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Pro-lifers should be wary of mandatory counselling before abortion

It might sound like a good thing but it is not as straightforward as one might think

By on Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Pro-lifers protest against abortion outside the Houses of Parliament (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Pro-lifers protest against abortion outside the Houses of Parliament (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

I have blogged about abortion before; it is hard to avoid the subject. When I do, there is invariably a post in reply that tells me how smug my views are in the light of the abortion this person had to have for medical reasons and which has caused anguish ever since. I am deeply sorry for their experience – but I still maintain that abortion is never the solution to a social or medical predicament. Indeed, it is the opposite.

The subject is on my radar again because when I was driving my disabled daughter to her day centre yesterday I turned on the car radio. It was Woman’s Hour and Jane Garvey, the host, was interviewing Nadine Dorries MP and Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS (formerly the British Pregnancy Advisory Service). Dorries, along with Frank Field MP, is pushing for an amendment to the forthcoming Health and Social Care Bill which would transfer responsibility for drawing up clinical guidelines on abortion from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to Nice (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence).

Nice is accountable to Parliament; the RCOG isn’t. Furthermore, as Dorries has pointed out elsewhere, of the 18 members of the RCOG who have drawn up the draft guidelines, 11 are identifiable as abortionists; thus they have a vested interest. Not surprisingly, the RCOG declined to take part in the programme.

Dorries and Furedi argued politely but there is clearly no love lost between them. Dorries challenged the kind of counselling that Furedi says BPAS gives to vulnerable women, given that the abortion industry generates an income of £60 million a year. Another vested interest? In its mission statement BPAS says, “We support reproductive choice by advocating and providing high quality, affordable service to prevent or end unwanted pregnancy with contraception or by abortion.” Quite so. It tells its clients that “If you are considering abortion it’s important to know that you’re not alone. One in three women in Britain will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.” Quite so.

Although Dorries and Furedi have different perspectives, it must be pointed out that Dorries is not pro-life. She supports “a woman’s right to choose”; she simply wants such a choice to be properly informed. In another amendment to the Bill she and Frank Field have pushed to create a new precondition for any woman having an abortion to receive advice and counselling from an organisation that does not itself carry out abortions.

Some pro-life campaigners are wary of this, for good reason. It would establish a condition to be met in order to qualify for an abortion. What information would be given to women? Who would give it? If counselling were required, some sort of certification would also be required. If pro-life groups were to give this counselling they would have to issue certificates. This was the very situation in Germany with Church groups who got involved. In 1998 and 1999 the late pope, John Paul II, wrote to the German bishops instructing them to stop Church counselling services from issuing certificates that could then be used to obtain an abortion. Mandatory counselling might sound a good thing but it is not as straightforward as one might think.

  • Anonymous

    I repeat: We are not going to get anywhere until the Church in this country forms a fully-fledged Pro-Life body which promotes Catholic teaching on these issues; and Bishops Conference gets its act together and stops conspiring with pro-culture of Death bodies and still allows anti-Life and anti-Catholic moral teaching organisations to be affiliated with it ; even to the point of being permitted to retain the name ‘Catholic’.
    It has to stop.
    Spuc has made us fully aware of the situation; but they are ignored by our hierarchy; Vatican directives and even papal orders are still being defied [think the St John & St Elizabeth hospital] Papal teachings and directives are being flagrantly disobeyed [Soho masses] Catholic moral teaching on the sanctity of lovemaking and life are being ignored [CES getting into bed with Connexions] The intrinsic value of life is being sold out by our hierarchy conspiring with secular bodies [Think the Government's mental capacity bill, HFEA bill, Sexual education bill - and Conference,CES and our hierarchy's alleged spokespersons' involvement]
    Our pro-life organisations are in a state of civil war grounded upon venomous hatred over past grievances to the extent that certain Pro-Life individuals denounce the pro-Life activities of others simply because of who they are!
    It is scandalous, shameful and a savage indictment upon us all.
    Only recently I approached a leading ‘pro-Life’ activist and suggested the formulation of a Catholic pro-Life body to promote Catholic teaching only to be swathingly dismissed – that there should be instead a union of multi-faith and secular ‘pro-life’ activism – where Catholic teaching would not be the inherent moral framework but instead an homogenised compromise of the majority. I was appalled but hardly surprised – given that the pro-Life movement for all their hard work and personal exertion and sacrifice has been an unmitigated failure over the past four decades – every battle fought has been lost – every initiative has been recognised as being the wrong strategy after the event; every concession and compromise was later recognised as a mistake – and yet still we continue to address the situation from similar paradigms and resort to the same tactics.
    No wonder Nadine Dorries is seen as a leading pro-Life activist in this country – when she is nothing of the sort; ditto Lord Alton [who is seen as some pro-Life hero until one examines the minutiae and realises he has sold out on a vast array of issues - and lost each battle as a consequence]
    Robert Colquhoun’s long interview with Phyllis Bowman on his ‘Love Undefiled’/’Discover happiness’ blog
    reveals that irrespective of the long, arduous campaigning and struggles of the pro-Lifers – including heart-rending admirable personal sacrifices – doesn’t remove the simple fact that our National hierarchy has betrayed us with their systemic lack of support – and thus all the work of the pro-lifers ultimately came to naught – we have widespread backdoor euthanasia across the land, abortion on demand and even in our Catholic schools and hospitals contraceptives, abortifacients and abortion-referrals continue to be provided unabashed.

    We have failed – we have not defended the vulnerable or voiceless from conception to a natural death – we have failed our neighbour – we have failed our God.

    We MUST now make amends.

  • Anonymous

    I am a Catholic myself, and it is very obvious to me that Catholic teaching on abortion is flawed.
    The very largest double-think is that the Church does not recognize the idea of ‘least harm’ being valid, even if it is at the expense of thousands of abortions each year.

    Abstinence is a valid way to stop abortion, however, after over 5000 years of civilised man I think it would be fair to conclude that sexual relations purely for pro-creation are not going to be stopped any time soon. (Not that I advocate it). Therefore to reduce single-parent families, un-wanted children and abortion, we must look to contraception. Countries in which contraception is used at higher rates, have markedly lower abortion rates and teenage-pregnancies.

    We can only surmise two conclusions from this – either the Church rejects proven studies and data collected in numerous countries for many decades, OR that the Church sees violation of its moral code as more important than, (what it sees as) a mass genocide of children.

    If Hitler had said to the Church he would not go ahead with the holocaust if they officially removed the ban on condoms, what would they say? In that the current situation can be looked at as a genocide (following Church teaching) they are currently saying:

    ‘NO! – let the genocide continue! At least we will still have our principles’

    If the sin of fornication occurs, surely you will agree that protection at that stage (once the sin of fornication has occurred), is better than a resultant abortion?

    A much shorter question would be, ‘child killing vs use of contraception’?
    The Church is making the wrong decision.

  • Anonymous

    Paul: Your position is ill-informed, ignorant and shameful for anyone who considers themselves as Catholic.

    Had I more time I’d repudiate your position with plain and simple facts that virtually every one of your arguments is grounded in false-presumptions and your morality is straight out of preference utilitarianism 101 – and Catholicism considers it diabolical.

    You don’t understand the intrinsic link between contraception leading to indiscriminate sex and axiomatically abortion do you?
    You need to research some facts before you presume to pontificate and proselytise against Catholic teaching.

  • Anonymous

    ‘research some facts’

    don’t insult yourself. Check out the facts for yourself… if you can face them.

    ‘utilitarianism 101′
    The Catholic Church’s position is ‘denial of the facts 101′

  • Anonymous

    produce your alleged ‘facts’ – justify the genocide of 1.5billion plus – turn your central heating up to maximum while you’re at it – you’ll need to prepare yourself; or get ready for a little humility to face the Truth and apologise to your self, God, and neighbour for your treachery.

  • Dave Cross

    ‘Dorries is not pro-life. She supports “a woman’s right to choose”’

    This is complete nonsense. Dorries has been campaigning against abortion since she entered parliament. She just knows that slowly chipping away at abortion rights is likely to be more effective than being open about what her end goal is.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong it is for YOU to justify the ‘genocide’ as Church teaching is responsible for much of it. What I advocate reduces abortion rates.

  • Anonymous

    ergo she’ll lose – tried and tested policy of failure…won’t work – every battle is grounded on compromise – If we demand everything? We regain a little ground : If we demand little? we lose even more!!!

    We lose because we don’t punch hard enough…and you have absolutely no idea how organised, well-funded and enthusiastically activist and experienced the opposition is…

    In every aspect we’re mildly enthusiastic amateurs- fighting profesionals.

  • Weary Convert

    Oh dear. I have commented in other blogs that until the Catholic Church removes its indefensible opposition to contraception, its opposition to abortion will be pointless and clearly insincere. So the ultra-Catholics like Mr (or is it Rev?) Paulpriest are simply wasting their time nitpicking the lives of anyone who work to improve the abortion situation until he can find someone as pure and stainless as himself. Sadly he reminds me of the old story (pre-Vatican II) of the Protestant who went to heaven, looked around and saw a high wall. Getting St. Peter to help him look over he saw lots of people milling around. Asking who they were, St. Peter replied, “Shhh – don’t frighten them – they are the Catholics: they think they are the only ones here.”

  • Anonymous

    The Guttmacher institute reaps billions from the systemic slaughter of the unborn by the tens of millions – as well as using all manner of aborted material for cosmetics/vaccination growth base etc; even today it’s reported that subsidiaries have started providing aborted foetal material to assist in the testing of food flavour enhancers!!!???

  • Anonymous

    Making amends may give you a nice rush of moral indignation but it won’t repeal the Abortion Act. Abortion will never be criminalised in any open and democratic society.

  • Anonymous

    when humanity regains its humanity we will…

  • Anonymous

    Contraception is directly linked to abortion – it leads to indicriminate reckless sexual behaviour which will occur when contraception fails – ergo abortion rates rise…how can people be so obtuse as to think otherwise – in theis sexual revolution where contraception is readily available mechanical abortion rates are heading for 50 million a year!!!

  • guest

    paul, i know its not a “scientific fact” but if you look at the fact that the worldwide abortion rate has not gone down (or maybe even increased) since the introduction of the Pill and the condom, I think the effect of contraceptives on abortion rates speakes for itself.

  • Ben Trovato

    A strategy to ‘reduce’ abortion is a bit like a strategy to ‘reduce’ slavery. It is an unforgivable compromise: abolition is the only morally legitimate aim.

    As for contraception, it is quite clear that it has failed to deliver anything that its advocates promised (more stable marriages, for example, not to mention fewer unwanted pregnancies and fewer abused children).

    We need to have the courage to recognise the prophetic truth of Humana Vitae and the all-conquering power of God’s love.

    It is not ours to know times and seasons, and as Blessed Mother Teresa taught us, we are not called to win, but to be faithful. God will triumph: we can either work with and for Him or stand against Him.

  • Weary Convert

    Since contraception and abortion are direct opposites, it is clearly pointless to try to discuss the abortion issue rationally with such as Paulpriest. If views like his are trumpetted around outside the narrow circle of a website like this, it simply makes Catholics look sillier and more irresponsible than ever. At the risk of another quotation, in the context of the need for contraception, I recall the speech of the late science and science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke when presented with a prize in Asia. He dedicated the prize to the millions of beautiful brown-eyed children who are born every year in the poverty stricken regions of Asia, and die the next.

  • Ben Trovato

    ‘contraception and abortion are direct opposites’ What? What planet do you live on? The contraceptive mentality leads to the abortive mentality. Ask anyone involved with crisis pregnancies and you will find failed contraception is a normal reason for seeking an abortion. No wonder you’re feeling weary if that’s your worldview…

  • Julie

    Personally I prefer Rowan Atkinson at the Pearly Gates: “Sorry you lot, the Jews were right…”

  • Julie

    Personally I prefer Rowan Atkinson at the Pearly Gates: “Sorry you lot, the Jews were right…”

  • Weary Convert

    How does one answer a typical ultra-Catholic statement that there is a strong opinion that as one thing leads to another, both must be banned? Let’s use the same logic. Priests are traditionally supposed to be celibate but there is a strong opinion that celibacy is behind numerous priests traditionally abusing children. Clearly one thing can lead to another so let’s ban it (celibacy, not children!).

    Anyway, this is sadly a rather pointless discussion, since I am afraid that it seems one can no more have a debate with ultra-Catholics than with militant atheists, flat-earthers or those who want to open Joanna Southcote’s box. As has been said earlier on this website, abortion will never be outlawed in our lifetimes so please think again and realise that the most sensible approach is not to leap up and down on a shaky soapbox screaming out damnation to one’s opponents but to support the decent people who, despite many setbacks, still try hard to improve the situation, even if it is only one small step at a time.

  • Magisterium

    Oh dear, Godwin’s law reached in your very first post. Your arguments are hopeless. Comparing different cultures is a fraught business, but if your argument that increased contraception reduced abortions were valid it would show itself over time within countries : in no country that I can think of has the abortion rate declined as contraception has increased, certainly not the UK.

    I urge you to read Humanae Vitae. It is a more beautiful worldview than your calculus : more beautiful wins.

  • Anonymous

    Being against abortion does not categorise someone as being an Ultra-Catholic.

    It is merely the beginnings of Catholic morality…

    If Catholic teaching isn’t enough to tell you you’re wrong ; if basic common sense isn’t enough; if cold hard facts which utterly disprove your presumptions aren’t enough; the only pointless aspect of this so-called ‘discussion’ is your arrogant denial of reality – which must be grounded upon a simple ideological stance that you don’t think contraception is wrong – so please don’t make any appeals to anything else – you just WANT it to be that way.

    You think contraception reduces abortions? You’re wrong – end of story.

    Now you might think you understand how to fight against the abortion-on-demand situation in this country [up to full term if two doctors will confirm there is possibe psychological detriment to a mother - whatever that can mean?]
    You argue a step-by-step approach – an appeal to common decency at the barbarity of late term abortions etc – that eventually this might be outlawed with good campaigns etc?
    Then perhaps a moratorium on abortions after viability?
    Then maybe an early 1st trimester limit?

    It doesn’t work – every campaign to reduce the time-limit for abortions has failed – when it was an absolute 28 weeks and the campaign was for 24 we instead got 24 normative with up to full term for any ‘psychological harm’ reason – i.e. abortion on demand to birth
    when they campaigned to reduce it from 24 to 20?
    Evan Harris,Harriet Harmon, Dawn Primarola pulled a fast one in parliament and changed the definition of pregnancy to mean after the first missed period rather than conception – thus adding an extra 2 weeks to the normative abortion limit – we are now techncally at 26 weeks.

    Now you might think that advances in medical science are drastically reducing the age of viability and this might assist the anti-abortion campaigners? THINK AGAIN!

    Nadine Dorries and Lord Alton are being double-duped by this movement from RCOG to NICE – because already there is a systemic campaign among health professionals and ‘ethical’ ideologues amidst the system’s quangocracies [which will be accelerated when NICE take over] – that it is too much a drain on resources to medically care for children born under 24 weeks – therefore it will be more financially ‘sustainable’ to let these ‘non-persons’ die [remember they have no legal rights until they are 26 weeks of age - and even then only if they are perfectly healthy - a simple twisted bowel or having downs syndrome or even a cleft palate is enough for them to be deprived of nutrition and hydration and left on some trolley to desiccate to death....]

    I metioned the Phyllis Bowman interview above – it reveals quite categorically that the ‘chipping away’ process simply doesn’t work – fighting for an all-out ban will – because we’ll be constantly bought off with a compromise in their position which will mean a minor victory for us and the unborn – then we fight again and again and again – onwards and onwards – in the only authentic way possible…because every compromise made never worked….it merely made the situation worse and gave more power to the pro-abortion side.

    Had we fought according to our Catholic moral teachings?
    We might have achieved something
    Instead – we’ve failed – and failed miserably.

  • Weary Convert

    “Being against abortion does not categorise someone as being an Ultra-Catholic.” I am afraid that here we have muddled thinking. I have never said that I am in favour of abortion. My whole point has been on the question of contraception and how anti-abortion campaigners make their case less and less likely to succeed so long as they also try to press upon the world an unacceptable ban on contraception. This is a ban which I and innumerable others I am sure, consider is ultra vires and as much outside the authority of the church as was its attacks on the Copernican explanation of the solar system which the Inquisition stated quite clearly was heresy.

    Instead and as I have posted on another of these websites, I was for many years a SPUC “footslogger” and did all the things necessary to absolutely no avail. I also attended a SPUC rally in London where I was amazed at the shrillness of the approach and the fact that instead of sticking to the issue of abortion, there was included an utterly irrelevant tirade against homosexuality in which pleasure was expressed that the Russians sent homosexuals to jail. That rally was one of the things that in due course made me realise that the leaders of SPUC would like to use it to support an agenda far removed from the one issue on which the ordinary members, from a spectrum of beliefs, were united.

    However, Paulpriest’s position towards anyone who disagrees with him is,

    “You’re wrong – end of story”

    so it is best to leave him to revel in the purity of his moral correctness and return to the real world.

    Goodbye and have a nice day.

  • In Our Times

    Dear Lord: Mr Priest & Mr Travato; you clearly are both utterly in the dark regarding the culpability of catholic moral teachings as the cause of equal amounts, (if not more even; one couldn’t say); evil & suffering in the world. I am stunned. That this is actually more about your own egos, your own power & your own glory is blatently clear. Take your pick regarding ideas of perfection & beauty & which causes you wish to back etc… but don’t EVER assume you are categorically acting for the Greater Good, whichever ‘side’ you happen to be on. Because you can never know. It is indeed the most dangerous of arrogances. Again; I am stunned.

  • Anonymous

    Ah the evil of Catholic teachings – the enthymeme being hiv/AIDS in Africa I suppose?
    We teach people not to have sex outside marriage, that if you’re hiv+ you must never again have sex and that prostitution or using prostitutes is gravely sinful – but no – of course!!!?? – our teaching leads to the death of millions – not the western Governments who throw condoms and abortion vans at the crisis and tell them it’s fine to continue to be sexually indiscriminate, it’s fine for men to continue in their culturally induced rape and for women to continue to be rape victims – I take it the argument has its basis in their being less civilised than we and incapable of acting otherwise?

    In Our Times – The Catholic Church is arguing and fighting not only for the dignity and sanctity of every human being – but for God who is Real Truth, Real Love and Real Life…

    Denying life and love via contraceptive sex is not part of God’s way – and if the contraception fails? Slaughtering the voiceless and vulnerable innocent child in the womb makes one God’s and humanity’s enemy…justifying it as a moraly justifiable makes one a monster!

    This is not arrogance – this is living up to the responsibility and duty we have to our neighbour – and our neighbour includes those 1.5billion who have already fallen victim in this genocide…

  • Anonymous

    huh!? your ‘real’ world’s revealing itself more every day – take a look at this

  • Anonymous
  • Ben Trovato

    Weary C

    You completely mis-represent my argument, and only attack a straw man of your own invention.

    To call Catholics who believe the unchanging teaching of the Church ultra-Catholics says more about you than it does about us…

    I am more than willing to debate this: but not if you persist in attributing to me both arguments ( ‘there is a strong opinion that as one thing leads to another, both must be banned’) and approaches (‘screaming out damnation to one’s opponents’) which have nothing to do with anything I write or think.

  • Ben Trovato


    I’m really unclear what you are trying to communicate other than a general disapproval of me, Paul Priest and the Catholic Church. Your specific points (‘culpability of Catholic moral teachings’ ‘more about your own egos, your own power etc’) are unsubstantiated and therefore seem mere assertions.

    If you wish to discuss this, I am happy to do so, but I need more clarity about your line of argument.

    If you merely wished to sound off, that’s fine…

  • Ben Trovato


    History suggests that absolute predictions about the future are a poor strategy: we’re really not very good at predicting what may happen in the next decade, let alone for ever!

  • DBMcGinnity

    I like that!! Also, the story of a teenager who asked the nun “Sister, What are french letters?”. The nun replied. “They are a sinful thing that Protestants use at every misconception” . When I hear the name Nadine Dorries I think of her assertion that “Trident is not a weapon of mass destruction”. Look there is a simple way for paulpriest to resolve this. Ban free will, be like Muslims and stone all women transgressors to death. Forbid women to disobey the Pope. Women will be so terrified that they copulate and procreate like rabbits and this will enhance the propagation of the faith, and women will know their place. Dream on, paulpriest, no one will take the slightest notice of what the Pope says because it is too late for all that.

  • Anonymous

    Oh yes – dream on – because it’s all too much to ask any woman to refrain from the horizontee while she’s ovulating isn’t it?
    Banning free will?
    What sort of world do we live in where we’re made to feel guilty because of our carbon footprint and expected to have a politically correct ‘responsible attitude’ to every single aspect our lives [the so-called nanny-state mentality] EXCEPT SEX!!!!??

    No – these days sex has this ‘opt out clause’ from the rest of social mores – and its consequences? well a quick couple of pills or an abortion during a lunchbreak can eliminate all ills can’t it?
    After all – look at the stats – by the age of 45 a third of women will have had an abortion – but most women who have abortions average out at having 1.8 each; meaning few have only one abortion – and that does not include the millions of chemically induced early abortions which aren’t even classified as such – rather they’re emergency ‘contraception’!!!!?

    If you think this is some form of human progress rather than a bestial regression you are very much mistaken…

  • DBMcGinnity

    You habitually tell other people that they are in the wrong and you are a bit caustic with it. I’ll bet that your computer is in a pulpit with a Holy Water Font and Rosary Beads hanging from a peg in case they are urgently needed. Do you have “an exorcism kit” at hand for those who do not agree with your sanctimonious, immutable prognostications.

    In 1968, Pope Paul VI tried to lay down the law, and people ignored him. I certainly ignored him . You said: “because it’s all too much to ask any woman to refrain from the horizontee while she’s ovulating isn’t it?” On what earth do you live? Women do as they want, and so they should. May I ask if you are in a relationship and what sort of doormat your partner sleeps on. No intelligent woman with oomph and dignity is going to put up with your Byzantine attitude. What the hell does horizontee mean? Does it mean the missionary position, because it does not have to be that way.

    I have the answer. I am waiting for my tomcat “Charles Stewart Parnell” to come in at about 10.30 looking very self satisfied as well he may be, considering his lack or morals. I will discuss this matter with him and hopefully get more sense out of him than all this superfluous flummery about something that no sensible person would try to control.

  • DBMcGinnity

    Mandatory counselling is a contradiction in terms and would be considered most unethical by all professional counselling services. The most important principle of counselling is that the clients’ seek to be counselling. It is typical of Nadine Dorries to misunderstand the issue, but that is what makes Nadine predictable and all the more entertaining, and lovable. Let the pro-life campaigners and other Holy Joe’s and God Squad’s keep their nose’s out of other people’s business. We were born with free will with the right to choose our own destiny.

    If a person wishes to have an abortion of their own free will after taking medical advice, let them do it. Of course there must always be strict legal and clinical ethics as with all medical procedures. It is not the business of the Church to moralise and dictate the standards by which other people live. More and more, the loud mouthed, fuss pots and zealots are getting on people’s nerves with their pro-life campaign, that really has nothing to do with to do ‘pro-life’ but is more concerned with the suppression and oppression of women.

  • DBMcGinnity

    Mandatory counselling is a contradiction in terms and would be considered most unethical by all professional counselling services. The most important principle of counselling is that the clients’ seek counselling. It is typical of Nadine Dorries to misunderstand the issue, but that is what makes Nadine predictable and all the more entertaining, and lovable. Let the pro-life campaigners and other Holy Joe’s and God Squad’s keep their nose’s out of other people’s business. We were born with free will with the right to choose our own destiny.

    If a person wishes to have an abortion of their own free will after taking medical advice, let them do it. Of course there must always be strict legal and clinical ethics as with all medical procedures. It is not the business of the church to moralise and dictate the standards by which other people live. More and more, the loud mouthed, fuss pots and zealots are getting on people’s nerves with their pro-life campaign, that really has nothing to do with ‘pro-life’ but is more concerned with the suppression and oppression of women.

  • Marypettifor

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post Francis. I have great respect for Nadine Dorries sincere attempts at reducing the number of abortions in this country, but agree with you that this initiative seems to be misguided.

  • Pmangod

    Communism/Socialism mates, they are the ones behind all these stupid law changes. Oust the ones that bring these laws and replace them with sane people that once ruled the land. True Christianity does not sit and tolerate Satanic rule, but opposes with the Cross in one hand and the Name of Jesus in the Mouth, repeating the Gospel Pages. Honor God and God will honor you.

  • DBMcGinnity

    “Oust the ones that bring these laws and replace them with sane people that once ruled the land”. This is indeed a very noble and courageous idea. I hope that you are not suggesting another Crusade like Peter the Hermit did with his army followers with God Fearing Missionary Zeal. How would you be able to tell who were the offending Communism/Socialism mates. What would happen if you were mistaken in your observation and assessment of the supposed culprits?

  • DBMcGinnity

    We must all give paulpriest the homage and reverence he seeks. Why can there not be a generalised understanding and acceptance that when paulpriest renders an opinion it is in effect an edict where he alone is in possession of truth? His most common pronouncement is: “You are wrong” ! We must be careful because he might be infallible and he might be The Pope, or even God writing under a nom de plume. I do not want to incur his wrath and be struck down with fire and brimstone

  • Ben Trovato


    Yes, it is always much easier to mis-represent and to mock than to engage and to debate. Paul Priest does not seek homage and reverence. He seeks to explain and defend the teaching of the Catholic Church. If he is wrong, say so and say where – but play the ball, not the man!

  • DBMcGinnity

    “Had I more time I had repudiate your position with plain and simple facts”? It is a complete cop out about you not having the time; take the time to explain what you mean. I am still waiting for you to tell me why “my cup runneth with ignorance”. You said that you would not know where to begin, and that you did not have the time. So begin now!! Is it not one of the spiritual works of mercy to instruct the ignorant?

    You make edicts and pronouncements but you never validate anything other than to admonish anyone who does not think like you. Answer this: If Jesus rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, he is still alive and well. Why then has Jesus not taken over the Vatican as Christ the King, and become the permanent Pope to rule and guide his people? He and Mary are alive and well, where are they?

    The validity of the Catholic Church is rapidly in the decline insofar that people have a “take it or leave it” attitude. More and more Catholics do not accept that there is life after death, and heaven and hell are just myths for simpletons and are the remnants of the bygone days of ignorance. I am informed that The Vatican (who are always on the ball) frequently carry out their own opinion polls and they know very well what the true situation is. I am a committed Catholic, but I am not a blind bigot. God loves everyone.

    Why not make the Catholic Church more inviting and attractive so that people will want to come as the evangelical church’s in America and worldwide have done. But people like you and a few others (probably the same person) who are formidable and intimidating, just drive people away. I would rather talk to my cat than listen to all this tedious, wearisome unfounded nonsense.

  • Dio

    I suppose the same was said by defenders of slavery and gladiatorial fights…

  • Dio

    “chose our own destiny”… yeah, right. Thing is – it´s NOT YOUR destiny you “chose” when you chose to kill another human being, is it? The crux about abortion is whether you concede the nasciturus, the human-in-the-womb as a human being or not. Modern medicine – genetics, ultrasound etc – definitely PROVE it to be an identifiable certain SOMEONE, not “a lump of cells” – but an individual, albeit at an early stage of his or her life. To say that we become human beings only after birth is to attribute magical qualities to the birth canal, since we are the same people six months before we leave our mother´s body as six months after – we just grew a bit, but I doubt size is really what makes us human, is it? Once you accept the fact, that what is in the womb is a HUMAN BEING, there simply is NO reason whatsoever that would allow anyone to kill them. You can deny THAT all you want in the name of “Freedom”.

  • Ben Trovato


    I am curious to understand your thinking better. You write: ‘ I am a committed Catholic, but I am not a blind bigot. God loves everyone.’ That I understand.

    However you also write: ‘Answer this: If Jesus rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, he is still alive and well. Why then has Jesus not taken over the Vatican as Christ the King, and become the permanent Pope to rule and guide his people? He and Mary are alive and well, where are they?’ This I think implies that you do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and is still ‘alive and well.’

    If I am right in my second paragraph, (and your subsequent statement: ‘More and more Catholics do not accept that there is life after death, and heaven and hell are just myths for simpletons and are the remnants of the bygone days of ignorance’ seems to confirm that interpretation), it makes your statement that you are a committed Catholic more, how shall I put this…, interesting.

    I have trouble reconciling the words committed Catholic with a belief that Jesus did not rise from the dead and ascend into heaven, and that there is no life after death.

    If I am not right in my second paragraph, I am clearly not following your train of thought, and would be grateful for a clarification.

    Or are you using the words ‘committed Catholic’ to mean something other than someone who has been baptised and believes (at least) in the Creed that we recite together at every Sunday Mass?

  • Dio

    You don´t seem to know an awful lot about actual catholic teaching, except that it might stop you from bonking who you want, whenever you want and avoid the consequences of your actions whenever they aren´t to your liking… well, maybe you should read up a bit, think about what you read and then maybe, just maybe, you would find something more worthwile to type than the ignorant rant.

  • DBMcGinnity

    How unsophisticated of you to use the term ‘bonking’ tut, tut, The Catholic Religion (not faith) has never stopped me form doing anything ever. I do not bonk !, I make love, and I love doing it and I never feel guilty. As for being a Catholic, well I am abysmally ignorant of everything and I fear that I shall have to do something about it. Oh! I will write to the Pope.

  • DBMcGinnity

    I will not take any lessons from you about clinical issues: Anatomy, Physiology, Gynaecology or Obstetrics, Nor, will I take any lessons from you about ethics or morality. I decide my morality and no one else. This pro life circus is going nowhere because women will no longer allow a few stupid old men with antiquated ideas to decide their future. My friend told me a hilarious story about an Irish priests solution to the problem. He suggests that the marriage vows should be strictly enforced. The woman should love honour and obey her husband and he should take control of when and how they have sex. Can you imagine what would happen?

  • DBMcGinnity

    By Committed Catholic I mean I see the Love of God in everyone, and that it is my destiny to emulate what Jesus purported on the “Sermon on the Mount” to alleviate human suffering irrespective of who they are.

    It is only a matter of time until the Catholic Church will have to make a declaration that much of it’s dogma is unsustainable and incompatible with contemporary living. The church will have to declare that the founding fathers and early doctors of the church were mistaken in their dogma. They can explain that the early theologians never intended to deceive anyone and what they wrote was in keeping with Zeitgeist “the attitude and social mores of the times”.

    However in retrospect, it cannot be known for certain that Jesus Christ as described in Christian doctrine ever existed, although a Jewish prophet and lay preacher called Yeshua Ben Yosef probably did have an some sort of quarrelsome altercation with the Romans. This sort of thing happened all the time (just like the demonstration in London last weekend) They gave him a summery flogging and threw him out of town and told him not to come back.

    It is widely accepted amongst thinking Catholics that the Crucifixion and the Resurrection was “a trick with bones” as described by David Jenkins, then Bishop of Durham. Many Catholics agreed with David Jenkins, that it is illogical and fanciful and it did not happen.

    The Church will have to acknowledge that the likelihood of Constantine’s mother going to Jerusalem and finding the true cross after nearly three hundred years is a very remote statistical improbability , if not impossibility. According to Josephus over 1,100,000 people were killed at The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD and the Fall of Masada in 73 AD

    Considering that most of these Jews were crucified, on the Hill of Calvary, the place of execution, how on earth could Helena have picked the exact spot where Jesus died and found the True Cross, two nails and some thorns. I believe in faith, but I also believe in statistics and the laws of probability. No sensible person can be expected to believe this. Ref. The Jewish War by Josephus (Translated by G Williamson) Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (25 Sep 2003) ISBN-10: 0140444203 (paperback) ISBN-13: 978-0140444209 (hardback)

    The message of The Last Supper was to feed the poor and to alleviate human suffering. Jesus said do this in memory of me, because he was going away, and it is very likely that he was returning to India. After Jesus’ Bar Mitzvah in the temple which was in keeping with Orthodox Jewish Observance, he read a passage from the Torah (Haftarah), and answered the questions put to him like any Viva voce. But Him lecturing the doctors as in Catholic teaching is zealous fiction.

    After that He and his mother travelled with the Eastern Kings (of Christmas fame) to India, and he became a Buddhist mystic. All the teachings of Jesus Christ are identical with those of Buddhist philosophy and “The Sermon on the Mount”, that is not an accident.

    Ref. The Original Jesus by Gruber, Elmar and Kersten, Holger. (1995). . Shaftesbury: Element Books.
    The Lost Years of Jesus: Documentary Evidence of Jesus’ 17-Year Journey to the East. Elizabeth Clare Prophet, (1 Jun 2003) Mass Market Paperback: Publisher: Summit Beacon ISBN-10: 9780916766870 ISBN-13: 978-0916766870

    Therefore, there was no logical reason to accept that the Resurrection or Ascension into heaven ever happened, because Heaven and Hell and The Gods are just whimsical myths from “The Odyssey” by Homer. Does that answer your question?

  • Ben Trovato


    Thank you – that answers my question perfectly. You are simply using the words Committed Catholic in a sense quite different to what I – and I imagine most people – would understand them to mean.

    What you say is logically coherent, but to describe it as Catholic seems to me to be stretching language beyond breaking point.

    I hope this is useful to any who were wondering how a ‘Committed Catholic’ could hold the views which you do.

    As you would expect, I disagree with your thesis both in its general trend and particular points – but then I am a Committed Catholic in the more traditional usage of those words.

    But then of course, I read people like St John, St Luke, St Matthew, St Mark, St Paul, the Catechism, Benedict 16, John Paul 2, Paul 6, Frank Sheed, and Ronald Knox, rather than David Jenkins, Gruber et al – so what would I know?

  • DBMcGinnity

    Like you I have also read people like St John, St Luke, St Matthew, St Mark, St Paul, and the Catechism, many, many times. Today, like everyday I have received an e-mail from the Vatican. Just in case you think I an not being truthful, this is what it said:

    04.01.2011 – Twenty-First Year – Num. 63 SUMMARY:
    - Second Lenten Sermon in Redemptoris Mater Chapel
    - Telegram for the Death of Cardinal Vithayathil
    - Law to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
    - Challenges Facing Jewish and Catholic Leaders
    - Audiences
    - Other Pontifical Acts

    I read everything and I take it very seriously, especially as interest in the church ia in the decline, as stipulated by Diarmuid Martin, The Archbishop of Dublin (he gives it ten years) I give it much less.

    The Holy Roman Catholic Church.
    My wife is a Anglican Catholic and is very devout, She is not a Roman Catholic nor would she want to be. The Catholic priest who was giving her instruction to be a Roman Catholic 46 years ago turned up drunk and exposed his genitals to her. She was only 18 at the time. So she gave it a miss.. When we got married a mad Irish Monsignor tried to force her to sign “Ne Temere” document and she rightly said, No! At my insistence she did not say “love, honour and obey” when we got married, because it is undignified that someone has to obey someone else. We told him mad Irish Monsignor to take it or leave it. The young priest who conducted the wedding ceremony was fine about it, and there was no fuss.

    At the moment I am writing a paper on the Battle of Gettysburg. Several international reporters witnessed this battle and photographs were taken. For my research I am reading the most up to date accounts from the most erudite writers recognised by the Library of Congress. How is it then that there are different accounts of what happened of the very same incident and on some occasions there are contradictory accounts of what happened? Yet, the Battle of Gettysburg happened only 150 years ago when journalism was well established and photography was fairly sharp.

    The point I make is this: How can someone be absolutely sure of what happened to Jesus in the year 320 when nearly 300 years had passed since his death. In Jerusalem at that time everything was chaotic and buildings were ransacked and books and documents and buildings were burned down. Therefore, how on earth can anyone, including the Roman Catholic Church be so sure of what happened? That is why “the so called truths” of the Roman Catholic Church do not add up, and they do not withstand scrutiny, because they are beyond logic and reason.