Monday, March 19, 2007

I arrived in Manchester late on Saturday night, and the city centre was lively with shrieking, shouting young people, many drunk, a few vomiting or slumped in pub doorways. With intermittent blasts of driving rain, it was a vivid but depressing scene. Several thumped on the doors of my taxi as it took me to what was once the Free Trade Hall, the facade now fronting a vast modern and very comfortable hotel all thick glass doors and shiny steel and gleaming dark wood. The taxi-driver said the crowds were celebrating St Patrick's Day, but that most Saturdays were a bit like this. I stepped over a fat drunken girl in the doorway as her friends mumbled awkwardly and a couple of lads started to argue with my taxi-driver.

My room was immensely comfortable and I slept well. Off at an early hour to the TV studios for the "Heaven and Earth Show", broadcast live. As one of three panel members I ddiscussed whether or not Christians are experiencing discrimination in Britain....lively talk. Mentioned obviously, that we shouldn't whinge too much....Christians in Pakistan have had their churches torched and homes destroyed, Christians in China get beaten up or mysteriously disappear to be listed among prisoners three or four years later..... But yes, things are likely to get difficult here...unjust new law about to be passed forcing Catholic schools to teach that homosexual and lesbian activity is an acceptable lifestyle...obviously for some years now Christian doctors haven't been able to work in senior posts in obstetrics unless they abandon their beliefs and perform abortions...etc. Another panel member said it was all the Christians' fault for having too many privileges in the first place, eg having Anglican Bishops in the House of Lords, and being allowed to have Christian schools funded by the taxpayer. I pointed out that for centuries all schools in Britain, and health services too, were run by the Church (and run rather well - the State has been a newcomer, and I'm not sure has yet proved itself as the best provider of either education or health care) so any funding now being produced from the public purse is an extra to what we provided first and purely from a spirit of Christian service.....oh, but debates like this get nowehere really....

Home, just settling to letters etc when phone call from BBC World Service at Bush House in the Strand...would I come and do a News Hour interview re same topic? Looked at kitchen clock. Could just manage it with Mass first. Cycled to Mass - our Sunday evening one is always packed, especially with young people as the parish youth club meets afterwards. Squeezed in to corner of pew. Cycled home. Jamie back from weekend in Yorkshire.Had about five mins with him then taxi came. To BBC, did interview. Staff at Bush House v. anxious about BBC reporter, one of their team, kidnapped apparently by Palestinian group in Gaza. This was subsequently all over the news bulletins. His BBC colleagues all say he is a v. decent and friendly chap, keen to be a fair reporter.


Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

That is funny, I heard you at about 4.45pm EST as I was on my way to our local Vietnamese Mass (don't ask...sigh).

I thought you did very good. Yes, on the one hand, our bodies are not being subjected to external violence, but the war declared on the souls of children (through the sodomite propaganda machine) is far more dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Well done! Someone might listen!

Pity the 'poor fat drunk girl'. i don't know whether to laugh or cry!

God bless & thank God i'm a Pioneer!

Anonymous said...

One problem with places like Leeds and Manchester is that no one shops in the city centre any more. So its a choice between Wetherspoons and nightclubs or boarded up buildings. Then the youngsters can't get decent jobs without degrees, and can't afford to buy houses and start families. So they might as well get drunk.

I wouldn't be pessimistic. Far from being a quaint relic of a bygone age, Christianity is now at the centre of public debate. That's why you were invited on telly. Admittedly a lot of this is for bad reasons, such as militant Islam, but we are winning the argument. What worries me is that our society won't survive the meltdown in education that is now occurring.

Malcolm McLean

Anonymous said...

I think you juxtaposed two things very well. First the depraved hopelessness and apathy of so many people in society. Second the rejection of the antidote by the secularists who attack the Catholic Church as if we were the problem and ignore the growing barbarism of society. They seem oblivous to the fact that they will be swallowed up by that barbarism and their own actions encourage it. We use the term "cultural suicide", but few have the courage to face its reality. I hope the Church has the courage to hold out against persecution and do the right thing no matter the cost. If she does then she will be a beacon of civilization in a world that needs all the light it can get.
Fr. Jim

Anonymous said...

Speaking of coming persecution Please (if you haven't) read about the case in Germany of the girl who has been taken from her christian family because the parents decided to home school to help her in a few classes. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

A question to put out there if anyone knows..
What about the muslem schools in America and Enland-I know the young muslem children have their own schools to attend and are taught only their beleifs. Aren't they subject to the same laws? Or do they get special rights?

Anonymous said...

I can answer for the US. They are supposed to follow the basic state curriculum, but the religious and moral teachings are up to them. Unfortunately many of the muslim schools are funded by salafists. That means they learn to hate at an early age. However, if all they know is the quran and hatred when they graduate they will be ill-prepared for life in these United States. It is a problem we have yet to face up to. Fortunately we do not have a huge muslim minority and they are dispersed. Some are even "moderate" and integrated. We will see if that continues, I am not confident.
Fr. Jim

Anonymous said...

If Catholic and other christian based schools in England and US have to start following a state rule about homosexual teaching -then won't the muslim schools have to also?
I ask this because they would never do that! The Govenment would have a big fight on their hands and the christian schools could then hide under whatever umbrella of religious protection they have insisted for themselves.
My point is other religion's outside of christianity are given more respect and rights-the christians have to take atvantage of this and hop on in the name of freedom. What ever they get we get too. Does anyone agree or am I mislead?