Saint Robert Southwell (c. 1561 – 21 February 1595), was an English Catholic priest of the Jesuit Order. He was also a poet, hymnodist, and clandestine missionary in post-Reformation England.
After being arrested and imprisoned in 1592, and intermittently tortured and questioned by Richard Topcliffe, Southwell was eventually tried and convicted of high treason for his links to the Holy See. On 21 February 1595, Father Southwell was hanged at Tyburn. In 1970, he was canonised by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
To mark the Feast, the short sermon below is delivered by a relative of the saint – Edinburgh-born priest, Father Andrew Southwell
It’s interesting, is it not, to reflect on the fact that in times of persecution from governments and false religions, Catholics have been willing to die in defence of the truths of the Faith. Yet, in times of internal strife, as in our times, when the Faith is under attack from within, in her liturgy, dogma and moral teaching, only a minority of the faithful is putting up a fight. Interesting?
ENGLAND, November 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic diocese of Salford in north-west England has become the latest of multiple Catholic dioceses around the United Kingdom to begin hosting “LGBT+ Masses.” In Salford, as in the other dioceses, the LGBT+ Masses enjoy the support of their respective local bishops.
Advertisements for the Masses have become widely available in churches and on various official parish and diocesan websites. Many of these advertisements are emblazoned with the rainbow flag or popular Catholic images such as crosses or the Sacred Heart filled with the rainbow colours. Several of the groups involved in organizing these Masses take part in their local homosexual “pride” events.
In none of the advertisements or official publications about these Masses is the Catholic Church’s authoritative, constant teaching that homosexual sexual acts are inherently sinful made clear…
…This increase in LGBT+ Masses around the country has been welcomed by LGBT+ Catholics Westminster. This group has enjoyed the long-term support of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who is both their local ordinary and the senior Catholic cleric in England. In March of this year, the group were given privileged seats at a papal audience in St Peter’s Square, Rome, after which they were invited to meet and take photographs with Pope Francis. They were introduced to Pope Francis by Martin Pendergrast, an ex-priest who has been in a civil union with Julian Filochowski, the former head of Cafod, since 2006…
…The diocese of Salford is the latest diocese in England to initiate an LGBT+ Mass — hosting its first such Mass on October 12 at Holy NameChurch in Manchester. On Sunday, October 6, Bishop Arnold publicised the Mass on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday morning programme Sounds.
In an email sent to the clergy of his diocese, Bishop Arnold reported his satisfaction with the event:
Thanks, I think, to good planning and organisation, the LGBT Mass went very well, and better than expected. The atmosphere was very good and the comments of people as they left were unanimously encouraging. There were something like 300 people there, a congregation which included family and friends and others who simply came along because they thought it was an important occasion. We must see now what the organisers might want to plan for the future. While it is good to recognise the needs of the group, it is also important not to organise things in such a way as to isolate them from parish life. There were just two voices of dissent present at the Mass and their discourtesy rather bankrupted the value of any statement that they might have wanted to make. My thanks to the Jesuit community who hosted the event at the Holy Name and to all who contributed to the occasion.
In the diocese of Clifton, an “LGBT+ Mass” began in March this year at the parish of St Nicholas of Tolentino in Bristol. The parish website makes clear that the Mass is happening at the request of Bishop Declan Lang, the local ordinary.
“Bishop Declan wishes to express pastoral care and concern for our Catholic LGBT+ community and so has asked St Nicholas of Tolentino Church to celebrate a series of Masses for this community and their friends and family and all who wish to take part.” The same website also displays an image of a sculpture of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart, crowned with a cross, and painted in the colours of the rainbow flag. The parish promotes its Mass with a poster that includes an image of a cross filled with rainbow colours.
The Masses are also being advertised on the official diocesan website.
Please visit the Lifesitenews page here to read the entire report and see ALL of the photos and read about the bishops who, like those above, are manifestly steeped in evil … namely…
Bishop Peter Doyle, diocese of Northampton
Bishop Patrick McKinney, Nottingham
Bishop Terry Drainey, diocese of Middlesbrough
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, archdiocese of Westminster
On a recent thread, we discussed the fact that England has “many” exorcists. Little wonder. The English hierarchy has become more and more brazen in its support for the grave LGBT+ sin. The bishops are now openly not merely “tolerating” this evil, but publicly embracing and endorsing it.
Still, with the Pope himself welcoming LGBT lobby groups and participating in pagan worship within the walls of the Vatican, we can’t be too surprised.
Obviously, we need to step up our spiritual efforts – prayer and penance – in order to appease God and win the grace of conversion for all involved but is there anything else we can do? I was originally planning to list the email addresses for the dioceses named here and urging us all to contact each bishop, but I changed my mind. We’ve been there, done that and bought every T shirt in the shop. Beyond, therefore, public “naming” [if not shaming – they’re brazen now] is there anything else we can do to end scandals like these shocking, sacrilegous, if not blasphemous “Masses” – I mean, can they really be Masses?
Don’t be fooled by the way these Masses are pitched as being for “LGBT and families” – that’s a cover. I’ve never seen any Masses advertised for serial killers and families, have you? Or bank robbers and families, have you? No, for whatever reason (and the possibilities are chilling: the American Cardinal, now plain old ‘Mr’, McCarrick springs to mind) these bishops have embraced – as normal and acceptable – the entire range of depraved behaviour and “identities” known euphemistically as LGBT+
In a small act of reparation for the blasphemous use of images of the Sacred Heart, we pray, Jesus Mercy! Mary, Help!
Your [printable] thoughts welcome…
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in Thee…
Sky News broadcast a segment on the “culture clash” in UK classrooms this morning, focusing on the fact that the protest against the sympathetic portrayal of LGBT issues/same-sex “families” which began in Birmingham has now spread across England. Click hereto read the Sky News report, and see small video clips.
These good Muslim parents can expect no help from Catholics, sadly, because, according to a report emailed to Catholic Truth by one of our watchful readers south of the border, the Bishops of England (with one exception) have welcomed the Government’s shocking new sex-education law which sees parental rights as the prime educators of their children over-ruled by Head Teachers. Click hereto read all about this disgraceful partnership with LGBT activists into which the Bishops have effectively entered.
We know that not all parents are in a position to home-school – that’s understandable. However, what possible excuse can any Catholic parent offer for standing on the sidelines as these ever new and ever worsening laws are passed which are clearly aimed at brainwashing children with the LGBT message that sexuality has nothing to do with morality, that the natural moral law applies only to theft and killing, not to sexual activity – how can any Catholic parent sit back and allow their children to be told that families can be made up of two mummies and/or two daddies, and that God really doesn’t care as long as everybody is happy and “loves” everybody else.
Apart from home-schooling, what can parents actually DO – should they be standing shoulder-to-shoulder beside the Muslim parents outside of schools and if not, why not. And if not what SHOULD they be doing, because, clearly, they should be doing something to stop this brainwashing of innocent primary school children, which is effectively grooming them for a lifetime of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes as “acts of grave depravity” adding that “Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (# 2357)
What right-minded parent, then, stands by while their children are being taught that “acts of grave depravity” can be approved, and more, that these acts of depravity must be tolerated and respected?
For centuries, Catholic children were taught the general Christian rule of treating our neighbour as we would each wish to be treated ourselves. That “golden rule” applies to every person in creation no matter how badly they may behave. We treat everyone with courtesy and respect, as human beings; but that does not, emphatically, mean that we may approve their behaviour. We can easily see that with regard to criminal behaviour, but it applies, also, to all behaviour which offends God, whether or not it is breaking a human or national law. So, to repeat – what possible excuse can any Catholic parent offer to excuse their silence on the LGBT dominance in schools?
Congratulations to the informed Muslim parents for taking counter-cultural action to protect their children. But “congratulations” is not a sentiment that we may legitimately offer to Catholic parents today who are, in the main, going along with every immorality in the book. So, what message SHOULD we sent to Catholic parents right now? Printable suggestions only, please and thank you!
With sincere apologies to our English bloggers and readers – I completely forgot to post a thread to mark the Feast of St George on 23 April – and since we’ve posted Feast Day threads for St Andrew, St Patrick and St David, I decided to copy last year’s St George’s thread… and hope nobody noticed 😀
Hopefully, all Catholic Truth readers, bloggers and visitors to this site remembered to offer a prayer for the hierarchy of England on the Feast of the national Patron Saint, imploring all the graces necessary for them to begin the work of restoring the traditional Catholic Faith in their land, which bears the beautiful title of “Dowry of Mary”.
Currently there is a serious situation in England, where young people are being murdered almost on a daily basis, by other young people stabbing them to death. The “experts” list austerity: cuts in police services (which certainly can’t be helping); drugs, poverty, peer pressure, lack of social clubs for the young – you name it. All the while, the elephant in the room is being ignored.
Some time ago I began my search for something – anything, newspaper article, video interview, news broadcast – addressing the obvious underlying cause of the increasing levels of violence amongst young boys and men; family breakdown, absent fathers. Took a while before I found the above video reporting a Westminster Member of Parliament (MP) speaking on the subject… six years ago, and focusing on the “elephant in the room”, fatherless families. David Lammy MP is still in Parliament, but I don’t recall him repeating his opinion about fatherless families being at the root of the knife crime epidemic in recent days despite the fact that the subject has been aired in the broadcasting media round the clock. Maybe I missed it, or maybe he’s realised that it’s too politically incorrect. Who knows…
But, what do you think? Should fatherless families be added to the list of causes of crime among the young – or would a couple of youth clubs in every area solve the problem?
Indeed, is it not time for the powers-that-be – in both Government and media – to begin to take a fresh look at the wider social implications of raising children in homes where mother brings home a succession of boyfriends, where there are few, if any, rules (they call them “boundaries” these days to disguise the need for rules) and where the children very often don’t even know the identify of their own (various) fathers? Remember, it’s not unusual these days for (half) siblings to have different fathers. It’s a mess. Why is nobody in authority – including the Catholic hierarchy and clergy – saying so? I know we’re supposedly a nation of dog-lovers but … “elephants”?
September 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis told Cardinal Gerhard Müller in 2013 to stop investigating abuse allegations against British Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, according to a highly-placed Vatican source who spoke to Marco Tossati [well-known Italian journalist and Vatican expert.] Murphy-O’Connor, as a member of the “Sankt [St.] Gallen mafia,” played a pivotal role in getting Jorge Bergoglio elected Pope in 2013.
A source from England with inside knowledge of the case told LifeSiteNews that a woman alleges the cardinal had himself been involved in abusing her when she was 13 or 14 years old and that she was the reason for the investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
Tosatti had previously revealed what he learned in September 2013 from a high-ranking Vatican source – “an extremely good source, who was then in the government of the Curia,” and he adds that his source has “learned [it] from those directly concerned.” – that Cardinal Müller, then Prefect of the CDF, was interrupted by the Pope while saying Mass at the Church of Santa Monica (next to the CDF building) for a small group of German students. But now Tosatti reveals that the reason for the interruption was to demand that an investigation into Cardinal O’Connor be halted.
As Tosatti puts it in an article for First Things last year: His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders about a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal.
After hearing this story as related by Marco Tosatti, LifeSiteNews reached out to a reliable source from England who is very well informed about exactly that same lady who had been accusing the English cardinal. According to this English source, the lady has never gone public with her charges. But she has been in contact with Church authorities for about 15 years now, without ever having received a thorough investigation of her claims. This lady is already an acknowledged abuse victim, having received a settlement from the Archdiocese. She had been abused, when she was 13 or 14 years of age, by Father Michael Hill.
The pedophile Father Hill was imprisoned for five years in 2002 for abusing three minor children between 10 and 14. He had previously been imprisoned, in 1997, also for abusing children. He is thought to have attacked about 30 boys between his ordination in 1960 and the late 1980s. As The Guardian put it at the time: “His case is particularly notorious because the church’s leader, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, gave him a post despite warnings that he had abused young boys.” Hill had been moved to different parishes, in spite of the ongoing complaints of parents. Finally he underwent therapy in the 1980s.
The lady who accused Murphy-O’Connor himself of abuse, claims that when Hill abused her in the late 1960s, there were several other priests present and involved. She claims that Murphy-O’Connor was among them. She, who then lived in what is now the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, had entered in the early 2000s into an agreement with the Diocese and received £40,000 payment for the abuse of Father Hill.
Murphy-O’Connor had been the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton from 1977 until 2000, when he was appointed Archbishop of Westminster. He was also a member of the Sankt Gallen Group that tried to get Jorge Bergoglio elected, first in the 2005 conclave, and then again in 2013.
The story of the female victim of abuse is a story of delayed justice and denial of due process. Since she now lives in the Diocese of Portsmouth, she started to express her accusations to Church officials there. But sometime between 2009 and 2010, she also contacted the Archdiocese of Westminster with her allegations. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who has been Archbishop of Westminster since 2009 – and thus the successor of Murphy-O’Connor – refused to investigate the matter.
When Murphy-O’Connor was asked, in 2010, by Pope Benedict XVI to be the head of the Apostolic Visitation to Ireland in order to examine the abuse crisis there, people in the Diocese of Portsmouth were concerned that the abuse allegations against Murphy-O’Connor would then come to light and destroy the credibility of the Apostolic Visitation.
Similar to McCarrick, Murphy-O’Connor is known to have later speciously shown himself to the public as being a hardliner with regard to abuse cases. “Roman Catholic (sic) bishops found to be flouting the new guidelines on child protection will be held to account, or expected to resign,” is the headline of a 2003 article quoting Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. However, as with the McCarrick case in the U.S., the truth is now gaining upon the Church’s hierarchy that has been evasively looking the other way.
In England, there is currently a government-commissioned independent investigation into all sex abuse cases in society, to include those in the Catholic Church. This investigation has the legal power to compel the production of evidence. For this investigation, a so-called “Truth Project” has been set up, whereby victims of sexual abuse of minors may now come and relate their story.
Our source tells us this female victim may have contacted that same Truth Project, since several weeks ago, the investigators requested the Archdiocese of Westminster the release of all the files pertaining to allegations against Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.
It would be important now that four dioceses release their files to the Truth Project concerning this woman’s case: Arundel and Brighton; Westminster; Portsmouth, and Northampton (which submitted the case to the CDF, together with Portsmouth). Bishop John Arnold (now of Salford), who was at the time involved in refusing to investigate the case in Westminster, should also release his files.
Thus, as it seems, the Catholic Church is now sitting upon a ticking time bomb. And on top of that time bomb sits Pope Francis.
This report was consciously published on September 24, the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham – Patroness of the Catholic Church in England – and on the day of the beginning of the English bishops’ Ad Limina visit to Rome. [Emphases added]. Source – to read entire report click here
There’s really nothing to add to the above report except to note that, as we have said for years in our newsletter, when bishops cover up or make excuses for priests causing scandal, in various ways – as did our Cardinal O’Brien RIP in response to our reports and letters about dissident Edinburgh clergy attacking the Faith and morals in newspapers and through the broadcasting media – there has to be a reason. And the reason – we frequently hinted – has to be something very serious.
So, nobody should be surprised at these latest revelations. I’ve never written to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor but I have written to other members of the English (Scottish and Irish) Hierarchy, all to no avail. We’re watching, therefore, with interest as this latest scandal unfolds, and can’t help but wonder if our observations will prove accurate in other cases… both north and south of the border and across the Irish Sea. Will we find even more chickens coming home to roost? Let’s watch and pray, especially for the Consecration of Russia, because, until that happens, these scandals will continue and worsen. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Letter of Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth (pictured below)
to His Holiness Pope Francis
22nd August 2018
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
His Holiness, Pope Francis Apostolic Palace Vatican City
Most Holy Father,
I am writing in the light of the terrible scandals of the abuse of minors by clergy revealed by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. To these can be added the scandals in Chile, Australia, Ireland and now here in England too, in light of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse. Clerical sex abuse seems to be a world-wide phenomenon in the Church. As a Catholic and a Bishop, these revelations fill me with deep sorrow and shame. I pray for the healing of the poor victims. I pray for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. I pray too for myself, and for all our clergy and people, that by our penance we will grow in holiness.
I wanted to make a constructive suggestion. Would it be possible to call an Extraordinary Synod on the Life and Ministry of Clergy? The Synod might begin with a ‘congress,’ attended by the bishops but formed of laity and others expert in the clergy abuse scandals and in the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable. The fruits of this could then be taken forward into a Synod of Bishops proper. I suggest the Synod be devoted to the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision. Canon Law could then be revised in the light of the outcomes and each Diocese be required to apply it bydeveloping its own Directory for Clergy.
As a Bishop, I seem to have few tools to facilitate the day to day management of clergy. For example, when I was a seminary formator, we spent several years devising a balanced system of annual assessments and scrutiny, based on Pastores Dabo Vobis, to help an individual student take responsibility for his formation. By contrast, once ordained, priests/bishops have few formal ongoing assessments or ministerial supervision. It ought to be possible to devise mechanisms to help bishops in their responsibilities towards clergy and to help clergy realise they are not ‘lone operatives’ but ministers accountable to the direction and leadership of the diocese – nihil sine episcopo.
Most Holy Father, please be assured of my prayers for you in your daunting ministry. I look forward to meeting you soon for the Ad Limina.
Bishop Egan’s initiative is to be warmly welcomed. At last a prelate showing the need for practical steps to end this scandal of clerical sexual abuse of young people. Will the Pope take up his suggestion though? And what sorts of “mechanism” and “rule of life” would YOU like to see adopted for priests? How might priests react to the introduction of measures of accountability and supervision, having become used to the kind of laxity we have seen in the seminaries (none left in Scotland, as a result) and in their priestly lifestyle. They seem to be a law unto themselves at the moment. How might they react to restrictions being imposed on them now? Is it too late? Or, as the saying goes, is it never too late?