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Move to England!

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At the end of February I  will have been seen in England for ten years and two months exactly. Where has the time gone? We have raised children, worked consistently, and lived in a rather pleasant suburb twenty minutes from Waterloo station.

Before we arrived on English shores, our biggest concern was for the continued Catholic Education of our children, so it was with relief that this was to be so for our family. On arrival, we immediately joined our local parish, and through the Grace of God, our children were accepted into two highly regarded State Catholic schools (one Primary and the other Secondary). As the years have gone by, we have realised how blessed we have been in this regard.

The first few years were wrought with the stresses and strains of moving to a foreign land, which in turn were buffered by the love, concern and support offered by our families both near and far. From our parish, we received the Spiritual nourishment that kept us sane and focussed on what we really needed to get through the move: God’s love. As we negotiated our way through a foreign schooling system, cultural differences, bias and a myriad of daily challenges,   our parish journeyed alongside us as we celebrated Holy Communions, Confirmations, and to date,  26 years of marriage. Our parish has supported us and carried us when we’ve needed it most. It has been the mainstay of our lives. It remains the one place where we don’t feel out of place, inexperienced, ignorant or vulnerable but rather welcomed as part of the Catholic (universal) Church.

Over the past ten years we have watched with affection, the pomp and ceremony of the Royal weddings and all the national pride that goes along with these Royal celebrations; the Beatification of a New English saint and revelled and basked in the glow of the heralding success of Pope Benedict’s  Potifical visit (and faced the negative press, critical celebrities and prominent atheists who declared their hostility towards the Pope and Christianity in particular); we’ve witnessed the devastating effects of the recent London riots (as well as it’s aftermath) ; the downfall of  a media empire, and in the not too distant past the 7:7 bombings. In conjunction with a change of government and economic turmoil, the fabric of society has been marked in some way by all these events. The plight of Christians in Britain has been in the spotlight on many occasions and they have been challenged from all sides in a country that defines herself as ‘Christian’. My Faith has been challenged and continues to be challenged by the society in which I now live.  And so, much water has passed under the bridge….and much learning taken place as a result.  My Faith remains steadfast and continues to grow  in the direction of True North,  in sure, steady steps, bolstered by my loving family and friends and yes of course, our wonderful parish!

Reading one of my favourite blogs, I followed a link to a superb article called  ‘Oh, Britannia!’, the content of which ignited my ideas for this post tonight.  http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/oh_britannia

Perhaps it will make good reading for your too?

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. John

     /  February 8, 2012

    Christians in Western countries as a persecuted group – oh puleez!

    And why shouldn’t Christians (and their smug self-righteousness) in Western countries be challenged?
    Christianity did not become the world dominant religion by practicing the Gospel as taught and demonstrated by Jesus.
    Indeed it did so because its members (both individually and collectively) systematically and deliberately broke ALL of the Ten Commandments.
    Such was even justified by the Papal Bulls of 1455 and 1493.
    Especially as we now live in an instantaneously inter-connected multi-cultural world wherein every known religious and Spiritual point of view is freely available to anyone with an internet connection.
    Especially when you consider the nature of applied christian politics, as illustrated via these references.

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~spanmod/mural/panel13.html
    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/cruelty.html
    http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm
    http://www.logosjournal.com/hammer_kellner

    Plus why not check out The Criminal History of the Papacy by Tony Bushby.

    Reply
  2. Filipe Vieira de Melo

     /  February 8, 2012

    Hello 1Catholicsalmon,

    Nice new blog. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts.

    I notice you’ve had your first atheist “challenge”. Interesting this John fella. His first sentence seems to Pooh-pooh the idea about persecution of Christians in Western countries. And then his second sentence implicitly recognises it as a fact and even approves of it. He should make up his mind…

    The Papal Bulls of 1455 and 1493 are to be commended. They defused the threat of a (world) war between the world’s then super-powers, Portugal and Spain, and stopped the further spread of Islam in it’s tracks. The Papal Bulls helped to shape the world of today – it’s why Portuguese and Spanish is spoken on all continents. With the hindsight of History, those Bulls reveal a perspicacious Papacy, with an understanding of world affairs shared by very few contemporaries.

    I’m not sure what point John is trying to make with the Orozco mural???!!?!?!?

    Then John provides a link to the Kenneth Humphreys site which is full of atheist-ideology tosh. Mr. Humphreys is an atheist pseudo-scientist whose arguments have been scientifically refuted many times. Here’s just one such example which shows the mendacity of his arguments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfDPLitAyd0 – try to stay through the whole thing if you can.

    I’m not sure what the Nazi web link proves – everybody already knows how good the Nazi propaganda machine was, as well as the naivety of some clergy in Germany. What John missed entirely is the articulation of the difficulty faced by Church leaders who had to tread very carefully to protect the Catholics minority in Germany from persecution. Nothing new here. Incidentally, The Concordat between Catholic Church and Nazi Germany, which was signed on July 20, 1933, allowed the Catholic Church to preserve the autonomy of ecclesiastical institutions and their religious activities; it assured Hitler that the Church would end so-called “political Catholicism”. Article 31 acknowledged the Church would not support social or political causes. However, what our brothers atheist always (conveniently, for them) neglect to mention is that The Vatican felt it necessary to issue two encyclicals opposing the policies of Mussolini and Hitler: “Non Abbiamo Bisogno” in 1931 and “Mit Brennender Sorge” in 1937, respectively. Mit Brennender Sorge even included criticisms of Nazism and racism.

    I doubt that John has actually read in full the critique he linked to, on “The Passion of the Christ” by Rhonda Hammer and Douglas Kellner. It is a sad illustration of the authors’ inability to understand the meaning of the Redemptive Sacrifice of Christ – something which even mere school children can grasp. Since the authors can’t “get” the simple message of Salvation, something which billions of people have no trouble understanding, the authors have no explication, and are forced to ascribe the success of the film to a global “cultural phenomenon” – “There are obviously unmastered (sic) social problems and conflicts that drive individuals and entire societies to find religious solutions to their deepest problems.” Indeed – the problem lies not with the zealot atheist minority but with the rest of the world.

    Reply

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