Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In again

Please pray for my youngest son who is in hospital to have some more unpleasant tests over the next couple of days.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Echoes of Eternity

Peter Hitchens is an obstinate pursuer of what he holds to be true and doggedly points out cant and idiocy where he sees it. He can be a bit bonkers at times, but he also has the irritating habit of being right occasionally. He turns his attention this week to the dumbing down of the Anglican liturgy in favour of popularising weddings in the hope of getting folk to attend church (Enter a church and you should hear echoes of eternity - not the Sugababes). What he says might just be as true of the liturgy in many Catholic parishes in the UK (though the shopping mall may have better architecture in our case):

The whole point of churches is to disturb our day-to-day lives with the haunting rhythms and poetry of eternity. If we go into them and find that they are just like the nearest shopping mall, only with nicer architecture, then we will turn away disappointed. I don’t know if anything could have saved Christianity in England from becoming a despised minority religion. But I am quite sure that these pathetic attempts to appease the spirit of the modern age have made things much, much worse. Even 50 years ago, the Christian religion still had the attention and loyalty of many serious people. Now, even those of us who still stick to it find it hard to defend our supposed leaders.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dominus Pastor Meus

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Prudence of Cardinal Hume

This is not a post destined to make me a lot of friends.

I am sure that like many of you, I find myself like a bystander at a car crash watching the Jimmy Savile-BBC-[Insert name of public body] affair unravel.

In the noise and thunder, I could not help thinking about the role of Cardinal Hume. From what I have read of him, his personal integrity and holiness, as far as one can judge these things as a mortal human being, are unquestioned. A couple of thoughts keep creeping up on me about the late Cardinal Hume with regard to the affair, which perhaps I should keep to myself, but I don't think I can.

As I alluded in a previous post, Savile's sexual reputation in Leeds was not one of a man of restraint and he made no secret of the fact that he was a sexual libertine (I can't find the link but there were reports in the papers of him having had "hundreds" of casual sexual liaisons, he gleefully shows condoms in his luggage on the Louis Theroux programme aired on the BBC). These were hardly state secrets.

Yet it appears that Cardinal Hume felt him a fit enough person to personally meet the Holy Father during the 1982 Papal Visit. Cardinal Hume also thought the rather bizarre Savile a suitable prospective member of The Athenaeum. The world of gentlemens' clubs is something of a mystery to me (though I have been a member of three working mens clubs in my time), and I have no idea why a Benedictine monk would want to join one, though I have no objection to them doing so, but quite why one would want a cigar-chomping, tracksuited, bling-clad disc-spinner as a fellow member is beyond me. His attire would have had him slung out of the lounge in any of the working mens' clubs I belonged to.

It was also on Hume's watch that 'Sir' Jimmy was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great.  I have known some KSG's and one KCSG over the years. They were uniformly men of propriety and piety. Heaven knows what they think of the current goings on.

So I have to say this casts some doubt, to my mind, on the wisdom and prudence of the late Cardinal, or at least his judgement of character. I am glad he is not alive to be embarrassed, but it does perhaps explain a spectacular decline all manner of aspects of Catholic life in E+W over the last quarter of the 20th Century.

Discuss. But play nice.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Impartial BBC <\irony>

I saw two news items on the BBC at the weekend about the suggestion by a couple of government ministers that they might consider voting for a reduction in the time limit for abortion.

In each item the BBC interviewed a pro-abortion activist who attacked the proposal with varying degrees of hysteria with the general conclusion that such a reduction would be A Very Bad Thing for Vulnerable Women.

No opinion was sought from pro-life campaigners.

Most odd.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Nonces #2

A married, 30 year old teacher should know better than to run  off with a fifteen-year-old girl in his charge. It's my experience that by their late twenties most men are able to limit their libido with the knowledge that their actions might have consequences (this is not universally true, obviously).

Far be it from me to prejudge matters but I think we can all see how the script will go. The man's life is ruined: his jilted wife will ditch him; he'll probably face jail time; he will be on the sex offenders register and will be unable to do any work involving children (including volunteering) at any stage in the future.

His Facebook page given above is revealing: 'How do we, and how should we, define what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable?' Well, traditional morality, the Ten Commandments, the established norms of a society and not running off with teenagers might be a good start.

Funny how the Dictatorship of Relativism has tricked the man into thinking his moral choices are somehow OK and that he's a 'good person' underneath it all and yet now the same society which paints these ways of defining morality perfectly OK will take him and try him and pillory him as a nonce.

He will have plenty of time to consider the fact that 'look[ing] yourself in the mirror and know[ing] that, under all the front, that you are a good person' is not really a solid way to organise your moral life.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Nonces #1

[Apologies for the post title, but I find it difficult to have anything but contempt for child molesters and their apologists]

Coming from Leeds I could have told you this was coming a long time ago. Jimmy Saville had something of a reputation from the 50s and 60s when he ran dancehalls. Hearsay is not proof but it is a fool who is not cautious in the face of reported wrong-doing and my father was stern in his warnings to my sisters in their youth. That he was odd is generally accepted - the Louis Theroux documentary which is jaw-droppingly brilliant/awful to watch demonstarted this pretty conclusively. I have known some pretty odd people in my time but they have been universally harmless. To be odd is not to be bad or evil.

The repeated testimony of numbers of women of serious allegations of sexual assault and rape seem compelling. They are corroborated by the comments of Wilfred D'eath, Esther Rantzen These were senior, high-profile employees of the BBC. There were repeated rumours of serious sexual assault which were seemingly laughed off ("He likes 'em young"). This is the same organisation which was, rightly, relentless in its questioning of the Catholic hierarchy over its inept handling of the scandal.

  • Who knew at the BBC that Jimmy Saville was molesting children?
  • What did they do to invetigate the rumours which have been acknowledged to be current and persistent at the time?
  • Why did Wilfred De'Ath, Paul Gambaccini Esther Rantzen not report their concenrn, as BBC employees to their managers?
  • Why was a man, presistently rumoured to be a pervert allowed to have children around him, unsupervised, on BBC property?
  • Why did the BBC suppress a Newsnight report on the alleged abuse?

Will these questions be answered? Or even asked?

Will Richard Dawkins and Peter Tatchell be likely to be pitching up outside Broadcasting House or Television Centre? What do you think?