10/3: Feast of Scots Martyr St John Ogilvie – His Life/Death & Miracles Now Meaningless in Modern Scotland? 

Background…

John Ogilvie was the eldest son of Walter Ogilvie, a respected Calvinist who owned the estate of Drumnakeith in Banffshire. At the age of twelve he was sent to Europe to be educated. He attended a number of Benedictine establishments and eventually, he decided to become a Catholic.

The first part of the 17th century was a turbulent and dangerous time to be a Catholic priest in Scotland because after 1560 (Scottish Reformation), Catholicism was outlawed. Ogilvie returned to Scotland, arriving in Glasgow disguised as a horse trader. He celebrated Masses in secret, and was eventually betrayed to the authorities only a year later.

He was tortured, and paraded through the streets of Glasgow before being hanged for treason at Glasgow Cross.  As he mounted the scaffold, an old woman spat on him and shouted, “A curse be on your popish face, Ogilvie!” to which he responded, “And a blessing be upon your bonny face, Madam!”

St John’s place of burial is unknown, but his remains are thought to lie in a pauper’s grave somewhere near the place of execution.

Ogilvie’s last words were “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”  He then threw his rosary into the crowd.

John Fagan’s Miracle Cure…

The parish of Blessed John Ogilvie in Easterhouse, Glasgow, was home to John Fagan, a worker at the Glasgow docks.  In 1967, Fagan developed a large tumour in his stomach and the entire parish prayed to Blessed John for a miracle. The parish priest, Father Thomas Reilly, pinned a medal of Blessed John to Fagan’s pyjamas.  Their prayers were indeed answered. 

His wife kept vigil at his bedside and he had slipped into a coma.  The family doctor visited late at night and told Mary she had to prepare herself, as he expected her husband to die during the night and that he would return in the morning to sign the death certificate. In the early hours of the morning John spoke to Mary, who was shocked when he told her he was hungry and asked for something to eat. He had not eaten for months. She made him an egg and toast which he ate.  In the morning, the doctor returned and was so amazed to see John sitting up in bed talking that he collapsed into a chair.  The news of these strange events spread all over Glasgow and beyond.  Medical examinations did indeed prove that there was no longer any sign of the tumour.  The Vatican was informed and the process of investigation began.  Father Reilly was named as the Vice Postulator of the cause and all necessary papers were sent to Rome.

Eventually, the miracle was declared and nine years later, on 17 October 1976 Pope Paul VI canonised John Ogilvie. John Fagan had been in the army in Rome in 1944 when the city was liberated from the Nazis.  He found himself on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica, looking at the magnificence of the Vatican.  Little did he realise that three decades later he would return there to play a major role in the making of a saint. John Fagan and his wife photographed (right) at the canonisation of Saint John Ogilvie SJ. 


So, why did John Ogilvie sacrifice his life? 

John Ogilvie died for witnessing to his beliefs in a world hostile to the values of Christ, i.e.  a Scotland which had rejected the Catholic Faith.  Yet, his martyrdom made a deep impression on many who witnessed his execution.  The blood of the martyrs is so often the seed of the blossoming Church.  Sadly, however, this has not been the case in Scotland, where the martyr’s death is repeatedly downplayed by the Scottish hierarchy in the cause of what is manifestly false ecumenical progress.  The last time we checked, for example, the tourist bus informed visitors to the city that Glasgow Cross is famed for the way gossipy women used to be placed in the stocks and pelted with rotten tomatoes. There is no mention of Scotland’s only post-Reformation martyr, canonised as recently as 1976, who was executed on that very spot. The application of so-called “Tolerance and Diversity” has a way to go yet in Scotland, where religious indifferentism is writ large. Priests like John Ogilvie, who sacrificed their lives in defence of the ancient Mass, have been replaced by priests who won’t even offer the new Mass on their day off.  So, what went wrong?  Ecumenism? Inter-religious dialogue? Vatican II? Paul VI’s new Mass? Lowering of seminary standards for entrance? Ignoring the Church’s criteria for entry into seminary? What then? 

Comments invited…    

Is Scottish Catholic Education Service Embedding The LGBT+ World-View?

Editor writes…

Reflecting on our forthcoming Education Seminar (23 May), and given that Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) has ignored my emailed invitation to her to participate in said seminar, I decided to take a look at some of the resources on the SCES website which are used in Catholic schools.  As a retired secondary school /sixth form teacher, I am particularly interested in the materials used with the older students, so I ambled along to the SCES website and clicked on the Religious Education section. However, they require login details to access those lessons so, as a follower of the old maxim if at first you don’t succeed, give up, I moved on to visit the section headed Equality & Inclusion Learning and Teaching, and clicked on resources for Levels Three, Four and Senior Phase – see sidebar on right of the SCES page: click here

I had technical problems with the Word documents at Level Three – they just wouldn’t open.  However, I did see the video “The Story of Human Rights” which was very lively.  Only two “hero” figures stand out in the film – 6th century Cyrus the Great, who freed the slaves in Babylon, thus bringing civilisation to the region and, of course, Mahatma Gandhi. If there were any notable Catholics, missionaries and saints, doing good in the world at any point in history, they didn’t make it into The Story of Human Rights” video shown in Catholic schools in Scotland. 

Levels Four and Senior Phase concentrate on driving home the importance of the  Equality Act, 2010, with time divided more or less equally between the Equality Act 2010 and the Stonewall Riots – credited with sparking the fight for LGBT+ rights.  At the top of the list of resources for Level Four, however, we find a video in which pupils are presented with two dolls, one white, one black, and  asked (by white interviewers) to point to the “bad” doll and the “ugly” doll and the “good” doll and the “pretty” doll.  In the majority of cases, children pointed to the white dolls as being the good/pretty etc and to the black doll as being the bad/ugly. This “research” is used to point to rampant racism – it will be interesting to see if our bloggers agree…

Take some time to research the SCES materials yourself and then share your thoughts. Should parents be concerned about these materials? And is SCES guilty of embedding the LGBT+ worldview, indoctrinating young people with the philosophy of “gay rights”? 

A Very Happy Brexit Day! 

Comment: 

Mairead McGuinness is the first Vice President of the European Parliament, in post since 2017.   In several news interviews following Nigel Farage’s final speech at the European Parliament she highlighted Nigel’s use of the word “hate”,  shock-horrified at the use of that word.  However, contrary to her disingenuous insinuations, Nigel did not say that he hated any person, or group or nation, merely the structures, the system. It’s reasonable to assume that Ms McGuinness would hate to live under the totalitarian regime in North Korea and she would be outraged, surely, if anyone misinterpreted that sentiment to suggest that she hates the people of North Korea.

In an email exchange earlier today, the reader who expressed enthusiasm about marking Brexit Day with this thread, threw cold water on Mairead McGuinness’s remarks about the use of the word “hate” by Nigel Farage in the above clip – he writes: 

“I don’t care what that humourless Irish woman thinks. I hate the EU as well. It seems that ‘hate’ has become a crime, but there’s nothing wrong with hate under certain circumstances. It’s quite right to hate evil. The EU is of its nature thoroughly evil, as are all totalitarian systems (although whether every willing participant realises that is another matter) so there’s nothing wrong with calling it evil. I feel like I’ve just got out of prison! And a Happy Brexit Day to you!”

Anyway, share your thoughts on the UK’s future outside the EU.  With no need to implement EU directives, is there a chance we can begin to restore  Christian culture, not least in the area of personal morality, and the teaching of marriage and family life in schools?  

Finally, as an acknowledgment of the one million-plus Scots who voted to leave the EU  – but who have been generally ignored in virtually all the discussions about Brexit since 2016 – let’s launch this discussion  by flying our national flag, as we pray for Scotland and the rest of the UK, at this important juncture in our history. 

St Andrew, pray for us!
St George, pray for us! 

St David, pray for us!
St Patrick, pray for us!

Our Lady, Queen of Peace… pray for us! 

Wishing Everyone a Very Happy New Year in 2020 … Come Holy Spirit! 

Comment: 

For bloggers and readers who may wish to attend the traditional Latin Mass on New Year’s Day, the Masses available include: 

Society of St Pius X in Edinburgh – 12.30pm

Society of St Pius X in Glasgow – 6.30pm

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archdiocese of Glasgow – 12 noon

In the January newsletter,  not yet published due to holidays, we are asking readers to make a special effort to bring to the Pope’s attention at the beginning of this new year, the increasing urgency of the Consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, in order to achieve world peace:  write to His Holiness Pope Francis, Apostolic Palace, 00120 Vatican City. (Do not add ‘Rome’ or ‘Italy’)… 

That’s one New Year’s resolution done and dusted! 

Now share any favourite hymns and prayers, videos, jokes and stories, to ease us into the new year and a new decade.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!   

Scots Bishop Excommunicates Critics of Pope Francis – Is Catholic Truth Next?

Bishop Brian McGee, 54, of Argyll and The Isles, Scotland, excommunicated a group of hermits on Westray Island, reports Deacon Nick Donnelly on Twitter.

The excommunication was notified on Christmas Eve by mail.

The group consists of Father Stephen de Kerdrel, Sister Colette Roberts and Brother Damon Kelly who, in the past, was arrested ten times for criticising homosexuality and abortion.

The reason for the excommunication was a declaration published in summer on the hermits’ website calling Francis “a great heretic” and stating that “never in history has there been such a Pope, who by his actions, words, and teaching, has thrown the whole Church into confusion.”

The hermits declaration therefore withdraw “our obedience from Pope Francis and sever communion with the Holy See.”   © Nick Donnelly, #newsSxxgfrdnaj

Source – with full declaration included… 

Comment: 

Ignore the headline!  Catholic Truth is highly unlikely to be excommunicated because, unlike those hermits, we recognise that we do not possess the authority to pronounce on the Pope in this way;  we recognise, rather, that this pontificate is but the latest suffering for us, in this ever-worsening Church crisis.  Much patience, along with much penance and prayer is needed to see us through this crisis. Pray for the Pope, highlight and correct his shocking errors, and then wait for the judgment of the Church in due course.  Unless he publicly and massively repents, there’s no doubt that he will be anathematized by the Church authorities at some future date.  Just not now.  And just not by anyone who lacks the authority to formally denounce him.  It’s sad and disappointing that those hermits have now followed Luther to stand against Christ’s Church, and all because of a bad pope.  Very sad. Very disappointing.    One of the things which has led them into this error, as stated in their  Declaration, is the incomprehensible silence of the world’s bishops.  They are right about that – those bishops will share in whatever horrors await Pope Francis at his judgment for their complicity in his theological, spiritual, moral and ecclesiastical crimes. 

Nevertheless, I sincerely hope there’s nobody on this blog who thinks that the hermits did the right thing but if you ARE of that flawed mindset,  feel free to say so, just this once – we normally avoid this subject since it can lead people astray, but since this is happening here in our own neck of the woods in Scotland, well… there’s always an exception to the rule.  So, this is it; but, be clear, those hermits are 100% wrong to break from  Christ’s Church no matter how well intentioned, for we all know about that dreaded road which is paved with good intentions but which leads us, literally, to Hell.  Avoid! 

Exorcist: Streets of London Full of Demons… But is Scotland Satan-Free?

From the National Catholic Register…

On a sunlit autumn day, outside a church in central London, there stands a figure — by his dress unmistakably a Catholic priest. This priest, Father Jeremy Davies, is also an exorcist. He is at the church door awaiting someone, due to arrive shortly, in need of his ministry.

National Catholic Register Continues…

The matter-of-fact and calm manner of Father Davies belies the fact that this is a man on the front line of an ancient and ongoing spiritual battle. It is one carried out by him behind closed doors in a London church on an apparently mundane weekday afternoon. Yet within those church walls the power of the Holy Name releases people from the influence of evil, frees the oppressed from wicked spirits and, in the more extreme cases, casts out demons from the possessed.

Seemingly unperturbed by the evil that he combats, Father Davies states simply: “If God asks us to do a work, then he will protect us.” Since being ordained in 1974, this priest’s primary concern has always been, rather than his own well-being, the spiritual well-being of those who seek his help; and since 1987, that concern for others included their desire to be rid of Satanic oppression. No doubt, the concern he feels about his current “cases” is similar to that he experienced when he was working as a doctor. His desire then was to cure patients of physical illness; now, it is to rid his current patients of something even more deadly.

Since the late 1970s Father Davies has been exercising the ministry of deliverance and exorcism in the Westminster Diocese. In 2019, such is the demand for his services that he exercises that ministry every week at a central London church. He agreed to speak to the Register Oct. 9.

Portrait of an Exorcist

At one time, Father Davies was one of the few exorcists in London; now, he is one of a number. It was in 1987 that the then cardinal-archbishop of Westminster, Basil Hume, asked him to become the exorcist for the diocese. Although Father Davies had at the time only limited experience of the work to be undertaken, without hesitation, he accepted his new ministry.

In some ways he was a perfect candidate. Before becoming a priest, Father Davies had trained as a medical doctor. After qualifying to practice medicine in 1968, he had practiced in remote parts of Africa, where he had encountered strange disturbances in his patients. Following his ordination in 1974, he worked as a priest in central London. Here, he encountered behaviour just as disturbed in the souls entrusted to him as he had in his former patients in Africa. Father Davies remembers “all sorts” of people coming to his presbytery, some of whom he says were “possessed or troubled.” His work as a parish priest proved an introduction to a world that is now central to his priestly ministry.

Today, he no longer runs a parish. Instead, his time is largely taken up with his work as an exorcist. An octogenarian, mentally alert and still in good health, Father Davies focuses upon his work with an air of pervading calm. In fact, his demeanor still has aspects of the “bedside manner” of any good doctor. In short, he is a skilled listener and observer.

Satan Is Real

As Father Davies awaits another troubled soul, he reflects on the recent comments allegedly made by the Jesuit superior general, Father Arturo Sosa, that, seemingly, he no longer believes that Satan exists. Father Davies shakes his head: “It’s fatal to faith and salvation to disbelieve a part of Revelation. Every part of Revelation is important and essential. Belief in Satan as a fallen angel — indeed, as the leader of the fallen angels — is an essential part of divine Revelation.”

Father Davies said that such a view as that attributed to Father Sosa is “totally against the word of God and the Catholic faith. It shows just what depths people can sink to on the path of modernism.” He paused and then added: “If he really said this, he has put himself outside the communion of the Church.” Standing in the sunshine while awaiting a soul desperately in need of deliverance ministry, Father Davies added, “I would ask him [Father Sosa] how on earth he had come to this belief.”

Father Davies was speaking to the Register just weeks before Halloween. London shops are full of paraphernalia associated with that festival. Father Davies is clear that there are two major perils associated with Halloween, both equally dangerous: “They [those who ‘celebrate’ Halloween] begin by playing games, but it can lead to people disbelieving in the devil and evil spirits, and this, in turn, can lead to a loss of the Christian faith.”
He pointed out that a “levity about such matters was fatal; playing with evil under the pretext of it being untrue is to allow evil to enter.” But evil can also enter, he explains, where there exists an unhealthy interest in the occult, leading to “an intrusion of demonic influence” through a growing fascination with it. Whichever way evil gains entry, Father Davies is clear that any dabbling in the occult “doesn’t have to be deep to be deadly.” He explained that any “tolerance of occult practices is part of a terrible deception” stemming from its source, namely, the Father of Lies. There is no such thing as a “gradation” in these matters, according to the exorcist priest. All such activity he sees as sinful, and, as with any sin, it is a means by which a soul is removed ever further from the love of God.

Gateway of Sin

It is not just the occult that is a gateway for the entry of evil into the lives of those unfortunate enough to experience it, though. Father Davies cites other ways in which evil can enter and linger, ultimately destroying the soul. He said that this can occur by means of “every sin, but sins particularly bound up with the preternatural and with grave sin — such as abortion and pornography — and anything against our created nature, including in the realm of sexual morality.”
Interestingly, Father Davies still sees potential opportunities for good in the fact that Halloween has gained an ever-higher profile year by year. “Halloween is a good opportunity,” he suggests, “to teach the faith and help all of us — especially children — to understand the reality of evil and the truth of Christ and his Church.” It is the occasion, he feels, to “teach against” the festival using the word of God and the “clear teaching of the Church.” This now-omnipresent paganized holiday is the moment, he says, “to warn the world not just to avoid Halloween; it is also an opportunity to tell people about Christ.”

Illusion and Reality

Exorcists have been the stuff of media fantasy since the 1970s. The 1973 film The Exorcist was a worldwide box-office smash and established a cinematic sub-genre devoted to the subject as well as a hackneyed template for any related plot. Needless to say, most of these films concerning exorcisms have been inaccurate, sensational and wholly forgettable. But there is nothing about Father Davies that is remotely sensational or that appears out of the ordinary — as, without a glance, people pass by him on a busy London street.

Father Davies began his ministry as one of only a very few exorcists in London, and, then, there was little contact among those priests. But over the intervening three decades, this has changed. Over the years, as his ministry has grown, so too has communication between the British and the worldwide network of priests who are charged with this work. In 1990 Father Davies, along with five other priests, including Father Gabriele Amorth, founded the International Association of Catholic Exorcists. This organization holds an international conference every other year in Rome. In addition, the British-based exorcists also hold a national conference. Across London exorcists meet on a regular basis to coordinate their fight against the forces that spiritually oppress so many. The identities of diocesan exorcists are only revealed to those in need of their help. The work of these priests and the laypeople who assist them is largely hidden from the public view.

It is time for Father Davies to leave. His services are required.

As he gets ready to leave, I am reminded of what a holy priest, now long since dead, once said of the streets of London, namely that they were “full of demons.”

When this is put to him, Father Davies replies, “That’s true.”

And with that he pushed open the church door once more to enter into his ministry.

(The above taken from As Halloween Approaches, an Exorcist Speaks on the Reality of Satan – An interview with a London priest who battles the devilNational Catholic Register – emphases added).

Comment: 

When the family in a house in Rutherglen (Diocese of Motherwell, though outskirts of Glasgow city) was reported as experiencing “paranormal activity”,  a priest went into the home to give a “blessing”; however, the problem persisted and, as this Daily Record piece reports, the “Catholic Church failed to respond” to journalists’ enquiries.  That might have been because – as we were reliably told at the time – Scotland doesn’t have an exorcist any more, so beyond a priest saying some prayers and blessing the home, there didn’t seem a lot more the Church authorities in the diocese could do to rid the family of their unwelcome supernatural guests.   

The question for this thread has to be: should Scotland have at least one exorcist, given that the city of London hosts a meeting for the English exorcists on a regular basis…Or is it the case that Scotland is Satan-free?  Really? 

Scotland’s Drugs Crisis: Godless Society, Despair & Drugs… Church to Blame?

Leading the news in the print and broadcasting media across the UK today…

More than 1,100 people died from drugs in Scotland last year, new figures indicate, the worst level since records began.

There were 1,187 drug-related deaths registered in 2018 – above 1,000 for the first time and up 253 (27%) on the previous year.

The National Records of Scotland statistics indicate Scotland’s drug death rate is nearly triple the UK rate and the highest in the European Union Click here to read more…

Comment: 

Causes of, and possible cures for, Scotland’s massive drugs problem – according to the media chatterati – were varied and imaginative in the news debates today, including the provision of taxpayer funded facilities to allow addicts taking illegal drugs to consume, er… legally; this, with a view to making it easier to provide health care since we’re now to regard drug addiction as a public health issue, not a criminal activity. The quaint old-fashioned idea that it may well be both, has, very conveniently, been set aside.  How this will impact on the drug dealers, of course, is never mentioned. They may be able to argue the case for their own mental health disorder, a compulsion to sell drugs – who knows…

Not a single Roman collar to be seen among all the commentators and alleged experts, not a bishop’s mitre.  The Catholic Church in Scotland has nothing to say, it seems, on the devastating news that there are record numbers of souls going to meet their Maker following an overdose of illegal drugs, not a single possible solution or even a nod in the direction of our Godless society as, perhaps (just “perhaps”, mind, nobody’s being “judgemental” of course not –  perish the thought!)  being the reason why so many people are turning to drugs. 

Without any direction in life, and without any authoritative teaching about the definitive meaning of life, the realities of Heaven and Hell, divine revelation and the importance of exercising true Faith (not demanding God to come and show himself in a science laboratory), not to mention the confusion caused by presenting upside-down morals as normal, just maybe this terrible turn in a once Christian society has led people into despair.

Lack of religious and moral leadership doesn’t  seem to have occured to anyone reporting on this scandal; and it certainly doesn’t seem to be occurring to the clergy that their negligence in preaching what God has revealed in both Faith and Morals – and that in the public square, clearly and unambiguously – might be a contributing factor in this dreadful drugs crisis.   For, the same Catholics, lay and ordained, who are perfectly happy to take soup and sandwiches to the homeless and addicted wouldn’t dream of taking them, at the same time, an exhortation (NOT a mere “invitation”) to turn to God, in His Church, as the means given to us to live fulfilling lives in this world, and to save our souls for eternal life in the next. 

Or maybe that’s all pie in the sky (literally!) – maybe the drugs crisis IS simply a health crisis?  What do you think? 

Finally, let’s all pray for all those afflicted by drug addiction to  Saint Maximillian Mary Kolbe