Thursday 31 January 2013

9th daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

Those who fall alone remain alone in their fall, and they value their soul little since they entrust it to themselves alone.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Confession- looking into the eyes of God

Just thinking of our strange interplay of Church and State in Ireland.  Politicians keep declaring that this is a "Republic" with a big capital R and a confused notion that being a republic implies secular, agnostic, anti-Catholic etc. when in fact in our constitution all powers in the State come from the people "under God". 

And yet they seem to claim a special seat at church services.  At the recent episcopal ordination in Cobh Cathedral both the President and Taoiseach were represented by their Aides-de-camp.  Why were they invited in the first place?  Will this continue post abortion-legislation?

Tomorrow's Irish Catholic has a story about the launch of a new book, "Confession:  looking into the eyes of God", by Fr Paul Farren.  For some reason Minister Simon Coveney is there.  Perhaps he's a friend or relative.  But here's the thing.  Speaking at the launch he "described himself as a Catholic and a regular Massgoeer but admitted he had not been to confession in quite a few years".

It would have been great if he had then continued that his book had inspired him to return to the sacrament.  Alas not.  What he did say was:

"This book talks about how confession is not about the procedure but about what is in your own head.  This is powerful stuff, which gets you thinking more about your relationship with yourself.  It challenges the decisions we make."

Interesting, but hardly Catholic. 

8th daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

The virtuous soul that is alone and without a master is like a lone burning coal; it will grow colder rather than hotter.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

7th daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time.

Monday 28 January 2013

Sign petition against EU funding of embryo research

There is a new online petition up and running which I encourage you to sign here.  Click on your country of residence and fill in all your details.  There is a requirement that your privacy be respected.

The “One of Us” campaign launched this month calls for the European Union to stop funding efforts that destroy pre-born life, including groups that perform abortions in developing countries.

You can read more of the background here and here.

A Noble Treason - White Rose

It's documentary night in our house, i.e. my good wife has control of the remote and isn't letting go.  First we had a documentary on the evil of Weightwatchers programmes, then we had an exposé of private companies providing activation support in the UK for the long-term unemployed.  Now it's on viruses, how they live, spread, effect us, get inside our bodies.

So I've made the tea and taken refuge in the computer.

I've just finished "A Noble Treason" by Richard Hansen, the story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose resistance movement in Nazi Germany.   From the Amazon description:

Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans were handsome, bright university students in 1942 Germany. As members of the Hitler Youth, they had once been enthusiastic supporters of the German renewal promised by National Socialism. But as their realization of Nazi barbarism grew, so did their moral outrage.

Hans and Sophie formed a small group of like-minded friends, which initially included two medical students, a student of philosophy, and a fifty-year-old professor. They self-identified as Christians from various traditions--Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodo--and they called themselves the White Rose. In a darkened studio lent them by an artist, they printed eloquent anti-Nazi leaflets, which they ingeniously spread throughout Germany.

A Noble Treason tells the true story of this underground group at the University of Munich that instigated, organized, and carried out the first overt resistance to Hitler's regime. What gives A Noble Treason its unforgettable and inspiring quality is the personality, character, and courage of the White Rose members, as they resisted the pull of wartime patriotism and overcame their fear of the terrible price they would pay for their dissidence.

The story of the White Rose is one of faith-inspired idealism in deadly conflict with ideological tyranny. Its theme is the ultimate victory of that idealism despite its bloody--and seemingly final--destruction by the state.

Christoph Probst was received into the Church shortly before he died, making his first Holy Communion just hours before his execution.  He wrote to his sister:

I go to my death free of all hate.... Never forget that life is nothing if it is not a continual growing into love and a preparation for eternity.

Some follow up googling on Johann Reichhart, the executioner, revealed he carried out more than 3,000 executions.  After the war he continued as executioner for the Allies.  A strange amoral job.  Like other well known executioners he prided himself on doing a quick and clean job, that this was humane.  He always dressed impeccably, including wearing a top hat.  An innovation he introduced which you can see in the video, was to do away with the former practice of strapping the victim to a board which would be then lifted into place.  In his executions the victim lay down, held in place by two assistants and was executed very quickly.  This very bizarre website offers museum quality guillotine models, and a detailed history of guillotines.  There are some photos of severed heads but there is a warning before you see them.

6th daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor.  No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens.

"Catholic" politicians

Does Enda Kenny have any sense of himself as a member of the Catholic Church?  Does any "Catholic" politician?  I take Kenny as an example based on this recent behaviour.  After all the years of Vatican II, after endless references to "the People of God" and being told that the Church was more than the bishops I see no evidence that the message has got through.  If anything, there was a far greater sense in the past of lay people being part of the Church.

For example, read this recent news article about the new coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh:

THE Taoiseach Enda Kenny today welcomed the announcement of the appointment of Monsignor Eamon Martin as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh and successor to Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady when he retires.

"It's a matter entirely for the Catholic Church but I think the fact that the new appointment has some experience of the area of children protection and security obviously is very welcome," he said [always has to get the dig in.]

The Taoiseach said that he had "very good relations with the Catholic Church", adding that he was due to meet Cardinal Brady this afternoon to talk about what he described as "a very long agenda as part of the structure dialogue that I have with the churches. I'm very happy to engage with the [Catholic] church. We have lots to talk about".

Does this sound like someone who is actually a member of the Catholic Church that he's talking about?

And how delusional is he if he thinks he has "good relations" with the Church?  Perhaps his sense of separatedness is in preparation for when he introduces direct abortion legislation and can no longer receive Holy Communion.

Spurs out of the cup

Well Tottenham Hotspur lost to Leeds United today.  I hate going out of the FA Cup.

Despite what everyone says, all the pundits and fans and I don't care who, I like the FA Cup.  The FA Cup is my childhood.  The FA Cup is Southampton beating Man Utd in the final after my brother had already added the trophy to his MU pennant.  The FA Cup is my sister mooning over Mick Mills when Ipswich Town beat Arsenal in 1978.

The FA Cup is Danny Blanchflower and Ricky Villa.  Gascoigne kicking some Nottingham Forest guy in the chest and still missing a red card;  Gary Lineker missing a penalty.  The FA Cup is the Double in 1961.

So it's over for another year.  Good luck to Leeds United, my brother and godson's team. I hope they can go far.  They've lost their last three finals - maybe this year will be the one!

Sunday 27 January 2013

5th Daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak.  When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted.  When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience.

Saturday 26 January 2013

4th Daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit.

Friday 25 January 2013

The Fine Gael Pro-life 15

Which TDs in Fine Gael might be considered pro-life and might be supported to vote against abortion legislation?

In Dublin, Lucinda Creighton, Peter Mathews, Derek Keating and Terence Flanagan;

In Leinster, James Bannon, John-Paul Phelan and Billy Timmins;

In Connaught-Ulster, John O'Mahony, Michelle Mulherin, Brian Walsh and Tony McLoughlin;

In Munster, Pat Breen, Tom Hayes, Michael Creed, Patrick O'Donovan and John Deasy.

It is vital that these TDs be supported, not threatened, not lectured, not put under inappropriate pressure, but supported, encouraged, prayed for.  If you can talk to them, do so, thanking them for their support and if you can engage them on the issue of abortion and suicide.  This is the key area as this is the only area that involves direct abortion rather than medical treatment.  Balance the question of slippery slope regulation (anyone can pretend to be suicidal and experience from UK is clear that women will lie and doctors will lie - doctors who support direct abortion will generally have no qualms about adjusting forms to support women who want abortion) with the simple moral position that it is wrong to destroy even one innocent life when it is unnecessary.  Keep calm and respectful at all times, even if you feel angry.

On the question of Enda Kenny, no one in the pro-life movement believes or trusts him.  But remember to Fine Gaelers he is the chief and a lot of them trust him, trust his judgment, his former pro-life credentials, basic decency etc. (Ed. did they never hear his ridiculous attack on the Pope and his closure of the embassy?).  So best not to go in swinging.  Gently suggest his is mistaken, perhaps confused on the issue.

But do end with a clear appeal, to influence legislation before it is too late, and if the legislation turns out (as likely) to involve direct abortion, appeal to their conscience, that this is the moment of truth for them as individuals, bigger than politics or party.  This is their St Thomas More moment.

3rd Daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you?

Thursday 24 January 2013

2nd daily sayings of light and love (John of the Cross)

The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

The film's as close as Flannery will probably get

Good coverage in tomorrow's Irish Catholic of Fr Tony Flannery story.   Elaborates on the way that Fr Flannery has sought to shift the focus on to ordination of women, homosexuality etc and away from his heterodox views of Catholic priesthood.  Notes that he has a Dublin PR company working for him. 

Irish Catholic has sources in Rome which confirm that:

1) chief concern is his views on priesthood;

2) that this is the reason they don't want him leading/involved with the Association of Catholic Priests;

3) that he has never been threatened with excommunication and there is no question of excommunication, noting that in other cases, including bishops, excommunication has only been applied where a priest has taken part in a simulated ordination ceremony for women.

Daily sayings of light and love (St John of the Cross)

Sayings of Light and Love - a daily series (if I can manage it)

St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)


O my God and my delight, for your love I have also desired to give my soul to composing these saying of light and love concerning you. Since, although I can express them in words, I do not have the works and virtues they imply (which is what pleases you, O my Lord, more than the words and wisdom they contain), may others, perhaps stirred by them, go forward in your service and love – in which in I am wanting. I will thereby find consolation, that these saying be an occasion for your finding in others the things that I lack.

Lord, you love discretion, you love light, you love love; these three you love above the other operations of the soul. Hence these will be saying of discretion for the wayfarer, of light for the way, and of love in the wayfaring. May there be nothing of worldly rhetoric in them or the long-winded and dry eloquence of weak and artificial human wisdom, which never pleases you. Let us speak to the heart words bathed in sweetness and love that do indeed please you, removing obstacles and stumbling blocks from the paths of many souls who unknowingly trip and unconsciously walk in the path of error – poor souls who think they are right in what concerns the following of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in becoming like him, imitation his life, actions, and virtues, and the form of his nakedness and purity of spirit. Father of mercies, come to our aid, for without you, Lord, we can do nothing.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

German gold - time to worry?

Not sure how worried we should be by this.  But it seems that the Germans have decided to repatriate their gold reserves currently held in America, London and Paris.  States often keep their gold reserves spread in different countries, to protect it against invasion, wars or other things that can happen in the home country.  Germany, for example, wanted to protect its gold during the Cold War.  What does bringing it home mean?  This article provides some analysis, reasons why you would bring your gold home.  But ultimately it seems to imply a lack of trust in both the United States and the Euro.  Germany is battening down the hatches and preparing for serious economic changes in the world.

1.       Changing geo-political landscape

2.       Do not trust the custodian country to keep track of it when lending it out

Back in the mid-1920s, the head of the German Central Bank, Herr Hjalmar Schacht, went to New York to see Germany’s gold. However the NY Fed officials were unable to find the palette of Germany’s gold bullion. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Strong was mortified, but to put him at ease Herr Schacht turned to him and said ‘Never mind, I believe you when you when you say the gold is there. Even if it weren’t you are good for its replacement.’

The fact that there has not been an audit of Germany’s gold for some time, not since 1979 in the New York Fed, gives some validity to GATA and others’ concerns. Added to this the refusal by the Federal Reserve to conduct an independent audit of the gold reserves in Fort Knox, as campaigned for by Dr Ron Paul, and worries build as to whether the custodian is ‘good for’ the gold.

3.       Do not trust the custodian country to protect the value of their own currency

Every few months there is a discussion regarding what China are planning on doing with the gold they both mine and import every year, with many believing they are hoarding the metal as an insurance against the billions of US Treasury bonds, notes and bills they hold. Many believe they will issue some kind of gold-backed currency in the short-term and dump its one trillion dollars’ worth of US Treasury securities. Whilst, at the moment the US seem to take their monopoly currency for granted, should the Chinese or anyone else behave in such a manner, the US will need to respond – most likely with gold, which on its own it does not have enough of.

4.       Foresee the need to protect the future of your own monetary system

Germany, like other countries in the EU, has a responsibility to protect its citizens’ wealth and standard of living. At the moment this is being threatened as the successful export country props up other fiscally different countries to its own. Gold, as we have long said, is a protector of wealth. The euro, many have said was designed to act ‘like a gold-standard’ unfortunately you can’t dress up a fiat currency to glister, as it seems the Germans have realised.

5.       It’s yours, you want it where you can see it.

According to the Irish Independent Ireland owns six tonnes of gold, the bulk of which is held at the Bank of England.  But apparently at its peak in the 1960s, Ireland owned more than 70 tonnes, and five and half tonnes disappeared when we joined the Euro (Frankfurt?).

Obama brought two book

What does it mean that Obama was sworn in using two bibles?  Well firstly I'd suggest it reflects his inability to make a decision.  Episode 79 of the West Wing saw the same dilemma with poor Charlie running from pillar to post and almost no bible at the end.  But still, when it came down to it, one bible.

But more fundamentally, it points to Obama's entirely secular nature.  When you take an oath with hand on the bible you are calling on God to witness that oath.  What Obama was doing, instead, was calling on Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jnr.  And while he may have the despotic character of Lincoln he has nothing in common with MLK.

The hat for Róisín Bán at the Obama show

In case you missed it elsewhere, Justice Scalia turned up at the inauguration of President Obama wearing a replica hat as worn by St Thomas More.  Lynda, leaving a comment in one of my posts suggests it's an example of Róisín Bán. 

Future pub quiz question, who was sworn in four times as President of the United States?  Why Obama of course.

Notice to quit

A friend of mine was telling me she put up a poster advertising the Rally for Life on a communal notice board in work.  It was a board used for everything from ads for painters, charities, Rape Crisis Centre, yoga, people selling cars, upcoming shows in amateur dramatics.  The sort of notice board that many workplaces have.  In most cases the notices stay up long after the event until someone needs the tack and takes them down.  But in this case the Rally for Life poster was removed within half a day.  Róisín Bán.

Beautiful time-waster

No, not me, this interactive view of Mount Everest.  Waste  a few moments exploring.  Put on your school bag and pretend you're a sherpa or if you're in Carryduff open the window and let some snow in for the full experience.

Tony Flannery defenders

If you fancy a bit of a laugh head over to the Irish Times letters page where you will find a sad collection of the usual suspects writing in support of Fr Tony Flannery.  It's unusual to find them all on the same day.  Ach, I'll save you the bother.  Best one is Pat Buckley, which takes prizes for self-importance and self-delusion.

A chara, – No priest has been excommunicated for the rape of children, nor has any bishop or cardinal for covering up those crimes.  Fr Tony Flannery, however, is being threatened with excommunication for speaking on the possibility of women priests (Front page and Opinion, January 21st). This is not the Good News of Jesus Christ, but more bad news from an institution drunk on power and bereft of genuine spiritual authority. The church,the people of God, deserves better.Time to listen to the Spirit and stand up and together for a long overdue change. Our liberation is at hand! – Is mise,

SOLINE HUMBERT (Priestess of some sort I recall)

Sir, – Fr Tony Flannery informs us that he has been threatened with excommunication from the church, an institution to which he has dedicated the greater part of his life. Apparently the Roman authorities wish him to conform with their views on such matters as the role of women, homosexuality, and that old chestnut contraception. To my knowledge he is the first Irish cleric to be so threatened in many decades. I take it then that our ecclesiastical authorities regard Fr Flannery’s views on sexual morality as a more grave crime than that committed by any other cleric over the years. – Yours, etc,

Fr IGGY O’DONOVAN (Please let him be next)

Sir, – Twenty-six years ago they came for me and no one did anything. Today they have come for Fr Tony Flannery. Tomorrow they will come for you. – Yours, etc,

Bishop PAT BUCKLEY (If by "came for me" means letting me stay in parish property rent free for 26 years.  One can imagine the horrors as the Nazis smashed in the doors of the cowering Jews and announced "it's all right lads, you can stay where you are as long as you like."

Sir, – The organisation We are Church Ireland expresses its unconditional support for Fr Tony Flannery in his assertion of his right of conscience not to be forced by an abuse of his vow of obedience to submit to the secretive demands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Front page and Opinion, January 21st).  We welcome the statement of support of his Irish Redemptorist Order and the Association of Catholic priests of Ireland and Austria.  It is now up to the rest of the people of God,both non-ordained and ordained, to express their support for Tony Flannery and to that end We are Church Ireland is organising a peaceful vigil outside the Papal Nunciature, Navan Road, Dublin on January 27th at 3pm and encourages all concerned for the future of the Irish church to attend. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN BUTLER (Think his organisation shoud be called "I am Church".  Anyway, I am calling on all Catholics who do not support Tony Flannery to stay away from the Nunciature on Sunday afternoon - we'll see who has the greater number.)

Rationabile Obsequium makes the excellent point that Tony Flannery and the media have been spinning and distorting the case to make the central issues ordination of women, homosexuality and contraception, all of which are liberal/media friendly issues.  While these are indeed important issues, the matter which the CDF has focussed on is Tony's rejection of priesthood as understood by the Church.  The New York Times covers it:

In the letter, the Vatican objected in particular to an article published in 2010 in Reality, an Irish religious magazine. In the article, Father Flannery, a Redemptorist priest, wrote that he no longer believed that “the priesthood as we currently have it in the church originated with Jesus” or that he designated “a special group of his followers as priests.”

Instead, he wrote, “It is more likely that some time after Jesus, a select and privileged group within the community who had abrogated power and authority to themselves, interpreted the occasion of the Last Supper in a manner that suited their own agenda.”

Father Flannery said the Vatican wanted him specifically to recant the statement, and affirm that Christ instituted the church with a permanent hierarchical structure and that bishops are divinely established successors to the apostles.

This appears in the New York Times article, and indeed appeared in the Irish Times article.  But then the Irish Times decided that was the wrong angle to take so they changed it.

Fr Ray Blake makes the good point that the whole case represents the failure by the Irish bishops and the Redemptorist Order to deal with their own business and that the Holy See shouldn't have to deal with small fry like this.

Monday 21 January 2013

You raise me up

Fans of The Priests are heartbroken at suggestions circulating that one of the members may break up the pop group (Ed: classical group surely?) to pursue a solo career.

According to well placed sources, Fr Eugene O'Hagan may be leaving soon to take up a position as Bishop of Derry.

Fr Eugene is popular, a good communicator and an experienced canon lawyer, a role which the Apostolic Visitation said needed to be strengthened.

The world of music's loss would surely be Derry's gain.

A week may be a long time in politics but 25 years is even longer

I caught a snippet of Eamon Gilmore being interviewed on RTE radio on Sunday.  At one point he was questioned about the possibly illegal activities of the Workers Party, of which he was a member at one time.

His answer.  "That was a long time ago, twenty five years, a quarter of a century".

Funny, I don't remember that being accepted as an excuse when he was attacking the Catholic Church over child abuse, and in particular Cardinal Brady for his actions back in 1975 - some thirty-eight years ago.

Think that's called hypocrisy.

Spurs 1 - Man Utd 1

Wasn't it just brilliant, brilliant, for Tottenham Hotspur to score a goal in the 93rd minute against Manchester United and gain a point.

And for Sir Alex to be left fuming about a penalty not given.  He clearly has a long data base of decisions by every linesman.  In this case, if you look at the photo, you can clearly see where Wayne Rooney kicks Steven Caulker on the back of leg before falling over.

Sour Grapes, Miram Lord and Tony Flannery

If you've never understood the term "sour grapes" I suggest you go visit the Irish Times and read Miriam Lord's obnoxious article on the Rally for Life.  Another piece of journalistic crap from the paper of record.

While you're there and already contaminating yourself you might as well check out Tony Flannery's apologia in which he confirms he was a child of the sixties and the chickens are finally coming home to roost.  I blame his parents, in this case the superiors in the Redemptorists who should have directed him properly years ago. Now they've left it to the Holy See and are speaking weasel words sort of defending him, but not quite.

Kenny needs to catch Agrippa

I was watching Herod Kenny on The Week in Politics this evening.  Not once did he answer a question asked, or even come close to answering it.  The worst was when asked about abortion and, with a decided smirk, he told the horror of receiving letters and emails saying he was worse than Herod.

Personally I'd see him as more of a Pontius Pilate, but I'm happy to stick with Herod and Ivana can be Mamie Cadden.  Kevin Myers threw in a Herod reference back in October so it's hardly new.

The interviewer, as usual with RTE, wasn't great.  Better than some, he did interrupt a few times when he tried to go into the single transferable Enda speech of stabilising the economy and creating jobs, but never stuck to the question asked with the Robin Day/Paxman rigour required of Kenny.

Three times he asked him what deterrent would be put in place if the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act were to be repealed.  Each time Kenny began the waffle of referring to the expert committee, the X Case, the ABC case, the protocols, the processes.  "Yes, Taoiseach, that's all very well but will there be any criminal sanction?"

Three times asked, three times avoided.  I think we know the answer.

If you've a bit of spare time toddle over to Wikipedia and visit the page on Abortion in the Republic of Ireland.  If you're signed up to edit have a look at improving the page.  It's written from a pro-choice slant.  I spent a few moments amending the references to the 12th and 25th Amendments to clarify that more than removing the reference to suicide was involved and that they were defeated following opposition from both pro-life and pro-choice supporters.  I hadn't time to do more.  But this is another field where the battle for hearts and minds takes place.  Róisín Bán!

Text of the 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act:

58. Every Woman, being with Child, who, with Intent to procure her own Miscarriage, shall unlawfully administer to herself any Poison or other noxious Thing, or shall unlawfully use any Instrument or other Means whatsoever with the like Intent, and whosoever, with Intent to procure the Miscarriage of any Woman, whether she be or be not with Child, shall unlawfully administer to her or cause to be taken by her any Poison or other noxious Thing, or shall unlawfully use any Instrument or other Means whatsoever with the like Intent, shall be guilty of [an offence], and being convicted thereof shall be liable, ..., to [imprisonment] for Life ... 

59. Whosoever shall unlawfully supply or procure any Poison or other noxious Thing, or any Instrument or Thing whatsoever, knowing that the same is intended to be unlawfully used or employed with Intent to procure the Miscarriage of any Woman, whether she be or be not with Child, shall be guilty of [an offence], and being convicted thereof shall be liable, ..., to [imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years].

Sunday 20 January 2013

There's no sense dwelling on our losses. We just keep on lighting the lights and following the formalities.

A quick post as it's getting late and a bit tired after the Rally for Life and a trip through the National Museum (not sure about the display of bog bodies - time they were reburied respectfully somewhere I reckon) and my first ever visit to the Natural History Museum (Dead Zoo) which I thought was fantastic.  No more expensive trips to the Zoo for us - this was far better!

So episcopal appointments - three in the last few weeks.  Clearly the idea of reorganising the dioceses and combining some smaller ones seems to be off the agenda (or is it, afterall Limerick, Cloyne and Armagh are big dioceses - maybe we'll know more when Clonfert or Killala become vacant).

What can we tell from the selection?

Well none of them is from the diocese to which he has been appointed.  I would say that's significant, particularly as appointing Eamon Martin to Armagh leaves Derry without an obvious candidate.  Donal Mc Keown anyone?

They're young, 51, 52 and 60.  So these are no interim appointments - this is it for 15-25 years (Ed: of course they could be being put in place with a diocesan reorganisation in mind - Cloyne with Kerry or Cork?).

They aren't remotely radical, at least on the face of it.  A canon from Kerry, a dogma professor from Maynooth and president of a diocesan college.  Looks very much like business as usual, only hopefully not tainted by the child abuse crisis.  And speaking of which, Noel Treanor's spat last year with Ian Elliot, head of the child protection office, seems to have scuppered his chance for Armagh.  It was interesting that Eamon Martin mentioned Elliot in his first interview.

Of course a problem remains, like Norman Bates's mother in the cellar, is Cardinal Brady.  I doubt he'll go too quickly or quietly and even if he does, he'll remain the cardinal.  And that means that should the Holy Father go to his reward in the next six years it will be Cardinal Brady voting.  Which means that every news story connected with the Pope will have a reference to Cardinal Brady's pa
st history, for the anti-Catholic media the gift that keeps on giving.

Joe BeLittle and RTE

Wasn't it great the way all the rain came on Friday and Saturday morning so that Merrion Square could be dry for the thirty thousand or so gathered for the Rally for Life, and the two hundred pro-choicers squatting on the other side since our "Father who is in heaven, maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust" (Matt 5:45)?

The numbers were such that even RTE and Irish Times couldn't ignore them completely.  But of course what they did instead was give equal coverage to the miniscule pro-choice gathering, including interviewing them.  And then in case that wasn't enough, Joe Little, RTE so called "religious affairs correspondent" was on hound to interpret - which meant him expressing surprise at Catholic bishops being opposed to abortion and then of course this gave him the opportunity to start talking about the Cloyne Report and child abuse. 

Can you imagine if every time RTE did a story which mentioned Germany or a German they introduced it or segued to the Nazis?  "Angela Merkel was in Dublin today for a meeting of the European Council.  Germany of course the country that caused the Second World War and Angela Merkel herself from East Germany where they used to shoot people climbing the Berlin Wall". 

Saturday 19 January 2013

Róisín Bán - We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience.

Róisín Bán?  The small white rose.

Those of you familiar with Sophie and Hans Scholl, Saint Alexander Schmorell (Orthodox), Kurt Huber, Willi Graf and Christoph Probst will know exactly what it refers to and what it can mean in the context of Ireland.  When did our country begin its decline?  Someone asked me that today.  I don't know the answer.  But things have not been right for a long time.

This afternoon is our opportunity to be part of the resistance, to say publicly that we will not silently acquiesce in the destruction of our country, that we will be a new White Rose, a Róisín Bán for our time and place.  Do whatever you can.  Talk to people, wear Precious Feet or a cross on your clothing.  Write letters, blogs, tweets.  Wear a Róisín Bán and tell people what it stands for.  Display it on your own blogs (copy the image on the right if you like).  Be the conscience for other people.

Merrion Square, Dublin, Saturday 19th January at 4.30pm.  

Don't mind the wind, the rain or snow, 
We need you there, you have to go.

Friday 18 January 2013

Time for a post on fashion

Regular readers will appreciate my occasional posts on fashion - the boyfriend cardigan, the tights with shorts debate, Mischa Barton dressed like a candle and of course Suri Holmes, nee Cruise.

Now we have melting tights.
Shoes are pretty cool, though.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, Muslim clerics are warning parents that if their sons are wearing v-neck jumpers they're probably gay.

That explains why my elder son's school uniform has a round neck.

Going, going...

Well rumours were abounding last week but I promised sources I'd say nothing but it's all over Twitter tonight that there's to be an announcement tomorrow about Sean Cardinal Brady's retirement and the appointment of a coadjutor.

The name most often mentioned is Noel Treanor, currently Bishop of Down and Connor.

It could also be timely to announce the coming together of Down and Connor and Dromore into one super diocese.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

This is what we stand for: justice, truth, and the value of a single human being.

Went to see a great film last night, Judgment at Nuremberg.  Some great performances, from Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Judy Garland and many others.  It's about one of the later trials, after the leading Nazis were convicted and executed.  It was a trial of judges, of men who allowed themselves, or chose, to deny the natural law and their own humanity, in passing judgments against entirely innocent people.  Some day I hope to see some of our own supreme court tried in a similar way.  Until then watch this scene below, the delivery of the judgment, not just of the four men, but of all those Germans who contributed to and supported the Nazi regime, by cooperation, by silence, by cowardice.  Watch it and ask yourselves how we can allow one innocent unborn child to be destroyed.

HAYWOOD: Before the people of the world, let it now be noted that here in our decision, this is what we stand for: justice, truth, and the value of a single human being.

ERNST JANNING: Judge Haywood... the reason I asked you to come: Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. You must believe it, you must believe it!
HAYWOOD: Herr Janning, it "came to that" the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.

Stop moaning and start praying

While attendance at the Rally for Life at Merrion Square, Dublin on Saturday 19th January at 4.30pm is vital, so is ongoing prayer.  Get going.

Mary, Immaculate Conception, bright dawn of the new millennium, we consecrate our country and all its people to your heart this day.

Intercede for the cause of life that is so threatened in our land.

Move us to raise our voice for the voiceless and defenceless.

Give us love for our enemies and soften the hearts of those who oppose life.

Grant healing to all your daughters who in fear and trembling rejected the gift of life within them. May they know the peace and forgiveness of your Son, Jesus.

And may all who hold political power in our land be given the grace to see with new eyes the humanity and dignity of the unborn child and to have the courage to speak boldly in the defence of life.

Monday 14 January 2013

Woman performs the Heimlich Maneuver at the Vatican

A woman was saved at St Peter's Square by an alert police woman using a form of the Heimlich Maneuver.  She apparently was choking with indignation and had misundersood the first aid instruction to "loosen her clothing".  A third lady assisted by applying pressure with an umbrella a number of times.

It is understood that the woman was upset that the Pope was not using the fanon while praying the Angelus.

Enda Kenny's RTE interview

Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Kenny?
If you think we're on the run,
We are the boys who will stop your little game.
We are the boys who will make you think again.
'Cus who do you think you are kidding Mr. Kenny?
If you think old Ireland's done?

Catholicus goes off to town
And starts his daily slog.
But he comes home each evening
And he's ready with his blog.

So who do you think you are kidding Mr. Kenny?
If you think old Ireland's done.

Ireland's Home Guard are calling you to gather next Saturday, 19th January, 4.30pm at Merrion Square, Dublin.  We have to defend our country against the enemy.

Saturday 12 January 2013

You know the way loyalists in Belfast sometimes erect Israeli flags

Did you know the Israeli Defence Forces sometimes use a thing called "the skunk" which sprays foul smelling liquid over rioters?  Irish Times report here.

We just have to get one for Belfast

Monsignor Patrick J Corish, RIP

Monsignor Corish, Emeritus Professor of History and former Presiden of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, had died.  May he rest in peace.  From the Maynooth website:

Patrick J Corish, a native of County Wexford, was a priest of the diocese of Ferns. For many years he was professor of history in Saint Patrick's College Maynooth, in succession to the late Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich. Patrick Corish was the kind of teacher for whom every student longed. Entertaining, dedicated, serious, penetrating, supportive and challenging all at once, for many he was simply the best teacher they ever had.

For his professional colleagues he was a first class researcher, introducing to Irish ecclesiastical history in particular the scholarly innovations and methodological advances characteristic of the best continental historiography.

He contributed crucially to the growth and consolidation of the department of history in Maynooth and ensured its status as the preeminent department in the Faculty and one of the best in these islands.

An engaging and talented writer, his books, articles and reviews constitute an important historical corpus in themselves and remain the sine qua non for an informed understanding of the history of the early modern Irish Catholic community. His history of Maynooth College (1995) is well known and few books made as deep an impression on contemporaries as his provocative, elegant and eminently readable The Irish Catholic Experience (1985). He acted for many years as the editor of the sources journal Archivium Hibernicum and coordinated the History of Irish Catholicism project. His work on the early modern Irish martyrs, along with that of Benignus Millett OFM, was crucial to the success of their cause in Rome. He died on 10th January 2013.

1921: Born in Ballycullane, County Wexford
1939: Entered Maynooth College, for the diocese of Ferns

1945: Ordained to the Priesthood
1947: Awarded Doctorate in Theology, and appointed Professor of Ecclesiastical History in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
1967: President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth
1968: Reverted to being Professor of Ecclesiastical History

1975: Professor of Modern History at the Recognised College of the National University of Ireland in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth

1986: Retired as Professor, but became Archivist to the College

1995: Authored Maynooth College 1795 – 1995, Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, 2005

2005: Appointed Monsignor (Pronotary Apostolic Supernumerary)

2013: Died on 10th January 2013.

Friday 11 January 2013

Abortion letter in Irish Times

Good letter in the Irish Times today from a former gynacecologist responding to the "I've never been so insulted..." reaction of doctors/women/senators at the notion that women might pretend to be suicidal to obtain an abortion.  He makes the obvious point that abortion clinics will only employ doctors and psychiatrists who support abortion.


Co Donegal.

A chara, – As an ex-gynaecologist who has worked in both Ireland and Britain, I am naturally interested in the ongoing debate about legislation for abortion in Ireland. The big question seems to be whether legislating for abortion in Ireland will lead to “abortion on demand”. I refer to the reported interviews by the Seanad committee (Home News, January 9th).

Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of the Rotunda, said that she was offended by the suggestion that women would attempt to manipulate their doctors on the basis of fabricated ideas of suicidal ideation or intention in order to obtain terminations. She was supported by Senator John Crown, who is also a doctor.

But there would be no question of “manipulation”; women wanting an abortion would know that all they would have to do was utter the phrase “suicidal thoughts” and an abortion would at once be granted in the private clinics set up to cope with the demand.

So these women, rather than lying to or manipulating their doctors, would just be going through a tedious, but required ritual.

If a psychiatrist had to certify that the suicidal ideation is genuine, then the clinics would simply employ one who is strongly pro-abortion and would automatically co-operate. The vast majority of psychiatrists who would not agree would be excluded from the decision-making process. That is what would happen in the real world.

Thursday 10 January 2013

High Court judgement on assisted suicide and conncetion with abortion

The High Court ruling today on assisted suicide is very interesting in the context of preparations for abortion legislation, in particular the pro-life assertion that legislation allowing for abortion because of suicide ideation will be impossible to control or limit.

Of course when you say this you get the "I've never been so insulted in all my life" response, as if doctors and women would never dream to conspire to abuse the system.  Short answer - 500 abortions a day in Great Britain by women pretending to be mentally ill and confirmed by two doctors. Why would Ireland be diferent?  And even if Irish doctors are different, Marie Stopes and Planned Parenthood will be only too happy to open a clinic.

So, what did the High Court say today on assisted suicide.  Basically they would love to help out this particular plaintiff:

If the court could tailor make a solution that would affect Ms Fleming only without implications for third parties there might be a good deal to be said for her case.

However, the court could not be so satisfied.

There was ample evidence to demonstrate that a relaxation of the ban would be impossible to tailor to individual cases and would be inimical to the public interest in protecting the most vulnerable in society.

The court also ruled it would be unconstitutional for the DPP to issue guidelines on prosecutions for assisted suicide, but the court "felt sure" the director "in this of all cases" would exercise her discretion in a humane and sensitive fashion.

In terms of abortion, the 1862 Act maintains the general disgust against abortion and it is vital that it remains in law.  In practice, genuine medical procedures carried out by doctors which result in the death of a child are not interpreted as abortion.  So what's the problem?  Really there isn't one.

The narrowing of the blogging mind

I mentioned the decline of Fr Z's blog.  He has a post today which is a good example of the unpleasant tone which seems to have crept in over the years.  He writes:

Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB, a well-known and influential liturgist, has died. He was 73.

I will remember him in my prayers, sincerely. In my opinion he created a lot of damaging confusion to our understanding of liturgical worship and inculturation.

An era is passing. The Biological Solution is working … on all of us.

Memento mori.

The Biological Solution?  Is it just me or does that have Nazi connotations?

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Caught in the act again - The Irish Catholic

Readers of my former blog will know that I like to keep an eye on The Irish Catholic, which occasionally uses the work of other publications without attribution.  Usually they use reliable sources or wikipedia.

A few weeks (6th December 2012) ago there was an article: "Catholic politicans should oppose abortion legislation - The Church’s stance on Catholic politicians and abortion is clear" by Cathal Barry.  He writes:

The Church teaches that Catholic politicians have a moral obligation to oppose legislating for abortion, even if it is not in keeping with their party’s political stance.

In 2002, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote a ‘Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life’.

The note asserts that Catholic lawmakers have a “grave and clear obligation” to oppose legalised abortion and other attacks on the right to life. Indeed, here the Church said it was “impossible” for a Catholic to promote such laws.

According to the note, “a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political programme or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals”.

So far so good - factual, informative.  Then the tone of the piece changes.  He continues:

The doctrinal note pointedly told Catholic lawmakers that they cannot put aside Church teaching when it comes to making decisions in their capacity as elected officials.

Rather, the document states, elected officials who are Catholic should advance Church teaching. Elected officials must toe the Church line on such issues as abortion, it says.

Let's now look at another article in a different publication, this time from Spring 2003 by Roxanne Evans and Sara Morello.  They write:

The doctrinal note pointedly told Catholic lawmakers that they cannot put aside church doctrine when it comes to making decisions in their capacity as elected officials.

Rather, the document asserted, elected officials who are Catholic should advance church teaching. The document said that elected officials must toe the church line on such issues as abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage. 

Startlingly similar/identical to the Irish Catholic article don't you think?  But there's worse.  Who published the first article?  Was it a reliable .theologian, a serious Catholic writer?  In fact it was "Conscience", the magazine of Catholics for Free Choice, the ghastly pro-abortion, anti-Catholic, heretical organisation led for 25 years by excommunicant, Frances Kissling.

Charming company for The Irish catholic to be keeping.