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Tag Archives: Abortion

April 11th, 2016

Marie Stopes and the Demonic

I have written quite a bit about Marie Stopes the birth control pioneer, racist and admirer of Adolf Hitler. But until today I wasn’t aware that she claimed to have heard a Voice, which she said was that of God, telling her to propagate her ideas. The information comes from ChurchMilitant, the lively and (in my opinion) sometimes intemperate American website  run by Michael Voris. It will not surprise you to learn that Mr Voris believes the Voice was in fact demonic. I think he is probably right, and you may well agree:

It should come as no surprise that abortion and contraception are from Hell. But something almost no one knows is the demonic presence testified to by one of the world’s leading contraception proponents back in the earliest days of the movement.

Marie Stopes was to England what Margaret Sanger was to the United States — a woman crazed over making birth control accepted and welcomed owing to their racist passions. Sanger is responsible for Planned Parenthood, which kills 3.8 million children through abortion worldwide every year. Stopes is largely responsible for Marie Stopes International, which kills 3.1 million children through abortion worldwide every year.

The two met at a conference in England in 1915. Stopes was a respected academic, the first woman professor at the University of Manchester. But around 1910, when she was 30 years old, she became enthralled with eugenics and wanted to reduce the number of “undesirables” in the society. She began petitioning various leaders in England, most of whom gave her the cold shoulder, despite her high academic credentials.

In 1917 she published a book — “Married Love” — promoting birth control, which was so widely popular it went through five printings in the first year. Still, the ruling class was not impressed, most especially the leaders of the Church of England, who in 1920 were gathering for their scheduled every 10th-year meeting in Lambeth Palace. Shortly before the meeting, Stopes herself relays that a voice spoke to her while she was sitting in the shade of a yew tree in her backyard.

The voice, she claimed, was the voice of God, telling her to relay to the bishops that they were to change the teaching on birth control. She dashed into the house and dictated to her secretary: “My Lords, I speak to you in the name of God. You are his priests. I am his prophet.”

And so began a work which she eventually entitled “A New Gospel to All Peoples: A Revelation of God Uniting Physiology and the Religions of Man.” It was completed by the summer and a copy sent to each of the 267 bishops at the Lambeth Conference.

In her work, she contradicted St. Paul, saying his message was 1900 years old and could now be ignored — and added: “God spoke to me today.”

She claimed God told her sexual union was not for procreation but for pleasure, that couples should use the best means of birth control “placed at man’s service by Science”.  Stopes’ vision or voice was certainly not from God, obviously, but she never denied or recanted the account. She heard a voice directing her what to do. She insisted that a supernatural voice, which she claimed was God, had given her instructions to spread birth control throughout the country and eventually the world.

She told the bishops in the letter to them that the voice had said that the bishops must teach their flocks that “the pure and holy sacrament of marriage may no longer be debased and befouled by the archaic ignorance of the centuries … .” Sexual union was for pleasure, not procreation.

At Lambeth in 1920, despite the first shiftings of public opinion, the Church of England leaders rejected Stopes’ vision and voices. Undeterred, Stopes published her “New Gospel” for the masses in 1922. It cost her dearly among her academic atheist university peers, who lost all respect for her for claiming divine visions.

A year before publishing the “New Gospel” she opened England’s first birth control clinic, but shortly thereafter moved it to… Whitfield Street near Tottenham Court Road… This site still remains an active birth control clinic as well as abortion counseling center. Like this central London clinic, Margaret Sanger had launched her country’s first clinic in Brooklyn five years earlier in 1916, making 2016 a kind of 100th anniversary of the birth control movement becoming public.

Both women detested the Catholic Church and made no bones about saying so publicly. In 1942, Stopes remarked in writing that Catholics were “a curse, or something worse”.

So when we sit back for a moment and consider that from these two women’s actions, what they set in motion — 7 million children are killed worldwide every year — they both hated the Catholic Church, and one of them was inspired to greater zeal in her evil efforts by a supernatural voice that she says directed her to spread the message that sex is about pleasure and not procreation.

Shortly before she heard the demonic voice, Stopes sent a copy of her book “Married Love” to Queen Mary, with an an accompanying note about the book saying that it was written “in the interest, primarily, of your subjects, the British, but ultimately for the whole of Humanity.”

Very shortly after that, she opened her birth control clinic, kept publishing articles in papers, writing more books, making inroads with political and religious leaders wherever she could. She carried on intensely for the next 10 years — until the next Lambeth gathering of the Church of England leaders in 1930.

This time, however, the Church of England, for the first time in Christian history, approved of birth control — a decision arrived at, in large part, by the zeal of a woman spurred on by the voice of a demon.

I mentioned Ms Stopes in an issue of the Brandsma Review quite  a few years ago. She once took took offence at the cartoons of Giles of the Daily Express, who used to portray himself as a henpecked paterfamilias with numerous offspring, dominated by a grim grandma in black. Marie Stopes wrote a letter to the editor stating : “The Giles cartoons degrade humanity” and announcing that she was cancelling her subscription.

Giles responded with a cartoon of himself with hordes of tough little boys clambering all over him, and declared: “Very well, Marie, if you won’t read the Express any more because of my cartoons, then I won’t read any more of your little books.”

 

June 16, 2015

Bioethics and the Not-Yet-Dead

Here is another Straws for the Camels Back  column from the Brandsma Review: this time from Issue 45 around the year 2000. 

Australian Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University has proposed early (and, of course, painless) infanticide for those whose prospects he thinks poor. There has been some mention in his writings of euthanasia for disabled adults as well.

His friends at Princeton have found themselves engaged in quite a nasty guerrilla war with a group of militant disabled adults called Not Dead Yet. On his first day’s teaching, they chained themselves in their wheelchairs to the outside entrance of the classroom, and 14 of them were arrested—something of a political difficulty for the “free thought, free expression” crowd at Princeton. Speakers at a three-hour rally included a disabled person who spoke with the help of a computer.

Singer is described as a philosopher. His full title is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the school’s Center for Human Values, no less. In a recent book, he wrote that “children younger than one month old have no human consciousness and do not have the same rights as others. Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Sometimes it is not wrong at all.”

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The Roots of Apathy

I smiled ruefully at the following headline in the Catholic Herald: BISHOP BLASTS APATHY AS UNIONS BACK TERMINATIONS ON DEMAND: CATHOLICS ARE BLAMED FOR ABORTION MOVE. Bishop John Jukes, the English hierarchy’s “world of work” committee chairman was wagging a finger at Catholic trade unionists for not doing more to stop pro-abortion moves in their unions.

What does he expect? I seem to remember a time not so long ago when the English bishops heeded some very bad advice from professional Catholic politician Norman St John Stevas (who’s now Lord Somethingorother) that they shouldn’t mobilise their people against anti-life measures because it would be a bad thing for abortion to become a “Catholic issue”.

When a handful of us Catholic hacks left the NUJ because of its advocacy of abortion in Ireland, we hoped that many others—above all, some priest-journalists—would follow suit. At that critical stage, a few dozen resignations could have forced the union to abandon its policy. Alas, the spiritual advice given to some was to “stay and fight abortion from within”, which of course was sheer humbug. Many of the kind of Catholics who’d sing “Faith of Our Fathers” at the drop of a hat just sat tight. Apart from some kind words from Bishop Brendan Comiskey, we had little support from the clergy. A notable exception was Fr Cyprian Candon, OP, editor of Intercom, the magazine of the Catholic Communications Institute. He joined the alternative Institute of Journalists, and published items strongly critical of the NUJ.

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Liberal Censorship

The redoubtable Daphne McLeod, who was done so much to defend Catholic children from the poison of neo-modernist catechetics (and angered the English Bishops in the process) features prominently in this issue—not only among the articles but in the Letters column as well. Readers will be interested to learn that her piece, which we have headlined “Treston the Tree-Hugger Meets the Pink-Shirted Priest” was originally commissioned by the Catholic Herald—which declined to publish the finished article. [I intend to republish that  piece in this blog in the near future—Stramentarius.]

It’s not surprising, really; the Catholic Herald board in London is extremely “liberal” and therefore keeps its editors on a tight rein. There’s also pressure from the English hierarchy to toe a particular line. I am reliably informed that the late Cardinal Hume was largely responsible for the sacking of Alice Thomas Ellis—the best reason for reading the CH—because she wrote some unfashionable (and true) things about Archbishop Derek Worlock of Liverpool. (Mrs Ellis now has a cookery column in the paper, but her wicked wit is no longer on display.)

Yes,it must be a ticklish business being editor of the CH. One’s anticipated term of office, while perhaps longer than that of a British infantry officer on the Somme, would not compare too favourably with that of a wife of King Henry VIII. I understand that the Herald once went through seven editors in 10 years.

So of course one has to sympathise with the present editor, William Oddie, who has not yet fulfilled expectations that he would steer the Catholic Herald back to orthodoxy. Maybe he’s moving very cautiously and will eventually succeed. He recently carried a good piece on the perils of the Alpha evangelism course, which quoted our Welsh correspondent Robert Williams.

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Good Leaven?

When are our bishops going to learn that “Catholic” feminists, far from being mollified by expressions of appreciation, will always try to use them as a weapon in the push for priestesses? When the Archbishop of Dublin issued a pastoral referring to women as the “good leaven in our society” I knew another silly letter would appear in the Irish Times within a few days.

Sure enough, far from accepting this gracious compliment in the spirit in which it was meant, Ms Soline Vatinel of BASIC threw it back in Dr Connell’s face.“As long as the only orders women can receive in the Church are orders telling them what to believe and what to do, all praise will be pious platitude, not the Good News of Jesus Christ.”.

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Examiner Should Examine Its Conscience

The Examiner used to be a great newspaper. Not any more. A new low in journalism was touched by its lead story of September 16 headlined ANTI-ABORTION GROUP FLIES IN MILITANT WITH CRIMINAL PAST. It began: “An American convicted of running a criminal enterprise that threatened women considering abortion is to address a conference in Dublin at the weekend.”

The “criminal enterprise” was Operation Rescue, whose members have saved the lives of countless pre-born babies by protesting at abortion clinics. Joe Scheidler, the target of the Examiner‘s attack, was found guilty under the so-called “RICO” statute (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations). A Federal jury upheld the argument of the pro-abort “National Organisation of Women” that by protesting at abortion clinics, pro-life activists were depriving those clinics of their income and that this amounted to extortion.

This perverse decision has been condemned by Professor Robert Blakey of Notre Dame University, who drafted RICO in 1969. He said that if he’d known that the law, which was intended to be used against organised criminal gangs, would be employed as a weapon of terror against social protest, he would never have drafted it.

No attempt was made by the Examiner to explain the circumstances of Mr Scheidler’s conviction. It’s a far cry from the days of the old Cork Examiner whose staff—many of whom were members of the Institute of Journalists rather than the NUJ—prided themselves on their professionalism. They would never have omitted such a crucial aspect of a news story.

Which prompts the question: who put the Examiner up to it? Predictably, the affair reopened potentially damaging splits in the pro-life movement at a most critical time.

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From CMAC Denial…

When I was working part-time for the Catholic Standard some time in the early 1980s, one of my “snouts” (as British policemen call them) was involved with the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, which has since—in the interests of Religious Correctness—changed its name to “Accord”. My informant told me that clients of the CMAC were being taught about methods of contraception and left to make up their own minds as to the morality of using them. This confirmed what I had been told by other sources.

I rang up several branch offices of the CMAC and was assured that, oh no, we don’t do things like that; we are a Catholic organisation. A witch-hunt then followed, in which attempts were made to find out who’d been talking to me. There was no reason for my snout to lie to me, and I am sure they weren’t. But I couldn’t use the story without risking exposing my source, so of course I didn’t.

The sequel to this squalid tale is that my snout shortly afterwards left the Church and became a freelance evangelical/pentecostal Protestant. I don’t know if the hypocrisy he/she had encountered in this Catholic organisation had anything to do with this decision, but I suspect that it may have helped start the process.

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…to Accord ‘Maturity’

All this came back to me on reading a piece by one Jarlath Judge in the Irish Catholic a few weeks ago. Mr Judge and his fiancée attended the compulsory marriage preparation course organised by Accord, which they found a “worthwhile exercise”. As one would expect, there were two “course facilitators” and much discussion in small sharing groups. Participants were asked to reveal what made them angry, ashamed, hurt, or scared—and about their secrets.

Family planning, wrote Mr Judge, was dealt with “maturely”:

Both the male and female facilitators contributed. There were no blushes. Just the facts about the various forms of contraception.

That can only mean there was no attempt to defend Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of contraceptive acts. Well, at least Accord’s policy on these matters is now out in the open. All those years ago, the CMAC was already an Augean stable in need of cleansing, but the bishops could at least have had the excuse that they didn’t know what was going on. They’ve no such excuse now, with Accord.

Incidentally, I am reliably informed that one clerical gentleman has been going round the Dublin deaneries telling priests that while it’s too soon after Humanae Vitae to change the Church’s teaching officially, such a change is bound to come; and in the meantime, they should take a soft line in the confessional.

Now that makes me angry and ashamed.

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Return of the Real Domini Canes

Another interesting piece in the Irish Catholic was by editor David Quinn. He’s been doing a useful piece of investigation on the Irish Dominicans, and his researches confirm some encouraging reports I’d heard about the Order. It would appear that the dead wood which has been calling the shots since the 1960s (sorry about the dreadful mixed metaphor) is beginning to be replaced by orthodox younger men who aren’t particularly interested in Vatican II, and are insisting on behaving like proper Dominicans. They actually want to wear their habits in public instead of baggy old ganseys, they like praying the Rosary, and prefer studying St Thomas Aquinas to Küng and Schillebeeckx. They’d rather preach the Word of God than sub-marxist sociological cant.

The Dominican Master-General, Englishman Fr Timothy Radcliffe has been travelling around the Order’s houses in various parts of the world telling the progressive old codgers to let the orthodox youngsters behave as they want. It looks as if he may have had a real change of heart. Anyway, he must have done some hard thinking and realised that if the young men were to leave in disgust, there won’t be any Dominicans left in 25 years or so.

One youthful Dominican (properly clad in black cloak and white habit) told me recently that the Friars Preachers are the only major Order never to have had a split.

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An Appropriate Omen

The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, has let it be known that from next year onwards, it no longer wishes to take part in the Mass celebrated with St Patrick’s College every October at the start of the academic year. The motive, we are asked to believe, is ecumenical: the NUI does not wish to offend the susceptibilities of our separated brethren. It transpires that among 4,000 students, NUI Maynooth has 40 non-Catholics. Of these, just 12 are Protestant Christians.
At the last of these academic year Masses—on October 20—the emblems of the NUI Maynooth and of St Patrick’s College were displayed in the sanctuary. During the Our Father, at the words “Thy Kingdom Come” the NUI Maynooth emblem fell down.

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Druidic Dowdstown

Some more treats from Dowdstown House retreat centre in Co Meath, which, Delphic-oracle-like, “seeks to promote and support family life in all its diversity in our changing world”, and aims “to empower leadership in ministry…in order to pursue healthy change in all areas of life”. How about this?

Reiki is a natural healing art using universal life energy to promote harmony, healing and wholeness to body, mind and spirit…These workshops attune you to the universal life energy and allow you to channel the energy for healing yourself, your family and others.

Or this?

Evenings of sacred circle dancing. Experience dance in all its different moods, empowering the body in a gentle way to flow to the rhythm of different styles, including Celtic and African dance.

They also offer training courses for “special ministers of the Eucharist” and retreats for senior pupils.

 

January 5, 2015

‘Values Clarification’ in the Anti-Life Armoury

Here’s an editorial I wrote for the Brandsma Review back in 1999.  It was written at about the time when the Irish media first stopped pretending to be impartial about life issues.

 What interesting admissions are being made these days! In our last issue, I described how the veil over the part played by Big Media in facilitating the decline of the Church in public life had been drawn back by one of their own.  John Caden, former producer of RTÉ’s Gay Byrne Show used the lurid phrases “authoritarian canker” and “twisted grip” to describe the Catholic Church’s former influence on society. The values of the media Facilitators are now so universally accepted that they can openly boast about what they had been up to.

Now, on the world scene, I learn from the prestigious journal Science how our harmless, morally-neutral old friend “values clarification” is being used to promote abortion in the Third World. Remember this technique? Doris Manly, of blessed memory, was the first person to warn the Irish public about this method of social engineering, which helps a student to “obtain the values that best suit him and his environment” (in the opinion of the Facilitators, of course!) She got small thanks for pointing out that programmes using values clarification were designed to alter the young in ways which most Irish parents would indignantly reject. Archbishop Kevin McNamara was one of the very few people in public life who took any notice, and tried (unsuccessfully, alas) to do something about it. Supporters of values clarification, including powerfully-placed clerics in the Church’s educational bureacracies, maintained the practice was quite compatible with Church teaching. Their view, unfortunately, has prevailed.

Now we have Science making exactly the same point as Doris—except that they heartily approve of using values clarification to break down moral resistance: in this case, towards the killing of pre-born humans. After calling for the integration of abortion “services” into standard health care provision in Third World countries ,the article continues:

Support , beyond simple technical training, is also critical for providers of medical abortion services. Experience with ‘values clarification’ programs in South Africa has proved beneficial in ensuring that providers are comfortable offering pregnancy termination services…Advocacy for medical abortion is essential, irrespective of the prevailing legal position regarding abortion.

The article as a whole is a call for what the authors call “safe, effective and acceptable methods of medical abortion”—by which they mean drug-induced as opposed to surgical. The pretext for this is the large number of complications attending “unsafe” surgical abortions: they admit that at one Brazilian hospital abortion-related complications accounted for 47% of maternal deaths during a nine-year period. They do not (surprise!) call for a ban on surgical abortions.

This gruesome piece, which discusses the techniques of poisoning unborn babies as though they had no more moral significance than exterminating vermin, is by Ms Wendy Ewart of the British-based “charity” the Wellcome Trust, and Ms Beverly Winikoff of the Population Council in New York.

 

December 26, 2014

Happy St Stephens Day to all subscribers/supporters.  I suppose it’s  too late to wish you a happy Christmas: that would have been impossible anyway as the site has been down for nearly a week.  When I turned it on this morning it suddenly came on again, for whatever reason. If my “webmistress” was responsible for this seeming miracle, I am most grateful. This next post has been ready for sending for quite some time .

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 Judicial Jokers, and  Crimes Against Humanity 

The British Supreme Court has ruled that two  Catholic midwives are obliged to organise and supervise abortions.  The best comment on this appalling and draconian decision comes, as you might expect, from Fr John Hunwicke  of the Anglican Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

‘ Participate,  in my view, means taking part in a hands-on capacity.’ Thus the Court dismissed the appeal of two Catholic midwives who are not prepared, even in a solely administrative capacity, to organise and supervise abortions. What a shame these judges were not around in time to defend that poor Adolf Eichmann when the Israelis so unfairly tried and hanged him for organising the transportation of Jews to the Death Camps. And they would have been really in their element during the Nuremburg trials, defending the bureaucrats who masterminded the war crimes.

But stay: it is not too late. If the International Criminal Court ever finds itself trying former tyrants who gave orders for genocide, these judicial jokers will be invaluable to the defence teams.

Memo to all those contemplating crimes against humanity: OK, dears, as long as you aren’t HANDS ON.

Stramentaria tells me that in Bristol, in  the early 1960s, an Irish midwifery sister acquaintance refused to “scrub up” for an abortion and her conscientious objection was respected.

It’s the same dilemma—in a more extreme form—as that which faced pro-life Irish journalists when the NUJ used part of their subscriptions to help fund the British National Abortion Campaign. Do you go along with it, or not?

The day I read Fr Hunwicke’s post I noticed in the Daily Telegraph that a 93-year-old former member of the Waffen-SS is to go on trial in Germany accused of being involved  in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews at Auschwitz. Oskar Groening is charged with helping the Nazi regime benefit economically and supporting systematic killings by handling the belongings stolen from camp victims. His job was to go through their luggage and clothes for money which could be sent to SS headquarters in Berlin. Hardly “hands on”.  Presumably if Herr Groening were being tried by the British Supreme Court, they would be obliged to acquit him.

It’s another question altogether, I know, but there is something rather distasteful and  vindictive about continuing to hunt down these old men more than 70 years after their alleged crimes. Should not some kind of  statute of limitations apply in such cases?

  

Issue 2: June 10, 2014

Unspeakable Galantino

The most unshepherd-like bishop of the early 21st century must surely be Most  Rev. Nunzio Galantino, secretary-general of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. I can hardly believe it, but here’s what he actually said:

“I do not identify with the expressionless faces of those who recite the Rosary outside the clinics which practice interruption of pregnancy [sic] but with those young people who are opposed to this practice and strive for the quality of life of the people, for their right to health, to work.”

If he is trying to curry favour with the secular media, he will certainly succeed, but  he will alienate all of his flock who take their faith at all seriously.

His Lordship obviously has not the faintest notion how much courage and forbearance it can take to witness outside  abortion mills, and see lines of women being ushered in in to “interrupt their pregnancies”. (It would be more accurate to say “to have their babies torn to pieces”). As has frequently been pointed out, such pro-life people endure abuse and sometimes violence for the sake of the unborn victims. They are helping Our Lord to carry His Cross, and certainly deserve the bishop’s encouragement, rather than his supercilious contempt. Does he really expect them to have big cheesy grins all over their faces?

The bishop also expressed the view that in the past, “we” had concentrated too much on abortion and euthanasia. As John Smeaton of English SPUC pointed out in a letter to his Lordship: “I really don’t think you would be saying, if national laws had allowed the killing of Catholic priests or Jews over the past few decades: ‘In the past we have concentrated too much on the killing of Catholic priests or Jews’. Indeed, you would probably be saying: ‘We can never do enough to denounce this grotesque evil.’”

Obviously the bishop was speaking in Italian, and the translation we have received could be somewhat garbled. It is this: “In the past we were exclusively focused on ‘no’ to abortion and euthanasia.  It can’t be like this, in the middle of this there is existence which develops.”

Now what on earth can this mean? Surely not that we may have to “develop” to a point where we may say “yes” to abortion, instead of “no”? But if not that, then what?

But that’s not all. Bishop Galantino went on to call for a “taboo-free discussion” of priestly celibacy, Holy Communion to divorced-and-remarried Catholics, and homosexuality (presumably homosexual acts?). This suggests the bishop believes that all these topics should be up for grabs. Well, one might perhaps legitimately discuss clerical celibacy (although didn’t Pope St John Paul II ruled that out of bounds ?). But not, surely, the other two?

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Merciless Marie Stopes

How bizarre―and yet paradoxically how appropriate―that a Dublin “reproductive choices” clinic should choose to call itself after a fervent anti-semite and eugenicist who campaigned to stop poor and disabled people from having children; who believed that only selective breeding could save the human race, who once sent Adolf Hitler her poems; and who refused to attend her son’s wedding because his bride was short sighted and wore glasses.

The birth control pioneer and author Marie Stopes did all  these things. And the contraception/sterilisation/abortion lobby and their lackeys  in the media have almost as high a regard for her as Catholics have for Mother Teresa.

Marie Stopes’ son Harry Stopes-Roe died recently at the age of 90. As a child, Marie made him wear skirts until the age of 11 because she didn’t believe in the “ugly and heating-in-the-wrong-places garments which most men are condemned to wear.” For the same reason, young Harry was forbidden to ride a bicycle.

Marie Stopes was 44 when she gave birth to Harry, and was told she could have no more children. She therefore advertised with a view to adoption, insisting that the child should be “absolutely healthy, intelligent and not circumcised”. She adopted four boys in succession, all of whom failed to meet her standards in various ways, so she sent them back. (One of them wetted his pants and was therefore “unfit to live in a decent household” and ought to have a thrashing, she said.)

Marie’s first marriage was annulled for non-consummation, and she bullied her second husband, Harry’s father, a First World War air ace, forcing him to write a letter freeing her from her marriage vows because, she claimed, he was unable to satisfy her.

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Tit for Tat

I mentioned Ms Stopes in an issue of the Brandsma Review several years ago. She once took took offence at the cartoons of Giles of the Daily Express, who used to portray himself as a henpecked paterfamilias with numerous  offspring, dominated by a grim grandma in black. Marie Stopes wrote a letter to the editor stating : “The Giles cartoons degrade humanity” and announcing that she was cancelling her subscription.

Giles responded  with a cartoon of himself with hordes of tough little boys clambering all over him, and declared: “Very well, Marie, if you won’t read the Express any more because of my cartoons, then I won’t read any more of your little books.”

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Weapon of Ridicule

If you ever feel tempted to give up the fight against seemingly all-powerful politicians and religious Modernists in high office, remember that the good Lord has left us one very powerful weapon: we can poke fun at them, and they hate it!

Listen to that most gifted Anglican convert, Mgr Ronald Knox:

“Our sense of the ridiculous is not, in its original application, a child’s toy at all, but a weapon, deadly in its efficacy, entrusted to us for exposing the shams and hypocrisies of the world. The tyrant may arm himself in triple mail, may surround himself with bodyguards, may sow his kingdom with a hedge of spikes, so that free speech is crushed and criticism muzzled. Nay, worse, he may so debauch the consciences of his subjects with false history and with sophistical argument that they come to believe him the thing he gives himself out for, a creature half-divine, a heaven-sent deliverer.

One thing there is that he still fears; one anxiety still bids him turn this way and that to scan the faces of his slaves. He is afraid of laughter. The satirist stands there, like the little child in the procession when the Emperor walked through the capital in his famous new clothes; his is the tiny voice that interprets the consciousness of a thousand onlookers: ‘But, Mother, he has no clothes on at all!’”

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Police pomposity

A Baptist church in Britain obviously shares at least one of Mgr Knox’s ideas. It put up a poster with the words “ If you think there’s no God you’d better be right !” and a small strip picture of a fiery furnace underneath. It was clearly intended to be at least partly humorous  Someone complained of offence and the local police pontificated that “National guidelines require this to be treated as a ‘hate’ event”.

Even the National Secular Society came to the support of the church and its right to free speech ! It makes you wonder, though, why offence caused to some British people by things like David Cameron’s adulation of sodomy is of no account.

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They still do it…

It is one of the cleverest devices of the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called) to present their doctrines without order and systematic arrangement, in a scattered and disjointed manner, so as to make it appear as if their minds were in doubt or hesitation, whereas in reality they are quite fixed and steadfast.

―Pope Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis

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Traitors Within

It is sad enough when people lose their faith and leave the Church; but it is much worse when those who in reality have lost their faith remain within the Church and try―like termites―to undermine Christian faith with their claim that they are giving to Christian revelation the interpretation that suits “modern man”.

―Dietrich von Hildebrand

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I’m in a Quandary…

…And it makes me decidedly uncomfortable.

When I was editing the Brandsma Review, I used to operate on the principle that if bishops or priests did or said foolish or unorthodox things, they were legitimate targets, but that a reigning pontiff was above criticism. I still think that is a proper attitude for a Catholic. One cannot ignore the Church’s constant teaching, in particular Lumen Gentium 25a of Vatican II, which speaks of “religious submission of mind and will to the authentic magisterium of the Roman pontiff”.

And yet…

How shall I put it? How can one deny that aspects of the present pontificate give cause for concern?  They certainly raise questions which need answering. So with some trepidation, as an unqualified layman I  shall try to tackle some of these questions. But that will have to await future issues when I have tried to come to some tentative conclusions.