Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Are Catholic schools teaching children to leave the Faith?

I am on the list of those who get Daphne McLeod's "The Flock". For some time I have wondered if I am doing the right thing. I get an uncomfortable sense about the way things are written and I do not like the support for Christian Order and SSPX. However, I have continued to be on the list because what she says about Catholic schools is indeed what we have experienced as a family and what I continue to see when my children's friends are here.

Mrs McLeod, it seems to me, is quite right when she points out the terrible state of Catholic school education. When she says that children are exposed to sex education and are taught erroneous things about the Church-she is right. When she says "Icons" is terrible-she is quite right.

It's the holidays and so my house is constantly full of other people's teens. My son's friends either no longer practice the faith or are still confused and lacking in understanding about it.
My daughter's friends have either more or less stopped practicing or are in the process of learning to ditch it-at school.

On of my daughter's friends who is what might be called part of an 'insider' family in the Church was shocked to learn during a discussion a couple of weeks ago that Satan actually exists! She is 14 and did not know this.
She attends a 'very good' Catholic school and explained to me a couple of days ago that they were studying St Mark's Gospel and about people in the Church. She listed Liberals, conservatives, fundamentalists and a couple of other political mass media views. I asked her what on earth that meant and she wasn't sure-just that everyone has different views. She doesn't know the BASICS of what the Church teaches and has yet to set eyes on a Catechism but they are teaching her the secular politics of the media view!
On St Mark she said they told her no one knew who he was or if he wrote the Gospel or if he had even met Peter. The whole message she is receiving is that the Gospels are not to be trusted.
How do these teachers KNOW St Mark never wrote the Gospel; never met Peter? Where do their views come from?
Not the Church Father's that's for sure.

It sounds like Spong is teaching her.

She is angry and confused. Hardly surprising really.

I've heard the (LAME) arguments for why I should send my children to school. I have heard the 'support you Catholic school' arguments. I would if there was a Catholic school anywhere near me that was Catholic.
Then there's the "send your children to be evangelists" argument. This is so wicked and lame that it barely deserves an answer. Children are being formed and are not meant to be in the firing line of an anti-Faith agenda. Jesus, as Dr Ray Guarendi points out-never used children to spread His message.
So excuse me if I do not sacrifice my children's eternal future to some ludicrous idea that little ones can evangelise schools!

Meanwhile I have only seen the lone figure of Mrs Daphne McLeod being willing to fight this fight. So despite my concerns-I will continue to support her.

Roy Schoeman in Oxford

Roy Schoeman will be in England and telling his wonderful conversion story in Oxford.

You can hear him speak at

7pm on 13th August at St Gregory & St Augustine's Church on the Woodstock Road Oxford.

If you can get there I highly recommend it. I have heard Mr. Schoeman's story of how he came from Judaism to Catholicism and it is well worth hearing.

I have his book 'Salvation is from the Jews' but I haven't yet got around to buying 'Honey From the Rock'.

He is a great speaker and very blessed to have been visited by Jesus and His Blessed Mother.

Visit his website HERE and if you can't get to Oxford you can find listen to his conversion story on that site.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Feast of St Bridget

Today is the feast of St Bridget of Sweden. She is someone I love dearly and I am so grateful for her prayers and presence at times of great trial.
She was a woman whose mighty strength came from her love of God and the many graces He poured out for her. She was a wife and mother, a reformer and prophet. After the death of her husband the good and gentle Ulf she founded her order of St Saviour known as the Bridgetines. The order was a power house of prayer for the reformation of the Church that was in such a serious state in those days with pretty awful popes at the helm.
Bridget and Ulf had four boys and four girls. Two of their boys died very young, so she is wonderful in those situations when you fear the loss of a child as I did at the emergency section of my youngest dd.
Her oldest son Karl fell into bad company and became entangled with Queen Joanna of Naples - a woman who was pretty evil really and caused great pain to all who had to deal with her. Both Karl and the Queen already had spouses but there was a threat they would try and ditch them and marry.
Bridget prayed for her first born that he would not be lost. He died of a fever and I trust he was saved.
So this beautiful saint is the one to turn to when children lose faith or get into bad ways.
Her second son Birger married but was also a companion to his mother as she travelled. Of her daughters three married, Katrin (Karin or Catherine), Cecilia and Merita while Ingbord became a Cistercian. Once she had been widowed Katrin entered religious life also and eventually joined her mother's order and is canonised as St Catherine of Sweden or Verdena. St Catherine of Sienna wrote to St Katrin asking her to intervene with Queen Joanna - who was making things difficult in the great reform of the Church these mighty saints were brining about. Katrin refused because of the situation that had occurred with her brother Karl.
Nevertheless these three great saints worked tirelessly to see the Church renewed. St Catherine of Sienna finally saw the pope return to the Vatican as he should have.
Bridget died on July 23rd 1373 and was canonised on October 7th 1391.
Santa Birgitta ora pro nobis

Friday, 18 July 2008

Rachel weeps in China

A few weeks ago the Catholic Herald actually published a letter that said bluntly that China's one child policy was a great idea and the Church and the west should support it.
I can only hope the person who wrote this stuff is completely ignorant of just what the this policy entails.
Mark Miravelle has written a book called "The Seven Sorrows of China." I listened to him being interviewed by Al Kresta on Immaculate Heart Radio (Click on Kresta in the Afternoon 07/17.08).
Dr Miravelle talks of his visit to China and of the families and bishop who told their secret stories. As the decedent West insists on doing business and making money with China, so mothers have their nearly born babies murdered in front of them.
As the media gets all excited about the upcoming Olympics and the ethics of drug enhanced performance, children are left in the back rooms of so called orphanages where they are expected to die.
While China welcomes tourists from Europe and America you can buy a bowl of fetal soup for 500yen. This soup of murdered babies is supposed to be a health tonic!
The horror that is the lives of ordinary Chinese people beggars belief. In fact Dr Miravelle said one person he spoke to on his return home just refused to believe him saying "The UN would not allow this."
That bastion of all things amoral would of course turn a blind eye to the massive abuses in China.
In fact with some help from the British Government I do not doubt it is helping to fund and enable the travesties that go on there.
You can read a great deal of what Dr Miravelle saw and heard in these links.
Please try and find the time to read them. I think these first hand stories are of vital importance.
The Seven Sorrows of China
I really do not understand how we can turn away from all this happening. I don't understand Christians prepared to do business with China. I really really do not at all understand how on earth the Beijing Govt were offered the massive kudos of holding the Olympic Games.
I pray that there will be people like my oldest son who want to tell these stories and make people see what is happening.
God help China.

Monday, 14 July 2008

The Farmer went out to sow...

Listening to the Gospel and Father's homily on Sunday I must

admit to some irreverent thoughts. In order for God's Word

to grow the soil within us has to be good soil. If we are going to produce good fruit, the soil must be fed to give it that quality that will produce the crop.

Into every life a little rain must fall-but it takes a whole load of manure to produce good soil.

Many of us seem to have to handle a whole lot of ...erm...let's say 'crap' in this life.

Fr John Corapi says that terrible things that happen can work two ways with people. It can make them better people with a stronger faith in God, or it can make them bitter and turn away from God.

We need to be prepared to take up our cross and follow Him. Sometimes that cross can be downright heavy, but He says 'Come to me those who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.' Often those burdens are made heavy by our own making. We think we can have it all our own way. We see Christ there-arms outstretched-but the eye of the needle we need to pass through is so narrow and that means ditching so much we are rather fond of.

The rich man could be like the young man who didn't want to sell it all and follow Christ, but these days I think many of us have had a wealth of personal opinions and ideas that we were unwilling to ditch so we could come to Christ.

If the Farmer can't find good soil or the soil wont absorb the crap but would rather remain clean and dry then the crop will not grow and people will go hungry.

It's a tough journey for some of us. As I watch the horror story that is the Anglican communion at the moment I pray for those who are looking out to see Christ calling them through that narrow gate.
As the seed falls let it not be on those who look and look but refuse to see.
The readings for Sunday surely speak to those looking to Rome.
May God bless and guide all who seek Him first and may he bring them safely home to His Bride.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Quick Ten Words

I read or heard recently that the average person who claims to be Christian doesn't know the Ten Commandments. I think this is because they are quite difficult to remember if you are trying to remember the whole Scripture passage.
When I taught the children, we did a quick version.

  1. ONE God-no others
  2. His Name is Holy
  3. Keep Sabbath Holy
  4. Honour your father and mother
  5. No murder
  6. No adultery
  7. No stealing
  8. No false witness
  9. Don't covet neighbours wife (spouse)
  10. Don't covet neighbours goods.

I split them into the first three are about God and right worship; 4 is about family and Church and 5-10 are about family and community.

After they had learned them we could do some Catechism.

It's made it easier for me to remember them anyway.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Ignorance is Bleurgh!

I don't know what Father Melchizedek makes of what is going on with the Anglicans and some Catholic responses to it. There seems to be a sad lack of understanding and even respect for the renewal of the Priesthood of Melchizedek that Christ brought about as He gave authority (yes that word) to the Apostles.

When David sang of Solomon "Thou art a priest forever of the the order of Melchizedek" (Ps 110:4) he was prophesying the end of temporary Levitical priesthood and the re-newing of the priesthood of the father and first born son-the priesthood of the Bridegroom.

Jesus founded His Church-His Bride on the shoulders of Peter and the apostles and he gave then authority to follow His Will. This was not a licence to do as they pleased. All authority is limited and the authority of the Church is limited by what God asks for. Surely that is only right and just.

If a group of people is going to claim to be followers of Christ, one can expect I would think that they follow Christ and not their own wants and opinions. Sadly the CofE has shown itself as nothing more than a club in which the rules for membership can shift and change with the shifting demands of various members of the group.

WHERE IS CHRIST IN ANY OF THIS? He just doesn't seem to get a look in while all the political and personal agendas fly. Paul (OTSOTA) has pointed out on Holy Smoke just how narcissistic many commentators present themselves as being.

In the beginning, Scripture tells us, God made them "male and female". Did He make a mistake? Was he supposed to have made them not equal in His sight but the SAME? God has decided the roles men and women are to have in life and when they are treated with dignity and respect there is nothing wrong with different roles. The priesthood is inextricably tied in with how God revealed Himself as Bridegroom and Father-that is not a woman's role.

While this can be a difficult area of Biblical exegesis and Tradition for the average Joe to grasp. Well, I found it hard to begin with and I reckon I'm about average- I would have thought the intellectuals of the CofE and Catholics should get it. The reason they don't seems to be because they are not looking for Truth. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh-but we are called to seek first the Kingdom.

I hope that those seeking to enter the Church now are doing so because they are seeking and finding the Kingdom. That they are putting Christ at the centre of the their lives and trying to follow Him. If all they are doing is looking for something that serves their personal agendas a little more comfortably, then I don't see them either crossing the Tiber or staying here.

God bless them and guide them.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Send out the life boats and bring in the Anglicans.

Damian Thompson has covered the appalling and tragic mess the Anglicans are struggling with in some depth. While we are treated to rumours that up to 13,000 Anglicans are ready to cross the Tiber-a rumour that has even made it to EWTN's World Over Live coverage; there seems a great deal of confusion about just what the real problem is within the Anglican loosely held communion. Many people have pointed out that as women were 'ordained' to the ministry -what they call priesthood, it was hardly likely they would never be made bishops. There is already the rather odd-from a Christian point of view- American Episcopalian lady who is supposed to be a bishop.

There are those of us tempted to see the terrible and quite unChrist like situation facing this communion as rooted in their all too ready acceptance of Contraception back at the Lambeth Conference of 1930. Something that Pope Pius XI responded to very quickly with his encyclical Casti Connubii in response to this.
Once you decide to ditch God's law on the unitive aspects of marriage then all sorts of other sins are acceptable. In fact Rowan Williams has written on this when he cleverly approached the question of actively homosexual men being ordained to Anglican orders. Without reference let alone quotes from Scripture, he basically said that as Anglicans accept that their can be a deliberate block to procreation with the sexual act-then other sexual acts must be accepted.

So then once the understanding of the roles of male and female in marriage are undermined and corrupted-then the role of the priesthood as God created it is corrupted. There is no proper role of male and female. They are no longer complementary but the same and interchangeable. Marriage looses its holiness and so then does ordination.

How anyone who puts Christ at the centre of the their lives and claims a 'Catholic' heritage can remain part of such a -well lets be blunt here; this is pagan-organisation is something I don't really understand. I understand the horrible practicalities for those with livelihoods and families dependant on said organisation and I see the coldness from our own hierarchy here in England-but we are called to be God's Servant's first, even when we might lose our heads.

St John Bosco's dream of the great ship ploughing the storm tossed seas comes to mind here. She is attacked on all sides, but She has a flotilla of smaller boats that accompany her to battle against those ships which through weapons of all kinds, including books and tracts at her. Some boats though remain cowardly and in the lee of the great ship until they are sure She has won.

Meanwhile other ships are crushed and sinking.

In this battle and storm the Anglicans face, souls are being lost. Let's not forget that. Some will sink in sheer apathy, but others through being misled and their fear of Truth. There may be a few little life rafts for those who can truly claim invincible ignorance-but I doubt that many can be saved this way.

Seek the Truth and be prepared to face the storm. I don't altogether blame those afraid to jump ship. I found my return to the Church a very difficult journey at times. But I assure you it has been worth it. It's so much better to be free of all that confusion and dishonesty.

So I pray many Anglicans will come home-not because they are 'anti-gay' or 'anti-women' as the media might portray them, but because they are Pro- Truth and Pro-Christ.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


When I was young-and that was some time ago-I remember hearing stories about Victorian women who would write to their friends or even to the man they would eventually marry. They would write long letters, often with little illustrations all about their every day life and these letters would pass back and forth for years without the writers ever actually meeting one another.

I write regularly to a friend I have only ever met once. We have kept our friendship without meeting since and bizarrely, in this day an age, we never phone nor email one another. We write snail mail.

I also keep in touch with an aunt this way. We get up to Scotland to see her once a year if possible and I see her then. But for the rest of the time we write-snail mail- as the Victorians would.

I have other friends I love dearly but who live a long way from us now. We phone now and then and email very occasionally. On those occasions when we phone I have to admit we can TALK! It is wonderful to have the chance to visit them and let the children play while we talk and talk and the men o off to look at wooden things or whatever.
Then there are the friends I have actually never met physically. I have only talked to them across a computer screen via blogs or forums and MSN. Last night I chatted for ages with such a friend on MSN. One day I really hope she can come to England. She has been so kind to us and at this very moment my oldest son The Bearded Wonder is staying with her and her family.
It has been a great blessing for me to find friends across the strange world of the Internet. People who are Catholic and actually share with me the same belief in Christ and His Church and love and loyalty for Her pope. It means we don't have to skip around the subject or hide what we believe. Some of you out there that I think of as friends I will probably never meet. In fact it seems a bit odd that my son is meeting my friend and I am not! Even if we never meet I think that does not make the friendship less real.
Friendship must surely be built on communication. What we say to one another, how we pray for one another is just as important, surely as being in the same room.

Okay I know there are times when we need to actually BE there for a friend. There are those special events, those terrible times, and the occasional crisis when we simply have to get there even if it means getting of a train for a few hours to get to the other side of the country. We've all had to do that now and again.

And of course there is the every day kind of friendship over coffee. Those days in the park while the kids play and the grown ups chill and those times when someone turns up on the door step out of the blue with a bunch of flowers.

But what I am saying is there is nothing less in the kindness and sharing of online friends, and this has surprised me somewhat. But it seems to be true.

So God bless all my friends.