Scottish Government’s Proposed Sex Change Law Dangerous: Young At Risk 

From The Scotsman Newspaper…

Changing gender could become easier and quicker before the next election, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has said.

Transgender law reform proposed by the Scottish Government would lower the age limit for applications from 18 to 16, remove the need for medical evidence and reduce the required time spent living in the new gender from two years to six months.

Transgender law reform proposed by the Scottish Government would lower the age limit for applications from 18 to 16, remove the need for medical evidence and reduce the required time spent living in the new gender from two years to six months.

It aims to make it simpler for trans people to get a Gender Recognition Certificate to legally change their gender.

Shirley-Anne Somerville told STV’s Scotland Tonight programme the Scottish Government is “determined” to change the law before the 2021 Holyrood election, adding she wants to build “maximum consensus” for the plans.

Arguing trans and women’s rights are not “mutually exclusive”, Ms Somerville said there has been “a lot of misunderstandings” alongside legitimate concerns about the proposed legislation.

The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill would continue to require applicants to make a declaration they have lived in their intended gender for at least three months and intend it to be a permanent transition, as well as having a three-month period of reflection after applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Concerns have been raised about potential abuses of the easier process – for example, men using it to access women’s spaces – although making a false declaration to change gender would remain a criminal offence. In the interview, which will be broadcast by STV on Thursday evening, Ms Somerville said: “I absolutely appreciate that women’s rights are exceptionally important.

“They have been long-fought for and long-campaigned on and there is absolutely nothing I would do as a member of this government to jeopardise any of that.

“So that’s why I really do make sure that I listen to the concerns that are out there on the issue because we not only want to protect what we have as women but we want to make sure our rights are extended.”

Ms Somerville said she was confident the legislation could be passed before the Scottish Parliament elections next year.
The Scottish Government is currently running a consultation encouraging people and organisations to submit their views on the proposed changes by March 17.
She said: “We have women’s rights and we have trans rights – I don’t see those aspects as mutually exclusive.

“What we’re talking about here isn’t something that’s new. These people are in our community, they’re part of our community.

“But they talk to us very specifically about how the current system deeply impacts on them, about the state of their mental health and particularly the high suicide rates within the trans community because they can’t be recognised for who they are.”   Source – The Scotsman

Comment: 

Click here to read the Scottish Government’s Consultation on the proposed Gender Recognition (Scotland) Reform Bill

Then click here to read the help offered by the Christian Institute in participating in the Consultation. Note responses must be submitted by 17 March 2020 – so there is not much time.

Catholic Truth strongly urges all our readers and bloggers to take the time necessary to complete the Consultation.  This latest diversion from the Scottish Government’s record  (as reports on its management of schools and hospitals leave quite a bit to be desired) has been described as the “Named Person Mark Two” – in other words, just as the Named Person Scheme turned out to be a humiliation for the Scottish Government, so, too, will the Gender Recognition (Scotland) Reform Bill, if the population, in sufficient numbers, makes its opposition felt.  

 

Ted Atkinson, RIP: Jailed In Defence of the Unborn & Purity – And Proud Of It! 

From The Saint George Educational Trust (SGET)

Ted Atkinson [right], a giant amongst contemporary British Catholics, died on Saturday 22nd February aged 88 years. Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen

Ted was a long-time friend and supporter of The Saint George Educational Trust (SGET). Imprisoned seventeen times (twelve times in HMP Norwich, four in HMP Pentonville and once in HMP Brixton), issued with curfew restrictions under an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), and refused a hip operation by his local hospital because of pro-life work, Ted’s life and combat for the Moral Order puts the rest of us to shame. As a small tribute to Ted Atkinson SGET is pleased to be able to present some pro-life memoirs that Ted put to paper for the Trust a few years ago.

Pro-Life Memoirs

Written for The Saint George Educational Trust
by Ted Atkinson

Palm Sunday, 20th March 2016

I lost my job as a hospital porter whilst employed at Bishops Stortford. After lunch one day I happened to glance at the Ops list. One of them was a D&C (termination). I have no medical or nursing qualifications, but that is womb scrape to evacuate the results of conception. It just happened that I was instructed to fetch the ‘patient’ to the theatre. I refused point blank, and told them this is wilful murder. I went to a tribunal and was asked if I was a conscientious objector. I wondered why they asked that question, and said I had no objection to military service. They never explained and turned down my appeal on the grounds that I was not. I was brought up during the war and equated that with a refusal to military service.
In 1999 I blitzed two shops in Cambridge and ten shops around the West End of London where I rendered nearly £300 worth of sodomite literature unreadable. I had thirteen separate incidents, having blitzed one shop twice. In eight of them they would not call the police, but merely told me to clear off and not come back. Never argued the toss because I was testing my toes in the water to find out how far I could push without getting arrested. I was only prosecuted and fined in three of them. In another incident I was merely escorted off the premises by a police officer…… In another incident I was arrested and later released without charge. During my detainment one of the police officers said to a third party within my hearing, “It’s good to know that somebody is making a stand!”

Told a judge in Manchester Crown Court, “By protecting these murderers you will have to answer before Almighty God.” I can tell you that from long experience they just sit there like a block of stone, but I must have touched him on a raw nerve. He replied, “That will be before a much higher Court!”

Picketing alone at Marie Stopes in Buckhurst Hill I was arrested for refusing to remove photos of murdered babies from sight. I was arrested and taken to Ilford Police Station, which I knew had no jurisdiction. They should have taken me to Epping. In fact it turned out to be the right station. I was kept there for the weekend during which time I got chatting to a teenage police cadet. He let slip that he had been playing with an Ouija Board. I read the riot act and made him realise that he was placing his soul in grave moral danger. I have his name on my prayer list to St. Therese of Lisieux.
It was after returning to Britain in August 1968, after four years in Australia, that I was shocked into some form of Catholic Action. I was stunned at the depth of moral depravity to which our country had descended. This was particularly noticeable in regard to the spread of pornography. My first piece of action in this regard was at W.H. Smiths bookstall at Liverpool Street Station. A paperback, ‘The Other Victorians’, a pornographic work thinly disguised as a part-history of the Victorian era. I rendered unsaleable several copies before I was arrested. I was fined £8.50. A friend, thinking they were doing me a good turn, unknown to me paid the fine, pulling the rug from under my feet. I was furious, but had to accept it. My next action was at the local cinema in Bishops Stortford during the screening of ‘Last Tango in Paris’. The leading actor, whose name escapes me at present, later told the director, “You have utterly violated me, I shall never make another film like that.” Maria Schneider, who played opposite him, ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the  Unborn 

My introduction to Fr. Morrow was at a Methodist chapel in North London where a plan to blockade an abortion mill was to be staged the next day, so I got plunged in at the deep end and was arrested with him and a number of other people. As I recall we spent several hours in police cells and were bound over to keep the peace. We had been doing that from the very start, for the unborn! With regard to the ‘Tango in Paris’, I was fined £250 and spent sixty days in Pentonville in lieu of the fine. My first three weeks I shared a cell with a Protestant from Co. Mayo. Until then I didn’t know there were any such in Co. Mayo. When he was discharged I spent the rest of my sentence alone. Maybe they thought I might have a demoralising effect on the other prisoners. They are all innocent except me! One fellow I met specialised in burgling West End flats. Another one, if you could believe him, must have been a guest at every prison in the country. Whatever I mentioned, he had been there. “Now Norwich was a good nick that was!” I was never able to clarify exactly what is “a good nick!”

I must say that although I have only resided in three prisons, Brixton, Pentonville, and Norwich, I can’t say that I had any real complaints with regard to the accommodation or food. The rations were adequate, though not plentiful. I would keep two slices of ‘Mother’s Pride’ for a late-night snack, with a sprinkling of salt. It was delicious! Hunger is the best sauce!

Doing a short spell in Norwich one fellow asked me to pray for an aquittal as he was going for trial the following day. I said, “Harry, I shall pray that justice shall be done.” He bounced back at me in alarm, “don’t do that, I could get six years!” Looking back on that incident it sounded to me almost like a guilty plea.

One fellow I met in Pentonville was astounded when I said, “Don’t you think it is wrong to help yourself to other people’s property?” He was in nick for shoplifting. His reaction was, “You are too honest, you shouldn’t be here!”

Whilst hitching to Bournemouth a middle-aged lady driving alone gave me a lift and took me as far as Ringwood. That is unusual. She said to me, “I don’t know why I stopped.” Then I said, ”I know why you stopped.” I don’t know why I said that, but the reason was made plain to me a little later. She was a widow and had been attending seances, and claimed that she had been in verbal communication with her late husband. I read the riot act and warned her that she was placing her soul in grave danger as this communication could only be the result of a trick of the Devil. I pointed out to her that if she was humbly prayerful to Almighty God in her widowhood, and He in his great mercy and wisdom wished to send her husband with a message, then that was the divine prerogative, but under no circumstances must she attempt to contact her dead husband. I offered her a spare set of rosary beads which she accepted and immediately placed around her neck. My first lift on that journey was from a man who had assisted my mobility about two years previously. He said, “You are the man who is fighting abortion!” But I couldn’t remember him.

There were twenty-seven of us before Liverpool Magistrates Court. I and seven others were convicted and fined. The ‘stipe’ asked me first, “Have you anything to say before sentence?” “Yes. Today you have disgraced your office. You have aligned yourself with a gang of child murderers and will have to answer before Almighty God. I stand here as a witness for the two-million unborn babies murdered by abortion in this country. In defence of our Christian heritage. When I came into this court twelve-days ago, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Now there is no doubt. You have seen the evidence. You know that they murder unborn babies in that place, and you will have to answer before Almighty God. Hear me for the good of your soul.” His only reply to that was, “You are stepping very close to the laws of contempt, Mr. Atkinson.”

During that case we had a long weekend off as the magistrate had some other business to attend to. Fr. Morrow and a group of us went to Brighton in several cars and blockaded an abortion mill there. We all got arrested and, as I recall, were released on bail. Wherewith we returned to Liverpool and resumed the hearing there. I have wondered since whether that created some kind of legal precedent.

Attending Hertford Court on another occasion I was arrested by two police officers, who had come up from London, for failing to attend Marlborough Street Magistrates Court for sentencing. One was a lapsed Catholic and the other was a practising Anglican. He had lost a child in infancy, and I assured him that his child was safe in God’s keeping. On this occasion I was lodged in a West London police station overnight, and the Anglican came to visit me there whilst attending. He said he was anxious for my welfare.

At Marlborough St. the magistrate asked me why I had not turned up for sentencing on the previous occasion. I replied, “I am not the court’s paid servant to be at your beck and call.” I can’t remember what she said to that. The case was about some sodomitic literature that I had defaced and rendered unsaleable. I discovered later that she had ordered the books to be destroyed.

Up before Swaffham Court before Judge Browning, Mrs. Ruth May entered the witness box and produced a few tears. I said, “Madam, your distress is either sheer pretence or, if genuine, is the product of a troubled conscience and is a gift from God. Look after it and make your peace with God.” I could never analyse the look on her face. It almost seemed like a child asking for pity. I recall that a reporter from a local paper had to argue for his right to be in the court after the court officials had tried to have him excluded. When it came to my turn to give evidence there was no Catholic Bible available. I was not prepared to swear on a Protestant book so was asked, “Affirm.” I declined and pointed out that I am not an atheist. Judge Browning said we may have to hang over for another day, when a court official would be able to borrow a copy of a Douay Rheims New Testament from the local convent school. They also had a copy of the Koran! England had been a Catholic country for more than one-thousand years. It has never been a Moslem country.  
During my trial for damaging a cinema projector during the screening of ‘Last Tango,’ Judge Waddilove asked me if I had anything to say before sentence. “Yes. I should have used a bigger hammer!” He didn’t say a word, but had given me a tip during the trial. “Whether or not I agree with you is beside the point. I am here to administer the law.” Judge David Moylan, in a later case at Kings Lynn court, used almost identical words when I was prosecuted for damaging a porn magazine. “I am not going to tell you whether or not I agree with you, that is not my function. I am here to administer the laws.”

On an occasion in London’s West End I damaged several sodomite books. Prior to this I had a summons to attend Bow St. Magistrates Court, now closed. I wondered what would happen if I blitzed a shop on the way to the court. Having never done that on a previous occasion I decided to try it as an experiment. They took me off to Brixton prison, and then took me up to Bow St. two-days later. I was already in breach of my bail at Marlborough St. The Crown Prosecution Service opposed bail as I might do the same thing again. The magistrate, who was a stipe (stipendiary magistrate) said, “I suppose you would like bail, Mr. Atkinson!” I replied, “That’s entirely a matter for you, sir.” He gave me unconditional bail, despite the fact that I was already in breach of bail at Marlborough St. I walked out into bright September sunlight when I was expecting to go back to Brixton prison. My usual procedure has been to walk into a shop, render copies of sodomite literature unreadable, walk to the counter with them, ask to speak to the proprietor and ask him if he wishes to call the police. My regret after all this, with hindsight, was that I was in general so mealy-mouthed and timid, and missed several golden opportunities. I now realise that with every appearance in court I should have made a standard statement saying that procured abortion is wilful, premeditated, murder, and that Almighty God alone has the right to take innocent human life.

A group of us were arrested and taken to the Leeds Bridewell where we shared a communal cell with several strangers. This was over Sunday night. About 1.00am, or so, a uniformed officer came in and his manner was very strange. He said, “I have a longer sentence than you. I run this place!” I felt so sorry for the man I got down on my knees and prayed a rosary for him and his family. It made me realise that coppers are only ordinary men like us, trying to do their duty as best they can, and have the same cares and worries as most other people.

One outstanding member of Fr. Morrow’s group was Maurice Lewis. He would go into an abortion mill and talk to those women who were waiting to have their babies murdered, and saved many from that terrible fate. I was with him one Good Friday at the Birmingham murder mill, but lacked the courage to go in with him, to my shame. It has been on my conscience ever since. He was a convert, and became involved in rescue work as a result of financially assisting a friend of his who needed money to pay for an abortion. It was only after he was made to realise what he had done that he repented and became one of the bravest and most determined rescue workers. He was only a little chap weighing less than ten stone. A lorry driver, he migrated between Britain and Canada twice yearly. He took on the British Columbia government who were proposing a bubble-zone, making it an offence to pray within fifty metres of an abortion mill. Before the case came to court in British Columbia he was found dead in the cab of his lorry. He was under forty years of age. One post mortem found he had died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and another that he had choked on some food. It is my opinion, and that of many others, that he was murdered. Two police cyclists found him on one of the Canadian highways. He had previously stated to some of his friends, “I have to be careful, I have upset a lot of people!”

Searching further back in my memory was when I was doing two-years National Service in the R.A.F. There were about twenty of us in a large Nissan Hut. There was one Presbyterian from Northern Ireland, by name Patrick Bloomer. Paddy would always kneel beside his bed before retiring for the night, in silent prayer. And there is me, a professing Catholic, and I was too embarrassed to give him moral support by kneeling by my bed. And, as I recall, there was no sniggering or snidey remarks. But some years later I went on a course to become a lighthouse keeper. I didn’t pass the test, but in the interim I was accommodated in a small dormitory of four, including myself. Thinking of Paddy I decided that I would kneel in silent prayer, which I did from then on.

Can one think of a more satanic injustice than a convicted murderer is maintained in idleness and relative luxury however horrendous his crime, and yet the death sentence has been reserved for the totally innocent. Marie Stopes and all the rest of these infanticides are all granted charity status as well as direct government subsidies, whilst we who fight them must struggle on with no such financial incentives, and are routinely branded as criminals into the bargain.

I was amongst several who were arrested at the Birmingham abortuary. The first in Britain to become fully operational within a week of the so called Act coming into force. We adopted passive resistance by lying on the ground, and had to be carried or dragged to the police van. One police constable said to me, “You walk, no pain. You want pain, you get it.” He bent my wrist over and I nearly passed out with the pain. I am amazed that he didn’t break my wrist. The West Midlands constabulary have a reputation for that sort of thing. That was my first experience of police brutality. I think he was a Catholic who knew that he shouldn’t be there.

I went to the cinema in Kings Lynn where the film ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ was being screened for a two-week run. Fortunately the attendance was so poor that it only ran for a week. This was during October. Having hitch-hiked from Hilgay I knew that I would be coming home in the dark. With the last bus having gone I was faced with a sixteen mile walk. I was disgusted to find that not a single Catholic, or any brand of Christian, had turned up to protest and spent about one-and-a-half hours on a lone vigil. But it was better than nothing. I had to walk the first mile to get on the main road for Downham Market. When I got to the roundabout my heart sank a bit for having to face another fifteen miles on foot. I know from experience that once darkness falls one’s chance of hitching a lift plummets. But I decided to give it a try. A few cars passed by then one pulled up. After having left the cinema just after 9.00pm I was home before ten, being dropped off right outside my front door! The Good Samaritan in this case was a Moslem student heading for Cambridge. He told me that he was opposed to abortion. Incidentally, the woman who played the part of the Blessed Mother had been killed in a road accident on her way to view the public premier of the film. I wonder where she is now? Did she have the opportunity to repent before she died? It’s a warning to all of us. I was quite prepared to walk the whole distance. It was cool and dry with no wind. Ideal for walking. It makes me realise that God does not always exact the penance, but merely requires our willingness.  [Emphasis added]

Coming up to eighty-five, and with rapidly deteriorating legs making independent movement impossible, and with the diabetic itchy body I wonder how long I have before I pop my clogs, diabetes being a creeping disease for which there is no known cure and can affect any part of the body. I understand that it can be controlled, but I don’t know to what extent so I want to commit some of my experiences to paper before it is too late.

20th March (Palm Sunday) 2016 A.D.

Edward Atkinson.

Comment: 

Ted was a true Soldier of Christ, and he put the rest of  us well and truly to shame.  He has been on our mailing list for years, always a generous supporter of our work, and, some years ago, he booked to attend one of our Conferences.  Not having met him, only knowing of his pro-life work, I couldn’t believe it when he appeared in the hall on the day of our Conference, barely able to walk, even with the use of two sticks.  He had travelled up from his home in England despite his serious mobility and health problems while, as I drily pointed out at the time, the majority of our local readers hadn’t bothered to cross the city to attend.  He really was a first-class example of what it means to be a fighter for the Faith and Morals – and notably for the unborn child. 

So, please pray for the repose of Ted’s soul.   May he rest in peace…  

Lent – Time To Prepare For Death… 

Comment: 

I remember as a young person hearing the priest exhort us to make a good Lent because “for someone in this congregation it will be their last Lent.”  And he was always right. 

Certainly, the obvious time of year to examine our sinful ways has to be the penitential season of Lent which begins today, Ash Wednesday.  The clue is in those sobering words which the priest says as he places the ashes on our forehead:  “Remember, soul, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.”

Trying to find something imaginative to post here, I visited a site listing one hundred possible Lenten penances, every one of which began with the words “Give up…”  Chocolate was on that list.   Can you believe it? 

Seriously, small sacrifices are, of course, important,  but is there another angle?   All ideas welcome…  

Reminder:  we always close to blog to comments for the duration of Holy Week. 

Coronavirus Connected To Fatima?

From Rorate Caeli – What does a Catholic bishop do when government orders the end of gatherings in times of Coronavirus? This:

Northern Italy is in a state of semi-lockdown due to the spread of the current most dangerous strain of the Coronavirus, as large public gatherings have been forbidden for several days in most of the regions — including Lombardy, Veneto, Liguria, Piedmont, CEmilia-Romagna.

Since some of the local “ordinanze” (decrees) include the prohibition of “religious” gatherings, and getting ahead of the public authorities, several dioceses in the region have suspended religious activities.

Now, as the very high death toll in a few days (over 50 so far, in only a week) in the Islamic Shia center of Qom, in Iran, has shown, religious gatherings can indeed lead to widespread infection and high mortality rates. But what if there is a way to keep the worship of God while complying with public demands to avoid contagion?

The Bishop of Pavia, in Lombardy, Corrado Sanguineti, shows that is possible. His pastoral letter on the matter is a lesson in common sense, and in particular we call your attention to this paragraph:

While unfortunately having to suspend the celebration of the Holy Masses until further notice, I order that Churches remain open, for the personal prayer of the faithful, and I ask that, even on weekdays, priests celebrate daily Mass, behind closed doors, praying in the name of the whole community, signaling with the sound of the bells that the Eucharist is being offered for the living and the dead: even if we cannot celebrate publicly, the liturgical prayer must not fail, which for us priests is a daily appointment of life and is an inexhaustible source of grace for all the people of God. Priests must keep in touch with the faithful, and must not fail to continue their presence among the sick and the elderly in homes and welcoming structures.

Of course, private daily Masses “without the people” are a traditional practice, and well known to Traditional Catholics, but not very common among large numbers of clergy raised with the Novus Ordo, so the reminder is necessary.   Ends

Comment: 

There’s another very interesting article on the subject of the Coronavirus over at Rorate Caeli – well worth reading right through, but for now, here’s an extract from the close of the piece, where the author links the miracle of the Archangel St Michael in ending that plague with the apparition of the same Archangel at Fatima…

Pope Gregory I was canonized, proclaimed Doctor of the Church and went down in history known as the “Great”. After his death the Romans  began calling the Hadrian Mausoleum “Castel Sant’Angelo” and, in remembrance of the miracle, placed at the top of the castle, the statue of St. Michael, head of the heavenly militia, in the act of sheathing his sword. Still today in the Capitoline Museum a circular stone with foot-prints is kept, which according to tradition, had been left by the Archangel when he stood to declare the end of the plague. Also Cardinal Cesare Baronio (1538-1697), considered one of the greatest historians of the Church for the rigor of his research, confirms the apparition of the Angel on top of the castle. (Odorico Ranaldi, Annali ecclesiastici tratti da quelli del cardinal Baronio, anno 590, Appresso Vitale Mascardi, Roma 1643, pp. 175-176).

We note only that if the Angel, thanks to the appeal of St. Gregory, sheathed his sword, it means that it had been first drawn to punish the sins of the Roman people. The Angels in fact are the executors of divine punishments on people, as the dramatic vision of the Third Secret of Fatima reminds us, by calling us to repentance: “an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’”

Is the spread of the Coronavirus related in some way to the vision of the Third Secret? The future will tell us. However the appeal to penance remains of prime urgency for our age and the prime remedy to guarantee our salvation, in time and eternity. The words of St. Gregory the Great must resound again in our hearts: “What will we say of the terrible events of which we are witnesses if not that they are predictions of a future wrath? Think then dearest brothers, with extreme care to that day, correct your lives, change your habits, defeat with all your might the temptations of evil, punish with tears, sins committed” (Omelia prima sui Vangeli, in Il Tempo di Natale nella Roma di Gregorio Magno, Acqua Pia Antica Marcia, Roma 2008, pp. 176-177).

It is these words, not the dream of Amazzonia felix, that today are needed in the Church which appears the way St. Gregory described it in his times: “A very old ship, horrifically gashed; waves and rotted planks getting in everywhere; shaken everyday by a violent tempest, foreshadowing a shipwreck (Registrum I, 4 ad Ioann. episcop. Constantinop.)”. But way back then Divine Providence called forth a helmsman, who, as St. Pius X states: “amid the raging waves was able not only to dock in the harbor, but also secure the ship from future storms” (Enciclica Jucunda sane del 12 marzo 1904)Ends.

So… Is the Catholic response to the Coronavirus simply prayer and penance?  Really?  Why?  

Is Scottish Catholic Education Service Embedding The LGBT+ World-View?

Editor writes…

Reflecting on our forthcoming Education Seminar (23 May), and given that Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) has ignored my emailed invitation to her to participate in said seminar, I decided to take a look at some of the resources on the SCES website which are used in Catholic schools.  As a retired secondary school /sixth form teacher, I am particularly interested in the materials used with the older students, so I ambled along to the SCES website and clicked on the Religious Education section. However, they require login details to access those lessons so, as a follower of the old maxim if at first you don’t succeed, give up, I moved on to visit the section headed Equality & Inclusion Learning and Teaching, and clicked on resources for Levels Three, Four and Senior Phase – see sidebar on right of the SCES page: click here

I had technical problems with the Word documents at Level Three – they just wouldn’t open.  However, I did see the video “The Story of Human Rights” which was very lively.  Only two “hero” figures stand out in the film – 6th century Cyrus the Great, who freed the slaves in Babylon, thus bringing civilisation to the region and, of course, Mahatma Gandhi. If there were any notable Catholics, missionaries and saints, doing good in the world at any point in history, they didn’t make it into The Story of Human Rights” video shown in Catholic schools in Scotland. 

Levels Four and Senior Phase concentrate on driving home the importance of the  Equality Act, 2010, with time divided more or less equally between the Equality Act 2010 and the Stonewall Riots – credited with sparking the fight for LGBT+ rights.  At the top of the list of resources for Level Four, however, we find a video in which pupils are presented with two dolls, one white, one black, and  asked (by white interviewers) to point to the “bad” doll and the “ugly” doll and the “good” doll and the “pretty” doll.  In the majority of cases, children pointed to the white dolls as being the good/pretty etc and to the black doll as being the bad/ugly. This “research” is used to point to rampant racism – it will be interesting to see if our bloggers agree…

Take some time to research the SCES materials yourself and then share your thoughts. Should parents be concerned about these materials? And is SCES guilty of embedding the LGBT+ worldview, indoctrinating young people with the philosophy of “gay rights”? 

21/2: Feast of St Robert Southwell…

From Wikipedia

Saint Robert Southwell (c. 1561 – 21 February 1595), was an English  Catholic priest of the Jesuit Order. He was also a poet, hymnodist, and clandestine missionary in post-Reformation England.

After being arrested and imprisoned in 1592, and intermittently tortured and questioned by Richard Topcliffe, Southwell was eventually tried and convicted of high treason for his links to the Holy See. On 21 February 1595, Father Southwell was hanged at Tyburn. In 1970, he was canonised by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. 

To mark the Feast, the short sermon below is delivered by a relative of the saint – Edinburgh-born priest,  Father Andrew Southwell 

Comment…

It’s interesting, is it not, to reflect on the fact that in times of persecution from governments and false religions, Catholics have been willing to die in defence of the  truths of the Faith.  Yet, in times of internal strife, as in our times, when the Faith is under attack from within, in her liturgy, dogma and moral teaching, only a minority of the faithful is putting up a fight.  Interesting?   

Italy: Cardinal Burke Dubbed “Enemy of the Pope” – Insulted, Humiliated…

From Rorate Caeli…

Behold the Church of bridges and mercy, open and outreaching! Cardinal Burke is forced to annul a Mass in Ostuni: the parish priest had demanded the celebration be held behind closed doors as his arrival in Brindisi displeased the high levels of the diocese. The newspapers attacked him as an enemy of the Pope. The Bishop of Ostuni however, will tomorrow meet with the Valdese in church to talk about immigration.

Here we see the Church of mercy, the Church of open ports and the Church of out-reach. So open, so merciful and so out-reaching, that clandestine Masses are reserved for troublesome Cardinals. It is happening in Ostuni, Puglia as in China, where, according to the Vatican Chancellor, Sorondo, the Social Doctrine of the Church is applied.

The latest Brindisian newspapers present us with a very disturbing sign concerning Cardinal Leo Burke, who was politely shown the door in that sordid and humiliating way only the prevailing clericalism is capable of. “The conservative Cardinal is not welcomed by the priests”, were yesterday’s headlines in the Quotidiano di Puglia: Annulled the American high-prelate’s Mass scheduled in the Cathedral. The parish-priests had expressed embarrassment after his position against Pope Francis… 

Cardinal Burke

…This episode throws a sinister light on the increasingly political way things are run in the Church. Cardinal Leo Burke is not impeded canonically; he travels the world for conferences and moments of spirituality; he celebrates Masses, is involved in pastoral activities; he leads moments of prayer between the United States (where he was recently for the March for Life) and Italy. He was even a guest recently for the Nuova BQ Day. The idea that a priest, supported certainly by a bishop, can close the doors on him, is an indication of how grave the situation not only in the Church has become, but also of the restricted freedom those men of the Church, that the mainstream doesn’t like, are subjected to, because they are considered enemies. Is this the communion they want to impose by dint of dialogue? Are these the shepherds with the odour of the sheep and a knife between their teeth?   Click here for the entire “must-read” report.

Comments invited…

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Is God in Charge of the Weather?

With yet another storm (Dennis) due to hit the UK this weekend, let’s challenge the secular wisdom, reinforced by Pope Francis that humans are causing extreme weather because we insist  on using plastic bags and drive petrol cars.  IS this erratic and often treacherous weather due to human behaviour, or is God telling us something about the way we are living – and I don’t mean that He wants us to start buying electric cars…   

There is no shortage of biblical evidence that God controls the weather, although there is a manifest shortage of Catholic websites and videos reflecting that truth.  God  has established what we think of as scientific laws and principles governing the weather but He remains in charge.  God can dispense with His laws for His own purposes, when He sees fit.  Is that what is happening now, with professional weather forecasters struggling to explain what is going on these days?  

Is “Storm Dennis” on its way because God wants to remind  us of something?  If so, what?  

Cardinal Pell Appeal: Will Prosecutor’s Retraction Make Any Difference?

From the Anglican blog, Quadrant Online

Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction of historical sexual abuse of two choirboys will be heard before the full High Court of Australia on March 11. Pell’s conviction in a Melbourne county court in December 2018 was affirmed by the Victorian Court of Appeal in August 2019. The conviction was for two incidents of abuse that allegedly occurred in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, in December 1996 and February 1997.

As several writers in Quadrant have recorded over the past twelve months, the conviction of Pell is one of the worst miscarriages of justice in Australian history. This is not just because of his status at the time as the most senior figure in the Catholic Church in this country, but also because it breached the fundamental legal principle that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That is not how George Pell was treated either at his trial or in his first appeal. The jurors did not make their decision on the weight of evidence by more than twenty witnesses, who demonstrated that Pell could not possibly have done what the complainant said. Instead, the jurors accepted the sole evidence of the accuser, given in camera, with his identity shielded, and without corroboration of any kind. A two-to-one majority of judges in the Victorian Court of Appeal confirmed both the process and the decision… 

[After detailing the Prosecutor’s  –  Gibson’s –  retraction, the Quadrant Online report continues…]

Now, Gibson must be a Crown prosecutor with a short memory. He seems to have forgotten all about this retraction. Because on January 31, 2020, the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, submitted a response to the appeal to the High Court by Pell’s lawyers, Bret Walker and Ruth Shann. One of the four signatories to the DPP submission was Mark Gibson, signing himself as Victoria’s Senior Crown Prosecutor. In paragraphs 59 and 60 of this submission there is a version of what the altar servers supposedly did after they entered the priests’ sacristy. It is written as if the rebuke from the defence at the trial never happened, as if Judge Kidd had not told Gibson to retract what he said, and as if his retraction had never been made to the jury.  End of extractsTo read entire report click here

Comment…

The above article arrived in my inbox yesterday, courtesy of a reader of this blog, named Patrick.  He wrote: 

Dear Editor,

I have contacted you previously regarding the ‘kangeroo court’ verdict on Cardinal George Pell. Hopefully you will find time in your busy schedule to have a read of the [above] article. As far as I am concerned, the so called Catholic media should be shouting this from the rooftops.

It is sad that only two prominent commentators (and none outside Australia) are highlighting this satanic injustice perpetrated against a Prince of our faith.  As far as I know neither of them are Catholic which should make us hang our heads in shame  End of email.


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Why is it, that journalists who purport to be keen to report injustices, miss something this  big?  I wonder what possible reason might explain their failure to cover something as serious as a Public Prosecutor admitting to false evidence while going on, later, to repeat it?  This is what I look like when I’m “wondering”…

As for the legal profession – least said, soonest mended…

 

11 February: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – Please Pray For Sick Reader… 

A special plea for prayers as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes…

Paul, a  long-time reader and supporter of Catholic Truth, has just been diagnosed with cancer.  Paul is Scots, married, with a grown-up family. At this time, we do not know to what degree the cancer has progressed so urgent prayers are requested for Paul’s restoration to good health.  Not only has Paul been a faithful supporter of our work here at Catholic Truth but he is one of the truly humblest people I, personally, have ever met.  I’m planning to pray the following novena for Paul, beginning on Tuesday, 11th February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and I urge all of our bloggers and readers to do the same. 

Novena Prayer for the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes, we come to you like little Bernadette at the grotto.
We pray with childlike trust in you.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, when you appeared in Lourdes, you made it a holy sanctuary where many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.
We pray with confidence for your holy intercession.(State your intentions here)
Holy Mother of the Rosary, we feel confident that your prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard by God.
Immaculate Mother, show us your mercy, O Mother of God.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency, hear and answer them.  Amen.

Click here to read two of the most famous Lourdes miracles…