Britain: The Francis effect is drawing Catholics back to church

haiti-christ-brings-hope

“This must be the place – but it’s not exactly how I remember it!”

Pope Francis has caused a surge in church attendance and confessions within the Catholic Church. This marks a turning point after decades of decline, the Sunday Times reports, referring to the results of a survey on Catholics across England and Wales.

In the eight months since Francis began his pontificate, British cathedrals “have seen a rise of about 20% in congregations, drawing in both new and lapsed members.” It goes on to add that over half the priests surveyed in Italy said they had noticed a rise in support for the Church.

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Doctors urge late term abortion of one-eyed, brain-dead baby boy only to find out they were wrong

A mother is taking legal action after claiming doctors at a hospital wrongly advised her to abort her ‘brain dead’ baby.

During her 24-week pregnancy scan, Sarah Hagan says medics at Sunderland Royal Hospital told her the child would have ‘no hope of survival’.

Ms Hagan went through the agony of taking tablets to abort her unborn son, only to be told doctors were going to try and deliver her baby.

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Editor’s note: Makes you wonder how many other perfectly formed babies are killed by abortion-happy physicians and their enablers in the medical establishment and in government.

Margaret Thatcher dead at age 87 from massive stroke

In a speech to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1988, Margaret Thatcher outlined what she identified as the ‘distinctive marks of Christianity’ which ‘stem not from the social but from the spiritual side of our lives’. And perhaps in a swipe at those ‘meddlesome priests’ who were critical of some of her policies throughout the 1980s, she declared that ‘we must not profess the Christian faith and go to Church simply because we want social reforms and benefits or a better standard of behaviour; but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ’.

“I believe in what are often referred to as “Judaeo-Christian” values: indeed my whole political philosophy is based on them.”

“Although I have always resisted the argument that a Christian has to be a Conservative, I have never lost my conviction that there is a deep and providential harmony between the kind of political economy I favour and the insights of Christianity.”

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A movement and cause fueled by rage and suppressed self hatred.

Those who follow the news in Britain will be aware that the Prime Minister is intent on pushing through legislation that allows gay marriage to take place in churches. Full assurances are being given that no one will be forced to marry homosexuals. They are simply allowing it to take place if that is what people want. Uh huh.

Let’s try to remember how this has all unfolded. I lived in England. I remember. The first step was the legalization of homosexual civil unions. “This is not marriage!” the modernizers told us. “This is simply a matter of civil rights and granting homosexual people the same legal protections and rights as heterosexual married people. This is not something which can happen in church. It is not marriage.”

Nevertheless, when homosexual people had their “civil partnerships” in registry offices many of them found sympathetic Anglican vicars, rabbis and Methodists who were happy to conduct informal “blessings” of the civil partnerships.

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The story of the Reformation needs reforming

Protestant mythology achieved definitive form in a book that would shape the writing of Tudor history down to our own day. In 1679 Gilbert Burnet, a Scottish cleric, published the first volume of a massive History of the Reformation, an anti-Catholic narrative given scholarly credibility by the inclusion of dozens of documents gathered from public and private archives.

Burnet would be the chief propagandist for the “Glorious Revolution” which deposed James II and set the Protestant William of Orange on the throne. His history rammed home the message that Catholicism and Englishness were utterly incompatible: Catholicism was tyranny, Protestantism liberation. “They hate us,” he wrote, “because we dare to be freemen and Protestants.”

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Huge study definitively links abortion with increased likelihood of mental health problems

Professor Coleman’s study was based on an analysis of 22 separate projects which together analysed the experiences of 877,000 women, of whom 163,831 had had an abortion. It said: ‘Results indicate quite consistently that abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure.

‘Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 per cent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.’

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Christians are more militant than Muslims, says Government’s equalities boss

Trevor Phillips warned that “an old time religion incompatible with modern society” is driving the revival in the Anglican and Catholic Churches and clashing with mainstream views, especially on homosexuality.

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Archbishop gets lost on “ecumenical journey”. Catholic bloggers (and the Vatican) help set him straight.

The controversial proposed ordination of Methodist ministers in Liverpool’s Metropolitan (Catholic) Cathedral in July has been called off. On the advice of the Vatican, Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool has withdrawn the invitation he gave to the Methodist church last year. In a statement last week the archbishop said he had always recognised that “the occasion would be a symbol”.

Given “the iconic reality of the Metropolitan Cathedral far beyond Merseyside it would be watched, interpreted, scrutinised quite properly by many. And symbols are dangerous things; they can explode,” he said.

“Every pattern of ordination known to me is at the service of communion and an occasion for profound renewal of the most personal, hidden demands of discipleship. Spotlights, controversy, fear of misinterpretation undermine the prayer and discipleship into which the Spirit would lead us,” Archbishop Kelly said.

The proposed ordination service was roundly attacked by Catholic bloggers earlier this year. One called it “sacrilege”, while others criticised it for the confusion it would bring.

“It might result in people who protest against Catholic truth… conducting a service in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in whose presence they don’t believe,” Ben Trovato wrote on the blog Countercultural Father. He continued: “It might lead people to imagine some equivalence between Methodism and the One True Church founded by Christ.”

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Editor’s note: This kind of thing makes you wonder what’s going on in the Catholic Church of merry old England … and why the Archbishop required correction from both the Vatican and the Catholic blogosphere, before he finally came around.

Pope Benedict arrives in England


Speaking to reporters traveling with him from Rome, Benedict said the church’s top priority now was to help abuse victims heal — yet the comments failed to satisfy victims’ groups.

Benedict’s historic four-day visit has been overshadowed by disgust over the abuse scandal and indifference in Britain, where Catholics are a minority at 10 percent and endured centuries of bloody persecution and discrimination until the early 1800s.

The trip is the first state visit by a pope to the U.K., and his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II was symbolically significant because of the historic divide between the officially Protestant nation and the Catholic Church.

Link

Catholics in England suffered official repression for some 300 years (along with today’s widespread anti-Catholic bigotry)

STONOR, England (AP) — For nearly three centuries after the Reformation, Catholics in England were outlaws.

But in the turmoil and persecution that followed the break between King Henry VIII and Rome, noble families such as the Stonors clung to their faith, “in spite of dungeon, fire and sword,” as the Victorian hymn “Faith of our Fathers” put it.

“We’re just stubborn, really,” says Ralph Thomas Campion Stonor, the seventh Lord Camoys, a title bestowed on an ancestor for valor in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Pope Benedict XVI will recall the years of persecution during his upcoming tour of Britain Sept. 16-19. He will visit Westminster Hall, the medieval chamber within the Houses of Parliament where the Catholic Thomas More was tried and convicted of treason in 1535. More refused to swear an oath accepting the annulment of King Henry’s marriage, thus becoming one of the first of the legion of English Catholic martyrs.

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Peter Hitchens not quite like his atheist big brother

Rogier van der Weyden’s “Last Judgment”

A far-Left cultural revolutionary in the 1970s, Hitchens was in his early 30s, and had experienced life behind the Iron Curtain covering the Polish shipyard strikes when he began to feel strong unease.

“I no longer avoided churches,” he writes. “I recognised in the great English cathedrals, and in many small parish churches, the old unsettling messages. One was the inevitability of my own death, the other the undoubted fact that my despised forebears were neither crude nor ignorant, but men and women of great skill and engineering genius, a genius not contradicted or blocked by faith, but enhanced by it.”

On a cycling trip to Burgundy he saw Rogier van der Weyden’s 15th-century Last Judgment, and this made a lasting impression. “I had scoffed at its mention in the guidebook, but now I gaped, my mouth actually hanging open, at the naked figures fleeing towards the pit of hell. I had a sudden strong sense of religion being a thing of the present day, not imprisoned under thick layers of time. My large catalogue of misdeeds replayed themselves rapidly in my head.

I had absolutely no doubt that I was among the damned, if there were any damned. Van der Weyden was still earning his fee, nearly 500 years after his death.”

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Anti-Catholicism lies at the heart of Englishness

At the very centre of the national psyche there seems to be a basic suspicion of Catholicism which can be difficult to pinpoint: but it has certainly reared its head recently.

The front cover of Private Eye with Pope Benedict on the balcony and the crowd in St Peter’s Square supplying the crude – but hardly unforeseeable – punchline may have shocked some and offended others, but it certainly should not have surprised anyone, as it belongs to a great tradition of English anti-Catholic satire: a tradition which has its roots in the dark days of the penal laws, and its high-water mark in the decades which followed emancipation.

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Pope ought to “shake the dust off his feet” and skip visit to England

Matthew 10:11-15
And into whatsoever city or town you shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide till you go thence.  And when you come into the house, salute it, saying: Peace be to this house.  And if that house be worthy, your peace shall come upon it; but if it be not worthy, your peace shall return to you.  And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet.  Amen I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

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Ultrasound shows baby giving mom a “thumbs-up”

Read the story at LifeNews

Catholic school teacher acquitted of assaulting errant student with dumbbell

CCTV footage of pupils’ reactions to the moment that their teacher struck a boy with a dumbbell was released by prosecutors yesterday.

Schoolchildren in blazers and ties are seen rushing from their class to watch Peter Harvey, unseen on camera, attacking the 14-year-old boy. They then retreat and a dumbbell is flung through the doorway. An agitated Harvey leaves the room and hovers in the corridor before several other adults come into view.

The footage, captured by a camera at All Saints’ Roman Catholic School, in Mansfield, last July, formed part of the evidence at Harvey’s trial for attempted murder and grievous bodily harm at Nottingham Crown Court this week. During the trial, Harvey was described as a man possessed at this point in the attack. He was shouting “die, die, die”, witnesses said.

The boy, described during the trial as a “leading light” when it came to causing trouble, had earlier been sword-fighting with a wooden metre rule and playing volleyball with scrunched-up bits of paper. Then, when Harvey tried to wrestle a bunsen burner stand from him, he told his teacher to “f*** off”, an act that “lit the blue touch paper”.

On Thursday, a jury took just an hour to clear Harvey on both counts after accepting his barrister’s claim that he was not thinking rationally so could have had no intention of seriously harming or killing the boy. Witnesses testified to his good character during a 25-year career.

(Editor’s note: There’s obviously nothing like Traditional Catholic education to keep kids in line!)

British Foreign Office scandal surounding Pope’s visit continues to unfold

Last night critics said the choice of non-Catholic staff highlighted the “appalling lack of respect” shown to the Pope.

Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper The Tablet, said: “In politically correct Britain people are normally careful not to offend – and rightly so.

“Yet being offensive about the Pope is OK. Catholics are the minority that it is acceptable to treat as the whipping boys. Sometimes this cultural contempt emerges from the shadows – a contempt you’ll never see allowed to be shown to a chief rabbi or a grand mufti.”

A source within the Catholic Church of England and Wales said: “At its best this shows a disgraceful lack of know­ledge and understanding of the church among middle-ranking civil servants.

“A more alarming interpretation is that there are elements of anti-Catholic views and a deep-seated contempt of Christianity within the Foreign Office.

“There is no way a memo like this would have been written, let alone widely circulated, had it related to a visit by an important Muslim leader. There is clearly an alarming lack of judgment within Government departments.”

Link

“The blowtorch directed at the Church on this (abuse) issue reveals something unhealthy about society around us.”

The statistics are scattered about, but not hard to find. Professor Charol Shakeshaft of Virginia University studied 290,000 cases of alleged abuse in the ten years between 1991 and 2000. Out of a sample of 225 teachers who admitted to sexually abusing a pupil, not a single case was reported to the authorities.

Yet the John Jay College of Criminal Justice study of 2004 – independent auditors commissioned by the US bishops — found 10,667 people who made allegations about sexual abuse by priests and religious in the 52 years between 1950 and 2002 (roughly 200 a year compared to the 29,000 a year in public schools). The allegations were made against 4,392 priests, of whom 56 per cent were accused of only a single incident, some of which were never proved.

As a result of the Dallas norms introduced by the US Catholic Church in 2002, last year the entire Catholic Church in the US – which has 65m members – received six contemporary allegations of clerical abuse. In the UK, where the Nolan Report of 2001 led to strict guidelines, the Catholic Church is unique among institutions for making public each year the number of allegations of sexual abuse by priests. For 2007 the number of such contemporary allegations was precisely four for the whole of the UK – in a Church of about 5m.

At least in the UK and the US we can now state with confidence that the Catholic Church in the UK is one of the safest environments for children and young people.

Who else can claim this?

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A ‘hidden violence’ towards those in need of care

Society is being debased by an institutionalised “hidden violence” towards those most in need of care and protection, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales said yesterday. He also criticised the NHS for treating some patients with a lack of humanity.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols used a special service at Westminster Cathedral to make a highly personal speech, striking out against what he described as a widespread lack of compassion towards the sick and the dying. “There is a hidden violence in so many of our systems, even those of care,” he told the congregation at the annual mass for the sick, at which the ill are anointed with oil and prayers are said for their recovery.

Too often, he said, the NHS reduces those most in need of comfort and compassion to nothing more than “a bundle of genes and actions”.

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Heterosexuality: A New Hate Crime

The two examples should not come as a surprise, given where they originated. Canada and the UK have been world leaders in pushing a politically correct, pro-homosexual agenda, complete with government sanction. The first case has to do with a government proposal in Quebec to stamp out politically incorrect thinking on the issue of homosexuality.

It comes in the form of the “Quebec Policy Against Homophobia” released by Quebec’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Kathleen Weil. Journalist Drew Zahn explains. The policy is aimed at “eliminating all forms of ‘homophobia’ and ‘heterosexism’ – including the belief that homosexuality is immoral – from society as a whole.

“The text and specifics of the policy are steeped in vague bureaucratic language about ‘coordination’ and ‘synergy,’ but the goal is spelled out clearly: to enlist the government to normalize homosexuality in society and to quell common criticisms levied against ‘sexual minorities,’ a term the policy uses to inclusively describe ‘lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgenders.’

“‘An inclusive society such as ours must take the necessary steps to combat homophobic attitudes and behavior patterns and move towards full acceptance of sexual diversity,’ states the Premier of Quebec Jean Charest in a letter that serves as the policy’s introduction. ‘The policy sets out the government’s goal of removing all the obstacles to full recognition of the social equality of the sexual minorities, at all levels of society.’ The policy further defines the heterosexism that must be stomped out as ‘affirmation of heterosexuality as a social norm or the highest form of sexual orientation.’

“Furthermore, the policy laments, ‘It is still possible to hear people say that homosexuality is an illness, morally wrong or a form of deviant behavior, and that people choose their sexual orientation. These beliefs, often instilled in the past, tend to marginalize sexual minority groups and prevent full recognition of their social equality.’ Such ‘prejudice,’ the policy affirms, must be combated.”

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Clueless Brits and EU put “The cart before the horse”

“As a Catholic, I am appalled by the attitude of the pope. Religious leaders should be trying to eradicate inequality, not perpetuate it,” said Hughes, who urged the pope to ensure “that existing EU legislation is properly applied in the Vatican.”

Editor’s note:

2ndTimothy 4:1-4
I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.  For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears:  And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.

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