Catholic Church in Scotland A Danger to Spiritual Health? Sadly, Yes… 

From the Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO) – 16/2/19   [Editorial comment in bold]…

Pupils at an East Kilbride primary school marked Catholic Education Week in a mindful way recently, as they welcomed a meditating priest.
Fr Laurence Freeman OSB, who is the director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, arrived at St Vincent’s Primary School in East Kilbride to take part in a special assembly marking the end of the Catholic Education Week celebrations.
Ed: claims are made on the WCCM website about this “Christian Meditation” dating from early Christianity, but, as you will see  what is being promoted has more in common with New Age meditations than with authentic Christian meditation.  For example, Yoga is openly promoted.

Pupils at an East Kilbride primary school marked Catholic Education Week in a mindful way recently, as they welcomed a meditating priest.

The visit coincided with Fr Freeman’s visit to Glasgow, and was a fitting way for the school to recognise its ongoing commitment to promoting Christian meditation as a regular practice across all year groups in the school over the past five years.
Ed: it is chilling to think that children are being indoctrinated in this practice of “meditation” – divorced from Catholic devotions such as the Holy Rosary.

Fr Freeman visited classes and meditated with the pupils, before meeting with headteachers from the St Andrew’s and St Bride’s learning community, representatives of South Lanarkshire Council, and parents and friends of the school, and spoke to senior pupils.
Ed:  so this priest meditated with the pupils in classrooms – did it occur to him to take them to a Catholic church and explain the importance of “meditating” on the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Why do I get the feeling that the answer to that question is “no”. 

He talked about Christian meditation’s value, noting that it promotes goodness, kindness and peace, and helps us to make the world a better place.
In addition, he also spoke to youngsters and encouraged them to keep on meditating, explaining how meditation helps us to calm our minds, lower anxiety and to focus ourselves on God.
Ed:  here again, the modernist emphasis on making the world a better place. Won’t happen unless those “meditations” lead pupils straight to fidelity to Catholic teaching, spiritual, religious and moral.  Still, at least “God” got a message. Don’t knock it. 

The visit was a resounding success for St Vincent’s pupils, all of whom enjoyed Fr Freeman’s visit. “I was touched by Fr Laurence’s kindness and interested to hear him speak about his meetings with the Dalai Lama,” P7 pupil Emily McManus said.
Ed:  that a p7 pupil in a Catholic school has even heard of the Dalai Lama is a matter of the utmost concern.  He caused quite a stir when he made his audience of 9,000 laugh heartily during his visit to Glasgow some years ago, when he concluded his talk by saying that if they found his teachings too hard, just say “F***” it.   I tried to find the original report on that but lost the will to live, and so I’m posting this denial instead – denying that he had said any such thing, this time at a different venue, different country… bit of a coincidence, one might think.  Whatever, primary school children whose parents have entrusted them to a Catholic school should not be exposed to false religions in this way. Sound pedagogy requires that young people be fully educated in their own religion before – as senior students at secondary level – being introduced to non-Christian religions. 

St Vincent’s headteacher Eileen Tompkins said that the school was ‘honoured’ to have Fr Freeman there as part of their Catholic Education Week celebrations, and said his visit made staff and pupils feel ‘encouraged and inspired.’
Ed:  So, presumably, now the Mass attendance in the parishes in East Kilbride will shoot up as these “inspired” youngsters swell the congregations. Or maybe not.  Yoga is openly promoted on the WCCM website so they may join the countless other lapsed Catholics who “discover” that they don’t need the Church once they’ve learned to “meditate”.  For the record, here is the description of how to meditate, given on the WCCM website: 

Sit down. Sit still with your back straight. Close your eyes lightly. Then interiorly, silently begin to recite a single word – a prayer word or mantra. We recommend the ancient Christian prayer-word “Maranatha”. Say it as four equal syllables. Breathe normally and give your full attention to the word as you say it, silently, gently, faithfully and – above all – simply. The essence of meditation is simplicity. Stay with the same word during the whole meditation and in each meditation day to day. Don’t visualise but listen to the word, as you say it. Let go of all thoughts (even good thoughts), images and other words. Don’t fight your distractions: let them go by saying your word faithfully, gently and attentively and returning to it as soon as you realise you have stopped saying or it or when your attention wanders. Meditate twice a day, morning and evening, for between 20 and 30 minutes. It may take a time to develop this discipline and the support of a tradition and community is always helpful.   Source

To read entire article, minus Catholic Truth editorial comment, visit the Scottish Catholic Observer here

Comments invited… But not before you’ve read the second assault on Catholic spiritual life – again, reported in the SCO, 29/3/19…

Glasgow Archdiocese’s Lentfest play tells Passion story in a new way

The head of Glasgow’s Lent festival has called for Catholics to support their Faith through art as the annual event gears up to present its showcase play
Sign of Contradiction: The Passion Story, is a project of the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project (AGAP), and will be staged as this year’s Lentfest nears its conclusion.

So far, Lentfest has this year hosted a variety of events and the new play will act as a finale for the festival.

The play follows on from AGAP’s Sign of Contradiction: The Christmas Story, which became a hit last winter, and playwright Stephen Callaghan believes AGAP’s unique take on the Crucifixion could be just as successful.  

“It’s the story of the events that led up to the Crucifixion and death of Jesus, as well as the events following,” he said.
Story of Jesus. “But it tells the story differently to other plays about the Passion.”

Mr Callaghan said he hopes people will see parallels in the play with the political world today, with comparisons drawn between political corruption now and in Jesus’ time.

“Another reason I’m doing this is because when I started AGAP you could always assume that people knew the story of Jesus, but I’m not convinced that’s the case anymore,” he continued.
[Ed: well, that speaks volumes about the failure of the Catholic Church in Scotland, in both parishes and schools and in its use of the media, to preach even the basics of  the Faith.]

“Many people haven’t read or heard the story or might have forgotten it. And it’s a story which still shocks and provokes. This is going to revisit it and hopefully it can teach people”…

The first of the nine performances takes place on Saturday March 30 at St Joseph’s Church in Tollcross, Glasgow, with further performances taking place around Glasgow until the finale on April 15.

                                                                                                  Comment:       


Words truly fail.  The accounts of Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion are to be re-created to fit the modernist mind in the name of “art”  and to (without question) deliver a political message – during Lent.  Never mind that Our Lord was at pains to emphasise – especially to the traitor Judas – that His was not a political mission but a spiritually salvific mission.  

I’ve put those parts of the above report in bold where alarm bells should be ringing in your head as you read this stuff.  Did they?  Ring, I mean?  The alarm bells?  Or maybe you see nothing wrong with any of this?  Tell us if you really don’t consider the Catholic Church in Scotland – as it is currently administered by modernists – to be dangerous to spiritual health.  If you really don’t see the risks entailed in allowing Catholic primary schools to push a potentially dangerous form of “meditation” – tell us; and be sure to tell us if you see nothing wrong with re-working the Gospel accounts of the life and death of Our Lord for artistic and political effect – I, for one, can’t wait to hear it!  

The Scottish Bishops support a “tolerant” & “liberal” society… Really? 

Remember this? Anti-Catholic Culture Reigns In Scotland – the press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office which featured on our blog back in June, 2017 claiming that “a culture of fear prevents people from being open about their [Catholic] faith in Scotland”?  Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, that is he is speaking on behalf of the Scottish Bishops, “highlighted testimonies from a number of young people who had experienced anti-Catholic prejudice in their school…”  Click here to refresh your memory…

Then click here to remind yourselves that a few months later, in November, 2017, we discussed more complaints from the Scottish Bishops about “hate crime” against Catholics…

So, try to get your head round this news, fresh off the printing press this very week…

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Catholic Church in Scotland has rejected proposals for new anti-hate laws despite Catholics being disproportionately singled out for attack…The director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan, said that the current law against hate crime is adequate. “We do not believe there is a need for sectarianism to be specifically addressed and defined in hate crime legislation,” he said.  And then this jewel: “Christian communities in Scotland enjoy a positive ecumenical relationship and we are concerned that government is proposing unnecessary legislation that undermines the development of community relations between them,” he said.   Astonishingly, too, it seems the Bishops of Scotland do not wish to “risk becoming an intolerant, illiberal society.”  Click here to read the entire article Scottish bishops reject proposed hate crime laws, fear criminalization of religion

The penny has still not dropped.  Catholicism is not “tolerant” of error, heresy and sin, and it is definitely not “liberal”:  the way to life is narrow… (Matthew 7:14)

Comment:

Don’t misunderstand:  we, at Catholic Truth, are not in favour of the concept of “hate crime” (we hate it!) but our rationale differs somewhat from that of the Scottish Bishops, it would seem.  We are clear:  we must be free to preach Christ, undiluted. And that entails appearing to be intolerant and illiberal in the sense understood by our unbelieving world.  The Bishops appear to be backing away from their previous claims about anti-Catholic prejudice, in the interests of not annoying their ecumenical partners and appearing to be “liberal” and “tolerant” (of sin, error, heresy, you name it).  Given their previous statements on the subject, however, the question remains:  IS Scotland an anti-Catholic country… or not?   And if the answer is “yes”, we’d like to know exactly what the Bishops intend to do about it…   What can they do?  Ideas welcome….

Francis: A Totally UN-Papal Pope…

In the video clip below, Pope Francis clearly doesn’t want anyone to kiss the papal ring. Even such a small token of traditionalism causes him to flinch. Remember, on a human level, the reason for Our Lord’s first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana was to spare the bride & groom embarrassment:  who knows how embarrassed these poor pilgrims must feel at the Pope’s apparently rude behaviour…

 

Comment:

Pope Francis has made various remarks to indicate that he really hasn’t a clue about the papal office. Heck, he hasn’t a clue about the Catholic religion, never mind the papal office.   The above refusal to allow the faithful to kiss the papal ring is just one more example of his ignorance – not to mention his bad manners.  I don’t like the idea of popes resigning/abdicating – but I am willing to sacrifice my principles and make an exception in his case. I’d really like him to go – what about thee?   Or, perhaps you can think of a justifiable excuse for his apparent rudeness in the above video clip.  If so, let’s hear it!  

Mueller Report: Trump Vindicated?

 

From The Daily Caller

CNN pundits are admitting that Mueller’s final report vindicates President Donald Trump, undercutting the frenzied coverage the network has given the Russia investigation since its inception.

Special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report on Russian collusion to Attorney General Bill Barr on Friday, finally wrapping up a 22-month investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  Click here to read entire report including clips from CNN news broadcasts. 

Comment: 

It really is laugh-a-minute stuff.  It’s hilarious watching the huge efforts of his enemies to try to bring about the downfall of President Trump. The news reporters here in the UK can barely conceal their disappointment that Mueller has, it seems obvious, vindicated the President of the core claim that he colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.  His enemies are unlikely to give up, however.  They are still very much on his case.  Will they – thinkest thou – succeed?  Or is he, as indicated here enjoying some level of divine protection, not least as a result of his respect for Our Lady of Fatima?   

UK Government: Bible “Bloodthirsty”…

The Home Office turned down a Christian convert’s bid for asylum in an ‘unbelievably offensive’ letter quoting bloodthirsty passages from the bible to prove Christianity is not a religion of peace.

The Iranian national claimed asylum in 2016, but was turned down, with Home Office officials saying his conversion from Islam was ‘inconsistent’ with his claim Christianity was a peaceful religion – by highlighting violent passages from the bible.

In the refusal letter six passages are listed and a claim is made that Revelations is filled with ‘images of revenge, destruction, death and violence.’

Click here to read the rest of this report

Comment:

The Home Office letter is a masterpiece in ignorance.  The examples given in the letter to “prove” that Christianity is not a peaceful religion are breath-taking in their ignorance. The author of the letter clearly has no idea whatsoever of the nature and purpose of the Book of Revelation and shows absolutely no comprehension of the well-known practice of hyperbole (exaggerating to make a point) which Our Lord uses when teaching.

Thus, it is inexcusable to quote, as evidence of “bloodthirsty”, Our Lord’s statement that He had not come to bring peace but a sword, without checking out if Christ was speaking literally about a sword or whether the verse meant something else  – especially in light of the fact that when Peter took up a sword to defend Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus rebuked him and told him to put away his sword, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).   Any half-educated A-Level student of the Old and New Testaments could have explained the verses quoted by the author of the Home Office letter, so it is scandalous that whoever composed it did not have the wit to do a fact-check before putting it in the post. Numpty. 


This Home Office letter is a scandal, and is of particular interest in light of the reports emerging that Shamima Begum’s family take Home Secretary to court over decision to revoke her citizenship

We’ll be watching the progress of Shamima Begum’s case very closely, indeed, to see if she – a self-confessed enemy of the UK who left these shores to support a terrorist organisation intent on destroying western societies, with no expression of regret or contrition for her choices; quite the reverse –   is permitted to return while a Muslim convert to Christianity is refused asylum here on the basis of an entirely false – and lamentably ignorant –  reading of the Bible.   

Comments invited…  

19/3: Feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church & of a Happy Death

The music video below is an instrumental only – the words to the hymn are posted for the benefit of those of us who love to sing this beautiful hymn in honour of the great Saint Joseph – but note, to sing the entire hymn, you’ll need to re-play the video half-way through…

Dear St. Joseph, pure and gentle,
Guardian of our Saviour child,
Treading with the virgin Mother
Egypts deserts rough and wild,

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

He who rested on Thy bosom,
Is by countless saints adored,
Prostrate angels in His presence,
Sing Hosannas to the Lord.

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

Now to thee no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer,
Then, dear saint from thy fair dwelling
Give to us a father’s care.

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

Dear St. Joseph, kind and loving,
stretch to us a helping hand,
Guide us through earth’s toils and sorrows,
Safely to the distant land.

CHORUS
Hail St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, O teach us how to die (twice)

Comment: 

We really ought to pray very hard today, to seek St Joseph’s powerful intercession as Patron of the Universal Church at this time of unprecedented and worsening scandal, adversely affecting the Faith of many Catholics, preventing those who are poorly instructed as well as those outside the Church from seeing her beauty and realising her God-given mission as unique custodian and preacher of religious truth and guardian of the moral order. St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us! 

As with all devotional threads, post your favourite stories about St Joseph, prayers, novenas, miracles, hymns.  

The story goes that a visiting Bishop brought some strictly enclosed nuns a large tub of ice-cream to share.  When the Mother Prioress protested that it was Lent, the Bishop replied: “Well, we need these wee breaks in Lent!”  I think that is even more true today, so – Catholic Truth bloggers and readers – enjoy some ice-cream to mark the Feast of St Joseph, as we celebrate this wee break in Lent!  

A very happy Feast of St Joseph to all our bloggers and visitors to this site. 

Without good books and spiritual reading, it will be morally impossible to save our souls. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

 

For purchasing details, click on image…

But what sort of “good books” and “spiritual reading” will help us to save our souls?

 

I’ve heard young Catholics raving about Lord of the Rings as a great story and a marvellous means of understanding their Faith better. Here’s author J.R.R. Tolkien: “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.” [1] By design The Lord of the Rings is not a Christian allegory but rather an invented myth [2] about Christian and Catholic truths. As one commentator noted, giving a young person Lord of the Rings as a means of communicating essential truths of the Faith is to use the same method a mother uses to feed spinach to her baby – sneaking it in via the rivetting story!

If you can think of other non-fiction works to recommend – not just for the young but for us all, as wholesome as possible – let’s hear it…  

Without good books and spiritual reading, it will be morally impossible to save our souls. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)


There is an abundance of solid spiritual reading available;  given the state of the Church right now, however, it is wise to avoid contemporary writings and stick with the tried and tested classics written by great saints,  such as  The Sermons of St Alphonsus…  

for purchasing details, click on image…

For purchasing details click on image…

 

The Secret of the Rosary by St Louis De Montfort is another classic, which I’m currently re-reading – it never fails to inspire and edify – highly recommended, although I have to admit that not everyone finds it an easy read in the beginning – but  it’s worth persevering. I’ve heard it described as “transformative” – with good reason.  You can read it online by clicking on the  link above, at the name of the book.

 

 

For details of how to purchase a copy, click on image…

Another book which has transformed the spiritual lives of Catholics since its publication is St Thérèse of Lisieux’s Story of a Soul which, again, you can read online here

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen is another beautiful read; to quote the blurb on the back page of the complete and unabridged copy which describes the contents faithfully:  “With his customary insight and reverence, the author interprets the scripture and describes Christ not only in historical perspective but in exciting and contemporary terms;  he sees in Christ’s life modern parallels and timeless lessons. Sheen probes the hearts of many prominent New Testament figures – Joseph and Mary, Peter and the disciples, Herod, Pilate, et al – shedding new light on age-old events.  The whole adds up to a masterful study: a faithful blending of philosophy, history, and biblical exegesis.” 

For details of how to purchase a copy, click on image…  

 

 

Share your favourite spiritual reading with us in the comments below – not least reading that will inspire us to persevere during Lent… Now, there’s a challenge, folks!