Tag Archives: Church teaching



“On every first Friday to commit as a day of fasting, penance and prayer (e.g. Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Adoration and 40 hours in October) for the intentions of the Universal Church and the Holy Father Pope Francis.


Let us pray


Father in Heaven, you have ordered the Sacrament of Marriage and the gift of life as an image of your Divine Life with the Son in the Holy Spirit. We pray that the teaching of the Church on the true meaning of marriage and human sexuality may be proclaimed with ever greater love, courage and hope in our world and be received in deep gratitude. Amen.


We ask for the intercession of all the Saints in Heaven. Our Lady, Mother of Nazareth – pray for us. Saint Joseph – pray for us. Saint Thomas More – pray for us. St Therese of Lisieux – pray for us. Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin – pray for us.”


(Confraternity of Catholic Clergy)

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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in Prayers for Today


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“Unwavering fidelity”

“An international gathering of English I speaking clergy has issued a statement pledging its ‘unwavering fidelity’ to the traditional doctrines of the Church teaching on marriage and sexuality ahead of the family synod.

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, whose members came from America, Britain, Australia and Ireland, voted unanimously on a statement which said: ‘The fathers pledge their unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality as proclaimed in the Word of God and set out clearly in the Church’s Ordinary and Universal Magisterium.’

‘Importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments’

The British branch of the confraternity was established following Benedict XVI’s Year for Priests in 2010 with the aim of promoting ‘fidelity to Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Holy Father’.

The confraternity statement concluded by affirming the ‘importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments’, adding that ‘doctrine and practice must remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.'”

– This article was published in the Catholic Herald magazine, issue 6693. For subscriptions please visit (external link)


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“[The words], ‘If you love me, keep my commandments, and ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete’, were brought to fulfilment in the disciples themselves.

They were proven truly to have loved him, truly to have obeyed in his commandments, on that day when all at once the Holy Spirit appeared to them in [tongues of] fire as they were praying in the upper room, and taught them, [putting] in mouths a diversity of languages, and made them strong in heart with the consolation of his love.

Earlier, however, they possessed the Paraclete himself, namely, our Lord sojourning with them in the flesh. By the sweetness of his miracles and the wealth of his preaching they were wont to be raised up and strengthened, so that they could not be scandalised at persecution by unbelievers.

But since by ascending into heaven after his Resurrection he had deserted them bodily, although the presence of his divine majesty was never absent from them, he rightly added concerning this Paraclete, that is, the Holy Spirit: ‘to abide with you forever’. He abides eternally with the saints, always illuminating inwardly and invisibly in this life, and introducing them to the everlasting contemplation of the sight of his majesty in the future.

If we too, dearly beloved brothers, love Christ perfectly in such a way that we prove the genuineness of this love by our observance of his commandments, he will ask the Father on our behalf, and the Father will give us another Paraclete. He will ask the Father through his humanity, and will give [us another Paraclete] with the Father through his divinity…

If we commit ourselves with all care to hearing, reading, conferring with one another, and preserving these [deeds and teachings] in heart and body, it is sure that we will easily overcome the hardships of this age – as if the Lord were sojourning with us forever and consoling us. If we love this Paraclete and keep his commandments, he will ask the Father, and he will give us another Paraclete – that is, he will in his clemency pour forth the grace of his Spirit into our hearts, and it will gladden us in the expectation of our heavenly homeland in the midst of the adversities of our present exile.”

– St Bede the Venerable

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Posted by on August 8, 2015 in Words of Wisdom


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Challenges posed by opposing ideologies

[…] “The Bishop of Shrewsbury…the Rt. Rev. Mark Davies says that family life is in crisis from challenges posed by opposing ideologies.

Particularly, he says that these oppositions, including the acceptance of [practising] homosexuals into the Church, are hostile to the sanctity of human life and the truth of marriage.

‘Deceptive mercy’

Bishop Davies says: ‘It would be the ultimate failure in pastoral care or charity, to mislead people by encouraging them to remain in sin, or fail to call them to repentance and renewal.

‘Pope Francis describes this approach as ‘deceptive mercy’, a false mercy which bandages wounds but fails to heal them.’ …

Encouraging a ‘pagan world’

Bishop Davies … said acceptance of homosexuality would be encouraging a ‘pagan world’. He continues: ‘I want to dispel any misleading impression that the Church will abandon her witness in the face of hostile trends in public opinion or the destructive ideologies of our time.

The call for unwavering courage

‘The first Christians required courage to overcome and transform a vast, pagan world whose ideas about marriage and sexuality were not unlike those which prevail in our own culture.

‘Today we need this same, supernatural courage to live and give witness to all the Church believes and teaches about marriage, the family and human sexuality.’

Hostile trends in public opinion

He will also highlight that both Pope Francis and Cardinal Vincent Nichols have rejected wrongful assumptions that the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, held at the Vatican between 5th-19th October, could lead to changes in the constant teaching of the Church on marriage.

Bishop Davies quotes Pope Francis in explaining that the ‘pastoral response’ sought by the synod to the crisis of our time is primarily to find answers to the ‘many discouragements that surround and suffocate families’.

Pope St John Paul II and Blessed Paul VI

He will also suggest that the canonisation of Pope St John Paul II and the subsequent beatification of Blessed Paul VI represent fresh invitations to ‘look to the great inheritance of their teaching’ and expressed the hope that their courage and prayer will inspire us to seek a deeper understanding of what Christ and his Church teach about marriage, the family and human sexuality.”

– These are excerpts (headings in bold added afterwards) of an article published in the Catholic Universe on 7th November 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.the catholic [external link]



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“This spinning of the Pope’s remarks by the secular media matters because it is presenting a very warped version of Catholic truth.”


One of the best typos I encountered recently was a description of Damian McBride as Labour’s former ‘sin’ doctor. Sin and spin, how closely they are linked; and how sad it is that we seem to accept that we will be told less than the whole truth. We read between the lines and speculate on what the real message is. If, later on, we discover that we have been told a pack of lies or find that the dirty tricks department has been working overtime, we register the fact and move on. What else should one expect?

The trouble with spin is not that it makes us cynical but that it makes us unwitting colluders with dishonesty. If we don’t know what is going on, we cannot challenge it. That is the argument used by Julian Assange to justify his Wikileaks exposure and Edward Snowden his whistleblowing.

We can say that what they did placed many lives at risk, but there is still a doubt. Were the actions they exposed justifiable or not? Does the State have immunity from the moral laws that operate in the rest of society?

These are big questions, but they have implications for our everyday lives.

We have probably all met situations where we have been troubled about something but not known what to do for the best. It is all very well being told to stand up for the truth, but what do we do when we are not entirely sure what the truth is?

With hindsight situations may become clearer. So, for example, there have been instances of abuse in the Church where individuals felt something was not quite right but hesitated to do anything because they were not sure and didn’t want to make a false accusation. There have been business practices that trod a shaky line between legal and illegal, but those who knew about them were not confident in their ability to obtain a hearing or explain why they thought them wrong. Much easier just to let things be and hope for the best. That is a kind of ‘negative spin’ in operation, where our silence is tinged with unease.


The media’s current obsession with Pope Francis is not unconnected with journalistic spin. Thus, we have the Pope presented as someone who is reversing all the decisions of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, re-writing Christian doctrine and essentially saying that anything goes. Only he isn’t. If you read with care and in full the interview Pope Francis gave to Fr Antonio Spadaro, you will have been amazed at the way in which excerpts were quoted to mean the exact opposite of what the Pope said.

For instance, he did not say that abortion is acceptable; he said that if we spend so much time talking about abortion that we omit to talk about God’s love and forgiveness, we are not doing a very good job of proclaiming the Gospel.

A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation.

There is nothing more solid, deep, and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives.

When, a couple of days later, he exhorted Catholic doctors not to take part in abortions, he was accused of backtracking.

This spinning of the Pope’s remarks by the secular media matters because it is presenting a very warped version of Catholic truth.

Yes, Pope Francis says things in a different way from his predecessor; yes, he is emphasising different elements of the Church’s teaching in response to his reading of what we need to hear; but he is not rubbishing the Church’s rules or saying they are unimportant.

He is trying to make us understand why the rules exist and to what, or rather whom, they should lead us.

The Year of Faith is soon coming to a close. We have spent the past year trying to get to know our faith better, to explore what it means to be a Catholic, and to respond more generously to the invitation the Lord makes to us daily. Maybe what we have learned will put us in good stead when it comes to dealing with secular spin.”
– This article by Sr Catherine Wybourne entitled “Faith will help you see through the secular spin [sub-heading in capitals and title for this post added afterwards] was published in “The Catholic Universe” issue 6th October 2013. For subscriptions please visit (external link).


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