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AUGUST 10 2012 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Pro-life vigils spread across London BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
PRO-LIFE prayer vigils outside abortion clinics are expected to increase across London despite the threat of legal action from a global abortion provider.
The pro-life prayer group 40 Days for Life will hold vigils outside abortion clinics in Brixton, Bedford Square and the Marie Stopes clinic in Whitfield Street between September 26 and November 4 of this year.
The prayer vigils have become increasingly controversial since abortion provider Marie Stopes tried to secure a legal injunction against another pro-life group, the Good Counsel Network, for praying outside their clinic holding “baby pink and blue rosary beads”.
During the latest prayer vigil led by 40 Days for Life outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinic in Bedford Square, London, the organisation Abortion Rights launched a counter-protest
Robert Colquhoun’s 40 Days for Life is planning vigils outside three London clinics following accusations that members of 40 Days for Life had filmed women entering abortion clinics.
Responding to criticisms in a blog post last week, a spokeswoman for 40 Days for Life said that the media had “massively twisted what happens at 40 Days For Life”.
She continued: “They have tried to present it as an American-style ‘protest’ which it isn’t at all. At all vigils there is a sign displayed prominently saying ‘we are here to help’. And the help that is on offer is real, as many women will attest. No one is judging, condemning or bullying but trying to offer a lifeline.
“It is grotesquely wrong and unfair to conflate peaceful pro-life outreach with the murder of abortionists. All pro-lifers are appalled by violence, because we believe that all human life is worthy of our respect and protection. A few lone crazies do not represent any organisation or movement. It would be equally wrong to tar all peaceful Muslims with the 9/11 brush, or all atheists with the murderous purges of Stalin, Pol Pot or the French Revolution.”
Apology is publishedBYDAVIDVBARRETT
THE ARCHBISHOP-ELECT of Glasgow has apologised for causing offence with his remark about a gay Scottish MP dying young.
In Flourish, the journal of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, Archbishop-elect Philip Tartaglia said he wished he had never made the remark, which has dogged him since the announcement of his appointment.
At a conference at Oxford University in April the then Bishop of Paisley said: “If what I have heard is true about the relationship between the physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true then society is being very quiet about it.
“Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so, and nobody said anything. And why should his body just shut down at that age? Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody but you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing, but society won’t address it.”
In the article in Flourish the archbishop-elect said: “I wish I had never alluded to Mr Cairns. I am very sorry for the offence it caused. I have made a sincere apology and hope that it is accepted.”
The MP, David Cairns, died of acute pancreatitis in May 2011. He served as a Catholic priest for six years in the 1990s before leaving to become director of the Christian Socialist Movement.
PHOTO: LULU SHUTTERBUG
Evangelium Nuncio attends conference
ARCHBISHOP Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, joined 150 young people at a conference on evangelisation last week.
Archbishop Mennini celebrated Mass at the Evangelium residential conference, Britain’s fourth such conference. In his homily he urged young
Catholics to consider the calling to priesthood and religious life and stressed the importance of good marriages and families in showing God’s love.
Poet who ‘hated’ the Church discusses conversion BY DAVID V BARRETT
A BRITISH poet has revealed details of her nine-month journey from being a staunch atheist to a Catholic.
“Until two years ago, I was a really committed atheist and I really hated the Catholic Church,” Sally Read told the Catholic News Agency last week.
Her Northern Irish great-grandfather was an Orangeman, but her upbringing was anti-religious. Though she flirted briefly with religious belief in her youth she was firmly antiCatholic.
But two years ago that changed dramatically. Living in a seaside town near Rome with her husband and daughter, she was researching a book, to be co-written with a doctor, on female sexuality. She decided to interview a range of women including prostitutes and lesbians, Muslims and Catholics. Looking for an introduction to some
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nuns she spoke to a Canadian Catholic priest she knew in the town, and this led to a series of passionate discussions.
She was also working on her third book of poetry, The Day Hospital, to be published in November. The book is a series of fictional monologues by psychiatric patients; the author was once a psychiatric nurse.
“As I was writing this book, I became very aware that I didn’t know where the soul was and I didn’t know if the soul existed. And it was really driving me crazy,” she said. “This was the beginning of her questioning.
“So, while I was talking to this priest about, well, is there a God and all of that kind of stuff, I kind of had this feeling as a poet that God was the ultimate poet and the ultimate Creator, and I was simply being used as an instrument,” she said.
For months she felt that her world was being turned upside down, describing this time as “the most disrupted period in my whole life”.
One day she visited a Catholic church. “I was in tears and said to this icon of Christ, ‘If you’re there, then you have to help me.’And, this thing happened which is very hard to explain, but I felt as if I was being physically lifted up and my tears stopped, and I felt this presence... I realised that there was only one Church and the way to be closest to Christ was to be a Catholic.”
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Vatican praises ‘important’ book on Tyburn foundress
BY SIMON CALDWELL
THE FIRST spiritual biography of Mother Adele Garnier, the foundress of the Tyburn Nuns, was launched in London this week, with the author hailing her new insights into Eucharistic theology as “very, very important” for the Church.
Don Gianmario Piga, a Sardinian military chaplain and author of The Path of Mother Adele Garnier, said that the French nun presents an “original message” for Catholics to “dwell” in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.
Mother Adele – Mother Mary of St Peter – died in London in 1924 after founding the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus OSB and establishing Tyburn Convent in London near to the site where 105 canonised and beatified Catholics were martyred in the Reformation.
This “project of her life”, Fr Piga explained, followed a locution from Our Lord telling her that the Blessed Sacrament must be perpetually adored on the mount of martyrs, which she originally took to mean Montmartre in Paris.
Mother Adele, he said, became finally convinced that at Tyburn, near Marble Arch, “the Lord wants his Sacred Heart to reign here where these courageous martyrs had their hearts torn out remaining faithful to him”.
But he explained that the achievement was also the fruit of the insight of Mother Adele that the Sacred Heart
Author Don Gianmario Piga Photo: Simon Caldwell of Jesus was to be found first and foremost in the Eucharist. He said: “The mother foundress understood that to reflect in the heart of God is to reflect in the Eucharist. It is the moment when the heart of Jesus is open for us.
“This is the specific charism of the mother foundress – to dwell, to stay in the heart of Jesus, in front of God in the Eucharist.”
The book, which is being published in four languages, differs greatly from earlier biographies because it is based on 1,500 largely unpublished letters between Mother Adele and her spiritual directors.
These show her to be a mystic who underwent experiences similar to those described by St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross.
Mother Adele tells her directors that she saw the Host turn to a piece of bloody flesh, for instance, and that she underwent a mystical marriage with Christ and an exchange of hearts with Him.
She also describes great personal suffering which she offered to God on the “altar of her soul” and which helped her to arrive at a lucid understanding of the priestly nature of the baptised.
The biography has attracted considerable interest from the Vatican, which offered to publish the book free of charge, because much of her reflections on the Eucharist correspond with the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI.
Presenting the book in Rome Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See’s press office, said it was an “important treasure for the Church today”.
Doubt cast on new da Vinci claims
BY DAVID V BARRETT
LEADING auction house Sotheby’s has cast doubt on claims of a newly discovered “heretical” Leonardo da Vinci painting.
A Scottish doctor was apparently given the painting by a grateful patient in the 1960s. When his daughter, Fiona McLaren, discovered it she began investigating it. She claims that the painting is probably by Leonardo and that it contains hidden heretical messages, as portrayed in the novel The Da Vinci Code.
Ms McLaren, who has worked in advertising and marketing, has told the story of her quest in a book, Da Vinci’s Last Commission: The Most Sensational Detective Story in the History of Art, published next week by Mainstream. According to her publishers “the results of [her] research are nothing short of astounding”. The blurb asks: “What would you do if that painting pointed to one of the greatest heresies of our time? And what if it revealed an incredible story that the Roman Catholic Church has been desperate to keep secret at all costs for centuries?”
Ms McLaren said that when she showed the painting to a senior person at Sotheby’s “he was staggered, speechless save for a sigh of exclamation”.
A spokesman for Sotheby’s said: “The painting was seen by Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings Department which concluded it was probably the work of a 16th-century Italian painter.”
NEWSBULLETIN Church of England sells £1.9m stake in News Corp THE CHURCH of England has withdrawn its £1.9m investment in News Corporation, saying the company has not shown enough commitment to reform following the phone-hacking scandal.
News Corp “failed to hold senior managers to account” and that it was “not satisfied” that News Corp had shown, or was likely to show, “a commitment to implement necessary corporate governance reform”.
It sold the shares following advice from its Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG).
In a statement the Church of England said
Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board together hold more than £8bn of assets.
Catholic historian dies aged 78 SIR JOHN KEEGAN, a military historian who lectured at Sandhurst for a quarter of a century, has died aged 78.
The author, who became defence correspondent at the Daily Telegraph in 1986 and worked there for more than 20 years, was also a Catholic and a member of the Knights of Malta. In April Dom Aidan Bellenger, Abbot of Downside and chaplain of the order, celebrated Mass at the foot of Sir John’s bed. Gathered for the Mass were his wife, three children, a son-in-law, one of his grandsons, and six other members of the order.
Sir John, who was born in Clapham, south London, to Irish-Catholic parents, contracted orthopaedic tuberculosis at the age of 13, which affected his walk and meant he could not serve in the Armed Forces. He was knighted in 2000. Editorial Comment: Page 13
Bishop defends demolition BISHOP Tom Burns of Menevia has rejected complaints about the demolition of a parish church in Aberystwyth.
Parishioners of Our Lady of the Angels and St Winefride’s church have been campaigning to stop the demolition. But Bishop Burns told the Tablet that the cost of repairing the church would leave the parish with a debt of more than £1 million.
Institute marks first birthday THE BLESSED John Henry Newman Institute of Liturgical Music is marking its first birthday with a two-day conference.
Speakers at the conference at the Birmingham Oratory on September 21 and 22 include Mgr Andrew Wadsworth, executive director of ICEL, Mgr Andrew Burnham, organist and conductor Joseph Cullen, and Jeremy de Satgé, founder of The Music Makers.
Order honours nine world leaders THE CONSTANTINIAN ORDER has honoured nine world statesmen, including the presidents of Panama, Dominica and Montenegro and the prince of Tonga, at an investiture ceremony in London.
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Bishop: keep your eyes on Jesus in marathon of life Bishop McMahon tells young Catholics who are setting out to evangelise London during the Olympics to follow light of Christ every day
BY DAVID V BARRETT
“RUN the race of life always with your eyes fixed on Jesus,” Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood told hundreds of young people last week on the first day of the Joshua Camp.
The camp is being held at St Bonaventure’s Catholic high school in east London, a mile away from the London 2012 Olympic Park.
Described as “the biggest mission for Catholics in England this year”, the 12-day Joshua Camp is hosted by the Sion Community, which focuses on evangelisation in the Church.
Bishop McMahon celebrated Mass at the camp, welcoming participants from 21 countries on every inhabited continent.
In his homily the bishop highlighted two Olympic themes: carrying the torch and running the race. He said that “in ancient Greece, the concept of light was revered and was seen in contrast to darkness” with light and the torch becoming “a symbol of faith and hope in a darkened world”. When he had welcomed the Olympic torch past his cathedral in Brentwood, he said, he liked “to think that people also gathered to see and support those who were carrying the light”.
Bishop McMahon challenged the young people at the Joshua Camp: “Do we try each day to follow Christ our light? Are we light bearers to our world, to those around us, by our way of life, by the way that we witness to Christian values?”
Echoing Pope Benedict XVI’s words to young Catholics during his visit to Britain in 2010, when he reminded them of Blessed John Henry Newman’s motto, “heart speaks unto heart”, the bishop said: “I want you to look into your own heart and ask yourself: ‘What kind of person do I want to be?’”
“The ancient Games were nothing to do with medals made up of precious metals or national flags
The 12-day Joshua Camp held next to the Olympic Park was attended by 170 people aged between 18 and 30
Photo: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk and anthems, but rather about “individual strength, skill, training, discipline and commitment”, the bishop said.
He continued: “It is sad when the emphasis today is solely on achievement. The earliest emphasis of the Games was on taking part rather than on achievement and success.” He urged those present to see “life as a race, a marathon, with only one thing necessary for us Christians, and that is not the winning so much as the keeping our eye on Jesus, remembering that our faith is not first and foremost built on teachings or doctrines or rules and regulations but around a person, the person of Jesus.
“The very important question we need to ask ourselves is this: ‘Is the person of Jesus real in my life or just notional?’ In your relationship with the Lord are you a Sunday acquaintance or a weekday friend?
“Run the race of life always with your eyes fixed on Jesus, knowing that this race isn’t for winners but rather for finishers,” the bishop said.
The young people at the Joshua Camp, which is set up under the authority of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, are receiving three days of training and catechesis about how to be a true Christian presence at the Olympic Games. They will then be out in teams to churches and venues across London to serve and evangelise, including inviting local young people to engage in sport, to be a part of music and drama workshops and to be artistic and creative. The Joshua Camp’s website urged young Catholics to “bring a sleeping bag, a Bible and an open heart”.
Daily liturgies, from the Office of Readings to the celebration of the Mass, are presented in a variety of languages.
Fr Simon Penhalagan, president of the Sion Community, said they had around 170 young people, mainly 18 to 30, who were “really enthusiastic to share God’s love with both people coming to London and the people of London as well”. The Olympics focus on the body, “so we’re encouraging people to think about the whole person as well”, he said.
A number of Olympians have said they hope to visit the camp if their timing allows, but one former Olympian has taken part in the Joshua Camp. Sister Catherine of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, then Kirstin Holum, was an American speedskater in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, coming sixth in the gruelling 3,000m race.
The Catholic electro-pop band Ooberfuse, who are based in London, will perform at the Joshua Camp on the evening of the closing day of the Olympics. Their set will include their winning entries to the World Youth Day 2011’s global song contest and tracks from their latest album Seventh Wave.
Ooberfuse singer Cherrie Anderson said: “It’s an exciting opportunity to be part of this initiative which brings together groups from across England and the world creating a joyful Christian presence in the capital. The Olympics alone have been the cause of so much celebration for so many people from all around the world.
“It will be an amazing experience to not only participate in this on the last day of the Olympics but also as Pope Benedict XVI says ‘to speak with courage and humility about Jesus who is the source of Hope in our lives’.”
Breakaway group seeks unity with Rome BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE ENGLISH leader of a breakaway traditionalist group has said that he wishes to be reconciled with the Catholic Church.
Bishop David Bell, 41, is head of the Society of Pope Leo XII, which upholds the pre-Vatican II teachings of the Church, particularly the older form of the Tridentine Mass. The society claims to have 73 bishops and 500 priests, and to be responsible for congregations totalling 8.5 million people.
In the eyes of the Church Bishop Bell’s ordination as a bishop is valid but illicit; he was ordained by bishops with the Apostolic Succession and has passed this on to other bishops he has ordained, but all of this is without the sanction of the Catholic Church.
A report in the Italian newspaper La Stampa last week said that Bishop Bell, who calls himself Archbishop of London, had prepared a “curse” against Bishop Mario Meini of the Diocese of Fiesole, Italy, but he said that this was incorrect.
“I issued a decree of anathema because he said I wasn’t a bishop. Only the Holy See can make such a declaration,” he said.
Bishop Bell met Pope Benedict XVI at a Wednesday audience in June 2011 and kissed his hand. “How did I meet the Holy Father? I asked,” he said, stressing that he applied to meet him as head of the Society of Pope Leo XII.
He said that he accepts the infallibility of the Pope. “We don’t speak out against the Holy See,” he said, emphasising that doctrinally they are close to the Church. “As far as we are concerned there’s very little difference at all,” he said. The one important point is the Tridentine Mass, which Pope Benedict has brought to greater prominence in the Church.
Bishop Bell confirmed that the Society of Pope Leo XII is “in talks” with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “The Holy See has held private talks with illicit bishops for hundreds of years,” he said.
He accepted that if they were to come back into full communion they would have to accept the authority of the Church. “We intend to bend, to work more closely with Rome,” he said. He said that talks had already been held with officials at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
He said that if and when he would accepted back he will be a titular bishop only, without any episcopal power within the Church, and accepts that “my hands will be tied unless or until the Holy See decides otherwise”.
“It is a long journey and will take a long time,” he said.
Bishop David Bell meets Pope Benedict
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Bishop: true logic of equality means legalising incest
BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE BISHOP of Aberdeen has raised a storm of protest after saying the Scottish government should make polygamy and incest legal if it is truly committed to equality.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert, the first Scottish bishop to be appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, told the Scottish Catholic Observer: “You can’t have a meal without food and you don’t have marriage without a man and a woman. This isn’t just social convention. It’s not something any government can change. It’s a fact of life.
“The truth is that a government can pass any legislation it likes, it can legislate to say everything with four legs is a table, even when it’s a dog and not a horse, but that won’t make it so. Why is it all right for a man to marry another man, but not all right for him to marry two women? If we really want equality, why does that equality not extend to nieces who genuinely, truly love their uncles?
“And if you say that such things don’t happen, that they are mere freaks of nature, extreme examples dreamed up for the sake of argument, I say you need to spend more time in the parish.”
He went on: “As Bishop of Aberdeen, I know there are gay people among the community of the Church. I promise I will always respect
Bishop Hugh Gilbert and love them and uphold them in their relationship with the God who loves them. But I won’t marry them. It just can’t be done.”
Equality Network, the progay marriage group, called Bishop Gilbert’s remarks “offensive and uncalled for”.
Tim Hopkins, director of Equality Network, said: “We are very disappointed the Bishop of Aberdeen should choose to compare same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest. That is offensive and uncalled for.
“Let’s have a respectful discussion about the Government’s proposals, rather than complaints about something imagined that forms no part of those proposals,” he said.
The Latin Mass Society www.lms.org.uk 020 7404 7284 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH
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