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The Iron Lady reminds me of pontiffs past and present

Margaret Thatcher had her critics, Pope Francis can expect to have his too

By on Thursday, 11 April 2013

Baroness Thatcher (Photo: PA)

Baroness Thatcher (Photo: PA)

In the last couple of months there have been three world events: the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the election of Pope Francis and now the death of Margaret Thatcher. All three are linked in different ways.

Watching the resignation of Pope Benedict unfold to a stunned Church made me compare it with the way Margaret Thatcher was forced out of the premiership by her own Parliamentary colleagues. It took rare courage and love of the Church for the Holy Father to admit that, having searched his conscience on the matter for many months, he did not have the strength of mind or body to continue as Pope.

Despite the intense debate about his decision at the time, I sense that it has been for the good: he has become a praying presence at the heart of the Vatican, an “older brother” for Pope Francis; while the latter has already begun to bring his personal charisma to his office: a warmth and simplicity of style that is beginning to appeal to all of us who are watching and listening to him.

But it is rare for someone to step down in humility from a position of great authority, whether in the Church or outside it. Watching the BBC programme about Margaret Thatcher on Monday evening, it was sad to see the humiliating end to her years at Number 10. Close colleagues had hinted to her during her third term that it might be time to step aside; she would have none of it. As one of them ruefully recollected, it simply wasn’t in her nature; in her view, if things were going badly, she had to sort them out; if they were going well, what was the point? So she stayed on – too long.

Yet she is also linked to our new Pope, partly because he is an Argentinean, a man whose country she fought over the sovereignty of the Falklands, and partly because of the saint linked to both of them: St Francis of Assisi. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis implied last year that the Falklands belonged to Argentina; well, he is a patriot and most of his countrymen will share his view; but it is also safe to say that as Pope he will adopt a neutral position on all such territorial questions. In her prime, Margaret Thatcher would certainly have handbagged him about it.

On the question of St Francis (and the prayer he did not actually compose), watching footage of Mrs Thatcher reciting some of its phrases outside Number 10 in 1979 made me wince. Now we know that it was a speech-writer who suggested it to her; whatever the impulse of those heady moments and despite her own deeply held Christian convictions, I think the prayer was not her style.

It would have been better to have chosen the more martial Kipling, who would have had an apt phrase for the hour. Now the words “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony” have returned to haunt her memory, quoted as they are repeatedly by her critics. It is true that she was a deeply divisive figure, in death as in life – but what do people expect?

All strong leaders with a sense of mission and the conviction and clarity that go with it will make enemies. How could it be otherwise? Pope John Paul II upset traditionalists in the Church by not attending, as they saw it, to the liturgy. He also raised the ire of the liberals by refusing to countenance women priests. In other words, he was a divisive figure. Some think he should not be canonised, just as some think Baroness Thatcher does not deserve a public funeral.

And now Pope Francis, as a spiritual rather than a political leader, has taken the little poor man of Assisi as his patron. He will have his critics too: those who will think he has gone “too far” in one direction; those who will think he has not “gone far enough” in another. He has sent a telegram of condolence to David Cameron in which he “recalls the Christian values which underpinned [Margaret Thatcher’s] commitment to public service and to the promotion of freedom among the family of nations. Entrusting her soul to the mercy of God…the Holy Father invokes upon all whose lives she touched God’s abundant blessings.” I do hope George Galloway MP and Neil Kinnock, who don’t appear very pleased that Margaret Thatcher touched their lives, take note of this.

Some Catholics will argue about her “Christian values”, given her acceptance of legal abortion when in office. I would reply that she was blinkered here – but blinkered by her time, the goals she had set herself and her broad Church Anglicanism which had replaced the Methodism of her youth. Being staunchly pro-life in this country is largely, though not exclusively, a Catholic issue – and Margaret Thatcher was not a Catholic.

Finally, I have been struck by the many anecdotes which mention Thatcher’s personal kindness, remembered by the ordinary people who served her or crossed her path; they recall the way she never stood on ceremony, always remembered their names and was genuinely concerned about their welfare. I haven’t read anyone quoting Kipling these last few days, but his famous lines in “If”, “If you can…walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch”, must surely apply to her memory.

  • Mark Smith

    I am flabbergasted that in the Catholic Herald, MT’s long term and unrepentant support for abortion is airbrushed. What she supported, encouraged and voted for has caused the deaths of millions of unborn babies. For that she will have to answer to a higher authority but please, enough of the eulogies.

  • AlanP

    It was not just that a speechwriter suggested the St. Francis prayer, she even had a “crib” in her left hand which she was reading from (as Jon Snow has revealed).

    I think all the ballyhoo over her death is grossly overblown. Many have compared her with Clement Attlee, yet Attlee never had a seven-and-a-half hour debate about him, and his funeral was a simple affair lasting 20 minutes, well away from St.Paul’s Cathedral.

  • http://twitter.com/JamesCallender3 James Callender

    Yes, several CH journalists who seem to be pro-Thatcherite in several ways seem to find it convenient to ignore her record on abortion.
    “Some Catholics will argue about her “Christian values”, given her
    acceptance of legal abortion when in office. I would reply that she was
    blinkered here – but blinkered by her time, the goals she had set
    herself and her broad Church Anglicanism which had replaced the
    Methodism of her youth. Being staunchly pro-life in this country is
    largely, though not exclusively, a Catholic issue – and Margaret
    Thatcher was not a Catholic.”

    All I can say to this is, ignorance is no excuse! What kind of an excuse is that? Abortion is a human right issue and not just a Catholic one because the right to life is the most fundamental of human rights. I am shocked that a supposedly devout Catholic can utter these words.

  • $46579571

    Broad Church Anglicanism ? – I read something by Hugo Young that mentioned her conversion to Judaism.
    You are urging forgivingness on Galloway and Kinnock; but as one of Mrs Thatcher’s many worshippers, you are hardly in a position to do so.

  • Mark Smith

    It seems that the author thinks that if you are not catholic, there is no need to be anti-abortion. That is either hopelessly niece or arrogant, I’m not sure which. Abortion is murder of the unborn – I didn’t think it was ok to condone murder for those that happen to be Anglican? Have a look at what happening at the Philadelphia abortion clinic trial to remind ourselves what abortion in practice really looks like.
    I’m not sure the man above will have much truck with those who repeatedly voted for and supported abortion just because they are famous and happen to have a fawning support group on earth.

  • Unimpressed

    With respect, Francis, it is nonsense to excuse Mrs Thatcher’s support for abortion in the way that you do. Several prominent Conservative MPs and government ministers were wholly opposed to abortion in 1960s, 70s and 80s. Prominent among them was Norman Tebbit who professed to be (as he still does, I think) an agnostic. The introduction of abortion (supported by Mrs Thatcher) was in itself an unconservative thing. If Margaret Thatcher had given a strong lead on protecting the unborn (as Ronald Reagan – similarly a non-Cathoilc – did in the US) it is ilkely that the Conservative party’s stance on this issue would have been very different and that situation might be much better today.
    Yes, Margaret Thatcher had various political strengths – just as most people who reach the top of their professions have strengths. But success in itself is not a virtue.

    The connections you have suggested between Margaret Thatcher and our holy Pontiffs are quite distasteful. The previous article you had so much. This one suggests a lack of your normally very good judgment.

  • ALEXANDER VI

    “I would reply that she was blinkered here – but blinkered by her time,”

    If she was blinkered over abortion then perhaps she was blinkered over her support for Capitalism.

  • Frank

    With respect Francis many have said MT had “Christian values” but, as with so many politicians, I struggle to see them lived-out during her administration or in her personal support for certain legislation already mentioned in posts here. Surely the gap between Blessed John-Paul 2 and MT (and many other PMs) is so vast as to be immeasurable?

  • Pope Zicola

    Oh, Pur-leease, Francis!
    Pur-lease!

    Margaret Thatcher touched many lives all right and did more wrong than she did right – but stop doing the Pope’s job – i.e. putting people on the path to sainthood (your name might be Francis but your title ain’t pope) – by effectively canonising this Gloriana lite before she is barely laid to rest!

    To compare the events of Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication from his sacred office to Margaret Thatcher’s resignation from 10 Downing Street is like comparing King Henry VIII with Mother Teresa of Calcutta!

    Pope Benedict XVI was selfless in his decision to take off the Shoes of the Fisherman. I admit, I’m still struggling to get my head round this even after the election of Pope Francis.

    Margaret Thatcher was the polar opposite – her cabinet ministers stood up to her. At long last.

    The Poll Tax was as ill-designed, ill-thought out and as badly organised as the current UK welfare reforms. It cost more to repair the damage the Poll Tax did than any revenue gathered from it.

    And guess what, folks! The Coalition has not learned ANYTHING from this. They are in denial that the Bedroom Tax and welfare reforms juggernaut is heading for the same gas tank at top speed because it’s going very badly wrong!
    What a legacy indeed!

    MT was crying as she vacated Number 10 for the last time as PM because her ego was badly bruised. Nothing more, nothing less. Her departure from the seat of power was as graceful as a pigeon doing the tango with an ostrich.

    Pope Benedict’s departure was dignified, graceful and … above, all… emotional for everyone. Even the people who guarded and looked after him were in bits. I would be, if I was in their shoes!

    When I was a teenager, I was able to have my photograph taken with my sister outside Number 10 Downing Street without any problems. Yes, it was not only to feed our history-sizzled minds but also it was to see where my parent’s hard earned Income Tax was being spent.

    When Thatcher became PM, the barriers went up, permitting only a few to enter those gates.
    No plebs like us. Oh, no!

    Hers was one of the Western administrations that de-regulated financial institutions after years of ensuring disasters which led to the Great Depression would never happen again.

    Now the Madoffs of this world ripped off everyone from the multi millionaire to the small business owner in spectacular style.

    Again, as I have said in previous posts, I’m not some working-class socialist malcontent!

    It’s interesting to read who’s been invited to Thatcher’s send-off.

    Dame Shirley Bassey, for a kick-off. She was one of the many superstar tax exiles who beggared off to avoid paying tax to the very state that saw it fit to ”advise” HM The Queen to approve and bestow an order of chivalry.

    Admittedly, their tax levy was a wee bit steep and common ground was,unfortunately, not taken up by successive Labour governments to enforce – but many more ‘stars’ didn’t up sticks and let their native land ‘go hang’ for their tax money – like most who pay good money for their overpriced gig tickets and their LPs, CDs and – nowadays – downloads from various websites of the ‘I’ variety.
    I’d like to be a fly on the wall when she reaches the pearly gates/gates of hades (delete which is appropriate to your ire). Would she handbag St. Peter for his not having her name on the roll call… or argue with Old Nick for the same?
    It’s a fun thought…

  • Gabriel

    Thatcherism destroyed the UK.

  • vito

    Oh, enough of this absurd double standard. When Obama is pro-choice, he is the DEVIL incarnate. When Thatcher is pro-choice (not only pro-choice in her views, but made active steps to legalise abortion in Britain), it’s ok… Victim of her time… Victim of Anglicanism… blabla bla, As if being an Anglican or Methodist does not allow you to be pro-life. Just because she was reight-wing and said a few words against Communism, everything is forgiven…

  • sarah

    What I can’t understand is the extreme reactions to her death. She doesn’t deserve a state funeral, a statue or a minutes silence – but she doesn’t deserve rioting in the streets by children who can’t possible remember her. What has happened to England – have we lost all common sense. It is really quite worrying. I think we have become quite unstable.

  • Thomas Gallagher

    And the Soviet Union.

  • Tridentinus

    Francis Phillips was not canonising Lady Thatcher at all. She was simply
    llustrating the difference between her resignation and that of Benedict XVI; whereas she was forced out of office by colleagues, Benedict chose to relinquish his papacy believing it was for the good of the Church.

    First of all the Community Charge was a fair tax. It reduced the rates’ burden upon heads of households no matter what their income whilst it made those who benefitted from local services and had never paid for them to make a contribution. An example of this is that a couple of old age pensioners on a fixed income paid the same Council rates as a family of, say, three or more, all wage-earners. It was labelled a Poll Tax mainly because those who sought to evade it did so by not registering on the Electoral Roll thereby voluntarily giving up their right to the vote.

    Exactly the same misnomer has been applied to the, so-called, bedroom tax; it is not a tax at all. Only those who are clients of the State, (in receipt of tax-payers’ money), will find that if they live in a house or flat which is too large for them will have their housing benefit reduced. The object is to free up larger houses and flats for those with families who need them.

    “MT was crying as she vacated Number 10 for the last time as PM because her ego was badly bruised. Nothing more, nothing less. Her departure from the seat of power was as graceful as a pigeon doing the tango with an ostrich.”

    What an unkind and un-Christian thing to say! Have you never heard of the aphorism, De mortuis nihil nisi bonum dicendum est?

    “When Thatcher became PM, the barriers went up, permitting only a few to enter those gates. No plebs like us. Oh, no!”

    This assertion is absolutely spurious and intended to malign the lady. Downing Street as everyone well knows was gated due to the threat of IRA terrorism, not to exclude ‘plebs’, as you put it.

    “Again, as I have said in previous posts, I’m not some working-class socialist malcontent!”

    Well you certainly could have fooled me.

    “It’s interesting to read who’s been invited to Thatcher’s send-off.”

    ‘Send-off’’. Is this a Christian way to comment on the commendation of someone’s soul to God?

    You admit that the taxation of ‘celebrities’ may have been “a wee bit steep” even under Labour. In my younger days under a Labour Government the top rate of tax was 19 shillings and 6 pence (97.5 pence) in the pound. How about that? If you went abroad on holiday you could only take £50 with you because of exchange controls.

    Those who these days who contribute to the fortunes of the ‘celebrities’ such as Shirley Bassey, (the pop-stars, the actors, the TV stars and presenters, et al) are mostly, ordinary yet gullible, people many of whom who derive their income from the state, i.e. from working taxpayers who are funding their lifestyles.

    We have recently been made aware of the lifestyle of Mike Philpott. He never worked, sired 17 children with different women yet managed to install a snooker table in his council/housing trust home and possess two wide screen TVs obviously well-off enough, thanks to the tax-payer, to be able to subscribe to Sky TV. There are many more examples like this. It is only lately when times have become harder for most people that we have begun to look critically at the system which allows those who don’t or won’t work and yet seem to enjoy the same or even a far better standard of living than most of the rest of us.

    Lady Thatcher’s legacy is that not that there is no Society but that society is composed of individuals. People should take individual responsibility for their actions and behaviour and not try to blame it on their environment, up-bringing, social status, etc.

    One of the greatest criticisms of Lady Thatcher by Catholics is her voting for David Steel’s Abortion Bill in 1966 yet you do not mention this in your diatribe. Methinks you might agree with her on this.

    “I’d like to be a fly on the wall when she reaches the pearly gates/gates of hades (delete which is appropriate to your ire). Would she handbag St. Peter for his not having her name on the roll call… or argue with Old Nick for the same?

    It’s a fun thought…”

    This paragraph simply confirms your irrational hatred of Lady Thatcher, it is totally disrespectful of a fellow human being and is totally un-Christian. Such an outpouring of ‘Christian’ hatred. Christian Charity restricts me from what I would like to
    say further.

  • Pope Zicola

    I have to agree to disagree with you on ALL accounts.

    You patronise me at your peril…

    You tend to forget that those on the oft-described tax-payer’s money (yawn!), for the greater part, have paid their due and absolutely DETEST having to fill out stupid welfare claim forms which ask the most absurd questions that have ever been written on the back of a beer mat during a Friday afternoon liquid lunch, which would not look out of place as a piece in stand-up comedy.

    Thatcher thought that the horrendous 3Million plus unemployed was a ‘price worth paying’ to keep the inflation rate down.

    Been there, done that, bought the laserdisc/VHS video/DVD/iTunes download and have tried like blazes to avoid going down that road ever, ever again…

    Unfortunately, the Coalition like to magnify those who have never seen the inside of a factory, office or the end of a mop and tar the rest of the innocent, law-abiding newly unemployed with the same brush!

    People claiming benefits are not clients – pur-lease! This ain’t Coutts Bank!

    Every person in the country pays some form of tax or other… so it is not just the crusties like you who have the monopoly on those sexy tax returns to do their duty to the State.

    I have had the experience of having hefty wodges of tax taken out of my take-home pay. So blinking what? It’s the law.

    The things I object to my tax money being paid into is the same as the US – state-sponsored contraception, abortion and family planning clinics on the NHS!

    As for social welfare – so be it! There for the Grace of Almighty God!

    It made me seethe to read how Francis (not to be mistaken for The Holy Father, who is also called Francis) compared the resignation of Margaret Thatcher with the retirement/abdication of Pope Benedict XVI. That got me going more than anything else, which got me motoring on my computer with a spleen to vent.

    When I still lived at home in the late 1980′s/early 1990′s, there were four of us living in one house i.e. the family, including disabled. The total Poll Tax all of us had to pay when totted up came to something around £1,000 which was a hefty wodge way back then!

    Whereas, one person living in a detached house with five bedrooms three miles away under the same council jurisdiction paid just ONE single person’s Poll Tax which was a quarter of that!

    Call that fair? No, neither do I. That’s what piddled people off. That’s what defeated the Poll Tax in the end.

    Anyone with common sense and nuff-all money, Tridentius, (why is it that most people think that people who are on benefits haven’t anything by way of brains – it really makes me PUKE!) would not consider rattling around in a three-bedroomed council/housing trust house if there was no-one else to occupy the rooms. It would be crazy. I already know for a FACT, dear fruitbowl, that councils/housing trusts would not tolerate it either… only someone who hasn’t been down that road would attempt to shove that fact down my throat where it has already been digested and swallowed more than once.

    Besides, for your information, single people would be positively encouraged by their housing trusts/councils (it is the case in the area where I live) to move to suitable, smaller accommodation and it would make all the difference in the world to their standard of living – apart from the odd no-mark either next door or on the floor below, who might forget what the volume knob is actually for on their TV or music equipment.

    I have you know that the IRA were in action during the administrations of Heath, Wilson and Callaghan before Thatcher darkened the door of Number 10 … and they were bombing people left, right and centre in other parts of the UK.

    I was caught in the middle of IRA bombing campaigns in my city – TWICE! – and have never got over either occasion. It made me very anxious and nervous about where the next maniac will plant their explosives next or even have them on their person.

    The events from the World Trade Center on September 11 2001 were just as disgusting but had much in common – in that ordinary people were injured and/or eventually died and were doing their regular decent day’s work then … we know the rest. The workers who survived worse than I and my former colleagues did suffered much and many died awful deaths as a result of the debris, smoke and asbestos.

    Let us not forget that the very first recorded casualty of 9/11 was a Roman Catholic Priest – who died doing Christ’s work in tending to an injured New York Firefighter.

    When you have been on BOTH SIDES of the desk at the dole office, when you have witnessed bombings at first hand, you would think again about what Thatcher and subsequent UK Governments – including Blair – did to people and still do.

  • pbecke

    ‘Finally, I have been struck by the many anecdotes which mention
    Thatcher’s personal kindness, remembered by the ordinary people who
    served her or crossed her path; they recall the way she never stood on
    ceremony, always remembered their names and was genuinely concerned
    about their welfare.’

    I wonder how Carol Thatcher would react on reading the above. It doesn’t sound terribly consonant with these words of hers: “Asked about her mother’s complaints of not seeing her grandchildren
    often, Carol was unsympathetic: “A mother cannot reasonably expect her
    grownup children to boomerang back, gushing cosiness, and make up for
    lost time. Absentee mum, then gran in overdrive is not an equation that
    balances.” Sounds a bit like ‘reverse Corban’ to me.

    And why the list of admirable figures who made enemies, due to their clarity, single-mindedness, and strong convictions, etc., without mention of famous ‘less than admirable’ tyrants?

    I wonder if Pope Francis realises that people sleeping in shop doorways, so-called’ cardboard cities’, men and women, young and old, started under her administration. Tramps, as homeless people were called in my youth, presumably because they were always itinerant, or would otherwise have been housed, were always male and always at least, adult, and were a rarity, in my younger days.

  • Pope Zicola

    Wrong! Blessed Pope John Paul II destroyed the USSR… Thatcher and Regan liked to bask in the sunshine of Credit Taking!

  • pbecke

    It strikes me that concern for the survival of people after they leave the womb is at least as important, as their survival within and upon exiting the womb. Though I wouldn’t want to start a Dutch auction on the issue. Our lethal inattention, as well our lethal attentions. Both started, it seems, circa 1980. Mammon is indeed a jealous god, even of his acolytes’ progeny.

  • pbecke

    I believe I read somewhere that the Prayer of St Francis was the mischievous, tongue-in-cheek, suggestion of one Lord Norman St John Stevas of Fawsely, of this parish, who, on his own, intrepid initiative beatified her as, The Blessed Margaret.

  • brasil_nut_4u

    Maggie, the Iron Lady is and can never be compared to a Roman Pontiff! I was a young adult when she was PM and I am glad she along with the late former President Reagan and John Paul the Great went after Communism… BUT with that said she was not one with the mind of Christ or the Catholic Church in too many other issues.. abortion and too much of a War Hawk then a Peace Dove! Maggie equal to Pope Francis or St. Francis of Assisi NO WAY EVER!

  • 1Maccabeus

    Reading the sycophantic derriere-smooching eulogies to Thatcher in the Herald is fast becoming a revoltingly nauseous experience and the Herald – in contrast to its usual healthily grounded sense of reality – is looking more ridiculous by the day. Do put a sock in it. The lady in question was a thug and a bully who had nothing but contempt for the poor and disadvantaged, preferring to blame them, morally and self-righteously, for their position at the bottom of an exploitative capitalist system which is the very antithesis of the true Catholic, gospel message of love, dignity, brotherhood and solidarity. The new Pope’s refreshing emphasis on the poor is clearly the direction we as a Church need to move in, given the increasingly more savage depredations of the world’s populations under the banner of global profits and godless greed. So please, enough of the retro, regressive, reactionary and frankly fascistoid cult of the ‘strong man/woman’. It’s time to move on.

  • Tridentinus

    “I have to agree to disagree with you on ALL accounts.”

    Somehow I thought you might.

    Patronising? …. at my peril? Is that a threat?

    “People claiming benefits are not clients – pur-lease! This ain’t Coutts Bank!”

    One of The On-line Dictionary definitions of the word client is ‘a person who is receiving the benefits, services, etc., of a social welfare agency, a government bureau, etc.’

    When 4 of you were living under one roof, how did you come to the conclusion that 4 people should pay the same tax as a single person baffles me. Did you know the financial position of of the one person living in a 5 bedroomed house? Surely, the Council services that the 4 of you required were 4 times greater than that of the single person and why shouldn’t you should pay more? Why should the one person subsidise you?

    As regards the gates in Downing Street, I say it again that they were erected because of IRA threats upon the Government and the Brighton bombing subsequently prove that this was no idle threat. The same thing happened, I believe in the ’20′s, again on account of IRA threats but were removed when the Irish Free State was established.

    Your personal experiences of the IRA are irrelevant to the article unless you are relating them to back up the fear of the Metropolitan Police that Downing Street might be subject to attack and the subsequent erection of barriers was necessary to protect the Government; although I’m sure this wasn’t your intention.

    Furthermore the 9/11 terrorist atrocities are even more irrelevant than your experiences of IRA bombings unless you are accusing Lady Thatcher of being responsible for those, as well?

    “It made me seethe to read how Francis (not to be mistaken for The Holy
    Father, who is also called Francis) compared the resignation of Margaret
    Thatcher with the retirement/abdication of Pope Benedict XVI. That got
    me going more than anything else, which got me motoring on my computer
    with a spleen to vent.”

    And spleen you veritably vented (as you mentioned above), although unnecessarily. As I explained, Francis Phillips was illustrating the DIFFERENCE ( I do not usually post in caps but you seem to have misunderstood her article). She was not saying the 2 resignations were SIMILAR but that they were poles apart.

  • Tridentinus

    The article is comparing Margaret Thatcher’s resignation to that of Benedict XVI not saying it is equivalent to it. Why can’t people just read the article before rushing into print and making fools of themselves?

  • Pope Zicola

    Well done for your post, brasil_nut_4u. I, for one, am delighted you brought up Mrs Thatcher’s record of the very things that fly in the face of Roman Catholic teaching… and her not-so-whiter-than-white record in office.
    Now, will the Margaret Thatcher International Fan Club (Catholic Herald Branch) please stop being so doggone ”offended” and stop invalidating the rest of us from your well-scrubbed up side of Acacia Avenue!

  • $46579571

    There are hopeful signs that Pope Francis may be on the side of the poor (his patron saint was mystically wedded to Lady Poverty) whereas Mrs Thatcher was always on the side of the rich.

  • Nesbyth

    And I think it was on Maggie’s watch that SUNDAY SHOPPING came in! A terrible way of keeping the Sabbath holy and destructive of family life, with parents having to work (in shops for example) and the children spending yet another day being wheeled or walked through the shopping malls.

  • Nesbyth

    So agree….with his dedication asked for by Our Lady of Fatima….but he didn’t do it quite correctly, so I can’t see that it’s altogether worked.