Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pope Appoints Auxiliary Bishop to Diocese of Westminster

The appointment of Father John Sherrington as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Westminster Archdiocese was announced today.

As the England & Wales Episcopal Conference Media Office reports:

Fr Sherrington, 53, was ordained a priest for the Nottingham Diocese in 1987 and has been parish priest for the Good Shepherd Parish in Nottingham for the past two years. In addition to various diocesan curial responsibilities, Fr Sherrington has also assisted the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on ethical issues and was a part of the working party for the Bishops’ Conference document ‘Cherishing Life’ (2005).

After a degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University and two years working for Arthur Andersen Management Consultants London, Fr Sherrington was accepted by Bishop McGuinness for the Nottingham Diocese and joined seminary at All Hallows in Dublin. He later gained an STL in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and lectured in moral theology at All Hallows in Dublin and then at St John’s Seminary in Wonersh, Guildford.

I got to know Father Sherrington when I was a Canon Law lecturer at St John's and offer him my heartfelt congratulations and the assurance of my prayers.

His episcopal ordination will take place on September 14th at Westminster Cathedral.

Father Stefano Gobbi dies

Father Stefano Gobbi, founder of the Marian Movement for Priests and author of a book of locutions said to be messages from Our Lady to priests, died yesterday, Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul, at 3pm, the Hour of Mercy.

Let us pray for the eternal repose of his soul.

More information at Spirit Daily.

Why priests should wear their clerical attire while travelling

A couple of weeks ago I travelled home to England for my nephew's First Holy Communion. As I boarded the flight in Chicago, the stewardess - Linda - welcomed me aboard with the words: "Good morning Father, or should it be 'Pastor'?" I replied that "Father" was indeed an appropriate title, to which she responded that she always carried her Rosary with her.

A little way into the flight, Linda came to my seat to show me her beautiful Rosary beads, each white bead hand-painted with beautiful blue designs.

Later on again, she introduced me to one of her colleagues. After a small chat and greeting, they both went off to carry out their duties. I thought that would be the end of it and settled down again to reading Newman's Development of Christian Doctrine (always good to have a little light reading when travelling!)

Some time later, Linda's colleague came by and stopped to chat. After enquiring where I was working and where I was from, she said that she is of Danish origin and how sad it is that nobody goes to Church in Denmark whereas in the US "everybody" goes to Church. She said that she was Lutheran but married to a Catholic and they had brought up their children as Catholics. I asked if she had ever considered becoming a Catholic. She had but found the prospect of giving up all that was dear to her - the memories of her First Communion and Confirmation in the Lutheran church - difficult. I had just read the following passage from Newman about true conversion being ever positive and never negative in character which I said I would write out for her and give her.
A gradual conversion from a false to a true religion, plainly, has much of the character of a continuous process, or a development, in the mind itself, even when the two religions, which are the limits of its course, are antagonists. Now let it be observed, that such a change consists in addition and increase chiefly, not in destruction. "True religion is the summit and perfection of false religion; it combines in one whatever there is of good and true separately remaining in each. And in like manner the Catholic Creed is for the most part the combination of separate truths, which heretics have divided among themselves, and err in dividing. So that, in matter of fact, if a religious mind were educated in and sincerely attached to some form of heathenism or heresy, and then were brought under the light of truth, it would be drawn off from error into the truth, not by losing what it had, but by gaining what it had not, not by being unclothed, but by being 'clothed upon,' ' that mortality may be swallowed up of life.' That same principle of faith which attached it at first to the wrong doctrine would attach it to the truth; and that portion of its original doctrine, which was to be cast off as absolutely false, would not be directly rejected, but indirectly, in the reception of the truth which is its opposite. True conversion is ever a positive, not a negative character." (quoted from Tracts for the Times, No. 85, p. 73, by Newman in Development of Christian Doctrine, 1903 edition, p. 201)
Before we arrived in London, she collected the text and said that she would probably re-enroll in RCIA in Chicago. Please keep her in your prayers.

Upon my return to Chicago, I boarded the shuttle-bus to take me to the hotel where I had left my car. The driver - a woman - looked at the paper and asked: "You are Reverend John?" to which I replied in the affirmative. "Oh, I need your blessings!" "Why?" "My life is in a mess. My husband left me two years ago and now I'm divorced." And so the conversation proceeded. She is Polish, having come to the US many years ago. She has found it hard to go to Church since her life fell apart but always has her Rosary and picture of Our Lady with her. In the fifteen minutes it took to arrive at the hotel, we were able to have a wonderful conversation and she was so happy when we parted. I was too. I have no idea how she has followed up from our conversation but I remember her now by name in prayer. (Her name is very similar to my above-mentioned nephew's grandfather so it is easy to remember.)

Had I not been wearing my clerics, none of these would have happened.

So, my brother priests, I encourage you to be visible when using these means of public transportation. You never know how the Lord might use you. And even if you face awkwardness or abuse, it is for the Lord's sake you bear it, not your own.

Pope Benedict's 60th anniversary of priestly ordination

A belated post to commemorate this auspicious anniversary. In accordance with the request from the Congration for the Clergy, Bishop Sample initiated the 60 hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament at St Peter Cathedral, Marquette, after the evening Mass yesterday.

Pope Benedict said yesterday:
Sixty years on from the day of my priestly ordination, I hear once again deep within me these words of Jesus that were addressed to us new priests at the end of the ordination ceremony by the Archbishop, Cardinal Faulhaber, in his slightly frail yet firm voice. According to the liturgical practice of that time, these words conferred on the newly-ordained priests the authority to forgive sins. “No longer servants, but friends”: at that moment I knew deep down that these words were no mere formality, nor were they simply a quotation from Scripture. I knew that, at that moment, the Lord himself was speaking to me in a very personal way. In baptism and confirmation he had already drawn us close to him, he had already received us into God’s family. But what was taking place now was something greater still. He calls me his friend.

His homily can be read here and there is a special page on the Vatican website.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Auxiliary Bishop's shock as a child when seeing Communion given in the hand

and how the Holy Spirit guided the Church to the practice of Communion on the tongue.

New Order of Mass available from CTS

The London Catholic Truth Society has published Order of Mass "booklets and cards to assist the laity in becoming familiar with the new English translation of the Mass. They are attractively produced and affordable to all." They certainly are, with the simple version of the booklet priced at £1.95/$3.14 and the presentation edition at £4.95/$7.97. There are also editions with both the Latin and English. This will assist parishes in the gradual introduction of the new translation which will begin in September in England and Wales. More information from the CTS website.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Honduras with the Sirvientes de Cristo (1)

From 15th - 24th June I was in Honduras with a number of other people from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (i.e. the Marquette diocese) as a member of a mission team called Sirvientes de Cristo. We stayed with Father Abel, a member of the House of Bethlehem community which has a monastery and church on the outskirts of La Paz on the edge of a very poor bario.

For a starter, here are some pictures of the barrio on the outskirts of La Paz where we were staying. (I'm trying to catch up on a lot of things - including news - and so will do this piecemeal).

"We buy gold." "We repair mobile phones." Any work will do.

I was privileged to be invited into this family's humble dwelling.

Some other Sirvientes de Cristo outside the same family's house.

Emily shows off the turtle she discovered.

Some of our Sirvientes in the back of Father Abel's truck.

Julie Bishop, one of the chief organisers, with some local school children.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Father Corapi is causing scandal

Briefly... in the hope that I might post more thoughtfully on the subject:
  • priests function only by faculty of their respective Ordinaries;
  • we all hope for justice in the Church;
  • sometimes the innocent suffer;
  • this applies to priests;
  • priests are ordained to a special consecration unto Christ the Head
  • Who was the Innocent Victim
  • and if we priests become innocent victims...
  • we must be prepared to embrace the suffering involved
  • and in humble obedience
  • die to ourselves
  • even while pursuing the legitimate recourses to which we have a right in Canon Law
  • no matter how slowly these may proceed
  • or how unjustly we may think we are being treated.
  • So Corapi should do the same.
  • He should die to self rather than refusing to die (as he puts it on his new website) by "resigning" his priesthood and leading people away from their pastors by the scandal that such a public defection is causing in the Church.

Back from Britain and Honduras

Hope to do some real blogging again soon, in the meantime something educational...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Maryland Episcopalians to be first for US Personal Ordinariate

From the Christian Post:

An Episcopal church in Maryland will be the first in the nation to join the Roman Catholic Church, both church groups announced Monday.

Both the members and pastor of St. Luke's Episcopal parish in Bladensburg, Md., will be converting to Catholicism under a process set up by the Vatican to bring disaffected Episcopalians and Anglicans into its fold.

St. Luke's, a small congregation of about 100, will come under the care of the Archdiocese of Washington until an ordinate is established in the United States.

"My decision to seek reception in the Personal Ordinariate of the Roman Catholic Church was not influenced so much by a desire to leave Anglicanism as it was to enter into full communion with the Holy See of Peter," the Rev. Mark W. Lewis, rector of St. Luke's Parish, said in a statement.

Read more at Christian Post and Deacon John.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Tomorrow I head down to Chicago to catch a flight on Wednesday morning to London where my nephew will make his First Communion on Pentecost Sunday. It's only going to be a short stay. I shall return to Chicago on Monday, drive to Milwaukee and join a group flying to Honduras for a 10-day mission trip with the Sirvientes de Cristo. We shall return on 23rd and be back in Marquette on 24th. And then it will be off to Gwinn to take over as parochial admistrator on July 1st for a period of two years.

Please keep in your prayers the fine young people taking part in the mission trip, the leaders, and all the people we hope to help. Many people have contributed extrememly generously to the appeal for help that was made several months ago here at St Peter's by Tim Bishop, one of the leaders.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chapel Veils at Mass - and covering up in general

A number of women have asked me about the wearing of chapel veils at Mass. It is striking that many young women feel the desire to wear a veil at Mass but worry that they might stand out and draw attention to themselves.

At an Extraordinary Form Mass there is of course no risk of this being a cause for concern but at a regular Ordinary Form Mass being "different" could be a problem. Still, some have begun to wear the veil at OF Masses.

My opinion: very much in favour - in principle! But each woman must weigh it up for herself.

Here's how Fr Z has replied to a enquirer

Jen at Quodcumque dixeritis vobis facite writes about "That thing on my head".

I think we all need to re-visit our attitude to modesty at Mass. Women need to take care that they are more covered than uncovered. But men too should exercise restraint. Is it acceptable to attend the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in shorts? I know there can be cultural reasons that can make this "normal". There are such things as elegant and even very formal short pants/trousers. To these I would have no objection. But the kind of shorts that one would wear to the beach or on a hike? I'm not so sure.

With the slightest bit of sunshine, people strip off. The priest, however, is required to wear a full set of vestments. This is not a burden to him but rather a reminder of who is standing in place of. Except when I have not had it with me - e.g. when travelling - I do not recall not wearing a cassock under my alb even in the hottest weather. You just sweat - that's all. Perfectly natural.

It's nice to see families that make a special effort to dress up - even casually - for Sunday Mass. I think it's perfectly possible to find the right middle way.

Priests' Training Course in Extraordinary Form USA 12-16 September

From Fr Z, I have found this information about a forthcoming training course offered by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) 12th - 16th September at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Denton, Nebraska. This appears to be a Low Mass training seminar.

Details here.

I would heartily recommend any priest remotely interested in learning the Extraordinary Form to attend such a training seminar. I attended one organised by the Latin Mass Society in Oxford, England a number of years ago. The fraternity alone was well worth it and, although I am now fairly proficient at Low Mass and Missa Cantata, it is this - and the interest in visiting the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary - that would tempt me to attend this one...

Answering the Lord's Call - Diocese of Marquette Vocations Video

This is a vocations promotion video published 20th May 2011. A number of the seminarians appearing in the video have since been ordained to the priesthood, most recently Fathers Ryan Ford and Nicholas Thompson ordained at St Peter Cathedral Marquette by Bishop Sample last Friday.

For more information on vocations contact Father Greg Heikkala
(906) 250 1878

First of a wave of Priestly Ordinations of former Anglican clergy

Fr Christopher Pearson, Fr Christopher Lindlar, Fr Nicholas Leviseur,
Fr Simon Heans, Deacon James Bradley, Archbishop Peter Smith,
Mgr Keith Newton, Fr Ivan Aquilina, Fr Edward Tomlinson
and Fr Stephen Bould

Yesterday Archbishop Peter Smith ordained seven former anglican clergy to the priesthood during a Mass at St George's Cathedral, Southwark. As the Southwark diocesan website says:

Apart from the ordination of three former Anglican bishops in January, this was the first priestly ordination of former Anglican clergy and begins a wave that will continue throughout the month, with more than 50 ordinations expected.
Archbishop Smith's Homily
Photos at the diocese's Flickr site
Sevenoaks Ordinariate Picasa page

Some other articles of interest from the Ordinariate Portal:

Christian Post: 54 Anglican Clergy to defect to Catholic Church in Pentecost Ordinations

Zenit: Ordinariate begins Wave of Priestly Ordinations

Francis Phillips: ARCIC III – After the creation of the Personal Ordinariate there’s not much left to talk about

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cathedral Rector writes to his parishioners about 7 Common Communion Abuses

Courageous Priest follows priests they esteem as courageous. Among them are the Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and priests, including Fr Ray Blake of Brighton, England. The blog carries news of A Letter from The Cathedral Rector [yes, Cathedral Rector - he presumably has the support of his Bishop] by Very Rev. Fr. John Lankeit, Rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, Phoenix, AZ of January 30, 2011 to his parishioners. You can also read it at the Cathedral website.

Father Lankeit points out 7 abuses that he sees "all too frequently":
  • Blessing oneself with the host before consuming it. (The act of blessing with the Eucharist is called “Benediction”and is reserved to clergy).
  • Receiving the host in the palm of the hand,contorting that same hand until the host is controlled by the fingers,then consuming it (resembling a one-handed “watch-the-coin-disappear”magic trick).
  • Popping the host into the mouth like a piece of popcorn.
  • Attempting to receive with other items in the hands, like a dirty Kleenex or a Rosary.
  • Receiving the host with dirty hands.
  • Receiving the host,closing the hand around it,then letting the hand fall to the side (as if carrying a suitcase) while walking away and/or blessing oneself with the other hand.
  • Walking away without consuming the host.
  • Giving the host to someone else after receiving (including animals)…yes,it happens!

and concludes:
When Holy Communion is received on the tongue…every single one of these abuses is instantly eliminated!
It is worth reminding ourselves that Communion on the hand is possible thanks to the permission of the diocesan Bishop. It is therefore not a right. Father Lankeit has, quite rightly in my opinion, been encouraging his parishioners to return to the traditional practice of receiving on the tongue.

Abbot of Pluscarden appointed Bishop of Aberdeen

The Vatican Information Service announces today the acceptance by Pope Benedict of the resignation of the Bishop of Aberdeen, Scotland, Peter Anthony Moran in conformity with Can. 401 § 1 (i.e. because he has reached the required age for submission of resignation).

The Pope has nominated the Rev. Father Hugh Gilbert OSB, until now Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey near Elgin, Scotland.

The Vatican gives the following information about Bishop-elect Gilbert (my loose translation from the Italian).
The Rev. Fr Hugh Gilbert OSB was born in Emsworth, Hampshire, England, on March 15th 1952 into an anglican family. He was received into the Catholic Church at the age of 18 on the vigil of Christmas 1970. Educated in a variety of schools in London, he went to King's College, University of London, where he obtained his Bachelor degree in History in 1974.

Having entered the monastery of Pluscarden in Scotland, he was sent to Fort Augustus Abbey for his ecclesiastical studies and preparation for priesthood. He made his solemn monastic profession in 1979 and was ordained priest on 29th June 1982.

In 1984 he became Sub-Prior and Vice-Master of novices in Pluscarden. In 1985 he was made Master of novices. He was nominated Prior in November 1990 and was elected Abbot of the monastery on 29th October 1992. His abbatial blessing took place on 8th December of the same year.

He was a member of the Council of the Union of Monastic Superiors from 1993 to 1997 and of the Abbot Visitor's Council from 1995 to the current time.

As an oblate of the Abbey, Pluscarden is my favourite place to return for retreats. Pluscarden is noted for its authentic monastic life and its faithful rendering of the Novus Ordo liturgy in Latin. There is a wonderful spirit of fraternity.

There will, no doubt, be great jubilation and celebration at Pluscarden. For some time, however, the monks have been fearing this moment. The elevation of Abbot Gilbert will, humanly speaking, be a great loss for the community. The Holy Spirit will without doubt raise another man of Abbot Hugh's calibre to be Abbot of this community.

Abbot Hugh is a bit like a Father of the Church in his preaching and writing. The people of Aberdeen are very fortunate to have such a paternal pastor.

Among Bishop-elect Gilberts writings are Unfolding the Mystery - Monastic Conferences on the Liturgical Year

and Living the Mystery - Monastic Markers on the Christian Way.

Congratulations to Bishop-elect Gilbert!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Will they let me in?

Parishioners whom I visit for First Friday Communion had this picture on display in their house and I expressed my admiration for it. As typically happens there, they very kindly arranged for a copy of it to be printed for me.

Does anyone know its orgin?

Ss Charles Lwanga and Companions, Ugandan Martyrs

From the Universalis About Today page for June 3rd:

Saint Charles Lwanga and his companions (- 1885/7)

Many Christians, Catholic and Protestant, were killed by the Ugandan king Mwanga. Some of them were servants in the king’s palace or even his personal attendants. Charles Lwanga and his twenty-one companions (the youngest, Kitizo, was only 13) were executed for being Christians, for rebuking the king for his debauchery and for murdering an Anglican missionary, for “praying from a book,” and for refusing to allow themselves to be ritually sodomised by the king. They died between 1885 and 1887. Most of them were burned alive in a group after being tortured.

Within a year of their deaths, the number of catechumens in the country quadrupled. St Charles Lwanga is the patron of Catholic Action and of black African youth, and the Ugandan martyrs’ feast day is a public holiday in Uganda.

Ordinations today

Please keep in your prayers Deacons Ryan Ford and

Nicholas Thompson

who will be ordained to the priesthood later today by Bishop Sample at St Peter Cathedral, Marquette. A joyous day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bad advice from a priest in confession could be a canonical crime subject to penalties

Dr Edward Peters, Edmund Cardinal Szoka Professor of Canon Law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura and author of In the Light of the Law suggests that the crime of solicitation could be more widespread in the Church than might be supposed. His study of Canon 1387 can be read in the current issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review. (If you are reading this some time after the current issue is no longer current, you may need to click the Older Articles link.)

Canon 1387 states:
A priest who in the act, on the occasion, or under the pretext of confession solicits a penitent to sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is to be punished, according to the gravity of the delict, by suspension, prohibitions, and privations; in graver cases he is to be dismissed from the clerical state.

This canon includes not only the solicitation of a female to commit a sexual act with the confessor himself, but involves any sin against the sixth commandment, whether it be a sin committed together by confessor and penitent (regardless of sex or age), or by the penitent with another, or by the penitent alone.

Dr Peters quotes some Canonical authors:
Solicitation exists if the confessor sinfully suggests that the person commit impure acts alone or with others, for example, counsels the use of contraceptives. (Patrick Lydon, Ready Answers in Canon Law (1937), 483)

Indeed, the delict is committed even by wrong advice as to the sinfulness of evil thoughts. (Abbo-Hannan, Sacred Canons (1960) II: 30)

Peters contends:
There seems to be no doubt that a confessor’s advice toward immoral activity in sexual matters, whether it concerns acts to be performed by the penitent alone [e.g. self-abuse or the use of pornography - my addition], with a third party, or with the confessor himself, constitutes solicitation in confession and hence is a very serious crime under modern canon law.

Peters then studies the canonical procedures to be followed in the prosecution of a case of an alleged crime of solicitation. Most canonical crimes are adjudicated at diocesan level. Only a small number of crimes are reserved to the Holy See in the light of their particular gravity. Only if the confessor has solicited a penitent to sin against the sixth commandment with himself is it reserved to the Apostolic See in accordance with norms issued in 2001. This is not to belittle other crimes but to acknowledge the dignity of local Churches as having within themselves in the person of the Bishop full judicial power over that Church. The reservation to the Holy See occurs, among other reasons, because of the wider consequences of a particular crime for the Universal Church or because of the particular expertise/resources that may be needed which a local Church may not possess.

As a confessor, I find this article very helpful in affirming in me the importance of being very clear with penitents. The penitent must never be allowed to think that the confessor has said "contraception is alright" or that "it's up to your conscience", or that illicit relationship (e.g. an irregular "marital" union) can be tolerated and expressed sexually. This would be to solicit the penitent in a sin against the sixth commandment. I don't want to be anywhere near that position.

I have, regrettably, come across Catholics who have responded to my teaching against contraception or homosexual relations or illicit unions by saying that another priest, whether during or outside Confession, has left them with the impression that it was alright. I am sure I am not alone.

The existence of penalties in the Church serves a number of purposes. One is to punish after a crime has been committed. Another is to warn anyone who might be tempted that there are consequences in committing a crime. The weak need these warnings. A further purpose is to affirm the true doctrine of the Church and to encourage fidelity. The Church is truly a mother in this manner and seeks to be a true Mirror of Justice.

If you have read this far, do read Dr Peters' article.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cardinal Burke withdraws from London conference

Fr Ray Blake (Is this why Cardinal Burke is not coming?) and Laurence England (who was going to attend the conference) carries news of the embarassing cancelation by Cardinal Burke of a talk he was to give at the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (PEP) Faith of our Fathers Conference later this month.

I had seen the publicity which contained open criticism of the Bishops of England and Wales. The Cardinal's letter makes it clear that this criticism is what led to his cancellation. I think the Cardinal had no choice but to cancel.

The title of His Eminence's talk was to be "The Restoration of Church Discipline and Evangelisation". Cardinal Burke has spoken on innumerable occasions about the failure by Church authorities (including of course bishops) to use Canon Law to enforce discipline in the Church. He has never criticised individual bishops but has pointed to a general malaise in the Church in an era when Canon Law was frowned upon as unnecessary legalism and contrary to the evangelium. (See e.g. here.)

He is more than capable of giving a conference on the restoration of Church discipline i.e. the restoration of the proper esteem for and observance of Canon Law and the Church's legal processes and how such restoration lies very much at the heart of the work of evangelisation, without the slightest hint of disrespect to his brother bishops. He has a marvellous way of speaking the truth with great charity and grace. I have no doubt (having heard him speak last year at La Crosse) that his talk would be a source of inspiration to bishops and other clergy, and laity too. He would have shown the greatest of respect to his brother bishops in the territory he was visiting. Naturally, it would also be possible for any well-informed Catholic to read between the lines and find that, perhaps, there was something lacking. After all, if he is talking about restoration, something must have collapsed. But the Cardinal's comments would have referred to a problem that is both universal and local and would have pointed - very positively - to a constructive way forward.

Daphne McLeod wrote a letter to the Cardinal dated yesterday which can be read at PEP's News Flash page. Obviously there is no chance that the lecture will now go ahead.

Our Lady of Controversy

The Amazon website has become a bit like a blog in its comments concerning this book, the cover of which is a very offensive parody of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a rather butch looking woman in boxing gloves with her private parts covered by flowers. I haven't read the book so cannot comment on its contents but, along with one of the reviewers on Amazon's site, on this occasion it may be justifiable to judge a book by its cover.

Another reviewer writes: "As one lesbian writer says, 'it is our virgen too.'"

A number of people have closed their Amazon accounts in protest.

I shall renew my love for the Virgen of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas. Mother of the Civilisation of Love, Star of the New Evangelisation. Our Lady of Guadalupe is an image of femininity if ever there was one.

Guardian Newspaper covers Msgr Reilly's visit to England

Using the usual negative terms of "protestors", "intercepted", "anti-abortion", "racheting up of activities", "the polarised world of America's 'culture wars'", abortion clinics being "targeted", The Guardian has covered Msgr Reilly's recent visit to the UK, including the prayerful vigil kept outside the Maidstone Marie Stopes abortion mill.

On a positive note, The Guardian refers to a greater emerging spirit of collaboration among pro-life groups, particularly thanks to the involvement of a younger generation. Get that? A YOUNGER GENERATION. Young people, pro-life!

As The Guardian itself reports, these developments coincide with a renewed sense of public debate about abortion.

LIFE, a pro-lfe (so of course it will be anti-abortion-in-all-circumstances) organisation, has been

"invited to join a new sexual health forum set up to replace the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV."
And BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service)
"has been omitted from the forum despite its long-term position on the previous advisory group and 40-year track record in providing pregnancy counselling [i.e. abortions] nationwide."

"We are disappointed and troubled to learn that having initially been invited to the sexual health forum we have been disinvited, particularly now we understand that Life have been offered a seat at the table," said Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS. "We find it puzzling that the Department of Health would want a group that is opposed to abortion and provides no sexual health services on its sexual health forum."

The BPAS statement only makes sense if you think that helping pregnant mothers keep their children is not a sexual health service but providing abortion is.

All in all it seems things are picking up a little in my homeland. Please continue to pray for England (and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland, which all form part of the UK).


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