Saturday, 27 November 2010

The New Church Year Begins...

And so, we begin the Season of Advent.

Vigil For Nascent Human Life...


This morning, after Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, the time of Exposition was dedicated to all nascent human life, as requested by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI...

Friday, 26 November 2010

The Holy Souls In Purgatory...

I do love the way that the Church reminds us to pray for the Holy Souls during the month of November. We start off with the members of the Church rejoicing in the Beatific Vision on the Feast of All Saints, and then, starting with the Commemoration of All Souls, we get down to praying for all those who, through human frailty, haven't quite made it... since most of us are likely to fall into the latter category, it behoves us to observe the duty of praying for the dead.

We can get numerous plenary indulgences, and partial ones too, applicable to the Holy Souls. I am always particularly moved by the practice of mentioning those forgotten souls in Purgatory who have no-one to pray for them - this group is, I fear, increasing, due to the pernicious tendency to "canonise" the deceased at his or her funeral, instead of praying for him to be released from Purgatory. There is also the problem that many people do not have relatives who believe in God, let alone in Purgatory.

This year I have created a short slideshow of photos from the Requiem Mass celebrated on All Souls' Day along with photos taken when we had our parish's annual Blessing of Graves ceremony at Sidcup Cemetery. I have set the pictures to music - a track by the vocal group Cantores Missae, from their CD, Praise to the Holiest. The Choir Director, Charles Finch, has given me permission to use the track... you can obtain the CD by emailing him, or from the website.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A Cure At Any Price...?

A week ago, I spotted a post on my Google Reader feeds... I starred it for further comment later on, but then didn't go back - well, I've been a little busy of late.

Robert Colquhoun, of Love Undefiled, spotted the story - largely buried beneath reports of a Royal engagement - that stem cells from the brains of aborted fetuses were being injected into the brains of patients who have suffered strokes, in the hope of a cure, both in Britain and California.

Sadly, this is far from being "news." Back in July 1996 I wrote an article for Faith Magazine explaining the research into foetal tissue transplantation and my fears that the use of aborted foetuses would become routine. My background in neuropsychopharmacology meant that I had access to many of the reports on this research well before the widespread use of Google to check out what was being done in the name of scientific progress and the search for a cure. The past issues of Faith Magazine available online only go back as far as 2002, but my article was copied and stored in the EWTN archives.

As more and more "cures" (as yet there have been no successful therapies involving the use of foetal stem cells, although there have been plenty of successes using adult stem cells) are sought, we must become ever more vigilant and protest against the use of aborted babies as medical material.
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