23 October 2012

The Jimmy Savile Affair: Remember The Predatory Priests

It is hard to fight off the schadenfreude as the BBC tries to come to terms with the fact that one of its stars was a sexual predator, exactly the same sort of "paedophile" as all of those wicked Catholic priests it has spent years condemning and using as pretexts for knocking the whole Catholic Church which had nurtured and protected them.  It's even harder when the first hint appears that it wasn't just Savile, but that there were others; and that a culture existed in which that seemed like the sort of behaviour to expect from people like that.  It's hardest of all when the sneering, soppingly wet, liberal elite who have spent the last fortnight trying to say that it was just Savile, and that they had never liked him, start to face up to the fact that the institution of the BBC was not structured to protect the innocent, but rather to protect the guilty.

But fight it we must, because the priests who abused children were filth even worse than Jimmy Savile, and while the BBC might be (is likely to be?) in hock to the spirit of the age, the Catholic Church should never be.

Priests are called to a much harder vocation that other men: the immense privilege of bringing God to the altar, of being another Christ, brings with it the responsibility of not behaving like any other man.  That's why the rest of us should support priests, pray for priests, look after priests, watch out for priests as well as giving thanks for them: they aren't some abstract Mass machine in dark clothes, but men with a burden that isn't humanly bearable.  But as high as God helps them climb, the Devil will lead them into deeper pits than any of the rest of us if he gets a chance to help them defile the hands consecrated to God.

And however pompous the BBC, however much Malcolm Muggeridge could compare it to the CofE, even suggesting that Controllers should sign documents in the name of their Controllerate: George Light, James Third and so on; however the BBC tries to have the best of being a state-funded part of the Establishment while both offering daring critiques of all of society's best values on one hand and feeding society's basest values on the other: it's in our gift to turn our backs on it, and even, if we organise and campaign, to change it.

Not so the institutional Church: from among those priests whose burden is already heavy, some are selected for even greater burdens: to head the local Church, to create new priests of those men called by God, to teach the Faith in its orthodoxy, and to create and maintain the structures to support all of these functions, and fill them with good people and maintain their goodness.  This is an even greater burden, and the Bishops need even more prayers and support than their priests.

However bad the scandal in the BBC, however the Beeboids squirm and try to blame their failings on wider society, however much they try to claim that there were a small number of bad people and nothing else: it is as nothing compared to the shameful evil willfully brought into the Church by the priests who preyed sexually on young people.

Let's not pretend; let's not look for an excuse to hide behind somebody else's scandal.

13 October 2012

The Tabletistas Strike Back!

Hear Clifford Longley's description of what Vatican II was about on Thought for the Day this morning here.

If you keep saying the same thing, and nobody challenges you, it might not become the truth, but everyone will believe that it's true.

10 October 2012

Is "Marriage Care" Catholic?

James has posted on the retirement of Terry Prendergast as head of Marriage Care, what in happier days was a Catholic marriage advisory service and has looked at the job description being advertised.  Paul has posted on just how uncatholic Terry Prendergast's view of marriage is.

James lists a series of questions Marriage Care asks itself, beginning with "How can we best manage within Marriage Care to maintain contact with our Catholic roots whilst being open to a wider volunteer workforce, so that this is understood within the Church community?" and concludes (after the list) that a paraphrase of the questions might be "For anybody not listening at the back, that's a long winded way of saying "we need to figure out a way to extract money from Catholics without actually doing anything to promote a Catholic vision of Marriage".

Just to put it into perspective, here is a (very long) list of Marriage Care centres which I believe to be based in Catholic premises.  If James and Paul are right, the courses they offer they might be better treated as "spiritual yoga" classes.  (NB: I have left out the places which look definitely not to be Catholic and have italicised the "don't knows".)

If you know the priest or religious responsible for any of these premises, it might be worth drawing their attention to what's going on within, privately, at first.

Christ the King Church, Peace Close, Bramley Road, Oakwood, London, N14 4HE
St Thomas More RC Church, 9 Henry Road, Finsbury Park,
Dwyer House, 37 Victoria Road, Acock's Green, Birmingham, B27 7XZ
Cresswell Park, St Mary's, 5 Cresswell Park, Blackheath, London, SE3 9RD
85 Abingdon Street, Blackpool, FY1 1PP
St Joseph's Catholic Church, 67 Purewell, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1EH
Cassidy Centre, St Mary's Church, 5 Surrenden Road, Preston Park, Brighton, BN1 6PA
141 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2QB
St Francis LSU Pastoral & Brook Centre, 33/34 Pultenay Road, Bath, BA2 4EZ
The Presbytery of St Mary's, 67 Talbot Street, Canton, Cardiff, CF11 9BX
St Joseph's RC Church, Crown Street, Cockermouth, CA13 0EJ
St Catherine's RC Church, Drover's Lane, Penrith, CA11 9EL
Our Lady & St Joseph's RC Church, Warwick Square, Carlisle, CA1 1LB
St John Payne RC School, Patching Hall Lane, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 4BS
178 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0AR
5-7 Baron Road, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, CM3 5XQ
Park Drive, Maldon, Essex, CM9 5UR
The Fletcher Centre, 2 Crescent Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2EX
44 East Stockwell Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1SR
13 Stoney Road, Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 2
St Bernadette Presbytery, Tilgate Way, Crawley, W Sussex, RH10 5BS
Our Lady of Reparation, 70 Wellesley Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 2AR
St Mary Help of Christians, 372 Coulsdon Rd, Old Coulsdon, Croydon, CR5 1EF
Christ the King, 3 Prince's Road, Langney, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6HT
39 Rodney Road, Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 1HXSt Andrew & St George's Day Centre, St George's Road, Bolton, BL1 2BZ
Clitherow House, Lower Chatham Street, Manchester, M15 6BY
CAB Office, Fairfax Road, Prestwich, M25 1AS
The Parish Centre, Church of Most Holy Trinity, New Street, Ledbury, HR8 2EE
St. Bede's, Bishop's Avenue, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Essex, RM6 5RS
St Augustine's Presbytery, Cranbrook Rd North, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex, IG6 1AU
Kenwood Gardens, Ilford, Essex, IG2 6YG
1 Wragely House, Valley Road, Hebden Bridge, W Yorkshire, HX7 7BNSt Bede's Pastoral Centre, 21-23 Blossom St, York, North Yorkshire, YO24 1AQ
16 Wragby Rd, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN2 5SLSt. Pius X Presbytery, Chelmsford Avenue, Grimsby, Lincolnshire, DN34 5DD
St. Hugh's Church, 34 Broadgate, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN2 5AQ
St. Bernadettes Parish Centre, Ashby Rd, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, DN16 2RS
St Mary's Presbytery, 12 Barnard Avenue, Brigg, Lincolnshire, DN20 8AS
Our Lady of Lincoln, Laungton Way, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, LN2 2HE
St John's Presbytery, 128 Bebington Road, New Ferry, Wirral, CH62 5BJ
Crossbarn Lane, Ince Blundell, Nr. Crosby, L38 6JD
Conference Centre at LACE, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool, L17 1AA
46 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3HZ
Notre Dame de France, 5 Leicester Place, London, WC2 7HB
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Botwell House, Botwell Lane, Hayes, Middx, UB3 2AB
2 Chiswick Lane, Chiswick, London, W4 2JF
Clitherow House, 1 Blythe Mews, Blythe Road, London, W14 0NW
Richard Reynolds Room, Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 29 Fore Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1 2QJ
The Courtenay Centre, Kingsteignton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2QAChurch of St Peter, 15 Boniface Lane, Crownhill, Plymouth, Devon, PL5 3AX
St Augustine's Presbytery, Woodland Road, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4RA
St Austin's Priory, Cadleigh, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9HW
St Mary's Parish Centre, St Mary's Road, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 1NF
Church of Mount Carmel, 71 Stott Close, Efford, Plymouth, Devon, PL3 6HA
Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, 76 Abbey Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5NJ
Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4SL Milton Keynes
St Etheldreda, Egremont Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 1AE
Our Lady & St Etheldreda RC Church, 14 Exeter Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8LT
St Mary's, 9 Stow Hill, Newport, Gwent, NP20 1TP
Cathedral House, Unthank Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 2PA
Doddridge Centre, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN5 5LD
Ward Street, Guildford, Hampshire, GU1 4LH
St Joseph's Church Hall, Queens Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 3JB
St Augustine's, 146 Sandon Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, ST3 7DF
278-290 Huntingdon Street, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1 3LY Christ the King, Prince Charles Avenue, Mackworth Estate, Derby, Derbyshire, DE22 4BG
The Priory Annexe, 85 Old High Street, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9HT
St Luke's Church, 26 Benyon Grove, Orton Malborne, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 5XS
St John's Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3HQ
218a Tulketh Road, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 1ES
St Mary's Presbytery, Matthias Street, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 5LA
Cathedral House, Balmoral Road, Lancaster, Lancashire , LA1 3BT
St Wilfrid's Centre, 524 Queen's Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S2 4DT
St Edmunds Parish Office, The Avenue, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 2EQ
Newbridge House, 28 Tamworth Street, Stockport, Greater Manchester, SK1 2PB
112b Marlborough Road, Bryn Mill, Swansea, Wales, SA2 0DY

St Aidan's Centre, 238 Wythenshawe Rd, Northern Moor, South Manchester, M23 0PH
305 Manchester Road, West Timperley, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, WA14 5PH St Mary's Presbytery, 2 Major Street, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, TS18 2DD
3rd Floor, Mea House, Ellison Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 8XS
St Joseph's Family Centre, 9 Museum Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1JA

The Presentation Convent, Marlowe Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 2TP
St Mary's Convent, 34 Groundwell Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 2LU
Sacred Heart Presbytery, Edge Hill, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4LU
Guild House, 30-32 Worple Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4EF St Mary's The Mount Parish Hall, 15 Glebe Street, Walsall, West Midlands, WS1 3NX
Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned, 215 Main Street, Gibraltar
Little Wheatley Chase, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9EH WrexhamW
Church of St Anne, Prince Charles Road, Wrexham, Clywd, LL13 8TH

08 October 2012

A Rough Beast, Slouching ...

I've got the start of an idea buzzing around in my mind and I can't present it polished and finished, but think it worth throwing out as is, so that either someone else can turn it into something useful or I can be told that I'm wasting my time.

I got distracted while thinking about Veritatis Splendor for the Catholic Reading Group by the young man who asked Jesus “what good shall I do that I might have life everlasting?” I started to meditate on the difference between a morality based on "Do Good" and one based on "Don't do Evil" and started to wander down a rabbit hole influenced by a recurrent memory of my father changing how he did his Examination of Conscience from measuring himself against the ten Commandments to asking whether he had clothed the naked, fed the hungry etc.  (Being a simple, literal, sort of man he joined the SVP so he could do all, and fretted because he couldn't be a prison visitor, but that's a digression.)

Another influencing thread in what was going on (bear in mind I have been travelling a lot and was tired and disorientated) was thinking about a "spirit of Vatican IIism" that all vocations are equal, and that the priest was merely the member of the community who turned the bread and wine into God's Body and Blood, and was neither more or less important than somebody called to carpentry.

Anyway, musing about all of these things I started to think about a Catholic England and Wales that started pointing children towards jobs/careers/professions which are currently held by anti-life to convert them.  Make Catholic schools centres for STEM subjects and make them a fertile source of medics - doctors and nurses - who will proclaim Life by specialising in gynaecology and the end of life; encourage vocations to teaching; replace Connections with a Catholic alternative full of Catholic youth-focused professionals; you get the drift: squeezing anti-Life out of the picture.

There it is, for what it's worth.  Could it fly?