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? 

When is a Hate Crime NOT a Hate Crime? When it’s Anti-Catholic Hate!

LANARKSHIRE, Scotland, May 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Scottish Catholics are shocked and worried after a recent bout of vandalism in and near the city of Glasgow.

On Saturday, April 27, anti-Catholic graffiti was found spray-painted on a bus shelter outside Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend.
[Ed: Motherwell Diocese – Bishop Toal].

On Monday, April 29, vandals entered St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow
 and attacked the sanctuary, overturning candles and a shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa, and breaking a statue.
[Ed: Archdiocese of Glasgow – Archbishop Tartaglia]

The anti-Catholic graffiti included the timeworn sentiment “F*** the Pope.” The local police said they would meet with the local Catholic diocese.

“Enquiries are ongoing into offensive graffiti painted on boarding near to a Catholic church in Mossend, Lanarkshire (…) ,” the Lanarkshire Police Division tweeted.

“The local policing team in Bellshill will meeting with local representatives from the Diocese of Motherwell with regard to this incident.”

Police in Glasgow stated that there is no evidence the attack on St. Simon’s, the principal place of worship for the city’s Polish community, was either motivated by sectarianism or a hate crime… [emphasis added – for obvious reasons!]

Click here to read the above report in full

Comment:

Catholic churches vandalised, anti-Catholic graffiti found, including the standard “F*** the Pope”, statue broken, candles overturned … but move along,  no hate crime here, nothing to see…

You just could not make this stuff up.  If this had been the place of worship of any other religious group in Scotland, it would have  been headline news for days, and it would most certainly have been categorised as  manifest hate crime.  

Since the Scottish State effectively sanctions hate crimes against Catholics by permitting the annual Orange Parade marches – not to mention dismissing attacks on Catholic churches like those reported above as NOT being hate crimes – it seems that there is really nothing to be done about these manifestations of anti-Catholic hatred.  So, should we simply accept them in humble submission as part of our cross, something to offer up?  Or does that come under the heading of “false charity”?  Should the bishops continue to accept that we are a soft target – or should they toughen up and demand justice – not least since they have a duty to protect the Blessed Sacrament; a broken statue is one thing but desecration of Tabernacles is quite another.  Share your ideas on possible ways to resolve Scotland’s anti-Catholic culture, since, clearly ecumenism is not working.  

Archbishop of Glasgow On “Low Level of Catholic Formation” … So What? 

Below, the text of the Pastoral Letter sent from the Archbishop of Glasgow to be read in all parishes tomorrow, Sunday, 3rd March, 2019.  Underneath the Pastoral Letter, is the text of the ad clerum – that is his letter to priests – on the same subject.  Compare the two – and weep!

ARCHDIOCESE OF GLASGOW
Curial Offices, 196 Clyde Street Glasgow, G1 4JY
E-mail: archbishop@rcag.org.uk / http://www.rcag.org.uk          

Pastoral Letter for Sunday 3rd March 2019

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are approaching the time when, each year, young Catholics make First Confession and receive First Holy Communion.

It is incumbent upon the whole community to pray for these children, to support them in their journey of faith and to show them good example of Catholic faith, practice and discipline in the celebration and reception of the Sacraments.

I call especially upon the parents and guardians of these young Catholics to be mindful of the promises they made when they presented their child for baptism. The Church considers you as “the first and best teachers of your children in the ways of faith”. There is no doubt that the influence of parents, siblings and family is central to the faith formation of children. So, please, pray with your children, accompany them to Sunday Mass and be a good example to them of practising Catholics. Please cooperate with your Parish Priest, with our teachers in Catholic schools, with Parish Catechists and with all who are currently preparing your children.

The Sacraments are Sacraments of Christ, of the Church and of faith. Our faith teaches us that the Sacraments confer grace when they are received with the right disposition. When we go to Confession, our sins are truly forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ. When we receive Holy Communion, we are nourished by the true Body and Blood of Christ. When we receive the Sacraments, the Lord deepens our belonging to his Church.

Please help your children to receive the Sacraments with faith, devotion and reverence. Let your families and friends rejoice with you. Let your enjoyment always be worthy of the “holy things” that you and your children have received.

I hope and pray that this Season of the Sacraments for your children will bring us all an increase of faith and of the immense joy of profound encounter with Jesus Christ our Lord. May Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for children and families, and bring them to Jesus.

Yours devotedly in Christ,

Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

18th February 2019

Dear Monsignor, Canon, Father,
Dear Rev. Deacon

Ad Clerum Letter on Preparation for the Sacraments

As you know, I have written a short Pastoral Letter on the Season of First Confession and First Holy Communion addressed to parish communities and especially to the parents and guardians of the boys and girls they have presented for these Sacraments. My letter to them encouraged them to prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments. Finally, I wished them and their family holy joy in this Season of the Sacraments.

With this Ad Clerum letter, I wish to address a few words to you. I want to express my support for you in your attempts to prepare the children and their families for the Sacraments. We all know that in this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality, good preparation for the Sacraments is both rather challenging and very necessary. It is such a joy and such a consolation for priests and deacons when children and their families respond to our promptings with sincere faith and regular practice.

At the same time, my dear brothers, you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances andometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in.

I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them. They are the ones who above all need the love and encouragement of their Priest and Shepherd.

I have always taken the following as a pastoral rule of thumb in discerning the threshold for the reception of the Sacraments. If the child is baptised, is a pupil at a Catholic school, if the parents request the Sacraments for their child, and if the child sincerely wants to receive the Sacraments, I believe that the minimum threshold for reception of the Sacraments has been reached. This minimum threshold is not to place an obstacle to the grace of the Sacraments (cf. Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacraments in General, Can 6).

Of course, we want more, and that is why we invite parents and candidates to engage in various initiatives. The Sacraments are Sacraments of faith (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Liturgy, 59), and we want as much faith as possible to welcome the encounter with Christ, which is the core of the sacramental event.

These are our neediest brothers and sisters. Jesus died for them. He loves them. He reaches out to them through you. I do not wish to supplant your pastoral judgment. You are there on the spot and you know your people as the Good Shepherd does. Please consider carefully what you are asking them to do. Please do not place unnecessary obstacles or hurdles in their way. Please give the child and the grace of the Sacrament the benefit of the doubt, for Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour, and we are the priests and servants of his mysteries of grace.

With the greatest respect and esteem for your priestly and diaconal service,

Yours always in Christ,

Most Rev. Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

Comment: 

Well, doesn’t that take the proverbial biscuit?  In essence, Archbishop Tartaglia tells parents to practise the Faith, show good example to their children as they prepare for First Confession and First Holy Communion,  only to tell his priests not to expect too much, and by too much, he means ignore the fact that they’re lapsed. Just let the children receive the Sacraments and get back to your golf.  Honestly, it really does take the biscuit. But don’t take my word for it – let’s examine what, precisely, the Archbishop of Glasgow is saying to his priests in the above ad clerum…  

In paragraph one, he mentions his Pastoral Letter acknowledging that he is encouraging parents to do what he later (in his ad clerum) admits they just cannot do, which is to “prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments… ” [para 1]

He describes “this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality” [para 2] without mentioning the part he and his priests have played in creating and perpetuating this apathy, indifference and superficiality. Think, for example, of the many dissenters given platforms in Glasgow – even to the point of having a female Anglican vicar speak in the Jesuit church, St Aloysius College only a few weeks ago. 

The entirety of paragraph three is a damning indictment of the Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Archdiocese of Glasgow in particular: “…you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances and low level of Catholic formation sometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in. ” [para 3 – emphasis added].  Who, pray, is to blame for the fact that children are now coming forward for the Sacraments, from homes where the parent(s) have not, themselves, been adequately taught the Faith? As he laments this scandal, the same Archbishop is allowing the Scottish Catholic Education Department to push homosexual/transgender propaganda in Catholic schools.  Is the Archbishop really that incapable of joining up the dots?

In paragraph four,  the blindness becomes even more apparent: “I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them.”   Talk about missing the point!  The whole reason why these families are faithless is because of negligent priests in pulpits and teachers in schools – overseen by “liberal” bishops; it is precisely because nobody has been remotely demanding with them.  Can he really not see that?  And as for this nonsense about contemporary culture – Muslims, Jews and Hindus live, move and have their being in the very same contemporary culture and they can be picked out on any street as they, literally, wear their religion for all the world to see. So, don’t gimme “contemporary culture” – gimme instead, an open admission of negligent hierarchy, clergy and allegedly Catholic teachers.  

The rest of the Archbishop’s letter to priests can be summed up thus:  don’t bother your heads if the parents are not practising; don’t put obstacles in their way – if they want their child to dress up in a pretty Communion dress, kilt or nice suit, and have their “special day”, don’t go and be a spoil-sport by talking about off-putting things like Commandments (to keep holy the Sabbath) or Church laws (like regular Confession, Sunday Mass etc)  

Left unsaid in the ad clerum:  do you really want to have to say you had no First Communicants this year?  Think of the field day Catholic Truth would have with that little nugget… 

 

Consider:  what SHOULD priests do when presented with non-practising families;  child is baptised and attends Catholic school – should they be permitted to make First Confession, Communion and, later, Confirmation?  Does it make sense to be confirmed in a Faith you know little to nothing about and don’t actually practise – except when weddings and funerals come around?  Let’s hear it…     

Pope Francis: stick with the new Mass… 

Pope Francis, while he says “we must rediscover the reality of the Sacred Liturgy” also warns against “[looking]  back to nostalgic past tendencies or [wishing] to impose them again…”   Loosely translated, this seems to be saying, stick with the new Mass, and don’t hanker after the old…

So, it’s maybe time to remind ourselves of what, precisely, he means by “nostalgic past tendencies” and what precisely, he doesn’t want to “impose again”.  Take the few minutes necessary to watch the short video below and then share your answers to the two questions below…

Questions…

Since the liturgy of the Church is directed to God, to offer Him true worship / adoration, do you think He finds the Novus Ordo Missae acceptable and pleasing – does it achieve that central aim ?

How, in God’s eyes, do you think the Novus Ordo Missae compares to the Traditional Latin Mass (see video below)…

“When Mass is being celebrated, the sanctuary is filled with countless angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” – St. John Chrysostom (Bishop & Doctor of the Church).

The Winner of the Confused Cardinal Competition is… Cardinal Dolan!

Comment: 

Cardinal Dolan’s confusion is mind-boggling.  It’s beyond belief than any prelate would makes excuses not to publicly excommunicate this man for his shocking legalisation of infanticide and then to say he’s “restless” when faced with the possibility of at least refusing him Communion – which is mandated anyway in Canon Law #915 for “[those] who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin…”

More than one bishop has already invoked this law to prohibit pro-abortion politicians from approaching for Holy Communion – click here to read more.

Overall, while he’s tailor made for show-business, Cardinal Dolan is unimpressive as a prelate of the Catholic Church.  And that is to understate the case by a zillion miles…

If you disagree – which I cannot imagine – tell us;  otherwise share your thoughts on just how long it is likely to take for infanticide (the murder of the new-born infant) to be legalised here in the UK.   

Incredibly, New York’s murderous Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered a number of buildings, including One World Trade Center, to be lit up pink to “celebrate” the passing of the Bill.  This is one very sick mind at work. Please pray for him – and for the very confused Cardinal Dolan.  IS there a more confused cardinal anywhere in the world?  

England: Is Cardinal Nichols “Gay”?

Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrated on January 13 in London a Gay Eucharist organized by the club of homosexuals “LGBT Catholics Westminster”.

Cardinal Nichols

Nichols is a repeat offender. Already in May 2015 he presided a Novus Ordo Eucharist for the same group, specifically aimed at homosexuals.

The London Gay Eucharists were initiated in 1999, opposed by Catholics but backed by the anti-Catholic archdiocese.

According to IndCatholicNews.com (January 16), Nichols claimed after Mass that LGBT Catholics Westminster are “an important sign of welcome and inclusion” within his archdiocese as an “identifiable community which is at home within the Church.” In reality, LGBT Catholics Westminster promote homosexual fornication which, according to the Bible cries for vengeance to heaven.

Nichols was always known as heterodox prelate. Nevertheless Benedict XVI appointed him to Westminster, knowing that he would eventually become a Cardinal.  Source

Comment

Now, not to mislead –  I, personally, doubt very much if the Cardinal is actively homosexual, although, of course, I don’t know.  I did meet him some years ago, when I could pass muster in the “slim, glamorous, fashionable etc” category and I recall thinking that he was quite a ladies’ man at that time, but, hey, things have moved on and it’s now clear that the crisis in the Church boils down to the dominance of homosexual priests and bishops. Indeed, not so long ago we read this on a thread about the homosexual scandals within the episcopate and in seminaries: “In light of the explosive report by Archbishop Viganò, it becomes even more apparent that the homosexual cabal operating in the Catholic Church exists at the very highest level and even incriminates Pope Francis himself.”   See Priest’s Open Letter To UK Bishops… 

So, the very least any priest or bishops should be doing at this stage, as the mounting scandals reveal a truly decadent clergy and complicit episcopate, is to distance themselves from appearing to condone this unnatural behaviour, let alone conducting “services” where “blessings” are bestowed on those engaging in it.  And the desire is unconscionable for the “LGBT Catholics Westminster”  to be an “identifiable community which is at home within the Church,”  indicating that there is no need for repentance, no need to turn away from that gravely sinful behaviour. 

Whether or not, then, Cardinal Nichols is “gay”, we are surely entitled to ask the question.  Or, maybe you disagree?  If so, let’s hear a sound theological and biblical justification for the Cardinal’s promotion of homosexuality. Catholic Tradition is rooted in Scripture and the teaching of the Fathers of the Church from the beginning so, here’s the challenge: demonstrate to us, using these primary sources, that the teaching of the Church is wrong, does not reflect God’s natural moral law, and that, therefore, the Cardinal is right (along with all the other LGBT etc prelates) to promote , effectively as a virtue, these “acts of grave depravity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2357).  

   

Pope genuflects to the world but won’t kneel before the Blessed Sacrament?

Christian Order, Editorial, November 2018 – Nihilists Old & New

As Christians worldwide are put to the legal sword for obeying the Ten Commandments, or censored and banished from cyberspace for daring to express and defend their beliefs and views, the remains of Christian civilisation are being finished off before our eyes at an astonishing rate — without a shot being fired.

To what purpose? Ultimately, godless transnational elites seek to establish an Orwellian fiefdom atop the ruins of social and moral breakdown. The greater the fear and chaos, the easier to consolidate control (e.g., the police state triggered by 9/11 via the Patriot Act). Since relentless propaganda is essential to this oligarchic end, weaponisation of mainstream media has been extended to the internet. Through control of both Big Tech itself — Amazon, Google/YouTube, Paypal, Twitter, Facebook et. al. — and increasingly the major web hosting companies who connect us to them, they have consolidated their unaccountable control of daily discourse and world events. The promotion of open borders is just one arm of the multi-pronged attack on Christian life and culture enabled by this monopoly on social communications.

Guiding the process, as ever, is the sinister hand of U.S. intelligence agencies. As a former Congressional Intelligence Committee staffer, Diane Roark, confirmed in 2014: “There is no content that is off limits.” When it comes to the personal data of everyone on earth, she said,

Their motto is “Collect it all,” as shown in the Snowden documents. And what they told me before I left was, “We’re going to own the web.” And they do. The Snowden documents have revealed they do.

Undaunted by FBI raids on her home, Roark bravely came forward to reveal National Security Agency secrets that threaten us all, while stressing to Americans in particular that “given that it’s domestic surveillance, the primary user is the FBI, not NSA.” The Stasi itself could only dream of such embedded tyranny.

If the relentless gains of this multi-layered totalitarian juggernaut and its nihilistic PC creed seemed unstoppable before the election of Francis, since that fateful day even our paternal protection has been stripped away. A pontiff who genuflects to the world but will not kneel before the Blessed Sacrament is not a father of Catholic souls but a figurehead for worldlings. Clearly, whatever the hidden history of his rise to power — how and by whom he has really come about — Jorge Bergoglio is one of them.

That much, at least, is beyond dispute. The growing storm over his long history of protecting sexual predators, brought to a head by Archbishop Viganò, changes nothing. Despite huffy headlines, the press have not suddenly turned on their Pope. Why would they when he promotes their anti-Catholic agenda? Not least by his refusal to plainly and simply acknowledge and denounce the homosexual nature of clerical sex abuse; a non-response tailored to the ongoing homosexualisation of life and culture: the nihilist lynchpin of globalism. “Homosexualisation of the media, the homosexual mafia … controls virtually everything that you read, everything that you see, everything that you hear,” American radio host Michael Savage noted a dozen years ago.

Humanly speaking, therefore, we are up against the wall. Yet it was ever thus. As G. K. Chesterton reminds us in the following extracts from his stirring ballad, our dark predicament, though uniquely horrific in its stealthy way, is the perennial and blessed lot of Christians. Introducing his work, he explained that:

The cult of [King] Alfred was a popular cult, from the darkness of the ninth century to the deepening twilight of the twentieth. […] Alfred has come down to us in the best way (that is, by national legends) solely for the same reason as Arthur and Roland and the other giants of that darkness, because he fought for the Christian civilisation against the heathen nihilism.

Like locusts of the Apocalypse [Rev. 9:1-5], a plague of virile nihilists descended on our Catholic ancestors to devour them and eradicate their Triune God. They failed. Today, new barbarians — effete nihilists soaked in sodomitic vice — are in the ascendancy and waging war by other means; conspiring corporately to the same apocalyptic end. Once more the Church Militant is under siege. And once again — armed with the Holy Rosary; united with the ranks of the Church Triumphant and Church Suffering — we will overcome; the Faith will endure. Always.  Source  (all emphases in original.)

Comment:

I sometimes receive emails with photos of Pope Francis standing instead of kneeling during Mass. Seeing the matter raised again in the above (excellent) Christian Order editorial, I donned my Miss Marple hat and launched an investigation.

The first video clip below suggests that the pontiff has a real problem, possibly due to arthritis, requiring help to get down and then up again, while the second clip shows him kneeling with relative ease at a confessional.  However, he can lean forward to get himself down and be supported at the confessional as he rises again – so is it fair to suggest that he is refusing to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament – implying malice?   Any arthritis sufferer who struggles to bend the knee will tell you that it is extremely difficult to kneel without assistance, so I’m not so sure. I’m inclined to think that, in this matter, albeit in very few others, Pope Francis should be given the benefit of the doubt. What do you think?

However, it’s not that simple.  Surely, it can’t be beyond the bounds of the imagination and resources of the Vatican to construct a kneeler to be placed at the altar, so that the Pope can kneel with relative ease, as he is filmed so doing at the confessional?  Or am I being “rigid”?

Share your thoughts on the issue of the Pope’s apparent problem with kneeling at Mass, and the other important matters raised in the above Christian Order editorial…