Saturday, February 27, 2010

How Low Can You Go?

How about a 'Pro-Choice Happy Hour':

The second Abortion Support Network ‘Pro Choice Happy Hour’ will be:
Monday 1 March
7-10 pm

Via Tim Worstall

Dark times.

Keep your condoms out of our sitcoms

Does this control-freaky, erotomaniac government have nothing better to do with its time? Government monitors sex scenes on television:

The Government could this week order television chiefs to include more references to condoms and sexually transmitted diseases in their story lines.

Gillian Merron, the Public Health Minister, said it is important that young people watch realistic and responsible portrayals of contraception. Officials will reveal that they have analysed popular TV shows and concluded that not enough sex scenes feature the characters discussing contraception.

They will say that "careful" analysis of 350 episodes of soap operas and comedies show that only seven per cent of sex scenes include a discussion between the characters about safe sex.

Is there no area of life, no lacuna of peace where we cannot escape their perverse depredations?

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Smothering Justice

Rod Liddle has a good point about the latest twist in the assisted suicide debate involving Ray Gosling:

Should people be allowed to smother their lovers because they think they are feeling a bit off-colour? This is just one of the problems with the case of Ray Gosling, who said in a BBC documentary that he had killed a former lover who was lying in a hospital bed in pain, and that it had been a pact between the two of them. Ray put a pillow over the face of the unnamed man and is now on bail as a murder suspect. How do we know it was a pact? How can we be certain that the motive for the killing was to end the suffering for the friend, and not to end the suffering for Gosling himself, watching his friend in pain? Because Gosling says so. And isn’t that the problem if we relax our laws on mercy killings?


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Sad Parting

Uncle Bill was buried today. White vestments (I know, I know) and eulogies (I know, I know) but a loving send-off, hopefully to merciful judgement and his reward.

We disagreed about his approach to ecumenism and he was at times called a radical (he wasn't). Ultimately he was orthodox and obedient as a priest and religious for 60 years and built up a parish from very little. The little church was too small to hold the congregation who filled the medieval Anglican parish church. As his Superior said to me "It's very nice of them, but after all they have just been borrowing it for the past 450 years!" He was quite plainly loved by his parishioners in a way that would be a reward of its own.

He now awaits Resurrection in a grave that overlooks his parish - a fitting place to watch all those parishioners he brought to the Faith or sustained in a living Faith or gave vigour to a wavering Faith.

Oh and the vestments- no-one knows what happened to them, alas. Don't know what to do about that.

I had the pick of his things. Father Provincial very kindly gave me his 3-volume breviary and liber usualis.

I couldn't take the train set (Hornby "00", Flying Scotsman and about 20 engines). He kept it in the attic - I never knew he had it.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What should I do?

It is Uncle Bill's Requiem tomorrow. When he was ordained in 1956 my mother had her wedding dress (white, watered silk) made into a set of Roman Low Mass vestments. I've never seen them but I am told they are beautiful. Gold lined and edged, chalice and host ophrey.

They languish in a cupboard at the Order's mother house, I understand. I suspect they might never be used by another member of his order. Now, clearly they belong to the Order (he took a vow of poverty and all that he had is theirs). But it seems to make no sense for the vestments to moulder.

Should I ask his Superior for the set so that they might be used by a traditionally-minded priest and thus my mother and father might be remembered at the altar. Or should they be sold and the money given to the poor (where have I heard that before?)

It would be a sin to let them rot.

Answers in the box, please.

No spam.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cose Italiane #6

The young men of Amalfi carry a solid silver statue of St Andrew up the steps of the Duomo.



Friday, February 19, 2010

Cose Italiane #5

This is Mrs P's preferred method of speaking a foreign language.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cose Italiane #4

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cose Italiane #3

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cose Italiane #2

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Cose Italiane #1


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Siamo ancora qui

In Toscana.

Rendiamo grazie a Dio

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hollywood and South Africa

Riam Malan on 'Invictus'. He clearly hates the screenwriter but is surprisingly generous about the film - he liked it. His piece contains one of the funniest lines I've ever read about Hollywood's take on politics [emphasis mine]:

It was a great, syrupy myth conjured up by sentimental American liberals, who insisted on seeing the South African struggle as a rerun of their own Civil Rights movement. There were no Communists in this sweet tableau, no bloody revolutionary excesses. The African National Congress was inevitably depicted as an army of hymn-singing Uncle Toms, initially led by English-speaking clerics who just wanted a smidgen of justice and dignity. Then the prison doors swung open and into the spotlight stepped Nelson Mandela, instantly dwarfing Martin Luther King and Bill Cosby in the American pantheon of seriously nice black guys.
It’s usually pleasing to see a fellow hack score a movie deal, but I was horrified to hear that Hollywood was planning to turn Carlin’s book about the 1995 Rugby World Cup into a motion picture. I once lived in Hollywood, under the D in the famous hillside sign. I know that town and its sentimental proclivities. The best line ever uttered about Hollywood was penned by film critic, Joe Morgenstern, in an essay pondering Gandhi’s multiple triumphs at the 1983 Oscars. Why, asked Morgenstern, had the greedy, arrogant and ego-bloated members of the Academy voted en masse for Attenborough’s movie about an Indian ascetic? “Gandhi was everything Hollywood moguls long to be but aren’t,” Morgenstern explained. “Thin, tan and moral.”



Monday, February 08, 2010

Judgement FAIL

Cherie Booth QC -aka Mrs Tony Blair - is so wonderfully reliable. You can always bank on her to be pointing 180 degrees away from where any reasonable person might be. Cherie Blair 'spared violent criminal from prison because he was religious'

The former prime minister's wife, who sits as a judge as Cherie Booth QC, told Shamso Miah that she would suspend his prison sentence because he was a "religious man".

Miah, a devout Muslim, had been convicted of breaking a man's jaw with two punches after a dispute in a bank queue in East Ham, London. The 25-year-old had gone to the bank from a local mosque.

I'm of the view that we are all equal before the law, but the devoutness of a person should perhaps hold them accountable to a higher standard. If his mitigation was "but I'm such a devout person" the response should have been "Well you should have known better!". This is why Catholics, more than most, are shocked and scandalised by tales of clercal misdeeds.Perhaps unfairly, we hold priests to a higher standard.

I have a sneaking suspicion that had the offender been a devout SSPXer, he might have ended up in chokey. But then again, the offender belongs to the Religion of Peace (TM) - a religion so peaceful he broke the other fellow's jaw.

The Comedy Vicar at The Telegraph is similarly wrong on this one.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Profanity On The Public Purse

When round at my pal's house the other night (watching valiant Leeds beaten 3-1 by Spurs) I noticed a leaflet he had from an organisation called CSG Watch. They would appear to be a group of evangelical Christians who have taken against Culture and Sport Glasgow, the council-funded quango in charge of, er, culture and sport. I've blogged before about this - it seems to have a penchant for 'transgressive' events like THIS and THIS.

CSGWatch not unreasonably take objection to their council tax being used to defame their faith and their Saviour. I'm a little bit uneasy about CSGWatch. I recognise a few of the faces as the guys in Argyll Street and Buchanan Street on a Saturday urging folk to accept Jesus as their personal saviour - nowt wrong with that, of course. The website is a bit shouty with lots of CAPITAL LETTERS and highlighting.

Bridget McConnell feels a bit threatened, as she says in this slightly whiny piece in The Times, but then again probably not as threatened as she would be if she funded a production of Behzti or a showing of Fitna.

Still, its a symptom. If you push people too far, don't be surprised or offended if they push back.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Preparing for First Holy Communion

The Archdiocese of Glasgow promotes the Alive-O Programme. It's near-heretical guff. I took one look at it and used it for firelighters. The readers of Fr Ray's blog were less than impressed

Youngest and I are going through a fantastic book recommended by the Black Monk, the priest who married Mrs P and me. It's by a former pupil of his , Mark Allen, who, being a diplomat, was here there and everywhere and didn't have access to catechists or Catholic teachers. The local bishop (in Romania) advised him to do it himself. The result is admirable, thorough and orthodox. It is also challenging. I had worried that the boy might find it heavy going - far from it. As an eight year old he has no problem with the concepts embodied in Harry Potter, Tolkien or CS Lewis: love, sacrifice, life, death, good and evil. Why would he struggle with such ideas as the bedrock of his faith?

Sir Mark (as he now is) goes through the bible taking themes relevant to the Mass (sacrfice, covenant, salvation, expiation, incarnation) and expounding on them in an intelligent way. After each of our sessions, it's quite clear the lad gets it and can ask and answer questions about it with ease. There's a preview on Google Books. I'd be interested in your views.

Kids can manage the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Why do the professional catechesis merchants and liturgists think they can't? Why do they think Catholic children deserve nothing more than a sentimental, watered-down faith, little removed from the secular drivel that they face day-in, day-out?

Why, as The Curate has asked me more than once, have we been fed gruel over the past 40 years, to the point where we think we can't take anything better?

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Of Your Charity

Please pray for the repose of the soul of my uncle, Fr Aelred Dobson SDS who died this week.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Turning the Tables

Here's a thought experiment.

The National Secular Society is an organisation that's understandably secretive about its membership. I say understandably as its membership is probably under 10,000paid-up members. You'd not think so from the coverage it gets. In true Trotskyite entryist fashion, a hundred people from a hundred Catholic parishes around the country join it. All of a sudden they vote a majority block of Catholics onto the executive.

At this point Terry Sanderson would surely cry "Foul!". Could he discriminate against these Catholics on the grounds of their beliefs? Surely not. No discrmination - it's The Law. Surely common sense would dictate that you couldn't have Catholics, people against everything the NSS stands for, running the show.

Well, of course, not.

But it rather blows a hole in the argument that the secularists have wanting to impose their values on the Catholic Church, doesn't it?


Father Ray thinks it's a cunning plan. His commenters disagree....


Father Tim reports there are some on the Left with an ounce of common sense who think that we should be left alone. Alleluia!

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Under attack

Some of you may have noticed that there are investment scammers and perverts peddling their wares spamming my comments. Anything I can do to stop it?


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

In Glasgow next Tuesday? A date for your diary.

The Right to Choose an Assisted Death
Date: Tuesday, February 9 2010
Time: 18:00
Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, on the corner of Gibson Street and University Avenue
Category: Public Lectures
Speaker: Various

“The Right to Choose an Assisted Death”

Stevenson lecture on Citizenship: Tuesday February 9th

Margo MacDonald MSP has now introduced her “End of Life Assistance (Scotland)” Bill to the Scottish Parliament and had intended to talk and answer questions about her Bill at the Stevenson lecture on February 9th 2010. However, Ms MacDonald is not now able to give the lecture due to having to go into hospital for a scheduled operation.

However, we are fortunate in that two leading figures in the debate have agreed to an open discussion with members of the academic community, staff and students, and general public. The title for this open debate/question time is:


Mr Edward Turner is a leading member of ‘Dying with Dignity’ the organisation leading the campaign to change the Law in the England and Scotland to allow physician-assisted suicide. Mr Turner became a member of Dying with Dignity after accompanying his mother, Anne Turner, to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

Dr Sheila McGettrick is a leading physician in palliative care in Scotland. She was a member of the recent Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Palliative Care. She is a leading figure in the opposition in Scotland to the legalisation of assisted dying.

The two speakers will be invited to say a little about their position in this debate and will then respond to questions from the floor.

Professor Robin Downie, Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, will chair the discussion.

Free and open to all members of the general public

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Hippy In Me

I love the 3rd Chapter of Ecclesiastes. As you can imagine it is a great solace to me in my work. It was read as the OT reading at my father's Requiem.

1 All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven. 2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. 5 A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

6 A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak. 8 A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace. 9 What hath man more of his labour? 10 I have seen the trouble, which God hath given the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made all things good in their time, and hath delivered the world to their consideration, so that man cannot find out the work which God hath made from the beginning to the end.

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Last night I downloaded The Byrds' version. Just so we're clear: it's fine for an iPod. Not to be played as a post-Communion song. OK?

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