30 March: The Big Questions Live From Glasgow on BBC 2 – Don’t Miss It!

30 March: The Big Questions Live From Glasgow on BBC 2 – Don’t Miss It!

The Big Questions, a religious, ethical and topical debating programme usually aired on BBC 1 TV on Sundays at 10.am from various locations across the UK, is live from Glasgow this week on BBC 2 due to a sports event on BBC 1.  If you miss the live broadcast, you can view online hereImage

Then share your thoughts on the topics – emergency contraception, democracy and the end times. Since we’ve already discussed the end times on another thread very recently, feel free to give that one a miss…

Comments (84)

  • catholicconvert1

    Yet again another fantastic TV appearance from dearest Ed. I praise your honesty, integrity and courage in the face of such hostility. I though apostasy and godlessness was bad, but it seems from watching the programme that it’s reached truly diabolical proportions. As Ed said ‘God will not be mocked’. I fear for the souls of Stacey Devine and Marco Gaudoin, for encouraging promiscuity and sexual immorality. We can see the Quito, Salette, Fatima and Sr. Aiello’s prophesies coming into play. It’s just a shame that Ed was interrupted by Nicky Campbell, as I suspect she was going to mention the Consecration of Russia. We all know the end times will come after that. Nobody knows which the true Christian message is because there are so many ‘opinions’. Obviously, our’s is the correct one, but I believe the Reformation was a Satanic plot to divide and deceive the Children of God.

    March 30, 2014 at 2:21 pm
    • Frankier


      Your initial statements remind me of George Galloway`s greeting to Saddam Hussein. I trust you weren`t hinting at something or someone. 🙂

      Campbell always interrupts when it suits him to. He also allows other people to interrupt when something is going to be said that he doesn`t want to hear.

      March 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm
      • catholicconvert1


        You can rest easy. I would never intentionally quote the despicable creature that is George Galloway MP.

        March 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm
      • Fidelis


        I agree with you about Nicky Campbell. I like him, he’s quite funny with it, but I don’t think he’s impartial and I think he makes it clear which side he’s on. That’s not necessarily wrong, but he didn’t give the Catholic perspective equal time with the Protestants who were talking about the end times. The one in the far corner seemed to have his own theory, nothing to do with Christian revelation so why he was given so much time to spout his nonsense, beats me.

        March 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm
      • catholicconvert1


        I personally have an intense dislike for Nicky Campbell. He seems perfectly happy when questioning the teachings of Christianity, but when it comes to Atheists or minority religions, or general whackos, he nods, coos or just says ‘mmm’.

        Also, he always shakes the hands of those who hold liberal and permissive opinions and those who are critical of Christianity. Just watch the Big Questions on any given Sunday.

        We know whose side he is on- the Devil’s.

        March 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm
      • Josephine

        I agree that Nicky Campbell is quite funny etc. but he interrupts far too much. It makes it really hard to follow the points being made.

        March 30, 2014 at 8:49 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Just been on Stacey Devine’s twitter feed. Turns out she’s a ‘pro-choice, feminist, single mum’. In other words a [radical feminist].

    March 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm
    • Marie Therese Alyth

      Do you wish me to send some large stones over so you can do the needful?John 8:1-11

      March 31, 2014 at 6:22 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Could you send some?? I’ve just run out!!!

        March 31, 2014 at 8:10 pm
      • Marie Therese Alyth

        You also appear to have run out of forgiveness and mercy….unfortunately these have to be gifted by Our gracious Lord and I can’t help you with that .

        March 31, 2014 at 8:20 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        How are you defining Christian forgiveness and charity? I do not hate the poor woman, I just fear for her soul. I genuinely do care where she ends up, but if she carries on the way she is, she will receive eternal damnation. I was too quick to cast judgement on her being a single mum- I don’t know the circumstances (she could have been raped), but I have no time at all for feminists or the pro-‘choice’ people. They have begun to take it upon themselves to attack Archbishops, such as Mgr. Leonard, Cardinal Rouco Varela and Cardinal Meisner- so much for freedom and democracy. Femen did that- but they only do what traditional femiists wanted to do in their hearts. We as Catholics needs to rise above there sinful ways.

        March 31, 2014 at 9:18 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    Yes, Nicky Campbell was quick to interrupt our Editor, I too was sure that the Consecration of Russia was about to be brought to the forefront. Just how many in the audience would have pooh poohed talk of the need for the necessity of this Consecration.

    March 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm
  • editor

    Thanks everyone for your kind remarks. It was quite an experience.

    No, Theresa Rose, I wasn’t going to mention the Consecration of Russia – there wasn’t a suitable context for that. When I spoke about apparitions towards the end of the show, in the context of the end times, I was hoping to quote Pope John Paul II’s remark in Germany that the third part of the Fatima message concerned the end times, read chapters 7-11 of the Apocalypse (1980, Fulda, Germany) and that Our Lady, while not explicitly saying that we are in the end times, had “led (Sr Lucia) to understand that this is the case”. Unfortunately the smart alec youngster at the end of the row couldn’t resist telling us how many predictions of the end of the world there’d been, presuming (wrongly) that I was about to cite another one. There was no “prediction” merely an “understanding” that we are in the end times, with Sr Lucia saying to read Chapters 7-13 of the Apocalypse – about the end times.

    The problem with these discussions is that it is very easy for the anti-religionists to mock and ridicule and to do so in sound bites, but it is impossible to answer deep questions in sound bites. I thought if I didn’t make clear that Fatima was unique in being described by Pope Benedict as “placing an obligation on the whole Church” I might get interrupted before making my main point. As it transpired, I didn’t get to make the point anyway because I used the term “apparition” which allowed the young sceptic at the end of the row to jump in with his non information. Someone should tell him that he’s far too young to be a real sceptic, he needs to educate himself a bit more on the really serious issues and not rely on the Humanist Association or other non-believer outfits for his information and be careful not to allow doubters to form his mind before he’s had time to investigate thoroughly whether or not the claims of Catholicism are doubtful.

    One more thing; I was utterly appalled at the girl representing SPUC.

    SPUC is given funding by Catholics after Mass on White Flower Sunday or whatever it’s called – they were even promoted at SSPX chapels in the UK district this year.

    Yet, she was very open about the fact that SPUC is part and parcel of the whole explicit sex education industry.

    When I expressed my surprise to her at the end, she assured me that SPUC is “non-denominational” and so that’s all right then.

    Not with me, it’s not. I haven’t supported SPUC financially for years anyway, because I’m less than impressed with their lack of progress in making any difference in the campaign to end abortion. Now that they’re co-operating in the sexualisation of very young children, I’m writing them off, and I hope every Catholic who watched the show does the same.

    Again, thanks everyone for your kind remarks. I’m sure I could have done much better but it’s quite a battle to say anything meaningful in the time allotted and with all the interruptions. Excuses, excuses 😀

    March 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      We are all very proud of you Ed. When you went on that programme, you were, I am sure, speaking for all of us.

      I agree with you about SPUC and other lobbies that are ostensibly ‘pro-life’. ‘Pro-life’ is a word that is bandied about too easily. Many of those who claim to be pro-life actually support contraception, which is just as destructive and anti-life as abortion, the spermicide on the condom directly destroys the sperm and therefore prevents the creation of a child.

      I do believe that the ‘pro-life’ lobby for the most part is shameless.

      March 30, 2014 at 6:59 pm
      • editor

        Thank you, Catholic Convert. I wish you’d been in the audience!

        March 30, 2014 at 7:13 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        So do I!!!

        March 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm
      • Marie Therese Alyth

        NOOOOOOOOOO. While I agree that we need to raise the level of debate about contraception in its totality, not just the ‘morning after pill’. I am not proud of ‘ed’ .Neither does she speak for ‘all of us’, (unless I am intruding into the affairs of a private cult rather than the Catholic Church?)

        March 31, 2014 at 7:02 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Yes she does speak for all of us. To my knowledge, I don’t think you are a regular blogger anyway, with due respect. We all, apart from the odd troll, share Ed’s views. If people like Ed didn’t speak out against the evils of contraception and abortion etc, who would?? Certainly not the Pope or senior clergy.

        March 31, 2014 at 9:21 pm
      • Marie Therese Alyth

        Sorry, not a ‘regular blogger’ indeed. I genuinely mistook this as a Catholic forum. I am not being sarcastic when I say this, I have clearly intruded on a private discussion among like-minded people. Sincere apologies for getting involved, I won’t do it again. I was simply concerned that viewers would consider the contribution on the programme representative of the church (Pope and senior clergy included).

        March 31, 2014 at 10:55 pm
  • Josephine

    I was disgusted at the SPUC representative. They should not be allowed to collect at Catholic churches ever again.

    I was also disgusted at the doctor who must know that the morning after pill has not been given any long term testing, so how can he be so sure if is safe, especially for young girls.

    It’s really like being thrown into the Lion’s Den, that programme. Anyone who manages to get any points across at all is doing well, but it’s a pity editor didn’t get more time to finish her sentences. It’s that BBC anti-Catholic bias again.

    March 30, 2014 at 8:43 pm
  • Nicky

    That was a really lively show and I wouldn’t worry about the interruptions. Things got said by editor that wouldn’t be heard otherwise. Charles Kennedy was his usual fence-sitting self, like all Liberals more worried about his popularity than anything else, and the pill-pushers didn’t say anything new.

    I enjoyed it – great show.

    March 30, 2014 at 9:19 pm
    • catholicconvert1


      Charles Kennedy always makes me laugh when I see him on the TV. I fell on the floor, convulsing with laughter, when he told the Ian Paisley anecdote. ‘Teeth will be provided’. Paisley never fails to amuse whatever you think of him.

      March 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm
      • editor

        Catholic Convert,

        It took me all my time not to call out “the old ones are the best”. That joke has done the rounds for years and is sometimes attributed to a fiery Catholic priest, other times to an evangelical preacher, sometimes, as on Sunday, to Ian Paisley.

        March 31, 2014 at 1:45 pm
  • Nicky

    I forgot to say I agree about the SPUC rep, but then I’ve never rated them. They’re going along to get along. I’m just amazed that the SSPX allowed them to collect at their Masses. I wouldn’t give them a penny.

    March 30, 2014 at 9:20 pm
  • Leo

    Very well done, Editor.

    Like you say, sound bites are not a suitable way to answer “big questions”. It’s probably just a reflection of the modern world with semi-literate texting, tweeting, and short attention spans. I haven’t seen the last ten minutes or so, and maybe this is bias showing, but I didn’t think you got a fair time allocation, or chance to make a point even. Anyway, I think this sort of show has too many speakers, with the result that the presenter gets to talk more than anyone else. I must say though, that it was a more polite discussion than a lot of similar programmes on Irish television/radio.

    On the morning after pill business, I believe what that doctor said about it not being an abortifacient is completely false. Maybe not every time, but certainly it can be, as in the case of the contraceptive pill. I’m sure a little bit of research would provide the evidence. A few months ago there was major controversy in Germany (where else) over a Catholic hospital using the morning after pill. And of course, whatever its action, it’s immoral in any case.

    I could hardly believe my ears over something that SPUC representative said at one point (maybe about sex education?). Having met a couple of young people who worked with SPUC in Scotland, a few years ago, I wasn’t expecting that.

    On other thought that struck me since, having listened to all the talk about stocking up with this that and the other, from the pharmacy or wherever, and babies having to be wanted: many people now seem to regard unborn life as some sort of disease that has to be avoided. I wonder if there were any people in the studio this morning who may not have been altogether “wanted” at the time of their arrival, or were, to use that appalling way of putting things, an “accident”.

    “Pro choice” is an indefensible slogan of course, but it’s funny that all those who uphold the right to kill unborn children have already been born.

    Well done again, Editor on giving an unapologetic voice to undiluted Catholic Truth in the public square.

    Memo to Mr. Campbell: next time can we please have a bit more “Pat time”.

    March 30, 2014 at 9:37 pm
    • editor

      Thank you, Leo.

      I didn’t get to use MOST of the material I’d been hoping to use, but that is the nature of that particular “discussion”.

      They did ask me if I’d be willing to appear again so who knows, maybe some time in the future I’ll get a word in 😉

      Anyway, again, folks, thanks for all your support – much appreciated.

      March 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm
      • Frankier

        Tell them you would be willing to go head to head with anyone they choose. That way you might get a chance to speak without interference.

        I’m glad you managed to get a word in regarding the failures of the Scottish bishops.

        March 30, 2014 at 10:18 pm
      • editor


        Years ago I threw out that very challenge to dissenting priests – including Fr Steve Gilhooley. No takers. I planned to say a whole lot more about the Scottish Bishops / UK bishops but didn’t get the chance – one of these days!

        March 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm
      • Graeme Taylor

        Editor, I have watched the show a few times now. It really highlights just how much people are crying out for God’s mercy in their lives.
        SPUC was an education.
        You were super – when you were given time. Thank you.

        March 30, 2014 at 11:39 pm
  • Frankier


    I didn’t see all the programme but I noticed where the SPUC girl was struggling to answer a question and was lucky you cut in in time to save her being embarrassed.

    March 30, 2014 at 10:47 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    The two things that stood out for me in that programme were

    1) Charles Kennedy MP did not speak out to say nobody should be breaking the law by encouraging under age sex. That is shocking.

    2) The SPUC girl was a disgrace. I wonder if she is a Catholic. I hope John Smeaton saw that show and deals with the sex education scandal at SPUC. Surely he can’t be encouraging it?

    March 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm
    • editor

      Margaret Mary,

      I did speak privately to Charles Kennedy after the show about Canon 915, given that he votes pro-abortion/pro-homosexual “rights”. He was not one bit pleased.

      March 31, 2014 at 11:28 am
      • catholicconvert1

        What did he say? You may remember I emailed Robert Flello re 915 and pro-homosexual etc ‘Catholic’ MPs- I didn’t get a response.

        March 31, 2014 at 1:25 pm
      • Frankier

        You should have told him to dye the grey hairs on the beard of his jokes when he is applying the rouge to his own wee mop.

        He will probably be one of those `catholics` who should be getting the 915 treatment.

        March 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm
  • greatpretender51

    Editor – we Yanks are apparently excluded from watching this video. Any chance of you saving it as a YouTube video so I can view it? Just don’t call it the “Vortex” though…

    March 31, 2014 at 12:45 am
    • editor

      Great Pretender,

      I’ll ask webmaster about that.

      Thanks again for the supportive comments, both here on the blog and by email. I’m getting to know who are my real friends – you know, the ones who should go flying up the payscale!

      March 31, 2014 at 11:25 am
    • editor

      Great Pretender,

      Webmaster just texted to say it is technically not possible and, anyway, illegal, to make the programme into a YouTube video.

      A reader in England, however, tells me that his phone has been ringing off the hook with enquiries from Hollywood after seeing that “slim, glamorous etc” Scotswoman on The Big Questions, so don’t give up hope just yet 😉

      March 31, 2014 at 4:37 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        We can only listen to your BBC radio appearances. The TV shows are not available outside of the UK.
        I think it would be neat if you made your own show for YouTube. Michael Matt and Louie Verrecchio just do monologues. Fr. Gruner and John Vennari take turns interviewing each other. They’re all good but it would be neat to watch a debate or a roundtable discussion or a Crossfire-type Catholic show.

        March 31, 2014 at 6:02 pm
      • editor


        Our webmaster frequently tries to persuade me to make a video – your idea is a good one. I’ve resisted all efforts until now, but promise to give it some more thought.

        March 31, 2014 at 6:22 pm
      • editor


        We’ve been discussing your suggestion and have come up with some ideas.

        However, I’ve not yet seen our webmaster about it. I know he can make YouTube videos, but he’s up to his eyes (he’s one of those people who insist on keeping their day jobs, using excuses like “I’ve got a family to feed” – did you ever hear the likes of it?)

        So, I was thinking it would be a nice surprise for him if we were able to find somebody else who has all the equipment necessary to do (at least) the first video for us, and let webmaster off the hook this time. Otherwise, it’ll be on his list of things to do – eventually.

        If anyone is interested in working with us on this – we have some terrific ideas – please email me on editor@catholictruthscotland.com

        April 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm
  • Burt


    Bravo on your efforts to put the truth across on that awful Big Question show. I honestly think the whole purpose of that show is the BBC’s attempt to try and put the final death blow to whatever little vestigial faith remains in the country.

    I think that Nicky Campbell was giving the two deluded protestant speakers plenty of rope to make Christianity look ridiculous during the last segment, fitting in with my theory it’s the BBC’s objective of spreading confusion to an already confused world as the whole raison d’etre for that show!

    But it was refreshing to hear the voice of truth attempting to be made by your good self. You maintained your good humour and presented yourself very well despite the fact you were basically a minority of one against the rest.

    I just knew you were intending to teach the viewers about Fatima but just were not allowed (was it Nicky or Old Nick stifling your chance I wonder?)

    I too was very disappointed in the girl from SPUC for her attitude sucking up to the ‘liberal’ ideology of brainwashing children’s minds and corrupting them in order to perpetuate promiscuity. She seemed to be the sort brainwashed in the contraceptive culture failing to realise that it’s the cause of the abortion culture in the first place, far from being the solution.

    You did seem to get a good round of audible applause for your initial points, but not from those folks on camera, so it made me wonder if you had supporters in the studio who were not given access to take part in the debate on the show?

    March 31, 2014 at 12:03 pm
    • editor


      That’s interesting about the initial applause. I did wonder about that. Maybe they realised I would be so unpopular that they’d better wheel some at least one burst of canned applause in case I sent them a bill for therapy afterwards!

      I have to say though, in all fairness, that the staff are lovely people. Every one of them was kind and helpful and very encouraging both before and afterwards. And Nicky did not mock me – he was respectful enough. He didn’t, I agree, allow me to speak as much as I’d have liked, but then nobody ever does 😀

      He did have a lot of people “to get through” so to speak and I feel he gave far too much air time to the two men who had their own theories about the end times. That’s the nature of television, though – the key concern is not the truth, but “good TV” (as the powers-that-be see it) so the men with the theories, part bible-based and part personal imagination, suits fine. As I know from my inbox and phone calls, however, there are many viewers who would have liked to have some more solid fare. Who knows, maybe in future there will be an opportunity to contribute to a rather more serious treatment of those important topics.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm
  • Chrisis


    Thank you for being a true soldier of Christ, it’s a pity that more of the clergy do not follow your example.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:05 pm
    • editor


      Thank you – I’m afraid the clergy are more concerned with image than with substance. They think it’s better to speak in a very calm, measured, media-friendly way (you know, like I didn’t do yesterday!) in order to draw more people to the Church. Yet, as a friend said, none of them are ever in the firing line, you wont see their names attached to letters in the press, including the Catholic press, defending the Faith during this crisis in the Church. They don’t even (especially) want their names to appear in Catholic Truth, for fear of incurring their bishop’s displeasure. Yet, they are very free with their advice to me on how to conduct myself on radio and TV when invited to participate in such programmes.

      Laugh? I thought I’d never start.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm
  • Frankier

    Every time I hear about women’s choice, their entitlement to do with their body whatever they wish, etc., I cringe. The young pro-abortionist must have used the word choice about six times in less than a minute.

    There is one thing they aren’t allowed to do with their bodies and that is to go into a public house and smoke. Neither are they allowed to go into a public library and start using their mouths to shout, sing or even whistle, that is two things for starters, and if they tried now to throw themselves in front of a horse to get their entitlements they would be charged with the attempted manslaughter of a jockey.

    It is a sad fact of life now that a bird’s egg, especially a bird of prey, or a pregnant Panda is better protected than an innocent child in its own mother’s womb.

    If the Catholic Church came out in favour of abortion, euthanasia, the use of contraceptives and same-sex (so called) marriages tonight, everyone in the world would be against them tomorrow with the Church accused of being depraved.

    Mind you, that’s not much different from the status quo.

    It would be good to con them on the 1st April just to see how quickly they would change. It would only need the one day. I wonder if Pope Francis would be up for another joke on that day. He could always make it a holyday of obligation after that.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:36 pm
    • editor


      “There is one thing they aren’t allowed to do with their bodies and that is to go into a public house and smoke.”

      Brilliant. Just brilliant.

      But you’re wrong about the Church making April Fool’s Day a Holyday of Obligation. That’s already in use as the Feast Day for atheists complaining that they miss out on religious holidays! Based on Psalm 14:1: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God’ ” 😀

      March 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm
  • leprechaun

    Madame Editor,

    My compliments to you on a very dignified and controlled performance in the face of such uninformed opinion. I share your disappointment at having prepared so thoroughly to defend the Faith, and having been denied the opportunity to make the points that needed making.

    It was notable that God was hardly mentioned during the debate on the morning after pill. It was largely about a woman’s right to choose rather than about fulfilling God’s wishes on parenthood.

    I know you could barely get a word in. I would have liked to have heard mention of the Truth as revealed by Our Lord – all we got was people’s uninformed opinions, and very little about the Truth.

    You were on a hiding to nothing in that particular forum, which leads me to say that the forum known as the Catholic Truth Blog is the place to spell out the Truth without being interrupted or shouted down, and it is the place from which to learn so much that an honest seeker ought to get to know. Far may its reputation spread.

    Thank you Madame Editor, for what you did manage to achieve, and God bless you for your efforts.

    March 31, 2014 at 4:19 pm
    • editor

      Thank you Leprechaun. I did have plans to talk about God’s revealed moral and religious truths but, hey, Stacey Devine had other plans!

      March 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm
  • Marie Therese Alyth

    Bitter,strident,condemnatory,arrogant,self-righteous….. not, I am afraid any of the qualities I would wish to be represented by on national television. Yet you are universally applauded by your supporters ‘Editor’. I am ashamed of the anger and rancour you portrayed as part of Catholic life throughout this weak and disappointing programme. You had an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, but you chose to deride, shout down, and generally portray an incredibly narrow version of the Holy and Universal Church.
    I was taught to pray as I was taught my first words. I have sincerely tried to follow church teaching throughout my life, and refuse to give my biography in full, but have a clear conscience regarding the church’s teaching on marriage and family life, and am confident my husband of 28 years, and my six children can all bear witness to that.
    How, in all conscience, can you expect to bring people to know the love and infinite mercy of Christ, when you begin with condemnation?
    Shame on you for claiming to represent Catholics.

    March 31, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    • Frankier

      Marie Therese

      Go and take a wee lie down. There’s a good girl.

      You should feel a bit better when your halo fits again.

      March 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm
      • Marie Therese Alyth

        Meets all my expectations.Passive aggressive, patronising, why don’t you take the time to engage in true discussion ? I said nothing to offend you, so why retaliate in such a childish manner?

        March 31, 2014 at 9:20 pm
    • editor

      Marie Therese Alyth,

      Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate that I may have come across as all the things you describe, and I can only assure you that, if so, I very much regret that. It is in my nature to be animated in discussion and I am also very outspoken by nature. I accept that these characteristics may convey a very bad impression and so are open to criticism. I’m grateful for your plain speaking.

      If you can point to any specific thing(s) that I said that you found objectionable, that would help me to correct these faults since the BBC have intimated that I am likely to be invited again. Any practical help and advice you can offer, will be much appreciated.

      God bless you.

      March 31, 2014 at 7:31 pm
      • Marie Therese Alyth

        I would be glad to help! Knowing in advance that you were going to be asked about the ‘morning after pill’, it would be well worth revising :
        1. the physiological impact of the drug on young womens’ reproductive systems.
        2. the profound psychological damage which is the result of premature sexual relationships
        . 3. Pope John Paul 2’s theology of the body teaching which fully explains the church’s concern for those who are missing the opportunity to express their conjugal love in its entirety.
        4. The continuing societal objectification of women and girls as barnyard animals with constant availability for sex instead of daughters of God, holy ,pure and gifted.
        I am sorry, but it will not suffice, in the common culture today, to simply rant about things about which most people are totally unaware.
        Finally, the tone of some of your respondents is akin to the Pharisees of the Gospels. You appear to have a lot of influence, and, in your place I would be urging them to be more temperate, more measured, and more merciful, we need to shine light where there is darkness, not poke fun at fellow pilgrims (see Frankie 7.30pm.)

        March 31, 2014 at 9:41 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        I know your post was not aimed at me but allow me to say that I agree with you completely on some of the points you raised.

        I am well aware that the ‘pill’ can cause many side effects, such as osteoporosis, cervical cancer, blood clots, hormonal problems, migraines and breast tenderness. Why would women put themselves at risk of these maladies? But even so, the pro-‘choice’ lobby won’t listen to these points.

        ‘the profound psychological damage which is the result of premature sexual relationships’. Don’t these young girls make a free choice to enter these relationships? I sometimes wonder if these psychological problems are their conscience’s responses to feelings of guilt that are aroused by the natural law, which is engraved on every human heart by God.

        As for point number 4, instead of haranguing Editor, who pointed out truthfully the immorality of contraception, I suggest you write to clothing retailers, Ann Summers and the government to stop objectifying women in advertising, media and public life. These are the groups to whom you ought to address you rightful concerns surrounding this. Sex is, I regret to say, an industry. No longer is it seen as a precious God-given gift to be enjoyed by man and wife for the purposes of conjugal union, reflecting gender complimentarity and where possible, the procreation of children. Women should mould themselves of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to reflect her purity and holiness, but it’s easier to have low moral stndards nowadays.

        March 31, 2014 at 10:02 pm
      • editor

        “I am sorry, but it will not suffice, in the common culture today, to simply rant about things about which most people are totally unaware.”

        Marie Therese,

        I was responding to (not introducing) questions. I was asked what I thought about the widespread distribution of the morning after pill in advance, in the hope of preventing an “unwanted pregnancy”. I made the key points that (1) it is lamentable that our society acknowledges such a concept as an unwanted child, and that (2) it is shocking that young people are growing up learning to connect “sex” with “disease” and “unwanted babies”.

        How on earth is that a “rant”? Do you disagree with any of the above? I don’t think anyone in the audience is unaware of the contraceptive culture or the concept of an unwanted child. Certainly nobody who has emailed or phoned expressed anything remotely akin to your opinion – they all seemed to understand perfectly well.

        As for your springing from criticising me to attacking the other bloggers on the subjective grounds of the “tone” of their comments, I’m afraid you’re well off the mark. There is a lot of good humour on this blog and our bloggers have a wealth of knowledge and insight between them. With respect, I’ve seen little of any of these qualities in your posts.

        I have no need to urge our Catholic Truth bloggers to be “temperate, more measured, and more merciful”; on the contrary, I suggest, with respect, that you reflect on the intemperate, unthinking and, sorry to say, mercilessly uncharitable comments posted here since your arrival on this blog.

        A friend who reads this blog a lot, pointed out to me some time ago, that when people come on here suddenly full of venom against our bloggers and/or myself, it’s got to be rooted in the green-eyed monster. She said that she sees it clearly. Took me a while to really understand what she meant because I know there is nothing about me to engender such an unfortunate state of mind.

        But – she assured me – she didn’t mean that. It’s nothing personal to me at all (relief). It’s the devil at work to prevent the promotion of the traditional Catholic Faith which is what we try to do day and daily on this blog, and as she rightly pointed out, he works most successfully by sowing division.

        Maybe you think you could have done better than me on The Big Questions. I’m sure other critics of mine, noticeable by their absence, share your view. In fact, I have tried to create a small “media group” of readers who might represent us in programmes from time to time, but for practical reasons it’s not been possible to date. It will happen, please God, and in the not too far distant future, but for now, I’m afraid, it falls to my unworthy self to do my best, impoverished though my performances may be, to say what needs to be said in defence of the Faith at this time of crisis in the Church.

        March 31, 2014 at 11:01 pm
      • Frankier

        Well said Editor.

        It takes real courage to go into the lion’s den, especially when the odds are stacked against you and the people who should be sitting there are instead sitting comfortably on their palatial thrones cringeing in case you annoy their atheistic friends.

        I used to enjoy boxing and I know how it feels to set yourself up for a possible hiding. The easy bit is to sit at the ringside and shout instructions but the hard bit was to listen to ones who couldn’t punch their way out of a wet paper bag telling you where things went wrong. And that was even after a victory.

        April 1, 2014 at 12:24 am
      • Frankier

        Marie Therese

        I am sorry if I have offended you, I was really only joking, I actually agree with most of your comments.

        As for me being a Pharisee: I wish I was so lucky. I ‘m afraid I am not as good living a chap as that fine gentleman, I’m more like the sinning publican. I don’t fast twice a week nor do I give a tenth of my income. I always consider a statement like yours to be pharasaical in itself though. A bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

        However, I will need to keep reminding myself that a lot of people are not like some of the greatest saints who liked a good laugh and I don’t mean anything personal.

        You are obviously a very intelligent lady but I think you may take things a bit too seriously in life.

        April 1, 2014 at 12:03 am
    • catholicconvert1

      Who did Editor ‘deride or shout down’? I can’t remember her doing so. Did you watch a different programme? When you said you had ‘a clear conscience’ regarding the Church’s teaching on marriage etc, you reminded me of Cardinal Hume’s words, that detractors of Humanae Vitae were ‘good, conscientious and faithful’. Do you support contraception?

      March 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm
      • Marie Therese Alyth

        As already shared, I have lived by Church law and teaching fully for my entire life (none of your business frankly) .You guys are so angry and confrontational….I actually am quite intimidated even engaging in this forum! Where do faith, hope, and love come to the fore in your public engagement? So………………..in response to your very intrusive question, as a Catholic couple we chose to obey church teaching, be open to life, and love and nurture the six wonderful children God gifted us with.
        HOWEVER, when encountering those who do not know God’s love and mercy, I do not, and will never, begin to introduce Him as He who hates contraception. Instead , I try to live as a Catholic by showing others how to live. I have a total conviction that each person is ‘willed.loved, and necessary’ and that we, as Catholics, have a duty to relate accordingly. The skewed perception of human sexuality endemic in our culture is challenging, but it will never be righted, I contend, by the hostile and the judgemental.
        In summary, you can sleep easy, I am a fully signed-up Humanae Vitae supporter…it’s just not the first bit of church wisdom I choose to offer new folk.

        March 31, 2014 at 10:10 pm
      • editor

        Marie Therese,

        The topic was emergency contraception. That’s what I was asked to address from a Catholic perspective. I was not asked to speak about the medical issues, although when I did make some afterwards, when speaking to the doctor on the programme, he told me I was wrong, HE was the expert, and I was reading the wrong material. So, as Catholic Convert says, that wouldn’t have washed anyway. I felt constrained, in the time allotted, to make some key points about the immorality of the entire contraceptive culture in which we live. Sorry you disapprove.

        And it’s not about me choosing to begin from the teaching on contraception, when introducing non-Catholics to the Church. You’ve made a rather ridiculous leap there, because, for some reason which I cannot quite comprehend, you have chosen to be angry with me for what I said on the show, despite the fact that nothing I said contradicts the teaching of the Church. I wasn’t asked to speak generally about Catholicism, I was asked to speak about the morning after pill. With respect, you are in such a rage, for whatever reason, that you are not thinking straight.

        However, I agree that it would have been great to have had the medical damage of contraception addressed on the show, so I suggest you email SPUC to ask why their representative not only did not give the medical facts about contraception but actually said that SPUC promotes explicit sex education in schools and that she explicitly stated that they ought to start younger. I’ve already emailed John Smeaton myself and received no reply.

        March 31, 2014 at 10:33 pm
      • Marie Therese Alyth

        Honestly,though I am not in a rage, this engagement has been interesting. It is never easy to try and represent Catholic teaching through the secular media, these debates never allow a full exposition of teaching, so I do acknowledge that. However I am still convinced that we need to take every opportunity to help people turn their hearts to God. I am sure we have the same goals, I think we just have different thoughts on how we strive for them. I am sorry I seem to have provoked some of your readers to open antagonism, not my intention,

        March 31, 2014 at 11:11 pm
      • jobstears

        Marie Therese,

        Your merciless judgment of Editor and the bloggers is definitely not the best way to model the love and mercy of God as, I believe, you say you try to do.

        “Meets all my expectations.Passive aggressive, patronising,”

        If one of your children was poised on the edge of a cliff, on a ledge that was crumbling- YOU could see it clearly but the child was oblivious to the danger he was in, Marie Therese, would you waste precious time reasoning with the child and risk him losing his life or would you do whatever it took to first get him off the ledge and to safety?

        If the bloggers here appear confrontational and don’t bother sugar coating their words, it is not because they are uncharitable, far from it, it is precisely because they DO have charity that they understand and appreciate the worth of every single soul; now, they may not get dewy-eyed about it, but read their comments without prejudice and you will see- they know the price Our Lord paid for each and every soul in His Passion.

        April 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm
      • Josephine


        What a beautiful post! I agree with every word.

        There are people like Marie Therese who think that it’s bitter and condemnatory, etc to speak the truth plainly. I strongly disagree with that view and agree with you that it is true charity to say what needs to be said to help souls. I hope Marie Therese comes to see that.

        April 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm
      • Fidelis


        I agree – that’s a really lovely comment and every word so true.

        April 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      Far be it from you to determine who may and may not represent Catholics.

      March 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm
      • editor

        Miles Immaculatae,

        Thank you, but for the record, I didn’t (and never do) put myself forward for the programme. I respond to invitations, with a policy of never refusing any if I can possibly accept, purely for the sake of having something of the Faith properly represented in this age of heretics being given a platform, not only in the secular media but even on Catholic premises. As you can all see now, it’s really NOT to promote my slim, glamorous, witty self 😀

        March 31, 2014 at 10:35 pm
    • Francesca

      Well said. As a faithful and practising Catholic I find the comments on this site ignorant and offensive. A small group of small minded people congratulating each other on offending others. Many of your points I would have agreed with on The Big Questions,Patricia, however your manner was appalling, your narrow mindedness embarrassing and you absolutely do not represent me or any other Catholic I know. I am a teacher in a vibrant Catholic school which operates everyday on, above all else, the teaching of true Gospel Values. Your vitriolic rhetoric is the very reason young people turn away from the Church.

      April 7, 2014 at 11:44 pm
      • editor


        As a former Head of Religious Education in a number of Catholic institutions, what jumped out at me from your comment is that you teach in “a vibrant Catholic school” – and just as I was about to ask you for the name and location of that school to recommend it to parents, I realised you’d added “which operates every day on, above all else, the teaching of true Gospel Values”. In other words, your school is like every other “Catholic” school in the UK – teaching nothing more than humanism with hymns.

        Your pupils, like all others these days, will have difficulty distinguishing dogma from opinion. Otherwise, absolutely nothing I said on the programme would “turn them away from the Church”.

        One of my (“liberal”) colleagues when I taught in the Catholic sector told me that if I insisted on keeping the unit on papal authority in the RE programme for seniors, I would “put the students off the Church”. He subsequently moved on to teach in an ecumenical college in England.

        So, I don’t take lectures on turning young people away from the Church from those who object to a public defence of the Faith, on grounds of “manner” and “narrow-mindedness”, thank you very much. I hope you go onto the Catholic Herald blog to complain about their representative on this week’s Big Questions, who used a profanity to make his point. Post the link – I’d love to read that.

        Notably, while you say that you would have agreed with “many of [my] points” you don’t name the points you would NOT have agreed with – I’d love to know, although I can guess. And while you accuse me of being rude, you give no examples. I was constantly interrupted but reprimanded nobody. I responded to a woman who contradicted herself, by calling over to her to point out the contradiction. I didn’t interrupt her as she falsely claimed. She reprimanded me for “interrupting” her and was applauded in support. You have a very skewed and confused mind to criticise ME for my manner while ignoring the rudeness to which I was subjected on the show.

        For your information, the BBC had no problem with my “manner” and the emails and letters I have since received from non-Catholics thanking me for upholding “Christian principles” gives the lie to your interpretation that I am narrow-minded and rude, in the popular sense. Our Lord did warn us that the way to Heaven IS narrow (His word) so in that sense I’m proud to be “narrow-minded” and since people, like yourself, with poor grounding in the Faith are usually sold on the importance of being “gentle” in the superficial sense, you will not appreciate the importance of plain speaking in the context of a very difficult debate. Did you think Stacey Devine was “narrow minded” and rude? What about the SPUC representative who refused to say that young people should be taught “no sex” as they are taught “no drugs” and “no smoking”? Were you “appalled” at her?

        For the record, Francesca, what do YOU teach your students about “sex and relationships”? Do YOU insist that marriage is the only acceptable context for sexual intercourse? Or would that teaching, straight from the lips of Christ Himself, “turn them away” from the Church, in your view?

        April 8, 2014 at 9:42 am
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        God help us all if this is the so called Catholic Teachers of today .Francesco our remit is not to agree with the secular homosexual society everything goes after all its my body. Do you read and teach and explain scripture to your Pupils we were bought with a price better to die a bad Catholic than have the rules changed the Ed just put these very points across on the Big Bad Company. You as a Catholic school teacher have a tremendous chance to speak the truth –But alas for them who teach these little ones to sin it would be better for them if a millstone be tied around their neck and they be cast into the deepest part of the Ocean –unquote –Christs words not mine –Here endeth the lesson

        April 9, 2014 at 2:34 am
      • editor

        Faith of our Fathers,

        Got it in one. Notably, Francesca seems to be merely one more “hit and run”. Those types come on to vent their spleen but when their errors are pointed out, they don’t respond – just disappear into thin air.

        By the way, for some reason your comment went into moderation – I can see no reason for it but this sort of blip happens from time to time. Apologies (on behalf of WordPress!)

        April 9, 2014 at 10:31 am
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Thanks for taking the time to reply Francesco seems to think that -this is al scratch your back you scratch mine -If she opens her mind and read the TRUTH and teach the TRUTH she will realise her comments were off the mark as she will see from me criticizing you on other blogs .What we cannot deviate from is Christ,s teaching . Years ago when I was working in a Kirk I used to have some banter with the Minister one question always stopped him in his track .I used to say to him you have a degree in Christian Theology why are you a Protestant Minister he could not answer me unfortunately this same question can now be put to some of our clergy.

        April 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm
  • pewcatholic

    Have just watched it. Well done, Editor, to keep cool and articulate in the midst of that godless lot. How depressing they were. I sensed a respect from that presenter for your communication skills. Bet you get asked again!

    March 31, 2014 at 8:58 pm
    • editor

      Pew Catholic,

      Thank you – you are very kind. Just send your autograph book with a stamped addressed envelope included and I’ll get back to you 😉

      March 31, 2014 at 10:36 pm
  • crofterlady

    Well done, Editor. I thought you were brilliant despite the forces aligned against you. It was very sad to see those Irish names ( Devine, Thornton etc) completely godless in their attitudes especially as they are probably the products of Catholic schools. Nevertheless you did get some good points across, especially the bit about the negligent bishops.

    If you do agree to participate in such a programme again, you should set the rules. Nick did seem to obstruct you when he didn’t want your point of view. But, anyway, well done! There would have been a time when a staunch priest would have been on hand to defend the truth. But no longer: they are now emasculated thanks to their own immorality.

    March 31, 2014 at 10:12 pm
    • editor


      Thank you, too, for your kind remarks.

      I fully agree – it would be much better if a sound priest could do these sorts of shows but don’t hold your breath.

      March 31, 2014 at 10:38 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Take my hat off to you for even entering a B.B.C. atheistically charged studio there were more Godly Persona in Hittlers Wolfs Lair and Bunker in WW11-There were certainly no surprises as regards the morning after pill once Euthanasia becomes legal will that be called The Morning Before Pill .Your a very brave woman I hope you shook the very dust from your shoes on leaving that Den of Iniquity. The B.B.C.is full of Homosexuals,Whores ,and Reprobates.

        March 31, 2014 at 11:10 pm
      • editor

        Faith of Our Fathers,

        “The B.B.C.is full of Homosexuals, Whores ,and Reprobates.”

        And that was just the audience 😀

        April 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm
  • hamishpeterson

    That rabble of an audience was positively pre christian and anti christian. You, editor, were like Daniel in the lions den! You did well. Surprisingly so, considering the time in which you had to speak. I believe that Mr. Kennedy claims to be a Catholic mmmmmmmmmm !!!! If what your faith claims to be true; I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes on judgement day! I am also interested in what you said about your bishops: are they not doing their job?

    March 31, 2014 at 11:09 pm
    • Frankier


      The bishops are doing a job but not their job.

      They are doing the type of job that Oliver Cromwell did in Ireland many years ago with more success than Oliver ever dreamed of and with less planning.

      At least Ollie had some fierce opposition.

      April 1, 2014 at 12:43 am
  • Vianney

    Editor, just got round to viewing the programme and have to say you done very well. It’s a pity you were not really given enough time to answer questions and that sort of behaviour by journalist really annoys me. They ask a question and before the person has a chance to answer they are asking another.
    Also, we couldn’t miss you could we? not with your orange top on. Reminds me of being in the Hague for the opening of Parliament and everybody you saw was dressed in orange.

    March 31, 2014 at 11:25 pm
    • Frankier

      I must be colour blind. I thought it was a green and white hooped jersey.

      April 1, 2014 at 12:36 am
      • editor

        Vianney and Frankier,

        My orange blouse was my contribution to ecumenism 😉

        April 1, 2014 at 12:45 am
    • editor

      “…you were not really given enough time to answer questions and that sort of behaviour by journalist really annoys me. They ask a question and before the person has a chance to answer they are asking another.”

      Exactly, Vianney. I kept wondering if I had gone to a Catholic Truth team meeting by mistake…

      April 1, 2014 at 12:46 am
  • Frankier

    I thought it was a bottle of holy water you had in case things got out of hand.

    April 1, 2014 at 12:33 am

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