An Independent Protestant Scotland…

One of the Treasures of the National Archives of Scotland, the Declaration of Arbroath was written to the Pope in 1320, on behalf of the barons and community of the realm of Scotland. This eloquent letter, written in support of King Robert Bruce (Robert I) and an independent Scotland, is still regarded as a spirited statement of a nation’s claim to freedom. Click here to read the Declaration of Arbroath

Comment:

With the SNP once again calling for a referendum on Scottish independence, it is worth reflecting on Scotland’s deeply Catholic roots in order to consider the question of  “freedom”. Outside the Catholic Church, can there BE true freedom for Scotland?  Think “gay marriage”; think Named Person Scheme; think the Freemasonic roots of the EU, which the SNP wish to rejoin after Brexit/and (they hope) a successful independence referendum.  Take note of the  reference to “poor Scotland” in the Declaration – a description so apt in our times. Poor, poor Scotland.

In short, knowing that the original call for Scotland’s independence was made by loyal sons of the Church, is it permissible today for  Catholics to vote in good conscience for an independent (Protestant) Scotland?  

Happy Hogmanay… & New Year!

A wee touch of Scotland to mark Hogmanay – New Year’s Eve.   

I did try to find some videos of humour with a Scottish flavour but, as a native born Scot, I’m ashamed to say that every single video I tried contained crudity to a greater or lesser extent – no good clean fun at all, so, while there were some hilarious one-liners in them, especially the Rev I.M. Jolly videos, none are suitable for posting here.  I then turned to videos of the old White Heather Club shows to recreate some of the national song and dance fun from those years, before pop bands took over Hogmanay and ruined it, but they’re all too lengthy, or so I thought – if anyone disagrees, feel free to post them.  

This is just to allow some light relief as we approach the New Year – which promises to be a very interesting year indeed, to say the least.  So, share your jokes and stories, songs etc. I have a  story about the Alexander Brothers featured in the video above, from my days in the Legion of Mary, but will keep it for the comment box.  What, I hear you ask, does the Legion of Mary have to do with the Alexander Brothers? Keep guessing! 

Are Scottish Catholic Schools Grooming Children For Sexual Deviance?

Catholic Truth blogger, Summa, from Australia writes: 

You must fight this. This plague is already in Australia.It is akin to grooming youth for sexual deviance:

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said: “The Church is working with the Catholic Head Teacher associations to ensure that all teachers have adequate knowledge, understanding and training and feel confident in addressing all aspects of relationships education, including LGBTI+ matters, in an appropriate and sensitive way.”  Read entire report here at Herald Scotland 

 

Archbishop Tartaglia President, Scottish Catholic Education Service - the buck stops here...

Archbishop Tartaglia
President, Scottish Catholic Education Service –  the buck stops here…

Comment: 

The Scottish Hierarchy continues to keep a disgraceful silence on the undermining-through-to-destruction of traditional marriage and sexual morality  – always taking their lead from the enemy; secular society and, specifically, the homosexual lobby, whose list of deviant behaviour is ever growing.  There’s a push now for the normalisation of “transgenderism” and goodness knows what else will be added to the list once that’s firmly in place (and they’re almost there, with few questioning the idea that a man may become a woman and vice versa)  – bestiality? Why not? 

Children and young people are, therefore, as Summa says, effectively being groomed for sexual deviance, with the full and knowing complicity of the useful idiots currently running the Education Service of the Catholic Church in Scotland – and their episcopal bosses. Click here to see who’s who….

Nobody but nobody will convince me that these self-styled education “experts” and the Bishops do not know perfectly well that “addressing LGBTI+ matters in an appropriate and sensitive way” means condoning sexually deviant behaviour and accepting its normalisation – and imposition – by those guilty of this grave sin, which Christians have always believed, is a sin “crying to Heaven for vengeance.”  Or perhaps you disagree? Let’s hear it…  

10 March: Feast of St John Ogilvie…

A LETTER FROM FR JOHN OGILVIE SJ

On 9 March 2015 an ecumenical vespers was held at St Aloysius church in Glasgow, on the eve of the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie SJ.

Fr Dermot Preston gave the homily, that you can listen to [here]… in which he read this letter: [extracts follow – click here to read the entire letter] 

St John OgilvieDear Fr Preston,

My name is Fr John Ogilvie. I understand that you will be preaching this evening as part of the celebrations of my 400 years. I’m sorry not to be there – well, I’m not actually… I’m in a far better place. And the weather is much better.

I hear that you are the Provincial of the British Jesuits. As a Scot in those days, having left Leith, I found myself entering the Jesuits in what you would now called the Czech Republic – ‘Bohemia’, as it then was. I came to London just once, but it was only a short visit. There was great persecution in England in those days and, as I was being trained, I met many brave English and Welsh Jesuit priests and brothers on the continent awaiting their mission. Impressive men; but like me, many of them didn’t live to old age.

As I look back I have been reflecting and, for what it is worth, I offer you a few thoughts for your homily tonight.

Firstly I am delighted that so many people and ministers of so many Christian denominations can come together for such an occasion. At the end of my trial, after I had been condemned to death, I made a point of going to shake the hands of all the judges: this was not some stunt – I sincerely meant it. Certainly some annoyed me greatly by their petty mindedness, and some were so caught-up in their own issues they couldn’t see beyond the skin of their own noses, but despite our formidable differences, I quite liked a lot of them and held them all as beloved children of the living God. It fills my heart with great joy that companionship is possible in your day…

Secondly, I would hope that in your homily you do not dwell on the past and please do not focus on me. I have a name and you know some things about me and my life – perhaps not as much as you think, as actually not one of you is certain of the year in which I was born! – but through the 2000 years of the history of the Church, I am just a single raindrop in a Glaswegian thunderstorm. Thousands, perhaps millions of human beings have died violently in Christ’s name over two millennia. Many of these people have never been named; for some, their story of martyrdom is forgotten by history and known only to the heart of God. They are the heroes of the Church.

In your own time there has been an unprecedented upsurge of persecution of Christians across the world. According to one secular Human Rights group based in  Germany, 80% of all acts of religious discrimination in your world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.

Notice I don’t say ‘Catholics’ because now the struggle has changed: if truth be told, the complex discussions about the differences in Christian theology which brought about my death are a luxury which is irrelevant for many people of your day. Look around you, Father Provincial: in Africa, in Asia, the Middle East, parts of Europe and central America, just to stand in the Shadow of the Cross automatically marks you out for torture and death. Faith and belief are distilled to the very basics; Presbyterians, Methodists, Salvation Army Pentecostalists, Baptists, Anglicans, Orthodox and others stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholics in announcing their faith not with any complex declaration of creed, but merely by indicating that Christ, the Son of God came down upon this earth for the salvation of humankind, and they have styled their life on that belief. It is important to emphasise what unites Christians rather than focussing on what divides.

Finally, perhaps it would be important to tell the people tonight about what it means to be a martyr. This is especially true when the word itself might be used to describe a man or woman who wraps himself or herself in explosives and devastates a Church or a Synagogue or a Mosque. A Christian can never be someone who brings destruction on others in the name of Christ. A Christian martyr is someone who acts as a witness – a person who gives up their life, that others might live…

There is so much fear and uncertainty and greed in people’s daily lives that it is so tempting to lash out at other people – to inflict fear on others, to use physical violence or the deadly weapon of a gossipy tongue to drag them down. It can give a moment of pleasure, but ultimately it is a futile action. The cycle of vendetta and recrimination which you can see spiralling-down through families and nations through the centuries, draws the life-blood from all that is human.

In my own small way, I tried to do as Jesus did. I did not trade insult for insult. Instead I looked at Jesus before his persecutors and took him as my example; he absorbed their hatred, he absorbed their anger, he absorbed their misunderstanding and somehow – shockingly – he stopped it dead in its tracks.

Every act of human kindness, every fragment of LOVE contributes to this redemption of the world, whether it is a hand of friendship or a bitten-tongue holding back an insult. No act of witness goes to waste.

So, work for the time when people might come to you and ask you to show them a martyr, a faithful witness to the faith; work for that time when you no longer need to point to my painting or shrine – but you can point to yourself and the congregation that surrounds you.

Your devoted Jesuit Brother in Christ,

John
Firstborn son of Walter Ogilvie of Drum-na-Keith. 

Comment:

A Happy Feast Day to one and all! 

But, hang on…That’s not REMOTELY the letter that St John Ogilvie would be writing, were he to communicate with us today.   He would begin, no question about it, by lamenting the fact that the Mass for which he had sacrificed his life’s blood was no longer in “ordinary” use, but dubbed “extraordinary”, with those who love it, as he had loved it, treated like village idiots, even at the highest level in the Church.  That’s one topic which St John Ogilvie would certainly include in his letter today – can you think of any others?

As well as spending some time discussing “that letter”, however, we are also invited to  post our favourite prayers, poems and hymns  in honour of the Saint, and –  in the interest of enjoying some Good Clean Fun – we may post jokes and comical stories, as well. Just go easy on the mean Scots jokes… Athanasius tends to take those personally.  He once wrote a letter to an English newspaper where he said:  “If you print any more jokes about mean Scotsmen I shall stop borrowing your paper.” And he took to the streets a few weeks ago there, with an empty glass in each hand when the weather forecaster said there would be a nip in the air…

Happy Feast of  St John Ogilvie! 

The Conundrum of Catholic Schools

SCESlogoI’m always very surprised to learn of allegedly informed Catholics who continue to believe that Catholic schools are doing a great job.  It’s as if there were no crisis in the Church, as if everyone involved had the same objective of passing on the Faith. Having led a number of RE Departments in Catholic schools in England, I know differently. At the time of this writing I know of several RE teachers in various Scottish Catholic schools who are having a hard time of it when they uphold the Church’s teaching on sexual morality; in some cases, the same pupils who mischievously (in my view) ask a question about, say, homosexuality, will then lodge a complaint that the teacher is “homophobic ” for doing nothing more than repeating what the Church teaches, based on the natural moral law.  In some cases, parents, and colleagues also complain. Teachers who uphold the Faith are bullied. That’s a fact. So, I decided to check out the Scottish Catholic Education Service website, to see how they’re selling Catholic schools these days.  There was one surprise, showing that they’re paying some attention to the valid criticisms made by informed Catholics for years now, but there was also the usual blurb. More on the surprise in a moment, but first…

Here’s the usual blurb…

Central to Catholic Christian faith is the person of Jesus Christ whose invitation to all people to live life in all its fullness presents the challenge which lies at the heart of religious education. Ways of responding to this challenge are facilitated through regular reflection upon the impact of the message of Catholic Christian faith on learners’ understanding of life and on their personal response to their life circumstances. Such reflective consideration leads to the growth of knowledge and understanding and provides opportunities for the development of beliefs, values and practices which result in the making of religious and moral decisions and commitments in life. Contexts for such opportunities may include:

  • appropriate experiences and celebration of prayer, reflection, meditation and liturgy
  • consideration of relevant life situations which present moral challenges
  • experience of engaging with the community of faith in home, school and parish
  • participation in acts of charity and in service for communities, locally and globally.

Here’s the surprise…

While it is appropriate to include learning about other denominations and other faiths, the aim in Catholic religious education classes will always be to form young people who follow Jesus and to assist them to know, love and serve God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hence, Catholic religious education is ‘confessional’ in nature. In particular, teachers should avoid taking a phenomenological approach, thus presenting all denominations or faiths as equally true. While respecting pupils’ opinions and faith backgrounds, teachers must propose Catholic beliefs and values as objectively true and eminently relevant. In this way, in the teaching of religious education, Catholic beliefs, traditions and practices must be seen as central: “. . . relativism must be avoided”.  Source 

WOW! Was THAT a surprise. When I did my teacher-training in Glasgow, it was the phenomenological approach all the way.  The very word “confessional” was expunged from the blurb, and we were forbidden to teach the Catholic religion as if it were true. We had to think about those from lapsed home, from Protestant homes, from non-Christian homes, from the cat & dog home – in fact we had to think about anything and everything except the reason for having Catholic schools in the first place which is, of course, to pass on the Catholic Faith – with conviction.

Here’s the conundrum…

 For starters,  the rest of the website is designed,  more or less, to ensure that the “surprise” paragraph remains in the category of “The Theory of Catholic Education”.

 The fact  is, too, that staff are often living in “relationships” which are a counter-witness to the famous Catholic “ethos”.  They are not, therefore, ipso facto  in a position to uphold Catholic teaching on key moral issues such as marriage. Hence the  hostility facing those teachers who do live in conformity with Catholic doctrine and morality, and who seek to pass it on to pupils – as is their duty, and for which they will be called to account before God.  It’s a scandal of monumental proportions, therefore, when Catholic teachers are forced to approach their professional associations/unions for help and support, or take sickness leave, or consider moving into the non-denominational sector or, in one case that I know of, decide to leave teaching altogether, and for what? For doing nothing more than their duty as Catholic educators.

The idea, too, that Catholic education requires not only the active support of teachers and parents, but priests in the parishes, brings problems. I’m losing count of the number of parishioners telling me the most shocking things that they hear from their priests and the liturgical abuses which are now endemic in the new Mass. How can pupils learn true Catholic doctrine on the Real Presence for example, when they are encouraged to receive Communion in the hand and even from a lay person,  or true doctrine on the priesthood if they see lay people distributing ashes, and giving blessings to those not receiving the Blessed Sacrament.

Conundrum? Catholic schools? What do you think? 

NET Groups: Destined To Fail?

Casting the NET YOUTH GROUP  

— AMANDA CONNELLY explains how NET MINISTRIES hopes that its recently set-up branch in Scotland has big plans in the months and years ahead

Since the introduction of the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Award in 2011-12, Scotland’s young Catholics have been afforded greater opportunity to bear testament to their Faith, and to be recognised for these efforts. An award that has been instrumental in promoting faith witness, it is apt that featured at this year’s Caritas Awards ceremony was NET Ministries—a worldwide organisation committed to encouraging young Catholics to embrace their faith and share the Gospel with and through young people. This year, NET Ministries embarks on its first year with its own Scottish division, NET Scotland.

Founded by Mark Berchem in 1981 in the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis, NET (National Evangelisation Teams) has seen more than 29,000 retreats sharing the Gospel message to over 1.7 million young Catholics around the world. Starting its humble, yet enthusiastic, beginnings with a team of 12 young people, they travelled across southern Minnesota in a van, carrying out a substantial 18 high school retreats over a three-week period. With the evangelisation retreats proving to be resounding success, three additional teams were instituted in Winona, North Dakota and South Dakota, and NET’s primary year-long missionary team was sent out on the road.

Deriving inspiration for both its name and work from St Mark and St Luke’s Gospels—“Come after me, I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17) and “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4)—NET Ministries has answered the call for growing demand and expanded to become the global movement it is today. Continuing its peer-lead mission to spread the Word of God with other young people across the world, it invites young Catholics to learn about their relationship with God and helps them to form their faith. It is truly international, with NET teams serving as far afield as Australia, Canada, Germany, Guam, Honduras, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Uganda and the United States.

The year 2015 marks the inaugural year of NET Scotland, having previously piloted two years of teams from NET Ireland. Whilst maintaining close ties with its Irish counterparts in training and team selection, the group is branching out as a charity in its own right, booking retreats and organising the teams’ ministry from its base in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire.

As Scotland becomes the latest addition to NET’s global community, Emily McNulty, full-time staff member at NET Scotland, speaks about the aims and work of the charity.

“We want to reignite the Catholic Faith in Scotland,” she said. “Our hope and our dream is that every person in Scotland would know the love of Jesus and know it personally.”  Click here to read more

Comment

Knowing that the young people of Scotland have not been taught the authentic Catholic religion and are, therefore, in no position to “reignite the Catholic Faith in Scotland”, the question here is, will these “NET” groups do more harm than good, or will their “have a relationship with Jesus” approach perhaps encourage some young people to look more deeply into the truths of the Faith?  Typical of these evangelism groups, their approach is very Protestant – separating Christ from His Church – and this latest “net ministry” has the very same Protestant feel about it.  Not that the youngsters will realise that – they haven’t been taught the Faith themselves, so how can they possibly know that they are well and truly NOT going to  “reignite the Catholic Faith” but the Modernist counterfeit version of it.

In summary, it seems to me like the blind are being sent out to lead the blind but what do you think?

St John Ogilvie & “Religious Freedom”…

A special papal envoy is in Glasgow to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of St John Ogilvie.  St John Ogilvie

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor will attend a Mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral later to mark the saint’s feast day.

The former Archbishop of Westminster will represent Pope Francis who was unable to accept an invitation from Glasgow’s Archbishop, Philip Tartaglia.

Jesuit priest John Ogilvie was hanged at Glasgow Cross for high treason for converting Protestants to Catholicism.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will deliver a homily

The Mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral will be held at 19:30.

In his homily, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will highlight attacks on religious freedom, which he will claim, is “fragile, not always recognised, not always respected, in some places denied”.

Archbishop Tartaglia will also commend ecumenical engagement in Scotland.

Born in 1579, John Ogilvie was raised as a Calvinist and was received into the Catholic faith aged 17 in 1596.

He was ordained a Jesuit priest in Paris in 1610 and returned to Scotland, which was largely Protestant following the Reformation and break with the Papacy in 1560.

While in Scotland, Ogilvie was arrested and following torture and trial, was convicted of high treason.

He had been denying the king’s spiritual jurisdiction by upholding the Pope’s spiritual primacy as well as conducting Mass in secret.

He was hanged at Glasgow Cross on 10 March 1615, aged 36.   Source

Comment:

It is a lie to say that St John Ogilvie, Scotland’s only canonised martyr, gave his life in the cause of “religious freedom”.  Far from it. Asked why he had returned to Scotland, the saint replied:  “to unteach heresy and to save souls”.   The concept of “religious freedom” as it is being understood today, is a heresy.  Comments invited. Oh and Happy Feast Day!