Saturday 20 December 2014

UN To Repeal Bans on Smoking in Public and on Tobacco Advertising?

Following years of protests by smokers that they are being marginalised and oppressed by society, the Government’s Principal Physician yesterday called upon all health workers to support the right of smokers to smoke in public places and not to refuse them lifesaving medicine. This would see the return of the right to smoke in pubs and places of work, as well as allowing smoking in patient’s Day Rooms on hospital wards. In his statement he said that physicians are not called to judge those who smoke or set limits to places where smoking is allowed, because that would be to restrict smokers’ freedom of choice: “Just because we have the knowledge that smoking is seriously damaging to one’s health does not mean we have to restrict a person’s freedom to choose, or force a lifestyle upon them that is not to their taste. We are called to get alongside those whose lifestyles are damaging their health, and we cannot get alongside them if we are criticising their lifestyle.” Although a few physicians have raised their voices against the call, many more have taken it up for reasons of compassion and non-judgementalism. Said one Consultant, “It is notoriously hard to give up smoking; our job is not to prevent smoking but to heal those damaged by it.” Many patients, especially smokers, are voicing the same opinion, saying this is a matter of free choice and that what we need from the NHS is compassion, not exclusion.

Those who disagree have stated that to have knowledge on how damaging smoking is and not educate the public or uphold the ban on public smoking is to do the very opposite of what health practice aims at: the promotion of health: “It is hypocritical and wrong to have life-saving knowledge on the damage done by smoking and yet promote the right of people to actively engage in that damaging behaviour. It makes us hypocrites and is, in fact, totally lacking in compassion. True compassion lives by reality; it does not ignore reality.” The debate continues, and while some are calling for smoking to be given the right to promotion and free public indulgence despite the dangers to health, adversaries point out that to know what kills and yet seek to promote it is to fail as a health practitioner and positively endanger those for whom one is called to care.

The above is a spoof story, of course, but reflects what is happening in the Church on the issues of sexual ethics where high-ranking voices in the Church are proclaiming an ‘age of mercy’ in which we ‘get alongside’ those living destructive sexual behaviours and lifestyles. Yet there is no mercy in this; rather, there is an abandoning of truth to accommodate lifestyles that damage and kill the soul; an abandoning of the Lord’s sheep for the sake of acceptance by the wolf pack –which only seeks to break down the walls of the pen so as to scatter and devour the sheep. Let us pray the leaders of the Church do not succumb to the devil’s manipulation of the Truth. True mercy must indeed be exercised and true accompaniment of those in destructive lifestyles must occur, but in such a way that they are helped to move beyond those lifestyles rather than be affirmed in them. Meanwhile, as I have said before, persons in harmful lifestyles are always welcome (even encouraged) to attend Mass, to continue in the life of prayer; to seek spiritual direction and to take part in the social and charitable activities of the Church. Such persons cannot claim to be excluded from the Church; they can only truthfully claim that they are ‘unable to receive Holy Communion until such time as we end our lifestyle choice in favour of one consistent with the Ten Commandments’, -the Commandments by which God has made known the criteria by which He judges us (Deut.4v39-40; 6v1; Matt.5v14; 19v1-22).  Keep on praying for the 2015 Synod; that minds and hearts may be open to the truth and not to relativism and false, damaging ‘compassion’.
Most Holy Trinity,
from whom all families take their origin and meaning,
we pray for the exaltation of our Holy Mother the Church:
and especially for the forthcoming Synod on the Family:
open minds and hearts to the Gospel of Christ;
and to the place of marriage & family in your plan for our salvation.
Help your holy Church, 
and the world in which she lives,
to uphold the sanctity of human life from natural conception to natural death;
the rightfulness of natural marriage,
and to find grace-filled solutions to the breakdown of marriage and family life.
Seeking the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, of St Joseph her spouse,
of St Michael the Archangel and of all the angels and saints,

we make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen


  1. You raise an important point Father, the meaning of Mercy.

    Christ will Judge us at the Last Judgement and it will be up to Him to grant or withhold Mercy, as He undoubtedly will in some cases.

    “ depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire”, Matthew 25 : 41.

    In the meantime we have to do as He said, “if you love me, keep my Commandments”.
    That includes the Magisterium of His Church, the channel of Salvation for Mankind. One teaching of that Church is that the Holy Eucharist can only be received by those in a State of Grace and otherwise pleasing to God. That does not and cannot include Adulterers, and those who are divorced from a valid marriage and have remarried, or those in homosexual relationships, as the German bishops are planning.
    Apparently the questionnaire ahead of the second session of the Synod suggests that such issues are “still unresolved”.

    Wrong! They most certainly are resolved. Such people are forbidden to receive Holy Communion under pain of Sacrilege.

    The objective of the German bishops is clear, money. They are already exceptionally wealthy Because of state religious tax and they intend to keep it that way by enticing any and everyone to remain “within” the German Church regardless - and paying this religious tax!

    1. Thank you.
      Indeed, the issues are resolved by the Tradition of the Church as well as by scripture. To suggest otherwise is to abandon scripture and tradition; to abandon Catholicism. The second questionnaire, if it is being reported correctly, is asking Bishops to abandon the faith. I hope and pray that they do not, but choose to stand up and fight the return of paganism.
      God Bless.

  2. It is a bit late to pray that "the leaders of the Church do not succumb to the devil’s manipulation of the Truth."

    Regarding marriage, I have seen 25 years past of support for my wife and her adulterous civil spouse and not a single lifting of a finger to work to hold them to account or to try to heal what little might be left of our marriage. I am waiting for my wife to be given her marital walking papers due to "simulation" of our vows on her part(her case is a fabrication and it is beyond doubt) and to be left fully abandoned by the Catholic Church.

    It was too late decades ago.


    1. Thank you, Karl.
      I hope and pray they will not fall under greater pressure from those who eye the wide road as the road to happiness and peace.
      Your situation is obviously very painful for you. Please don't feel abandoned by the Church; even if she sometimes gets things wrong in individual pastoral matters, those involved (and God) know the truth and it will all be displayed at the General Judgement at the end of the world (this brings truth to error and justice to those unjustly treated).
      I cannot comment on your own situation or that of your wife, but I think we should all remember that s person who divorces a legitimate, sacramental spouse to 'marry' another after fooling the Marriage Tribunal is still, in the eyes of God, bound to their sacramental;spouse. We can cheat the Marriage Tribunal (woe unto those who do) but we cannot cheat God and must live knowing we have tried to cheat Him for lifetime of irregularity in an occasion of sin. Indeed, a declaration of nullity gained by deceit sounds seriously sinful to me. Better to be on the receiving end of a deceitfully acquired (and thus unjust) judgement, than to perpetrate one.
      God Bless.

  3. Karl,

    (and excuse me Father)

    If I may since clearly I can not comment on your situation, but as I have said elswhere, I get angry (righteously so) at what I and no doubt others have called the " Dictatorship of the Minorities". The vast majority of Mass attenders are married people who have stuck to their marriage vows, (including those who remain faithful to those vows even if separated), in spite of the inevitable difficulties which afflict any marriage, particularly now when people live longer.

    Yet so much of the resource in the Church ignores them and seems directed to that small minority of Mass attenders who wish the Church to change to suit their particular freely chosen circumstances.

    It is a reflection of the degree of penetration of Secularist thinking into the very fabric of the Church.

  4. The Church needs to drop the false mercy and false compassion for sinners, especially for those openly living in sin. These people have no sense of shame. It is true charity to correct sinners and save souls. Priests need to preach more about Hell and mortal sin. Call sin what it is: SIN.

    That Synod only caused greater confusion. Why isn't the Church taking a clear stand? What are they doing to stop divorce and save marriages?

    1. Thank you. I agree with you; false mercy is no mercy at all, and there is much confusion (or rejection) around doctrine these days.
      God Bless.

  5. I'm not sure if your spoof is compatible with that area under discussion in the Church. First, It's far from scientific fact that smoking is as dangerous as its claimed by some - the carcinogenic fumes from motor cars are over one hundred times more toxic, and there's a lot, lot, more of it. I'm sure you have ministered to smokers in their nineties? I certainly know clergy that have ministered to life long smokers that were over a hundred Second, and more importantly, there's should be no discussion about matters such as divorced and re-married receiving Holy Communion or so called 'mercy; for acting sinfully. The Church simply does not possess the authority to change or water down such teaching, as it is of Divine origin and support by our God given reason.
    We are dealing with men aka bishops that seek the affirmation of their peers and the world before the Glory of God - period. My experience tells me that many of them not only do not believe, but see the Church as a stumbling block to "true human freedom". They see the Church as the last bastion of inconvenient moral truth and want to destroy it, not reform it. We must remember that Love and Hate can drive us to commit our lives to certain causes?
    Until this reality is dealt with the decline will continue.

    1. Thank you, Fred. And Blessings of the season to you.
      Indeed, I have cared for many a smoker in their nineties, and while car fumes are perhaps more toxic systemically, the damaging effect on the tissue of the lung by tar or atheroma in the vascular system etc., cannot be dismissed.
      I have to say I have also ministered to people in their nineties who have walked around in toxic fumes from cars for many a year too; it does not prove such fumes are safe.
      I agree wholeheartedly that there should be no discussion about matters such as divorced and re-married receiving Holy Communion or of so called 'mercy’ for acting sinfully; you are right to say that the Church simply does not possess the authority to change or water down such teaching. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that many Bishops see the Church as a stumbling block to "true human freedom"; as the last bastion of inconvenient moral truth. Indeed, until men of true faith and courage are appointed to the episcopate the decline will continue.
      God Bless.


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