Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Pray for England

[Photography by Lawrence OP]

HFE Bill update

In our society, the vulnerable are being sacrificed for the sake of the strong.

~ Dr. Peter Saunders, General Secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship, and Director of the Care Not Killing Alliance.

Anything could happen in the HFE Bill scenario ... The most important thing to do now is pray.

~ Countess Josephine Quintavalle, co-founder of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE)

This [HFE] Bill needs to be totally redrafted within an ethical framework.

~ Dr Louise Brown, Public Policy Consultant for Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON)

The name of the [HFE] Bill does not reflect the fact that it is about family, not embryology.

~ Rebecca Bensted, MA Law (Cam), advisor to the Family Law Review now undertaken by the Centre for Social Justice and committee member of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship

The House reconvenes on October 6th. It is likely the Third Reading and Report Stage of the HFE Bill will be scheduled for debate soon after - any time from October 13th onwards. This is now a crucial time to influence your MP.

It is overly cynical and naive to think that MPs are unconcerned about losing/gaining constituents now. The Crewe, Nantwich and Glasgow East By-Election defeats were devastating for Labour. The forthcoming Glenrothes by-election in Scotland, expected late October/early November, will be crucial to Gordon Brown's credibility. Combined with a possible leadership contest with David Miliband and/or James Purnell, MPs cannot afford to further alienate public opinion.

23 amendments have been laid for the Third Reading/Report Stage of the HFE Bill to date. Some are pro-life and pro-family; many are not. More amendments could be laid at the last minute, as late as on the day of the reading. It is unlikely all will be 'moved' for debate and voting - there are too many amendments and not enough time. It is up to the Speaker of the House, Michael Martin, whether they are moved. Therefore, it is important to focus on the most contentious issues of the Bill and contact your MP now.

What You Can Do:

[Photography by Catherine]

Monday, 22 September 2008

let's meet up

Blognic tomorrow in London: Tuesday 23rd September, 6-8 pm, with Fr. Z:

Details here

Providentially coinciding with the HFE Bill Conference 10am -4pm

Hope to see you there.

Friday, 19 September 2008

caged birds can sing

Parish movie night again:

THE CHORUS (Les Choristes)

Wednesday 1st October 2008
Same place; same time 7:30 p.m.

Sign up on the list at the church entrance

A must-see film.

Next film night here.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Who Would You Be In A.D. 1400?

Your result for The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test ...

The Prioress
You scored 13% Cardinal, 69% Monk, 53% Lady, and 41% Knight!

You are a moral person and are also highly intellectual. You like your solitude but are also kind and helpful to those around you. Guided by a belief in the goodness of mankind you will likely be christened a saint after your life is over.
You scored high as both the Lady and the Monk. You can try again to get a more precise description of either the Monk or the lady, or you can be happy that you're an individual.

Take the test

Thanks Aussie Coffee Shop

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Madonna Lactans

Galaktotrofousa (Madonna Lactans)
Monastery of St Heracles
Troodos mountains, Cyprus
Photography by jandudas, 2008

Monday, 8 September 2008

Maria Bambina

Hail, Infant Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou forever, and blessed are thy holy parents Joachim and Anne, of whom thou wast miraculously born. Mother of God, intercede for us.

We fly to thy patronage, holy and amiable Child Mary, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, glorious and blessed Virgin.

Pray for us, holy Child Mary.

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O almighty and merciful God, Who through the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, didst prepare the body and soul of the Immaculate Infant Mary that she might be the worthy Mother of Thy Son, and didst preserve her from all stain, grant that we who venerate with all our hearts her most holy childhood, may be freed, through her merits and intercession, from all uncleanness of mind and body, and be able to imitate her perfect humility, obedience and charity. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

find out more

One-Day Conference -

The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Bill: Understanding the Latest Developments; How We Can Combat Them

Tuesday 23rd September 2008

jail for advising against abortion

Pregnancy advice centres, nurses, doctors and midwives in the UK could face prosecution and a two-year prison sentence if they convince a woman to forgo an abortion, under proposed amendments to the HFE Bill.

Tabled by John Bercow, MP for Buckingham (Conservative), the amendment, if passed, will make it a criminal offence for a crisis pregnancy centre to advertise that it provides abortion-related services if it does not recommend having an abortion.

Other amendments to the Bill proposed by Dr Evan Harris, Lib Dem MP for Oxford & Abingdon, include the abolition of the right to conscientious objection by doctors and pharmacists wishing to refuse to prescribe or dispense contraception, including the morning after pill.

The good news is some MPs are putting forward pro-life amendments as well. See here.

At this crucial stage, write to your MP urging him or her to vote against the Bercow and Harris proposals and in favour of the pro-life amendments.

The HFE Bill Report Stage and Third Reading are scheduled for October.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

call for justice

Senator Joe Biden has called for the full withdrawal of Turkish troops from Northern Cyprus, the Kathimerini reports.

Barack Obama's running mate said the continued Turkish occupation of the island was an "anomaly".

The bold statement is bound to please Greek-American and Cypriot-American voters, numbering 1.2 million in a 2001 census, and throw a cat amongst the pigeons in the murky waters of Turkish-NATO relations.

While John McCain fobbed off a reporter in June as to why he did not sign a letter, along with 73 other senators (including Obama), urging President Bush to publicly support the religious freedom of minority Greeks living in Constantinople, the Democrats have stuck their necks out.

Obama's stance on abortion is problematic for Catholics, but in the Greek Orthodox-Islamic scenario, who is closer to Rome?

This week in Rome, the Holy Father received a programme from the Community of Sant'Egidio organised in conjunction with the Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostom II, to hold an event titled "The Civilisation of Peace: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue" in Cyprus this November. The community holds the event annually to keep alive the spirit of the World Day of Prayer called by Pope John Paul II. Last year's event in Naples was attended by Benedict XVI.

[Image of Cypriot prisoner of war: fortunecity]
[Map of Cyprus: Commonwealth Secretariat]

Thursday, 4 September 2008

it's that dawkins thing again

Meme from Aussie Coffee Shop:

"Where were you and what were you doing at...?"

1. JFK's Assassination 22/11/1963
Floating around the universe, unborn. Hmm, this raises ontological questions...
2. England vs Germany World Cup Semi-Final 4/7/1990
Northern Ireland: worrying about my university graduation ceremony the next day; having supper at a restaurant with my friends and our respective parents. What's the World Cup?
3. Margaret Thatcher's Resignation 22/11/1990
Brighton, East Sussex: working and living in a boarding school for well brought up young ladies. Caught the late-night news and thought: "Good."
4. Princess Diana's Death 31/8/1997
Tokyo, Japan: came home from work and stared at the TV images trying to decipher the Japanese, then called to my husband, who was cooking, "I think Diana's dead." "No way!" he said, and rushed out. We sat there for ages, stunned, and talked conspiracy theories.
5. Attack on Twin Towers 9/11/2001
Larnaca, Cyprus: on holiday. When I turned on the TV I thought it was a low-budget movie at first. But the footage was on a loop and there was no commentary, just an eerie soundless scene while the news station waited for more information. Time stood still. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I knew the world would be different after that.
6. Election of Cardinal Ratzinger to the Papacy 19/4/2005
Brighton, East Sussex: at home, preparing supper for a guest, TV on. When the announcement came, I made the sign of the cross and said: "Thanks be to God". Then the bells of our parish rang wildly like wedding bells. All that week the flag of St. Peter hung outside our church. Mood: buoyant.

I'm tagging Elena Maria Vidal - Tea at Trianon, Maggie Clitheroe - Don't Know What I'm Doing, The Crescat, Bara Brith and Epiphany of Faith.


Wednesday, 3 September 2008

a simple natural phenomenon

"Keep in mind the theory of natural formation according to which there are no superficial impressions", says Fr. Gianfranco Berbenni, titular professor of Science and Theology in the Face of the Holy Shroud at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University Master's degree programme in Science and Faith ~ Zenit reports.

The Holy Father announced three months ago that the Holy Shroud will be put on solemn exposition in the spring of 2010 to foster "a more attentive contemplation of the Passion of Christ".

Time to book a flight to Italy?

we've come a long way...

Irrefutable evidence to counter Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

... since victoriana

Brighton Beach has, among other joys and woes, several second-hand book stalls where I picked up this book last week for £2.50. Apart from 'really useful' tips like one should never use a knife on asparagus, and when accompanying ladies who express a wish for refreshment, it is not necessary to select a very expensive restaurant or confectioner's (?), Mrs. Humphrey also advises: "The small minority are those who regard church services in their true light as lifting the thoughts above earthly things and yet by no means unfitting them for earth. Where, for instance, could a better law of good manners be found than in the Book of Books? A glance at the end of the fourth chapter of Ephesians will show a code of conduct that, if followed, would make a man a perfect member of society."

Mulier Fortis's lunch date might want to read it and take a few tips.