As with all Feast Day threads, discuss any relevant issues, share your favourite hymns, prayers and – as ever – your best jokes, of the good clean fun variety!
A very happy Feast of the Annunciation to all our bloggers and readers.
As with all Feast Day threads, discuss any relevant issues, share your favourite hymns, prayers and – as ever – your best jokes, of the good clean fun variety!
A very happy Feast of the Annunciation to all our bloggers and readers.
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.
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.
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.
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…
On this beautiful Feast, we remember the miracle of Our Lady’s conception in her mother’s womb, at which time she was, exceptionally, redeemed by being conceived without the stain of Original Sin – unique among human beings.
As always with Feast day threads, feel free to ask questions, discuss related issues, and share your favourite prayers, hymns and stories about graces obtained through the intercession of Our Lady.
As the Amazon Synod of Bishops approaches – 6-27th October – reports across the internet express concern that this Synod will be a grave attack on even the basic deposit of the Faith. Here’s an extract from one such report:
Two cardinals have sent letters to fellow members of the College of Cardinals, raising concerns about the working document for an upcoming synod of bishops on the pan-Amazonian region. “Some points of the synod’s Instrumentum laboris seem not only in dissonance with respect to the authentic teaching of the Church, but even contrary to it,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller wrote to fellow cardinals in an August 28 letter obtained by CNA. “The nebulous formulations of the Instrumentum, as well as the proposed creation of new ecclesial ministries for women and, especially, the proposed priestly ordination of the so-called viri probati arouse strong suspicion that even priestly celibacy will be called into question,” the cardinal wrote. Click here to read more
As ever with Feast Day threads, feel free to post your personal thoughts, favourite prayers, hymns and stories about the Saint, and discuss any relevant issues – we will post a thread dedicated to the Amazon Synod once it gets underway but feel free to express concerns or share information here, if you wish.
Finally, it would be good to pray the St Michael prayer from now until the Synod is over, to obtain special protection for that event:
Holy Michael, Archangel,
Defend us in the day of battle;
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
And do thou, O Prince of the |Heavenly host,
By the power of God,
Cast down into Hell,
Satan, and all wicked spirits,
Who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
From time to time, concerned clergy and teachers contact us with information about various scandals of which they are personally aware, or have witnessed. They are keen for Catholic Truth to make these scandals public, but that is not always possible. When I have written to bishops in the past, reporting information about, for example, priests engaged in affairs with women, I have been astonished at their replies: they initially tell me that they will investigate the allegations and then write a second time to tell me that their investigation showed that there was no cause for concern. Their “investigation” – in each and every case that springs to mind right now – consisted of asking the culprit-priest if there were any truth in these claims and then accepting his word for it that there is no truth in the allegations. DUH! Just as well none of these bishops applied for the Police Force.
Then, too, some years ago, when we exposed information about priests who had been recognised in a “gay” bar in Glasgow city centre – which we had investigated ourselves, in one case employing a Private Investigator (thanks to a generous donor who wanted to know the facts) – we were punished for our trouble. Note, when we rang to politely confront the names we had been given, we made clear that we didn’t want to publish anyone’s name; instead, we hoped for a reassurance that each priest (and one teacher) realised that frequenting such a place was scandalous, and that would be an end to it. The majority offered that reassurance but then launched a hate campaign which – were I to publish the details here – would take a couple of hours (and then some), and perhaps result in moi being invited to appear in the starring role in a “film based on a true story…” I’m really not the Hollywood type, as those of you who know me well will testify. I heard that!
In fact, most, if not all of the priests named in our reports back then, left the priestly ministry thereafter. Not cause and effect, as some of them would have us believe. Indeed, we just would not have had the room to publish all the information which poured out AFTER they’d left – and there was some very seedy information indeed, which poured out long after our reports.
As with the first batch of names given to us “back in the day” by a worried priest in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, so, now, more clergy are coming forward to express deep concerns about the way a group of young men, some, if not all, generally understood to be of a homosexual disposition, meet regularly at the presbytery of a young Glasgow priest. At this stage, I’m not prepared to offer any more identifying information but, putting this information together with the fact that a number of children attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Glasgow are being permitted to return to school this summer dressed as the opposite sex, names changed on the school register, then, clearly, the clergy informing us of their serious concerns, definitely have a point. The Archbishop and his minions in the Scottish Catholic Education Service need to spend a little time reflecting on Christ’s warning to those who lead children astray: “… he that shall scandalise one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
Any priest, therefore, or Catholic teacher, who fails to communicate – age appropriately – the teaching of the Church on homosexuality, had better learn to swim. For the teaching of the Church is clear: homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and “under no circumstances can they be approved” (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2357)
Firstly, pray for all concerned – that’s a given.
Secondly, there’s no point in my unworthy self writing to the Archbishop of Glasgow – same old, same old.
Thirdly… However, YOU might be able to reach the part of the Archbishop’s conscience that I’ve never managed to reach. Remember, my clergy sources are confident that the Archbishop knows about these regular meetings. If you think it’s worth a try (just don’t hold your breath) here are the contact details taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow:
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia,
196 Clyde Street,
Phone: +44 (0)141 226 5898
We admire the Muslim parents in Birmingham who have led the fight against the LGBTQ propaganda drive in primary schools.
The silence from the Catholic community, however, is embarrassingly deafening.
In the next day or so, I will be emailing each Scottish Bishop (we only have 8) to send them the link to this thread, and I’ll send it, also, to the Bishops of England and Wales.
To date, the UK Bishops have facilitated and thus effectively condoned the corruption of young people in the Catholic (add inverted commas) schools. The least we can do, as informed laity, is to shame them by publicly calling out their negligence.
Don’t forget, as far back or recently, however you see it, as 3 February, 2017, the Scottish Catholic Observer reported the shocking fact that – to quote the headline – LGBTI ‘safe spaces’ [are now provided] in Catholic schools in Scotland; and, applauding this sinister development all the way, was Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, pointing out that this was a response to “LGBTI bullying issues, while respecting parents’ wishes that their children be educated within the Catholic vision of the dignity of every human person.” Note: not educated within the vision of the Church’s prohibition on homosexual activity.
We’re still waiting for safe spaces to be provided for pupils who are bullied because they have ginger hair, are too fat, too thin, or simply not liked. No safe spaces announced for them, so far. We’ll keep you posted, though, be assured…
There will not, of course, be any such “safe spaces” provided for the traditional victims of bullies because the schools, including Catholic schools, are being permeated with homosexual propaganda for the purpose of eradicating all opposition to that “lifestyle”. The “safe spaces” / bullying strategy is nothing more than a tactic, a means of getting the LGBTQ++ message quietly embedded in schools. That’s the plan. Don’t be fooled.
“Hate crime”? The only “hate” accompanying discussions about homosexuality / transgenderism emanates from the “Gaystapo”, who will not tolerate any questioning of their sexual behaviour. We may question the (lack of) wisdom of cohabitation, extra-marital affairs/adultery, you name it, and “hate crime” will not be mentioned. So, before the Pink Brigade and their supporters start trolling us, be assured, we hate no-one. Not a person in this world.
We are not only forbidden to hate anyone – and that by Christ Himself – but we are commanded by Christ to love our enemies, and to do good to those who hate and persecute us. So, let’s get that nonsense-allegation out of the way. It’s a devious means of stamping out all opposition. Don’t be intimidated by it.
Comment on the issues surrounding the ongoing propaganda blitz in schools from those promoting homosexuality, transgenderism etc. with a particular emphasis on the downright apathy of the Catholic community – especially parents, teachers, priests, and bishops.
Finally, please spread the above video around – it’s important that no parent, teacher, priest or bishop can pretend not to know the extent of this infiltration of schools, even at the earliest stages of education, because what is going on, as revealed in the above video, is nothing short of child abuse.
Or, maybe you disagree? Let’s hear it…
It’s nearly impossible not to see the funny side of much of Jason’s talk. Easy to see why teenagers would thoroughly enjoy his lectures. Still, certain “givens” cause concern; should Catholics be accepting of, for example, “dating” in High School? That’s just one of many reservations which I have about the above speaker but, hey, I can be something of a prude compared to what most people think is normal and harmless these days. And Jason is very likeable – we have to give him that. Students will love him. No question about it.
A teacher friend responded to my concerns by emailing: I stand by the Jason Evert material because he gets through to the pupils in their idiom while remaining faithful to Christ. His personal struggle with lust and his conversion are a good example to them.
I tend to think that clear teaching about Original Sin, which has caused us to have a particular weakness or inclination to commit sexual sin, ought to cancel the need for explicit personal examples, but, as I say, I may be out on a limb with this one.
So, let’s have YOUR opinion, as parents, teachers, or simply Joe & Josephine Bloggs. Key question: would you be happy if your children – early teenagers or university students – were present at this kind of talk/lesson?
And remember to give reason(s) for your answer 😀