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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Approaching Holy Week

We are fast approaching holy week and, as mentioned before, I have been reading a book called ' The Spiritual Combat' which is crammed full of practical tips and advice to help deepen the spiritual life. Has it worked? I don't know and I am happy not to know. I don't want to fall into the trap of feeling that I have progressed well and I am on the way to becoming a Saint. I pray that I will be a Saint but there is always so much more we can do to improve ourselves in the eyes of God. This book will require many more perusals.

I have also halved my alcohol intake which has been a little bit of a challenge at times and I think I may have gone a tiny bit over on two occasions but on the whole I have had to say 'no' to my own wants, on many occasions. Over the past few days of fine weather this has been particularly difficult, especially with a few bottles of Kronenbourg staring at me every time I open the fridge.

I look forward now to holy week and a week of abstaining from alcohol and many other of life's pleasures in order to deepen my relationship with Jesus. At this time of year more than any other I am so grateful that I have my faith and the Catholic church to guide me. I pray at this time that other Catholics have strengthened their relationship with the Lord.

Without Jesus and his church I would be nothing, my life would be nothing.

In God's Love

SSG

Friday, 23 March 2012

Manuel Barcia's Catholic Bashing

I have recently written a short piece about a gentleman called Milo Yiannopoulos who has inspired me recently into being more outspoken. He tweeted back to me that he was grateful for my comments. He is very welcome.

I want to talk a little about the gentleman mentioned in my blog title, after reading his article 'Catholic Church Must Change Stance on Same-Sex Marriage'. If you, as myself, would like to have a chuckle and let your blood boil a bit then please have a read http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/manuel-barcia/catholic-church-same-sex-marriage_b_1369280.html

Manuel seems to use the same sex marriage debate as a platform to launch into an attack on the wrongdoings of the Catholic church over the course of history (I am glad he hasn't got an in depth report of my wrongdoing's or I would never be able to forget them).

I am so glad I am from an institution that brainwashes you into being forgiving. Manuel digs up as much dirt about the Catholic church's history as he can fit into his misguided column. He has quite a few pops at our most amazing outspoken gem of a Cardinal, Keith O'Brien. Cardinal O'Brien apparently likened same sex marriage to slavery which, if you actually read, you can see he is using the slave trade to make a good point about the repercussions of such a law change. He in no way likens the slave trade to same sex marriage but some how Manuel twists this to form a story in which he can then go on to drag up events in the Catholic church's history. He is after all an historian and this is what he does best.... pah!!!!

I would just like you Manuel, if you can, to see that the Catholic church has an obligation to speak out about such issues. The government are obliged to listen as there are many good people in society that come from this 'vile institution'.


In God's Love, praying for Manuel


SSG

Monday, 19 March 2012

Milo Yiannopoulos




I must just say how glad I am that there are people like Milo Yiannopoulos in this world.

I have only recently seen him debating the topic of same-sex marriage. His arguments are so well structured and from what I have seen, he clearly has a good understanding of the Catholic church and it's teachings and is well placed to formulate our response.

I saw him on 'Question Time' and 'The big Question' where I must admit that we, as Catholics, are represented in a poor way. Milo was a breath of fresh air and such a great witness in these difficult times. The issue of same-sex marriage is an issue that faces some really militant opposition from people who have a poor understanding of the subject. He answers anything that is thrown at him with confidant and concise answers.

Thank you Milo for your witness. To me you are a legend.

In God's Love

SSG

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Same Sex Marriage - Are these People Real??????

I have just read the article below on the guardian's website. I am extremely disturbed by the complete lack of understanding, on church teaching/sacraments, presented from Catholics. These people have a huge responsibility to defend the institution of marriage and just fail very miserably to do so.

Just to be clear:

  • WE DO NOT HATE HOMOSEXUALS
  • WE DO NOT HAVE TO ' KEEP UP WITH THE TIMES' as 'the times' are leading us into a world of perversion/hate/impatience and everything counter productive to every virtue.
  • THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS NOT ONLY EVER PIPED UP ABOUT SAME SEX MARRIAGE. We, as Catholics, have a responsibility in this world to speak up about every concerning issue whether it be same sex marriage, poverty, disease etc and we always do. This subject has just excited the media.
I will speak a little more on same sex marriage in future blogs. For now please read the 'quoted quotes' below and try not to squirm or despair to much:


'I find it sad that, of all the ills in the world, the Church of England and Catholic church choose to unite and speak out against gay marriage (As brimstone rains down from the pulpit, 12 March). Not only are their arguments incoherent – marriage should be for the procreation of children, they claim, but happily marry the infertile or those who choose not to have children – they are simply naked prejudice robed in transcendental or scriptural authority. We would not stand for churches refusing mixed-race marriages because of their faith, nor should we accept their stance on gay marriages.
Gay marriage – even if you consider it to be undesirable – pales into insignificance when you compare it to the misery and suffering inflicted by poverty, homelessness, disease, drugs and alcohol or any other number of ills. Yet the churches reserve their most vociferous objections, devote their time, money and power to preventing something that causes only anguish among those who believe it is wrong themselves: the only harm done by gay marriage will be in the heads of those who oppose it.
Dr Andrew Burns

Wellington, New Zealand

• Once again, secular society leads the way and leaves the churches floundering. In my 60 years, I've watched organised religion scream in protest against almost every measure that has made our world more humane, compassionate and civilised. Thankfully, decent people in modern Britain are increasingly less inclined to listen to blinkered bigotry dressed up as debate. They are no longer willing to form their moral codes from ancient texts and wild-eyed zealots, but from their observation of the wonderful diversity of humanity, from their rational intelligence and from their instinctively loving hearts. And if religion is no longer able to provide us with guidelines which resonate with that, what in God's name is the point of it?
Alan Clark
Bourne End, Buckinghamshire


• The reaction of Cardinal Keith O'Brien to proposals to make same-sex marriages legal in order to promote equality (Cardinal attacked for gay marriage stance, 5 March) prompts me to suggest an alterative means of obtaining this end which, hopefully, would result in less long-term enmity. It involves two changes. The first would be to remove all legal significance from the word marriage and the second would be to make civil partnerships the only union recognised by the state. Those in such partnerships (a man and a woman, two men, or two women) would gain the present advantages given to those now married under the present system.
The word marriage could then be defined and used by any of the groups without any conflict with a legal definition. Christian marriage and gay marriage are two possible usages that spring to mind, but the only relationship with legal significance that could be had would be a civil partnership. Each side would feel that they had lost something, but it could not be denied that there would be equality.
Ralph Stevens
Epping, Essex


• Reading Martin Pendergast's thoughtful Face to Faith (10 March) alongside the report on same-sex marriages, it's clear that lesbian and gay couples, just like their straight counterparts, don't all want the same thing, when it comes to knot-tying – or not. Why can't living together (without sin), civil partnerships, and marriage, be gladly affirmed and made available to every citizen, without distinction and regardless of gender or sexual orientation? Indeed, why not, some theologians might argue, for that's rather how God the Holy Trinity may be conceived.
Fr Alec Mitchell
Manchester


• Your "quacking duck" analogy (Editorial, 9 March), while amusing, is not quite convincing. This is an issue simply of semantics, rather than of justice, morality, social convention or biblical theology: by definition (see various dictionaries) marriage is between a man and a woman. The discussion is confused by the disingenuous opposition of conservative church leaders whose real objections are to homosexual relationships.
Rev Dr Norman Shanks
Glasgow


• As a gay man in his late twenties who grew up as a Catholic, I am absolutely disgusted by the letter read out at all masses in England and Wales on Sunday. The UK's Catholic church has historically been more moderate than on the continent – party due to its minority status – so it is shocking to see the church embark on a hate campaign against homosexuals in their quest for equality.
The question of gay marriage is one of semantics. Civil partnerships are by de facto marriage, thus in the current context, preserving the "distinctiveness" of marriage can only be understood as discrimination. The church fails to understand that opening the institution of marriage to same sex couples is the best way to honour this historical institution and preserve its essential meaning – commitment between two individuals. The Catholic church that has throughout its history caused so much harm to homosexuals should be ashamed of itself, especially after the lives it has destroyed through its systematic abuse of young children and its questionable schooling system.
I'm sure, like many other Catholic homosexuals, the archbishop's letter feels like an invitation to apostasy. I hope that reformist elements of the Catholic church use this debate as an opportunity to demand reform and halt this unnecessary verbal violence against homosexuals.
Manuel Ramos
London


• As Catholics who have been married for 40 years, we must insist that we do not feel that the government's proposals for same-sex marriage constitute a threat to the institution. We welcome the opportunity to allow gay couples the same civil rights as ourselves. Cardinal Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna, has recently said that the social changes of recent decades in Europe call for a different kind of church, and that the church we are used to was "a thing of the past", so there was no question of "business as usual". The English bishops' letter says, eloquently: "We know that at the heart of a good marriage is a relationship of astonishing power and richness, for the couple, their children, their wider circle of friends and relations and society." We know of gay relationships which can be so described: our consciences would be troubled if we did not validate and defend them.
John & Cathy Duffy
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire


• I suppose it is welcome that our church leaders are now talking up the virtues of civil partnerships in their campaign against gay marriage, but I don't recall them being very supportive when they were introduced. I remember vociferous opposition based on wild and hysterical arguments about threats to married and family life. Then, as now, these were based at root on nothing more than prejudice as more and more people, including many who define themselves as people of faith, are coming to recognise.
Nicholas Billingham'



In God's Love (and the love of every human on earth)

SSG

Monday, 12 March 2012

'Right to Die' Tony Nicklinson

It's very rare that I write about controversial subjects but here goes.

Being an extreme pro-lifer and a Catholic I am firm in my convictions that nobody has the right to die. I have just seen a news article about Tony Nicklinson who is going to try and get the law changed so he can have a doctor help him to die. Tony has 'locked-in' syndrome which I have an amazing amount of sympathy and compassion for. He is suffering greatly because of this syndrome and he wants out.

I really hope that the law is not changed as we need to defend life in all aspects with a most extreme passion. This man wants to die but if he was allowed to, this would set such a dangerous precedent for others and the scope for other such assisted suicides would broaden. There seems to be less and less value for Human life/dignity and allowing Tony to legally have someone kill him is not a solution to his condition whatsoever. I really hope that Tony can get some good counselling and find a way to get some enjoyment/reassurance from life.

Anybody who sympathises with Tony would surley not want to see him killed as this is not and can not be the answer.

I will be praying for Tony in the hope that he will turn to God and seek the magnificent consolation's that could come from dealing with his condition.

May God bless you Tony and give you a new mind to receive the graces from the Holy Spirit.

In God's Love

SSG

Thursday, 8 March 2012

SPUC Youth Conference 2012

      
The SPUC Youth conference took place last weekend and I was privileged enough to be right in the thick of the action.

The speakers were absolutely amazing. Fr Andrew Pinsent gave a brilliant talk on Human dignity which captivated the 160 delegates that travelled to Rotherham from places as far as Spain, Faroe Islands and Malta. The Charismatic Australian character who is Fr John Fleming gave a 'flaming' good talk on marriage and its connection with being pro-life. We also had great talks from Fiorella Nash of SPUC and Dr Anne Carus of Life fertility care. The list goes on of prestigious speakers who inspired all those present.

The conference was an aboslute joy to be part of and the youth that attended inspired me and moved me. We had a little time, between the excellent business session's, to relax. SPUC's got talent took place on the saturday evening and many people took part by showcasing their various talents. A 12 strong Spanish contingency took to the stage to make us feel like we were in the centre of Barcelona.

John Smeaton, SPUC National Director, seemed very enthused by the conference plus the amount of attendees and it was really overwhelming to see his joy at such a wonderful occasion.

Hopefully the conference has inspired a young generation of pro-lifers to go out and take action to try and win this battle..............and win it we will!!!!!! I hope that next years conference can be another step forward as this event just gets bigger better each year.

In God's Love

SSG