Archive for 30/04/2010
Further information on the Gregorian Calendar can be found at http://sqpn.com/2009/12/26/catholicunder-the-hood-218-the-gregorian-calendar/
I’ll try to post a copy of the Deanery Mag here if I can.
Further info on the Memo fiasco can be found at http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/
End Music, Humility by Nancy Krebs; she can be found at http://www.nancykrebs.com/
I’d love to hear from you via emai. MP3 or phone, contact me via email@example.com or via phone: (UK): +441865 889757 or (US) 001-2295181177.
Have a great week.
Here’s episode 2. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m still trying to figure where I’m going with it, how to work the levels, how to blether less and generally how to put the structure together, how to breathe…… so if you have any (constructive) advice, I’d love to hear it. Anyway, in this JACD, it’s about Easter and peeping through lecterns, a rant about the ‘abuse crisis’, Snow White and RATS!! Eeeek – literally.
I promised a few websites to try to shed light on the current situation regarding the abuse crisis, or to use as springboards for further information and here they are:
End music is be Boffio ‘Let the Magic In’
Enjoy the weekend!
Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 1865 589 757 (UK: 01865 589 757)
I’ve just spent the last two hours in written sparring with a horde of rabid anti-catholic bigots on Yahoo’s Buzz forum, and I’m really tired and down. The latest spin on the story is an attempt by Hitchins and Dawkins to seek an arrest warrant for the Holy Father on his visit to England later this year on charges of ‘crimes against humanity’ – really.
I was brought up in a middle class world where my parents worked hard for their family and they gave us a comfortable, but not extravagant, upbringing. We were Catholic, went to Catholic schools and attended church, but our faith and the faiths, or lack thereof, were of little or no consequence in how we lived our lives with our friends, neighbours and as citizens. You just got on with life. But this country has changed. It’s been happening for some time now, in little insidious ways which have had the State imposing its own morality on people; telling them what they could and could not think and say in public. 9/11 was the major paradigm shift; from that day religion or faith became seen as a potential threat, and those with religious views became, accordingly, potential threats. The Catholic church, as the largest Christian denomination in the world, with a habit of speaking out with views unpopular with the liberal left, and regularly deliberately misunderstood and misinterpreted, became the biggest focus of dislike. Until recently, I have never experienced sectarianism or anti-catholicism, but now I fear that the long-held principle of religious indifference in the land of my birth seems to be coming to an end, and that change is being embodied by a concerted attack on Pope Benedict XVI.
In forum upon forum there are vitriolic, hate filled, irrational attacks on the Pope, on priests and on ordinary catholics such as me, when all I ask is ‘show me the real evidence’. Bigots who would be first in line to call all people of faith bigoted spout rabid bile, spurred on by the inaccurate news reports they are swallowing daily with open mouths. There is little care or thought for those who have been abused, nor for the facts, which can be easily found by just opening Google and looking; they are like the mob in Paris, but instead of knitting by the guillotine, they spit their hatred through their computer keyboards. ‘Guilty’, they scream, with no thought – period and like the crowd they are being dragged along willingly to the lynching – innocent or guilty – who cares?
I’ve never felt like a stranger in my own country until now; but I have had just a mild taste of what it is to be hated for no reason at all except for who I am. Anti-Catholicism, long bubbling below the surface in this green isle is coming to the surface. The Enemy’s plans are coming to fruition, and there are dangerous times ahead.
I have a Double Friday! I work a 9 day shift cycle – 3 mornings, 3 evenings, 3 off – and occasionally there is a happy time when the 3 off coincides with a normal person’s weekend! This is one such time; which explains why I am in The Silver Plough enjoying a pint of Badger First Gold and looking forward to what, to normal people, would be a long weekend. It also means that on Sunday evening we get to have a family Sunday dinner – with wine for the grown ups – on Sunday evening. I love my family, and there is absolutely nowhere I would rather be than with them – especially on a sunny Spring weekend. I did proffer a plan to break out the barbie, but there was a shudder which went down Nicki’s spine when she realised that her menu plan for a home-made Chinese feast could quickly collapse into a disaster of burnt meat….does she have no faith?
A ‘proper’ weekend also means that I get to take Caitie to Mass on Sunday morning, so she gets to go to children’s liturgy with her friend Gabriella – and thence so do I. Children’s Liturgy is a strange thing and I am really, really glad that I haven’t been asked to help run it. I sometimes feel the barely contained urge to stand up and say ‘can we PLEASE do a little more about God here?’, but I realise that the imperative to crayon a picture of a strangely Anglo-Saxon Jesus and then run around like a dervish is probably too strong to stop, and at least it is holding the attention – in some way primeval way – of the children which the adult Liturgy of The Word wouldn’t. I get the feeling that Caitie would still rather come up to the lectern with me, as she does when I’m reading, and peep through the gap at the congregation than be with the other children, but the lure of Gabriella, the older sister which she doesn’t have, is getting stronger.
The time will come, soon, when Caitie will go to children’s liturgy without dad. The time will come, too soon, when dad will be such an embarrassment! I know that, and I dread it. Sometimes I yearn for that Mass time when I could pray and spend some time with God as opposed to half-concentrating on Caitie… but I know that soon enough the time will come when that will that will once again be the norm, and there is so much time for that. So now I remind myself how lucky I am to have that beautiful little girl with me in that quaint Pugin church and cherish it.
Next – WATS!
I went to Gatwick Airport today for an OJTI (On-the-job training instructor) refresher day. I am, for those that don’t know, an air traffic controller working for NATS, and OJTIs are the people who train either ab-initio trainee controllers straight from the ATC college or experienced controllers who have come in from other units to a standard where they can pass practical examinations to be allowed to control solo. Every three years, OJTIs must go through a refresher to ensure that their techniques are up to date. I’m an ex military controller, OJTI, instuctor and examiner, and although I have my civil ATC OJTI qualification, I’ve never really used it. So, not having done any instructing for a good 12 years, it was a really interestiing day – as opposed to the tedious box-ticking exercise that these days can often become – and I really enjoyed it. The thing that I find most interesting is the different ways we all learn and react to instruction and to pressure, and how you can so easily break someone by not understanding how they tick. We human beings can be so robust and yet so fragile!
But even better than that was coming home this evening. Caitie was in the bath and as soon as I got in, she launched into telling me about everything she had done with her mum today – including being bought a pink foam sparkly ’3′! Then it was bedtime, and daddy daughter storytime – but more about that tomorrow…..
Planning to do the next JACD Podcast next Wednesday – think I need to make some changes; I’m glad I went and did Ep1, but I want it to develop. Thought and beer required!!
‘There are not over a hundred people in the US that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing’ Archbishop Fulton Sheen (with thanks to Carolyn E. Davis)
It’s not pleasant being a Catholic right now. There seems to be no perspective, no sense of reality in the Press’ unrelenting attacks on the Catholic church and, therefore, on me. What is hard to understand is the way the Press, whether TV, radio or print seems either unwilling or unprepared to use the journalistic skills with which it prides itself and actually discover and tell the truth. There can be no denying that terrible things have been done to minors by a relative few, and that compared to society, that proportion is not very high; but the Church does not deal in relativism, and every priest or religious who abused and every bishop who covered up cannot hide behind statistics as the secular world does: The fact is that the Church corporately over time has failed in many ways, but there is more to this present furore, and the press’ inability to think logically, than the cases presented to us now.
What is ignored, blatantly, by the press and much of the public, is that the overwhelming majority of these cases date from decades ago. That’s not to say that abuse does not happen now, human nature is a wily thing, and those who prey on the vulnerable are even more so, but the Catholic church’s child protection policies and procedures are some of the most robust in the world. Scratch the surface, and you can see that those pushing this agenda, and I do not mean the victims themselves, are engaged in repetitive distortion and mis-selling of the facts and are committing their own kind of exploitation and abuse of the vulnerable.
What is also ignored is that Pope Benedict is, actually, one of the good guys – it was he who as Cardinal Ratzinger started the reform of the way the church dealt with allegations of child abuse. But the secular world does not want to see this, it wants to see the Catholic church brought down – a peg or two if not completely. It sees the Pope as an enemy of the secularised western way and always has done. Time after time, at Regensburg, over condoms in Africa, over SSPX, and now the press has twisted and rewritten facts until they bear little relation to the reality. To them, he is the enemy.
One only has to read the comments on many of the news blogs to see the seething, pathological hatred which exists for the church and its leaders; diatribes which in many other circumstances and with other faiths would have Mr Plod arriving on the doorsteps of the writer, go unchallenged and are accepted as fair comment. They are not, They are, in many cases, warped, hate filled bile. Sadly too, there are those in the church who have axes to grind with the present Holy Father who have also been using the current situation to their own advantage; the liberal agenda which has warped and diluted the Faith of Our Fathers for so long has been halted in its unrelenting thirst for watery compromise and it is not happy. There is nothing as illiberal as a liberal; their time for revenge is here, and they are going to use it.
So where do I stand? I stand with a church that has itself stood for two millenia against the tempests of time. It has seen nations come and go, it has seen empires rise and fall, it has gathered and lost great temporal power and wealth and it has reformed itself time and again when it has felt itself edge too far into the word of man and away from the Glory of God. It has at times been used by wicked men in the furtherance of their own agendas and it has been responsible for uncountable acts of self-sacrifice and love. It is God’s Church, the Bride of Christ and though many wish to see her destroyed, it will not happen.
So I stand humble, but proud to be a Catholic. I will pray for those who have suffered and I will weather the storm. As will the Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against her.
Faith of Our Fathers, we will love both friend and foe in all our strife, and preach thee too, as love knows how, by kindly word and virtuous life.