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Crisis for Priesthood Deepens

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Brothers and sisters, let me introduce....Your episcopate!!

As I might have mentioned a couple of times before (herehere, here, here, here, and here for example) we have a problem with vocations that is being completely and wilfully ignored. It is being ignored simply because it directly clashes with the narrative & ideology being pushed by the majority of bishops and some clergy. It is certainly a key note in my own diocesan assessment as I pointed out here. The norm is to substitute their own narrative & ideology: a new religion of self-styled acceptance, love and liberal social equality that labels anyone taking Catholicism seriously, anyone who dares to "take a stand" as enforcing otherness and prejudice. This is a fundamental failure to understand the Gospel message; a lack of understanding which causes them not to seek better understanding, but instead to warp and substitute their own agenda for the Word of God.

The progressives recognise what is going on bu…

Mass Exodus - Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain & America since Vatican II

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I had a great night last night, I travelled up to Westminster Cathedral in London to attend the launch of Professor Stephen Bullivant's new book, Mass Exodus - Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain & America since Vatican II. I think this is a really important work which should be studied by everyone with a responsibility for evangelisation and the direction of the Catholic Church over the last going on 60 years. This is  scholarly work which looks at the facts and figures behind the decline in Catholicism since Vatican II and asks: is this all the fault of Vatican II and its runaway reforms, or are wider social, cultural, and moral forces primarily to blame? Catholicism is not the only Christian group to have suffered serious declines since the 1960's. If anything Catholics exhibit higher church attendance and better retention than most Protestant churches do. If Vatican II is not the cause of Catholicism's crisis, might it instead be the secret to its comparative succes…

The Worrying Rise of Secular Intolerance

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Over the weekend I read this article on the rise of secularism. It looks at the way that society in Britain is developing towards a secular majority which promotes a kind of equality & tolerance which accepts no dissenters -- I have to say that fear of this continues to grip my heart in a growing way. I find daily that even switching on breakfast TV or listening to Radio 4 projects a diet of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-transgender ideology directly into my home in a way that really is most disturbing. It is disturbing because it is radical, becoming normalised and is constantly promoted despite the fact that no one understands what potential consequence such radical changes in family norms will have on society.

This new "tolerance" comes with a disturbing sub-text. Dr Sharon James, a social policy analyst at the Christian Institute (CI) says that “intolerant secularism” among a small but “hard core” group is gaining traction in the UK, with one of the main battle …

Bishop's Silent on Pro-Life - Is it an Order From the Top?

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In case you haven't heard yet Alabama has become the latest US state to move to restrict abortions by passing a bill to outlaw the procedure in almost all cases. The law includes a ban on abortion in cases of rape or incest. The mainstream media are reporting this in anything but an objective way and I for one never cease to be amazed at the way that questioning abortion's morality seems to be verboten in modern society.

I have felt growingly uneasy that there's been no comment from the Church on this either.
Have you heard one US cardinal or bishop come out in support of Alabama protecting babies from abortion murder?

In Tennessee, Catholic bishops opposed a “heartbeat bill”

Have you heard Francis offer words of support and encouragement? — Nick Donnelly (@ProtecttheFaith) May 16, 2019This despite the reality that this is a shibboleth issue for our culture and times. The centrality of this argument was made clear recently by Bishop Robert Barron in this interview with B…

March4LifeUK 2019

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On Saturday I took part in Life Fest 2019 at Church House & the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster from 9.30am. The event culminated in the March for Life which started outside Church House at 14.30 and marched to Parliament Square.

It is hard to put into words what a positive, happy, worthwhile day this is each year. I can't help think that, in the UK, it must be the largest Catholic public act of witness each year, with numbers estimated at over 5,000.

For me it feels like everyone is there. You spend the day catching up with friends and excitedly hugging people you haven't seen for a year or so. There is always someone new to say hello to, this year I got to meet Laurence England for the first time face-to-face:
This is me with Mark Lambert, Catholic blogger, as you can see from my face I am not very good at taking selfies. pic.twitter.com/wvxZRA4qyd — Laurence England (@TheCrushedBones) May 11, 2019The morning consisted of a number of really top notch workshops with excel…

Head of Ignatius Press: Pope Must respond to Heresy Charges

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Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, the founder and editor of Ignatius Press is a rare thing these days: someone who doesn't pass rash judgement and gives a fair commentary, in this instance on the subject of the Open Letter to bishops accusing Pope Francis of heresy. Fr Fessio says in this interview that these statements are carefully made and require a response from the Pope or on his behalf.

Many of those criticising the authors of the letter seem concerned with the undoubted damage that such accusations do to the office of the Pope. But it seems clear to me that the damage is being done by the Pope, and the Pope has not offered any clarifications of any questions asked of him up to now. As Fr. Fessio so correctly asserts in this interview:
"Certainly no one in his right mind can deny there is ambiguity nor that people are using what the Pope has said to forward positions which are false or heretical or contradictory so there is confusion, anyone who says there is no confusion is conf…

How to recognise an agenda...

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Recently I saw this story doing the rounds where Pope Francis caused a man who identified as homosexual to cry when he told him that a person has “dignity” no matter if the person has homosexual tendencies “like this or has an attitude like this.”

The man later told reporters that he understood the Pope’s words as an affirmation of his homosexuality and a message against those “who hold extreme religious views of anti-homosexuality.”

Actually what Pope Francis said is hard to criticise, we should always approach the subject (in my opinion) from the fundamental teaching that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and therefore have equal dignity.

But is this what the Pope is really about?

In the same week, we have seen Cardinal "nighty-night baby" Tobin state that Church teaching on homosexuality is "unfortunate"!! It is beyond me frankly to understand how one can be a Cardinal in the Catholic Church and consider its' main teaching docume…