Little Charlie Gard: Victim of Rampant Disposable Culture – Cardinal Sgreccia

TLittle Charlie Gard’s Case in 10 Points, by Cardinal Sgreccia
Give Care Even When One Cannot Cure
July 5, 2017
ZENIT Staff Pope & Holy See

by Constance Roques with Anita Bourdin

Italian Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, former President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, analyzed little Charlie Gard’s case and offered “10 critical points” for consideration in the Italian daily La Stampa, on Monday, July 3, 2017.

We recall that Charlie Gard was born on August 4, 2016 and suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which has affected his brain. He receives assistance to breathe, is hydrated and fed through a tube, but receives no other care.

Give Care Even when One Cannot Cure

Cardinal Sgreccia stressed first of all that “the non-curable character can never be confused with incurability” (1).

He explained: “A person affected by an ailment considered, in the present state of medicine, as incurable, is paradoxically the subject that, more than any other, has the right to request and obtain continuous assistance and care, attention and devotion: it is a cardinal principle of the ethics of care . . . The human face of medicine is manifested precisely in the clinical practice of ‘taking care’ of the life of the suffering and the sick.”
Human Dignity

Cardinal Sgreccia then affirmed the intrinsic dignity (2) of every human being and the rights that stem from it, regardless of his state of health: “The right to be continually the object, or better still, the subject of attention and care on the part of members of the family and others, lies in the dignity of a human person, including a new-born, sick and suffering, and never ceases to be possessed.”

Feeding and Hydration Are Not Therapies

He then recalled the duty to feed and hydrate (3): they are not aps of therapies but the minimum necessary to survive of every human being: “Artificial feeding-hydration through a nose-gastric tube in no case can be considered as a therapy . . . Water and food do not become medications by the sole fact that they are administered artificially; consequently, interrupting them is not like suspending a therapy, but it is to let someone die of hunger and thirst who simply cannot feed himself autonomously.

The Parents’ Decision

Cardinal Sgreccia pointed out that there must not be a caesura between the doctors’ gestures and the parents’ will (4): “The cardinal idea that founds the informed consensus is linked to the principle according to which the patient is never an anonymous individual . . . but a conscious and responsible subject . . . This implies the necessity that he be involved in the decisional processes that concern him, in a dialogic relation that avoids his finding himself in the situation of having to suffer passively the decisions and choices of others. The history of little Charlie proves on the contrary that, in the course of time, a dynamic has been created of substantial detachment between the decisions of the medical team and the will of the parents.”

An Integral Palliative Approach

Cardinal Sgreccia declared himself in favor (5) of an “integral palliative” approach: “It is possible that the experimental therapy does not give the medical results expected, but it is also true that Charlie’s sufferings call for an integral palliative and systematic approach that could hypothetically accompany the experimentation itself.”

To Keep the Pain under Control

Cardinal Sgreccia recommended (6) to keep the pain under control”: “ In our opinion, the principle of the best interest of the minor hardly entails, or better, hardly legitimizes a passive form of euthanasia as that which was decided to practice on little Charlie. We believe that his best interest lies in the direction of assuring him the most dignified existence possible, through an opportune antalgic strategy, which enables to keep the pain under control should it prove to be impossible to follow the route to access the experimental protocol already underway in the United States. It is exactly what Charlie’s parents have not ceased to request up to today.”

The Opinion of the European Court 

The Cardinal believes (7) that the European Court did not respect these criteria: ‘The European Court of Human Rights has glided in an unbelievable way on all the aspects of content listed up to here and it also seems that it went beyond, assuming a purely procedural position, in the name of the principle of the margin of appreciation … It considered that it should not enter the subject of the issue of the suspension of artificial feeding-hydration-respiration in the name of that sovereign autonomy of the Member States, which authorizes them to regulate at their discretion the themes of the ethically most complicated aspects, such as the case of the practicability or not of passive euthanasia on a new-born.”

A “Rampant Disposable Culture”

Cardinal Sgreccia lamented the “rampant disposable culture”: “Hidden behind each aspect of this story, although never mentioned, is the idea of the efficacy in the management of health resources that pushes to make use of them in a manner that cannot but generate a rampant disposable culture.”

The False Paradigm of the “Quality of Life”

He questioned (9) the “paradigm” of the so-called “quality of life”: “More disquieting yet is the lightness with which the paradigm of quality of life is accepted, namely, that cultural model that inclines to recognize the non-dignity of certain human existences, completely identified and confused with the pathology of which they are bearers or with the sufferings with which they are accompanied.”

Euthanasia Demanded 

Finally, Cardinal Sgreccia lamented (10) a drift toward a trivialized euthanasia: “In the transparency of schizophrenic positions implied by these new cultural paradigms, one can perceive the ambivalence of those that, in demanding the freedom of total and indiscriminate access to euthanasia – basing it on the exclusive predominance of individual autonomy — deny at the same time this decisional autonomy in other cases, as the one of which we speak, where it is considered that only the doctors have the legitimacy to decide, without any involvement of the parents.”

Readiness of the Vatican’s Hospital

We recall likewise that on Monday, July 3, the President of the Bambino Gesu (Infant Jesus) pediatric hospital, a dependency of the Vatican, Mrs Mariella Enoc, said she was ready to receive Charlie Gard in Rome if his parents so wished and if his state permitted it.

In a press release on Monday, July 3, 2017, she quoted in Italian Pope Francis’ Tweet, posted on his account @Pontifex_it on June 30: “Defend human life, especially when it is wounded by sickness, is a commitment of love that God entrusts to every man.”

“The Holy Father’s words, in reference to little Charlie, summarize well the mission of the Bambino Gesu hospital. That is why I asked the Health Director to verify with London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, where the new-born is hospitalized, and if the health conditions exist for Charlie’s eventual transfer to our hospital. We know that the case is desperate and that, apparently, effective therapies do not exist.”

Pope Francis’ Closeness

Mrs Enoc expressed her closeness to the parents, saying: “We are close to the parents through prayer and if it is their wish, we are ready to receive their child at our hospital for the time that remains to him to live.”

Pope Francis addressed a message to Charlie Gard’s parents on Sunday evening, July 2, expressing his closeness, through his spokesman, Greg Burke: “The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the affair of little Charlie Gard and he expresses his closeness to his parents.” Pope Francis, he said, “prays for them and hopes that their desire to accompany and care for their child to the end is not disregarded.”

On June 27, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the request to take the child to the United States for experimental treatment and the British High Court pronounced itself in favor of halting the respiratory, hydration and feeding assistance.

Mrs Mariella Enoc, President of Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital, who had expressed her readiness to receive the baby, if his transfer was possible and if his parents so wished, announced on Tuesday, July 4 that the transfer would not be possible for “legal” reasons: it is in any case the answer of the English hospital where Charlie is at present, reported Vatican Radio. Mrs Enoc said she was contacted by the baby’s mother to discuss his care.
In regard to surmounting the legal reasons, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin assured : “If we can do so, we will,” reported the same source.
[Article Translated from French]  Source – Zenit


The UK Government cites “legal grounds” for not permitting this baby to be taken to the Vatican Hospital – click here

Recall,  though, that the “legal grounds” for only permitting people of opposite genders to marry were overturned in a heartbeat, as was the law prohibiting the murder of unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs.  Laws can be changed when it suits politicians.  What, then, is going on here? Why are the doctors and politicians so keen to allow this baby to die, despite his parents’ desperate desire to keep him, care for him, raise him in a loving home? What is going on?

England: Priest Rebuked For Preaching Our Lady Leading Muslims To Christ

Father Mark Higgins, a priest in the Archdiocese of Southwark, whose beautiful sermons on YouTube, preached at events organised by a group called Day With Mary (DWM) and featured on this blog in the past,  has now been dropped by the group for a sermon which they consider to be “a direct attack upon Islam”.  Here’s an extract from their email to Father: “You were invited to give two sermons on Our Lady, which you kindly accepted to do. Your second sermon however, contained much that was a direct attack upon Islam and contained highly imprudent expressions. This was all done in a way that would most likely have generated adverse reactions, not only against yourself and the Catholic Church, but would also have put at risk the personal safety (even lives) of other Catholics and clergy, as well as DWM members and churches we frequent. I am sure you can understand the risk your sermon could place many people in, if you are up to date with current news in this country and elsewhere…”

This is a very troubling email, given that it comes from a layperson representing a group with some kind of official standing in the archdiocese; the group has elected to rebuke a young priest – for what? For preaching the Faith – no more, no less.  That’s troubling.   It’s also troubling that the DWM group thinks nothing of assuming that all Muslims are extremists, ready to take offence at the perfectly understandable desire of a Catholic priest to win their souls for Christ.  Is it not much more offensive to implicitly suggest that the dogma outside the Church, no salvation should be kept hidden from Muslims, because they cannot be trusted to reject it without resorting to terrorist violence?  This is manifestly the fear of the DWM group.

Well, let’s read the text of Father Higgins’ talk, and draw our own conclusions as to whether it represents “A direct attack upon Islam”.  It’s certainly true that there are those  in high places today who have opted out of preaching Christ and seeking converts to the Faith, in order to avoid “offending” non-Catholics, but since it’s not an attitude supported in either Sacred Scripture or Catholic Tradition, it seems to me to be entirely at odds with the Christian imperative, straight from the lips of Our Lord Himself: “Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19)

Text of Talk:  Virgin Mary leading Muslims to Christ – Fr Mark Higgins

Back in the 1950s Archbishop Sheen wrote a book on Our Mother Mary entitled, The World’s First Love; whilst very few people have read the entire book, one chapter in particular stands out – Chapter 17, Mary and the Muslims. He tries to make the point that the Virgin Mary has a special place in the plan of Almighty God in bringing about the conversion of the Muslims.

I think some heretical Catholics these days act as if the Muslims don’t need to be converted, but if we take the bible seriously, and the teachings of the Church seriously, we can only reach one conclusion- without Christ, the Muslims are not going to make it to heaven.

My brothers and sisters, here in London, you have Muslims all around you; what a blessed opportunity God is giving you to bring them salvation, through bringing them the truth about the saviour Jesus Christ and the one Holy Catholic Church He founded.

Thank God that many people in our city are making efforts to bring the saving message of Christianity to these unfortunate Muslims, but from what I can see, there has yet to be a torrent of conversions; there are certainly some, there have been some in this parish, there were some in my last parish, but the floodgates are yet to open. But I promise you, the floodgates will open, and a vast number of Muslims will be converted, but this will only happen when we get with [the] plan of Almighty God, and His plan, as archbishop Fulton sheen realised, was for those Muslims to be brought to Christ, through the means of His blessed and Holy Mother Mary.

Archbishop Sheen hadn’t come up with something new here, you can hear it whispered in Catholic prophecy, you see it mentioned in the writings of the saints and the mystics.

Many of them knew from the intimacies of prayer that, as the world draws to a close, as God begins to prepare the world for the return of His son, there will be an age of special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. And that during this age of Mary, many of the followers of Islam will abandon their false religion and embrace the only saviour Jesus Christ.

St. Louis De- Montfort writes “The power of Mary over all devils will be particularly outstanding in the last age of the world. At that time Mary will extend the Kingdom of Christ even over the Muslims,

The history of our religion encourages us to anticipate the miraculous.

No one would have expected the mass conversion of the pagan Mexicans to the one true faith, no missionary would have dared foretell it in 1530, and yet within the few decades that followed 15 million Mexicans embraced the true faith.

How did this happen?

It was through our Blessed Mother, appearing to St . Juan Diego, and miraculously imprinting her image on his tilma. Her image fascinated the Mexicans and made them realise that she was the mother of the true God, the God who crushes the head of their serpent God and stands on top of the moon, his symbol.

Towards the close of the last century we began to see heavenly signs that God was following a similar plan for the Muslims, we saw this in a number of mass apparitions that took place in Egypt- such as those in Assuit, Zeitoun, and Omrania. In each of these apparitions the Virgin Mary appeared on top of a Church on successive evenings, she stood there, crowned with twelve stars, she stood there, holding her son, her son, who was the source of the light that enveloped her. She was presenting her son to the Muslims of Egypt, her son, who is the source of all her titles and honours and glories.

You see that is the unusual thing about the Virgin Mary in Islam, her role is really bigged up, but bigged up for what? The Koranic view of Mary is an almighty anti-climax.

She is the only woman in the Koran to even get named, she is spoken of in Surah 3. as “chosen above the women of all nations”, in Surah 19 as alone bearing a son and remaining a virgin, and in Surah 3 as being fed by the holy angels as a child.

And for what reason? To give birth to a prophet?

It simply doesn’t add up, because the Mohammed seem to think there had been 124,000 prophets, why would this one, the prophet for the Jewish people have such an extraordinary mother? With titles and dignities that stand as an anomaly in Islamic theology.

O Muslims, consider the grandeur of the Blessed Virgin, even according to your own book and you will discover that she must be so much more than the mother of some prophet.

O Muslims, look towards the Taurat and the Injil and you will discover why the Virgin Mary is so highly praised, you will discover the truth about her mission and the mission of her son.

O Muslims, Listen to the prophecy of Isaiah 7 made 500 years before the Virgin Mary’s birth, He writes “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold a Virgin will conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel, a name which means God is with us.”

Can you see, the Virgin is great because her son is the greatest. The Virgin is graced because her son is the author of grace, the virgin is untouched by men, because she is the ark of the covenant, the place reserved for God Himself.

My friends, we shouldn’t just stand waiting idly for the Lord to reach the Muslims through some extraordinary wonder, because we don’t know when the Lord will act;  instead, we should be arming ourselves with reasons for our Holy Faith and explanations to offer the Muslims on the truths of Christianity.

So often Muslims are the ones taking the initiative to try and lead us into their heresies and deceptions, but truly we have the words that they are waiting for, the message that will set them free from the bondage of the law and of trying to please their God through ticking the boxes of Sharia.

In your conversations with Muslims, do not be afraid to start off by talking about the Blessed Mother- talk about her apparitions, her many apparitions, agree with them that Mary is ever Virgin and untouched by Satan’s grasp, but let them know that all this was prophesied in the Christian scriptures, and prophesied right next to verses that declare that she will give birth to God clothed in human nature, to the saviour of the world.

Show them the Book of Genesis in which God so masterfully reveals to Satan how He will be crushed by a woman, by a woman and her seed, by Jesus Christ through His holy mother Mary.

In all of their needs and worries, encourage them to seek the Virgin Mary’s intercession, I have personally known of Muslims to receive great graces through Mary, and often these graces becomes signals to them, signs to them of the insufficiency of their religion and of their need to get to know about the real Mary, and the real Jesus.

It is true, the Koran does talk about Jesus Christ, but the Jesus in the Koran is a fabrication. If you read the words of the Jesus of the Koran you don’t meet a person, you just discover some guy who goes around saying “I am not God, worship the one God”, you don’t find the person of Jesus Christ in the Koran, you don’t find the Jesus who meets people, who touches their lives, who slowly reveals His divinity and offers reconciliation with God through a personal relationship with Him.

No, the Jesus of the Koran is a 2d figure, simply a mouthpiece of Islam. A cardboard cut out of Islam. And surely, if the real Jesus had been as the Koran depicts Him, there could have never been any Christianity, because the false Jesus of Islam leaves no room for thinking he is anything more than some regular guy.

The Jesus of the Koran isn’t the real Jesus, He doesn’t even have the name Jesus, He is called Isa, a name which means nothing at all, whereas the name Jesus means saviour, the true Jesus is the saviour, that’s why God gives Him that name through the archangel Gabriel- you must name Him Jesus, because He will save the people from their sins.

Salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone, the redeemer, the Word of God who took a human nature to Himself and offered a sacrifice to counter-balance the sins of the world.

That Jesus Christ came into the world through the Virgin Mary, and He continues to come to the world through her intercession, He is continually the fruit of her holy womb,

Almighty God has so willed it, He has willed that the Virgin Mary give birth to the entire Christ, to the head and also His members, through the power of God the Holy Spirit.

O Virgin Mary, we beg you, complete the task that the Almighty has given you, bring your son, the only saviour to all peoples who do not know Him. And help us O blessed Virgin Mary, to be ambassadors for your son,

Help us to have your gentleness, and your sweetness and your patience as we seek to evangelise the Muslims, give us the words that will touch their hearts, help us to lead them to consider your dignity and your holiness, so that admiring you they may be brought to the saviour, and to find salvation, in the One Holy Catholic Church He founded.

Ave Maria.


I fail to see any “attack” upon Islam in Father’s talk, which was delivered in Woolwich last summer but considered unsuitable for publication online by Day With Mary staff fearful of offending Muslims and (more to the point) terrified of putting themselves at risk in some way.  I can’t see any reasonable Muslim taking offence – they know that Christianity is, by its very nature, missionary, and since they seek converts themselves, they  can hardly object to Catholics obeying Christ’s instruction to do the same, right to the ends of the earth.

After an appearance on a TV discussion show, I was contacted by a Muslim who – in the friendliest manner – entered into  an extended theological debate with me, with no animosity whatsoever –  topic…that one religion is not as good as another!  It emerged during our email exchanges that he had been surprised at my remarks on TV simply because his “liberal” Catholic friends had led him to believe that the Church taught equality of the “Abrahamic” religions. At no time did I feel under threat for explaining the true teaching of the Church, which he soon came to recognise as quite contrary to the liberal version he had been given.

One commentator hit the nail on the head with this description of the DWM group: “Day with Mary spouts a pietist Catholicism-lite which is afraid to challenge modernist doctrines and is unwilling to evangelise Muslims.”  Sounds about right to me. I say, enough of such cowardice in the name of a false prudence. What do you say? Share your thoughts.
ut not yet.  Firstly, consider this:  far from “attacking” Islam, Father Higgins  has shown true love and compassion towards Muslims, by wishing to bring them to Christ.  He knows that, to quote Pope Leo XIII, this can only be done through Our Lady:

Every grace which is communicated to this world has a threefold origin:  it flows from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, and from the Virgin to us . . . Nothing comes to us except through the mediation of Mary, for such is the will of God. Thus, just as no man goes to the Father but by the Son, so likewise no one goes to Christ except through His Mother. Whosoever will not have recourse to her is trying to fly without wings . . . O Virgin Most Holy, no one abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; no one, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee!

Now, why on earth would any Catholic keep that beautiful truth from our Muslim brothers and sisters? Whatever happened to their Confirmation graces, the character of the Sacrament of Confirmation which makes us Soldiers of Christ. Any coward is unattractive – but a cowardly soldier?

American Layman to “Reboot the faith” in the [Dying] Archdiocese of Glasgow…

One of the world’s top Catholic speakers is coming to Glasgow – with a mission to reboot the Catholic faith of the Archdiocese.

Chris Stefanick is currently selling out events across America in his ministry which presents the Catholic faith in all its beauty, power and truth in an engaging and uplifting way.

He has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the areas of marriage and family life, laity, and youth. This month he brings Reboot Live to Glasgow.
Glasgow University’s historic Bute Hall has been booked for Thursday July 27 for the event and organisers are hoping for a sellout.

Fr Joe Lappin, Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese, who has been instrumental in bringing Chris Stefanick to Scotland said: “Reboot Live will be like no ordinary Church event. Chris’s dynamic presentation will bring people to tears, to laughter, and most importantly, to Christ. He presents the Gospel in all its beauty to a world much in need of the joy only Jesus can bring.

“It’s like hearing the Gospel for the first time. We all need a ‘faith boost’ from time to time. This is like no other faith event you’ve ever been to. We hope those who come along will reach out to their family and friends who have fallen away from the faith, who have lost touch with the Lord and His Church and invite them to come home.”

One attendee at a recent event said: “We can’t believe it. We had a man at the event last week who hasn’t been to Church in 50 years. I saw him at Mass yesterday. He told me he is so grateful for the event because it finally opened his heart to God. He just needed an invitation to the right thing. We haven’t felt this joy-filled leaving the church in a very long time.”

Fr Lappin said: “I became aware of Chris Stefanick through his website: It contains some great resources that we use with teachers and we recommend them to make use of his material in the classroom. Of particular help are his short videos which can be informative, instructional and inspirational.

The event in Glasgow can only be described as guided by the Holy Spirit. On the spur of the moment I contacted Chris by email to explore the possibility of him coming over to do some youth, teacher and parish events. In the meantime, he was planning to come to Britain on holiday with his family this summer.”

Chris Stefanick said: “One evening I was praying about going to the United Kingdom and whether to break the family holiday with some ministry work. I asked the Lord about getting to Scotland – if I was going to England, how could I reach out and present the beautiful message of the Gospel in Scotland? I left it with the Lord, went to bed and when I got up the next morning Fr Joe’s email was waiting for me with an invitation to Glasgow.”

Since that initial contact, a great team of volunteers has offered time and talents to organise the event and presentations have been made to the priests of the Archdiocese, the Head Teachers and many of the school staff to promote the event.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “When I was in Philadelphia recently I was struck by the Archbishop of that city – Archbishop Charles Chaput’s view of the Reboot phenomenon. He said to me, ‘Chris Stefanick is recognised as one of the most creative ministers to youth and young adults in the United States. He has extended his ministry to parish communities as well. He brings deep personal faith and an exciting energy to the Reboot programme. Chris Stefanick practises what he preaches. And what he preaches is exciting and Catholic.’ With a recommendation like that I think we are in for a great event in Glasgow.”  Source – Flourish


When a fellow parishioner handed me a copy of Flourish, this morning, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, I groaned.  When  I saw the headline: “Reboot the faith” and read the above article, I groaned again.  “One more gimmick to add to the list.” I thought. I then watched a couple of the videos, and realised that the young man, Chris Stefanick, whom I initially and very uncharitably dubbed “the new Michael Voris”,  appears to be a very well-meaning person, who loves the Faith.  My next thought was, “But, wait: is the Faith which he loves, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic faith as it has been handed down to us from the apostles, or is it the changed faith that has come down to us from the Fathers of Vatican II?”  So, I went in search of a video talk on the Mass and found the video below.

I’m not quite sure why, but it seems to me – I have a kind of sense, albeit having only watched it once – that Chris is a step away from the Traditional Latin Mass, if he’s not there already, but then, is it remotely likely that a TLM attending Catholic would be invited to “reboot the faith” in the highly modernist archdiocese of Glasgow?  You tell me!

Cardinal Müller – “Dissenter” – Sacked…

RRISPONDENZA ROMANA and RORATE CÆLI have just learned that His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith since July 2, 2012, has been dismissed by Pope Francis on the exact expiry date of his five-year mandate. Cardinal Müller is one of the cardinals who sought to interpret Amoris Laetitia along the lines of a hermeneutic of continuity with Church Tradition. This was enough to put him among the critics of the new course imposed by Pope [Francis].  Source: Rorate Caeli


Clearly, dissent from the dissent is not permitted.  Is this the “God of Surprises” at work again? Or was this development all too predictable?

29/6: Happy Feast of Ss Peter & Paul…Faith of our Fathers, Living Still!

On this day, Catholics recall the key event in the establishment of Christ’s Church on earth, when He appointed Peter to lead His Church: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church…” (Matthew 16:18)

These days, however, more than ever, we need to remind ourselves about the profession of Faith which Peter made in the divinity of Christ  just prior to Our Lord’s appointment of him as the first pope:  having asked the disciples “whom do men say that the Son of man is?” (v.13) He then turned to Peter to ask him directly: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (v.16).   

Now, with Peter’s profession of faith made public, he is given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (v.19)

The election of Pope Francis has thrown the Church into turmoil, so let’s use this thread to remind ourselves, firstly, of the need to pray for the Pope and for all the Bishops of the Church, but also to remind ourselves of the need for steadfast faith in the face of this terrible crisis – there is little merit, after all, in fidelity to Christ and Church when ruled by a faithful, saintly pope!

Key question:  should Pope Francis make a public declaration of Catholic Faith, to mark today’s Feast, given the confusion surrounding many of his public statements and the scandal surrounding Amoris Laetitia? 

As with all Feast Day / devotional threads we may discuss relevant issues, of course, but also post favourite hymns, prayers, poems, and share stories of miracles of grace attributable to these great saints.

A very happy Feast of Ss Peter & Paul to all our bloggers, and visitors to this site. 

Comments invited…

Sung Mass, Low Mass: Does God Care?


I’ve been asked to post this thread, in order to discuss the issues surrounding the strong preference of some people, priests included, for a regular sung Mass, whereas others among us prefer the peace of the low Mass as seen in the video above.  I tried to find a sung Mass on video, but all searches led to Solemn High Masses – if anyone can find a straightforward sung Mass on video, please feel free to post it in the comments section, so that those who are unfamiliar with the Traditional Latin Mass might take the time to view both the low and the sung Masses on film.  Remember, to post a video straight onto the page, simply right click on the video, select “copy embed code” and then select “paste” to post the video in your comment box.

There is a school of thought which argues that the more ceremonial there is in the Mass, the greater glory that is given to God. Others believe that the simplicity of Calvary, where there was no music, means that God is best adored in the ordinary low Mass.  Share your thoughts…

Fr Martin Xavier Vazhachira RIP


The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh regrets to announce the death of Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira CMI, Administrator of St John’s parish in Corstorphine, Edinburgh. The 33-year old Indian-born priest had been missing since Tuesday. His body was found yesterday evening, Friday 23 June, on a beach at Dunbar, East Lothian. The cause of death is, as yet, unknown.

“The news of Father Martin Xavier’s death comes as a great shock and a great sadness to all those who knew him and loved him,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh, 24 June.

“Our thoughts and, more importantly, our prayers are with him and with all his loved ones in both Scotland and India. May he rest in peace.”

Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira was a native of Kerela in southern India. He was ordained a priest of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate order in 2013. He arrived in Scotland in July 2016 in order to undertake post-graduate studies at Edinburgh University. He also served in local Catholic parishes, initially in Falkirk before being appointed to Corstorphine in October 2016.

He was last seen on Tuesday afternoon in his parish house.  The alarm was raised by parishioners after he didn’t turn up for Holy Mass on Wednesday morning. A post-mortem will now be carried out to ascertain the cause of death. His family in India have been informed of the tragic news.

Archbishop Leo Cushley is visiting the parish of St John’s in Corstorphine both today and tomorrow, Sunday, in order to offer Holy Mass and to support and comfort parishioners as they attempt to come to terms with the news of Father Martin Xavier’s death.

Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira CMI (1983-2017). Requiescat in pace.  ENDS


Since this young priest had been serving in Scotland at the time of his death, cause not yet known, we launch this thread for the purpose of offering our prayers for the repose of his soul, and for the consolation of his family. Please do not speculate as to the circumstances of his death – we presume he was taken ill when out, perhaps for a walk.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him, may he rest in peace.