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Showing posts from January, 2009

Lefebvrist bishops

I am impressed by Bishop Fellay's apology to the Pope. I think that it is the first time that the SSPX has officially apologised for anything. It shows that there is a desire for healing there.

As for Bishop Williamson, he is an embarassment to everyone. A number of years ago he wrote a Christmas newsletter from their Seminary in Winona, Minnesota, blaming all the world's moral problems on The Sound of Music and signing himself "+Ebenezer" ...

Israel: a wider perspective

Someone sent me a link to the Daily Telegraph blog of a leading Catholic journalist, re the troubles in Israel and Palestine. It was replete with all sorts of Zionist luvvies baying for Palestinian blood. One of them even expressed his thanks to Israel 'for killing all those Muslim terrorists, to save us the trouble' ...

I wonder whether these same people would have been asking for Northern Ireland (at least the Catholic-dominated areas) to be nuked during the troubles. That was never the official policy of the DT in those days, though it came close. It is a paper I like a lot, but not uncritically.

For years, Israel happily confiscated Palestinian land, built new settlements, filled with new arrivals from the USA, with their coffee bars and kosher McDonalds, only allowing the original locals in to clean the toilets, labelled with a little badge saying 'foreign worker'. When water was in short supply, the Palestinians had their water cut off, while Jewish settlers kept t…

Gong Xi Fat Choi!

We celebrated the Chinese New year today with special fried rice and spicy turkey at lunch and then battered prawns, aniseed flavour chicken and stir fry vegetables, with banana spring rolls (?), yoghurt and honey. All washed down with a nice white wine.

These culinary delights were lost on many of the boys who weren't able to finish it all.

Quite a contrast after last night's haggis, neeps and tatties.

The Ref was beautifully decorated with chinese lanterns, dragons and streamers and Fabrice, our chef, reminded me of Cato from the Pink Panther films with a little red silk betassled Chinese hat.

Boys and school

Some interesting recent releases on the benefits of single-sex education from the boys’ viewpoint, and the evidence that boys are short-changed by co-ed schooling:

Kathleen Parker's Save the Males: Why Men Matter; Why Women Should Care … “Saving the males – engaging their nobility and recognizing their unique strengths – will ultimately benefit women and children, too.”

Sociologist Michael Kimmel’s Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men dissects the Guy Code … “Today’s young men are coming of age in an era with no road maps, no blueprints, and no primers to tell them what a man is and how to become one”, he writes. … “As a society, we must be active, engaged, and interventionist, helping America’s guys find a path of emotional authenticity, moral integrity and physical efficacy”.

Richard Hawley’s Beyond the Icarus Factor: Releasing the Free Spirit of Boys occupies some of the same territory in this elegaic exploration of the “puer myth” – that creative, imaginative en…

Robert Burns for Catholics: Singing Auld Lang Syne with the Angels

Tomorrow night, the 25th January, has been a deeply anchored part of my personal calendar since I became a student of Edinburgh University nearly twenty years ago. That night is the night of heavily distilled Scottishness that commemorates the nation’s most famous and beloved bard, a night known throughout the world simply as Burns Night.

Robert Burns, known by Scots as Rabbie Burns, was born into a farming family at Alloway in Ayrshire in 1759. He died in Dumfries at the early age of 37. During his short life he took the Scottish literary world by storm, and secured a place for himself in history and in legend. Every year, lovers of Scotland throughout the world mark the 25th of January, the day of his birth (in 1759) with an evening of song, poetry, speeches, comradeship, food and what he affectionately called Scotch Drink:

Gie him strong Drink until he wink,
That's sinking in despair;
An' liquor guid to fie his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief an' care;
There let him bo…

Political freedom ...

Another aspect of the FOCA proposal in the USA is that individual doctors will lose the right to refuse to perform abortions or refer for them. That means that it will become impossible for a Catholic to practise medicine as a General Practitioner or as a Gynaecologist.

Meanwhile, in Luxembourg, the Grand Duke is refusing to sign legislation that would legalise 'active euthanasia' (doctor-assisted suicide). The parliament has suggested legislation that would remove his legislative power and reduce him to a mere figurehead who no longer promulgated laws. The Grand Duke has accepted this if that is what his people want.

However, a campaign is underway to persuade the sovereign not to reounce his prerogatives, especially as at the next general election the new parliament would probably not wish to pursue the legalisation of euthanasia.

Interestingly, two countries with a big influence on Luxembourg public opinion, France and the Netherlands, have gone in opposite directions on this…

Save Lives: join the prayer crusade against FOCA

Barrack Obama, soon to be inaugurated President of the United States has promised to do all he can to bring the Freedom of Choice Act into law as soon as possible in the USA. The FOCA bill will be put before the new US Congress soon and - if it becomes law - will have a disastrous effect on American society.

The bill will remove all restrictions against abortion.
It may legally pave the way for obligatory abortion in the future (in cases of rape, handicap, etc).
It will oblige all hospitals - including religious ones - to carry our abortions

The US Catholic bishops have said they will close all Catholic hospitals in the USA (that makes 30% of all hospitals in the country) if the bill becomes law.

For Obama this is a real ideological issue. Before his election he promised that this was the first law he would sign, and claimed that it was necessary in order to 'end the culture war'. In other words, the final victory for the culture of death in the USA. With the US bishops and laity, …