Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Stolen Childhood 2

The Stolen Childhood 2

In my second article I want to demonstrate how we can not only reclaim this lost childhood but receive a great deal of joy bringing up children. In this whole exercise what also is important is we can actually learn more about ourselves whether parents or grandparents through our children and grandchildren.

We now live in an age of "earnest " articles or programmes conducted by so-called experts in child psychology or behaviour which all novice mothers and fathers are expected to adhere to. I was fortunate to have a wife and mother who never read a book on childcare and relied on intuition and instinct. I wonder how many of these publications make a young mother feel insecure and can be counterproductive. It may be reasonable to read some of these books but one should also rely just as much on advice from older members of one's family or social group for their advice which has often one important ingredient: Common Sense and experience!

However we must first acknowledge that in today's climate it has become increasingly difficult to bring up children. From the economic position due to very high property costs mothers are forced to work. Parents are also highly stressed with the nature of much of the work today. What is also of great concern is the whole of family life is under attack by the media with its atheistic hedonism that envelops every part of family life. We have had successive governments that are "family unfriendly" To counteract these very real problems we must try to recruit other members of our family to become involved with the children's upbringing and also some of our friends who have less family commitments. Many people don't have children of their own and it can be quite rewarding for them to have contact and be part of the bringing up process. However it is only common sense to engage people one really knows who also have similar ethics.

One of the unseen problems of today is that we have entered a sort of Age apartheid. Adults and children must try to join in doing things together.
From starting with the mundane chores of doing washing-up together, preparing vegetables to house cleaning to the more exciting options like playing games. We need to engage from the youngest to the oldest and they don't need to be family members either! What it does allow for is a lot of incidental chatting and humour, more importantly nobody, whether they're seventy or seven, feels left out. Further: we can all teach each other a lot and these activities are an important part of informal education.

So with all these problems what can be done, because we need to explore ways so that our children have happy fulfilled childhoods? The first and easiest task is to get rid of the electronic "babysitter". I know how often parents find themselves tired and the temptation of the TV is great. But it is no remedy because it actually makes your children's behaviour worse in the long term.  The same can be said also for the computer; however, if they need it for schoolwork it must only be used with adult supervision.
Of course children will suffer comments from their peers about an absence of a TV, but if the children are doing exciting things their peers may become interested and join them in far more imaginative pursuits than being "couch potatoes" gawping at a screen. This leads on to the important subject of toys.

Modern toys are generally lacking enough input from the child. All these brightly coloured plastic toys don't allow children to make up their own toys or develop the fantasy world so important in children's play. Also they cost the parents a fortune. What children need is much of the material that goes for re-cycling nowadays. Favourites are cardboard in various forms, old containers, string, rubber bands and a pot of glue. Have a look also at some of the old books for children from a charity or second hand shop. Many of these books were produced when money was very short and children made their own toys. Trips also to any local open grounds are useful; children can forage for sticks and all manner of things. One thing my children would spend hours doing was playing shop; they would find all kinds of things to fill their shop.

The next considerations: are our houses, and if we are lucky enough to have them gardens, child friendly? Do visiting children feel comfortable in them?
In our very materialistic age furnishings apparently have to be pristine like some TV commercial. Adults become totally neurotic when children bounce up and down on sofa or drop plasticine on immaculate carpets. It is the same with gardens and their immaculate manicured sterile lawns and flowerbeds, where there is no room for children to dig holes or play.
Where adults seem terrified that children will despoil their suburban - as they see it - "shangri la". Isn't it better to have shabbier furnishings where children can use the sofa as a trampoline?  Anyway it saves a lot of money on buying furniture and one no longer has to worry about keeping up with the Joneses; the neighbour's children can encourage their parents to come down to your level! The neighbour's children also can seek refuge from their neurotic parents in a house and a garden with lots of evidence of children's play. Of course children should be taught respect for other people's possessions and one can provide "no go" areas in gardens and houses. But generally the joy of children playing outweighs any transient material consideration.

Finally: a vital part of a child's development is playing with other children. Today we have the dreadful isolation of children sat up in a bedroom whose only companion is a computer or play station. Play is vital and one should make every effort to engage all the local children and school pals. There is also safety in numbers when children play in the local park or open space. Without this play children can never grow into mature adults because of the importance of social interaction. However one word of warning: one should engage other parents to help keep a "distant" discreet eye on the play to ensure there is no bullying. Unfortunately that is often the unpleasant side of children's play.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Bishop Mark Davies dispels media nonsense on the Synod for the family


Bishop Davies on the crisis caused by ideologies opposed to the sanctity of life and the family

Bishop Mark Davies on the distructive pagan ideologies
that would destroy the civilised world
photo Wikipedia

The plain speaking bishop Davies of Shrewsbury has once again spoken out in defense of Life and the family. In a pastoral letter read out in all his diocese churches on Remembrance Sunday he says “The first Christians required great courage to overcome and transform a vast, pagan world whose ideas about marriage and sexual morality were not unlike those which prevail in our own culture.”

If bishop Davies is right and we believe he is, the ‘civilized’ Western world is regressing into a pagan world not seen for over sixteen hundred years. He also points out that Pope Francis recently declared that the “Christian family and marriage are under great attack,” due, he said, to the growing relativism regarding the very concept of marriage (Address to the Schoenstatt Movement, 27th October 2014).

We can only hope that both Bishop Davies continues with his outspoken excellent pastoral letters and both he the Synod Father and Pope Francis realise who is really teaching their flocks on moral values – it’s the TV and the rest of the secular media.

The full text of the pastoral letter:

On Overcoming the Crisis of Marriage and the Family

To be read in all churches and chapels of the Diocese on Sunday 9th November 2014

My dear brothers and sisters,

On this Remembrance Sunday we recall the great crises faced by generations before us in the conflicts of the past century. Last month, Pope Francis invited bishops from around the world to meet with him in Rome to address what we might call a crisis of our time: the crisis of the family. This is experienced in some parts of the world in poverty, war or persecution; but in western countries like our own, it is a crisis most often caused by ideologies opposed to the sanctity of human life and the institution of marriage and the family.

The Catholic Church has long opposed these mentalities and the devastation they have wrought on individuals, societies and especially among the young and most vulnerable. Pope Francis recently declared that the “Christian family and marriage are under great attack,” due, he said, to the growing relativism regarding the very concept of marriage (Address to the Schoenstatt Movement, 27th October 2014). God’s plan of marriage, which is written into human nature and raised by Christ to be a Sacrament is being replaced by the idea that we can each make our own truth according to our own ideas and desires (cf Gaudium et Spes 47).

The first Christians required great courage to overcome and transform a vast, pagan world whose ideas about marriage and sexual morality were not unlike those which prevail in our own culture. Today we need this same, supernatural, courage to give witness to all the Church believes and teaches about marriage, the family and human sexuality. The Synod of Bishops, gathered around Pope Francis, met precisely to consider how “the Church and society can renew their commitment to the family” (Final Synod Report, October 2014).

Yet, I am conscious that there have been many reports since the Synod suggesting the Church is about to change her constant teaching. Cardinal Nichols, who attended the Synod, wrote on his return that it is simply not true that this meeting was ever about changing the teaching of the Church on marriage, family life or sexual morality (Pastoral Letter of the Archbishop of Westminster, October 2014). The bishops considered the challenges being faced by families across the world. They sought a “pastoral response” which offers, in Pope Francis’s words, answers “to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.” The Church, he added, always seeks “to receive the needy, the penitent and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect!” Pope Francis insisted that we must not only welcome those who are lost amid this crisis, we must be ready to go out and find them!

The Church offers the truth she has received from Christ her Lord not with hostility towards those who have taken a wrong path, but with the greatest love and concern for every person. The Church on earth is made up of sinners called to become saints; our practice of frequent Confession is, indeed, a constant reminder that every one of us is called along this path! It would be the ultimate failure in pastoral care or charity, to mislead people by encouraging them to remain in sin, or fail to call them to repentance and renewal (cf Lumen Gentium 8). Pope Francis describes such an approach as “deceptive mercy,” a false mercy which bandages wounds but fails to heal them. Today I want to dispel any misleading impression that the Church will abandon her witness to the truth and change her teaching in the face of hostile trends in public opinion or the destructive ideologies of our time. Pope Francis spoke of this as: “the temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.”

Pope Francis has set before us the example of Saint John Paul II whom he named “the Pope of the family”; and of Pope Paul VI whom, at the end of the Synod, he declared among the Blessed, not least for his sometimes lonely witness to the truth. In the crisis we face today, let us look to the great inheritance of their teaching. May their courage and prayer inspire us to seek a greater faithfulness and a deeper understanding of what Christ and His Church truly teach about marriage, the family and human sexuality. At the end of the Synod, Pope Francis asked: “please do not forget to pray for me!” On this Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica which celebrates our unity in faith and love with the Holy See of Rome, may we never fail to pray for our Holy Father as he confirms us in faith amid all the passing crises of time. (Luke 22:32).

With my blessing,
+ Mark
Bishop of Shrewsbury

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Is Cardinal Kasper a racist?

The Media, the Synod for the Family and Cardinal Kasper

The church and the bishops will come under severe media pressure during the coming year until the next and concluding Synod for the Family takes place in October 2015. The secular media will do what they are best at: cherry-picking the bits that suit them and ignoring the bits they dislike. However, there was enough coming out of the Synod to please the media and hurt the orthodox Catholic anyway. I’m not going to go into details here; we all know what has come out and most orthodox Catholics are shocked by it. On the one hand we have some Cardinals saying the Church can’t change its teaching; then we have Cardinal Kasper putting forward ideas that have be taken up by the pope and a growing majority in the Synod to create an ‘opening’ for the divorced and re-married (without an annulment) to receive Holy Communion. Then we have another bombshell, in that we are told that Gays have positives to offer the Church – I can’t think what though – an early death, an insanitary form of sex that is liken by St Paul in Romans (Chap 1: 18-32) to paganism. St Paul unlike some in the Church was never afraid to preach against homosexual acts. He says “I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1: 16).

Is Cardinal Kasper a Racist?
Cardinal Kasper
photo Wikipedia
Cardinal Kasper’s remarks about Africans have been largely ignored by the BBC and the mainstream media – why? Here is a transcript of part of a Zenit interview with Kasper and the Vatican reporter Edward Pentin.
Kasper:] Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo. For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects.

Q - But are African participants listened to in this regard?
[Kasper:] No, the majority of them [who hold these views won’t speak about them].
Q - They’re not listened to?
[Kasper:] In Africa of course [their views are listened to], where it’s a taboo.
Q - What has changed for you, regarding the methodology of this synod?
[Kasper:] I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa we cannot solve. There must be space also for the local bishops’ conferences to solve their problems but I’d say with Africa it’s impossible [for us to solve]. But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.

Cardinal Kasper has denied saying these things. However he has apologized for offending Africans – he seems to be contradicting himself. But Pentin had made an audio recording. Surely Kasper’s credibility is now at zero? Well no, sadly it is not and the reason for this is the ‘Gay’ agenda of the mainstream media and even some in the Synod who support so called ‘Gay’ issues.

Everything else is subjected to this untouchable issue; nothing else matters quite so much for the liberal media, even truth, and certainly not race issues. But the crux of the matter is that the main stream media has almost totally ignored the Kasper controversy. In any other walk of life Kasper would have been hung out to dry by the secular media – but as he is pro-‘gay’ etc. and a Cardinal he is untouchable.

Question - Is this is Kasper a racist and a liar?

Saturday, 1 November 2014

For the Family and the Catholic Church

18th Crusade of Prayer

For the next year starting on All Saints Day 1st November we continue to pray for the Family and Catholic Church.

Please pray that the Pope and Synod Fathers will strongly affirm the traditional Catholic teachings on the Family in 2015.

The BBC continues to undermine the Family

To understand the pressures on the family and the Catholic Church’s moral teachings one only has to turn on any main stream media channel in the western world. In Britain we have that juggernaut of relentless political ‘correctness’, the BBC. It will not be long before the perverse and the unnatural is championed. Just listen to Radio 5 live Breakfast Show with Nicky Campbell if you want to hear the BBC brainwashing machine working in all its gory glory.

Nicky Campbell is very interesting. He appears to be as anti-Catholic as he is fanatically pro-‘Gay’. In the lead up to Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK in 2010 his anti-Catholicism became almost hysterical; he even had a phone in programme called “Are children safe in the Catholic Church?” Today he still has a problem when mentioning the Catholic Church; it seems he just can’t do it without bad mouthing her. Just before the Synod for the Family started he said there are still those in the Vatican who should be “banged up”, - said with a venomous relish that even Ian Paisley would have been proud of. He was probably referring to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, most likely because he wrote some great papers on affirming that sex should only be between a man and a woman and only after marriage.

The morning of the 30 October on Radio 5 live Breakfast was particularly gory when it came to the family. First there was the new national sperm bank which was trumpeted unreservedly at 5 Live. Then a very positively presented interview with a single mother who had IVF to conceive her children; followed closely by an interview with a homosexual man who likes to donate to sperm banks. Earlier there was an interview with someone to do with promoting a positive and inclusive curriculum to stop homophobia in schools. Also there was what sounded like an exploitative interview with a sad mother over the death of her daughter due to drugs. The poor mother here wanted all drugs to be legal and regulated, and all users to be trained in their usage. Of course the Radio 5 live team using their best Sun Newspaper style journalism appeared to just milk the story without properly exploring the probable consequences of this distraught mother’s campaign.

Well there you have it – a typical Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show to listen to over your cornflakes. Sperm banks and their homosexual donors, IVF treated single mums, children’s educators more interested in homophobia than education, and the legalising of all drugs. Should the BBC and its presenters be tried for crimes against humanity?