Mark Greaves The hands that make your new Missal PAGE 8
James MacMillan PAGE 12
Is this the end for bad church music?
Number of cleft palate abortions revealed
BY ED WEST
TWENTY-SIX babies were aborted over the past nine years simply for having cleft lips or palates, according to figures released after a High Court ruling.
The Department of Health statistics, which go back almost a decade, were released after a six-year legal battle by pro-life campaigners. They showed that between 2002 and 2010 there were 17,983 abortions on the grounds that there was a “substantial risk” that the babies would be “seriously handicapped”. Known as Ground E abortions, they make up one per cent of all abortions.
As well as the babies with cleft lips and palates, including one killed after the 24-week limit, another 27 were aborted because of “congenital malformations of the ear, eye, face or neck”, which can include missing ears, a deformity that is easily corrected. One of these was killed after the 24-week limit.
The Rev Joanna Jepson, a Church of England vicar who was born with an overhanging jaw, said: “I am absolutely against aborting just for a cleft lip or a cleft palate. It is a tragic reason to abort, pre- or post-24 weeks. It is very shocking. It is a condition that is amenable to surgery.”
She previously challenged the legality of the abortion of a child with a cleft palate at 28 weeks in 2001. The case led to a consultant being named on the internet and the Department of Health ending the publication of detailed abortion statistics, claiming that they compromised the anonymity and safety of patients and clinicians.
But the ProLife Alliance challenged that decision in 2005 and it was eventually reversed following a High Court hearing in April this year.
Spokeswoman Josephine Quintavalle said the pro-life movement should “greatly celebrate” its victory after six years and three months.
“It’s just to send a message to the pro-life movement – keep going, keep going, don’t give up,” she said, adding that claims that it would identify individuals were “rubbish”.
Archbishop Stack given pallium
Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff has received the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI during a ceremony in the Vatican.
Thirty-nine others from around the world also received the pallium, a garment given to archbishops as a sign of communion with the Pope, at the ceremony last Wednesday.
Archbishop Stack, formerly Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, was installed last month at St David’s Cathedral at a ceremony in English and Welsh.
July 8 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Ordinariate welcomes controversial £1m donation
BY MARK GREAVES
A 150-YEAR-OLD Anglo-Catholic charity has given £1 million to Britain’s Personal Ordinariate – enough to keep it financially afloat for up to a year.
The money, donated by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, will ensure that priests in the ordinariate will not be left penniless in the coming months. It represents almost half of the charity’s total assets.
Trustees agreed to the grant after checking with lawyers that it would be compatible with the charity’s objects – namely, “the advancement of the Catholic faith in the Anglican tradition”.
The Confraternity changed its rules in April last year so that Roman Catholics could become members. Five out of six of its trustees have now been ordained as priests in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
But one Anglican minister has already lodged a complaint with the Charity Commission and written letters of protest to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and the Pope. The Rev Paul Williamson, from Hanworth, southwest London, said the grant was a “disgrace”. A Facebook group opposing it has attracted nearly 300 members.
Mgr Keith Newton, the head of the ordinariate, said the grant guaranteed an income for its priests. He said: “A million pounds sounds like a lot of money but it’s not an awful lot to run something like an ordinariate. It needs at least a million pounds a year – and that’s without thinking that it will grow.”
Mgr Newton said there was still “a lot of work to do”, citing pensions as well as life and health insurance costs for
A million pounds sounds like a lot, but it’s not an awful lot to run an ordinariate
For the latest news on the personal ordinariate visit CatholicHerald.co.uk clergy. But he said that all of the 60 or so ordinariate priests now had somewhere to live. “It’s a great relief,” he said.
Fr Christopher Pearson, superior general of the Confraternity, said he would be consulting in the coming year on who its members should be and whether it could continue to exist as an Anglican charity.
He defended the grant against criticism, saying that the Confraternity was never a Church of England society. He said that when it was founded in 1862 priests who reserved the Blessed Sacrament or led Benediction risked imprisonment. Its assets, he said, did not originate from the Church of England either. He said they were largely down to a £450,000 donation by Anglo-Catholics in 1870.
Fr Pearson also pointed out that critics of the grant “had their own incomes, churches, tabernacles, chalices”, but priests in the ordinariate did not.
The Confraternity has also given £10,000 to three Walsingham nuns who joined the ordinariate at the start of the year. According to Fr Pearson, the money paid for “clothes, shoes and housing”.
The Confraternity, which has about 120 priest members in England and 1,500 worldwide, was founded by the Rev Thomas Carter, a prominent AngloCatholic, in 1962.
On its website the Confraternity states: “There is no more precious thing in the world than the Blessed Sacrament of the altar and our joy is to help ... others to regard as such this most precious gift: Christ’s own abiding Presence among us.” Editorial comment: Page 13
God lies beyond the scrutiny of scientists, says Pope Benedict
BY DAVID V BARRETT
GOD cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny, Pope Benedict XVI said as he presented the Ratzinger Prize to three theologians last week.
Although the physical and social sciences are valuable, he said, the real question is this: “Is what we believe in true or not? In theology the question of truth is at play: truth is its ultimate and essential foundation.”
Christ, the logos, is the truth, the Pope said, and man must relate to him with reason. But he quoted St Bonaventure, who said there were two uses of reason, “a use that is incompatible with the nature of faith and one instead that belongs to the very nature of faith”.
The first use depends on experimental examination. “This mode of use of reason in modern times has reached the peak of its development in the natural sciences,” he said. “The experimental reason is today widely seen as the only form of declared scientific rationality.
What cannot be scientifically verified or falsified falls outside the scope of science.” With this approach, the Pope said, great works have been carried out, and it is “a just and necessary part of the knowledge of nature and its laws”.
“However, there is a limit to the use of reason: God is not an object of human experimentation. He is the Subject and is manifested only in the relationship from person to person: this is part of the essence of the person,” he said.
St Bonaventure also spoke of reason in this personal sphere, regarding the great questions of being human.
“Love wants to know better the One he loves. Love, true love, does not make one blind, but renders all things visible,” the Pope said. He said that “the thirst for knowledge” is part of this. The antecedents of Christianity are seen “in men in search of God, in the philosophers, in people who were thirsting for the truth and were on the path towards God”.
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Nun, 103, spends 84 years in the cloister BY DAVID V BARRETT
POPE BENEDICT XVI is to meet a 103-year-old nun at World Youth Day in Madrid next month.
Sister Teresita has lived a cloistered life for 84 years – a world record. She entered the Cistercian convent of Buenafuente de Sistal in Guadalajara, Spain, aged 19 in 1927, on the same day that the Pope was born. She said that her contemplative life at the convent was a gift from God.
“How could I not be happy? If I were not happy, I wouldn’t be here. Could someone be here for 84 years without being happy? It’s not possible,” said Sister Teresita, who cooks Spanish omelettes every day. She said the most important thing in her life was prayer.
Tweeting Pope gains 50,000 new followers BY DAVID V BARRETT
POPE BENEDICT XVI’S first tweet has attracted nearly 54,000 new followers to the Vatican’s English-language Twitter account News_va_en, raising their number from around 10,000 to over 65,000 in a few hours.
In contrast the Spanish account has around 11,000 followers and the Italian account a mere 3,500. The Pope used an iPad to send his inaugural tweet on June 28. It said: “Dear Friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”
The new Vatican website, with the slogan “Keeping in Touch”, brings together the Vatican’s diverse media operations.
Blessed Bartolo Longo The ex-satanist on the path to sainthood PAGE 7
Fr Robert Barron This year’s most graceful film PAGE 14
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