BISHOP HOPES: RISE OF A CONVERT The inside story of his spiritual journey Pages 8-9
Police use riot law to end pro-life prayer vigil
BY SIMON CALDWELL
POLICE have used a draconian anti-rioting law to disperse a small group of women holding a peaceful prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic.
The Metropolitan Police Service later admitted that officers were wrong to issue two Section 14 Public Order Act notices on members of the Good Counsel Network (GCN).
Solicitors acting for the police advised officers to stop serving the notices, designed to control and disperse potential rioters, after the largely Catholic pregnancy counselling organisation complained to the Thomas More Legal Centre, which in turn threatened the police with a full judicial review of its actions.
Before a Section 14 notice can be issued there must be a danger of “serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community”.
But Neil Addison, a barrister and the director of the Liverpool-based legal centre, said such circumstances “simply did not exist” outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in Twickenham, west London, where the vigil was held.
“On one occasion it was four police officers in full uniform who attended to serve the notices on three people peacefully praying, which was an extremely intimidating experience for them, as was being threatened with arrest if they did not immediately obey the order,” said Mr
Addison, a former senior Crown prosecutor and an expert in religious discrimination law.
He added that the police in general in England seemed to be engaged in “a sort of low-level harassment of pro-lifers”, even though they are engaged in perfectly lawful activities.
“They don’t seem to think that people have a right to freedom of speech,” he said. “They seem to think that if somebody is offended by what you are saying then you must be in the wrong, which is worrying.”
Campaigner Justyna Pasek was one of three women at a vigil in London who police threatened to arrest
The police served the Section 14 notices, under the Public Order Act 1986, in response to anonymous complaints about the vigil, which is held from 8am to 2pm every Monday to Friday.
On the first occasion four uniformed officers arrived to tell a group of three women – two in their 30s and one in her 50s – to move on or face arrest. The women complied. Notices were again served on three pro-lifers two weeks later.
Justyna Pasek, 33, a full-time pregnancy adviser for the GCN, was present on both occasions and said that no harassment had occurred whatsoever.
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June 13 2014 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Pontiff goes for a spin before peace summit
Pope is invited to Glasgow to honour martyr
Pope Francis balances a spinning basketball on a pencil at an event celebrating sport on Saturday, the day before he led a historic ‘invocation for peace’ Full story: Page 6, Adams Cartoon: Page 12
BY STAFF REPORTER
ARCHBISHOP Philip Tartaglia has written to Pope Francis asking him to consider visiting Glasgow next year to mark the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie.
Archbishop Tartaglia said it would be “wonderful” if the Pope were able to visit Glasgow for just a day on March 10, the feast of St John Ogilvie and the date of the martyr’s execution in 1615.
In his letter the archbishop said: “I know that this is short notice for the visit of a Pope ... I present this request to you without any expectations or sense of entitlement. I do not even know if it is practical! However, a visit would be such a grace.”
He added that the trip would be of a “purely religious-pastoral nature”.
The archbishop’s letter was printed in this month’s edition of Flourish, the archdiocesan newspaper.
St John Ogilvie, a convert to Catholicism from Banffshire who became a Jesuit priest, was hanged on the Glasgow Cross aged 36. His last words were said to be: “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”
St John was canonised in 1976 and is Scotland’s only saint recognised after the Reformation.
If the papal visit did go ahead it would be the third to Glasgow, following that of St John Paul II and Benedict XVI in 1982 and 2010 respectively.
Pope Francis will visit South Korea for four days in August and is also planning a trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January.
In 2016 the Pope has tentatively arranged to visit the Philippines again, for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, as well as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, 200 years after his homeland’s declaration of independence. He is also l ikely to visit Poland, which will be hosting World Youth Day.
Friar: we are facing apocalypse in Mosul
BY ED WEST
A FRIAR living in Mosul has appealed for the world’s prayers after the Iraqi city was captured by Islamist militants this week.
Fr Najeeb Michaeel OP emailed a request to friends after his city was overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He called the situation “very critical and even apocalyptic”.
The Islamists, he said, “have assassinated adults and children. The bodies have been left in the streets and in the houses by the hundreds, without pity.”
Please take a summer holiday this year, cardinal urges Francis
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
POPE FRANCIS’S closest advisers are anxious that he takes a holiday, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga has said.
Cardinal Rodríguez, who leads the Pope’s Council of Cardinals, told reporters last week: “We have been asking him to have holidays this year because last year he didn’t and sometimes he’s very tired. So I think that during August he’s going to retire to rest.”
Cardinal Rodríguez emphasised that Pope Francis’s achievements throughout his papacy so far had been “remarkable”.
He added that the 77-yearold Pope was aware of his limitations and was willing to cancel or postpone events if he was feeling too ill.
Pope Francis has a reputation for being a hard worker and papal aides have gone as far as to say that he “eats work”. The Pope recently returned from Israel, where he toured the Holy Land in less than three days. Before his trip to Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel, Pope Francis cancelled several engagements because he was suffering from a cold.
After taking part in a “invocation for peace” last Sunday evening, Francis cancelled appointments on Monday and Tuesday. Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi insisted the two-day break was “nothing to worry about”.
The Pope has to wear orthopaedic shoes to reduce chronic pain in his lower back. He had part of his lung removed at the age of 21, when he suffered from a lifethreatening pneumonia and developed three cysts on his lung.
Pope Francis said in a recent interview that he is not “superman”. “Depicting the Pope as a sort of superman, a sort of star, is offensive to me,” he said. “The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps well and has friends like everyone else; a normal person.”
Church gives ‘red card’ to World Cup
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE CHURCH has given a “red card” to organisers of the World Cup in Brazil.
In a red card-shaped brochure distributed this week in parishes across the predominantly Catholic country, Brazil’s Bishops’ Conference urged the government to respect people’s right to demonstrate.
The brochure said: “The
Church wants to contribute to the public debate and express its concern with the inversion of priorities in the use of public money that should go to health, education, basic sanitation, transportation and security.”
The Church also criticised organisers of the World Cup for evicting hundreds of poor people from areas close to the stadiums and for surrendering the sport to “big corporations”.
The World Cup was due to begin yesterday with the hosts taking on Croatia.
Last year the country was rocked by demonstrations about rising prices and corruption.
Big Brother contestant: I go by what Pope says
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A MODEL who is taking part in the reality TV show Big Brother has defended Church teaching on same-sex marriage.
In discussions with a fellow housemate, Danielle McMahon said: “I’m not in favour of same-sex marriage, but I’d never turn around and say, you’re going to hell ... God still loves you regardless. I just don’t agree with it in the Church of God.” When challenged by another housemate, Miss McMahon said she did not have a problem with same-
sex marriage as long as it did not happen within the Church.
She said: “The Catholic Church doesn’t believe in samesex marriage and I go by what the Pope says.”
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