Scotland’s Drugs Crisis: Godless Society, Despair & Drugs… Church to Blame?

Leading the news in the print and broadcasting media across the UK today…

More than 1,100 people died from drugs in Scotland last year, new figures indicate, the worst level since records began.

There were 1,187 drug-related deaths registered in 2018 – above 1,000 for the first time and up 253 (27%) on the previous year.

The National Records of Scotland statistics indicate Scotland’s drug death rate is nearly triple the UK rate and the highest in the European Union Click here to read more…

Comment: 

Causes of, and possible cures for, Scotland’s massive drugs problem – according to the media chatterati – were varied and imaginative in the news debates today, including the provision of taxpayer funded facilities to allow addicts taking illegal drugs to consume, er… legally; this, with a view to making it easier to provide health care since we’re now to regard drug addiction as a public health issue, not a criminal activity. The quaint old-fashioned idea that it may well be both, has, very conveniently, been set aside.  How this will impact on the drug dealers, of course, is never mentioned. They may be able to argue the case for their own mental health disorder, a compulsion to sell drugs – who knows…

Not a single Roman collar to be seen among all the commentators and alleged experts, not a bishop’s mitre.  The Catholic Church in Scotland has nothing to say, it seems, on the devastating news that there are record numbers of souls going to meet their Maker following an overdose of illegal drugs, not a single possible solution or even a nod in the direction of our Godless society as, perhaps (just “perhaps”, mind, nobody’s being “judgemental” of course not –  perish the thought!)  being the reason why so many people are turning to drugs. 

Without any direction in life, and without any authoritative teaching about the definitive meaning of life, the realities of Heaven and Hell, divine revelation and the importance of exercising true Faith (not demanding God to come and show himself in a science laboratory), not to mention the confusion caused by presenting upside-down morals as normal, just maybe this terrible turn in a once Christian society has led people into despair.

Lack of religious and moral leadership doesn’t  seem to have occured to anyone reporting on this scandal; and it certainly doesn’t seem to be occurring to the clergy that their negligence in preaching what God has revealed in both Faith and Morals – and that in the public square, clearly and unambiguously – might be a contributing factor in this dreadful drugs crisis.   For, the same Catholics, lay and ordained, who are perfectly happy to take soup and sandwiches to the homeless and addicted wouldn’t dream of taking them, at the same time, an exhortation (NOT a mere “invitation”) to turn to God, in His Church, as the means given to us to live fulfilling lives in this world, and to save our souls for eternal life in the next. 

Or maybe that’s all pie in the sky (literally!) – maybe the drugs crisis IS simply a health crisis?  What do you think? 

Finally, let’s all pray for all those afflicted by drug addiction to  Saint Maximillian Mary Kolbe

 

Should Catholic Faith & Spirituality Protect Against Poor Mental Health? 

There’s hardly a day goes by, but the mainstream media do not cover the issue of mental health to highlight problems experienced by just about every group in society, where stress and anxiety – and even the temptation to take one’s own life – appear to be on the increase. Click here to read a previous discussion on the subject of suicide and then listen to the young man in the video offering his ideas on how Catholics might deal with anxiety… 

Comment: 

In a documentary aired on BBC last night,  Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, spoke about his battles with drink and depression, and his ongoing battle with depression.   He was very open and honest, and, in the end, concluded that – in his view – despite his investigations into various treatments, and his use of anti-depressant tablets, he must reconcile himself to a lifetime of suffering depression.  But then, famously, Alistair Campbell doesn’t “DO God” so maybe Catholics suffering from the same anxiety and depression have something more positive ahead? 

Today is the Feast of St Rita of Cascia – a wife, mother, nun – who is patron of, among other things, impossible causes, so if you are suffering from mental health problems, or you know someone who is suffering in this way, you may consider praying to St Rita.

Share your thoughts – should our Catholic Faith and spirituality (sacraments, for example; rosary, for example; lives of the saints, for example) enable us to overcome, more easily, the affliction of poor mental health?   Or is that to misunderstand the nature of the problem? 

Pope Francis Advocates Atheism Over Hypocrisy… But Not “Repentance”?

Pope Francis said “better not to go to church: better to live as an atheist (if you are a hypocrite)…

VATICAN CITY, January 2, 2019 – Pope Francis addressed a crowd of faithful with some jarring remarks during his first Wednesday Audience of 2019. Speaking in the Paul VI Audience Hall, this morning, the pope focused on two recurring themes of his pontificate: hypocritical Christians and the “revolutionary” nature of the Gospel.
“How many times do we see the scandal of those people who go to church and stay there all day or go every day and then live hating others or talking badly about people? This is a scandal – it is better not to go to church: better to live as an atheist,” the pope admonished.   Click here to read more 

Comment:

How many popes in history have advocated living as an atheist rather than being a hypocritical Christian?  You know what I mean.  Aren’t we all hypocrites at some time or another, in some way or another? Why can’t he exhort us all to repentance and point out that we are showing a very bad example to atheists, who might otherwise be attracted to Christ’s Church?  Oops! No need, I forgot, they’re going to Heaven anyway even if they don’t believe in God!  In which case, so are all of us Christian hypocrites whom he exhorts to become atheists.  In which case, in turn, why bother with the Church at all?  

It goes without saying (although I’m about to say it) that we, each of us, should be making every effort to overcome our lack of charity, to stop being hypocrites – and bloggers are invited, sincerely, to offer some practical tips on how to overcome this awful sin of lack of charity (I, for one, will welcome any suggestions with open arms). 

However, giving up the Catholic sacraments-based spiritual battle to conquer our inner selfishness in order to  join the ranks of those who refuse to even acknowledge the existence of God, the first of the four Truths necessary for salvation, is not the answer to our sinfulness and weakness, our hypocrisy…  Is it? 

 

Suicide – The Inconsolable Sin? 

Editor writes…

A reader – we’ll call him Mark (not his real name) – emailed the following short article for publication.  We’re withholding his real name out of consideration for the young suicide, Shaun (also not his real name).

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Positive and direct suicide perpetrated without God’s consent always constitutes a grave injustice towards Him. To destroy a thing is to dispose of it as an absolute master and to act as one having full and independent dominion over it; but man does not possess this full and independent dominion over his life, since to be an owner one must be superior to his property. God has reserved to himself direct dominion over life; He is the owner of its substance and He has given man only the serviceable dominion, the right of use, with the charge of protecting and preserving the substance, that is, life itself. Consequently suicide is an attempt against the dominion and right of ownership of the Creator. Source

Mark writes…

I found out today that a young man I know, Shaun, had died. Given that he was only in his early twenties, I was shocked and the first thing I asked was, “What on earth happened?” The facial expression of the person who had broken the news to me said it all. He had committed suicide.

Suicide is something that often occupies my thoughts. Not in the sense that I’ve considered it myself, quite the opposite in fact. I’m at a complete loss as to how someone could get to the point where they don’t want to live. My grandfather committed suicide many years ago. Some of the boys I went to school with did too. Now, a boy l have known for many years has chosen to end his life. We don’t know why. How his family feel right now I can’t even imagine. What a waste of a life!

Quite recently, British soap “Coronation Street” was praised for raising awareness of male suicide when it ran a storyline involving the suicide of a popular male character. We are told that more must be done to encourage young men to talk about their feelings. We must remove the stigma of mental ill-health, the experts declare. When talking with a friend about the awful news I received today, they suggested that we should do more to promote a growth mindset. Although I don’t necessarily disagree with any of these suggestions, I also have a different view which I hope to explore in this short reflection.

We all endure difficulties in life. Family troubles, relationship issues, money worries and health problems, to name but a few. Many of us experience bouts of low mood and even depression. However, to contemplate and attempt suicide is different. What could possibly lead someone to that dark precipice where death is the only answer? I don’t know. This is the key question I’m asking myself tonight through my shock and grief.

I can’t help but wonder if rejection of God plays a part. Shaun was Catholic and as a child had a strong devotion to St Joseph. However, in his teenage years, Shaun drifted from the Faith and even promoted the LGBT agenda. I’ve now idea if he was homosexual himself. What’s clear is that although, as far as I’m aware, Shaun never made any declaration that he had rejected God, his actions suggest that he had. Is there a connection here? I think there is.

I often wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t believe in God and didn’t adhere to the Catholic Faith. The thought terrifies me. Although I’m by no means a model Catholic and often neglect my religious duties, faith in God keeps me sane. There’s something to live for! The promise of Heaven and eternal life with God sheds light even on the darkest of days. Without faith, without the Catholic Church, I would have nothing. Would life be worth living? On a purely human level, perhaps. Lying in bed until midday on a Sunday, eating steak and chips on a Friday and never having to worry about Commandments morning might allow me to sink into a pleasure-filled cesspit. However, lying in bed at night and realising how short life is would surely terrify me.

Did Shaun believe in God? Did he believe that God is his loving Father? Did he believe he had a soul? Did he know that his soul was made in the image and likeness of God? How COULD he believe all this and still do what he did?

Right now, I find myself thinking about where Shaun’s soul is now. I know the Church’s teaching on suicide. It’s a mortal sin. Is there any hope for those who commit suicide? If there’s mental illness involved, can the person have full knowledge and/or consent? How can someone commit suicide and NOT be mentally ill? I don’t know if there are definitive answers.

Comment:

How, then, should we  pray for those who have committed suicide?  Gut Catholic instinct suggests entrusting the soul to Our Lady’s motherly love, but please feel free to share your own thoughts, devotions, quotes, videos and prayers to console Shaun’s family and the families of all those who have taken their own lives, unless, that is, you believe it is impossible to console anyone suffering the loss of a friend or family member as a result of suicide – IS suicide “the inconsolable sin”?     

Papal Visit To Ireland: Write Your Own Open Letter To Pope Francis…

Open Letter to Pope Francis…

I am shocked beyond words at your silence during the abortion referendum in Ireland. A small group of us, Scots, went over to Dublin in order to help save the lives of the unborn babies at risk of being killed if a YES vote resulted so we remain in shock that the Pope himself remained silent throughout and yet plans to visit Ireland to attend a meeting ostensibly about “family” despite the fact that a keynote speaker is an LGBT-Z activist priest. We were treated appallingly by the majority of the Irish people whom we encountered on our visit – nasty and completely sold to the values of this world. YOU encouraged that by your silence.

You are easily the worst-ever pope in the history of the Church and a future pope and Council will denounce you as it denounced Honorius I. Think of the book titles, the headlines: From Honorius I to Francis I. Roll on!

Used to be that the jibe “is the Pope Catholic” was a joke. No more. Your alleged Catholicity is now the joke. So, enjoy your visit to Ireland, enjoy the World Meeting of Families – just don’t try to pass the event off as “Catholic”.

With no condemnation (however belatedly) of the shocking pro-abortion vote, and your willingness to share a platform with a priest who will present, as a good, one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, your presence at this event can only serve to further attack the teaching of Christ’s Church.

You, Papa Francis, are about as Catholic as the nearest Imam.

Signed… Editor, Catholic Truth

Comment:

Click here to send YOUR open letter, albeit short and to the point, to Pope Francis via the Irish Times, ahead of his visit to Ireland later this month. And then feel free to copy it onto the blog and/or share your thoughts about the forthcoming World Meeting of Families.