Wednesday 28 April 2010

Reality Check...

It appears that Oona Stannard is a little unhappy with the criticism she has received over the latest CES blunder. She says

"...At a time when as Catholics we particularly need to pull together, the undermining of Mr Pope saddens me."

What saddens me is that she appears to have no concept of the damage caused by the appointment of Greg Pope as Deputy Director of the CES.

Mr. Pope is not being undermined.

The ones who have been undermined are the parents who are attempting to explain to their children why the Church's teaching is beautiful and true, in the teeth of tremendous opposition from those who, because they choose to ignore that teaching, seek to ridicule it.

The ones who are undermined are the Catholic teachers and school governors who want to present the Church's teaching, but are told that it is unrealistic.

The ones who are undermined are those who go and stand outside abortion clinics, in all kinds of weather, quietly praying the rosary in the hope that maybe one life will be spared.

The ones who are undermined are the ordinary Catholics who try to follow Church teaching in their everyday lives.

The ones who are really undermined are the children who, because the CES has caved in to the government agenda, will never be taught the truth, and will be encouraged to surrender to the spirit of the age... and then, when the inevitable happens, these children will be told to "solve" their problems by killing other human beings, something which will scar them for life.

Yes, Catholics should pull together. But they should pull together in order to defend Catholic teaching in its entirety.

The CES has failed to do that - it is the Catholic Education Service which is doing the undermining.

Another New Blog To Check...

Time to spread a little more linky love around the blogosphere - I found Ronan's blog, Alrite, Watson? while checking out my SiteMeter stats and referrals. Pop over and say hallo.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Awards Time!

Yes, bet you hadn't realised that it's that time of year again. Carolina Cannonball has opened the 2010 Cannonball Catholic Blog Awards to nominations.

Be careful: Carolina doesn't want duplicate entries, and she does want links, and she is threatening to hunt down all transgressors and rend them limb from limb.

Categories are:

Best Blog by a Religious... not Fr. Z
Best Political Blog... not the American Papist
More Catholic Than the Pope
Best Blog by a Heretic
Best Armchair Theologian
Best Under Appreciated Blog
Best Visual Treat
Best Spiritual Treat
Most Bat Shit Crazy
Most Church Militant
Best Potpourri of Popery
Snarkiest Catholic Blog
Best Hifreakinlarious Blog
Best New Kid on the Block
Best Blog That Needs to be Updated More Often

Feel free to nominate all your favourites...

Monday 26 April 2010

I Appear To Have Struck A Nerve...

Following my last post, Austen Ivereigh (of Catholic Voices) felt obliged to set the matter straight. He posted the following in the com-box.

"I'm astonished that you should publish private correspondence between myself and James Preece; and that you should do so partially and incompletely. The fact that his email ends up on your site is precisely why he wasn't invited.

Among your private vows, where there any that included respect, confidentiality, privacy or charity?"

You can check it out HERE if you want (underneath the actual post)... just in case I have published the comment partially and incompletely.

Now, let's examine Mr. Ivereigh's comment a little more closely.

Yes, the email was correspondence between Austen Ivereigh and James Preece. However, I had permission from James to publish it... and since it was evidence for my statement that James had been told he was not welcome at the training because the Archbishop was to be present, it seemed rather important to include it. Emails are not always as private as one might like to think... as the Foreign Office mandarins have discovered. I haven't heard Austen Ivereigh condemning the leak of that email.

That I should do so partially and incompletely... hmmm. Interesting. I didn't want to publish James' original request, simply because I had already recounted it, and was merely providing the reply... which, by the way, I considered to be extremely rude.

However, in the interests of fairness, I now provide a screenshot of the two emails together. Have a little look. The pink bits are where I have removed email addresses and a mobile phone number.

Have a very good look... The only parts of Austen Ivereigh's email which I didn't quote in the post were, I think you'll find, the sender, subject and recipient headers and the automatic signature (including the mobile number) at the end. Oh... and the "A" to sign off.

Saying that the email ending up on my site is the precise reason James wasn't invited is pretty much given the lie by examination of James' email. He was writing to confirm that he would be attending the training. And Austen writes back saying he doesn't think, after all, that James should come... giving the meeting with Archbishop Nichols as the only reason for this change of heart.

Mr. Ivereigh then tries to make a snide personal attack on me.

It's a shame that he didn't feel constrained by those same demands of charity and respect when he was telling James he was being given the brush off.

Given that he appears to have a rather selective memory (I'm being charitable) of what was in his email to James, and that, when he finds an opinion he doesn't like, he resorts to personal abuse, I have serious doubts as to his suitability for the role of co-ordinator for Catholic Voices...

Sunday 25 April 2010

(Real) Catholic Voices Being Silenced...

As I mentioned in my previous post, James Preece who has written some excellent stuff on his blog, had arranged to come to London this weekend for training associated with the Catholic Voices project.

When I first heard about Catholic Voices, I was very encouraged: they seemed to be looking for young Catholics who are enthusiastic about their faith and who are willing to stand up and be counted in the face of the media onslaught.

Sadly, it seems that, once again, the voice of faithful Catholics is being sidelined. If you happen to speak the truth a little too freely, your views are not wanted, in case you upset someone.

Having arranged to take time off to get to London for the training session, James became a little concerned when he realised that he hadn't received the details of time or venue. So, he emailed Austen Ivereigh (one of the co-ordinators) to check. At 6:32pm on Wednesday, he received the following reply:

"James, I’m sorry – I don’t think, after all, it would be right for you to come. We have a meeting with +Vincent, etc. Sorry."

We are in a pretty bad state if Archbishops are so sensitive that they have to be shielded from any of the faithful who might tell them a few home truths. Heck, even St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Siena got to tell the Bishops (and even a Pope or two) that something was rotten in the State of Denmark (so to speak.) And it's not as if James is a raving lunatic who will harangue the Archbishop... if anything, he is far too nice... which is why I'm the one frothing at the mouth at the blatant rudeness of Austen Ivereigh's reply.

Which leads me on to the next concern. If Catholic Voices can't allow any criticisms or awkward questions from within the ranks, how will they cope in the face of open hostility, ridicule and vituperation from those opposed to the Catholic Church?

Once again, John Smeaton has summed up the situation pretty clearly... Referring to the response of Jack Valero (the other co-ordinator for Catholic Voices) to the leaked Foreign Office document, he said:

"Sorry Jack, that's really not good enough... I would say to Jack Valero: ' ... a period of silence on your part would be welcome.' "

A Parish Visitation...

James Preece (of Catholic and Loving It! fame) visited the parish this morning, along with his wife Ella (who also blogs) and two gorgeous children. James arranged his visit to coincide with a training session for Catholic Voices (more on that in another post!) Hearing that James and Ella were going to be visiting, a couple of parish families got together and decided to have a shared lunch and Family Day... and, as (unofficial) parish photographer, I had to get a few snaps...

I had met Ella on a few Faith Movement events, but hadn't ever had the chance to talk to James, so it was a really great chance to meet up.

Sadly, I couldn't stay for the talk, but if it was half as good as the lunch, it would have been a roaring success! The clearing up was still going on when I arrived back to set up for the evening Mass. Congratulations to all those involved.
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