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APRIL 4 2014 THE CATHOLIC HERALD

Singer says MTV is damaging the young

Sexualised videos a part of Culture of Death, says star

BY MADELEINE TEAHAN

A CATHOLIC pop star has criticised today’s pop industry for damaging the young through “highly sexualised” music videos.

Cradle Catholic Kenny Thomas, who sang the 1990s hit ‘Thinking About Your Love,’ said: “MTV is probably the only station playing in hell. It’s responsible for, I think a lot of damage with the youth. It promotes certainly a counter-cultural to our culture, which is the culture of life. It promotes what leads to a culture of death spiritually.

“So it’s not something that interests me. It’s not something I watch and I suppose I have always had an air of grand indifference. Catholics will be fully aware of what MTV has done and what it is responsible for. It’s highly sexualised and scandalous from a Christian perspective. But we’re in this world not of this world. Sometimes you’ve just got to let these things play themselves out. It’s an enormous drama, the conclusion of which we all ready know the end result. So what we need to do is pray hope and don’t worry as Padre

An early album

Pio would say and make your way through.”

Kenny Thomas has recently been talking to Catholic parishes about his faith, to coincide with his latest album, The Thomas Brown Affair.

Thomas “was consumed by finding the truth and the true religion.” By the time he reached fame at 22 he “had done many a pilgrimage and prayed many a rosary and there was no way I was going anywhere else.”

The 45-year-old father of two, who has another baby due in July, attends both forms of the Mass but describes himself as a traditionalist. He said: “In the 1980s I was in a group at my

Church and I probably notched up a few years in purgatory so yes I am guilty of playing guitar in church. But if I see a guitar in church now I get the feeling that I want to run out of the door.”

Mr Thomas said that while he thought Pope Francis was “great for the Church,” a lot of his comments were taken out of context.

He said: “When the world likes a Catholic and praises a Catholic you’ve got to have your radar up because there is a good chance they are going to turn at some point on you and they’re liking you for the bits that they’re hearing.”

But he said Francis was good at leading by example. He said: “My faith it was caught not taught. I watched my mother, God rest her soul, pray the rosary, the way she conducted her life, and the way she even dealt with terminal illness and died at 56, all those things are a great witness to me.”

Thomas made the charts in 1991 with his debut hit Outstanding and later with his biggest hit “Thinking About Your Love”, which reached number four and remained in the charts for 13 weeks.

Kenny Thomas is best known for his hit single ‘Thinking About Your Love’

THE ARCHBISHOP of Liverpool has expressed deep concern over the number of children living in poverty.

Archbishop-elect of Liverpool Malcolm McMahon has claimed that citizens do not see everyday problems like child poverty and hunger behind the “glossy” façade of redeveloped city centres.

Rev McMahon said that many families are too ashamed of the

Archbishop-elect: children go hungry every day BY CAROLINE ZABOREK

stigma that comes with poverty to ask for assistance and despite large public investments, issues with poverty still persist: “You notice it when you drive through Liverpool, it all looks nice and glossy. But this city will be like many cities, from what we experience in Nottingham or Leicester or other places.”

Last year Liverpool began a £1 billion project plan to refurbish the city, while one third of its children come from poverty stricken homes.

Leicester also invested £1 billion into revitalising the city with a new shopping centre, theatre and cinema while 23,000 children are living in impoverished conditions. In Nottingham a £150 million deal was signed to restore a shopping centre, and 32 per cent of the people are living in poverty.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “Even in the wealthiest parts of the city there will be some poverty hidden behind pride and closed doors. The Government is currently consulting on a new child poverty strategy and we need bold action from them to stop the growing scandal of child hunger, child poverty and damaged life chances in Britain today.”

Helen O’Brien, chief executive of CSAN, the social action arm of the Church in England and Wales, said: “If the Government wants to make real progress in tackling child poverty it needs to recognise that work is not an automatic route out of hardship.”

Archbishop-elect McMahon, chairman of the Catholic Education Service, said he sees children often come to school hungry and that teachers observe malnourished students daily: “There is a poverty which we witness every day in our schools. Children come in and we know that they’re not nourished properly, they can’t keep up with other children, with their lessons.”

The show featured Tory

MP Justine Greening and Labour MP Diane Abbot, both in favour of same-sex marriage, and Ukip MEP Roger Helmer, who is opposed, and who praised Mrs Farrow for her courage.

BY STAFF REPORTER

after a Catholic church did not allow them to use to its hall for a reception.

‘I heard the spittle in her throat’ Priest given top Vatican role Continued from Page 1 She said she heard them talk- ing about what she had said. “This girl had said to me before ‘you are absolutely disgusting’: And I heard the spittle at the back of the throat. Heard i t , turned around they must have been early 20s. There are all of them and just one of me.”

Robert Nowik and Kamil Suchonek were married at Bournemouth town hall and had booked a party at Sacred Heart church, Richmond Hill.

POPE FRANCIS has named Mgr Brian Ferme, a priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth, as the new prelate secretary of the Vatican Council for the Economy.

ing, head of the council Pope Francis established last month to set policies for the administrative and financial activities of all Vatican offices and bodies.

After the first gay marriages were held last week a gay couple from Poland claimed their wedding plans were wrecked

A spokesman for the diocese said the couple had stated the hall would be used for a birthday party.

In his new position, the British priest will assist German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freis

Born in 1955, Mgr Ferme served as dean of the canon law faculty at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome before being appointed dean of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

An expert in the fields of medieval history and canon law, the monsignor is a consultor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and has worked with the Apostolic Signature, the church’s highest appeals court.

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Two Catholics honoured with their own stamp Jeremy Hunt urged not to rush through three-parent IVF

BY ED WEST

CATHOLIC actor Alex Guinness and Economist editor Barbara Ward are among 10 people appearing in a new set of stamps. The individuals were all born a century ago and include actor Kenneth More, footballer Joe Mercer and writer Joan Littlewood.

Sir Alec was born on April 2 1914 in Maida Vale, London and went onto become one of the most successful British actors of the century, appearing in a number of Ealing comedies, as well as Laurence of Arabia, Oliver Twist and Star Wars. While serving in the Navy Guinness had planned to become an Anglican vicar until he gook the role of Father Brown. While filming in Burgundy Guinness, in clerical outfit, was approached by a local child who took his hand and talked to him, despite the Englishman speaking no French. The episode impressed the actor and when his son was ill with polio he began to pray in a local church. In 1956 he converted to Catholicism, followed a year later by his wife, and every morning recited a verse from Psalm 143: “Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning.” Ward, who later became Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth, was born on May 23 1914 in York to a father was who was a Quaker and a

Two of the new stamps mother who was a Catholic. It was while doing post-graduate work in Austria that she became involved in helping Jewish refugees escape from Nazi rule and mobilising Catholic support for the war. She worked for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War and travelled around Europe and the United States, before joining the Economist. She was also president of the Catholic Women’s League.

Later in life she helped to set up the pontifical commission on justice and peace and became the first woman to address a Catholic synod.

BY SIMON CALDWELL

HEALTH SECRETARY Jeremy Hunt is facing demands from Catholic MPs and peers for the right to amend proposed regulations to create genetically modified children amid mounting concerns that the science is unsafe.

He will receive a letter signed by members of both Houses of Parliament urging him to ditch his plans to make them vote for forthcoming regulations on an unamendable “take it or leave it” basis.

Parliamentarians argue that the creation of embryos from the genetic material of three or more parents is not proven to be safe, with tests showing a high rate of abnormalities in animal embryos created in this way.

They say that Britain is out of step with the thinking of the international community and argue that until such grave concerns are fully resolved the regulations should be open to amendments.

The Government wants to legalise the technology dubbed “three-parent IVF” by the end of the year in an attempt to create five to 10 healthy babies for couples who might otherwise have passed on mitochondrial diseases.

Mitochondria are the biological power packs that give energy to nearly every cell of the body. Genetic defects can leave the cells starved of energy, causing muscle weakness, blindness, heart failure and death in the most extreme cases. It is estimated that defective mitochondria affect one in every 6,500 babies.

But politicians fear that the technology is not scientifically safe because of the high rate of genetic abnormalities found in animal embryos subjected to the procedures and that they might also open a “Pandora’s box” of irreversible problems.

At a private meeting in Parliament Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough and a Catholic, said MPs must seek a meeting with Mr Hunt to “get an amendable order through the House.”

Lord Alton of Liverpool said at the meeting that the creation of genetically modified babies would turn Britain into a “rogue state”. The Catholic peer said afterwards that the letter from the parliamentarians would “urge the Government not to proceed without having reconciled its own position with the rest of the international community which is steadfastly opposed to germline manipulation of this kind”.

“The Government has said there will be a free vote on this in both Houses. It is a charade if it then imposes unamendable orders. Until the safety issues have been addressed... we have no business voting on unamendable orders,” he said. Science and Faith: Page 9

Newsbulletin

Ruling that saved Catholic adoption agency criticised THE EQUALITY and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has clashed with a tribunal panel which ruled that a Catholic charity did not have to place children with same-sex couples.

Following the Scottish Charities Appeal Panel decision to allow St Margaret’s Adoption Society in Glasgow to maintain its Catholic ethos, the

EHRC described the ruling as “mistaken”.

The EHRC said that it had written to St Margaret’s “advising it to ensure that its published policies and practices properly reflect its stated position that adoption applications from couples in civil partnerships will be considered in the same way as those from married couples”.

Jailed preacher given £13,000 A CHRISTIAN preacher who was imprisoned for quoting a Bible passage about homosexuality at passers-by has been awarded £13,000 in compensation.

Greater Manchester police held John Craven for 15 hours without food or water after two boys reported him for saying: “God hates sin, but he loves the sinner.”

The Christian Institute, which was representing Mr Craven, said the teenagers approached the preacher and asked him what he thought of homosexual relations.

They then proceeded to kiss and the boys then reported the preacher to a police officer. The 57-yearold claimed he was denied food, water and his medication for rheumatoid arthritis.

Director Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said: “Nobody should face 19 hours in custody for simply answering a question about their beliefs.”

Bruce Kent’s peace tour PEACE campaigner Bruce Kent has launched his “Scrap Trident Tour” with a debate in London with Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, the former foreign secretary. The meeting, chaired by Pax Christi’s Pat Gaffney, was organised by the Religious of the Assumption, in collaboration with Pax Christi UK and CND. Mr Kent will also visit Southampton, Bristol and Preston.

Dominican is sentenced DOMINICAN priest Fr Tim Gardner has received a suspended jail sentence after he admitted downloading child pornography.

Fr Gardner, who worked as religious educator adviser to the Catholic Education Service and as a governor at Rye St Antony school school for girls in Oxford, was given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years at Southwark Crown Court.

Dementia week hailed as success FRANCES MOLLOY, project manager at the Pastoral Care Project charity, has said more parishes than ever took part in the Week of Prayer and Awareness of Dementia on March 12-19. She thanked Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Bishop David McGough for their support.

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