allow abortion to be legal, should be used to legalise infanticide? Once the baby is born, if the mother now feels she can’t cope, doesn’t want it, the health professionals should be allowed, legally, to kill the newborn baby. What would you say then? A few minutes before, killing the baby is legal. Afterwards, at the moment, it’s illegal. What if that changes? Would YOU kill a newborn baby, given that it is the “woman’s right to choose”? And if you are excused on grounds of conscience from actually killing the infant, would your conscience be untroubled by having to “support” those who are doing the killing? Would you draw up the theatre list so that Baby A will be killed first and then Baby B? I know I couldn’t play any part in such killing, none whatsoever. What about you?

        • Editor,

          I agree with your answer to SHP. Both of these senior midwives who have lost their court battle, are being “Denied their right of conscience NOT to participate in any way the killing of the unborn child”. They are not advocating that someone else should do it, not even midwives on the shop floor so to speak to participate in abortion.

          The battle is on moral grounds. In this video lasting between 25 and 27 minutes tells the experiences of medical/nursing staff who have participated in abortions. Also two women who have had abortions give their experiences. I will warn everyone that the video is graphic, but is an necessary in explaining what happens during an abortion.

          Pregnancies last usually 9 months. During the first trimester – the first 12 weeks, an abortion being carried out is usually by suction, that is the unborn child is torn apart. In the video it is explained how abortions are carried out in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Listen carefully to what is being said. Listen to those physicians as to how many abortions they carried out before being so sickened by it, that they eventually walked away from the job.

  4. This brings to mind the situation my sister found herself in whilst working in the NHS as a medical secretary. Due to a gynaecological department secretary being off sick my sister was directed to type up a theatre list. When she saw that there were abortions scheduled she complained and said she couldn’t comply with this because it was against her conscience. She was castigated for her refusal and treated with contempt for some considerable time afterwards.

    As regards homosexuality, I for one am sick of the bullying which some of this group mete out to anyone who disagrees with them. Very recently I heard some on Radio Scotland saying that it was wonderful that same-sex couples could now be married. Far from rejoicing, I think its one of the saddest times in the history of Scotland which was once in the forefront of medicine and engineering. How low have we come.

    • Santiago,

      Very interesting about your sister – I’ve just watched Scotland Today on STV (I recorded it, guessing there would be an item about this topic.)

      Bishop John Keenan was interviewed alongside a pro-abortion woman, and he was fairly good within the context of the issue, arguing that the abortions would have gone ahead anyway, that someone else could make up the rota etc. and that the midwives were not refusing to do what they’d been employed to do, but that the job had changed etc. He also made the point that rights of conscience were being eroded more and more to the point of extinction.

      Knowing the limited time available for these interviews (they’re always rushed) and how impossible it is to go beyond the parameters of the topic (so he wasn’t able to go into any detail about the horror of abortion per se) I think he did the best anyone could in the circumstances, making key points succinctly.

      And – very importantly – he didn’t make the classic mistake that so many people make in these interviews, of nodding (as if in agreement) when the pro-abortionist spoke. He kept his head still and then responded. So, while I remain appalled at his plan to “bring Pope Francis’ vision of the Church to Paisley” and shocked that he refuses to implement Canon 915 in respect of Jim Murphy MP (see thread on that subject) I nevertheless have to give credit where it’s reasonably due.

      Of course, the very fact that he is permitting a pro-abortionist Catholic MP to receive Communion in his diocese, thus causing public scandal, throws his contradictory position on the two midwives into sharp relief. Sadly.

      Finally, I fully agree with everything you say about the rise of homosexuality and the scandal of same sex “marriages”. That’s another area where we’re being gagged. For how much longer will we be allowed even to comment like this in the blogosphere?

      • I think it is about time the Bishops in Scotland came out with the language they do not wish to hear rather than the “It`s more about civil rights than abortion” rubbish.

        Let them see that they don’t give a **** (excuse the language) about their political correctness and ask them why they condemn Hitler, The Taliban and the Islamic State for beheading people while they carry out the same, or worse, slaughter on our own doorsteps.

        They should ask also that the costs of abortions, steralisations and vasectomies , including the reversals, be highlighted more often, rather than blaming the elderly for the shortfall in the NHS.

        This sitting back and trying to find fancy words emitted with a poncy voice
        just doesn`t work.

        Play them at their own game. They don`t like it.

        PS
        The sweary-word I missed out was heck

        • I agree with Frankier that those in the public sphere (journalists, broadcasters, etc) and also the ordinary “Joe Soap” are quick to condemn gangland crime, terrorist attacks, attacks on vunerable elderly or those with disabilities, but cannot see that the evils of abortion, contraception and euthanasia also take innocent life. A good deal more innocent lives. Bernie Smyth could probably be considered the only truly Catholic anti-abortion activist. She, and Precious Life, are not shy about invoking God’s help in the ongoing battle to preserve unborn life. They were the ones to organise a Rosary Rally in 2013, while almost all of the other Pro Life groups were anxious to leave God and all of the Heavenly armies out of the battle. No religious images were allowed at the Rallies that took place almost monthly between November 2012 and July 2013. This was so as not to offend those who were not Catholics, or even Christians. (Muslims, Hindus,Pantheists, and other “Pro Life” people without a religious conviction)
          The day is fast approaching when, in public life “no Catholic need apply”, or at least no believing Catholic can openly practice the faith in all its integrity.

          • Lily

            I don`t think I used the exact words that was actually said but it is near enough what I heard on the news on the radio about the response from the Catholic Church.

            I was busy doing other things but It was definitely said that it wasn`t about abortion as such.

            The Church, and even the Pro-Lifers, never ever take the golden opportunities which crop up on an almost daily basis now when we have to read and listen about the ageing population.

            No one ever points out that the reason the elderly (allegedly)outnumber the young is because the number of children who have been aborted since it became legal in UK is almost equal to the combined populations of Scotland and Wales. However, we get fed the lie that people are living longer because of advances in medicine and this causes the imbalance.

            No one ever seems to point out either that the reason we are desperate for immigrants from Eastern Europe is because we are reaping the results of the murder of so many unborn children.

            Why doesn`t the Church or the pro-life movements use these arguments to get their point across. The truth always hurts and it can be the only way at times to get their attention.

            Even if it is only to keep you quiet.

        • Frankier,

          Did Bishop Keenan say it was more about civil rights than abortion? I saw that interview on STV last night but it I must have missed that.

          “PS
          The sweary-word I missed out was heck”

          LOL !

    • Sangiato

      Please pass on my admiration and congratulations to your sister. Notwithstanding her treatment by her colleagues, who knows if her example has not prodded at least some consciences?

      • Thank you Therese – I will indeed pass on your message. She received few messages of goodwill on the stance she took so this will be heartening.

        God Bless.

  5. Well done, Wendy. I so wish you were a Catholic as your orientation is Catholic. Having said that, you must feel very let down by the “catholic” masses who behave just like their pagan neighbours. Tragic. May God bless you.

  6. It has been my privilege to meet Bernie Smyth at the pro-life rallies in Ireland on a couple of occasions. She will wear this judgement like a badge of honour as she knows the true nature of the battle we face.

    The pro-life movement in Ireland has many fine speakers but Bernie Smyth stands out as the the one who speaks in front of thousands with her rosary beads aloft urging the crowds to pray the rosary. This Lady is full of Catholic fight and the reason that she is taking so much flak at the moment is (to paraphrase an Americn general)….because she is over the target!

  7. Today’s Morning Call from Radio Scotland is discussing this topic.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03nhb2k

    There’s a man from the Scottish Catholic Observer in the studio and the usual predictable points being made by people calling in, most of them saying the women have to do their job and religious views not allowed to take priority in the workplace.

    • One of the main criticisms of the two midwives is that they are making the “patients” suffer more, since they had already gone through agony to reach their decision to abort. I had hoped to be able to ring in to that show, to ask if someone would explain to me why the women who opt for abortion suffer agony in making their choice? Why? If the law allows them to choose to do something, surely that cannot be something evil? Why would the government allow anyone to legally choose to do something immoral? And thus, if it’s not evil, nothing wrong with it, why the agonising over making the choice? I just don’t get it.

      Unfortunately, I didn’t get time to phone. I did hear a bit of the discussion, though, and it was all pretty predictable. Only one man called abortion by its proper name – murder. Surprisingly, there was none of the expected reaction to his comment. I suppose now that the opposition is being neutralised big time, they needn’t bother so much about the use of the correct terminology, in the spirit of “who cares?”

  8. I sholud love to know how much public money the cash-strapped GG&C health board used to persue these fine ladies through the courts!!??

    • Liberanos,

      Excellent point. At a time of supposed austerity, when public services are alleged to be watching their use of public money, I think we’re entitled to know the cost of this scandalous court case. Edinburgh had spoken – why the race to London?

      • Someone told me that it had been asked on some other blog that as Scotland and England have different legal systems how could can this “Mickey Mouse court” overrule a Scottish court. Actually, it’s very name is a kick in the teeth to the Scottish legal system as the Court of Session is one of Scotland’s two Supreme Courts (the other being the High Court of Justiciary) and when this pantomime was being set up in London judges here pointed out that as we already had a Supreme Court it should be give a different name but they were just ignored.

  9. Very many thanks for your kind words Ladies I am touched ..but we are in the PRO LIFE WORLD all like links in a chain bound together by a common belief and wish that we can save little lives and the mental and physical health of their Familys .
    There are some wonderful comments here thought provoking and caring .
    May you have a wonderful Holy Happy Christmas and a very great Thank you to that special Editor our lovelyPATRICIA ,brave and valiant without her this wonderful web would not exist an oasis of calm and sanity in a tsunami of evil that is sadly this World ….Bless you

  10. Our Lady predicted exactly this present scenario at Quito 400 years ago. It is always hopeful for us to recall her promise that at the exact moment when the forces of darkness appear to have triumphed against all holiness, purity and the sanctity of family life, she will intervene in a sudden and unprecedented manner. We have an identical promise from Our Lady at Fatima in the guaranteed triumph of her Immaculate Heart. I personally believe this triumph of Our Lady to be imminent. With the persecution of Christians now having reached the point where they are denied even basic rights of conscience, I do not see heaven delaying much longer.

    • Athanasius, Our Blessed Lady and her promises are a consolation for us in these very sad times. Evil will not ultimately prevail. Good will triumph over evil. Justice will be rewarded and evil punished. Almost every day now I near media reports on how those who believe in the right to life of the innocent unborn are so backward and uncharitable. We have stories of young mothers who died of medical complicatons, and the angle taken is always along the lines of “if the “foetus” had been removed this would never have happened” rather than “why was the standard of medical care so poor” Just today, we have the story of a pregnant woman who is on life support against the wishes of her next of kin. They want to switch off the life support. the Pro Choice brigade do not think that the life of her unborn child is reason enough to continue life support. in other words, she’s only on life support because there is an unborn baby to consider, and the Health services want to be seen as “Pro Life” by allowing him/her the chance to be born. They weren’t so Pro Life when they allowed “baby Hope” to be pulled out into the world because his mother was suicidal.

    • Athanasius,

      I agree about the chastisement being imminent but I think it will be 2017 the anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. That seems a long time to us but it’s nothing in the light of eternity.

  11. Just to put the record straight, in case the politically correct police pounce, I do not condone in any way what Hitler, the Taliban or ISIS stands for.

  12. I can’t believe those homosexual activists sent emails to the place of work of the young man who challenged them. Diabolical.

    • Petrus,

      It’s called bullying. I wonder if they thought through the possible implications of doing that. That young man could be married with children and face sacking so no food on the table for his family. OR he could be single, with a mortgage to pay. Do these bullies care? Not a bit. He’s dared to criticise the homosexual lifestyle. So he must pay. He may question cohabitation or celibacy (especially the latter!) but not homosexuality. That’s above and beyond criticism. Bullies, bullies, bullies.

      We may never know what was the outcome for that young man but that won’t change the fact that what they did was downright evil, in actively seeking to cause him to lose his employment, and all because they didn’t like him expressing what is now an unpopular opinion. I bet in another forum they’ll be screaming about the importance of free speech. Hypocrites. Bullies and hypocrites.

  13. Here’s a link to something I trust you’ll find of interest….

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-gay-inspiration-underlying-the-vatican-synods-interim-report

    I was privileged to attend one of Dr. van den Aardweg’s talks some years ago, when he assured us that even the most effeminate of homosexuals has ‘all male instincts’.

    As I recall, an Anglican bishop in the Chester area was once interviewed by police after he ‘dared’ to claim that the homosexual orientation can be changed with the help of psychotherapy. Police warned him he was ‘walking on eggshells’!

    • Pat,

      Thank you for posting that link to a very good article – it’s great to see Lifesitenews at last unafraid to call a spade a spade in terms of the crisis in the Church. When we had popes like John Paul II and Benedict who spoke out against abortion and homosexuality, they had an apparent policy of ignoring the problems in the Church. Now that it’s come right to their front door, to so speak, they’re coming up with the goods. That’s great.

  14. We have three people calling for an appeal. Other comments are that the wicked health board has dragged the unfortunate midwives through the courts.

    I know it is not the way of this blog but it is always an idea to read the reports before making-off-the cuff comments: keeping one’s mouth shut means people may suspect ignorance, opening it can remove the doubt.

    The Petition ([2013] CSIH 36 P876/11) of Mary Teresa Doogan and Concepta Wood makes it clear that it was they who decided to raise a dispute within the health board. They lost. They appealed. They lost again. They appealed again. And lost again. They then dragged their unfortunate employers into the Court of Session (which, for outsiders, translates roughly as the High Court and Court of Appeal). It was made clear at the outset that Mary Teresa and Concepta were bringing the action with the support of SPUC and would fight the case all the way – SPUC told the court it has GBP 2 million in annual income and capital invested in a property company available. Mary Teresa and Concepta lost again but appealed to the Inner House – shifting the ground of ‘their’ argument from the 1967 to the Convention. Here they won on the European line of argument, leaving the health board to appeal to the Supreme Court. Here (the old House of Lords) there can be no further UK appeal. The European point was not argued and their Lordships found for the Health Board. Their lordships’ judgment was unanimous – five agreeing with the health board and none agreeing with the women on any point of dissent.

    The argument which carried the day was that the 1967 Act only gave a conscientious objection to medical practitioners and their assistants directly participating. And it applies only to procedures which would have been unlawful before 1967 (under the 1861 act or at common law).
    So the upshot of it all is that health workers still have a duty to assist in procedures where a doctor considers the mother’s life is at risk. The 1967 act was intended to get rid of back-street abortions but even before then there was nothing unlawful in dealing with the complications back-street abortionists often caused. The 1967 conscience clause does not therefore apply to post-operative care.
    So if the plan of SPUC and its two front-women was to frustrate the 1967 act, it has failed. It is not a case of the unfortunate ladies being dragged through the courts. It was they (or, in reality, their financial backers) who took their employers through three internal disputes and three court cases. Four, four then six advocates and barristers were bankrolled in all this, four of them QCs. One, three and then five judges listened to their arguments. In the end, the five judges of the Supreme Court decided (unsurprisingly) that parliament intended the limited exemption clause of the 1967 to mean exactly what it says: the exemption is limited to people directly involved in the procedures and does not apply to procedures which were not unlawful before 1967.

    If people want to turn the clock back to 1861 when every assize had its sad list of struck-off, often alcoholic, doctors and their sadder patients (when they survived), fair enough, argue it and see if a parliamentary bill could be carried on these lines. But spare us the blatant untruths that the poor dear Mary Teresa and poor dear Concepta have been dragged through the courts. Let’s hear nothing more about hopes they might appeal – think (for once) before commenting: the story said it was the Supreme Court which had given judgment. Five judges to nil. Mary Teresa and Concepta have pursued a case without merit through three internal and three external hearings. Thrown out on all points.
    The truth of it is the conscientious provisions for Great Britain stand exactly where they were set in 1967 so there is no reason to use this to denigrate the UK. Nothing has changed apart from another three QCs just having had a slightly more prosperous Christmas.

    And since the theme is freedom of expression are you sure, dear editor, that CT allows it?

    Happy Christmas!

    • Dowden,

      I don’t have the time to correct everything in your post above, but must point out that, right from the git-go you’re wrong. The midwives actually WON their case originally – see this BBC report – and then the allegedly strapped-for-cash Health Board decided to appeal rather than switch on their brains and find someone else to organise their murders.

      Facts can be really annoying things, eh, Dowden? But I’d have expected you to check the facts before commenting, given the number of times you unjustly accuse our bloggers of not reading the reports before commenting. Pots and kettles, Dowden. Pots and kettles.

      I only wish I had the time to correct all the rest of your errors. Perhaps – hopefully – someone else will do.

      • Not so. The material I set out was completely correct.

        Ed: you are wrong. They won the original case. Obviously, the BBC report didn’t convince you – try this one:

        “The UK’s supreme court has ruled that two Catholic midwives do not have the right to refuse to help other nurses with abortion procedures or planning.
        Upholding an appeal by Greater Glasgow health board, the court found that Mary Doogan, 58, and Concepta Wood, 52, who worked as labour ward co-ordinators at the southern general hospital in Glasgow, did not have a legal right to object to helping with abortions in any way.
        As conscientious objectors, the senior midwives have had no direct role in pregnancy terminations, but they argued that they should also be entitled to refuse to delegate, supervise and support staff involved in the procedures or providing care to patients during the process.
        Reproductive rights campaigners were concerned that a decision by the court of session in Edinburgh in favour of the women’s case last year could have wide-ranging implications for the way the NHS dealt with other health staff who opposed abortions on religious grounds.”
        Read entire Guardian report here END OF EDITORIAL COMMENT…

        Dowden continues…

        They lost all the internal stages.

        They took it to the Court of Session (one judge) and lost again – the original case was lost.

        They then took it on appeal to the Inner House (three judges) and, as I said, won that on a “European” argument

        At that point the health board took it to the final stage (the Supreme Court) where, for some reason, counsel did not advance the “European” argument, so the five judges confirmed the “original” Court of Session decision against Mary Teresa Doogan and Concepta Wood.

        So your “correction” is wrong – never mind the BBC report, I did check the facts, read the judgments (and gave the Court of Session report number). In general, the urge to “correct” errors which are not errors seems to be to show the weakness of the SPUC approach. Try for a repeal head-on by all means but this attempt was futile.

        It was however Doogan and Wood who decided to take on the Health Board in a case which the Supreme Court thought, five to nil, had no merit and not one judge found one point of disagreement on any detail.

        Took them seventeen pages to say that but say it they did.

        The law stands as it stood in 1967 and the whole exercise was a waste of the Health Board’s time – it must be wondering why two of its employees fought such a hopeless case.

        Ed: while the rest of the country is wondering why they wasted so much money on unnecessary court action when it would be straightforward and more cost-effective (wouldn’t have cost them a penny) to use basic management skills and simply delegate the murder organising to other staff with no consciences.

        • Editor, a reply to myself since your comments are in the post rather than as a reply. And, no, I am not especially bothered by petty censorship – I know eastern Europe well enough to understand what it means when petty authorities fear free speech.

          You say: “Ed: you are wrong. They won the original case. Obviously, the BBC report didn’t convince you – try this one …”

          The facts are the “original” case was decided by Lady Smith against the petitioners in the Outer house Court of Session ([2012] CSOH 32, Mary Teresa Doogan and Concepta Wood, Petitioners for Judicial Review of a decision of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, 29 February 2012). This was appealed and the appeal was heard in the Extra Division, Inner House, Court of Session by Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, Lady Dorrian and Lord McEwan ([2013] CSIH 36, Mary Teresa Doogan and Concepta Wood Petitioners and Reclaimers for Judicial Review of a decision of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board 24 April 2013). This second decision (not the original one) went in their favour but was lost on appeal to the Supreme Court.

          The comment posted was correct because it was based on reading the originals – easily found and it is a very elementary rule to check primary sources. The purported corrections are wrong, perhaps your reading the BBC or the Guardian carelessly but in any event your reliance on secondary sources. Perhaps you did not grasp that the “original” case and the appeal could both be in the Court of Session – even if you do not know the structure, the clues are the words “Outer” and “Inner” and the different dates, 2012 and 2013.

          So, Ed., you are wrong. They lost the original case. They won the Scottish appeal. They lost in London.

          Still think your correction was fair?

          • Dr John,

            I read the original court document and it was a load of waffle finishing with a non-argument about because SPUC was funding the case and they didn’t have limitless funds, my words, paraphrasing, that it wasn’t in the public interest to pursue the argument etc. so they found against the petitioners. Nobody would think that human baby lives were at stake.

            I can’t see that it matters whether they lost the original case or not (all across the internet it says they won the original case so that’s an easy mistake to make, not everyone has the time to hunt out court documents, and I notice you didn’t give a link, just a reference. I had to Google the link.)

            The main thing is as Bishop Keenan said on TV, once it went to the Supreme Court in London “the writing was on the wall” knowing the kind of judgements that come from there. It’s a scandal that Scotland and now the English courts have dismissed the rights of conscience. That’s the main issue, nothing else IMHO.

    • Doctor D.

      My old mother, God rest her, used to say six days is not seven and how true she was.

      When the seventh day comes for poor dear Mary Teresa and poor dear Concepta, to whom you so patronisingly refer, I would rather be in their shoes than their Lordships`, or yours even.

      How sweet it will be for these poor dears to hear the words “Well done you good and faithful servants”.

      Since it is not for me to judge, I won`t even try and envisage what you and your legal idols will hear.

      Anyway, I hope you have a happy and holy Christmas. Enjoy them when you can as even a very long life can come to an abrupt end.

      A Merry and Holy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all at Catholic Truth.

      I hope and pray that it will be the year we all (except Dr John of course) have been waiting for: the Consecration of Russia to Our Lady`s Immaculate Heart.

      PS
      Remember the saying Dr D, “It`s never too late.” You`ll be made very welcome.

      • Frankier,

        Well, when this contribution to freedom of speech makes it through the CT censorship process, what should be said is that there is a misunderstanding here about what is at issue. This is not a question of whether the law is good or bad, it is a question of what the law actually is. The judges are not being asked to give their private and personal opinion on what the rules ought to be – they have been required to decide what the law says. They have come to the rather obvious conclusion that it says what it appears to say – the conscience clause is restricted in scope – it applies to direct participation and only to procedures which were actually unlawful before 1967. (https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2013_0124_Judgment.pdf)

        If people want to law changed, fine, campaign to re-enact 1861 or whatever but it is completely unfair to impute any moral blame to the judges – they have said what the 1967 Act says (not what they think it ought to say).

        All this is a difficult (and serious) question – it really is not helped by spreading mis-information about poor midwives being dragged into court or the putting about the nonsensical idea that they ought to appeal against a clear judgment of the Supreme Court.

        Using the recent decision as a means to attack the UK for attacking freedom of speech and conscience is grossly unfair – and a bit rich for a blog which itself censors view which do not toe its (somewhat extremist) line.*

        My own view (for what it may be worth) is that the 1967 Act has not worked as intended and badly needs review. Misinformation is not the way to do this, nor is a resort to emotive and sentimental language or wasting resources on legal challenges to what the act means. It says what it says. If people don’t like that, change it, don’t try to twist its plain meaning. That means coming up with a consensus acceptable to the other side and persuading a majority in a democratic process. Trumpeting the righteousness of the elect sounds to most Scots like Holy Wullie – a burning and a shining light …

        Anyway, Happy Christmas and (when it comes) a happy Russian Christmas (old style).

        * Ed: yours are the only comments which are in our moderation box, Dowden, and that’s because you have persistently refused to accept our very basic in-house rules. No other blog in the world permits people to abuse and ignore the terms and conditions. No other blog owner issues warning after warning before putting an offender into moderation. In fact, very few blogs are UN-moderated. Most check out ALL comments before publishing. We are one of the most liberal – in that regard – in the blogosphere, so less of your cheek.

        • Doctor

          It`s a pity the judges weren`t put to better use such as trying Tony Blair, and Margaret Thatcher in her absence, for the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians.

          Oh, silly me, I forgot that the slaughter of innocents is not only condoned but encouraged in the British Isles.

    • Dear Dr Dowden
      I am frankly appalled at the lily livered whitewash in your comment Here we are talking about Medical Staff who entered their profession to SAVE AND NURTURE lives not deliberately take them .
      Isnt it time people took off their rose tinted glasses and saw this cruel Act for what it is blatent and deliberate killing of a baby for the selfish whim and wish of the Mother -to -be in most cases there is no risk to the Mothers life both she and her baby are perfectly Healthy .
      It has lead to people who are born to be ridiculed and hurt if they were conceived in rape ,or are disabled or mixed race ……these labels are applied by pro abortionists to make them less Human therefore abortable and unadoptable ..We all know the 1967 Abortion Act was riddled with racism and sadly now Ethnic children are at especial risk …
      All Human life is precious and Medical people should remember the Hypocratic Oath…..
      Since when has killing someone been laudable and clamoured for ?….safe ,legal abortion they chant in parrot fashion yet abortion has caused so much more serious physical and mental problems can last the rest of that Woman and indeed her surrounding familys lives, there will always be a little unseen “ghost “in that family ..
      The cost to the NHS must be phenonimal for Abortions that went wrong ,counselling ,incomplete abortions breast cancer [the ABClink}..etc oh and IVF for when they do want a baby and they cannot conceive you frequently see ambulances attending private abortion mills …not so safe then but of course like all the other facts about Abortion this is hushed up it thrives in darkness and ignorance as does most evil things .
      It is barbaric to any medical person to expect them to participate in the slaughter of a pre born baby and those Ladies are sheer heroines to stand up and be counted I applaud them healing hands that now are expected to have innocent blood on them ,this means people who wish to enter Nursing but are PRO LIFE will not stand a chance .
      Could you imagine an Abortion at 23 weeks? when in the Neo natal ward smaller babies are thriving{ the wanted ones that is }The others will be torn limb from limb with no pain relief tossed in pieces in a bucket then burnt in the incinerator the younger victims torn out of the womb by a vaccuum so strong it tears the little body to pieces have you no compassion for your fellow HUmans ?
      Please ponder on this

      • Wendy Walker,

        I would have replied speedily to your comment but, unfortunately CT policy gives freedom of speech to you but not to me.

        Ed: I’ve already replied to this – seems to be annoying you, Dowden. Perhaps you’re wishing you had paid attention to my polite requests to stick to our simple in-house rules, if they could even be deemed as such. Too late now. I’ve already caved in on previous occasions and stopped moderating your posts only for you to start up again, so no can do. If you want to blog here, you do so on our terms, not yours.

        It is common ground the 1967 has not worked as intended and there is urgent need for reform.

        My comments were directed at the narrower issue that the way forward is to be honest and accurate. Bloggers here chose (without knowing the facts) to portray our pair of litigious midwives as having been dragged as heroic victims through the courts (whereas they had initiated the proceedings) and as needing to appeal (whereas they had exhausted a long appeal process). Their, alleged, victim status is no reason to attack the UK legal system – having the editor join in to muddy the “original” case is no way to move to a rational discussion of how to move forward on this one. Imperfect as they may be, there is a lot to be said for UK notions of the rule of law,

        • There is no UK legal system, Scotland and England have different legal systems and as Scotland has it’s own Supreme Courts this farce in London has no right to overrule a Scottish court.

          • Vianney,

            The fact that there are different systems of jurisprudence in Scotland and England, broadly a Romano-Dutch system and a common law system is well known but that does not stop there being some GB statutes (1967) as well as some which are UKGBNI. But the one Supreme Court (the old House of Lords) is the supreme court for both Scotland and England so in the last analysis (as in Doogan) it is a single judicial system. I think most people would agree that this is a breach of the spirit of the Treaty of Union and the wording of both Acts of Union but the breach is a very old one, almost as old as the Union itself. If Scots didn’t like Westminster being able to over-rule Edinburgh they only needed to vote “yes”. Failing that, Westminster does have the right for its courts to interpret its Acts of its Parliament in its UK.

      • Wendy

        I`ll bet that the good doctor would be up in arms at the beheading of the British subjects in the Middle East, and rightly so, but he blatantly condones the mincing of innocent, unborn children with the consent of their own mothers.

        If the Catholic Church supported abortion Dowden and many like him would be all against it. That is how their bigoted minds work.

        • Frankier,

          Spot on. I often think exactly that when listening to the shock horror in the voices and solemn looks of the news readers when delivering the news of the latest atrocity. I wonder if looking at “the products of a termination” would bring a similar reaction. If only they were permitted to be broadcast…

    • Dr John,

      You said “they who decided to raise a dispute within the health board. They lost. They appealed. They lost again. They appealed again. And lost again.”

      That’s inaccurate. They won on appeal originally. The original source is given in the UK Human Rights blog, but I’ve saved it to post as a separate link below the UKHR blog.

      http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2013/05/03/conscientious-objection-to-abortion-catholic-midwives-win-appeal/

      http://www.bailii.org/scot/cases/ScotCS/2013/2013CSIH36.html

  15. The 1967 Abortion Act got onto the Statute Book thanks to a pack of lies, as told by David Steel and his cronies, re ‘the number of maternal deaths’ at the hands of the ‘backstreet butchers’.

    The fact is that the ‘butchers’ are still around – only nowadays they are in the HIGH streets, under the guise of ‘reproductive health clinics’. Their dirty deeds are largely funded by the NHS (i.e. the taxpayer). And who do you think pays for the treatment of post-abortion ‘fall-out’? Abortion is the biggest preventable cause of breast cancer as well as mental illness among women, not to mention a host of other medical problems.

    It is said that ‘hard cases make bad laws’ – and the 1967 Act is a classic example. One may as well argue that drunk driving, for example, should be made legal in deference to those who persist in doing it. There will always be people who disregard the law, but this is no excuse for making a bad thing legal.

    • Pat,

      Well said. Bang on the button as usual. Your drunk driving analogy is perfect. Think of the public reaction if the government proposed legalising that, just because it keeps happening. Mind you, they’re more or less taking that attitude with the drugs problem so who knows! Legalised drunk driving may well be on the introduced one of these not so fine days!

  16. Dear Dr Dowden
    Please do not write contenious things about The Editor ..I will not hear a word said about this fine ,upstanding ,valiant Lady who is going through a very hard time at present yet still allows us to facilitate The Blog if you are so unhappy then stop writing comments here .
    I am not a Catholic but have been fighting Abortion and all its evil ,vile relatives that are concerned with reproduction wrongs for over 44 years .
    To imply CT is extremism is very derogatory BUt if trying save women and Babys from the horror of abortion is in your eyes extremist and telling the Truth to the World then I am more than happy to be labelled extremist ..If there were more CT Editors around life would be happy ,lighter and brighter for us all God Bless her …always

    • Wendy,

      If only I deserved a fraction of your praise I’d be over the moon. Thank you, though, for your kindness and thank you, above all, for all that you do, day in and day out, to fight for the rights of the poor little unborn babies at risk of being murdered in a state sanctioned act of barbarity that shames everyone involved.

      Have a wonderful Christmas and may 2015 bring you every peace and blessing.

      God bless.

  17. Well said, Wendy.

    May I wish you and everyone a happy and holy Christmas, and offer my thanks to our valiant Editor for her stupendous work on this blog. If the Church (and the world) had more like her we would all live in a much more just and happier place.

    God bless all.

    • Therese,

      All I can say on reading these very unexpected comments about my (believe me) unworthy self, is that I hope somebody is sending the links to the bishops!

      Sincere thanks for all YOUR hard work on this blog, very much appreciated

      Enjoy a peaceful, holy and happy Christmas, Therese, with every grace and blessing in the new year.

      God bless.

  18. Hear, hear, Wendy. I,too, am sick and tired of Dr. Dowden’s rants. The editor is indeed an exceptional person and we should all applaud the valiant work she does.

    A happy and holy christmas to everyone.

    • Crofterlady,

      Now I KNOW there’s something wrong. A compliment? For moi? From Crofterlady? What you after? Spill !

      All of YOUR contributions on this blog are greatly appreciated and I’ve had a word with the elves so Santa should reward you for being a brilliant blogger on the 25th….*

      Have a wonderful Christmas!

      *should read: “Santa should reward you on the 25th for being a brilliant blogger…” 😀

  19. While the opportunity is still with us, I also would like to say a Happy and Holy Christmas. Happy and Holy New Year too.

    • Theresa Rose,

      Your happy and holy Christmas greetings are returned – with Christmas crackers on! Thank you for all you’ve done to make the blog a success in 2014. See you in the New Year!

      God bless…

  20. Wishing all the genuine and lovely commenters a wonderfully Holy ,Happy ,Peaceful Christmas and a very Happy and BABY SAVING New Year ……Thank you all and Bless you

  21. I wish everyone at Catholic Truth, newsletter team and bloggers, a very happy and holy Christmas and a very blessed new year.

    • Margaret Mary,

      Your regular contributions are very much appreciated on this blog. Many thanks for that, and for your Christmas and new year wishes.

      I hope you, too, enjoy a holy and happy Christmas, and every blessing comes your way in the new year.

      God bless

    • Olaf,

      “Patient”? Only when I’m ill ! Still, your charity is very much appreciated and I wish to thank YOU for all the time you devote to contributing to our humble apostolate here at the Catholic Truth blog.

      Wishing you and yours a very happy and holy Christmas, and every grace and blessing in the new year.

    • Pat,

      BEAUTIFUL e-card ! Really beautiful, clever and fun! Thank you for posting it.

      And a very happy and holy Christmas to you!

      Thank you for all your contributions to our blog in the past year, especially on pro-life issues – your knowledge is impressive.

      God bless you in 2015.

  22. Aside from this shocking state of affairs in Glasgow, we should turn our prayers towards Northern Ireland, the only part of Britain where there is any major degree of religious practice, either on the part of Protestants and Catholics. The freedoms of Christians are being attacked there apace, with Asher’s Bakery, run by Presbyterians, being taken to court for refusing to bake a pro-gay cake, and the Catholic Church relinquishing its role in adoption services with Family Care Society. However, Paul Givan MLA has introduced a Freedom of Conscience Bill to exempt religious organisations from equalities laws. He is DUP and staunch Protestant, but has voiced his defence of the Holy Mother Church. I emailed him with a letter of support:

    ‘Dear Mr Givan,

    It has recently come to my attention that you are introducing a Private Member’s Bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly entitled the Freedom of Conscience Amendment Bill, in response to threats to freedom of speech, though and religion in the province. It is shocking that a Christian business, Asher’s Bakery, run on traditional Biblical principles, is being sued by the Equalities Commission, to enforce a misguided and nebulous form of equality. It is also profoundly disturbing that the Catholic Church, the largest Church in Ireland is sadly having to relinquish its involvement in the Family Care Society due to gay adoption, after many years of providing an inestimable service. These organisations are being attacked by a new, sinister and previously unknown form of evil. The ‘LGBT’ movement demands equality for the bizarre lifestyle choices of its supporters, but Christians and members of other faiths are witnessing their rights and freedoms being eroded apace. As Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor said in 2012: ‘in the name of tolerance it seems to me tolerance is being abolished’. In England we have witnessed Christians being robbed of their freedoms, such as Adrian Smith, a Christian, who had his salary cut by 40% and was demoted from a managerial position, Peter and Hazelmary Bull who were sued for refusing a room in their B&B to a homosexual couple, Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood, two Catholic nurses who can refuse to carry out abortions but must supervise these horrid procedures and finally the Catholic Church had to relinquish its adoption agencies between 2007-12. I truly hope that your bill will be successful in Northern Ireland, to prevent the shocking decline of freedom and morality as seen in England and elsewhere.

    I am also delighted that you are defending the freedom of the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland. It is clear to me that the Catholic faithful cannot have their freedoms upheld by Sinn Fein and other Nationalist parties. The DUP is the only party that will defend the traditional family and morality, against homosexuality and abortion, in a way consistent with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. It would be a sensible and profitable move for the DUP to court the votes of Catholics, by targeting their neighbourhoods and estates during election time, by issuing leaflets by making it known the DUP will defend Northern Ireland from abortion and the ‘LGBT’ lobby. You could even meet with Priests and encourage true Catholics to join the DUP.

    Once again, I hope that your bill will be successful and I look forward to receiving a reply’.

    It is abundantly clear that Catholics cannot have the doctrines of their Church defended by the scum of Sinn Fein, SDLP or the Alliance. They call themselves Irish?? If they went back to 1960, De Valera and McQuaid, and other Catholic leaders would use galoots like Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and their terrorist cohorts for manure. The DUP is the only party in Northern Ireland, in the absence of a truly Catholic party, to uphold traditional mores and Biblical morals.

    • Frankier,

      Perhaps it’s my speed reading but I didn’t see the word “terrorist” in CC’s post, just a lot of uncritical praise for the DUP. While it is appalling that parties such as Sinn Fein, which attract the Catholic vote, now hold shockingly anti-Catholic positions on the key moral issues, and while, credit where it’s due, the unionist party has so far held out against the pro-abortion/pro-homosexual lobby, and Mr Girvan is to be commended for speaking out, I think Catholics looking at the bigger picture of their entire history as a minority in NI, would have to swallow hard to vote for the DUP. But let’s leave it there. Anti-Irish/anti-Catholic feeling still runs high in this “tolerant” land, so take the closure of this thread now, as we launch our Christmas break, as closure of that particular topic.

      CC has made his point, for which, thanks.

      • Merry Christmas, CC, and thank you for all your contributions to this blog in 2014. Look forward to reading your pearls of wisdom next year!

        God bless.

  23. “Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect.”- Ephesians 6: 11-13

    It’s a bit late, but thank you, Spiritus and Tommy for your comments earlier in the thread.

    May I add my total agreement to your remarks about Bernie Smyth. Along with Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood insert names, she can rightly be described as a mulier fortis, such as appears throughout the pages of Sacred Scripture. I think those three women have demonstrated exemplary Christian fortitude in the fight against the satanic evils of abortion.

    Bernie was back outside the death peddlers office in Belfast yesterday, standing up for the unborn, regardless of police cautions. As Spiritus and Tommy have pointed out, she really does stand out amongst Irish Pro-Life activists in understanding the true nature of the battle, and frequently recalls the words of Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians quoted above. Others really need to follow her lead.

    “Hence it follows that all public power must proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme lord of the world. Everything without exception must be subject to Him, and must serve Him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern, holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the Sovereign Ruler of all. ‘There is no power but from God.’ (Rom. 13:1)”. – Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, 1885

    All appeals to the basics of reason and natural law about the unspeakable barbarity of abortion are really water of a duck’s back in the case of the minions of lucifer who are waging unrelenting war against the unborn. I’m afraid, given the demonic forces at work, that they are not going to be persuaded of anything by happy, cuddly photographs of mothers and babies. No, the battle is spiritual. The enemy is demonically inspired.

    Public prayer is absolutely essential. Not just private prayer, which as is regularly pointed out here, is a given duty. That lack of public prayer, with rare notable exceptions, such as gatherings organised by Bernie Smyth, is where things went seriously wrong in Ireland last year. Only one Irish Bishop, as far as I know, Bishop Seamus Freeman of Ossory led a public procession of Prayer.

    I’m happy to report one bit of Christmas good news and evidence of the power of public Rosaries, the long prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and other prayers, and sacramentals. The Marie Stopes baby bounty franchise in Dublin has recently closed its doors. For the last four years or so, there has been a prayer gathering for an hour and a half outside its doors every Friday. As well as countless Rosaries being said, accurate, truthful information about the evil of abortion was distributed, along with offers of genuine support to the women targeted by the baby hunters. At least one hundred babies were saved over the past three years. Pro-life information was offered by a few other steadfast souls at other times, but I have no doubt that public prayer is what drove the agents of death out.

    The sad thing is that there were never more than a couple of handfuls of people at these prayer gatherings. And there would have been no such prayer, if it wasn’t for one married couple who decided to actual carry out a bit of Catholic Action.

    The abortionists’ death dealing operation may move premises to an off street bunker. Who knows. Maybe the legal attack against Bernie Smyth in Belfast is part of a strategy. One in sure, all the people who drove past, or walked past the doors of the MS baby butchers’ outpost in Dublin, all those who muttered, and shouted, and screeched predictable or unrepeatable insults and those praying their Rosaries will have been given one more lesson in the power of prayer. Every little victory counts. We know how the war ends. We have Our Lady’s guarantee.

    “But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
    “…While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.” – Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, 1925

    A holy and blessed Christmas and many thanks to all the faithful bloggers of goodwill at CT, but most of all thank you to Editor, surely another mulier fortis, without whom there would be no worthy, unadulterated, and uncompromised blog platform for faithful Catholic laity in these islands to add their voices to the fight for Tradition, the restoration of all things in Christ, and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart.

    May the Holy Family watch over us all, born and unborn, in these times of tribulation, and in particular watch over and protect those under persecution for the Faith in the Middle East and throughout the world.

    • Leo,

      You just caught me as I was about to close down the blog – needless to say I couldn’t resist reading your latest gem first.

      And “gem” is the word. Your comment about the power of the St Michael prayer (in full) reminded me of our prayer vigil outside the Glasgow City Chambers last year (or was it the year before? My memory is dreadful) when we prayed the Rosary, sprinkled Holy Water and prayed the full St Michael’s prayer, beginning from the moment the “Gay Pride” march left its start-off point at the other end of Glasgow and headed for the City Chambers at George Square. We were all stunned at the way, the closer the march got to us, the stronger we felt the evil. The marchers became, it seemed to us, more frantic, as they entered the square and came towards us. That prayer is very powerful indeed and coupled with the fifteen decades of the Rosary, it left its mark on those praying for graces for the marchers and those coming under the increasingly strong influence of the homosexual lobby.

      Anyway, many thanks for all your marvellous contributions throughout this past year, and enjoy, please God, a holy and happy Christmas Leo. Look forward to reading you back here next year !

      Oh and, I see from your penultimate paragraph that I’ve got you fooled as well. And I can only say to you, what I’ve said to the others who have kindly lavished (entirely undeserved) praise in my direction – “if only”!

      God bless

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