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  10:14:28 AM

Crowd of 60,000 welcomes the Pope in Glasgow


London Telegraph blogger Damian Thompson says the Papal Mass in Glasgow on the first day of Pope Benedict's visit to the UK was a "spiritual triumph" and he writes:

The Catholics of Scotland can be proud indeed of the welcome they gave the Pope today, confounding and infuriating smug celebs in London who just don’t get it. I was impressed not just by the size of the crowds at Bellahouston but also by the reverence and warmth of their participation. Pope Benedict drew strength from them – he seemed less frail, less worried than earlier in the day, relieved and perhaps surprised to find himself among so many friends. And what a moving, well-judged sermon: the Pope’s warning to young people about the empty pleasures of alcohol, money, sex and drugs struck me as a sensitive acknowledgement of the terrible blight of addiction on Scottish council estates.

And Andrew… click here to read whole article and make comments

  12:33:41 PM

The Pope and those life-saving stem cells

Pope Benedict’s arrival in the UK for his state visit to Britain has developed significant discussion on the Catholic belief, particularly around Church teaching on moral issues. The screening of Peter Tatchell’s documentary “The Trouble with the Pope” aimed various criticisms at the position taken by Rome on moral issues such as contraception, homosexuality, and the position of women in the Church today.

While there were several examples of distortion (and at times, glaring inaccuracies), one issue under the Tatchell spotlight caught my attention above others. In his critique of the Pope’s position on stem cell research, Tatchell pompously argued that “the moral imperative should be to support science that can help people and save lives” (and so say all of us, Pete). However, the insinuation that in his opposition to experiments using human embryos the Pope is callously blocking research that could lead to cures for terminally ill patients is as… click here to read whole article and make comments

  9:57:05 AM

A warm welcome from UK PM


Prime Minister David Cameron has sent Pope Benedict XVI a “very warm welcome” to Britain ahead of his “incredibly important and historic visit”. “These will be a very special four days not just for our six million Catholics but for many people of faith right across Britain”, said Cameron. “This is the first ever Official Papal Visit to these shores. And it’s a great honour for our country", he added. “These will be a very special four days not just for our six million Catholics but for many people of faith right across Britain, and millions more watching around the world”.

click here to read whole article and make comments

  7:43:46 PM

Belgian court rules raid ‘disproportionate’

Archbishop André–Joseph Léonard WSJ/Getty ImagesA police raid on Catholic Church sites in June was illegal, the Brussels Court of Appeals said on September 9. The court also held that measures taken were "disproportionate", and that documents seized must be returned and cannot be considered as valid evidence in any trial. Zenit reports:

The Belgian police raided the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels, where the bishops of Belgium were meeting on June 24. The authorities detained the bishops at the headquarters for nine hours as they searched the offices and the Cathedral of Mechelen.

At that time they drilled holes in two graves located in the crypt of the cathedral, and then sent cameras down in search of hidden documents.

In addition to the headquarters of the archbishopric of Brussels, the authorities seized some 500 confidential files In… click here to read whole article and make comments

  11:10:57 AM

Belgian church scandal adds to Pope’s burdens


The release last Friday of a report on sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy in Belgium added to Pope Benedict’s burdens as he prepares for his imminent visit to Britain.

The 200-page report was compiled by Peter Adriaenssens, a psychiatric specialist in paedophilia, as chair of a commission set up by Belgium’s Catholic bishops. The commission received 475 complaints of child abuse committed between the 1950s and 1980s by Catholic clergy, most cases belonging to the 1960s and 1970s, and affecting virtually every congregation.

The report contains testimonies from some 124 anonymous victims, revealing that for most, the abuse began at the age of 12, reports the London Telegraph. It notes a “high number of suicides” with 13 deaths and six attempts attributed to abuse by a cleric. There were some harrowing testimonies, said Adriaenssens:

"None of us was prepared for the severity of some of the… click here to read whole article and make comments

  2:25:27 PM

Tatchell’s cant

Peter Tatchell

On Monday evening, shortly before Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to Britain, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell scrutinised his beliefs and policies on the UK’s Channel 4. Here we present two reactions to the widely publicised program. 

‘The Problem With The Pope’ narrates a fascinating tale which begins in 1962 when the Second Vatican Council kicks off and the Church experiences the spritual equivalent of Britain’s first Isle of Wight Festival. Joseph Ratzinger was headlining, blasting out ‘Talking ‘Bout Your Liberation’ and the whole of the Catholic Church was smoking Peace and Love.

As an advocate of ‘democracy, liberty and social justice’ Tatchell’s imaginative introduction takes on a highy interesting psychological analysis - perhaps commissioned by Oprah or Jeremy Kyle - of a significant turning point in the Pope’s life, which scarred him forever. Although Joseph Ratzinger had lived under the brutal… click here to read whole article and make comments

  2:08:52 PM

Tatchell’s rant

On Monday evening, shortly before Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to Britain, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell scrutinised his beliefs and policies on the UK’s Channel 4. Here we present two reactions to the widely publicised program.
Peter Tatchell makes one honest statement in his programme on Channel 4 on Monday evening, "The Trouble With The Pope". At the start he declares "I have an issue with the Pope".  What a pity he does not go on to state openly what his problem really is. The rest of the hour long programme is basically a Tatchell monologue full of his own opinions, distorted facts and personal attacks on Pope Benedict XVI. There are brief interviews with various people carefully chosen to attack Church teaching and a couple of minutes with one lady who supports the Church but Tatchell keeps interrupting her to… click here to read whole article and make comments

  10:50:56 AM

Critics of the Pope’s visit to the UK are a minority

Francis Campbell, Britain's ambassador to the Vatican, has said that criticism in anticipation of the pope's visit to the UK is not widespread, nor representative of the views of most people.

“I think it will be a mistake in the UK to take those voices that are the loudest and to assume that they are representative of the broad population of charge," said Campbell. "There will always be voices that are critical, but it will be a mistake ... to assume at those who shout the loudest are deserving more attention.”

According to the British ambassador, Benedict XVI's visit will boost mutual cooperation in areas such as the fight against climate change, efforts for disarmament and inter-religious dialogue.

The September 16th-19th journey is unique because it marks the first official state visit of a pope to the UK.

Although only 10 percent of the population is Catholic, the Pope… click here to read whole article and make comments

  8:14:54 AM

Personal conversion, not changing ‘structures’, the remedy for clerical abuse


Pope Benedict has embarked on a series of catechetical reflections on women in the Church during his Wednesday general audience. This week, while speaking about the great twelfth century German nun and mystic St Hildegard of Bingen, he noted that she opposed a reform movement that wanted to change the whole Church in order to address individual clerical abuses.

Benedict said:

“Hildegard especially opposed the German Cathar movement. The Cathars - their name literally means 'pure' - supported radical reform of the Church, principally to combat clerical abuses. She reprimanded them fiercely, accusing them of wanting to subvert the very nature of the Church and reminding them that the true renewal of the ecclesial community is not obtained by changing structures so much as by a sincere spirit of penance and a fruitful journey of conversion. This is a message we must never forget”.


click here to read whole article and make comments

  1:58:08 PM

‘Papal cover-up’ critic wants lower ages of consent

A high profile British homosexual activist wants the age of sexual consent lowered to 14. Peter Tatchell earlier called for Pope Benedict to be prosecuted for "covering up" clerical sexual abuse.

However, on the Big Think website recently Tatchell plugged for legalising younger sex in America on the basis that even now it “is mostly consenting, safe and fun”.

He made his claims in one of a series of articles on “dangerous ideas”.

Dangerous, certainly, but also just a bit surprising in view of this year's paedophilia scandals and his campaign against Pope Benedict’s visit to the UK.  “Benedict XVI put the interests and image of the church before the welfare of children and young people. He is unfit to remain as Pope," trumpeted Tatchell back in March.

Now, by a tortured logic he claims that a lower age of consent is… click here to read whole article and make comments


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