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Scots Catholic Blog
|Posted on April 21, 2016 at 4:01 AM||comments (0)|
I am astonished and no less disappointed to see that few of the major UK news outlets have covered yesterday’s House of Commons vote, when MPs voted 278 – 0 in favour of declaring ISIS/Daesh atrocities against Christians and Yazidis as genocide.
If the Holocaust were to occur today, would the media recognise the atrocity and label it as genocide? If the massacre of Srebrenica were to occur today, would the media recognise the suffering people of the city and label it as genocide? And what about Rwanda in 1994? Would today’s media be prepared to state that this is genocide?
As I write I see that the Guardian, the Telegraph and Reuters are all at least now covering the story. But still no BBC, no ITV, and no Sky News coverage among many others. These outlets are no better than the Conservative government which has to date epically failed to declare the murder and violence wrought by ISIS as genocide.
Is it fear? Is it an anti-Christian mentality? Who knows? But one thing is certain, if genocide isn’t news we might as well all pack up and head for the hills.
|Posted on April 18, 2016 at 7:25 AM||comments (0)|
Pope Francis welcomes some of the migrants to Rome
Pope Francis has once again thrust the Catholic Church into the spotlight; this time by bringing a group of twelve Syrian migrants from the island of Lesbos to live in Rome. The families travelled with the pope back to Italy after he made a visit to the small Greek island last weekend. It is understood the three families, all Muslim, were fully prepped for the move ahead of the pope’s visit.
The finer details of how all of this will pan out remain to be seen, but the gesture itself is one of great love and generosity on the part of Francis. It is dynamic, reactive, and challenging. In many respects it bears the hallmarks of Christ himself.
And while he had to leave huge numbers of migrants behind in Lesbos, Francis left them in no doubt that he loves each and every one of them as he told them: “you are not alone”. He later followed this up with a call to Western leaders to do more to accommodate the migrants.
Yet the challenge set down by the pope is not just for political leaders. Each one of us is called to rise to his challenge and to show similar love and compassion to the poor and needy in our communities. So before we criticise others for their failure to act, we need to think about what we ourselves are doing for the good of humanity. It might only be small gestures of love or kindness, but remember, each little gesture creates another building block for the Kingdom of God.
For all of the criticism Pope Francis attracts, particularly from his own household, he has the knack of showing great love to all people, especially to those in great need. In all honesty, I wish I could have even a tiny percentage of the compassion, mercy and humility that this man clearly has in abundance. He is, in many respects, a world leader in love. Isn’t that precisely what God’s representative on earth should be?
|Posted on April 15, 2016 at 8:56 AM||comments (0)|
A motion is to be put before the UK Parliament next week calling on the House to recognise that Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East are facing genocide.
The terror being wrought by ISIS is well known to all, though the fact that it is mainly targeted towards Christians is not so well documented in the West.
This is an opportunity for the UK government to take a stand against ISIS by declaring their actions to be a genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities. As Pope Francis said: "It is wrong to look the other way, and remain silent." We all know the situation in the Middle East, and now is our chance to act and to speak up.
Please, please contact your MP today and encourage them to take part in this debate which will take place in Parliament next Wednesday 20th April. Aid to the Church in Need UK has helpfully drafted up a letter and included a link to obtain the contact details of your MP. You can find it all by clicking here.
We can no longer allow innocent blood to flow under our feet while we do nothing. We need to act to stop this murder. Please, help the helpless and write to your MP today.
|Posted on April 7, 2016 at 7:21 AM||comments (0)|
The Catholic Bishops of both Scotland and Poland have been busy making a case for the protection of the unborn this week. The Polish Bishops have been pushing for legislative change to bring about a total ban on abortions and they, along with the Polish government, appear to have mustered more than enough support to ensure the law is passed.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, the Catholic Bishops have released their traditional statement ahead of the May election for the Scottish Parliament. In the letter, the Bishops encourage Catholics to vote with Christian values at the forefront of their minds, including the right to life from conception until natural death. This encouragement is timely given that abortion is soon to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament from its current home in Westminster.
Yet the motives of these holy men has been called into question by sceptics and much of the media, as they try to suggest something other than love of life and a desire to protect the most vulnerable is at play. But let’s be frank, while these men are devoutly Catholic and follow the teaching of the Church to the letter, they do not need to reference Church teaching in order to call for the protection of unborn babies. It is something that is imprinted in each and every one of our DNA. No decent, law-abiding citizen of planet earth wants or wills the destruction of other human beings. It’s a basic human quality and one we should be immensely proud of.
The Catholic Bishops of Scotland and Poland are speaking from the heart when they call for all unborn children to have the chance to live. Yes their Church expects, and even demands, them to take this stance, but they do not need the Church to tell them that all human life is intrinsically valuable and worthy of protection. They are not anti-woman and they are not anti-choice. Neither are they religious fanatics. They are simply human beings seeking the protection of the law for other, more vulnerable, human beings.
|Posted on April 1, 2016 at 8:26 AM||comments (0)|
A parliamentary question in the House of Lords has revealed a frightening statistic about late-term abortions in the UK. Labour peer Lord Moonie asked the government how many babies had been aborted at 23 weeks or later in the UK in 2014. The government’s response was to confirm that 682 such abortions had been carried out. That’s 13 babies every week.
While abortion at any stage is to be regarded as wrong as it takes away the life of an unborn child, abortions at this late stage - when the baby is fully formed in the womb - is nothing short of deplorable.
Indeed, thanks to medical advances, many babies born at 23 weeks are now able to survive. How then can we allow for a baby at one end of the maternity unit to be given life-saving treatment while a baby at the other end is legally killed? It simply makes no sense.
|Posted on February 29, 2016 at 12:16 PM||comments (0)|
As taxpayers we contribute to 91% of all abortions in the UK. Our money is used to assist in the killing of innocent children which in turn causes immeasurable pain and suffering to mothers.
We want our money better spent on helping both women and their babies to live.
Please sign the petition which can be accessed by clicking this link, and spread the word.
|Posted on February 19, 2016 at 6:56 AM||comments (0)|
Pope Francis didn't just talk about Donald Trump's value as a Christian and contraception on his latest flight home to Rome. There is so much more that the mainstream media has failed to cover. So here it is....the stuff you probably haven't yet heard about:
Pope Francis on paedophilia in the Church and the part played by Pope Benedict XVI to eradicate it:
“First, a bishop who moves a priest to another parish when a case of pedophilia is discovered is a reckless [inconsciente] man and the best thing he can do is to present his resignation. Is that clear?
Cardinal Ratzinger deserves an applause. Yes, an applause for him. He had all of the documentation. He’s a man who as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had everything in his hands. He conducted all the investigations, and went on, went on, went on, until he couldn’t go any further. But, if you remember, 10 days before the death of St. John Paul II, in that Via Crucis of Holy Friday, he said to the whole Church that it needed to clean up the dirt of the Church. And in the Pro-Eligendo Pontefice Mass, despite knowing that he was a candidate, he wasn’t stupid, he didn’t care to “make-up” his answer, he said exactly the same thing. He was the brave one who helped so many open this door. So, I want to remember him because sometimes we forget about this hidden works that were the foundations for “taking the lid off the pot.”
And, the final thing I would like to say that it’s a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God, and he eats him in a diabolical sacrifice. He destroys him.”
Pope Francis on same-sex unions and adoption by same-sex couples:
“I think what the Church has always said about this. “
“On people of the same sex, I repeat what I said on the trip to Rio di Janeiro. It’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
Pope Francis on abortion:
“Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil.
Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best-case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.”
Pope Francis on the European Union:
“I like this idea of the re-foundation of the European Union, maybe it can be done, because Europe — I do not say is unique, but it has a force, a culture, a history that cannot be wasted, and we must do everything so that the European Union has the strength and also the inspiration to make it go forward. That’s what I think.”
Pope Francis on the reintegration into the Church of re-married persons:
“Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving Communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, “from here on they can have Communion.” This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration. And those two were happy. They used a very beautiful expression: we don’t receive Eucharistic Communion, but we receive communion when we visit hospitals and in this and this and this. Their integration is that. If there is something more, the Lord will tell them, but it’s a path, a road.”
On Pope John Paull II’s friendship with Ana Teresa Tymieniecka:
“In my own experience, including when I ask for advice, I would ask a collaborator, a friend, I also like to hear the opinion of a woman because they have such wealth. They look at things in a different way. I like to say that women are those who form life in their wombs — and this is a comparison I make — they have this charism of giving you things you can build with. A friendship with a woman is not a sin. [It’s] a friendship. A romantic relationship with a woman who is not your wife, that is a sin. Understand?
But the Pope is a man. The Pope needs the input of women, too. And the Pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman. There are saint-friends — Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross — don't be frightened. But women are still not considered so well; we have not understood the good that a woman do for the life of a priest and of the church in the sense of counsel, help of a healthy friendship.”
And finally, what did the pope ask for in Guadalupe?
“I asked for the world, for peace, so many things. The poor thing ended up with her head like this (raises arms around head). I asked forgiveness, I asked that the Church grows healthy, I asked for the Mexican people. And another thing I asked a lot for: that priests to be true priests, and sisters true sisters, and bishops true bishops. As the Lord wants. This I asked a lot for, but then, the things a child tells his mother are a bit of a secret.”
Read the full text of the pope’s in-flight interview here: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/full-text-of-pope-francis-in-flight-interview-from-mexico-to-rome/#ixzz40bOhqqG7
|Posted on February 18, 2016 at 12:50 PM||comments (0)|
Some people may well believe that there is some sort of war of words brewing between Pope Francis and the outspoken Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Trump hasn’t shied away from criticising the pope’s recent visit to Mexico, suggesting that the pope doesn’t appreciate the problems of an open border between the United States and Mexico. He has also claimed that the pontiff is becoming a “political person”.
What Trump doesn’t appreciate is that, while the pope may not appreciate the perceived difficulties Trump has with the lack of a concrete wall between Mexico and the US, he does appreciate the need for unity over division, even when this means we may lose a little as a result. Pope Francis has already expressed caution about division when asked about the potential independence of Catalonia, La Padania and Scotland in 2014 , stating that: “You have to study each case individually. There will be cases that are just and others that are unjust, but the secession of a nation without a history of forced unity has to be handled with tweezers and analysed case by case." At the end of the day, as a man of Christ, Pope Francis wants unity. He is not stupid enough to think that unity can be achieved in all cases. He admits that much. But in most cases unity will be the sensible option and I believe that this is the case with Mexico and the United States. And while they may be two distinct countries, the building of some kind of grand concrete monstrosity between them seems archaic and almost childlike. It’s the type of kingdom building you expect to see in an X-box game, not in real life.
In terms of the pope as a “political person”. The pope must be politically astute as must the Church, especially in an increasingly secular relativist world where God is being increasingly pushed to the sidelines and beyond. The pope must also have an opinion on political matters where the ideologies of our politicians threaten the good of humanity and our world. Abortion is an example of this, as is unnecessary division between peoples, as is the case here.
While the pope hasn’t to my knowledge directly referred to Donald Trump there is no doubt he has ruffled the businessman’s feathers. But then who hasn’t? Trump may well become the most powerful man in world politics and he may even fulfil his dream of building a wall between Mexico and his own land of the free (ironic isn’t it?). But so long as the Church established by the master of unity himself, Jesus Christ, is still in existence Mr Trump’s divisive playground tactics will always be scrutinised and put firmly in their place. As the pope said: “"a person who thinks only about building walls... and not of building bridges, is not Christian".
|Posted on February 11, 2016 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
The Northern Ireland Assembly has voted against the relaxation of abortion law in the country. Members voted 59-40 against the proposal to allow for terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and by 64-30 in cases of rape and incest.
This is a real positive for the pro-life cause and shows that all is not lost in the western world when it comes to protecting the life of the child in the womb.
Currently, a termination is only permitted in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or if there is a risk of permanent and serious damage to her mental or physical health.
|Posted on February 9, 2016 at 6:41 AM||comments (0)|
As we prepare to participate in 40 Days for Life for the first time here in Glasgow it is important to bear in mind a few home truths. Some sections of the media and other groups in favour of abortion have had their say on the event in recent days and, not surprisingly, their view on 40 Days for Life is extremely negative.
I would be careful not to take too much note of the negativity expressed by these groups and individuals. Remember that their interest in this matter is the polar opposite of ours. They believe that abortion should remain legal and that any individual or group claiming otherwise needs to be silenced. That has been their tactic for a long time and it continues to be their tactic. But we must not be put off and we must remember why we are doing this. We are doing this because we want to stop the killing of innocent, defenceless children and we want to help young women cope with the life changing reality of a new child.
And despite reports to the contrary we must be careful to remember that this will be a peaceful, prayerful vigil. It will not be a violent protest with hecklers screaming from the rooftops, shouting at young women as they enter hospital grounds. While it would be correct to say that there have been incidents involving over-zealous pro-life supporters in the United States, these reports have been significantly over inflated by those in favour of abortion. The idea is that pro-life supporters will be put off attending the event, preferring to steer clear of perceived fundamentalism. They want to paint a picture of nasty, violent religious fanatics who want to push their beliefs onto others. It is another classic tactic of the pro-choice lobby.
But there is hope! The lies are coming thick and fast and this can mean only one thing: the pro-choice lobby is worried. I have long wished for this day; the day that the abortion debate would really come to the fore in Scotland, propelling itself into the public square and the public mind. It's now happening and I pray fervently for the strength and the faith to persevere in what will be a tough debate. But we must never lose sight of who this is really for. The time for the little ones to have a fair hearing in our country has come.
And remember, you don't need to worry too much about changing the hearts and minds of the biased media and the vociferous pro-choice activists you may see at counter protests. Their minds will not be changed. But the minds of the huge silent majority can be changed. These are the people who don’t get involved in the public debate but who, from afar, can appreciate the need to protect all life and who can appreciate true equality. It is they who will be watching us as we pray in silence for the innocents, and for their mums, dads and grandparents. By our peaceful, prayerful actions we can be a witness to the indisputable beauty of life.
While millions of Scotland’s sons and daughters have perished through abortion since it was made legal in 1967, their deaths need not be in vain. Let their untimely and needless deaths be the catalyst for a new era of true equality of life for all in our country. If we desire to make Scotland a welcoming place for Syrian refugees, we can surely make Scotland a welcoming place for each and every one of her own precious children.
If you would like to know more about the 40 Days for Life event, which will run from 10 February until 20 March outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, click this link.
If you have been affected by abortion or know someone who has been affected by abortion please check out our abortion page which has a host of invaluable links to non-judgemental, caring and compassionate help