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JULY 13 2012 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Archbishop urges pro-life movement to work together
BY DAVID V BARRETT
ALL THOSE who are pro-life should “pause for thought”, then work together as individuals and organisations “in partnership with each other”.
That was the message of Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster at a memorial Mass at Westminster Cathedral last week for Phyllis Bowman, who died early in May aged 85. Archbishop Nichols praised her “years of generous service”, saying she was an “unfailing witness” to the dignity of human life.
“As I speak of the feisty and challenging qualities of someone who followed the Lord of Life, I am sure that you like me will smile and remember with warm affection the life of Phyllis Bowman,” he said.
Phyllis Bowman came from a Sephardic Jewish family. A journalist on the London Evening Standard in the 1960s, she was initially in favour of the legalisation of abortion, but came to change her views. Her later pro-life beliefs led her to embrace Catholicism.
She was a founding member of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) in 1967, acting first as press secretary and then as national director. She left SPUC amid its internal divisions in 1999 and set up the political lobbying group Right to Life.
In his homily the archbishop hinted strongly at the need for the pro-life movement to overcome its disagreements and work together. He quoted Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical: “As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organised if it is to be an ordered service to the community.”
But for good organisation, the archbishop said, there also needs to be a shared vision and a unity of purpose. He said: “The love for human life and the commitment to the defence of life’s dignity and value is one which is shared by many people of all faiths and none, and not Catholics alone. That love too needs to be organised well by all those who share this profound moral conviction. It needs to be organised in its practical expression to promote and defend life’s dignity and value. It needs to be organised to provide practical care and support. It needs to be organised in order to be a powerful advocate, to give a voice to the voiceless in the political and social spheres. It needs to be organised to communicate a message which challenges the injustice and the violence done to the unborn but also promotes the beauty and sanctity of life in order to change minds and hearts. It needs to be organised to defend those who are most worthy of our protection: the unborn, the elderly, those who are disabled, ill or dying. Moreover, a shared vision and unity of purpose must be embraced to enable it to be organised effectively.”
The Catholic Church and all who are committed to the promotion of the dignity and value of human life face ever new challenges, he said,
Archbishop Vincent Nichols praised Phyllis Bowman as an ‘apostle of life’
citing “yet another proposal” in favour of legalising assisted suicide.
“This demonstrates the need therefore for all who are pro-life to work together as closely as they can in facing those challenges,” he said.
Archbishop Nichols said the death of Phyllis Bowman, followed a few weeks later by that of her colleague, former MP Ken Hargreaves, chairman of Right to Life, “does not mark the end of their witness to the love for life but an entry into a new phase.
“It is perhaps an opportunity for the pro-life movement in this country to pause for thought at this time; pause to consider how best that love for life should be organised as individuals, as organisations and in partnership with one another.”
He added: “Phyllis Bowman was without doubt a true champion and, in the mould and spirit of St Thomas, an energetic and resolute ‘apostle’ of the precious gift of human life.”
He finished with another appeal to the pro-life movement to work together in a common cause. “We pray too, that the Lord will give us here today the courage and determination to work together and organise our love in the interests of promoting the dignity and sanctity of human life as an ordered service to our society.” Catholic Life: Page 10 Editorial Comment: Page 13
Nicola Benedetti says children need strong parenting if they are to avoid feeling aimless PA photo
Young violinist: children do not realise value of hard work BY DAVID V BARRETT
A YOUNG violinist and supporter of the Catholic homelessness charity the Passage has spoken out for the need for culture, strong parenting and hard work in young people’s lives.
Nicola Benedetti, 25, trained at the Yehudi Menuhin School, won the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2004 and the Classical BRIT Award for Young British Classic Performer in 2008, and has since performed at the Proms and recorded several albums.
She told the Radio Times that many young people are aimless and do not understand the value of hard work.
“Now, more than ever, we need a cultural identity for youth in this country,” she said. “If children don’t have very strong parenting and don’t have an activity to replace the aimlessness that can go on after school hours, they end up accepting what’s shoved in their face, which is celebrity culture and this obsessive chasing to become famous.
“But famous for what? None of it is promoting anything of true substance or quality. It’s not promoting the message that we’re better people if we work hard at something.”
Miss Benedetti, the daughter of an Italian father and a Scottish mother, began violin lessons at the age of five and practises for five hours a day.
“I just don’t get why anyone would think of effort as a negative thing,” she said.
Miss Benedetti said she was “furious” at the quality of music education, and feared that cuts in spending could have a “catastrophic” impact on Britain’s future. The more exposure that classical music gets, she said, the “better it is for humanity”.
Miss Benedetti is one of the youngest recipients of an honorary doctorate – at the age of 20 – from Glasgow Caledonian University.
In 2004 she played at the Night Under the Stars concert, compered by actor Sir Roger Moore, in aid of the Passage.
She will be performing three times at this year’s BBC Proms, including on the Last Night.
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Westminster gains three new priests
BY DAVID V BARRETT
THREE priests were ordained by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster last Saturday.
Kim Addison, 37, who grew up in Zimbabwe, and Lorenzo Andreini, 35, and Ivano Millico, 39, both from Italy, were trained at Allen Hall seminary in the Diocese of Westminster.
In his homily Archbishop Nichols quoted the French theologian Yves Congar’s description of ordination as “an act of the risen Christ, mediated through the existing office of the Church which itself is in historic continuity with the apostolic beginnings of the early Church”.
He spoke of Cardinal William Allen and St John Southworth in the reign of
The men are ordained on Saturday ChrisJepson.com
Queen Elizabeth I. Forced to leave England, Cardinal Allen founded the missionary college in Douai in 1568 and the Venerable English
College in Rome the following decade. St John Southworth, who studied at Douai, was offered the opportunity to save himself by denying his priesthood. “He could not do so. He could not deny that deep truth of his identity, his priesthood. He was a priest, pure and simple. Let it be so for us too,” said Archbishop Nichols.
The new Fr Addison spoke of his calling. “There was no road to Emmaus moment, but there was something missing in my life,” he said. “It was while I was praying for guidance from God that the idea of priesthood surfaced.”
He said he simply wanted to serve God and his people and that he had “no idea where that journey will lead me”. He said: “I only desire to remain faithful to this ministry and I leave the rest of this journey to God who has been ever faithful and ever will be!”
Parents protest at graphic sex education
BY ED WEST
MORE THAN 9,000 people in east London have signed a petition in protest at an explicit sex education video for schools, as Catholics joined forces with Muslim parents.
The parents called on Tower Hamlets Council and the Healthy Lives Team to cease funding the Christopher Winter Project, a sex education programme which employs graphic images for children as young as seven.
Antonia Tully of SPUC Safe at School has been supporting the parents’ campaign,
alongside Yusuf Patel of SREIslamic, a group for parents concerned about sex education in schools.
SPUC said it had learned that two Catholic primary schools in the borough were among those using the resource, and that parents had not been consulted.
Mrs Tully said the sex and relationships education for primary schools was “extremely sexually explicit. It shows how to perform sexual intercourse, explore sexual organs, masturbation and with a voiceover describing this to seven-year-olds. That’s why parents don’t like it,” she said. “It’s teaching children where organs are and encouraging them to explore them, describing and teaching what’s involved with sex, and making sex an everyday topic, breaking down any natural sexual reservations.”
Mrs Tully described the campaign as being “vigorous”, with organised protests in Eastbourne, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and London. In Tower Hamlets the local council spent more than £2,200 on the DVDs, which were offered free of charge to schools, where usually sex education is at the discretion of the schools. The NHS paid £78,000 to Tower Hamlets to train teachers to deliver the Christopher Winter Project.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Westminster said: “Permission has never been granted for the Christopher Winter Project to enter into Catholic schools in the diocese. The diocesan education service will be contacting the relevant schools about the issue to ensure all sex education is carried out in accordance with diocesan guidelines.”
NEWSBULLETIN Organisers of cancelled conference sue Eric Pickles CHRISTIAN groups are suing the Government after a conference defending traditional marriage was cancelled at the last minute because it was deemed “inappropriate” by the Government-owned venue.
editor, and Phillip Blond, director of the think tank ResPublica. It was to be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London before the last-minute cancellation.
Speakers at the conference, organised by Christian Concern and the World Congress of Families, included Cristina Odone, former Herald
Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, is facing claims for £25,000 for breach of contract and religious discrimination, according to the Mail.
SPUC condemns London summit THE SOCIETY for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has criticised a major contraception summit in London that was due to take place on Wednesday.
At the summit, hosted by the British Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among others, it is expected that about £2.6 billion will be pledged to provide contraception to women from the world’s poorest countries. Mrs Gates, wife of the computer industry billionaire Bill Gates, has said her campaign for contraceptive services for the poor worldwide has nothing to do with abortion.
But on Tuesday Anthony Ozimic, SPUC’s communications manager, said: “Melinda Gates is trying disingenuously to disconnect contraception from abortion, which is impossible, as the role of contraceptive provision as a precursor to abortion is a fact admitted by the very same organisations Mrs Gates will be meeting with this week.”
New church in Norfolk opens A NEW church dedicated to St Henry Morse was opened in Diss, Norfolk, last month.
The former parish of the Most Holy Trinity needed more space. The new church will seat up to 270 and includes a flat for the parish priest. It is the second of three churches in the deanery of Bury St Edmunds to open this year and next. St Henry Morse, a martyr, was born near Diss in 1595.
Cathedral hosts Olympic torch CATHOLICS at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth, celebrated the visit of the Olympic torch on Sunday with an “Olympic-style” service.
Canon David Hopgood, cathedral dean, said: “Excellence, respect and friendship are at the heart not only of the Olympic ideal but also at the heart of the Christian message.” Representatives of all Catholic schools in the area were invited to attend.
More schools become academies TWENTY more Catholic schools acquired academy status on July 1, the Catholic Education Service announced this week.
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