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Scots Catholic

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The Real Tragedy of Cecil the Lion

Posted on July 30, 2015 at 11:42 AM Comments comments (1)
 
Cecil the lion.  He has been in the headlines quite a lot over the last few days and I suppose it is useful coverage for those who are against unnecessary animal cruelty.  Indeed I myself am very much against the unnecessary suffering of animals and think it should be avoided as much as possible.  It isn’t nice for animals to suffer.  They are God’s creation after all and although we have dominion over them we must still afford them a certain degree of respect for the part they play in our earthly dwelling.
 
 
Let us just consider the scene for a moment….Cecil was happy with his lot, just going with the flow of everyday life and enjoying another day in his comfortable surroundings.  He would no doubt be looking forward to whatever food he would receive that day, giving him the nourishment he needs to grow and become stronger.  Yet this day was different, very different.  Somewhere nearby there was a person who had very different thoughts on how Cecil’s day was going to pan out.  As Cecil moved around in his cosy surroundings, little did he know someone was plotting his untimely death.  That day Cecil’s life was brought to an abrupt end as he basked in the comfort of his familiar surroundings.  In fact, Cecil would have thought he was very safe in a place he knew well; he might even have thought it was the safest place in the world.  But sadly it became the most dangerous place for him that particular day.  Cecil’s home became his grave.  Nobody heard Cecil’s cries, or if they did, nobody seemed to care.  The decision had been made that Cecil must die.  Cecil had no say in the matter.  His rights it seems held no sway whatsoever.  He just had to accept his fate and within seconds the numerous possibilities that Cecil’s life once held were extinguished, never to resurface again.  Cecil was gone.  Yes, it was that quick.  One second Cecil was alive, the next he was gone.
 
 
Pretty heartbreaking isn’t it?  Now, repeating the above paragraph, take the word Cecil and replace it with the term ‘the unborn baby’.
 
….
 
Pretty heartbreaking isn’t it?  Yet there are essential differences with the public reaction to this story depending on the victim.  With Cecil the lion’s death there is a massive public outcry and a media scrum of the highest order.  With the unborn baby’s death there is nothing.  With Cecil the lion there is widespread condemnation for such an unnecessary death.  The unborn baby's death attracts no such condemnation.  With Cecil the lion there is horror and disgust.  The unborn baby’s death is afforded no such reaction.  With Cecil the lion the public, at large, seems to care.  For the unborn baby the public, at large, is more concerned about Cecil the lion to care for his plight.
 
 
Please, speak up for the little ones.  Let's end abortion.
 

Prioritising the fight to save lives

Posted on July 10, 2015 at 7:08 AM Comments comments (0)
 
We are rightly abhorred when we read of cruelty to dogs and cats, or the unnecessary slaughter of whales, or the needless clubbing of seals.  These creatures are all part of God's creation after all.
 
 
But they are not human beings. They do not have that special place in God's plan which sets humanity apart from the rest.
 
 
It is undoubtedly easier in today's secular relativist world to cry foul on behalf of little innocent animals, but not so when it comes to tiny innocent human beings.
 
 
They need our voice. They need our voice more than the dogs, the cats, the whales and the seals. They are being slaughtered day after day after day by the callous society we have created.
 
 
Our task is simple....speak up for them.  Defend them.
 

God’s call to protect all life (Dwelling on the Word of God, Sunday 28th June 2015)

Posted on June 26, 2015 at 11:48 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Sunday’s First Reading (Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24):
 
‘Death was not God’s doing,
he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living.
To be – for this he created all;
the world’s created things have health in them,
in them no fatal poison can be found,
and Hades holds no power on earth;
for virtue is undying.
Yet God did make man imperishable,
he made him in the image of his own nature;
it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world,
as those who are his partners will discover.’
 
 
 
Let’s focus on the first two lines of this scripture passage.  Read them again and think about our world today. Consider the unnecessary death of the innocent in the womb, and the increased incidence of deaths among vulnerable and elderly people following the introduction of assisted suicide.  Consider the unnecessary deaths of people at times of war or at the hands of extremist groups like ISIS.  All of this death is unnecessary and God - as set out in today’s passage - takes no pleasure in it.
 
 
And while God ‘did make man imperishable’, something which would become visible in the person of Jesus Christ when he rose from the dead on the third day, we are still called to protect life and protect the most vulnerable.
 
 
As death was not God’s doing don’t you think we should be fighting hard to ensure we don’t allow unnecessary death to creep further and further into society? Our society generally makes the killing of another person illegal, and thankfully so.  Yet this is qualified.  For example, it is not illegal to kill an unborn child in the womb in certain circumstances.  And increasingly, particularly in parts of Europe, it is becoming legal to kill those who are said to want to end their own lives through the process of assisted suicide.  This, of course, is putting more and more pressure on elderly and vulnerable people to consider whether they too should die in order to alleviate the burden of those caring for them or indeed the burden supposedly carried by wider society.
 
 
But we must fight against this tide of death as best we can.  Death is not from God.  It is from Satan.  And that alone should be enough to want to give it our best shot.  Of course death will come to us all at one point, but do we really want to hasten it and let the devil win?  Do we really want to defy God who takes ‘no pleasure’ in such extinction and let the ‘devil’s envy’ be victorious? 
 
 
Our role as Christians is to defend life and defend it from conception until its natural end.  As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) once said: “Defend the unborn against abortion, even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court, or kill you.”
 
 
Yes, it’s that important.
 

Western world shows same disregard for human life as the Aztecs, says bishop

Posted on June 9, 2015 at 8:59 AM Comments comments (0)
 
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury has spoken out against the disregard for human life we often witness in today's western society, comparing it to the human sacrifices offered up by the Aztec people.
 
Bishop Davies said that “We can see a resemblance with the declining civilisation of the western world which in similar ways sacrifices and discards the lives of millions of human beings in abortion; in embryo experimentation and fertility treatments; and now threatens the lives of those who pose the greatest financial burden – the sick and the aged in assisted suicides and euthanasia.”
 
 

Andrea Bocelli speaks to Vatican about the importance of the family

Posted on May 21, 2015 at 11:53 AM Comments comments (0)
Andrea Bocelli is a man of great faith
 
Famed for having one of the most incredible voices on the planet, Andrea Bocelli is also well known for being a man of great faith and devotion to God.
 
 
Bocelli, who was born with congenital glaucoma and has been blind since a young age, is only alive because his mother rejected the advice of doctors that he be terminated.  This decision not only brought about a beautiful son, grandson, nephew and so on for their family, but it also brought about a genius musician with a voice to rival all others.  A voice the world could enjoy.
 
 
It is no surprise then, given his mother’s sacrificial love, that Bocelli is a real family man.  With a wife and three children of his own he openly states that “family is such an important thing”.  So much so that he is in the process of finalising his latest work titled ‘The Great Mystery: The Gospel of the Family, School of Humanity for Our Times’.  The work will be performed at various venues throughout the world, most notably in the Basilica of the Holy Family in Barcelona on 28 May and then in Philadelphia during the World Congress of the Families on September 26.  It is part of a Vatican initiative leading up to the second phase of the Synod on the Family in October.
 
 
The Vatican has confirmed that the initiative contains two aspects, singing in the cathedrals and in the squares.  And Bocelli has confirmed that, whenever he is in Church, the music will be exclusively sacred music. This, he said, was very important to him.
 
 
While we shall all look forward to hearing Andrea’s wonderful and powerful voice once more, his message about the importance of the family should bring into focus once again the need for us to play our part in protecting the sacred institution of the family and the parts which make it; father, mother and child. 
 
 
 

Little Walter Fretz lived only moments outside of his mother's womb, but his images are changing the world

Posted on April 9, 2015 at 10:16 AM Comments comments (0)
Walter Fretz was born at 19 weeks gestation after his mother suffered a miscarriage.  He sadly only lived for a few moments outside of the womb, but this hasn't prevented his short life from having a significant impact on the abortion debate.
 
Little Walter's story has been changing hearts and minds across the globe and this is in no small part down to the images released by his family, taken shortly after he was born.
 
The images show the true beauty of humanity, even at the very early stages of development.  They show what is clearly a little boy being cuddled by his mother and being held in the hand of his father.
 
 
There isn't too much you can say to the images of this little lad; they really do speak for themselves.  They also speak for every little child safely tucked away in the protected space that is their mother's womb.  They tell us that there really is something special, precious and incredibly beautiful about each and every individual human being brought into existence.
 
They really are little miracles, growing every day with the love and help of their mothers.
 
        
 
 

Pornography statistics among the young suggest a need to get back to basics

Posted on March 31, 2015 at 9:08 AM Comments comments (0)
 
A new survey by NSPCC Childline has suggested that at least a tenth of 12 - 13 year olds in the UK are addicted to pornography (reported today by the BBC). 
 
And while this is generally regarded as a bad thing, there are some people who think it is okay for children to be increasingly sexualised at a young age.  But let's be clear, it is one thing for a child of reason to know the beauty of the human body; it is another thing entirely for them to see that body being abused. 
 
Pornography is an increasing problem in our society.  It is abuse of the human form and a danger to our children and we are exposed to it on so many fronts; on television, in the movies, in magazines, on the internet, and on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  They are all forums on which pornography is given a platform for the benefit of those willing to entertain it. 
 
Pornography is also destroying families with a reported 56% of divorce cases in the United States involving one party having "an obsessive interest in pornographic websites".
 
It is a real problem and we need to do more to help people who find themselves caught in the downward spiral of pornographic addiction, and this includes children.  As parents it is hard to monitor your kids' every move but what we can do is get back to basics.  We should never shy away from the beauty of the human form.  It is God's creation and it is truly stunning!  We should love our bodies.  But we must also respect our body and I think that this is the key message that is being lost.  Too many people no longer respect their physical self anymore and are prepared to go to any lengths to abuse their body for a momentary high.  They are even prepared to abuse the bodies of others.
 
Many people criticise the Catholic Church for outdated views.  But there can be no doubt that the disintegration of the human person and the family, as predicted around 50 years ago by Pope Paul VI, is unfolding before our very eyes.  People are now seen as commodities; objects of pleasure for the gratification of self and of others.  There is no respect for one another any more.  But then is this a surprise in a world of widespread contraception, abortion, and euthanasia? 
 
The sexual act is cherished by the Catholic Church for being an act of unconditional love from one to another. It is the complete giving and sacrificing of one's self for the other coupled with an openness to new life.  It is simple and it is beautiful.  There is no selfishness.  There is no hidden agenda.  There is no desire to abuse the other.  It is pure love.  It is pure sacrifice.
 
As we consider how to tackle the increased incidence of pornography among the young of our society, we would do well to look at ourselves and see what kind of example we are setting.  Are we letting ourselves be fooled by secular liberal and relativist values where anything goes and its up to the individual to decide what they want to do with their own body?  Do we continue subscribing to this view and watch the family decline even further into the gutter?  Or do we get back to basics and see the human body for what it really is, a thing of real and true beauty and deserving of protection? 
 
For those wanting to read more on issues relating to pornography, Matt Frad's excellent website The Porn Effect is a good starting point. 
 
It is also worth mentioning Covenant Eyes, another great website resource which has its own software to protect your family from pornography online.

Congratulations to John Deighan, the new Chief Executive of SPUC Scotland

Posted on March 23, 2015 at 1:14 PM Comments comments (0)
 
Scots Catholic would like to congratulate John Deighan on his appointment to the post of Chief Executive of SPUC Scotland.
 
The Parliamentary Officer for the Bishops' Conference of Scotland will take up his new role next month.
 
The Bishops of Scotland have thanked John for his "resolute and dedicated service" and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said: "John has provided dedicated and energetic service to the church in Scotland for sixteen years and we wish him well in his new role.  His ability to skilfully analyse political development and track legislative changes has been immensely helpful to the Bishops' Conference." 
He added: "The links between the church and the SPUC in Scotland are already strong, but they will be strengthened and renewed as a result of John's appointment."
 
Please keep John in your prayers as he embarks on this new role and also keep the great work of the SPUC in your prayers as they continue to promote the sanctity of all life.
 
 

Pro-life? Then choose your charities carefully...

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 10:42 AM Comments comments (2)
 
Comic Relief's support of abortion is well documented and has been an ongoing topic of concern for a number of years among pro-life advocates.  Another charity well known for its abortion links is, rather ironically, Save the Children.
 
But did you know that Barnardos recommends Marie Stopes on its 'links' page or that Childline promotes abortion as a 'legitimate choice'?  Did you know that the British Heart Foundation has assisted in raising £12m for stem cell research?  And did you know that UNICEF promotes chemical and surgical abortion and provides confidential sexual and reproductive health information and services to children from 10 years of age?
 
And while it would be fair to say that these charities provide much needed help and assistance in other areas of their work, there is very little doubt that some of what they do does not square with the pro-life view, a view that is non-negotiable if you are Catholic.
 
The truth is, there are plenty of other charities out there who do great work and who do not provide anti-life assistance to vulnerable people or provide funding for abortions or contraception.  Consider Mary's Meals, SCIAF, Aid to the Church in NeedSt Margaret's Adoption Society, Bethany Christian Trust, Wayside Homeless CharitySPUC, LIFE Charity, and the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative to name but a few.
 
There is no need to deprive needy people because you value all life from the moment of conception until natural death.  You can politely decline to become involved in anything relating to anti-life charities or you can respectfully agree to take part in activities but say that money you raise will be going elsewhere.  The fact is, nobody needs to be deprived of your genrosity.  You have alternative options available to you.  It's just a case of knowing which charities to support and ensuring that, in your charitable giving, you continue to protect all life.
 
 
Click here for a list of charities which have given SPUC cause for concern: https://www.spuc.org.uk/education/charities/
 
 
 

Crucial Vote on Three Parent Embryos - it's our last chance to have a say

Posted on February 16, 2015 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (1)
 
Please read the following text from John Deighan of the Catholic Parliamentary Office and please click the links to contact a House of Lords peer and also add your name to the petition. 
 
This proposed new legislation, along with abortion and euthanasia, will mean the eradication of disabled people from our society.  Such a process is completely wrong and is inequality at its evil best.
 
 
Here is what John Deighan has to say:
 
The promotion of three-parent embryos has been based on compassion for victims of genetic disorders. It involves creating embryos from the DNA of two women and one man.  Some women have defective mitochondrial in their cells and this is replaced by the healthy mitochondrial of another woman.  Efforts to overcome illness are obviously a crucial feature of a decent society but the genetic manipulation that is now proposed will not cure anyone.  It will instead be aimed at ensuring that disabled people are eradicated from society. 
 
Creating quality assurance procedures for manufacturing human embryos is a dangerous attack on the inherent dignity of human life.  It also involves making changes to human DNA which will be passed down through the generations even though the full implications of the changes are not understood. 
 
Countries around the world outlaw such genetic manipulation and international human rights laws prohibit it.  However Members of Parliament are defying these concerns and have approved the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 which permit the procedure.  The House of Lords will now vote on the matter on 24 February 2015 and they have the opportunity to overturn the decision. 
 
You can help by contacting a member of the House of Lords (you can write to as many peers as you like!). This can be done easily at this link: www.stopgm3parentbabies.com
 
You can also sign the petition which will help show the level of public opposition to the eugenic practise which is being proposed.  Click here to sign the petition: www.citizengo.org/en/17728-please-keep-uk-allowing-germline-genetic-modification-human-embryos-and-creation-3-parent
 
If you want to read a recent Scots Catholic article on Three Parent Babies, click here.