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Monday 24 August 2015

News from SPUC

News, Doctors' open letter against assisted suicide welcomed by SPUC Pro-Life

London, 24 August 2015: An open letter from almost 90 doctors against the Marris bill to legalise assisted suicide has been welcomed by SPUC Pro-Life a leading anti-euthanasia organisation.
The letter was published today by The Telegraph ("Pressure to end lives", 24 Aug 2015)
Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC Pro-Life, commented: "The doctors oppose the bill out of concern for the vast majority of people who, despite their difficulties, do not want to end their lives prematurely.  This is a very important statement, and we encourage people to draw their MPs’ attention to it in the run-up to the 11 September debate on the Marris bill."

The doctors, who include GPs and palliative care specialists working with people near the end of life, recognise the challenges that this area of medicine involves.  They point, however, to the widespread problems that changing the law to accommodate the demands of 'right-to-die' advocates would bring.

Mr Tully continued: "We are also concerned that doctors who do not wish to help people commit suicide will have little scope to opt-out. The bill is based on Lord Falconer's bill of the same name, which includes wording based on the conscience clause in the Abortion Act. That clause has recently been interpreted by the Supreme Court as a very narrow exemption.  In the case of assisted suicide, a doctor may be required to sign the declaration required before a patient is given a lethal dose, whether or not the doctor has a profound moral objections to assisting in suicide."
For more detailed comments or an interview with Paul Tully, please contact Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's Media Manager, on:
  • mobile 07939 177683
  • direct dial landline 020 7820 3129
  • email
  • Twitter @spucprolife
To subscribe to SPUC's email information services, please visit The reliability of the news herein is dependent on that of the cited sources, which are paraphrased rather than quoted. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. © Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, 2015

Working on new blog.... back tomorrow.

A war of civilization--yes, of course, Catholics know this....

and this is very cool

And tourists and holidaymakers on Lesbos are helping the thousands of immigrants fleeing Syria daily.

God bless them. We here simply do not seem to care....

Blog News

Hopefully, by Wednesday at the latest, the new blog will be in place. After much discussion with my computer-blog adviser, I have decided to use the same name.

However, the format will be changed, as I noted, and the topic more narrow. The forum will start at the same time. Again, if you know any women who are married to Catholic priests, tell them about the new forum.

Watch this space in the next 24 hours for developments.

No surprises, except I thought it would happen in September

Cult vs. Community

Many years ago, I was fortunate to be a member of a solid, lay community. For almost seven years, I got up and prayed with my companions, a house of fourteen in a community of two-thousand, worked at various jobs, and even worked full-time for a while for the community. I learned discipline, order, virtue training, and servanthood.

The community was outward looking, involved in many "ministries" which reached out to the very pagan community in which it was located. We had street ministry, coffee house ministry, youth and children catechesis, members working in parishes in RCIA and other ministries, and homosexual rescue ministry.

This community had one huge focus which brought us all together. We all loved Jesus Christ, and He was (and still is) the center of our lives.

Communities bring life to other people, evangelize, grow.

Cults are inward looking, centering on the members themselves, and become stagnant spiritually. Frequently, Catholic cults, and, yes, there are some, care more about the group than the people outside the group.

Yes, commitment was an important and necessary part of the community to which I belonged. We met daily in our small groups, weekly in groups of one-hundred, based on the Mosaic organization, and weekly in larger groupings, monthly with the entire community. One met with one's spiritual director once a week, or once every two weeks.

Ministries met to organize, plan, go out into the world to spread the love of Christ to all.

Cults just exist to feed themselves. And, cults usually believe things which are not Catholic, and even against Church teaching.

The sign that a person is in a cult rather than a community can be isolationism, or paranoia. Indeed, the cult defends its own position by turning the wagons inward, or by digging a moat and throwing alligators in the moat.

Not good.

Not healthy.

As people come together for protection and common support, one can follow two simple rules to "take the temperature" of the group and determine whether the group has fallen into the sickness of a cult, or is a healthy community.

Rule One, are the members orthodox and following the teachings of the Catholic Church, loyal to Rome and to the Magisterium?

Rule Two, are the members reaching out to others, spreading the Gospel, doing works of mercy both spiritual and material?

If one can answer "yes" to both questions, one has encountered a healthy community.

If one of the answers is "no", run the other way.

Years ago, I encountered a Catholic community which had one goal-to sustain itself and keep the community going. This community had become cultic, focusing inwardly on itself and its members and not reaching out. Not surprisingly, many of the members had deviated in their beliefs so that they no longer followed Church Teaching.

Cults can seem orthodox, until one speaks with members who begin to exhibit paranoia, exclusivity, pride. Orthodoxy means following the Church in teaching and in practice. Sadly, cults may be found at either extreme spectrum of schismatic ideas, both traditional and liberal.

A healthy community does not have members who are hiding from the world, but members who are trying to save souls.

Preaching the Gospel and saving souls is the call of every Catholic.

Christ gave us a command, not a suggestion when He said this:

Matthew 28:19 Douay-Rheims

19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Each lay person is called to teach, to evangelize, to bring others to Christ. We are not called merely to protect ourselves from spiritual danger. 

A strong community does protect its members, but those members also must respond to the love of God for all people.

Learn the difference. To become a member of a cult will endanger your immortal soul.

Another sign of cultic behavior is liturgical rigorism. Those trads who do not believe the NO is valid have departed from Church teaching and have fallen into a cultic mindset. Rigorism is not the same as obedience to liturgical norms. Obedience to the Church's rules on liturgy, on ritual, is a virtue. Only attending a TLM on Sunday,and not attending Mass if only a NO is available is a mortal sin, and those who join together holding such a false idea have formed a cult.

Be careful, be honest, be open to others, be truly orthodox. love Christ above all, and be obedient.

Then, you will be in the loving arms of the Church and not in a cult.

See also

A blog I follow....

A Re-Post from Another Blog: Rethinking The New Evangelization

Supertradmum on The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma

    Sunday, 25 August 2013

Rethinking The New Evangelization

The call to new evangelization cannot be a static one. As Catholics, we have a duty to know our audience, 
our target groupings. And, I am convinced we are not addressing the youth of today in the mode which they need.

Too often, evangelization either is too banal, that is, watered down to the lowest common denominator; 
or it is an attempt to bring people out of serious sin by attacking the sins; or it is the speaking of Jesus as 
Saviour again outside of context of the larger perspective of what is means to be human and what it 
means to know a particular God.

I have been thinking about St. Augustine and his importance to our Catholic world today. He wrote in a similar 
time-the great destruction of a civilization which had endured for hundreds of years. He also bought a philosophical 
approach to all that chaos.

The Hebrews experienced much the same situation over and over and over. Either they were destroying old 
civilizations, or their own was being destroyed by whatever conqueror was the most powerful.

The reason for my ruminations is that we need, desperately, Catholic minds which can stop addressing the moral 
questions, stop addressing the ethical questions, and go back further to the basic questions of the existence of God 
and the nature of what it is to be human.

Now, obviously, we need the ethical discussion, so prominent among good Thomists, as Aquinas, like Aristotle, 
who dealt with vice, virtue, law and so on, but the world we are dealing with now is one of agnosticism and 
atheism. Those people deserve better discussions than what we have been able to give. Starting with morals 
is not the way to converse with atheists or agnostics, who lack a moral structure and may not even believe in one, 
except relativism. 

There are few great Catholic minds which can address the basic questions youth ask today. Here are a few of 
those questions. 

Is there a God?

What would be the meaning of being human?

What is the relationship between men and God?

Why are we here?

Do you ever doubt?

Why do you want to be a Catholic?

Augustine wrote his City of God in direct response to pagans, agnostics, and even atheists who were blaming 
Catholics for the fall of Rome. Hey, folks, this will happen again and I do not see the bright spark, a new Augustine, 
who can address the entire question of the nature of man, the City of God and the secular city in terms of basic 
principles. Phenomenology is too personalistic for this discussion. We need to revisit the Greeks, the Romans, 
all part of our heritage. We need to go back to the basics, or we shall continue to lose yet another generation.

Apologetics has been so slanted towards ethics, towards morality, that it has set aside the first principles. 
As humans and as Catholics, we must be able to discuss metaphysics at this level. Aristotle, Aquinas, 
the neo-Thomists, even educators, such as Montessori, all of whom are part of my mindset, my history, 
used the scientific method of rational discourse.

This is no longer accepted by many, and we cannot meet physicists, politicians, academics of any kind with 
language they no longer accept.

We must go back further. And, I do not mean Duns Scotus, who was more popular than Aquinas for a very long 
time. Nominalism is limited as well. We must go back and ask the basic questions of believing, of the 
supernatural, of God Himself. 

We must evangelize at this level, and not merely the moral or ethical one.

Those Millennials who ask the basic questions have no framework for morality because they have no philosophical 
framework. Benedict, the Pope Emeritus, was the man of the time, reminding us that Augustine was not only a 
theologian, but a philosopher. We need to look at him again in that light, and at those Doctors of the Church who 
helped the Church develop doctrine from the basic principles.

The reason we must think in different terms is that we are witnessing the chaos of the death of Western Civilization 
and to speak in any terms purely from moral or ethical viewpoints will not speak to the hearts of those completely 
at a loss, at sea in chaos.

That is what the Muslims do - speak only in ideological, so-called moral terms. This type of approach does not 
to the very essence of who a person is and who God is. Imposing law without the reasons for such begs the 
question of religion.

I read and hear too many high-ranking priests, bishops, theologians, especially moral theologians, who do not 
have the proper perspective of the problem of basic principles, because their own training was so limited. 
Try and find excellent philosophers in seminaries who are orthodox and can engage at this level of thinking.

When one answers the questions of who man is and Who God is, then the moral and ethical questions fall 
into place

I hope God raises up some great metaphysical minds in this era. I hope and pray that both clergy and laity can learn 
to evangelize from basic principles.