Freddy Gray Why Americans want a president who prays PAGE 12
Melanie McDonagh PAGE 9
Let’s make Confession less boring for priests
Girl wakes from coma at moment of baptism
BY ED WEST
A TEENAGER has woken up from a coma following a deathbed baptism.
Child actor Lucy Hussey-Bergonzi, 13, collapsed from a brain haemorrhage in 2008 and was rushed to hospital where she was kept alive by a lifesupport machine for five days. After she was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and endured two operations her parents were told that their comatose daughter would not survive and that it was time to say goodbye.
Her parents decided to have her baptised, but as the priest sprinkled her forehead with water the family were amazed to see their daughter move. Less than 24 hours later she was off the machines and showing signs of recovery.
Her mother Denise Hussey-Bergonzi said: “We were so scared I just wanted to pick her up and run away with her, I really thought I was having a nightmare and any minute I was going to wake up and Lucy would be fine.
“It was the day after her second operation when I turned to my husband Robert and said: ‘We have to get her baptised.’At that point I really thought she was going to die and I wanted to give her the best chance in the next life. Then the moment the priest put holy water on Lucy’s head, her arm suddenly moved up. It could be she was recovering anyway, but the way it happened, even the nurses said it was a miracle.
“When I asked the doctors why she had come back to us they said they can’t explain how it happened and to this day they don’t know how or why she recovered.”
For nearly four months afterwards she battled her way back to health, learning to talk, walk and eat again. Today, aged 16, she still suffers severe headaches and numbness but otherwise “feels fine”.
Lucy said: “The doctors were saying it was a miracle, people who have brain haemorrhages usually don’t survive them. I think it was a miracle. I can’t think of any other explanation.”
Pope offers indulgence to young pilgrims
POPE BENEDICT XVI has approved a special indulgence to encourage prayers for the success of World Youth Day, which began in Madrid on Tuesday.
The new indulgence is available to anyone “with a contrite spirit” who raises a “prayer to God, the Holy Spirit, so that young people are drawn to charity and given the strength to proclaim the Gospel with their life”, a Vatican decree said.
The decree included the offer of a plenary, or full, indulgence to all attending.
August 19 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Diocese heads for showdown with council over bus cuts
BY MARK GREAVES
THE DIOCESE OF SHREWSBURY has accused education chiefs in Manchester of discriminating unfairly against Catholic parents by refusing to fund transport for faith school pupils.
The diocese lodged a formal complaint after it emerged that Trafford Council will pay for transport to grammar schools but not to religious schools. Its decision will leave many Catholic families paying hundreds of pounds extra a year.
The diocese has accused the council of maladministration, saying that it failed to consult properly on its decision. Diocesan solicitors are investigating the option of launching a judicial review.
Alex Scott, the director of schools for the diocese, said some families would be put off sending their children to Catholic schools because of the cost.
He said: “The council has used its discretionary powers to allow an exception for children attending the nearest grammar school that they are eligible to attend, but has not extended this to all denominational schools. We believe this discriminates against those Catholic parents who want to send their children to Catholic schools. There are families who live a long way from the nearest Catholic school who may well decide that they are unable to afford the cost of sending their children there. This is unfair on those families.”
Mr Scott said he was “disappointed” that the decision would receive no more consideration from the Trafford Council’s scrutiny committee. “This would have given an opportunity to look at the problems with the consultation process
This discriminates against parents who want to send their children to Catholic
For the latest news on Catholic education visit CatholicHerald.co.uk and the impact that the withdrawal of transport support will have on families, pupils’ education and on all the schools in the authority,” he said.
Jane Beever, headteacher at Loreto Grammar School in Altrincham, Cheshire, agreed that the decision would discourage some parents from choosing Catholic schools. She said the council had tried to introduce the same measure three years ago but backed down after a campaign by parents, headteachers and the diocese.
“It is unjust – it is frustrating to be faced with it again after only three years,” she said, adding that one councillor called Catholic education a “choice”, as if it was a “lifestyle option”.
A council spokesman confirmed that the authority had received the complaint and that it would be dealt with by Friday.
The council is one of several to cut transport subsidies for faith schools in recent months. County Durham, Surrey, Cumbria and West Sussex councils have all agreed to cut the subsidy entirely except for children on free school meals.
Last week Labour MP Rosie Cooper said a plan by Lancashire County Council to charge £380 a year for transport to faith schools was “an attack on faith education”. She said: “What we are saying is you only get choice if you have the money to pay for it. Parents and families choose a religious education and it’s always been part of the fabric of British society that you are able to choose to send your children to a faith school.”
The subsidies, which are discretionary, were agreed as part of the 1944 Education Act because pupils attending faith schools tend to travel further. Editorial Comment: Page 13
Mission Solidarity Welfare Hospitality
Masses for Seafarers
To mark the feast of Our Lady Star of the Sea,
Stella Maris also World Maritime Day, the Apostleship of the Sea invite you to Mass Wednesday 28th September 2011
at 17:30 Westminster Cathedral Thursday 29th September 2011
at 17:45 St Aloysius 25 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RE
for more info contact John Green: email@example.com or 0207 012 8607 I thank the Lord for the work of the Apostleship of the Sea, which for many years has offered human and spiritual support to those who live this difficult and challenging way of life.
Pope Benedict XVI
English saint’s skeleton is found under block of flats in Bicester BY ED WEST
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have found what they believe to be the remains of a seventh-century saint under a block of flats in Oxfordshire.
The relics of St Edburg, the daughter of a pagan king, were found in a lead container in Bicester, close to where she built a monastery. Edburg, also called Edburga or Eadburh, is the patron saint of the town, and her feast day is June 20.
Site archaeologist Paul
Riccoboni said the bones were uncovered inside a reliquary, made out of a lead sheet, which had been bent over the remains for protection. Also found were 13 skeletons, thought to date from the 14th century, buried under a former block of flats under development.
Mr Riccoboni said they were “probably” the saint’s bones. He said: “It is really exciting.”
Born in 630, the daughter of King Penda of Mercia, Edburg became a nun at Castor in Northamptonshire under her sister St Cuneburga before building a monastery on land given to her by her father, the most powerful of the AngloSaxon kings.
She died in 680 and from 1182 her relics were kept at Bicester Priory until 1500 when Pope Alexander VI ordered them to be sent to Flanders.
Mr Riccoboni, who works for the Oxford-based John Moore Heritage Services, said that only some of the bones were taken across the Channel. Working ahead of a redevelopment project to provide 23 homes, the archaeologists uncovered the entire north transept of the priory church, with the remains found close to the original St Edburg shrine.
Mr Riccoboni said: “It’s a very rare excavation.”
According to the Venerable Bede, in 653 King Penda’s heir Peada converted to Christianity and the people of Mercia were converted soon after.
Charismatic leader: I was warned of riots BY DAVID V BARRETT
A WOMAN allegedly received a prophetic warning of the London riots, according to Kristina Cooper of Catholic Charismatic Revival (CCR).
Mrs Cooper wrote on the website of the CCR that she had received a call “from a woman with a prophetic gifting who told me that she had received what she felt was an urgent warning from the Lord – ‘the seeds of unrest are now beginning to germinate in Britain, pray, pray, pray’”.
In times of crisis, Mrs Cooper wrote, there is often an increase in the number of apocalyptic-type messages. God warns us so that we can be prepared to help others in need. His warning is “not so that we would be saved from events, but to prepare us”, she said.
Jeremy Irons relishes playing Borgia pope BY DAVID V BARRETT
JEREMY IRONS has spoken of his role as Pope Alexander VI in the new Borgias series.
Rodrigo Borgia was “a man with great appetite, a Spaniard with a great love for food, women, power and for l ife”, he said as the programme was aired on Sky Atlantic. “He was a man of excess and l iked to take everything to the nth degree. He had 12 children, for instance.”
He added: “When I played the Jesuit priest in The Mission I had no idea one day I would be pope, no.
“It’s a good career starting out as a Jesuit priest in the middle of the jungle in South America and finishing up as the pope in Rome! It’s a great job if you can get it.”
Mick Clarke My vision for saving England’s youth PAGE 12
Abdal Hakim Murad What Islam can teach us about fasting PAGE 8
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