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Scots Catholic

Calling Scotland's 841,000 Catholics to unite as one voice

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Petitioner seeks to legalise incest between consenting adults in Scotland

Posted on January 26, 2016 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (109)
The petition will be debated in Holyrood


Scottish MSPs will today discuss a petition calling on the government to make incest legal between consenting adults over the age of 21. 


The petition, by Richard Morris, claims that the existing law is “inappropriate, unfair, ineffective and discriminatory” and suggests that public “prejudice and bigotry” about incest was caused by ignorance.  He has also apparently likened the issue to historical treatment of homosexuals.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear on the matter of incest and states the following:

‘2388Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living with his father's wife. . . . In the name of the Lord Jesus . . . you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. . . . " Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.’


We are left in no doubt by St Paul’s words.  Incest is destruction of the flesh and is mortal sin.  Indeed all instances of sexual relations outside of marriage are sinful and must be avoided.  And look how St Paul uses the name of Jesus to hit home the severity of incest.  It is not in St Paul’s name that an individual guilty of incest is to be delivered to the devil, but in the name of Jesus. 


It’s interesting that the petitioner Mr Morris cites the treatment of homosexuals to support his case.  The Catholic Church’s stance on homosexual acts is clear, and many people in the Church and indeed others who believe such acts to be wrong, have stated their concern that increased liberalism with respect to homosexuality will open wider the floodgates of a deeply disturbing and increasingly sickening new sexual revolution in our society.  I believe Mr Morris’s petition is evidence of this.


Our Blessed Mother Mary, when she appeared to the children in Fatima in the early twentieth century, stated that more people go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other sin.  That’s the Mother of God speaking.  It’s not the view of some radical religious nut, or priest, or bishop.  It’s not even a pope speaking.  It’s Mary, the Mother of our God and Queen of Heaven.


So let us pray that Mary’s voice will be heard and that our MSPs decide to reject this petition and retain existing laws on incest in our country.

40 Days for Life comes to Glasgow

Posted on January 17, 2016 at 8:59 AM Comments comments (108)
40 Days for Life vigil in Little Rock, US

The 40 Days for Life initiative is coming to Glasgow!  Between 10th February and 20th March (during the season of Lent) pro-life advocates and supporters are invited to commit to a prayerful vigil outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where abortions are known to take place. 


The vigil will be one of quiet, peaceful prayer, without graphic imagery and without any attempts to approach people, unless they approach us.


The initiative, which started in the United States in 2005, has helped a reported 10,000 women to choose life over abortion and has witnessed the closure of over 60 abortion centres.  It is now in operation across 25 countries worldwide, with Scotland being the latest addition to the ever increasing list.


This opportunity cannot be overstated.  It is a phenomenal opportunity for a public witness to the sanctity of all human life and a very real opportunity to change the hearts and minds of women seeking abortion. 


Please spare an hour (or possibly more) between 10th February and 20th March to join us in this beautiful witness to life.  You can commit to a slot by clicking the image, below:


Northern Ireland’s New First Minster Rejects Abortion Act

Posted on January 12, 2016 at 7:31 AM Comments comments (0)
Arlene Foster

Encouraging today to hear that Northern Ireland’s new, and first female, First Minster and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Arlene Foster has previously rejected any notion of extending the UK’s Abortion Act to the country.  It is good to know that there are people out there who are willing to swim against the tide of liberal relativism and secularism in order to protect the unborn.  Her stance is quite the opposite of Sinn Fein, a party that sold its soul last year by committing itself to the legalisation of abortion in the province.


If you would like to show your support to Arlene Foster you can do so by signing this petition.  You can also send Arlene a message of support on Twitter.  Please note that Arlene has suggested that she is willing to consider further the possibility of allowing abortion following rape.  While there is no guarantee that such a law will be introduced to Northern Ireland we should perhaps bear this caveat in mind should we be minded to correspond with Ms Foster.

Pro-life alliance launches ‘Don’t Stop a Beating Heart’ campaign in Scotland

Posted on January 4, 2016 at 5:54 PM Comments comments (0)
The campaign aims to tackle proposals to extend the abortion time limit

A group of organisations has launched a campaign aimed at countering an increasing public call to make abortion more widely available in Scotland.  The campaign, led by SPUC Scotland and supported by other groups including the Catholic Church and the Muslim Council of Scotland, comes just weeks after the decision of the Westminster Government to devolve the law relating to abortion to the Scottish Parliament.


The campaign, titled ‘Don’t Stop a Beating Heart’, argues that abortion should not be made more widely available than the current 24-week time limit, countering the argument that the time limit should be extended.  Indeed, many of those involved in the campaign argue that abortion should not be available at all, a position we at Scots Catholic wholeheartedly agree with.


This is a bold and important move by those involved in the pro-life movement in Scotland.  But in order to really succeed it will need the buy-in of all of us who support the right to life of the unborn.  We can’t just do the easy thing and leave others to ‘get on with it’.  We all have a part to play in defending the rights of the most innocent and vulnerable human beings.  We all have a part to play in this campaign.


Archbishop of Glasgow and President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland Philip Tartaglia confirmed his support for the campaign, saying, “I wholeheartedly support the aims of the Don’t Stop a Beating Heart campaign to defend and protect unborn human life and to call legislators not to further extend abortion time limits.”


SPUC Scotland’s Chief Executive John Deighan is the campaign’s coordinator and he explained why the campaign is needed, saying: “The rights of the unborn child are facing new threats with the impending devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament from Westminster.  Already, well in advance of the transfer of legislative authority, we are hearing a clamour for further extension of the existing excessively liberal law. This could see abortion legalised from the existing 24-week limit, in most cases, up until the point of birth.  In response to these deeply disconcerting demands, pro-life supporters from different backgrounds, people of faith and none, in addition to concerned organisations and individuals have decided that we must stand together in the face of this onslaught.”


It is sad enough that around 8 million little girls and boys have been lost to abortion since it was legalised in the UK in 1967.  And to think that the abortion legislation was introduced with the aim of restricting the availability of abortions and to make the procedure safer.  Sadly this has not been the case, and the abortion procedure is now vigorously abused in the western world, to the point that fetal baby parts are being sold for profit (as has been the case in the United States with the Planned Parenthood scandal) and an astonishing 90% of babies with Down’s Syndrome are aborted in the UK simply because they have the condition. 


While the Planned Parenthood example above is (hopefully) rare, there is no denying a very unfortunate callous and laissez faire attitude has developed in western society when it comes to the subject of abortion.  Those who are in favour of legalising the abortion procedure are increasingly ignoring the scientific evidence that a live human being exists from the point of conception, preferring to wrap everything up as the simple choice of the mother.  There are those who are not in favour of abortion but who think that it is none of their business to interfere with a mother’s choice or are too frightened to raise the issue socially, preferring to keep their opinion to themselves.


All of this has added to an all too relaxed view on abortion in our society and a lack of realisation as to what the abortion procedure really entails.  If little children outside the womb were being killed because they were a financial burden or were a ‘mistake’ their killers would be processed through the criminal justice system.  Why then are those in the womb treated differently?


This campaign is an excellent opportunity for us to rise up in support of the life of the unborn child.  While we don’t want abortion at all, putting a stop to any proposed extension of the time limit would be a victory and a step in the right direction.  It could lead to bigger things.  It could lead to millions of lives being saved. 


If you choose to support one thing in 2016, please choose to support the right to life of these little ones.  We were once like them, all cosy and tucked up inside our mother’s womb.  It should be the safest place in the world for a baby, just like it was for each and every one of us.  The heart of an unborn child is too precious to be stopped. 


Please support this campaign.  Don’t stop the beating of an innocent heart. 

 
For more details and to become involved please contact SPUC Scotland on 0141 221 2094

Slovenia rejects same-sex marriage

Posted on December 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM Comments comments (17)
Slovenia voted to protect the family

Slovenia has rejected same-sex marriage following a referendum.  Around two thirds of those who voted rejected a bill which proposed to redefine marriage as being between two consenting adults.


Ales Primc, from the group Children at Stake, said that "this result presents a victory for our children".  The country's conservative groups were also reportedly backed by Pope Francis who urged Slovenians to "back the family as the structural reference point for the life of society".


While the more liberal, secular nations across Europe have had no difficulty in redefining marriage, it is clear that there are still a number of nations resistant to any change.  Indeed the vast majority of countries across the globe continue to embrace marriage as being between one man and woman.


It's important that marriage (between one man and one woman) be protected for the sake of the family.  Marriage is a critical public interest structure for the common good of society.  It is the only structure capable of procreating and bringing about new life.  Without it, none of us would exist.    

Another pope, another prophecy: Pope Benedict was right about Islamic extremism

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 6:47 AM Comments comments (20)
Pope Benedict at the University of Regensburg
 
When Pope Benedict started speaking at the University of Regensburg in 2006 there was little clue as to the controversy that was about to unfold.  The pope would use the lecture to respond sternly to increasing instances of violence by Islamic extremists across the globe, a move that many westerners felt most uncomfortable with.
 
 
While I would not wish to delve into the intricacies of Pope Benedict’s lecture, his fundamental message with regard to Islam is that, unlike Christianity, Islam (or at least some of its members) does not appear to link God to reason.  This, Pope Benedict suggested, could lead to fundamentalism. He was quick to state that he was not saying the Muslim God is insane or irrational but, rather, that he is not bound by a reason accessible to human beings.
 
 
The pope, in an attempt to make sense of what he was teaching, used a late 14th century quotation from the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
 
 
It’s quite a quote!  But fast forward to this very day, in the wake of the horrific attacks in the city of Paris, and you begin to see what Pope Benedict was getting at.  Like so many popes before him, including Paul VI, John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Benedict was not afraid to tackle the big issues head on and ultimately get it right. 
 
 
Of course, this isn’t the whole story.  While the mainstream media were frantically thinking up headlines to make the pope look like some kind of anti-Islamic barbarian, he gave some crucial context to his use of the quote when he added more words of the Emperor Manuel.  He said: “The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable….violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.” He then added: “God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats. ... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm or weapons of any kind or any other means of threatening a person with death ...”
 
 
It is important to clarify, as Pope Benedict did, that the roots of such extremist violence come from a perversion of the Islamic faith and not from Islam’s authentic theology.
 
 
And while so many in the western world cringed at the words of Pope Benedict, more than 100 Muslim scholars from around the world signed an open letter wherein they respectfully took on board the comments made in the pope’s Regensburg lecture.  Perhaps even more remarkable is that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia would visit Pope Benedict in Rome a year later and he would, in 2008, organise an interfaith conference to which he invited Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus in an effort to tackle religious extremism.
 
 
As Pope Benedict suggested in his lecture, the first victims of Islamic extremism are Muslim people themselves.  It then spreads to other peoples, other religions and other countries, and before we know it, every part of the world is on edge fearing the next attack.
 
 
No religion can justify the use of such violence as that being wrought by Islamic State at present, be it in Paris, Syria or Africa, where so much damage is done on a daily basis with little coverage from the western mainstream media.  We need strong leadership from religious leaders as well as from political leaders. We also need strong religion from those who profess their faith in a peaceful way, be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and also those of no faith who live by peaceful means. 
 
 
As Christians, we need to show the world what living a life of faith is really about.  For us, it is about praising God by loving Him and by loving all of our brothers and sisters with whom we share our planet.  And while we may often fail in that regard, we must never forget that this is what Christianity teaches us and that is the message we must take to the ends of the earth.  There is no place for violence in our religion.  Pope Benedict, despite being ridiculed and derided by many in the western world, wasn’t afraid to stand up for peace by speaking out against violence. We should be similarly brave in our approach.
 

Pope Francis Urges the World to Follow Christ’s Commandment to Love

Posted on September 24, 2015 at 11:37 AM Comments comments (0)
The pope received several standing ovations in Congress
 
Pope Francis, in his historic address to US Congress, has urged the world to follow Christ’s Commandment of love.  The pope used the opportunity to tackle critical issues such as the dignity of human life, the death penalty and the refugee crisis.  He also addressed recent attacks on marriage and family life, and his concerns that the very basis of the family and marriage is being called into question. 
 
Here are the main quotes from the pope’s address to USC ongress this afternoon:
 
Pope Francis on the golden rule:
 
“Let us remember the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
 
 
On the dignity of human life:
 
We must “protect by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God in every human life.”
 
We must recognise the “transcendent dignity of the human being”.
 
“The golden rule [to do unto others as you would have done unto you] also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”
 
 
On the family:
 
“The family should be a recurrent theme….how essential the family has been to the building of this country.  I cannot hide my concern for the family which is threatened, perhaps as never before from within and without.  The very basis of the family and marriage is being called into question.”
 
“I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.”
 
“I would like to call attention to those family members who are most vulnerable, the young.  Their problems are our problems.  Our young people are precious.”
 
“We live in a culture that threatens young people not to start a family.”
 
 
On the death penalty:
 
“Let’s abolish the death penalty here and everywhere. No punishment should exclude hope or the possibility of conversion.”
 
 
On politics and society:
 
“Preserve and defend the dignity of your fellow citizens in pursuit of the common good.”
 
“We are all worried by the disturbing social and political situation of the world today.”
 
“It can be no more us vs them. We must confront every kind of polarisation. Our response must be hope and healing, peace and justice.”
 
“Safeguard religious freedom, intellectual freedom, and individual freedom.  We must be specially attentive to every type of fundamentalism.”
 
“Politics must be used to build the common good.”
 
“It’s my duty to build bridges and help all men and women to do the same.”
 
“We have to ask ourselves: why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?”
 
“It is our duty to confront the problem and stop the arms trade.”
 
 
On the elderly:
 
The elderly are the “storehouse of wisdom”.
 
 
On the refugee crisis:
 
“We must view them as persons, seeing their faces, listening to their stories, and try to respond as best we can.”
 
 
On poverty:
 
“The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes.”
 
 
On business:
 
“Business is a noble vocation, especially in its creation of jobs to the common good.”
 
 
On the environment:
 
“I’m convinced that we can make a difference, I’m sure.”
 
“We have an obligation to our future generations. The time is now.”

President Obama shouldn't be fooled by Pope Francis' humble facade

Posted on September 24, 2015 at 9:21 AM Comments comments (10)
 
The first few days of Pope Francis' visit to the United States have been fascinating, not least because of his clever tactics in putting US President Barack Obama firmly, yet politely, in his place.
 
 
The depth of Obama's hypocrisy on religious freedom simply cannot be underestimated following his welcome speech to the pope on the south lawn of the White House. Obama, ever the impressive statesman, spoke of how "here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty" and promised the pope that "we stand with you in defence of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation."
 
 
It does actually sound very good, but the reality is this man is head of perhaps the most anti-religious administration ever seen in the United States; a fact not lost on the Holy Father.  Consider the pope's response to the president: "Mr President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of goodwill, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty. That freedom remains one of America's most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it."
 
 
The pope's final words suggest that while President Obama is confident that his country respects the rights of religious people, the pope doesn't necessarily share his view. 
 
 
But here is the best part. Shortly after meeting Mr Obama, the pope decided to make an unscheduled stop to the convent of the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The significance of this? The Little Sisters are currently pursuing an action against the Obama administration for forcing them to comply with the HHS Mandate (also knows as 'Obamacare'), a Mandate which forces companies and groups (including the Little Sisters) to provide contraception through employee insurance plans. And let's not forget that President Obama and the wider Democratic community recently vowed not to make it a crime for a person to kill a baby born following a failed abortion  This, brothers and sisters, is Obama's idea of a country that cherishes "religious liberty."
 
 
The pope, who told Bishops yesterday that nobody can turn away from the evil of abortion, is already making some shrewd moves in the States. But then, we shouldn't be surprised, even when we are faced with the quiet exterior of this humble little man from Argentina. He is a man who burns with the fire of his Catholic faith, and he is undoubtedly a man with a plan.  Perhaps it hasn't yet dawned on President Obama that he is up against the successor to Peter and Vicar of Christ.

Tales of lions, leopards and dogs but to hell with the humans

Posted on September 10, 2015 at 12:39 PM Comments comments (27)
 
I have become quite intrigued by the significant increase in news stories about animals in recent times, particularly in mainstream media outlets.  I might be forgiven for thinking it stems from the furore over Cecil the Lion but I’m fairly certain it was all happening before the story of the now famous Cecil broke.
 
 
And although it would be fair to say that these stories are indeed of some interest it is quite disturbing that they seem to rank ahead of the wellbeing of human beings in the headline pecking order.  Consider one of the main stories over in the United States right now, that of Planned Parenthood and the serious allegations against them that they are selling aborted baby body parts for profit.  Not only that but there is now evidence that they are tearing apart foetuses and removing their brains whilst they are still alive.  
 
 
But alas this simple little tale of human woe is not deemed to be in the interests of the British public. Well not as far as the mainstream media is concerned.  The BBC it seems only has interests in the non-human variety of creature, preferring to focus on the plight of African lions, dogs left at the side of the street or the horror of a Fife man allegedly selling leopard parts.  The plight of the tiniest, most vulnerable human beings is supposedly not worthy of our attention.  Do you see how ludicrous that is?
 
 
For some reason the UK media does not want to tackle the issue of abortion.  They do not want to reveal the brutality of the abortion industry and what it really does to people.  Whether this is down to money or fear of pro-choice activists I really don’t know. But whatever the reason, the lack of coverage is deeply disturbing.
 
 
And while the media must take its fair share of the blame it only dishes out what it thinks the people want to hear.  So please, express your concern with the mainstream media outlets and encourage them to cover atrocities against humanity such as the Planned Parenthood scandal. Social media has made this all the easier!  There is no way on this earth that this story should not be covered by the main media outlets in the UK.  There is simply no excuse for its lack of coverage, especially in the face of a surge in animal welfare stories.  It is up to us to make our voices heard so that the media wake up to the clear inhumanity of the abortion procedure.
 
 
I ask you this....what on earth is this damned world coming to when the welfare of a lion or a dog is deemed more important than a human being?
 

Refugee Crisis: We Have the Power and the Resources, Now All we need is the Will

Posted on September 3, 2015 at 6:34 AM Comments comments (24)
A migrant crawls along a Spanish beach in front of holidaymakers
 
The most senior Catholic in England and Wales has urged the UK to be more “generous” in the way it deals with the current refugee crisis in Europe. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, speaking to ITV News said that the British public had told him “it was a disgrace that we were letting people die and seeing bodies on the beaches when together Europe is such a wealthy place.” 
 
 
The Cardinal continued: "It's people who are desperate for the sake of their families, their elderly, their youngsters, their children, and the more we see that the more the opportunity for a political response that's a bit more generous is growing.  What is screaming out is the human tragedy of this problem."
 
 
The Cardinal’s comments are most welcome and I completely agree with him that our response to this must be more generous.  We are, in many respects, a wealthy country, and we are blessed by not having to cope with the fear of wars and widespread violence. 
 
 
Our parish was blessed recently with the presence of a Nigerian priest who covered our parish while our own priest was on pilgrimage and on holiday.  I recall that in one of his homilies he spoke about the great joy he and his people would feel when they woke up in the morning, simply because they were still alive. Their country is beset by violent clashes and the threat of Boko Haram is an ongoing fear for all, especially Christians.
 
 
In Syria and in North Africa there is the threat of ISIS who are persecuting Christians and driving people from their homes.  And now, in Europe, we are starting to see the sad consequences of these wars as people arrive on our shores desperate for safety and to give their children a chance. And this, I feel, is the nub of it. Can we really deny people a place of safety?  Can we really deny little children a chance to live?
 
The horrific reality of this crisis
 
Our own resources are finite and we must try to ensure our country remains financially stable.  We get this.  But greater than this, much greater than this, is our call to love our neighbour. Our brothers and sisters are in dire need of our comfort and love.  They beg us to give them a place of safety.  They are on their knees, in the frozen waters of our shores, desperately pleading to each and every one of us to give them even just a little of what we have.
 
 
I sincerely hope the words of Cardinal Nichols will be heard and taken seriously by our governors (both in the UK and across all of Europe) and indeed by each one of us.  I hope we all find it in our hearts to be more generous and to give more people a chance. We have the power and we have the resources.  Now all we need is the will.
 
 
Here are four ways we can help:
 
Please email your MP about this, encouraging our governors to be more ‘generous’ to those in need. You can find your MPs details by clicking this link and entering your postcode: http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/contacting-your-mp/
 
 
Donate to Refugee Action and give a refugee an emergency care parcel, click here: http://www.refugee-action.org.uk/support_us/give
 
And of course, pray. Please pray for all refugees, perhaps by saying one Hail Mary and asking Our Blessed Mother to intercede with the Father on their behalf.