Report on the Diocese of Middlesbrough, north-east of England…
The new diocesan outreach ministry to the LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community has now held its first Masses in York.
Some 60 participants travelled from across the diocese for the first Mass. Catholic members of the LGBT+ community were joined by their families, friends and supporters and Christians from other denominations.
All gathered in the hidden chapel of York’s historic Bar Convent, at the kind invitation of the Sisters of the Congregation of Jesus. It was noted in the words of welcome that the Bar Convent has a long history of offering sanctuary and began its life to support minorities suffering persecution by civil and religious authorities.
The presider at Mass was Father Tony Lester, who is working to establish this ministry in our diocese at the request of Bishop Terry, who sent good wishes for the launch. Father Tony was joined on the altar by Canon John Lumley and Deacon Peter Warren, together with Deacon Nick Baggio, from the Diocese of Leeds.
Mass began with a Litany of Welcome, reminding those present that all people have a place in the Christian community because all belong to Jesus Christ, and it is his table the Church gathers around at the Eucharist. It is God who counts us worthy and the welcome the Church makes visible is God’s welcome to all in Christ.
The readers included a human rights defender from Kenya who is spending six months at the University of York as a “protected fellow”, because as an LGBT activist his life is in danger at home. While in Britain he is learning ways to reduce the risks to his life and to network with fellow human rights defenders.
Sadly, his baptismal and confirmation papers were publicly torn up by his parish priest in Kenya because of the work he was doing. Father Tony acknowledged that for many LGBT+ people their experience of Church is marked by pain. Pope Francis has said this is something for which Christians need to apologise.
After Mass the congregation socialised over refreshments and people shared stories of their journey. Among the experiences shared was that of a young man who stopped attending Mass as a teenager, not because he had lost his faith but because he felt his parish community would not accept him. He was very pleased at the launch of the new ministry, which he felt gave him the opportunity to start attending Mass again.
Those who attended the launch were asked how they would like to see this ministry develop in the future. It was agreed that a Mass with an explicit welcome to the LGBT+ community, families and friends would be celebrated at the Bar Convent on the second Sunday of each month at 3pm. In time, a rotation of priests will preside at these Masses and the community that gathers will develop a broader programme that is spiritual, social and supportive.
A friend rang me last night to say he’d attended a Summorum Pontificum Traditional Mass and found himself chatting afterwards with a couple who were not husband and wife, but “partners” … My friend was downhearted, dispirited that even the better priests seem to be willing to tolerate such scandals.
Then this from The American Conservative: “The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has declared that, in his view, Catholic priests can conduct blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples.”
The list of scandalous words and actions from this current shocking pope, or tolerated by him, grows day and daily. Too much to list here – and anyway, would, more likely than not, be out of date before I press the “publish” button on this page.
There is no lack of evidence that Pope Francis is a danger to Catholic Faith and Morals. Quite the reverse – there’s an abundance of evidence. Even as I type this, a report has come in questioning the pope’s integrity – would he blatantly impart falsehoods, we have to ask? Click here to answer that for yourself.
The question is, why are the supposedly concerned bishops who allegedly oppose him remaining silent – such as Cardinal Burke and the Captain and Crew of the Lifeboat SSPX? Why no sense of urgency? Why have they all gone to ground?
It’s one thing to pick one’s fights, but not to fight at all? Take a few minutes to view the short video in the News section of the Dici website here. Who, on this earth, would ever imagine that the Church is suffering the worst crisis ever in its entire history, watching that broadcast? Lovely reports, sure, but there’s been nothing about any attempt to fight as members of the Church Militant, under our banner as Soldiers of Christ, in any of the recent videos posted on Dici in January, which I’ve viewed with surprise and disappointment. This latest one, linked above, dated 2nd February, is no different. Plenty of devotional content, suggesting the danger of becoming so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly use.
What should the supposed opponents of this dreadful pontificate be doing, in addition to prayer. Concrete action, surely – but what, precisely?
As the proud pro-abortion, pro-LGBT rights leader of a country with, as I keep reminding everyone, the values of a progressive, liberal democracy, I’m stunned delighted to be asked to mark the Centenary of the Catholic Education Scotland Act 1918 and the partnership between the Catholic Church and the State in Scotland in the provision of education to our young people in Catholic schools.
And this partnership is working very successfully, with Catholic schools in Scotland now providing safe spaces for LGBT pupils. Of course, we’ve a way to go. I believe Catholic schools in England are now allowing gender neutral uniforms, with one pupil making “their” First Communion in a white trouser suit because that child now wishes to identify as a boy. I’ve not heard of any similar cases in Scotland but maybe Scottish Catholic schools will, er, follow suit, to so speak, soon, not to fall behind in the progressive, liberal stakes.
Abortion is still a bit of a hot potato in the Church, I know. Still, now that the truly wonderfully progressive and liberal Pope Francis has given a pontifical honour to the internationally acclaimed Dutch abortion activist, Liliane Ploumen, it’s only a matter of time before we can get those pro-abortion, pro-contraception posters into every Catholic classroom.
And, of course, we’ll have our spies Named Persons in place by that time, supervising parents and dealing with those reactionaries who don’t like living in a progressive, liberal Church. So, thank you for inviting me to give this prestigious lecture. I knew we were making progress but I’d no idea you were already so stupid enlightened as to invite someone who is not a Catholic and who is, in fact, completely committed to progressive, secular, liberal values to speak on the subject of Catholic education. Oh, and I mustn’t forget to congratulate the Catholic sector on your excellent exam results. The pupils DO learn arithmetic, reading and writing and that is absolutely praiseworthy. Well done!
Thank you, all especially Bishop Keenan for his support for my invitation to address you all here today. Oh and, er, if there IS a God, may he (or she) go with you!
Obviously, the above “leak” is no such thing. It’s our satirical take on the disgraceful invitation from those running Catholic Education in Scotland to a wholly “liberal” politician, who has not a scintilla of interest in supporting Catholic schools. The fact is, if Catholic schools were doing their job, the First Minister would have made her excuses to decline the invite. It’s only because they are failing as Catholic schools that (a) she would be invited in the first place and (2) she could agree to give the Cardinal Winning Lecture. At least one bishop – John Keenan of Paisley – supports this year’s choice of speaker. Click here to read more, vote in the poll below, and then share your thoughts…
THE REMNANT UNDERGROUND: Headed up by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and two other Archbishops from Kazakhstan, a total of 6 bishops and 1 cardinal have now signed a statement of opposition to the pope-approved interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church. This is revolution and counterrevolution in a Catholic Church in total crisis. Plus, looking ahead to October’s Synod of Young People in Rome—will the Church deep six Humanae Vitae? Will the Vatican give the green light to so-called ‘gay unions’? Finally, an old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Call Northside 777”, includes a sobering reminder of what it used to mean to be Catholic–something Pope Francis would do well to consider.
Today’s news includes clips from the new army advertisement designed to encourage people to join the UK army irrespective of faith, sexual orientation, or “genders”.
Got me thinking. When the Catholic MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, known to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, was quizzed about his views on “gay marriage” and abortion, he was at pains to assure the interviewer (and thus the wider public) that he would certainly accept an invitation to a “gay wedding” (“and probably enjoy it”) and that, while opposed to abortion at all stages and in all circumstances himself, he would not seek to change the law. Abortion would remain legal. Yet, neither these flexible moral principles, nor his unwavering support for Brexit, where in every interview he has shown himself to be thoroughly well informed, were enough to see him brought into the Cabinet in this week’s reshuffle.
No vision. There’s simply no vision. No suggestion that, if elected to lead the nations of the UK, he would order a health campaign to educate the public on the health implications of both homosexual activity and abortion, in the spirit of the public health campaigns on smoking (which led to a successful ban on smoking in public places) and no suggestion that, thus, perhaps with more information, the public would be perfectly happy to see a pro-life Prime Minister in office. No such suggestions because there is simply no such vision.
And – in the case of a weak Catholic – there’s no real faith: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these other things [power, political office, for example] will be given to you.” (Matt 6:33) Put simply, if Jacob Rees-Mogg puts God and His Moral Law first, ahead of peer and public opinion, God will take care of his career.
Surely, too, a politician confident of the truth of his position on such important moral matters who genuinely seeks the well-being of the countries of the UK, would win over public opinion, based on the facts, the objective health data.
That Jacob Rees -Mogg was, yet again, passed over for promotion in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle should bring home to him that fact that his flexible principles have not paid off. If he has any ambition for higher office – and surely, as a pro-life Catholic in politics, he ought to have ambitions for the highest office, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding – he ought to openly oppose the evils of abortion and homosexuality and openly resolve to educate the public on the health issues involved with a view to restoring national good health – physically and morally – under his premiership.
I believe that such openness and honesty would see him brought into the Cabinet and ultimately at home in No. 10 Downing Street – what do you think?
Recently, a priest who was prominent in the pastoral care of those with sex addictions received his fifteen minutes of fame when he revealed to his congregation at a Sunday Mass and to the National Catholic Reporter that he was “gay.” According to news reports, his self-congratulation was met with thunderous applause. In a television interview, he proclaimed there is “nothing wrong with being gay.”
The game plan of a gay priest “coming out” was quite predictable and is politically effective. In revealing his homosexuality, the Midwestern priest was careful to assemble a string of ambiguous assertions that cannot be immediately assailed on grounds of orthodoxy, but when bundled together are morally subversive. Here is the template: Claim that sexual transparency is a matter of personal integrity.
Remind the public that you are a Catholic priest in good standing. Proudly proclaim that you are “gay.”
Cultivate the adulation of your congregation by claiming victim status and the freedom that comes from such an honest revelation.
As a pre-emptive strike against disciplinary actions by ecclesiastical authorities claim that your self-revelation is truly courageous.
Feign humility and presume you have become a necessary role model for others. Remind us that you and all gays (and members of the alphabet soup of sexual perversion) are created in the image of God (implying our sinful neglect).
Commit to celibacy (i.e., not to marry), but carefully avoid the term “Christian chastity.” Each of these assertions, standing alone, would likely withstand ecclesiastical censure. But when woven together, the gay agenda promoting the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle within the Church comes into a clear focus.
The priest’s bishop also responded according to a predictable contemporary ecclesiastical template: “We support [the priest] in his own personal journey and telling his story of coming to understand and live with his sexual orientation. As the Church teaches, those with same-sex attraction must be treated with understanding and compassion.”
The bishop probably succeeded in preventing a media firestorm. He also effectively allowed the priest to rise in stature as a gay freedom fighter. The studied moral ambiguity of the clerical gay activist proved to be an effective political buzz saw. The full and beautiful teachings of Christ on human sexuality, however, were further undermined.
Faithful and orthodox Catholics are at a political disadvantage in our gay-friendly culture. We realize that same-sex inclinations – as with all seriously sinful inclinations – cause great suffering and, unrestrained, can become a true slavery that endangers others including adolescents and even young children. But our opposition to the gay agenda is often crudely characterized as hateful and unreasonable. So a brief sketch of natural law in Catholic sexual morality may be helpful.Click here to read the rest of this article by Rev Jerry J. Pokorsky
The standards for entry to seminaries would at one time have automatically excluded candidates such as the above priest, and ought still to do so today. The strict criteria for acceptance of candidates in Catholic seminaries must be restored as a matter of the utmost urgency – yesterday is almost too late… Yes? No?
Challenge those who attack Catholic schools, Archbishop says
Archbishop Tartaglia said celebrations of the centenary of Catholic education in Scotland should include a robust defence of Catholic schools The Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia is encouraging Catholics to get involved in upcoming celebrations to mark 100 years of state Catholic education in Scotland—and to challenge those who attack Catholic schools.
In a letter to headteachers and members of clergy from across Scotland, the archbishop described the centenary as an ‘opportunity to rejoice’ over the successes of Scotland’s Catholic schools and education. “2018 serves as an opportunity to rejoice in the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils who have attended Catholic schools in the last 100 years,” he said. “It is a chance to mark publicly the ways in which Catholic schools are not just good for Catholics, but good for Scotland.”
He spoke of the ‘positive contribution of Catholic schools’ to society in Scotland, which he described as being ‘well documented.’
“The continuing support of the Scottish Government and all of the main political parties is encouraging for the future of denominational schools,” he said. “However, while this is a time to reflect and thank God for 100 years of serving our local communities, we cannot be complacent that there is universal support for Catholic schools.
“We need to ensure that we continue to challenge the negative voices which exert pressure in the media and in the political arena, suggesting that there is no place for Faith schools in the public provision of education in a modern Scotland.
“What better way to do this than by marking this centenary as a celebration of the distinctive nature of our schools and by telling the story of the people and communities who have benefited from Catholic education in Scotland.”
Archbishop Tartaglia invited parishes, families, schools and communities across the country to ‘consider the ways that they can add to this story,’ as he revealed that a planning group has been set up to look at possible activities and coordinate events for the anniversary celebrations.
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has authorised the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) to ‘propose plans’ to be used in the centenary year that mark the education partnership between Church and state.
In his letter, the Archbishop asked that headteachers and priests let parish councils, parent and pupil councils, pastoral planning teams and associated schools’ groups know about the SCES planning group.
“I encourage you to begin a discussion of how your local parish community can support and contribute to the events of this year,” he said, adding that SCES is welcoming submissions of archive material of local school history, stories and photographs of parishioners.
SCES have revealed a number of national events will take place across all of Scotland’s eight dioceses in 2018, while other celebrations will be organised at a diocesan and local level.
The launch of the centenary celebrations will take place in February next year, when a specially commissioned icon of ‘Jesus Our Teacher,’ created to mark the 100th anniversary, will begin its tour across the country, starting in Galloway Diocese.
Glasgow Archdiocese will mark Catholic Education Week, which runs from January 28 to February 2, with a high schools’ Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, while a Catholic Education Week dinner will take place at the city’s Central Hotel on February 2.
On March 3 a Catholic education open forum will take place in Argyll and the Isles Diocese and in April a ‘Leadership of Catholic Schools Conference’ will take place in Salamanca.
The Caritas Award ceremony will be on June 7 next year in Glasgow, a highlight in the year for Catholic schools, and a school pilgrimage along the St Andrew’s Way will take place from June 14-15.
Parents will have the opportunity to come together in August for the National Parent Gathering in Paisley and a planned pilgrimage to Rome led by Archbishop Tartaglia is on the cards for October 15-19. Open to all associated with Catholic Education in Scotland, prices cost £850 per person.
Also in October, the European Catholic Committee (CEEC) will visit Scotland and the Scottish Parliament will also mark the centenary.
For the first time, a second Catholic Education Week will be held in November, including a National Teachers’ Mass in Glasgow and a spiritual retreat for teachers. [Emphases added] Source – Scottish Catholic Observer
Not a whisper in the above report about the reason why Catholic schools were built in the first place; not a hint of why the 1918 Education Act was necessary. The generic language used to describe Catholic educationmasks the fact that Catholic schools were built for the key purpose of teaching the Catholic religion, imparting the Catholic Faith, across the subjects of the curriculum – and have manifestly failed to do so since the introduction of content-free programmes of religious (non) education, and other novelties which have polluted Catholicism. Informed Catholic parents in Scotland have now taken this “rule of thumb” (interweaving the Faith into all subjects) into home-schooling, given that the Catholic schools see their mission as excelling in “the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils” (see above, paragraph 2) and not, as originally, to see to it that students’ world-view is rooted in their Catholic Faith. Even the image used in the Scottish Catholic Observer report has a pupil studying a Bible – not a Catechism. Below, some examples of the kind of material available to Catholic schools by using a sound Catechism – such as the excellent Baltimore series…
Hence, Catholic schools, like non-denominational schools, are now committed to catering for secular values – despite protestations to the contrary. Hence, as we have reported in our newsletter, we find “safe spaces” in Scottish Catholic schools for “LGBT pupils” with gender-neutral pupils, uniforms and language soon to follow, as the instances of such in England indicate. Click here to read a previous post on this subject.
Teachers who have taught in both sectors, say they see little difference between Catholic and non-denominational schools these days. So, is the centenary of state Catholic schools in Scotland really anything to celebrate? Should we not, rather, be mourning the passing of true and traditional Catholic education?