Sunday 28 July 2013

A Good Jesuit....Gerard Manley Hopkins

On 28th July 1844, Gerard Manley Hopkins arrived upon earth.

As a young priest he lived and worked in North Wales for a time and, being a fluent Welsh speaker, translated several major works of the Welsh language into English.

He also wrote, copiously, poetry; some like it, some do not.

I believe that GMH formed the main part of Dylan Thomas's poetical inspiration, 100 or so years later.

Here is another famous Welshman reading 'The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo' by Gerard Manley Hopkins, the Maiden's Song from the Welsh Lourdes, St Winefride's Well.


  The Leaden Echo

HOW to kéep—is there ány any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch or catch or key to keep

Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, … from vanishing away?
Ó is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankéd wrinkles deep,
Dówn? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there ’s none, there ’s none, O no there ’s none,        5
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay        10
Age and age’s evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there ’s none; no no no there ’s none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,        15
Despair, despair, despair, despair.

The Golden Echo


There ís one, yes I have one (Hush there!);
Only not within seeing of the sun,
Not within the singeing of the strong sun,        20
Tall sun’s tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth’s air,
Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one,
Oné. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place,
Where whatever’s prized and passes of us, everything that ’s fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone,
Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet        25
Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matchèd face,
The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet,
Never fleets móre, fastened with the tenderest truth
To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an everlastingness of, O it is an all youth!
Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace,        30
Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace—
Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath,
And with sighs soaring, soaring síghs deliver
Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death
Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver.        35
See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair
Is, hair of the head, numbered.
Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould
Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept,
This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold        40
What while we, while we slumbered.
O then, weary then why
When the thing we freely fórfeit is kept with fonder a care,
Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept
Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder        45
A care kept.—Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where.—
Yonder.—What high as that! We follow, now we follow.—Yonder, yes yonder, yonder,

Richard Collins - Linen on the Hedgerow

Saturday 27 July 2013

Please Watch EWTN's On Assignment, This Wednesday, July 31st

This week, Cardinal Burke spoke in an interview about the connection between liturgical abuses and moral corruption

My son was involved in the Totus Tuus program at a parish with a modern church.  I attended adoration.  I could not find the tabernacle. 

However, there was a chair for the priest in the center of the sanctuary.  I was struck by how completely this design choice put man front and center, and left Jesus hiding in the shadows.

I'm asking all who read this to assist in restoring the sacred to our liturgies.  This doesn't have to be a TLM Mass.  We use the Novus Ordo, but it is profoundly different than the 4-hymn-sandwich at so many parishes.  One simple way you can support bringing the sacred back to liturgy is by following the examples documented below.  May God bless our efforts.

Try sending this link to your pastors: then watch

Where Heaven Meets Earth: Restoring the Sacred at St. Peter Church

St. John Cantius: Restoring the Sacred.

This little film company has this mission:

Despite the amorality of our day, people are seeking intelligent, honest, spiritual and moral leadership. This desire has led many to begin restoring the sacred traditions that have been all but abandoned by society; but these efforts, and their amazing results, are rarely documented and portrayed on television or in other media.

StoryTel is working to fill this void by telling these stories in high quality media productions that present heroes of the past and present in powerful and entertaining ways. Through these godly role models, we inspire our viewers to pursue opportunities and solve problems that require a vision bigger than themselves.

If you prefer, you can watch on EWTN International. Click here to find the schedule for On Assignment: Where Heaven Meets Earth. The Times should sync to your computer for your local times.

St. Peter's is my parish. We are in a temporary chapel, set up in the parish hall. Even so, look at how we strive for keeping the space holy:


Titus Brandsma on Faith

130727a Titus Brandsma

Friday 26 July 2013

Titus Brandsma and Thoughts on Time

In the Carmelite Church on Whitefriars in Dublin, the sacristan has moved the statue of Blessed Titus Brandsma from its place in a small shrine, to the front of the church, in honour of his feast day tomorrow. Already, dozens of candles have been lit for intercessions.

In the small shrine, at the back on the left-hand aisle, are now placed a few letters from Blessed Titus to various people, concerning his stay in Ireland in the 1930s. I read the translations, and was reminded of the letter in the Church of the Circumcision in Valletta, from St. Ignatius of Loyola.

I find it moving to see the handwriting and read the words of saints. These men were doing what God asked them to do on earth. Now, their letters are second class relics.

And, I was reminded at how fast the world changed from the writing of these letters of Bl. Titus to the day he was murdered. Freedom of speech was taken for granted when he wrote his letters in the mid 1930s. How quickly things changed for him. He was actually killed today, July 26th, in 1942, less than eight years from the dates when he was writing freely in Ireland, just before his trip to the States in 1935.

How fast things can change, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Bl. Titus was arrested on January 19 and died on July 26th. Not much time to prepare for martyrdom...

We have more time to think of freedom of the press, freedom of speech for Catholics; perhaps a year and half will pass before we are fined for writing on certain subjects. I am extrapolating from recently passed laws.

Blessed Titus is a great saint for modern times. May he bless all of us who pray and write for the glory of God and His Kingdom.

Bl. Titus' Press Pass from

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pornographic Britain

To gauge a sense of how prevalent a culture of pornography has become in the United Kingdom, we need only reflect on David Cameron's decision to 'soften' his tone in the debate about how far Government can go to regulate online pornography.

Telegraph writer, Tim Stanley has written a good post welcoming Mr Cameron's idea. It got me thinking. I am sure I am not the only Catholic who has been through a 'phase' of addiction to adult online pornography. In my case, it was a relatively short phase, fuelled mostly by loneliness and, of course, personal sinfulness. The culture of moral relativism that surrounds pornography, however, is extremely dangerous. The idea that Britain is raising a nation of children with unstable and often broken families, as well as a nation with a high percentage of porn-addicted teenagers and, in some cases, children, should be disconcerting to all of us, whether we have religious faith or not.

The anonymity and accessibility of pornography online is a ghastly temptation to anyone - but most surely especially to boys and men. Of course, for the Catholic, viewing pornography is gravely sinful and offensive to God. To the non-Catholic, viewing pornography becomes an illusory transient thrill with no immediate accepted implications in terms of placing one's soul in peril. Yet, you do not have to be a Catholic to understand the dangers so obviously attached to viewing this kind of material.

Recently, I met a garrulous young man in a pub in Hove who told me of how he had to overcome his addiction to porn for the sake of his personal life. With him having said this, I was able to say that through the Sacrament of Penance, otherwise known as Confession, I had by God's grace managed to overcome this particular vice myself, even if chastity in the single state continues to be a struggle that is taken up daily. So, a non-Catholic - a non Christian, indeed - and a Catholic were both able to agree that pornography was harmful and damaging. He described to me, much to my acknowledgement, that pornography began to replace real relationships - that it became his relationship, but one based solely on fantasy. He described too how it affected his perception of women as sexual objects of personal gratification.

Common ground on sexual morality is not always easy to find with people without religious faith, but in terms of human experience, like in Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anoymous, objectively disordered patterns of behaviour can be acknowledged by the religious and non-religious alike and, while the religious man may take himself to Confession, receive Communion and pray in order to overcome a particular vice, the non-religious will find his own way of dealing with a particular habit.  Both are, of course, always in danger of falling back into it.

The problem with a relativist culture is that when a culture is so soaked in sexual messages and is in fact hyper-sexualised, largely through media, the message on pornography becomes so mixed that finding objective truth concerning its dangers becomes more difficult. While it remains, to a degree, taboo - since you have to be a certain kind of person to discuss your porn viewing habits in public - there is widespread acceptance of it despite its most obviously negative effects being transparently and abundantly clear.

Caught in 'the web': Addiction to pornography has trapped many
Of course, we Catholics can all sit back and say how right public figures like Mary Whitehouse were. The moral campaigner who became the enemy of the liberal establishment for decrying the effects of pornography was of course right that a culture of porn would have disastrous effects on children, adults, families and marriages.

The Church, however, is right about everything, since everything She teaches is infallibly correct concerning Faith and morals. Being right concerning the public danger posed by pornography - a public danger far more pernicious and deadly than tobacco now hidden from public sight - does not necessarily improve the Church's acceptance in society and we are promised that She will always be a sign of contradiction. Why? Because even if swathes of - particularly men - appreciate that viewing porn is problematic on a personal basis, many are yet to accept, like the alcoholic who attends his first meeting, that viewing porn is inherently damaging or problematic.

This can be seen in reaction to David Cameron's suggestion of regulating internet porn. Almost immediately, though understandably, concerns were uttered in the media that 'soft' porn may be regulated as well. Indeed, a proportion of men, a percentage of women, and young adults and even children are so attached to pornography that it could indeed be that people don't want 'their' porn to be taken away from them. This can also be seen with the distinction being made in the media between demonstrably and visibly cruel kinds of porn - like child abusive pornography or sadistic, violent porn - and 'soft' porn.

The objective reality, however, is that there is no such thing as 'good' pornography. It is available and visible in even high street newsagents and stationers. Few will doubt that child pornography is evil, but more will contest the idea that all pornography is objectively evil and an attack on the gift of sexuality, the institution of marriage, the family, men, women, children, fatherhood and indeed, society as a whole.

Pornography is a scourge of men - of manhood - luring men into a false image of women driven by self-satisfying desire and lust. It is a scourge of women, lured into an industry that treats them as fresh meat only for their outward beauty and accords to them little value and no moral dignity whatsoever. It is the scourge of childhood and childhood innocence, as children are brought into an adult world long before they are even prepared for it. It is a scourge of marriage, as men are lured into a fantasy realm, searching for sexual satisfaction divorced from their spouse. Thus, addiction to pornography can lead to marital breakdown and even divorce. Pornography keeps men in a state of perpetual adolescence as men are unable to develop a true appreciation for women that is deeper than surface beauty and fleeting sexual pleasure and is therefore a scourge of fatherhood, as men are brought low by their obsessions with pornography and potentially good fathers find they lack the virtue to accept the responsibility of being a good husband and a good father to children.

While pornography enslaves the viewer as quickly as cigarettes enslave the smoker, Government has little interest in tackling or hiding from public view 'soft' porn, or even 'not so soft' porn. Cigarettes are damaging to personal health, but pornography is damaging to society, the family, individuals, marriages and, of course, children.

No Government minister, however, will consider tackling pornography because naturally he or she would be laughed at by the media, too much money is made from it and he or she would be derided by the public despite the fact that all pornography objectifies women, strips women of their dignity, makes commodities of women, encourages the enslavement of men to their passions, makes teenagers out of adults and can even destroy relationships and marriages. The fact that a high percentage of the nation's children are now addicted to internet porn paints a dramatically disastrous forecast of the nation's future.

David Cameron has said he would like the Government to act on pornography because, as he so rightly says, it 'corrodes childhood'. The reality is that the moral relativism that dominates this country is now so extensive, that even the Prime Minister cannot see that it does not just merely corrode childhood, but corrodes adults, men, women, mothers and fathers, marriages, families and, we would say, souls.

I personally find it difficult to believe that a Prime Minister who has introduced legislation that paves the way for a complete perversion of the institution of marriage is genuinely concerned for children. I find it easy to believe that Mr Cameron may desire to use the issue of pornography as a way of managing or regulating the internet more generally. I find it hard to believe that in a country in which the unborn child is routinely slaughtered in his or her mother's womb, that Mr Cameron desires to act on any issue that 'corrodes' childhood.

With all this said, however, any move that is aimed at curbing the scourge of pornography is surely to be welcomed. If only the principle that he was working from was the danger of the commodification and objectification of the human person for personal gain. If he were a man of genuine principle, working from moral principles, this would perhaps be a very different country indeed. This country desperately needs moral leadership. It needs moral leadership so badly, that a significant proportion of the country we can assume would detest the idea of pornography being removed from them even if children may be protected from it - that's how low we have sunk as a nation.

The family: What makes us happy and brings us true joy?
Let us pray that, given that it is unlikely to be found from the arena of politics, that it is found, at least, in the Catholic Church. 'Whoever hears you, hears me,' said Our Lord. Pray hard that God sends to His Church more Shepherds who will speak the truth clearly enough for people not only to be offended, as they may well be, but to hear and, at the very least, to understand.

Pornography enslaves men, exploits women, even destroys marriages and lives. There is no reason why it should not be banned since it does no good. Pornography does not satisfy the human heart. It does no good to anybody or for anybody. Why should it not be banned wholesale if it corrodes not just children, but adults and exploits and makes commodities of women? Would a truly moral State working from moral principles ever permit it to be available knowing its danger to society? Sexuality is a gift from God intended for most people in marriage. What makes most people genuinely happy and contented? Their husbands, their wives and, of course, as we have seen yesterday, their children. The wisdom of the ages teaches us that apart from God, seeking happiness much outside of the family - seeking vice instead of virtue - leads only to misery.

Monday 22 July 2013

The One Thing Necessary And The Kakure Kirishitan

Thanks to wikipedia for Japanese Blessed Virgin
With all the chaos and sharp decline of democracy in Great Britain, Ireland and America, I have pondered on the one thing necessary at this time. But, I have come up with two. The first is obvious in St. Alphonsus Ligouri's prayer. We all must be dedicated to becoming saints . But, I add a second thing which is also of primary importance. We, you and I, not priests, or bishops, or cardinals, or nuns, we the laity must pass on the Faith to the next generations. This is our duty, stemming from our baptismal promises. We have no choice. To pass on the heritage and all the cultural trappings of Catholicism, the doctrines, the dogmas, the liturgical rites as far as we can, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, is our duty. We shall have no one to blame but ourselves if the faith continues to dwindle and disappear from some areas here, and in other countries.  This is our Faith. Pass it on.

Pius IX  declared it a miracle when the missionaries came back to Japan and found the
  隠れキリシタン kakure kirishitan, the hidden Christians, laity who had kept the Faith without a priest for about 250 years. Bishop Bernard Thadee Petitjean,  the first missionary priest back to Japan after 1853, and the first Vicar Apostolic of Japan, discovered these hidden Christians. They had passed on the Faith through  a 100 generations. Are we strong enough and intelligent enough about our Faith to do this?

Here are two pages from one of the first modern Catholic Catechisms in Japan, 1865. The very first came out in 1860.  From 1614 until 1860, the laity had to be responsible for their own faith and Catholicity. I assume they baptised their children and converts, prayed, honoured Mary (there were statues of Mary found), and keeping customs. Could we do this? In 2010, there were almost seven billion people in the world and 118,990 major seminarians. Who do you think is going to keep the Faith in the not-so-distant future? You, I.....

A Prayer of Saint Alphonsus Liguori

O my God, help me to remember - 

That time is short, eternity is long.

What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
To love You, my God, and save my soul is the one thing necessary.
Without You, there is no peace, no joy.
My God, I need fear nothing but sin.
For to lose You, my God, is to lose all.
O my God, help me to remember - 
That to gain all I must leave all,
That in loving You I have all good things: the infinite riches of Christ

and His Church, the motherly protection of Mary,

peace beyond understanding, joy unspeakable!

Eternal Father, your Son has promised that whatever we ask in His Name will be given to us. In His Name I pray: give me a burning faith, a joyful hope, a holy love for Jesus Christ. Give me the grace of perseverance in doing Your will in all things. Do with me what You will. I repent of having offended You. Grant, O Lord, that I may love You always and never let me be separated from You.

O my God and my All, make me a saint!

Place of worship of the hidden Christians discovered in 1973 in Miyagi Prefecture Tome Towa town Chi-nai Location:,25773,111,78,html

Friday 19 July 2013

Cardinal says: "Call out the guard, the Swiss Guard!"

How I like and admire Cardinal Arinze.

He, in my mind, is the perfect apologist, he does not beat about the bush, he tells the truth and he cocoons most of his teachings within a wonderful sense of humour.

We need more Bishops like this man.

God bless him!

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Drawn to Eternal Truths: "The Truth Is Out There" Comic

A cloistered Eastern Rite  Catholic monk drew upon his lifelong love of comics to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Amadeus, the nom de plum of the author who is part of the Maronite Monks of The Most Holy Trinity  in Petersham, Massachusetts, penned the short graphic novel “The Truth Is Out There” (2013) to explain the truths of the faith in an understandable manner.

The germ for the graphic novel was based on a conversation that the author had prior to entering the monastery with several cradle Catholics who were born and raised in the faith.  As they conversed, Amadeus realized how little any of them knew the faith.  He concluded that the ignorance of this splendor of truth was a stumbling block for his generation of Catholics.

“The Truth Is Out There” depicts two space aged mail carriers discussing life, the universe and everything at a coffee bar.  As the protagonists Brendon and Eric  contemplate the right path to truth and true happiness , one finds his answers ensconced in the Catholic Church.

Although Amadeus seeks to educate readers, since the characters start at the very beginning readers do not have to possess any faith to appreciate the thoughful ideas which they will encounter.  “The Truth Is Out There” seems to avoid shallow and syrupy characterizations typical of Christian media. And the plot allows the space aged couriers to put their coffee house principles to the test in the real “world”.

The author Amadeus had a lifelong love of comics and was inspired by the “Adventures of Tintin”.  His love of drafting prompted him to become an aerospace engineer.  Yet  in 2003, he answered the call to become a contemplative monk, so Amadeus  tried to put those illustration influences aside for his vocation of Eucharistic Adoration as well as praying the Divine Office and the Divine Liturgy.

Maronite Monks in worship
Amadeus found that: “[T]he moment I entered the silence of the cloister, it was like my head was flooded with cartoons. It was nonstop: I just had all these great ideas.”  With much mortification, Amadeus put the project off for a couple of years.  But Amadeus wanted to share the riches of Truth in philosophy and theology which he had discerned in his life as a contemplative monk.

Initially, Amadeus thought of sharing these insights in an illustrated letter, copying the traditions of illuminated manuscripts.  But he found that too boring and decided to do a series of comic strips because that is what he does best. Amadeus opined that: “The harder an idea is, the more helpful it is to draw it out.”

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI proclaimed this liturgical year to be the Year of Faith.  While it celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the start of the Vatican II Council, it also embraced Pope Blessed John Paul II’s call for the New Evangelization.  The New Evangelization is meant to repropose the Gospel to those who have heard and forgotten the Good News as well as to those never exposed to the Christian message.

Even though a cloistered Maronite Monk seems like an unlikely messenger for a contemporary call to faith via pop art, the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways.  Bishop Gregory Mansour, of the Maronite Eparchy of Brooklyn, wrote that :

[S]omehow the words 'comic book' and 'intellectually challenging' don’t usually go together, but they do in 'The Truth is Out There' by Amadeus…Thank you, Amadeus, for presenting the journey from the prison walls of our mind to the exhilarating freedom of the truth in such an exciting way.

While comics are not my favored medium of entertainment or education, if a graphic novel can inspire other readers to see that “The Truth Is Out There” and contemplate eternal truths, that’s wonderful.

h/t: Catholic News Agency

Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham Evensong and Benediction

On Sunday 18 August at 6pm, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will have Choral Evensong and Solemn Benediction at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory.

Monday 15 July 2013

Today in Britain, History is About to Repeat Itself

“Inasmuch, my lord, as this indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament directly repugnant to the laws of God and His Holy Church, the supreme government of which, or of any part thereof, may no temporal prince presume by any law to take upon him, as rightfully belonging to the See of Rome, a spiritual preeminence by the mouth of our Savior Himself, personally present upon the earth, only to St. Peter and his successors, bishops of the same See , by special prerogative guaranteed, it is therefore in law among Christian men insufficient to charge any Christian man.”

... “this realm, being but one member and small part of the Church, might not make a particular law [that was] disagreeable with the general law of Christ’s Universal Catholic Church any more than the city of London, being but one poor member in respect of the whole realm, might make a law against an Act of Parliament to bind the whole realm.”

Court Notes of the Trial of Thomas More July 1, 1535

Wednesday 10 July 2013

The Real Minority in Ireland: The Real Catholics

As I am in Ireland for the third time in twenty-one months, I am noticing again some reasons why the Church is weak in Ireland, and it is not because of the paedophile scandals. From an outsider's view, one can see several weaknesses which seem core here.

One, socialism is a religion and many Catholics, even so-called Trad ones, do not follow the Catholic Church's teaching on the evils of socialism. They cannot see the death of the individual in their own society.  Here is a link for them,

Two, Protestant types of prayer and theology have softened the notion that Catholicism is the one, true religion. In fact, relativism undermines most conversations on religion. No longer do many of the laity believe that to be a Catholic and conform one's mind to the mind of the Church is "putting on the mind of Christ" including accepting the Church as instituted by Christ for our salvation.  I have heard people old enough to know better tell me that it does not matter what religion one is...It does.

Three, liberation theology and cosmic Christ nonsense, condemned by the Church a long time ago, is sold in even the Carmelite bookshop and read, obviously. When I pointed out to the proprietor that these ideas were long condemned, she got angry and yelled at me. Amazing. I offered to bring in the documentation on these ideas and she yelled more. I shall not go back. There is a confusion as to the social doctrines of the Church, as well as the nature of Christ.

Four, contraception is accepted among some Catholics, more than one would think. And, fornication is no longer seen as a sin. Some grandmothers were bragging to me of their illegitimate grandchildren, and the fact that their daughters were not married. How does one respond to such confusion? To "shack up" is no longer considered shameful. I get embarrassed by such blatant acceptance of those living in sin as a better alternative than being single.

Five, most of the people in Church are older than I am. Wow. If all those in their 80s and 70s were not at Mass, the Churches would be one-third full only. These people, my parents' age, have no sense of community and do not talk or get together, as most people disappear after Mass and go home, I suppose. There is no community building. Many of the young couples and twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings seem to get together, which is good, but none of those I have met are Irish. Kid you not:, they are Polish, Asian, Scottish, but not Irish.

Six, the priests I have met are all exceptionally good and pious, as well as conservative. So, there is a disjoint  between the beliefs of the priests and those of the congregation. Why?

Seven, and this is key. There has been a loss of Irish identity. One Irishman told me on Sunday that people have migrated here from so many countries because of socialism, that he cannot understand why the Irish give in to the EU so much, much more than Great Britain, for example. For a country which was so proud of its identity and independence of spirit, I grieve at this loss of Irishness. It is gone, as those Irish leave behind their Catholic identity for one determined by the EU. The entire neighborhood where I am staying in central Dublin is one of Middle-Eastern culture. In fact, walking back from the shops this morning, I heard more foreign languages spoken than Irish. I was the only woman is several shops, as in some cultures, the men shop and the women do not. This was a new experience for me last time I was here, as in the States, women are the food shoppers, at least in the Midwest. Another sign of this loss of identity was that there were more people shopping in the Grafton Street area on Sunday than in the Masses-many, many more.

Eight, young Catholic women want to get married but the Catholic men who want to do so are just not here. I see many, many single Irish men. Why they have chosen not to marry the lovely girls in the pews next to me, I do not understand. Three Irish women told me they would never marry an Irishman, as they live in the past and not the present. I would like to find out more about this. What does it mean to live in the past?

Those who are pro-life have a huge problem with those who have lost the ability to think like Catholics. One very holy priest I met told me this is not a new problem, but one which started in the 1950s. He said that Catholics had become anti-intellectual to the point of never studying their own Faith and not appropriating an adult Catholic faith. This is not an exaggeration, I have not met one person over 42 who has read or even has a Catechism of the Catholic Church. I have asked.

Pray for those who are pro-life and anti-abortion. These are wonderful people, mostly young, and many with large families. God bless them, but they are a struggling minority and they know it. Bill is tonight. Are you praying?

UPDATE Vote delayed until between 5.45 and Midnight Thursday

UPDATE 2 Well, as you all know by now, Ireland has abortion. It took me two days to write this line.

Catholic Health Association: HHS Birth Control Mandate Hunky Dory

USA: Please call the bishops you know and tell them to excommunicate or refuse Holy Communion to those who are actively working to destroy the church from within.

Lifesitenews reports that:

'The Catholic Health Association is drawing condemnation today from pro-life advocates over a statement saying there is nothing wrong with the final version of the Obama HHS mandate that compels religious groups to pay for birth control, abortion.

“HHS has now established an accommodation that will allow our ministries to continue offering health insurance plans for their employees as they have always done,” CHA said in a memo issued this morning.

“We have prepared this explanation for members to help them understand the accommodation and how to implement it,” the memorandum states. “Throughout this process, CHA has been in dialogue with the leadership of the Bishops’ Conference, the Administration and HHS.  We are pleased that our members now have an accommodation that will not require them to contract, provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage.”

“CHA had two principal concerns. The first was the four-part definition of what constituted a ‘religious employer.’ That concern has been eliminated,”  the memo added. “CHA’s second concern was establishing a federal precedent that mandated our members would have to include in their health plans, services they had well-established moral objections to. HHS has now established an accommodation that will allow our ministries to continue offering health insurance plans for their employees as they have always done.”

That puts the Catholic Health Association at odds with the nation’s Catholic bishops, who pointed out recently that the conscience problems with the mandate still exist. Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule on its mandate that requires employee health insurance for contraceptives, including abortion-causing drugs, and female sterilization does not appear, on first analysis, to eliminate “the need to continue defending our rights in Congress and the courts.”

 For more see: Creative Minority Report: Catholic Health Association: HHS Birth Control Mandate Hunky Dory

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Bishop Egan on the 'Scientism' that the Catholic Church Must Battle Against

Bishop Egan of Portsmouth Diocese has published a pastoral message on the new Papal Encyclical, Lumen Fidei, which is a must read for all of us Catholics. The rest of the United Kingdom would do well to read it also, since his thoughts on scientism are a direct attack on the direction in which our elected leaders are taking us.

Bishop Egan begins His Lordship's pastoral message by welcoming the new joint Encyclical written by Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and goes on to discuss its contents concerning 'the history of Faith, the relationship between Faith and Reason, the communal dimension and expression of Faith, especially as celebrated in the Sacraments of the Church and the practical application of faith to daily life.'
The Bishop of Portsmouth then explains the central message of Lumen Fidei, writing that,
'Its basic message is that faith is a gift from God which enables us to see the world and our place within it as it really is. Faith is seeing with the eyes of Christ. It is knowledge born of love, the love of God poured into our hearts. Christian faith and natural reason go together, complementing one another, and one without the other leads to distortion.'

Benedict XVI was, as we know, very keen to keep affirming the bond between Faith and Reason as exemplified by his Regensberg address in 2006. It is very encouraging that Pope Francis will, if this Encyclical is anything to go by, reaffirm this very important teaching by his predecessor.

Bishop Egan goes on to elaborate what is meant in this bond of Faith and Reason and why it is so important to the Christian understanding of man's place in the World and his relationship with God.

'Faith is not wishy-washy, a vague feeling, a private opinion. It is a gift from God illuminating our minds and hearts, and as with two people in love, faith enables us to recognise, understand and know things that others cannot. As Catholics, we reject both religious fundamentalism (living in a literalist manner by a book or set of rules) and its opposite, liberalism (picking and choosing what I think is true). We also reject the idea that human reason and science can be absolutely autonomous or value-free. We believe that faith and reason go together. They are two forms of knowing and essentially there is no conflict between them since each in their own way is needed. Indeed, in every form and activity of human knowing, reason and belief are blended together in varying degrees and manners, from pure maths to systematic theology, from using a computer to loving your spouse. All our knowing is social; it involves elements of faith, trust and belief.'

In particular, Bishop Egan goes on then to condemn the 'scientism' of the age - the misplaced trust given to the scientific community to solve human problems without reference to either natural law or Divine law. His Lordship notes with striking emphasis the horrors of the Nazi regime and the terrible atrocities against humanity that took place when the 'scientism' that reared its head as eugenics was embraced by the State.

'We cannot allow 'scientism' (the mistaken belief that the only secure knowledge is that derived from experimental data) to dominate the air-waves and thus to distort human endeavours by 'privatising' religion and driving it out of the public domain. We need reason/science and religion/spirituality to be in a public conversation, to be in dialogue with each other, so that both can collaborate for human betterment. The social consequences of scientism will be disastrous. Scientism raises the frightening spectre of experimentation without moral parameters, last seen during the Nazi terror and now seen increasingly in bio-medical research.
Scientism will lead to a devaluation of human life and a diminished respect for the individual, not least for the elderly, the unborn child, the handicapped and the mentally ill. Since God's gifts of faith, hope and love go together, scientism will rob our children and grandchildren not only of their faith and trust but also of their hope and love, and thus deprive them of happiness. I know some of you will think that what I saying here is extreme, but take care to reflect. What we are currently experiencing in Britain in this early 21C is an epic clash of values.' 

The whole of Bishop Egan's pastoral message can be read in full here. It is vital for us to recognise the way in which Faith is disregarded in pursuit of a scientific purpose of man that ultimately makes commodities of the human race and disregards man's unique dignity. The scientism of the age of which Bishop Egan talks is a grave threat to human freedom and to the dignity of human life itself.

Monday 8 July 2013

Same-Sex 'Marriage' and the Final Stage of Persecution

Since last year, about this time or earlier, I have been sharing the findings of sociologists and psychiatrists after the war regarding the stages of persecution. You can find these under my tag, persecution on my blog for more detail.

There will be no opt outs or opts in for the new law in Great Britain. I have followed the bill carefully and cannot see any loopholes for teachers, registrars, etc.

One teacher on television said he wants sex education for five year olds. Children are losing their innocence.

thanks, wiki
We as Catholics are fast losing ground.

The last stage of persecution witnesses laws directly aimed at the target group, making their activities unlawful and forcing them into poverty and fines if they do not cooperate. This happened here 500 years ago and the persecution lasted into the 19th century. 

Good Catholic people will have to quit their jobs as registrars rather than cooperate with intrinsic evil. Teachers will have to quit their jobs rather than teach against their consciences. This all happened before, here, in England, when Catholics were marginalized. Many left for Europe. Some caved in to the pressure of compromise. Some died.

I remember a couple in the Soviet occupied Czechoslovakia who were Catholics and taught at a university. They were both fired for being Catholics, that is, holding ideas contrary to the State. They had their doctorates, but no protection as Catholics in the new laws which happened then

It is happening here and will happen in the States under Obama. Do not kid yourselves and act against this movement. To hear Anglican, Methodist and other denominational ministers defend SSM is an abomination in itself, as they quote St. Paul to bolster their side of the argument.

To hear a homosexual teacher say that five year olds need sex education is listening to a paedophile agenda. I write bluntly while I still can. There are bills being written not to allow discussion against homosexuality on blogs and on the Net as well as in papers and other media. This is not conspiracy history, but our own history as it is being written by those who do not have the Mind of Christ.

If you are not working politically against this and/or praying and fasting, you are part of the problem. Pray and take all of this seriously.


Sunday 7 July 2013

The 'Redefinition' of Marriage is its Abolition

What is a marriage?

Catholic teaching on Matrimony's purpose is known and clear. Catholic teaching on Marriage is that it is the union of man and woman - two loving souls forming one flesh and a single undivided nature. The natural end of this perfectly sound definition of marriage is that of love overflowing into reception of the gift of new life and for this love to share its nature among new persons within a family.

In our times, this definition is being challenged across the West. So, instead, let's go by a generic secular acceptable definition of two individuals wishing to enter a contract which expresses their mutual exclusive love and sexual fidelity. Does that sound about right?

This new definition is proposing that two people of the same-sex should be permitted and recognised in law as having a mutual exclusive commitment? Yes? Do you believe in this definition? Well guess what - you've been duped! What's all this 'love and commitment' stuff? Surely you've seen the SSM legislation?

The legislation must be read in order for it to be properly understood and in these times, few, even in the Press are rigorously going through the actual legislation. Primarily this civil contract will not recognise, acknowledge, confirm or endorse the following:

Any mutual recognition between partners: Let alone short or long-term loving recognition prior to the ceremony there need not be any mutual recognition between 'spouses'. Yes - incredibly - both partners do not even need to know each other or even to have met each other before the ceremony (presumably unless immigration get involved).

Co-habitation: The same-sex spouses do not need to interact on any level - even on the same continent - before or after the ceremony - only during [and even then there is a proxy service].

Sexual activity/Consummation: Even if one were to define this merely as as genital activity, it is neither a criterion nor a pre-requisite for marriage to have taken place.

Sexual Fidelity: In this legislation, each partner may engage in sexual activity with any other person or any amount of persons of the same sex and this will not legally compromise or jeopardise the marital contract. Adultery will not be a formal legal concept for this new brand of 'marriage'? The only sexual criteria within same-sex marriage is that a partner can sue for divorce should their spouse engage in sexual activity with a person of the opposite sex. Confused? The only commitment a homosexual makes in 'same-sex marriage' is an oath of fidelity to maintain their homosexual activity and never try 'batting for the other team'.

Is this marriage? Can it be recognised as such? Would those who came before us recognise anything of marriage in this legislation? Of course, it is no such thing. Behind this new vision of marriage is something perhaps even more sinister since it frames these bizarre concepts in the State's vision of marriage.

For example, it is actually going to be illegal to make those vows of mutual exclusive sexual fidelity - and because it's illegal for 'same-sex couples', in order for true 'marriage equality' it is by implication going to be made illegal for heterosexual couples as well - and thus marriage will be abolished.

European Law [Article 9 of the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights in the European Union] states that although 'same-sex marriage' is within the remit of the State upon which to legislate - if it does exist - it must be absolutely equal under the law. Technically, therefore, what exactly is 'same sex marriage' in legal terms?

The only extended 'right' gained from SSM rather than a Civil Partnership is automatic joint custody and parental rights over any children involved. That has massive legal ramifications in itself and, already, 'parent 1 and parent 2' is replacing 'mother and father' everywhere on official documentation. This is, however, a mere exigent to the real problem.

The real problem is the State's legal recognition of what 'same-sex marriage' is. This 'redefinition' cannot touch anything in marriage without destroying its essence. One issue was, for example, consummation and in order for 'same-sex marriage' to be passed through the House of Commons this hurdle had to be eliminated. It could not be modified. It had to be eliminated. Obviously, our parliamentarians could have been intellectually honest and could have replaced the idea of 'consummation' with 'exclusive mutual masturbatory intimacy' but they, in their rush to deny that there could be any conflict between 'same-sex' and real marriage, decided otherwise.

In the 'same-sex marriage' legislation there is no recognition of any mutual understanding between partners to exclusive sexual fidelity. Partners do not need to know each other, live with each other, love each other or be sexually active with or faithful to each other. Indeed, the only sexual promise a homosexual makes within the proposed marriage vows will be to not engage in any sexual activity with a memberof the opposite sex. Bizarrely, this forbids old-fashioned 'consummation' outside the marriage as it invalidates the marriage contract and are thus grounds for divorce. 'Same-sex marriage' is technically an oath to maintain one's practised homosexuality.

Now, at present there are many husbands and wives suing their spouses for divorce on grounds of adultery - grounds which are impossible for the 'same-sex couple' in similar infidelity circumstances (unless one party was on the receiving end of a heterosexual 'betrayal').

Remember that European law states that marriages must be equal. Ergo, the principles of consummation, mutual exclusive sexual fidelity and adultery will be eliminated from all forms of marriage to conform to the SSM-legislation. We are not being told this by the mainstream media or those who we are governing the nation.

A spouse will no longer be able to be granted an annulment for non-consummation, nor will he or she be able to sue for divorce for adultery because once European law has been enforced, the universalised civil marriage vows they make will not include any recognisition of mutually exclusive sexual fidelity.

Now, for Catholics and for any sane person's understanding of marriage, including the vast majority of same-sex couples who want to be 'married', the law is now going to technically thwart and prohibit them from making the natural, common-sense vows they wish to make when entering marriage - the mandatory aspects which define marriage.

The State technically acts under the principle of non-clandestinity. In other words, the State is the legal Witness to the vows of mutual exclusive bonding. Now, however, in this new arrangement, the State wishes to solely act as the witness or guarantor of the exigent legal aspects of marriage - but not marriage itself.

In the new vision of marriage, the State is technically forbidding the recognition of marriage as any vows are legally worthless. Ironically, the Government hasn't realised this and, almost certainly, one of the first laws to be cast aside by Europe will be the 'sex with the opposite sex grounds for divorce' in the 'same-sex marriage' law. I ask you, what is more absurd than a law which when legislated for will abolish itself? Marriage is being abolished and replaced with a 'rights for those who are married' scenario. Yes, this is absurd, but let us not be under any illusions. That is what is going to happen.

Previously, Catholics could materially co-operate with civil marriage as it endorsed (witnessed/was guarantor for) marriages for those who sought to be married. There was still grave immorality in the civil marriage law in that one could divorce, the divorced could remarry and this contradicts the Church's vision of marriage. What this arrangement did not do was to thwart marriage entirely. It did not prevent what Catholics determine as mandatory to validate a marriage. It did not prevent the vow of mutually exclusive sexual fidelity. Once this legislation is equalised and settles it will be thwarting it absolutely.

Baptised non-Catholics who underwent a civil marriage ceremony were validly married as they made that  in the presence of the State as witness. If this legislation and subsequent European equalisation is enacted then they will in future be forbidden from making that specific vow - therefore the Church cannot recognise that marriage as valid until they die together and are radically sanated.

This thwarting of marriage and the prevention of recognition of vows turns an already unjust Civil Marriage law into an intrinsically unjust law. Yet again, we have the absurdity of a marriage law that stops people from making marriage promises. This is gravely unjust. The Catholic Church expressly forbids co-operation with an intrinsically unjust law (Evangelium Vitae 73.2 & the CDF's clarification in 'considerations' make this clear). Parliament is at this moment crossing the rubicon. Previously, they scandalised marriage with Civil Partnerships, but now, now they will be wilfully preventing it.

Now here's the big problem. The Church cannot stand by and allow a law that prevents those able to be married from being validly married (i.e forbidden from making marriage vows). This doesn't merely mean the Church will eventually have to remove itself from the civil marriage process and perform religious ceremonies which will have to be legally confirmed in a separate civil ceremony.

It means that Catholics - as they are forbidden from conspiring and co-operating with an intrinsically unjust law - will not be allowed to go through the civil marriage process at all! Civil Marriage ceremonies for Catholics will be banned by the Church as they intrinsically prevent marriage for baptised non-Catholics. In this new situation we cannot in conscience condone or co-operate with the State.

And here is an even bigger problem. You might think, 'Oh well that just means Catholics will no longer be able to go through a civil marriage but they can still have a Church marriage - they can still be married in the eyes of God and the State can go forth and multiply.' Er no - it doesn't! Article 95 of the 1949 Marriage Act forbids clandestinity. In other words, it is a criminal offence to undergo a religious marriage ceremony without undergoing a civil marrage as well.

Nobody seems to be getting the ramifications of this law and above all, the people of the United Kingdom are not being told what it all means. Catholics are on the brink of being forbidden from getting married. The Church forbids co-operation with an intrinsically unjust civil marriage ceremony that denies marriage to those seeking it vows of mutually exclusive fidelity and the State has made it a criminal offence to solely have a Church marriage without its civil counterpart.

Is there a way out?

Maybe the Vatican could endorse a Church marriage as a national civil marriage under the auspices of the Holy See? Perhaps, but nobody seems to be considering - let alone discussing - this potential looming nightmare and the implications of what is certainly the abolition of marriage in the making.

Once state recognition of 'vows to mutual exclusive fidelity' is universally invalidated by the enforcement of European 'equalisation laws' to make all marriage follow the remit of the
provisional 'same-sex marriage' legislation it will certainly stop those who can marry from being validly married. This will include both baptised non-Catholics and non-baptised couples who remain together unto death. This is, therefore, an intrinsically unjust law with which we are forbidden to co-operate under the Church's law. Despite this, the law makes it impossible to marry without co-operating. Therefore the Government will be technically both abolishing marriage and banning the last residual real marriage (with valid vows) for Catholics.

We have to try and stop this abolition of marriage! We must stop talking of this as the 'redefinition' of marriage and describe its effect by its real name. This is abolition. We must stop referring to this as mere 'redefinition' as if this is a scandalous immoral extension of a marital contract to those who cannot be married - as if it's similar to the divorced remarrying. We are not talking about 'equal marriage' for anyone. We are talking about the abolition of marriage for everyone!

Proving God's Existence through Science and Reason

'The foundations of scientific materialism are in the process of crumbling. In Signature in the Cell, philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer shows how the digital code in DNA points powerfully to a designing intelligence behind the origin of life.

Unlike previous arguments for intelligent design, Signature in the Cell presents a radical and comprehensive new case, revealing the evidence not merely of individual features of biological complexity but rather of a fundamental constituent of the universe: information. That evidence has been mounting exponentially in recent years, known to scientists in specialized fields but largely hidden from public view.

A Cambridge University-trained theorist and researcher, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, Dr. Meyer is the first to bring the relevant data together into a powerful demonstration of the intelligence that stands outside nature and directs the path life has taken. The universe is comprised of matter, energy, and the information that gives order to matter and energy, thereby bringing life into being. In the cell, information is carried by DNA, which functions like a software program.

The signature in the cell is that of the master programmer of life. In his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin never sought to unravel the mystery of where biological information comes from. For him, the origins of life remained shrouded in impenetrable obscurity. While the digital code in DNA first came to light in the 1950s, it wasn’t until later that scientists began to sense the implications behind the exquisitely complex technical system for processing and storing information in the cell. The cell does what any advanced computer operating system can do but with almost inconceivably greater suppleness and efficiency.

Drawing on data from many scientific fields, Stephen Meyer formulates a rigorous argument employing the same method of inferential reasoning that Darwin used. In a thrilling narrative with elements of a detective story as well as a personal quest for truth, Meyer illuminates the mystery that surrounds the origins of DNA. He demonstrates that previous scientific efforts to explain the origins of biological information have all failed, and argues convincingly for intelligent design as the best explanation of life’s beginning. In final chapters, he defends ID theory against a range of objections and shows how intelligent design offers fruitful approaches for future scientific research.

Appearing in the year of Darwin anniversaries - Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species - Signature in the Cell could only have been written now that the data of biology’s dawning information age has started to come in. Meyer shares with readers the excitement of the most recent discoveries, as the digital technology at work in the cell has been progressively revealed. The operating system embedded in the genome includes nested coding, digital processing, distributive retrieval and storage systems. It is very extraordinary—the terminology is all recognizable from computer science.

The appearance of Meyer’s book is timely in two other ways. First, bestselling atheist writers like biologist Richard Dawkins have insisted that because Darwin buried the traditional argument for design in nature, religious belief has been shown to be irrational in our modern scientific age. Meyer reveals that, on the contrary, it is precisely our modern scientific age that is in the process of burying materialist theories of life’s development.

Second, since a federal judge in Dover, Pennsylvania, ruled in 2005 that intelligent design may not rightfully claim the designation of “science,” Judge John E. Jones has become the hero of Darwinian activists and their supporters in academia and the media. The Dover decision has been hailed as the death knell of intelligent design. Hardly so! Speaking from the more relevant perspective of the philosophy of science, Meyer responds that federal judges were never given the job of defining what is scientific and what is not. As a philosopher and a scientist himself, having worked in the field of geophysics for Atlantic Richfield, Meyer is able to step back from the fray of competing views about Darwinian theory and offer a searching, compelling investigation of life’s beginning.'

Saturday 6 July 2013

Why Blessed Titus Brandsma Important for this Guild of Catholic Bloggers?

Patron of this Guild, Blessed Titus Brandsma
In this Guild of Catholic bloggers, we have as our holy patron Blessed Titus Brandsma. Did we choose him, or did he choose us? Blessed Titus, a Carmelite Priest, was also a journalist and is considered as well as being a martyr for the Holy Faith, to be a martyr for the press as well as for the Catholic press in particular.

While it is daunting for us to consider on an intellectual level, we live in an age in the West when the concept of freedom grounded in natural law is being eroded, or altered dramatically to mean something concerning personal autonomy and exclusive rights that belong to the individual at the expense of the common good and the dignity of human life.

Only this week, we saw that the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution calling upon all countries to adopt and implement, “non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health.” This is code for a global adoption of the abortion and contraceptive culture and laws which have ravaged whole populations of nations and brought to the West an already unprecedented loss of human life and devastation of the social fabric of these nations.

In the United Kingdom, Europe and North and South America, the definition of marriage is being changed to allow couples of the same gender to marry. In every sense, Government is out of control, financially, morally, with individually-based concepts of rights trampling on more natural human freedoms such as conscience, religion, speech and thought. It is likely that with new laws enforcing a new concept of marriage that demeans and diminishes the institution itself, radically altering not just society's concept of marriage, but even the human language concerning it, will in time come a fierce opposition to those who continue to proclaim that marriage is a union between one man and one woman for the mutual good of them both, for the good of society and for the procreation and education of children.

While citizens' trust in Government and politicians must surely be at an all time low, political indifference to the radically inhuman agenda now being set by those with political power is surely also at an all time high. At the heart of this is sad situation is a misunderstanding of human freedom in general, indifference to a political process which has elite concerns, the widespread acceptance of propaganda that maintains the status quo and a culture in which the pursuit of personal happiness has become the primary goal of society.

We can therefore expect that should Governments in the West decide to place behind their 'population agenda' and their vision for societal transformation a totalitarian law forbidding criticism of the new times and new situation, that few will speak out in defense of us. The Governments in the West are already indebted to a Western media that has heavily propagandised and effectively so on their behalf. Only those daily publications on the political 'right' have dared to question the Government's agenda concerning the redefinition of marriage and even these have done so meekly, not once calling for a national campaign in defence of marriage. Aside from in France where protestations against Hollande's law have numbered over a million people, only the Catholic Church and other denominations stand in the way of 'same-sex marriage'. Opponents to the change in the law are already stigmatised publicly as bigoted and out of touch.

For these reasons, we cannot expect vast numbers of people (and certainly not the police) to come to our defence if in future we proclaim timeless truths through our writing. While our manner of preaching may be slightly different than that of an evangelical street preacher, the recent publication of a transcript of an interrogation by British police of a man condemning the sins of the age poses questions we would rather not ask as to what the future of freedom of speech and communication may be.

And for all of these reasons as well, we can see therefore that we have in Blessed Titus Brandsma a providential patron for this Guild of Catholic bloggers. We who have an understanding of history and of the way in which human concepts of freedom and liberty are being twisted to suit an oppressive political agenda share with Blessed Titus Brandsma a foresight of the totalitarian direction in which societies and political parties that exclude God ultimately lead. As this article, entitled, 'The Global Significance of Blessed Titus Brandsma' makes clear:

'In Italy as well as in Anglo-Saxon countries, the memory of Brandsma immediately after his death was characterised by his resistance against the nazification of the press with the objective of total spiritual control. Brandsma began to realise the dangers of national-socialism before anyone else and warned the people about it.' 

While we may not be headed towards the explicit Fourth Reich (though we would be wise never to rule out anything), we are living in an age in which once more eugenic thought is on the increase and on the table, especially in elite political, scientific and intellectual circles. While we may not be facing gulags or concentration camps, there is an increased likelihood in the current climate that the view of the Catholic Church in the public sphere will be rejected even with force of law, that Catholic writers and political dissidents, bloggers and journalists who cannot bring themselves to blithely agree with or co-operate in the new State ideology will face a measure of persecution.

We must recall that at times in the Church's history, persecution has sometimes been sudden and unexpected. We should also soberly recall how quickly and horrifyingly efficiently, Germany descended into the tyranny of Nazism and accepted an ideology that disregarded not only respect for the sacred, but for human life in general and policed those who refused to accept this cruel tyranny, elected by popular mandate, out of existence.

Our patron said, "Those who wish to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come into conflict with it." There is little doubt that if we Catholic bloggers and writers maintain our opposition to the Government's continued path in re-defining marriage, consistently defend the weak against the powerful and mighty of this world, defend human life from conception to natural death, then we will be in opposition to a Government that has ran amok in its thirst for power over the populace, while its own populace accept at face value the many lies and deceits that emanate from not only its own public organs, but from a media that has sold its principles for the sake of an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideology. In an age in which the culture of death has crippled a country so proud of its rich heritage of not only Catholicism, but intellectual concern for true liberty, how sad it is that the Catholic Church stands among a small minority willing to stand up for truth - to be a light of Faith in the darkness of atheism and false ideologies. At this time and for these reasons, Blessed Titus Brandsma stands for much that is relevant to our position.

Let us not be afraid, but continue boldly to proclaim the Gospel by our lives and in our writings, never yielding to fear of the loss of human respect. Our patron has gone before us like the Lord Jesus and has been crowned with everlasting victory and glory. May the holy intercession of Blessed Titus Brandsma assist us in our task of bringing the Gospel to more souls through the medium of the internet.
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