Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who next on stamps? Oswald Mosley? Harold Shipman?

They're putting Marie Stopes on commemorative stamps. The story is HERE

I can add nothing to the eloquent letter by Mrs Farmer of Essex

Marie Stopes and the eugenic use of birth control

Sir – I was astonished to learn (report, August 23) that the Royal Mail is including a stamp commemorating Marie Stopes in its series to mark women’s achievements.

Stopes was a notorious eugenicist and an anti-Semite who advocated the sterilisation of poor women to promote the welfare of “the Race”.

Indeed her birth-control organisation was called the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress, and her clinics were established in poor areas of London to control the numbers of the poor.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

There'll be no more **** in this parish

A conversation the other night with The Curate.

C: I gave the folk choir a copy of Cardinal Arinze's letter on the sacred tetragrammaton last week.

Me: Really? I bet that went down well. What did they say?

C: [adopts adolescent Weegie accent] "Whassat? Have they naethin' better tae dae in Rome?"

Me: What did you say?

C: I told them making sure we worship God the right way is about as good a job as it gets.

Me: So what next?

C: Well, there'll be no more **** in this parish

Those of you who are parents will recognise what's at play with the use of YHWH in a certain type of hymn over the last few decades. When your kids reach a certain age (6ish?) and know your christian name, its use is usually a prelude to an act of mischief and/or disobedience. That would certainly seem to be the case in the liturgy in the works of Haagen Daas (or whoever)

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Old Time Religion

I found a Woody Guthrie version of Old Time Religion recently (sadly no You Tube video of it). I'm sure the old godless commie Guthrie was being ironic. I liked this version by Mahalia Jackson.

Negro spirituals (is one allowed to call them that these days?) are popular with parish liturgists. I've winced a few times at Were You There When They Crucified My Lord? on Good Friday. Most Catholic communities do not have a Paul Robeson to carry such a hymn and the attempts by congregations are usually warbled in too high a key. Still, I'm sure the professional laity prefer it to When I Survey The Wondrous Cross or Crux Fidelis (What? Latin?) or Oh Sacred Head (Bach is, like, sooooooo elitist, non?)

Funny how the Tabletistas are not so keen on Old Time Religion. There's a Catholic version in the video below but it lacks something. I've thought of some new verses of my own. How about

If it's good for Joe Rat-zin-ger
If it's good for Joe Rat-zin-ger
If it's good for Joe Rat-zin-ger
Then it's good enough for me

Feel free to make up your own in the comments box

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Help required

Martin Kelly is prolific blogger with an intelligent and thought-provoking take on politics, history and much besides. I first came across him through the good offices of my cyber-friends at Laodicea. He is a Catholic and is unashamed to declare himself for Christ. He also has Tourette's Syndrome and would be interested to be in contact with other Catholics also carrying this cross. Can you help?

His email address is:


Friday, August 15, 2008

Too late, too late...

I am saddened by the fact that I never got to see the website of The Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas in its pomp. The good news is that it has been archived on a, err, web-archive-thingy... and you can find it HERE

Here's a taste:

Here I Am, Lord, Where Are You, Lord?

See the Blessed Sacrament
where the tabernacle went
in that little alcove there off to the side.
When folks come into the nave,
they don't know how to behave:
should they genuflect or not?
They can't decide.

Here I am, Lord. Where are You, Lord?
Are You in that niche way over there?
Once You were, Lord, front and center.
Now I cannot see You anywhere.

They have some magnificent parodies of the works Messrs Haugen, Haas et al in a Rocky Horror-stylee. Actually my favourite parody of that stuff was on a post on Holy Smoke a long time back:

Here I am Lord!
Is it spam, Lord?
Would you like, a lovely cup of tea.....?


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

'Fr Martin' is a bully and a coward

I am not given to calling priests names. I have immense respect for all the priests I know and pray for them daily. My mother and father taught me to respect priests, even when I might disagree with them on a particular point. I do not, unless I know a priest well as a friend, refer to them by their first names, but will always call them 'Father'. They are anointed by God to the task they have which is one of unimaginable heroic charity and sanctity.

My parents also taught me to stand up to bullies which I have done since I was a schoolboy and have had to do professionally when bullied as a middle grade doctor. Justice and the respect I owe to my parents' memory will not allow me to stand idly by and watch others bullied.

The chaps at Orthfully Catholic posted a fairly innocuous piece about how priests might be faithful to God's word in preaching the Faith fearlessly. 'Fr Martin' who appears to be a lone attack-dog for the 'Magic Circle' of Sandalista bishops (even if he is acting on his own impetus) waded in with this heavy-handed piece of cyber-thuggery:

Until you are ordained then please do not assume to offer advice to priests.

The advice I will offer you is if you wish to be ordained then I suggest that you refrain from such patronising comments. You are lucky that I do not know which Seminary that you attend, as if I did I would be expressing my concerns to your Rector.

[Emphasis mine]

He's a busy chap is 'Fr Martin'. Rather than spending his hours in prayer, or preaching at the crossroads, or bringing the sacraments to the sick and housebound, 'Fr Martin' is at his PC heaping calumny on his brother priests over at Holy Smoke. He may or may not be the same 'Fr Martin' who disapproves of priests attending LMS conferences and expressing his disapproval in the comment boxes, though he retreats from adverse comments like a rat up a drainpipe.

'Fr Martin' is a coward, a bully and pompous demagogue. In the light of the documents of the Second Vatican Council it is my unpleasant duty as a concerned member of the lay faithful to tell him that his behaviour is scandalous.

Pray for him.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Dawkins a 'secularist bigot'

Interesting spat between Professor Antony Flew and Professor Richard Dawkins. Flew, once known as "the world's most notorious atheist" before he became convinced of the existence of a "divine intelligence" in 2004 is reported as writing in a review:

"The fault of Dawkins as an academic was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form"

"An academic attacking some ideological position which he believes to be mistaken must of course attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot."

"The whole enterprise of
The God Delusion was not, as it at least pretended to be, an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt - an extremely successful one - to spread the author's own convictions in this area."

What is interesting is the utter nastiness of Dawkins' ad hominem response, which can be found in the report HERE.

So there you are, Dawkins a 'secularist bigot' and a nasty piece of work to boot.

Meanwhile in other news:
-Analysts note Pope Benedict has "Catholic tendencies"
-Forestry Commission reports on ursine lavatorial habits

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Chant rules - OK?

Interesting article in The Telegraph about the new-found fame of the Cistercian monks of Heiligenkreuz near Vienna. Their CD of Gregorian Chant has hit the classical top ten.

"What we are doing is not an artistic performance but continuous prayer," said Johannes Paul. "That is one reason people love the music so much - art and the sacred have become separated in the modern world."


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Friday, August 08, 2008

Are you sitting comfortably?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

...and now a word from our sponsor

I've been asked to pass on a new traditionalist blog from Ireland, St Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association. I am happy to do so. Any more? Let me know in the comments box.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Amnesty has lost the plot

As a young man I thought great things of Amnesty's work. It seemed to me that supporting prisoners of conscience (and I had an obvious affinity for Christians in prison in the USSR, China and Muslim states) was a manifestation of the Lord's injunction: "I was a prisoner and you visited me"

Amnesty has lost it. It's latest wheeze is to be involved in Gay Pride's rammy in Belfast. What, pray, has this to do with prisoners of conscience? Gays have pretty much all the rights of 'straight' folk under the Crown. This, of course, on the back of Amnesty now being advocates of killing the unborn. I have no problem with gays walking the Queen's highway (if you'll excuse the pun) but when did this become Amnesty's fight?

I am thinking of starting a parallel blog to this called 'Ad Vincula' (is the Latin right?) to attract Catholics and others to support prisoners of conscience in the way Amnesty used to. Anyone think it a good idea?

Finally, I suppose Gay Pride in Belfast is just part of the local tradition. Anti-Catholic bigots walking the streets to parade their new-found ascendancy. They're really not that much different from this lot, though probably slightly less camp.

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