Should The Scots Bishops Apologise?

Should The Scots Bishops Apologise?


 August Newsletter online early – click here to read…

note: this post published on 21 July (not 19th as per sidebar)


For years, the Scots faithful have been told that the Church is thriving in the aftermath of the Vatican II “renewal”. 

Clearly, that has not been true at any point post-Vatican II.  Throughout this alleged “springtime” in the Church the  Bishops failed, by every objective measure, to deliver a healthy, faith-filled Church.  That’s their job. To teach and promote the Catholic religion, which means, in turn, quelling dissent and correcting error.  They refused, consistently, to do so and now they are forced to admit their failure.  Having closed our seminaries, one and all, having overseen clergy being “educated” by heretics galore, both during seminary training and through continuing “in-service” events, they are now having to recruit priests from “wherever” – to quote the Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia – to replace those who have married wives, bought oxen, you name it.

But, will he?  Recruit priests from “wherever”, I mean.  You kidding?  There will be no “traditional” priests recruited by him or any other Scots Bishop.  They’d sooner we attended a Protestant church than an SSPX chapel.  Hence, it’s unlikely that the challenge issued on page 20 of the August newsletter will be taken up – can’t see the Archbishop of Glasgow handing over one of his churches earmarked for merger, closure or demolition to the Society of St Pius X, can you?  Better to stick with the “missionaries” from far flung parts like India – at least they’re from the Vatican II sector and will engage only in the “new evangelisation” – that is, “evangelisation”  in the name of  the ever elusive new “springtime”, in pursuit of the non-existent “renewal”.

So, should the Scots faithful receive an apology from the Bishops who have misled us for so many years now? Surely, the Bishops should apologise for turning truth on its head by telling us that the dramatic lapsation from the Faith, the abandonment of priestly and religious vocations,  the closure of churches, the heretical meetings permitted in parishes, the false teaching given in schools and pulpits, and all the other scandals are nothing to worry about;  surely they should apologise for peddling the falsehood that these signs of decay are,  in fact, signs that the Holy Spirit is leading us forward into a Church where the laity is more active – by which they really mean lay people, especially women, could, and should, run around the sanctuary playing at being priests. We are, surely, due a very loud and sincere apology for the falsehood that these signs of decay are the work of the Holy Spirit? No? Well what about an apology for insulting our intelligence, because those of us who don’t fit the description “useful idiots” know perfectly well that the Holy Spirit could not possibly be responsible for the decadent state of the  Catholic Church in Scotland (or anywhere else) today. 

A sincere (public) apology to God and to the faithful for all of the above, and more;  an equally sincere and public expression of repentance for neglectfully allowing the Church of Christ to fall into decay; a firm determination to restore the Catholic religion in all its traditional glory – now there’s a recipe for a “new springtime”… Which, if any, of the Scots Bishops might be up to that challenge?  

Comments (93)

  • David Roemer

    Comment removed – completely off topic.

    You may use our General Discussion thread for topics not listed for specific discussion. Please do not abuse our hospitality by ignoring the topic and posting something on a different subject.

    July 21, 2015 at 5:57 am
  • westminsterfly

    Apart from the odd pockets of Tradition and orthodoxy here and there, England is most definitely mission country as well. And what do we do in Westminster to remedy the problem? As Editor pointed out on General Discussion thread 8, we get protestants in to ‘kick-start’ parishes. You couldn’t make it up:- This is all part of ‘Proclaim 15’ – – the latest in a long line of extremely costly gimmicks that have done absolutely nothing to restore vitality to the Church in England & Wales. One thinks of all the money squandered on similar initiatives in the past, like ‘Renew’ and ‘At Your Word, Lord’, ‘CAFE’ and ‘Catholic ALPHA’. It seems they will do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, rather than return to Sacred Tradition – it’s just unthinkable for them, almost a shameful thing for them to do. A friend of mine once asked her parish priest if he would say the TLM, and he didn’t just say no, but that it would ‘violate his conscience’ – as though she had asked him to do something filthy! I can only think it is some kind of spiritual blindness – the ‘diabolical disorientation’ referred to by Sister Lucia of Fatima.

    July 21, 2015 at 10:48 am
    • Margaret Mary

      Westminster Fly,

      I agree that England as well is mission country, and probably Wales. Your comment about the priest saying it would “violate his conscience” to say the TLM is really incredible. As you say, it’s as if she’s asked him to do something filthy.

      I do think the Scots Bishops should apologise, along with the English and Welsh bishops (don’t know anything about the Northern Ireland bishops) and for taking away the Mass and refusing to allow it again when Summorum Pontificum came in. That’s not mentioned in the blog article, to my surprise, but to me the destruction of the liturgy is key to everything else.

      July 21, 2015 at 11:22 am
      • Frankier

        Margaret Mary

        Nobody apologises when they think they are in the right.

        July 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm
      • Nicky

        That is the problem. They think they’re right and no way will they apologise. They think the closing of churches, fewer vocations etc is from God The Holy Spirit so we can have a lay-led Church. LOL!

        July 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm
    • editor


      “Costly gimmicks” sums up the loss of divine and Catholic Faith which IS the apostasy. These bishops and priests have created a new human “church” where do-gooders can do good (to the poor and needy) but without any supernatural impetus or support. Hence, logically, they want to use merely human, secular methods of trying to promote their “product”.

      All makes perfect sense when you think about it from their angle. The problem comes when looking at it from God’s angle! They’ve forgotten all about thinking with the “mind of Christ”.

      July 21, 2015 at 11:54 am
    • Frankier

      I suppose it would have violated the consciences of John Knox and Martin Luther to offer up the TLM so this priest is in good company. It’s a pity he hasn’t followed in their footsteps.

      That was the best break the Catholic Church got in this country, getting rid of someone who fancied the under-aged.

      July 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm
    • Frankier


      Can you imagine asking someone like him to enrol you in the Brown Scapular?

      He would probably offer you the chance to enrol in the masons instead.

      July 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm
  • editor

    Margaret Mary,

    The Mass is, indeed, key to everything else. I should really have mentioned the bishops’ defiant refusal to implement Summorum Pontificum (SP). This was an oversight although in self-defence, I would say it’s because it seems so obvious – we often speak of the Mass but not so often of the other things on the list, but, still, SP definitely merited a mention, so my apologies, and thanks for pointing out the omission …

    In an effort to make up for this oversight, and to emphasise the central importance of the destruction of the liturgy and the shameful attempts of the Scots Bishops to suppress the traditional Mass, I went looking for a previous discussion on the tragic end” of the Catholic Church in Scotland – where we featured the following video. Every bishop and priest should reflect on this short film revealing the shocking and tragic end of one parish church which serves as a metaphor for what they have done to the Catholic Church in Scotland overall…

    July 21, 2015 at 11:46 am
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      The link to the video of the former convent now a club, is really awful. How sad to see the high altar, as was. How any diocese/religious order could make such a sale, is beyond me.

      The story of the SSPX purchase in Pittsburgh, on the other hand, really does lift one’s spirits, and one is terribly grateful for that, one really must confess 😀

      July 21, 2015 at 11:43 pm
  • gabriel syme

    The Bishops need to wake up and “get the finger out”, (excuse the blunt term), If they can do that I would forgo an apology!

    What concerns me is that, despite the decline of recent decades and the by now very obvious problems, there seems little or no indication of any change of direction etc.

    They seem happy to simply manage decline. Probably because thats the easy option, involving least effort.

    I do not mean to sound uncharitable, but I do genuinely think that. (I remember priests stomping around like moody teenagers, when Pope Benedict made some minor changes to the English language missal – if such a small thing like that put their noses out of joint, you can imagine the reaction if the clergy were asked to make a big effort with something, or make big changes).

    The problems is that the Bishops are confused and they do not properly understand their role. They do not teach, they do not govern, they do not police. They think they are in post to organise ecumenical events and the like. Its all they do. I am 37 and all I have ever know is a mainstream Church which has (i) ecumenism and (ii) trying to find loopholes in its own doctrines, as its priorities. No wonder its a shambles.

    Only when the Bishops recover a clear sighted idea of what Bishops are for, will things improve. Perhaps few blows to the head might jog their memory? (Thats a joke, before anyone calls the Police).

    Another issue is how feeble and meek modern Bishops are. Mostly, they just want to “go with the flow” and in most cases they are certainly not keen to do anything innovative or different.

    To be fair, Bishop Robson of Dunkeld recently introduced a TLM in his diocese, that was one positive step.

    I thought Archbishop Cushely re-introducing the St Margaret pilgrimage was another good move, until I learned that female protestant ministers were invited to address the pilgrims. Thats a bit like inviting someone over for dinner, then serving them a plate of horse manure. A good idea spoiled by downright idiocy.

    I know that Archbishop Tartagila was asked about restarting the Oglivie walks in Glasgow, but apparently he does not want that “under any circumstances”. Why? Because of course he has one eye on the Protestant reaction, and they would likely not choose to take part (given it was they who martyred Ogilvie) – another example of how ecumenism hamstrings the Church.

    July 21, 2015 at 4:04 pm
    • crofterlady

      Gabriel, why can’t we restart the Oglivie walks ourselves?

      July 21, 2015 at 8:29 pm
      • editor


        You kidding? They’re busy working on new laws to crack down on extremism. You lookin’ for trouble, wummin?

        Listen, Cardinal Winning stopped the Ogilvie marches on the grounds that it would disrupt the traffic etc. Words to that effect.

        Archbishop Tartaglia sent two representatives along to the Orange-Fest – which culminated, they tell me, in a good old-fashioned Orange Walk which disrupts the traffic for miles around – yet, as Gabriel Syme quotes, won’t reinstate the Ogilvie Walk under any circumstances. Clearly, it’s not the traffic that’s the issue. Not remotely.

        It’s about belief – or lack of it. John Ogilvie, like John Vianney, represents a very different type of priest to the “model” favoured by Archbishop T. Very different. Now, suggest a march to celebrate the life and writings of Mgr Basil Loftus and Archbishop T would, without a doubt, lead the way, with or without the accompaniment of the nearest Orange band.

        July 21, 2015 at 10:24 pm
      • Athanasius

        There was once an SSPX priest, Fr. Andre Lemieux, (French Canadian) who led a regular monthly rosary walk in honour of St. John Ogilvie from Glasgow Cross all the way up to Renfrew Street. It was pretty well attended, if memory serves.

        July 22, 2015 at 12:42 am
  • spudeater

    Apologising or even getting someone else to apologise is not easy at the best of times but extracting an apology from a party who doesn’t consider that they’ve done anything wrong is well nigh impossible. Archbishop Tartaglia was merely being honest and stating a fact when he called Scotland ‘mission country’ (though I’m doubtful as to whether he and his fellow bishops would accept any responsibility for the state of the nation) and being realistic, is there a group of bishops anywhere in the world that could accurately assert that their particular homeland ISN’T mission country? The dire malaise afflicting parishes is of course not helped by those bishops who appear to be more concerned with fundraising jumble sales, parish shindigs celebrating the anniversary or opening of this or that or meetings and conferences where a lot is discussed and little or nothing achieved. They seem to have developed a (mostly) collective deafness when it comes to their divine calling to keep their (spiritual) eyes on the Ultimate Prize of the salvation of souls. I would say that they’re more reminiscent of middle management in a large multinational than they are of Bishops of the Church but at least corporate managers know that they have to help their employer make a profit and give the shareholders a good dividend whereas it seems that a lot of the ‘managers’ in the Church have completely lost sight of any supernatural aspect to their position and the primary responsibility of their God-given roles and consequently are failing dismally to give their Employer the return He expects or deserves. How much worse can it get when it’s not inaccurate to paraphrase the Holy Spirit by saying ‘These shepherds honour Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.’

    July 21, 2015 at 9:33 pm
    • editor


      With respect to your continuing avatar-less self, there’s nothing “honest” about the admission that Scotland is now mission country – I think the congregations (like one two minutes from where I live) are beginning to notice that their local clergy are disappearing and being replaced by priests from India. I noticed it within minutes, when the then new priest in a steady succession which included one from Poland, arrived at our door, to kindly visit my then sick mother.

      For years, we’ve been ridiculed for pointing out that, as you rightly state, the post-Vatican II Church worldwide is now mission territory (and don’t the Pentecostalists in South America know it, and are reaping the benefit in their packed, with former Catholics, churches) …

      No, with all due respect, “honesty” has nothing to do with it. Forced to admit the truth at last, is more accurate. Yet, still, as pointed out in the August editorial, even now, Archbishop Tartaglia is seeking to give the impression that the decay of the Church in Scotland is nothing more than a trial from God, if we “trust” Jesus, He’ll sort it. Straight from page 1 of Theology for Dummies.
      As you say, “…it’s not inaccurate to paraphrase the Holy Spirit by saying ‘These shepherds honour Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.’” – and what’s that, if not downright dishonesty?

      July 21, 2015 at 10:35 pm
    • Christina

      Spudeater, come on then and stop her nagging. Here’s your avatar so it is, so it is.

      July 22, 2015 at 10:43 am
      • Christina

        Oops, I thought I’d posted the url – didn’t know it would print itself in giant size (so I didn’t)

        July 22, 2015 at 10:46 am
      • editor


        Brilliant! I just wish they were ALL that size – would make it even easier to trace comments and see who is the latest poster on the sidebar!

        Spudeater – that’s a great avatar. Good luck with it! (and before anyone enlightens me, I know there’s no such thing as luck. Just a figure of speech 😀 )

        July 22, 2015 at 10:51 am
      • spudeater


        Apologies for taking so long to respond to your kind avatar offer but I’ve only just spotted your posts (I’m a bit slow ye see and new posts that arrive mid rather than end-thread often flummox my investigative abilities).

        Anyway, at the risk of being accused of looking a gift horse in the mouth (and I would certainly never dare to accuse either of you of being old nags!), I must point out that if I tried to sink my gnashers into the contents of the leprechaun’s pot, I’d be making an emergency appointment with my dentist shortly afterwards as I tink that’s gold coins rather than ‘gold’ of the vegetable variety i.e. spuds that he’s holding. In any case, I’d tend to go for a more tangentially connected pic like Sir Walter Raleigh (preferably with his head still attached) or more subtly still, a big plate of chips.

        July 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm
  • crofterlady

    Absolutely agree. ‘’These shepherds honour Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.’” – and what’s that, if not downright dishonesty?

    Exactly. There are none so blind as those who cannot see. These bishops are blinded. Diabolically so. I mean a friend recently told me that when he confronted his Scottish bishop about the novus ordo being defective, he replied: “How can you expect me to doubt the Mass I have been offering for all of my priesthood?” So there ended his reason. My, if great converts had thought like that, we wouldn’t have had any. If they even considered thinking outside the box, their very raison d’etre would crumble. God help us all.

    July 21, 2015 at 10:49 pm
  • Constantine

    Of course, a sixth option in the latest opinion poll should read ‘Catholic Truth Scotland’.

    July 21, 2015 at 11:00 pm
    • editor


      You blaming Catholic Truth for the apostasy in Scotland? (we’re not actually named Catholic Truth Scotland as I have explained a million times. That had to be added to our domain name for technical reasons – when a priest tried to buy up just about every variation of Catholic Truth to – he fondly hoped – close us down. Didn’t work as you can see, with glee, she said poetic as ever…)

      How can we possibly, by any stretch of anyone’s imagination, be blamed for the collapse of Catholicism in Scotland?

      How so, Constantine, Sir? Explain thyself…

      July 21, 2015 at 11:22 pm
      • Constantine

        You underestimate yourself, your command of the English language rivals George Galloway.

        July 21, 2015 at 11:47 pm
      • editor


        I’m not sure how to read your latest post. Not sure whether I have here, in the person of your good self, a fan of impressive proportions or an enemy who hates me a tad more than he hates George Galloway.

        For the record, I like George. I have good reason to think that he loves Our Lady and that, thus,, in the end, he’ll be OK. Right now, I’d love to chat with him about why I do have concerns about his soul. However, I digress…

        Constantine, will you speak/write to me in plain English. Are you a fan or should I employ a bodyguard? 😀

        PS After all, you could put down my “command of the English language” to the fact that I’m a trained teacher of English language and literature… shouldn’t be a sign that I’m to blame for the collapse of the Church in Scotland. Be fair 😀

        July 21, 2015 at 11:55 pm
      • Constantine

        No, but you know what I mean.

        July 22, 2015 at 12:26 am
      • editor


        Nope. I don’t know what you mean and you, clearly are not about to tell me. Still, you did make me smile.

        July 22, 2015 at 10:53 am
      • crofterlady

        Is this George Galloway, the outspoken politician? If it is, I like him too. Listening to him speak is a very pleasant experience. Both his English and his voice are beautiful. I hope you are reading this, George! I didn’t know he was a Catholic.

        July 22, 2015 at 12:50 pm
      • westminsterfly

        According to this report Galloway converted to Islam?

        July 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm
      • editor


        When I saw that article, it rang a bell in my pretty li’l head – I believe I’d heard that before about him converting to Islam. How sad if true.

        I heard him once in an interview refer to Our Lady, in passing, when someone mentioned women using bad language. My memory is that he said something to the effect that, as a pupil at a Catholic school, he remembered it said that “Our Lady cries every time a girl uses bad language”. Something like that, but he said it calmly, not mockingly at all, and it struck me at the time that, although (as I thought) he was lapsed, there was hope for him.

        In fact, in that article, he seems reluctant to speak about his alleged conversion which makes me wonder how genuine it is. Time will tell. Or, rather, eternity will tell !

        July 22, 2015 at 7:21 pm
    • Athanasius


      Of course, a sixth option in the latest opinion poll should read ‘Catholic Truth Scotland’.”

      I would love to read your explanation for that daft statement, but I guess that won’t be forthcoming anytime soon! You have absolutely no grasp of the seriousness of the present Church crisis, Constantine. Completely blind, though I hope not wilfully so.

      July 22, 2015 at 12:35 am
  • Therese

    Ahem. Astonished to read, esteemed Editor, that you are a fan of George Galloway. Howay man!! Gerragrip…..

    As to the proposed walk in honour of St John Ogilvie, we have a similar walk in honour of Blessed John Ingram from Newcastle to Gateshead (starting from where he was condemned to the place of his execution) every year on the nearest Sunday to the anniversary of his death. The next one is next Sunday. It’s an odd circumstance that this brave priest and holy martyr has not received his official sainthood after nearly 500 years while Archbishop Romero’s cause is being proposed after such a very short time, and very dubiously, in my opinion.

    July 22, 2015 at 3:26 pm
    • editor


      Don’t be astonished that I don’t take my lead in branding the “good” vs “bad” guys from the entirely biased and untruthful UK media. Ever noticed that we have the same news items right across the channels, every day? Some of them utterly trivial? A chunk of the (mere) half-hour “news” slot devoted to sport (which I detest with a vengeance, everything from football to golf to people running around looking breathless and … well. you get my drift.) No, Therese. I listen to what is said by individuals, consider their sources, rationale and likely motivation and decide for myself who I trust more than A.N. Other.

      Obviously, I wouldn’t agree with everything about George Galloway but I can say, hand on heart, that when HE is a member of the Question Time panel (BBC TV’s Thursday night token gesture to creating the illusion of democracy, you know, the same illusion we have at General Election time..) I find that he speaks without equivocation, sticks to facts and takes the ad hominem attacks directed at him in his stride. Take a look in the eyes of Tony Blair when he’s on the next news bulletin this evening, as he has been all day (well, I’ve been driving so I’m presuming he is on the TV news as well as radio) and tell me you’d believe him if he told you this is the month of July. I certainly wouldn’t believe him if he told me this is the Year of Our Lord, 2015.

      About the walk in honour of Blessed John Ingram – I lived in the north east for a lot of years and have never heard of that walk or that Blessed. I heard countless homilies on the subject of my duty to solve the problem of hunger in South America if not the entire world! Crackers! No wonder the clergy didn’t have time to tell us about such devotional things as a “pilgrimage” walk in honour of a local man en route to canonisation. You’d think that would trump at least one CAFOD appeal, would you not? !

      July 22, 2015 at 7:13 pm
      • Therese

        Dear Editor

        I wouldn’t believe Tony Blair if he told me his name was Tony Blair, and I haven’t believed anything or anyone that the media champion for decades! I have spoken to George Galloway, as I used to hold a higher opinion of him than I do now. I’m afraid my opinion of him is that he is a rogue. He had the audacity to tell people that he was a Catholic. Married 4 or 5 times now I believe, most recently to 2 Muslim women. He has a poor record in voting for homosexual “marriage”, and his “debating” style can only be described as loud bullying. He used to have a call in radio show, and his method of dealing with people who disagreed with him or asked him questions that he didn’t want to answer was to cut them off. I never trust people who can’t, or won’t, be honest in what they believe. George only tells you what he wants you to know.

        As to Blessed John Ingram – here is a potted biography:

        He was born at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire, in 1565; executed at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 July, 1594. He was probably the son of Anthony Ingram of Wolford, Warwickshire, by Dorothy, daughter of Sir John Hungerford. He was educated first in Worcestershire, then at the English College, Reims, at the Jesuit College, Pont-a-Mousson, and at the English College, Rome. Ordained at Rome in 1589, he went to Scotland early in 1592, and there frequented the company of Lords Huntly, Angus, and Erroll, the Abbot of Dumbries, and Sir Walter Lindsay of Balgavies. Captured on the Tyne, 25 November, 1593, he was imprisoned successively at Berwick, Durham, York, and in the Tower of London, in which place he suffered the severest tortures with great constancy, and wrote twenty Latin epigrams which have survived. Sent north again, he was imprisoned at York, Newcastle, and Durham, where he was tried in the company of John Bostle and George Swalwell, a converted minister. He was convicted under a law which made the mere presence in England of a priest ordained abroad high treason, though there was no evidence that he had ever exercised any priestly function in England. It appears that some one in Scotland offered the English Government a thousand crowns for his life.

        July 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm
      • editor


        Now that you mention it, I’ve heard people complain about George’s radio style, and it did surprise me – I’d have presumed he would allow everyone a fair hearing. I’m only going by his performances on TV, mostly Question Time. Mind you, standing out alongside the PC muppets who make up the QT panels, isn’t too difficult to do. And I do agree about his voting record on the moral issues – dreadful. My feeling was always that, with proper guidance (preferably from Catholic Truth!) he’d be set on the right road, but, there again, maybe not. I thought he WAS being honest about his beliefs, but maybe I’m too innocent and trusting. Too virtuous, really, for my own good, if you get my drift… 😀 Still, a wee prayer to Our Lady on his behalf, wouldn’t go astray. As for his being a “rogue” – well, he’s a Glaswegian – we’re all rogues to some extent!

        Whatever, be assured that I wouldn’t have broken my now well established rule of never voting for any politician on the planet. Don’t trust any of them. Fibbers, one and all. How do I know when they’re lying, you ask? Because I can see when their mouth is moving, that’s how I know 😀

        Thank you for that potted history of Blessed John Ingram. If someone up here in Scotland offered the English Government a thousand crowns for his life, he must have been a very good priest indeed! Mean Scots? A thousand crowns? Definitely!

        July 22, 2015 at 8:26 pm
      • Therese

        Maybe I”ve just been lucky, but I’ve never encountered a mean Scot! I’ll maintain a discreet silence about Yorkshiremen……..

        ….except to say that they take pride in the saying “see all,eat all, pay nowt…”

        July 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm
      • editor


        You DO know what they say about Yorkshiremen? That a Yorkshireman is a Scotsman with the generosity squeezed out!

        Wicked 😀

        July 23, 2015 at 12:08 am
      • Frankier

        A Yorkshireman is a Scotsman who sold his return ticket.

        July 23, 2015 at 1:34 am
      • editor


        That’s a new one on me – cheeky! For the record, I LOVE Yorkshiremen – all of them!

        July 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm
    • editor


      I thought of your posts on Blessed John Ingram when I received Wendy Walker’s latest pro-life bulletin in today’s inbox. This will no doubt interest you, if you don’t already know about it, as it will undoubtedly interest other readers in the north-east of England:


      Dear All,

      I have been given information about a petition to seek the canonisation of:


      A lady called…

      Miss Francesca Dixon
      31 Auburn Road
      NE14 9XP …

      is leading this campaign and has produced petition/information forms.
      So far she has over 800 signatures and of course wants more.
      If anyone is interested they can write to Francesca.

      Thank you.

      July 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm
  • crofterlady

    Yes, and there’s an annual walk in York to mark the martyrdom of St. Margaret Clitheroe.

    July 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm
    • editor


      Don’t let us keep you… Next train to York is at 9pm. Safe trip… 😀

      July 22, 2015 at 8:29 pm
  • Petrus

    Well, today I’ve had an exchange with one of the Scottish bishops, Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, regarding his promotion of Natural Family Planning. I will state from the outset that this exchange took place on social media and is in the public domain, so I am not betraying confidences.

    Bishop Keenan posted an advert for a Natural Family Planning course. He described NFP as “an highly effective method which allowed couples to successfully achieve or avoid pregnancy.” Since there was no other guidance or caveat , I responded by saying:

    “My Lord, it is important to point out that the teaching of the Church is that married couples can only use this (excellent) method to avoid pregnancy for a very short time and for serious reasons. It cannot be used with a contraceptive mentality.”

    The bishop replied:

    “It’s a method that helps you understand natural cycles of fertility. Many couples use it to help conceive where there’s difficulty so it cannot ‘by nature’ be contraceptive.”

    However, it can be used with a contraceptive mentality and I pointed this out to the bishop once again. I then asked him to provide the Church’s teaching on this and he responded by saying that NFP can be used to avoid pregnancy for serious reasons only. Isn’t this what he should have clarified when he promoted the course?

    Anyway, I told him that Catholics today were either ignorant of Church teaching or ignoring Church teaching on both NFP and artifical contraception. Why? Because we haven’t heard to taught in the classroom or the pulpit. To give the bishop his due, he “liked” this comment which seems to indicate that he agrees. However, he went on to say:

    “Yes, it is true that the lay faithful have a right to better teaching on the Church’s teaching on why contraception is spiritually unhealthy, on the many benefits of natural fertility regulation as a way of living and to better access to training in its method. NFP has proved life-changing for many couples and for the happiness of their marriages. Any couples interested please contact me for more information.”

    A right to better teaching? That’s putting it mildly! He himself didn’t provide better teaching when he promoted NFP without giving the Church’s teaching on how and when it can be used. And what exactly does “spiritually unhealthy” mean? Artificial contraception is mortally sinful and if bishops and priests used this unambiguous statement more often then perhaps less Catholics would use artificial contraception!

    I do not doubt Bishop Keenan ‘ s good intentions but it has to be said this is yet another example of a Scottish Bishop failing to do his duty.

    July 22, 2015 at 9:40 pm
    • editor


      That is all very interesting indeed.

      I can’t believe that any bishop would use a daft term like “spiritually unhealthy” – is this a euphemism for sin? Why not use the tried and tested word “sin” and “mortal sin”?

      Oops! Silly me! Haven’t I just written an editorial on the apostate Bishops of Scotland?

      What am I like ? 😀

      July 23, 2015 at 12:11 am
      • Petrus

        Well, I was chastised by a young female on Bishop Keenan ‘ s facebook thread who told me that artificial contraception was NOT mortally sinful. The pill, says she, isn’t really doing any damage it judt “slows the process down”. Condoms are permitted because they protect from disease and young people who are engaging in sexual acts should at least be allowed to “play it safe”! Incredible stuff. I pointed out that this was not the teaching of the Church and called for Bishop Keenan to say so. He replied:

        “The Church refers to it as grave but let’s try to keep our discussions charitable and peaceable please.”

        That was it. No further correction. An ideal teaching opportunity and the bishop bottled it. I pointed out that the Church has always used “mortal and venial sin” so could he please confirm that the use of contraception is a mortal sin and can never be tolerated by the Church. There’s been no further comment from the bishop and the young girl’s comment has been deleted. An opportunity missed by the bishop.

        July 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm
      • Helen

        Never fear, Editor. Eileenanne will be on like a shot to defend the indefensible!

        July 23, 2015 at 5:25 pm
      • Josephine


        “Eileenanne will be on like a shot…” LOL !

        July 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm
      • Eileenanne

        Sorry to disappoint you, but I was in Lourdes when you posted your comment.

        Now that I’m back, I will just remind Petrus that mortal sin requires not only grave matter, but clear knowledge and full consent. I can think of countless scenarios when using even artificial contraception, never mind NFP, would be unlikely to constitute mortal sin. It is misleading to say that “Artificial contraception is mortally sinful…”

        July 24, 2015 at 9:05 pm
      • Petrus

        Eileen Anne

        There’s not many Catholics, or non-Catholics, who don’t know that artifical contraception is mortally sinful. However, instead of your usual “hit and run” tactics, why don’t you name your “countless situations”? I do think we will be waiting a long time before you get specific.

        Now, whilst we cannot say with certain that an individual is committing a mortal sin by doing anything, that’s a different thing from speaking generally and saying that using contraception is a mortal sin. Murder is generally a mortal sin, although we cannot judge a soul by saying that they have definitely committed a mortal sin by murdering someone. So, nice try but you failed again. Big time.

        I think we have to question eileenanne ‘s commitment to the Catholic Faith as she defends the indefensible and turns a blind eye to heresy and scandal. Someone who loves the Faith would do the opposite.

        July 24, 2015 at 9:14 pm
      • Eileenanne

        Imagine a woman with several children whose drunken husband, on whom she is economically dependent, insists on his marital rights every night. If she goes on the pill to avoid bringing another child into the family. would YOU condemn her to hell for all eternity? I wouldn’t and I can’t imagine that an all loving God would either,

        I think it is very important that in a discussion like this we make it clear that mortal sin has three components as I said above so that people are not misled into thinking that a certain action is ALWAYS mortally sinful.

        As an example of that, I think of my aunt, aged then about 85, not long after having a hip replacement, and prevented from attending Mass one Sunday by a sudden heavy snow fall overnight. It would have been impossible to walk to the bus, and a taxi would not have got along the steet in which she lives. She insisted that she HAD to go to Confession the following Saturday or she would have been unable, so she thought, to receive Communion the next Sunday. While there is obvious benefit from going to Confession, it is shocking that she could not be persuaded that missing Mass in those circumstances did not itself constute a sin of any kind, let alone one that would have seen her in hell had she died during the week. She had been taught that missing Mass was a mortal sin and that was that. Sloppy statements that such and such is a mortal sin, with no further clarification leads to that kind of confuson and is to be avoided.

        July 26, 2015 at 10:48 pm
      • Eileenanne

        Two more scenarios:

        A woman forced into prostitution who takes the pill.

        A woman with children, who has good reason to believe her health could not stand another pregnancy. Yes we all know of heroic mothers who have gone on to have more children in a case like that, but who would condemn the ones who don’t have that level of heroism? It is possible there mght be some degre of sin here, I’m not a moral theologian, but i don’t see anyone going to hell for using contraception in such a circumstance.

        I am not making contraception morally right; I am saying that circumstances alter the gravity of sins. Surely we all believe that?

        July 26, 2015 at 10:59 pm
      • Athanasius


        What you seem to be advocating is this: “Let us do evil that good may come of it”.

        The Church has never allowed for exceptions to the moral law because it is of God, not of man. Artificial contraception is a mortal sin, no exceptions, that’s the teaching we Catholics adhere to, yes even in the face of heart-rending scenarios such as you propose.

        There is a famous argument put forward by pro-abortionists that babies conceived as a result of rape should be aborted without question if the victim so desires. The Church has never fallen for that old trick either, knowing that God brings good from evil whereas man renders evil for evil. St. Ninian was a product of rape, for example. Imagine what the world would have lost had his mother been encouraged and permitted by the Church to abort him upon conception.

        The problem today, and this relates to such as yourself who propose hard luck stories as means of lessening sin, is that faith and trust in God’s providence has evaporated in our time. People only look at the human side of things, caring very little about the supernatural effects of their actions. Fortunately, the Church does not subscribe to this false mercy.

        July 26, 2015 at 11:34 pm
      • Athanasius


        I suspect your old aunt has more a problem with scruples than with ignorance of Church teaching concerning the obligation to hear Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.

        Still, it shows that your old aunt detests the very idea that she may have done something mortally sinful. Better that than making our own rules up for different circumstances as though mortal sin was really too overstated by the Church.

        One mortal sin was sufficient to cause the Son of God to become incarnate and die a terrible death on the Cross to make reparation and re-open the gates of heaven. It’s a very serious matter indeed, and one that no human suffering of any kind can in the least mitigate.

        July 26, 2015 at 11:48 pm
      • Eileenanne

        I am not qualified to diagnose scruples, but nothing in my aunt’s conduct or converstaion has ever led me to suspect she suffers from them.

        I am most definitely not saying that we do evil that good may come of it, nor am I using hard luck stories as means of lessening sin. What I am saying is that in seeking forgiveness for our sins, we must confess them in number and kind along with any circumstances that alter their gravity, and that a bald statement that such and such is mortally sinful without qualification, is not helpful or truthful.

        It is imperative to our understanding of sin that we realise that circumstances do alter the gravity of sins. If I said I had driven the getaway car for some armed robbers, you, or my confessor might at first assume I had committed mortal sin. If I went on to say that I had done it because my children had been kidnapped at gunpoint and would be killed if I didn’t…. well the sin suddenly seems much less, doesn’t it? That is not a scenario in which I am likely to find myself (for one thing, I can’t drive!) but it serves as an example of what I am trying to say.

        If mitigating circumstances can apply for the objective wrongs of missing Mass or taking part in a robbery, why not for using contraception?

        July 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm
      • Athanasius


        I disagree with you entirely. You make red-herring arguments that the Church has never admitted into her moral teaching. That teaching is perfectly clear, i.e., the use of artificial contraception is an evil act that frustrates the creative power of God and contradicts nature.

        My challenge to you is to stop giving us your unqualified opinion only, presenting instead some official teaching of the Church that even remotely supports what you’re advocating.

        Is that too much to ask? This is a matter of the utmost importance touching on the salvation of souls. It’s way too serious a matter for you or I to be interpreting according to our own lights.

        July 27, 2015 at 8:55 pm
      • editor


        Your hard case story of the woman with several children and a drunken husband, is almost word for word the same case put to me some years ago by a social worker – except she restricted the husband’s drinking and conjugal demands to a Friday night.

        I answered her question: “what should a social worker do about such a family?” in precisely the same way that I will answer the same hard case example which you give…

        The problem is the husband and his drinking, not the wife or their children. To propose putting the wife on the pill, as that social worker suggested, is tantamount to preparing her to be abused.

        A more positive and productive way forward – and one that is much more likely to help the self-centred husband as well – would be to remove the husband from the family home and insist that he gets treatment for his alcoholism before he is permitted to return. Pie in the sky? It’s a heck of a lot more healthy for both husband and wife, than putting pills and devices into the woman, risking her long-term health and ignoring the real problem – his drinking.

        Whatever, some other solution must be found in a civilised society, in preference to making the woman pay with her health for her husband’s sins. Babies are not a disease. I have friends with very large families – one has 17 children – and she is hale and hearty at the time of going to press. So, don’t let the husband off the hook. These drunken men should not get away with abusing women. Goodness, what…. am I turning into a feminist at last? 😀

        In any event, it is NEVER right to do evil so that (perceived) good may come of it. That’s basic Catholic moral theology, is it not.

        I think some confusion has entered the discussion because you are not distinguishing objective mortal sin from the culpability of an individual soul.

        Put simply, the act of contracepting is ALWAYS gravely evil and cannot be condoned or excused. However, only God can decide the true culpability of an individual soul.

        But, we cannot use that truth to pretend that those who use contraception may do so in good conscience. They may NOT. They are always in a state of objectively grave sin. At their judgement, the Judge (God) will make clear whether that sin is mortal or not – but it would be a very foolish person indeed who tried to justify the use of something so intrinsically disordered in the hope that God will understand that they wanted to give their 2.5 children a better material lifestyle, more holidays and a bit more pocket money at the weekend, or whatever justification they use “in conscience”. There IS no justification in conscience. Our conscience is not a teacher. It cannot dictate that we must do something that is opposed to God’s law. If it does so dictate, then it is disordered. We already see cases of killers who say their voice of conscience told them they had to murder all the prostitutes in the city. Everyone knows that’s a disordered conscience. Every Catholic should similarly know that any conscience which is at ease with contraceptive use, is disordered.

        I’ve already posted the following authoritative teaching of the Church below, but I post it here also for ease of reference. The teaching of the Church is very clear on this:

        “No reason, however grave, can make what is intrinsically contrary to nature to be in conformity with nature and morally right. And since the conjugal act by its very nature is destined for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose are acting against nature, and are doing something that is base and intrinsically immoral”.

        “The Catholic Church … raises her voice as a sign of her divine mission, and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use of marriage exercised in such a way that through human effort the act is deprived of its natural power to procreate human life violates the law of God and of nature, and those who commit such an action are stained with the guilt of grave sin”

        Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Casti connubii (30 December 1930), in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 22 (1930), pp. 559-561.

        July 27, 2015 at 10:08 pm
      • Eileenanne

        I fully agree that hard cases make bad laws and that the scenarios I described are NOT an argument in favour of the Church altering its teaching on contraception. I have never made that argument here or anywhere else – I understand and accept the Church doctrine on the issue, however I firmly believe that people who do find themselves in that sort of situation and react by using cintraception will be met with the full force of God’s love and mercy.

        It is absolutely true that there CAN be mitigating circumstances for ANY sin – that is another Church teaching that I wholeheartedly embrace.

        That is one of the points I set out to make. The other is that because of that teaching, as well as the necessity for clear knowledge and full consent before a sin is mortal, we cannot say simply that that x, y or z is a mortal sin and leave it at that, which is the point on which I originally corrected Petrus. You, more accurately, referred to objective evil and pointed out that ” only God can decide the true culpability of an individual soul.” I have no quarrel with any of that.

        July 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm
      • Therese

        I can think of countless scenarios when using even artificial contraception, never mind NFP, would be unlikely to constitute mortal sin.

        Name 3.

        July 24, 2015 at 10:16 pm
      • editor

        “No reason, however grave, can make what is intrinsically contrary to nature to be in conformity with nature and morally right. And since the conjugal act by its very nature is destined for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose are acting against nature, and are doing something that is base and intrinsically immoral”.

        “The Catholic Church … raises her voice as a sign of her divine mission, and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use of marriage exercised in such a way that through human effort the act is deprived of its natural power to procreate human life violates the law of God and of nature, and those who commit such an action are stained with the guilt of grave sin”. Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Casti connubii (30 December 1930), in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 22 (1930), pp. 559-561.

        July 24, 2015 at 11:38 pm
      • Athanasius


        Please provide any official magisterial teaching that supports the very rash and dangerous public statement you’ve made.

        It is certainly not misleading to say that artificial contraception is mortally sinful. That’s what the Church states clearly with infallibility. Those who cast doubt on that divine teaching are the ones who mislead.

        Catholics who artificially contracept are not permitted to receive Holy Communion, as you well know. And, as all Catholics know, only souls in mortal sin are sanctioned by the Church in this way.

        July 24, 2015 at 11:45 pm
      • Christina

        Eileenanne, you’re seriously confused here. Artificial contraception IS objectively gravely sinful, as Petrus said. The fact that in moral theology an objectively morally grave action does not ipso facto result in grave sin does not alter this fact. Stating the truth about such morally grave actions, in charity, is something every faithful Catholic should do whenever possible. You, it seems from what you say, would rather leave the uncatechised in the ignorance of a false conscience, and that isn’t charitable or Catholic.

        July 25, 2015 at 1:13 am
      • Eileenanne


        Please read my reply above about my aunt. The story does not involve contraception, but it is an example of what happens when people are inadequately catechised. It is just as important to know the circumstances that alter the gravity of a sin as it is to know which actions are grave enough to be be mortally sinful (if the other conditins are fulfilled). That is the point I was making in my original reply to Petrus.
        It is not charitable or Catholic to mislead people into thinking they have committed mortal sin when they nay not have.

        July 26, 2015 at 11:04 pm
      • Christina

        With respect Eileenanne, you have misunderstood my last sentence. It is not about misleading people into thinking they have committed mortal sin when they may not have. It is about educating them as to the objective gravity of contraception so that ignorance and false conscience will be dispelled, and they will, in future and by the grace of God, live their married lives in conformity with His law. Naturally if one were to be put into the position of thus educating a person one would also explain, if necessary, that what he had done in ignorance (unless wilful) was not grievously sinful.

        Your story about your aunt is very sad, but it is not germane to this particular issue. She had a severe case of scruples, not a false conscience. The fact that both may be the result of faulty catechesis is all they have in common. Furthermore, in your aunt’s case, whatever she mistakenly thought, she had not committed an objectively grave act, whereas a contraceptng couple do.

        I disagree with your contention that it is ‘just as important’ to know the conditions that alter the gravity of a sin as it is to know which actions are sinful. It is of primary importance to know the laws of God as He gave them – without qualification. The circumstances that may alter gravity are many and varied, and in the normal course of a Catholic life one used to learn, usually in the confessional, how to develop a healthy conscience and avoid scrupulosity. I maintain that in this day and age, when false consciences abound, it is the duty of an informed Catholic to state plainly, where occasion arises, that contraception is mortally sinful. As one will not be dealing with over-scrupulous old ladies I am sure that the opportunity to discuss factors affecting the guilt or otherwise of this particular objectively mortal sin will arise in the subsequent row!

        July 27, 2015 at 12:52 am
      • Frankier

        Where was all this disease when people were having large families?

        July 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm
      • Josephine


        That is an excellent question. Babies don’t bring diseases, it’s sinful use of sex that brings diseases. Babies bring joy!

        July 23, 2015 at 7:17 pm
      • Frankier


        If condoms prevented disease then STDs would now be as rare as rickets since they are available in every pub and club in the land, not to mention the ones handed out free by the do-gooders.

        July 24, 2015 at 12:06 am
      • Margaret Mary


        That is SO true! LOL!

        July 24, 2015 at 12:10 am
      • Fidelis


        I applaud you for this – as others have said, you are doing a great work by publishing this scandal. If bishops and priests are going to use Facebook to spread the faith then I’m all for it, but not to use it to deny the faith or delete anti-Catholic views instead of correcting them.

        Well done you, that’s fantastic work. I hope the bishop himself will read your reports here.

        July 23, 2015 at 7:44 pm
      • editor

        Er, hang on there, folks. We’ll soon not be able to afford Petrus, with all this praise being lavished on him.

        Just let’s hope and pray that the Bishop has read this thread and (miracles do happen) is jolted out of his religious indifference/apostasy, and resolved to do much better in the Facebook Future than he’s done in the past!

        July 23, 2015 at 9:04 pm
      • Nicky

        I agree you are doing real service to the Church by exposing this disgrace. Bishop Keenan has turned out to be a whopping big disappointment. All I ever heard about him before he was made bishop was that he was so orthodox. That’s all gone down the Swanee now.

        July 24, 2015 at 2:33 pm
      • Petrus

        Indeed, the bishop still hasn’t responded to my request for him to state unequivocally that using artifical contraception is a mortal sin and can never be tolerated by the Church. Can we come to our own conclusions ???

        July 24, 2015 at 3:36 pm
  • Christina

    It reminds me of a bit of ‘Serpent on the Rock’ by the wonderful Alice Thomas Ellis (RIP), where she tells how in Confession, after listing all her sins, the priest said that he was worried about her self-esteem! Does one laugh or cry😁 😧?

    July 23, 2015 at 10:39 am
    • editor


      Absolutely priceless! And very believable these days!

      July 23, 2015 at 11:00 am
    • Fidelis


      One must laugh, that’s a scream! LOL !

      July 23, 2015 at 7:45 pm
  • crofterlady

    I am back from York, thank you editor for you kind (!!) comment up above. The present state of the Church is beyond belief. Imagine a bishop not evangelising! Unbelievable!

    July 23, 2015 at 10:16 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      I don’t think any bishop in Scotland has been evangelising for years now. Ecumenism has replaced evangelisation. Nobody thinks it’s necessary to become a Catholic any more. You wonder what makes the bishops and priests themselves stay in the Church. It doesn’t make any sense when they really don’t believe it – I do agree with the editorial in the August newsletter, they are apostates, don’t believe any more. Very shocking and sad, but very true IMHO.

      July 24, 2015 at 12:12 am
      • editor

        Margaret Mary

        “Ecumenism has replaced evangelisation”

        Exactly. In a nutshell. Well said.


        “You wonder what makes the bishops and priests themselves stay in the Church. It doesn’t make any sense when they really don’t believe it…”

        You really DO wonder! A greater mystery than you’ll find in any who-dun-it.

        I wish one of them would come on here to explain WHY they stay – to all appearances, at least, if not in reality – within the Church, when they manifestly do not believe in the divinely bequeathed authority of the Church to teach us in Christ’s name. Not, of course, about daft “climate change” or any other debateable scientific theory, but to remind us, in and out of season, about the truths necessary for our salvation revealed by God and passed on to every generation since the death of the last Apostle.

        They won’t tell us because of the inherent dishonesty of their position. Don’t want the collection plate to return empty. It’s that simple… isn’t it? Or am I being a harsh wummin again?

        July 24, 2015 at 9:58 am
      • Confitebor Domino

        But, Editor, surely you’ve heard of the famous “New Evangelization” – a carefully worked out strategy consisting of … er, um, well … something (maybe)?!

        Seriously, does anybody know?

        July 24, 2015 at 11:28 am
      • editor


        Nobody knows of what the “new evangelisation” consists. When a priest from the New Evangelisation congregation, or whatever it’s called, in Rome was asked the question, he was quick to point out that the message can’t be “new” but we need to look at new ways to preach it (that was the sense of what he said) but the new ways of preaching it, seem to be the old heresies – i.e. Christianity is all about helping the poor and needy and helping them climb the ladder of material success, and not a lot more.

        And that mentality has driven Catholic education for years now, as well. In fact – alleluia, alleluia – I’ve just come across a recent editorial in the Scottish Catholic Observer in which it is clear that the SCO is catching up with Catholic Truth at last – here they are pointing out what I’ve just pointed out and asking “but” what about turning out (knowledgeable about the Faith) Catholics? Click here to read the SCO editorial

        Of course, what the editor of the SCO doesn’t say is, what precisely defines a believing Catholic these days when “new” prefaces everything we’ve ever held dear – Mass, catechism, rosary, evangelisation etc. Whereas, the authentic definition of a Catholic is one who adheres to Tradition.

        And the other thing she steers clear of is laying the blame where it belongs – on the various desks of the individual bishops of Scotland, each of whom is personally responsible for what is taught in his schools – and for what is NOT taught.

        Which brings us full circle back to square one, so to speak – Scotland is now, by admission of the Bishops themselves, mission country, precisely because the Faith has NOT be taught – either in schools or in parishes. And that’s because those responsible for the teaching have either lost the Faith themselves or never been properly taught it in the first place. Whatever, somebody will pay the price on Judgment Day. I just hope Constantine is wrong, and it’s not me, moi!

        July 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        I read that editorial. There is this paragraph which shows that they think Catholic schools are all about helping the needy:

        ” The caring values of Catholic education are taken into the world through the remarkable work carried out for charities such as SCIAF and Mary’s Meals.”

        When will they waken up? Non-denominational schools have charities they support, pupils raise money for them etc. If that’s all Catholic schools are for, there’s no point in keeping them.

        July 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm
      • Helen

        My aunt keeps saying the Catholic schools are finished and anyone who wants their children to learn the faith have to home-educate. That’s the way forward now. I tend to agree with her as whole generations of us haven’t been taught doctrine and morals properly.

        July 24, 2015 at 8:58 pm
      • editor


        I agree that it has become necessary for those who are in a position to do so, to home-educate. However, it’s not always possible, so we need to keep pointing out the fact that Catholic schools are, very sadly, unsuccessful in doing what they were set up to do. Whether they have better exam results than other schools is neither here nor there, and falls into the category of “What doth is profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul”… Ditto getting top exam results.

        July 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm
      • Frankier

        “Catholic schools have done a wonderful job making Catholic children from working class families become middle class adults”. .???

        What does all that mean?

        Are the middle class superior to the working class?

        If you were in a swimming pool, could you pick out a Catholic because he/she was in better shape because of the healthier eating attributed to the middle classes

        Is it a case of, “oh, have a gander at her she must be a Catholic”? Especially in the case of you know who.

        Do the working class Protestants not have the same opportunity to become middle class?

        No wonder a lot of Catholic pupils don’t go on to Catholic secondaries, they must all be going for private education.

        Talk about a joke statement, especially when considering the mess the Church is in.

        I wonder why I am thinking about a beggar on horseback.

        July 25, 2015 at 2:25 pm
  • Helen

    I’m wondering where all the old-timer bloggers have gone. I used to enjoy reading Athanasius’s words of wisdom and Leo’s great posts but where are they now? Also Michaela was a bit of a firebrand – where’s she? Theresa Rose has disappeared altogether – I’m wondering if I’ve missed some announcement about them all emigrating or something! I hope not! I miss them all !

    That’s not to take away from the great posts going up here from everyone, which I greatly value but I do wonder why some people disappear for ages. My friends always say I’m too nosey for my own good !

    July 24, 2015 at 8:55 pm
    • editor


      To be brutally frank, I don’t know and don’t care where any absentee bloggers are these days. I no longer even notice, to be honest. I check the sidebar, sometimes feel surprised at seeing a long time absentee and check out his/her posts, possibly offer a short response – and then forget about them… I really must see the doctor about my short term memory span 😀

      People are busy with work, marrying wives and buying oxen – whatever. When they want to blog, they’ll blog. I wouldn’t worry your pretty little head about it, honest, I wouldn’t!

      But, if you don’t mind me saying so, I think your friends DO have a point 😀

      PS I should have pointed out that Theresa Rose needs to buy a new computer – that’s why she’s been absent for a while. She spoke to me on the phone only this morning, saying that she hopes to be back online very soon.

      July 24, 2015 at 11:29 pm
    • Christina

      Gloria, Athanasius hasn’t gone away – you’ll find him around on current threads, but you’re right about Leo and I miss his very learned posts too.

      July 25, 2015 at 12:12 am
      • Christina

        I meant Helen, not Gloria!

        July 25, 2015 at 12:15 am
      • editor


        Freudian slip, perhaps? Gloria’s not been here for ages! Come back, Gloria, all is forgiven! 😀

        July 25, 2015 at 9:09 am
      • editor


        Thanks for that – I read and responded so quickly, I should have mentioned that Athanasius is around. I just saw “absentee bloggers”, got the gist of it and responded at my usual 80 wpm!

        What am I like! (Rhetorical question – strictly!)

        July 25, 2015 at 9:07 am
      • Christina


        July 25, 2015 at 10:18 am
    • Athanasius


      I am touched by your concern for absentee bloggers, my poor self included.

      I can’t answer for others but let me assure you that I still keep a close eye on the blog. Editor knows that I started a new job about 4 months ago and it has kept me fairly busy since. My average mileage on the roads each month is around four to five thousand and I often have to put in a 10-hour daily shift. This leaves me pretty exhausted most days, depriving me of most of my mental energy. Still, I read the blog all the time and make occasional comments where I can. Believe me, I haven’t gone anywhere.

      As for Leo, I too miss his posts greatly. I’m sure there must be a perfectly good reason for his absence, but let’s not discount the possibility that the poor man may just be feeling a bit low right now under this deepening Church crisis.

      Generally speaking, it is not uncommon for those who love the Church and the Faith to become spiritually wearied by a consistent series of apparent victories for Satan, both in the Church and in the world. I’m not saying that this is what has happened to Leo, but it is possible. I have often felt that temptation myself. But we must never let that kind of negativity take hold on us. We must fight and fight and fight, knowing that Our Lord is still in charge of matters and that He will have the victory in the end through the triumph of His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. It will come suddenly and it will come soon, there is nothing more certain.

      In the meantime, thank you for the charitable concern you have expressed for the welfare of your fellow Catholics and bloggers. God bless you.

      July 25, 2015 at 1:52 pm
      • Helen

        Athanasius, thank you for your kind comments. I just love reading your comments. I’m sorry you are working so hard. I hope you are enjoying it despite all that mileage?!

        July 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm
      • Therese

        It seems like EileenAnne has disappeared now. I hope not – I’m still awaiting a reply.

        Editor: unfortunately, she didn’t return before it was time to close this thread – and it is well overdue closure. Should be closed around end of the month but it’s now less than five minutes till the 12 August, as I write this! So, Eileenanne – as is her custom – has avoided answering awkward questions. If she’s genuinely been unable to respond, she can do so on her return using the General Discussion thread.

        July 26, 2015 at 4:19 pm

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