Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wed Jan 31st


For some weeks I have had a rather painful foot, and suddenly in these last few days and nights it has become much worse, so today I finally made a medical appointment to get it sorted out. With a busy day planned, I was able to get a late appointment - 8pm. Hobbled off to see a friend, J, who has just had a new baby: it was bliss to sit in a rocking-chair at her house, foot propped up on a stool, with the delicious, tiny, warm, enchanting little baby girl in my arms as we chatted and caught up on news and views. There are two delightful little boys - very happy and proud of their baby sister - and one helped to open the present that I had brought, a patchwork cot-quilt ( love doing patchwork - v. satisfying to watch it grow and to match up colours, and it is easy to carry about and do on train journeys ) It was with great reluctance that I left, to hobble off in the evening twilight.....

On to Westminster Cathedral Hall, which was packed for the launch of a new DVD and booklet, produced jointly by the Catholic Truth Society and Luton Good Counsel: The Joy of God's Plan, on the Church's teaching on marriage and fertility. Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark spoke, and on a large screen they showed extracts from the DVD: it is all high-quality, and very attractive. This is going to be of huge value to marriage-preparation groups and is something that will change the focus and approach of the Church's work in this area in Britain. Go to to get more information.....

At this gathering, I was due to meet a lady from Aid to the Church in Need, visiting from another European country's ACN office, but it was not possible to find her in the crowd, and as I had my medical appointment I had to hobble off again, leaving messages for her. Most unsatisfactory. Feeling v. uncomfortable about this, I made my way to the station and thence to have my foot the time I got there it was feeling very odd indeed. It turns out that there has indeed been something wrong, and all my own fault because of wearing ill-shaped boots ("you see the bones have been forced in opposite's really a bit like a form of deliberate torture." Gulp.) Am now at home and bandaged.


Lots and lots of comments to this blog - not all of which I have published. I don't mind people being offensive about me, but from now on I won't publish material that is gross, or insults the Church, the Holy Father, or priests in general. Wise advice from a priest, a fellow-blogger, who said that if really vile stuff gets sent in "Delete it at once, say a Hail Mary, and move on to the next task". I shall do that. I will also not publish stuff that is rambling, too confused, or simply reveals some one's personal difficulties and is not really appropriate for general reading.

Can't resist commenting on the person who wrote in noting that I probably have homosexual friends, colleagues, acquaintances. Well of course I do! All of us have friends of all sorts and I certainly don't check people's moral or social or physical or mental or spiritual status before I engage in normal friendly convivilialty with them. Do you? Er....and do you expect that everyone will share your religious or other convictions? Golly, I don't. I know perfectly well that lots and lots of people disagree with me, particularly on religious issues.

Meanwhile Melanie Phillips has an excellent article in today's Daily Mail: "Same-sex couples are not hurt by Christians choosing not to place children with them any more than, say, a Conservative Party activist would be hurt by a Labour MP who chose not to hire him as a spin-doctor.

"It is not gays who will be hurt by these regulations but Christians, who will be forcibly prevented from acting in accordance with their beliefs...

"....This is but the latest move against religion by a culture which believes that only secularism provides freedom. This is a big mistake.

"Our liberal values arise from our Judeo-Christian tradition. Eradicate that, and you will destroy not only individual freedom but also the civil society formed by the diverse institutions it creates, to be replaced instead by repression, uniformity and intolerance.

"If the Catholic adoption charities are forced to pull down the shutters, it will also be liberal Britain that turns out the lights."


Anonymous said...

The words of Melanie Philipps ("Our liberal values arise from our Judeo-Christian tradition. Eradicate that, and you will destroy not only individual freedom but also the civil society formed by the diverse institutions it creates, to be replaced instead by repression, uniformity and intolerance") reminded me of what Pope Benedict said at Verona on 19 October last year. I hope you will permit this lengthy but important extract from his speech:
The culture that predominates in the West... seeks to present itself as universal and self-sufficient, generating a new custom of life. From this a new wave of illuminism and laicism is derived, by which only what is experiential and calculable would be rationally valid, while on the level of praxis, individual freedom is held as a fundamental value to which all others must be subject.
Therefore, God remains excluded from culture and from public life, and faith in him becomes more difficult, also because we live in a world that almost always appears to be of our making, in which, so to speak, God no longer appears directly but seems to have become superfluous, even out of place.
In strict relationship with all of this, a radical reduction of man has taken place, considered a simple product of nature and as such not really free, and in himself susceptible to be treated like any other animal. Thus, an authentic overturning of the point of departure of this culture has come about, which started as a claim of the centrality of man and his freedom.
Along the same lines, ethics is brought within the confines of relativism and utilitarianism with the exclusion of every moral principle that is valid and in itself binding.
It is not difficult to see how this type of culture represents a radical and profound break not only with Christianity but more in general with the religious and moral traditions of humanity. It is therefore not able to establish a true dialogue with other cultures, in which the religious dimension is strongly present, besides not being able to respond to the fundamental questions on the sense and direction of our life.
Therefore, this culture is marked by a deep privation, but also by a great and poorly hidden need of hope.

John Paul said...

I wonder if the answer lies on pulling the carpet from underneath the feet of the Government. From what I've read, I see that Catholic Adoption agencies deal with 33% of difficult cases. If you force them to take notice, then surely they must. I wonder what the Moral implications of such actions are considering the Children involved.

Anonymous said...

Oh, well! Back to penal times I suppose. Only it would be typical for this secularist Government to not simply confiscate Westminster Cathedral, but to turn it into a supercasino!

Anonymous said...

To what lengths the paranoic imagine leads.