Photo: David Kennedy
Left to right: Bishop Lang of Clifton, Bishop Doyle of Northampton –both of whom were priests at the cathedral in Portsmouth before they became bishops –Archbishop McDonald of Southwark and Bishop Hollis of Portsmouth
MAY 25, 2007 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Compiled by Anabel Inge
Portsmouth diocese marks 125 years
ARCHBISHOP Kevin McDonald of Southwark preached to a packed St John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth on Monday at a Mass to mark the diocese’s 125th anniversa ry. In his homily he thanked “all those who have been part of the diocese since its inception”, and said: “This is a day of celebration and thanksgiving but also one in which we should be encouraged in committing ourselves to the life and work of the diocese and to its future.” He spoke of challenges and opportunities changes since 1882 have brought to the Church, such as globalisation, secularisation, a strong religious revival and the increased ethnic and cultural diversity of Catholic communities in Britain. “Sometimes we may be dismayed for all sorts of reasons and may wish things were different in the Church,” said the archbishop. “We will certainly have strongly varying ideas of how things should be different. But we must look at the
signs of the times and discuss together where the Holy Spirit is leading us.” Finally, he said: “In hope and trust in God’s promises let us look forward to the next 125 years.” This year marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Portsmouth, of the establishment of St John’s Cathedral and of Portsmouth’s becoming a cathedral city. Archbishop McDonald was joined by Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth, Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton and Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton for the celebration, which drew on all corners of the diocese, with representatives of the many pastoral areas bringing symbols of their areas which were later displayed in the sanctuary. Bishop Hollis said: “It is a privilege and honour for me to represent the Diocese of Portsmouth. Ours is a vibrant community with many achievements both at ground roots level and above.”
Photo: Peter Jennings
Auxilliary Bishop John Arnold and Archbishop Foley
Archbishop John Foley celebrates media Mass
ARCHBISHOPJOHNFOLEY , president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome, was the principal celebrant at a May 17 Mass for professionals working in the media to mark World Communications Day. The Mass, which was organised by the Catholic Communications Network,
was held at the French church of Notre Dame de France in central London. After the Mass, the archbishop gave a talk in which he spoke about the work of the Pontifical Council to an audience that included the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, and Abbot Christopher Jamison of Worth Abbey.
Tributes paid to serviceman killed by Taliban
THESTARK reality of the relentless fight against terrorism by British Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was vividly brought home to the Catholic community of Cannock, Staffordshire, on May 15, writes Peter Jennings . The parish church of St Mary and St Thomas More was packed for the funeral, with full military honours, of a British soldier Guardsman Simon Davison, 22, of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. He was killed on May 3 by small arms fire from Taliban fighters while manning a checkpoint near the town of Garmsir in Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan. Guardsman Davison was born in Newcastle and grew up in Cannock, where he was educated at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic High School. He went to Stafford College and worked as a carpenter before joining the Army in 2005. Less than a year later he was posted to the Grenadier Guards. Fr Patrick Brennan, the
Photo: Peter Jennings
Guardsman Davison’s coffin is carried out of the church after his Funeral Mass
parish priest of St Mary’s, celebrated the Funeral Mass, which was attended by close family and senior representatives from the Battalion, as well as military colleagues and friends. Guardsman Davison’s coffin, covered by a Union Jack, was carried in and out of the church by six young Grenadier guardsmen. Resting on the coffin was his forage cap, headdress of his
number two dress uniform, together with his white belt and a wreath of red and white carnations. Fr Brennan spoke of the “sacrifice and the service” of Guardsman Davison, adding: “I am deeply impressed by the family and fraternity shown by the Grenadier Guards as they bid farewell to one of their own.” The moving and prayerful service included two tributes
by the guardsman’s sister, Caroline, and a school friend. Lieutenant Colonel Carew Hatherley, Guardsman Davison’s Commanding Officer, said: “Guardsman Simon Davison died fighting to protect other Grenadiers and gave his life in doing so. There is a no more selfless act a soldier can perform.” His death took the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 54.
Members of the University of Bath’s CathSoc
Bath CathSoc is named ‘society of the year’
THEUNIVERSITY of Bath’s Catholic Society has won the “Society of the Year” award at the Student Union’s 2007 awards. The award was presented to Tom Osman, co-president, at a ceremony in honour of CathSoc’s varied events programme, which has included a series of lectures from visiting speakers such as Professor Gavin D’Costa, Professor Paul Williams and Dr Severine Deneulin.
These talks, which attracted interest from the wider community, earned the society an additional nomination in the “Most Innovative Society” category. Theresa Pullen, co-president, said: “It shows that enthusiasm for incorporating the Catholic faith into university life is alive and well and demonstrates students can succeed in receiving recognition for creating a thriving faith community.”
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Membership Rates: Individual members £20 p.a.(worldwide); Junior members, students, OAPs £10 p.a. (£20 if possible). Contact the LMS office.
Traditional Catholicism for the 21st Century
Latin Mass Society AGM and High Mass at Westminster Cathedral
Saturday 9 June
11.00 am Annual General Meetingin the Cathedral Hall – members only. Speaker: Revd Fr John Berg, Superior General FSSP 2.00 pm High Mass at the High Altar in the Traditional Latin Rite Celebrant: Fr Antony Conlon, LMS National Chaplain; Sermon: Fr John Berg.The Cathedral choir will sing. All are warmly invited to this Mass.
Corpus Christi Masses in
the Traditional Latin Rite
Thursday 7 June
Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane, London WC2 High Mass at 6.30 pm - St James Church, Spanish Place, London W1 Low Mass at 11.00 am - St Bede’s Church, Thornton Road, Clapham Park, London SW12 Low Masses at 7.00 am and 12.30 pm - St Thomas Aquinas, Ham Common, Surrey Low Mass at 7.30 pm- SS Mary & Ethelburga, Linton Road, Barking, Essex Sung Mass at 12 noon - Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Amersham Road, Chesham Bois, Bucks Low Mass at 7.30 pm - St Joseph & the Holy Child, Brereton Road, Bedford Holy Mass at 12.30 pm- Christ the King, Northumberland Avenue, Whitley, Reading, Berks Low Mass and Procession at 12 noon - The Oratory, Brompton Road, London Low Mass at side altars at
8.00 am- The Oratory, Woodstock Road, Oxford Sung Mass at 12.15 pm- Birmingham Oratory, Hagley Road High Mass at the High Altar at 8.00 pm- Prinknash Abbey, Cranham, Gloucester Low Mass at 8.15 am- Our Lady’s Church, Old Mill Lane, Marnhull, Dorset Low Mass at 12 noon- Killingbeck Cemetery Chapel, York Road, Leeds Holy Mass at 7.00 pm- St Mary, Birch Road, Barnard Castle, Co Durham Sung Mass at 12 noon
St Thomas Apostle, Smithy Lane, Claughton-onBrock, Lancs Holy Mass at 7.30 pm- St Anthony’s Church, Scotland Road, Liverpool Low Mass at 6.30 pm
Professor John Henry was born on March 11, 1939. He died on May 8, 2007, aged 68.
John Henry was one of Britain’s foremost Catholic doctors and a leading toxicologist who diagnosed the poison used on the Ukrainian president Viktor Yuschenko. His devout faith led him to take a vow of celibacy in 1959, when he joined Opus Dei as a celibate numerary member. He attended Mass every day, additionally praying and meditating twice a day. Suffering from kidney failure after he received incorrect treatment for a throat infection, he had to give up his medical career for five years due to ill health but returned following a successful renal transplant in 1976. His experiences of illness filled him with great compassion towards his patients, while his faith gave him courage and optimism as he saw every day as a blessing from God. Prof Henry served as an expert witness in cases involving toxicological issues and drug misuse, and as one of Britain’s leading and best-known toxicologists, made numerous television and radio appearances. His final appearance was on the BBC’s Horizon on the very day that he died. John Anthony Henry, the eldest of five children, was born in Greenwich, south London, and educated St Joseph’s Academy in Blackheath, London. His father was the team doctor for Millwall FC. Mr Henry attended university at King’s College,
Professor John Henry
London, and attained surgeon status in 1964, later becoming a toxicologist. In this profession, he was closely involved with a number of high-profile poisoning cases, which he worked on without demanding a fee. The most recent case was that of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, whose symptoms he correctly deduced as resulting from radioactive polonium poisoning. He was known for the clear and concise quality of his teaching skills, and was admired by both junior doctors and journalists alike, due to his willingness to talk to and advise the press on toxicology-related issues. Demand for his professional opinion, which he lent to organisations including the Home Office and Royal Colleges on issues such as drug misuse, spread worldwide. Over the course of his career he held a number of prestigious positions, including honorary consultant in accident and emergency medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Trust in Paddington, west London, and chief medical editor of the BMA Guide to
Medicines and Drugs . In 1982 Mr Henry was appointed a director of the poisons unit at Guy’s Hospital, and in this role saved many lives, notably those of children who had accidentally ingested household products. He also became visiting professor to the Radcliffe Infirmary at Oxford University, a role that he maintained in his retirement. Prof Henry was one of the most important and innovative thinkers in his field. He changed prescription practice through his introduction of the fatal toxicity index for antidepressants and also pioneered the introduction of alpha1 acid glycoprotein as an antidote for drug toxicity. At Imperial College he researched the behaviour of poisons and drugs in the human body and how they can be counteracted, and broke new ground in the management of poisoning and drug overdoses, which had a positive effect on many patients’ lives as a result. His spiritual side was never more evident than during his time as a director of Netherhall House from 1968 to 1969, a student hall of residence in London, maintaining a positive and inspiring demeanor despite his illness. He will be remembered for both his medical work and his generous soul: although he retired in September 2004 he devoted a great deal of his time to good causes and to helping people. He continued to work as a medical-legal expert in the field of toxicology, and was constantly sought after for advice.
Top organist to play at festival
THERENOWNED German organist Ludger Lohmann ( below ) is coming to Westminster Cathedral, London, on May 30 to perform the second recital in the Grand Organ Festival 2007. His recordings span the whole organ repertoire, from early music to works by contemporary composers. He enjoys a worldwide reputation as a sought-after recitalist and teacher. Mr Lohmann’s programme will include works by Bach, Buxtehude and Reger. The concert starts at 7.30 pm. For tickets contact Katrina Avery, music administrator, on 020 7798 9057.
Celebrating 175 years
AUXILIARY Bishop William KenneyofBirminghamwill concelebrate a Mass at a church in Oxfordshire on Wednesday to mark the 175th anniversary of the first Mass said at the Catholic chapel. Holy Trinity church in Hethe with Adderbury opened its doors for its first Mass on May 22, 1832. This chapel building is now the third-oldest open Catholic Church in Oxfordshire and has a growing congregation. The Mass to mark the anniversary will be at 7.30 pm on May 30.
Buildings are unveiled
BARONESS Estelle Morris, the former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, has opened the £7.6 million new buildings for St Francis Xavier School in Richmond, North Yorkshire. The new buildings at the 450-strong joint Catholic and Church of England secondary school replace the ones built in the 1960s. Before the formal opening ceremony Mgr Gerard Dasey of the Diocese of Middlesbrough and Anglican Bishop John Packer of Ripon and Leeds led a service of thanksgiving.
St Mary Moorfields, The Catholic Church for the City of London
A series of four
Monday evening talks entitled:
‘Society and its problems:
The Catholic perspective’
by Edward Hadas
Edward Hadas is Associate Editor at
Breakingviews.com. His book, Human Goods, Economic Evils; A Moral Look at the Dismal Sciencewill be published by ISI Books in August.
He has also written a coursebook on political and
social philosophy for the Maryvale Institute in
1. Wealth and work:
Economic issues in an industrial age Monday 4th June at 6.30pm
2. The ruling class:
The right way for government Monday 11th June at 6.30pm
3. War and peace:
Idealism, realism and hope Monday 18th June at 6.30pm
4. Modern society:
Light and shadows Monday 25th June at 6.30pm THE CATHOLIC HERALD MAY 25, 2007
Features: Tel: 020 7448 3601 Fax: 020 7256 9728 E-mail: email@example.com
JACQUELINE PASCARL WRITER AND CAMPAIGNER
‘A prince kidnapped my children’
possessed, and tells her story with such clarity and poise that it’s almost as if she were speaking to a public audience. None of her lobbying and campaigning made any difference, though. She did not see her children for the next 14 years. She wrote in her book Since I Was A Princess that it was “as if a giant apple corer had excised an enormous chunk of my soul”. When Pascarl met Prince Bahrin he was studying architecture in Australia and she was working as a ballet dancer (though Pascarl’s Australian accent meant that for a few days I thought she had been working as a belly dancer). Initially Bahrin seemed mildmannered and gallant, but after the marriage he turned into a bully. On their wedding night he beat her and raped her, leaving bruises only where it wouldn’t show in public. “It was all about possession and control,” she says, “and at 17 I thought that I’d done something wrong.” The prince’s uncle was crowned as sultan the next day, and Pascarl was woken up in the early hours of the morning so that her hair could be coiffed and the royal jewellery arranged appropriately. “I was decked out in far too many diamonds for 5am in the morning. I was dressed in red lace and looked like a very small red Christmas tree.” She had only about 45 minutes of royal etiquette instruction –“being told to whom I should curtsey and what my deportment should be” – before the coronation ceremony. Bahrin continued to hit her throughout their years of marriage. He did it as a form of punishment and would beat her if, for instance, she failed to supervise her staff. Pascarl never talked about it to anybody else. But she suggests that at the Islamic royal court it was generally accepted as a part of marital life. She never thought about escaping, “because when one’s self-esteem is eroded so thoroughly, with such precision –I didn’t know if I could make it on my own in any case”. After the birth of their two children Pascarl’s grandmother, who lived in Australia, fell down a flight of stairs and broke her hip. The sultan made sure Pascarl was allowed to return to Australia with her children to visit her grandmother in hospital. Bahrin had already married a second wife –a nightclub singer with a crew cut. At the airport he told Pascarl not to come back. “I wasn’t prepared, I didn’t have anything with me. I was a basket case on the flight.” Over the next seven years Pascarl went about rebuilding her life. She rediscovered her childhood, she says, while raising her children. “We climbed trees, played on the beach, wore corn
Jacqueline Pascarl’s life fell apart when her two children were abducted in 1992. She tells Mark Greaves what she did about it On July 9, 1992, Jacqueline Pascarl’s two children were abducted by their father. He had taken them away for the weekend on what was meant to be a routine access visit, but once they arrived at the hotel he drugged them, separated them and, with three accomplices, had them driven at speed from Melbourne to the northernmost tip of Australia. Here, they were whisked across the Torres Straits in a motor cruiser, and then –with the help of the Indonesian military –flown back to Malaysia. The father was, after all, a prince at the Malaysian royal court, and he had some useful friends. At the time of the abduction Pascarl was a high-profile journalist who read the news on Australian television. But nobody knew that years before, when she was only 17, she had married a prince and, for a while at least, become part of the royal Malaysian household. I meet her at the Groucho Club, where she has fallen victim to food poisoning. This morning’s smoked salmon sandwiches, it seems, are to blame. “I went from reading the news to being the news within 12 hours,” she says. When her children didn’t phone her over the weekend she called the hotel every hour for 24 hours until she talked her way into their hotel suite and discovered that the room had been empty, probably, for most of the weekend. The next day she called all of the major newspapers, thinking that her children were still in the country and that she had a chance of finding them. She woke up her own news director at 11pm and told him what had happened. “He thought I’d been drinking, he thought it was a joke –he didn’t know anything about my former life. So my own network missed the story.” Every day for the next few weeks she held press conferences and photo shoots at her house. She lobbied the government and made phone calls to the prime minister, but, she says, nobody would listen. The government was in the middle of negotiating a deal with Malaysia about a new air force base, and didn’t want anything to scupper its plans. “No one had any moral fortitude,” she tells me. Grief and panic had strange effects on her body. Her hair started falling out and she vomited constantly. “All I could do was attempt to function and get a news grab out there every time there was a fresh angle. I didn’t have the luxury of sobbing all the time: all I wanted to do was crawl into a dirty bathrobe and go to sleep until it was all over.” Pascarl doesn’t seem to be the kind of person who would surrender to grief. She is incredibly self
Jacqueline Pascarl with her two children, Shah and Iddin, before they were abducted by her former husband Prince Bahrin of Malaysia
flake boxes on our heads pretending we were robots,” she recalls. But she also had a successful career as a presenter on television and radio. This agreeable existence was shattered when Bahrin kidnapped the children. The next 14 years, it seems, were shaped by her efforts to overcome her grief –or, at least, to put it to some use. She produced a documentary on children abducted by their fathers; she did humanitarian aid work, and eventually became an ambassador for the global aid organisation CARE International. She also became an expert on parental child abduction and advised the European Union and the American and Australian governments. Pascarl didn’t want to become an ambassador who only “did media and spouted briefing notes”, she explains. She wanted to have first-hand knowledge of the field, “to drive trucks and dig latrines and do trauma and rape counselling”. “I still gave a good cocktail party,” she adds, “and
went with a dress and a pair of heels for formal receptions with presidents and prime ministers.” Pascarl explains that as she travelled around the world she would always seek out the oldest cathedral she could find. Here she would find peace, and, though she would not pray –Pascarl has not been a regular Mass-goer for years –she would light candles as if it were a ritual. Candles in a place of worship, she explains, seemed to offer the hope that her children would some day come home. For whatever reason the candles seemed to represent “that first step towards civilised behaviour”. After she left the cathedral, she would always send a postcard to her children in the hope that “someone really stupid” would deliver the post without it being censored. (Her children never saw any of the postcards.) Pascarl’s favourite church is St Martin’s in the Fields in central London. But she says the most “beautiful and soothing” place she knows is Notre Dame de Saint
Rémy, a Trappist monastery in Rocheforte, Belgium, built almost entirely out of white sandstone. The monks’ Gregorian chant is “spiritually transporting”, particularly in Latin. Sadly, she says, Gregorian chant is “light on the ground” in Australia. More than 10 years after Pascarl’s children were abducted she received an e-mail from her daughter, Shah. Her children had researched about her on the internet and discovered that she wasn’t the “devil incarnate” that their father had made her out to be. Phone calls followed, and then, finally, Prince Bahrin gave permission for them to visit her in Australia. Now they spend a lot of time together as a family, along with Pascarl’s two other children and her current husband. She explains that, since she has missed all the formative years of their lives, she sometimes doesn’t have the basic knowledge she needs to understand their actions. But the “most wonderful” time of her life was watching her four
children around the dinner table and cooking a meal for them. “It’s not about giving your children the new PlayStation or slaving away for the luxurious holiday. The memories that stick with a child are the times when you stop being engrossed in the grown-up world and give time to your children. Stop reading the newspaper and sit on the floor and speak to them. Be stupid occasionally, take a risk. That’s what brought my children home.” She adds: “I’ve had to make a decision, too, of not lamenting the last 14 years. If one spends the next 14 years looking back, and raging, and being bitter and twisted, you’ll fall over your future. You won’t participate in your own life and in all its possibilities of joy and happiness. I don’t intend to lose another minute.”
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AFRICAN DIARY By Fr David McLaurin
Amember of a religious order went to the bank in the middle of Nairobi the other day: nothing unusual about that, you might think. He took out a considerable amount of cash, and then on his way back to his car made a few other calls. The car was parked in the compound of the Holy Family Minor Basilica, the cathedral, which has security men on its gates. When he got into the car, a man in a smart suit tapped on the window, and, when it was lowered, took out a gun and told him to hand over the cash. When he had done so the thief and his accomplice, also in a smart suit and tie, told him to put his head on the steering wheel and keep it there – which he did, until he heard other voices and thought it safe to look up. It is assumed that the thieves had followed him from the bank, where they had seen him make the withdrawal. It was a good thing that the brother in question was not harmed physically – though he might easily have been shot dead had he resisted the thieves. He will only have to deal with the trauma of having a gun pointed in his face by criminals, criminals who have the reputation of being very trigger-happy. The money can be replaced. Besides, it is only money; a life can never be replaced. I have been thinking
about this quite a lot. There are several rules one always follows if one goes out. Never take anything that you would not be prepared to lose. Never carry more money than absolutely necessary. Always carry some money or something valuable that will placate the thieves, such as a watch or a mobile phone, so they do not get annoyed and shoot you; never ever resist – if you do you risk death. Best of all, never make large withdrawals from the bank – though of course sometimes you have to do so; just as sometimes you have to carry your passport with you, a document it would be a nightmare to lose. Some correspondents have wondered if I do not discuss crime too much in this column. As a matter of fact there are many incidents that I have deliberately not mentioned; I have mentioned murders, but not many thefts, and few if any street attacks, and no rapes – but these things take
place, and happen to people I know. Kenya’s crime rate is high, whether as high as South Africa, I am not sure, though I would not trust the statistics. But what is the point of mentioning all this? First of all, people do not want to discuss it, which is hard for me to understand, because a problem denied is not a problem solved. The second point is that words do not solve problems, action does. Of late the police have been patrolling in cars, something I have not noticed before; road checkpoints have increased; several notorious gangsters (or presumed gangsters) have been shot dead by the police. A few people have objected to shoot-to-kill, but most, including the leading daily paper, have welcomed it. I personally do not think this is the right way forward. How can we be sure the right people are shot? Besides, I am against the death penalty, as are almost all the Kenyans I know. My own humble suggestion is to call in the man who turned around New York, Rudy Guiliani, or some smart cop from the Big Apple. I am serious. That is foreign aid that would work.
Fr David McLaurin is a missionary priest in Kenya