Solidarity – The Challenge for Europe

October 30, 2009

The last shall be first, so the final message shall be first.

The final message to European citizens from the Catholic Social Days for Europe was that ‘Solidarity is our future’.

‘To achieve these goals we must make the balances of the States and the EU adapt. Those who share such prospects must commit themselves to such accomplishment and take on the necessary political responsibilities at their respective levels. As Christians, the call to the full development of people and populations is a calling that comes before us and constitutes us. Europe needs properly-formed men and women who have their arms open to receive their neighbours in the name of Jesus Christ and build together relations and institutions of solidarity, at the service of the men of our time, keeping the future generations in mind. We also want to keep talking and working with men and women of different beliefs in the pursuit of the common good’.

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Building a better European home

October 29, 2009

The Declaration of COMECE prior to the European Parliament elections in June is now an historical document. The Declaration recognises that the process of European integration is a work in progress. It is valuable because it is a benchmark against which we can measure that progress. It is also a checklist for Resurgence as we develop our policies based on Catholic Social Teaching. It is reproduced here in full without any further comment.

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Who and What is COMECE ?

October 28, 2009

La COMECE est la Commission des Episcopats de la Communaute Europeenne, or as we say the [Catholic] Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, and comprises the Bishops delegated from the twenty-four Conferences in the EU. These do not always conform to national boundaries. For example, we are familiar with the All-Ireland, England and Wales, and Scotland Conferences. There is a single Conference for Scandinavia. The Conferences for Croatia and Switzerland have associate status, being outside the EU. There is a permanent Secretariat in Brussels.

There would be a degree of irony if the support of COMECE for the Lisbon Treaty resulted in them having to change their name, but it would not be the first time they have done this. The European Community will no longer exist when the Lisbon Treaty is fully ratified and the single identity and personality of the European Union is adopted. To be correct they will have to become COMEUE.

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42nd Anniversary of the Abortion Act (27th October 1967)

October 24, 2009







141 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8UE

08.00 Holy Sacrifice of Mass

08.30 – 08.45 Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament

08.45 – 09.15 Walk of Witness – saying The Rosary – to the Calthorpe Abortion Clinic

09.15 – 10.15 Prayer Witness at Clinic

Praying not only for the babies being destroyed but for their parents, those performing the abortions and all involved in the abortion industry

-“that hearts and minds may be changed”-

10.15 – 10.45 Return Procession to The Oratory

10.45 Benediction followed by refreshments in the Cloisters Hall (or local hotel)

Please come in peaceful prayerful witness in reparation for the sins of abortion and for love of the unborn child.

The Birmingham Pro-Life Group gives grateful thanks to the Oratory Fathers and all the clergy involved in leading the event.

G’day Gdansk

October 24, 2009

Waking up in Gdansk and about to attend the COMECE conference, one could have been forgiven for thinking that it was an East European Communist Economic gathering from the Soviet era. Half of Gdansk was destroyed in WW2 and it still shows. The Old Town Centre is intact and fascinating with many buildings restored to their original grandeur. The magnificent churches of Saint Bridget and Saint Barbara together with the Basilica of Saint Mary all date from the fourteenth century and are well worth a visit although it will be standing room only during Mass.

Much of the new regeneration encompasses the Old Town and Harbour of this ancient Baltic seaport which was part of the Hanseatic League. Each of these ports had a Hall of Arthur. These halls were established throughout Europe as meeting places for knights and burghers, the name being derived from the Arthurian legend. Gdansk’s Artus Court was a focus for the community with banquets, concerts and theatre performances, which it still is but the modern conference complex where our conference was held is the home of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. Ultra modern on the inside it is housed in the Royal Granary of 1606.

It is this contrast that marks out Gdansk where the old centre is surrounded by Soviet era concrete apartment blocks and office towers. Now added to this mix is Brussels style regeneration in the form of a military airfield converted to a commercial airport, new motorways, extended tram systems and shopping malls with a smattering of free-west institutions like Tesco, MacDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The KFC located in the elegant old central railway station is particularly incongruous. The Gdansk shipyard is a focus for Poland’s repeated freedom fight with events in 1970 and 1980 marked by a memorial [three crosses with anchors] to those who lost their lives in the struggle and marks the birth place of Solidarnosc.

The shipyard is in decline and struggling with this economic decline being mirrored by the usual social decline indicated by graffiti on every bridge and underpass and a couple of adult-shops. You have to ask where the economic activity is that supports the affluence indicated by the streets filled with vehicles from every European car maker. Gdansk is similar to other cities throughout the newly acceded countries of eastern and central Europe. Much needs to be done but the resources are limited. However, there is no doubt that Gdansk will survive and prosper. Amber has been processed and traded from the area since 8000BC and there was a thriving trade route with the Roman Empire. There is a whole street of amber jewellery manufacturers and shops in the Old Town and Gdansk is still an important Baltic port.

Thanks to Michael O’Leary and Ryanair it can be reached easily and cheaply if you restrict yourself to a single carry-on bag. That should be enough for a long weekend when you can discover the delights of Gdansk. On the flight back you will also discover that the majority of passengers are Polish families returning to their workplaces in the UK and Ireland. That is the most worrying aspect of this situation. If Gdansk is to renovate and achieve its unique potential it will be its own people that bring it about. People are the answer. Families and babies are not the problem. They are the solution.

The Eurocrats in Brussels and the Northern European States in particular seem to be oblivious to this fundamental necessity. Theirs is the ideology of technology. Welcome to the New Jerusalem that is Euland or as some style it EUSSR.

Sing along a song of Lisbon

October 14, 2009

Bonsoir Irlande. Allo Dublyn, this is the Bruxells comptometer comptroller. Can your score we have please?

Away with you Brussels. We have already let you know the score.

Regrets Dublyn, we were not listening. On parle francais la? You will have to vote again.

Hello Brussels, we can repeat the score for you. Douz point NON et nul point QUI.

Repeter. Je n’ai pas compris. You no listen. Vote again. La la la la la.

Well Terry, what do you make of that? You know Graham, it does not surprise me at all, at all. This has been the longest Euro-Vision contest in history. Yes Terry, but how difficult can it be with only one song to choose from?

Ah Graham, y’ wee leprechaun, the Dutch and French panels gave the wrong results and were sacked. We know that Terry, but they were using the double cross qualified majority voting. Graham, when you have been covering this contest as long as I have you will understand; it happens every time. We had the same problem with that Nice song a few years ago.

Wait a minute Terry, Dublin are back.

Alright Brussels go on, if you insist – on n’aime pas refuser. The votes of the Irish panel are – nul point NON et mille point QUI.

Merci beaucoup Dublyn. Allo Pologne, what is the delay with your score?

Well Graham, that seems to be that, the Warsaw panel are going to vote at last on a different song. En fin de compte – not at all Terry, the Czechs have come back on-air and will only give their score if the second verse is altered. Toutes les deux, Brussels will not like that Graham. Yes Terry, but Prague has a habit of going into extra time and we hear from Londres that Royaume-Uni is trying to change their panel before the show ends.

What about Aland, Graham? I thought we had voted Terry. No Graham, I mean the Finnish autonomous island in the Baltic that has not voted. Well I’ll be Helsinkied Terry. Do Brussels know?

Ca alors Graham! I’ll be banjaxed, if you pardon my french. Won’t we all Terry, I hear that Brussels is going to stop the clock at midnight.

We now take you over to the Euro-Catholic contest at Gdansk where they don’t do votes and use a clapometer instead.

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