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Friday, 10 July 2009

Stronsay in June, and Reflections on Section 28

There have been unaccountable 'technical' problems presenting this post, resulting in having to delete it several times. I apologise for this, and am indebted to 'Antony Bidgood' who kindly advised me of the problem of which I was totally unaware, as everything appeared perfectly normal on my own computer, but not on others. I have no e-mail address for you 'Antony Bidgood' but please accept my thanks. We hope that all is now well, so here goes ....!

Until the start of this week when temperatures dropped considerably with the return of cool northerly winds, Stronsay had enjoyed two or three weeks of warm sunshine, clear blue sky and gentle breezes, with calm seas and beautiful, white sandy beaches. During this time Our Lady's Chapel on Stronsay was the focal point for daily and Sunday Mass attended by all the Brothers from Golgotha Monastery, with Fr Anthony Mary F.SS.R celebrant. Fr Michael Mary was in Rome for two weeks, accompanied for the first week by the five F.SS.R seminarians currently on summer 'recess' from the seminary in Nebraska, four of whom then returned to Papa Stronsay, with one remaining with Fr Michael Mary in Rome. Normally the monks would have Mass in their own chapel on Papa Stronsay, but in the absence of Fr Michael Mary, Mass has been celebrated daily at Our Lady's Chapel, Stronsay, necessitating a two-way boat trip each day for the monks. A sincere 'thank you' to Fr Anthony Mary and all the Brothers, for their consideration in ensuring the availability of daily Mass on Stronsay. For a full report on the visit to Rome, including some wonderful photographs, I strongly recommend the monastic blog-site 'Transalpine Redemptorists at Home' - see link on sidebar. Fr Michael Mary's comments on behalf of himself and his community, reflect absolute faith in God and total loyalty to the Holy Father and the Church. We in Stronsay are truly blessed to have with us these good and inspiring priests and religious; may God bless them and Our Lady protect and guide them.

We had two lady visitors at Mass on Sunday. They were from Northumberland and when speaking to my wife after Mass, expressed pleasurable surprise that the Mass had been a traditional Latin Mass rather than the 'Novus Ordo' Mass in English, as they had been led to expect by friends 'down south'. It is amazing that such misapprehension still exists, for Fr Michael Mary has repeatedly made it clear that only the traditional Latin Mass would be celebrated on Stronsay and Papa Stronsay, never the 'Novus Ordo' Mass. Indeed some weeks ago, Bishop Peter Moran of Aberdeen visited the monastery and himself celebrated the traditional Latin Mass there.

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On a rather different note, I could not believe my eyes when I read in the Daily Telegraph of 2nd July, that
'Cameron says sorry to gays for 1980s Section 28 law'. Apparently David Cameron recently publicly apologised at a 'gay pride' event in London, on behalf of the Conservative party, for Section 28 legislation introduced by the Margaret Thatcher Conservative Government of 1984, which effectively banned Local Authorities from promoting homosexuality. Regrettably but unsurprisingly, this legislation was abolished in 2003 by the present Labour Government under Tony Blair. Reading further into the Telegraph report, it transpired that David Cameron made his apology while speaking in London in support of Margot James, the Tory candidate for Stourbridge, who apparently is the party's only openly 'gay' woman candidate. I would like to know by what authority David Cameron can make such an apology, indeed it could be said that the Thatcher Government enjoyed the support of the electorate because it was prepared to stand up for many traditional moral values, and had the courage to take the necessary political action to safeguard these. In later years, when the Conservative Member of Parliament, Jill Knight, the promoter of the legislation, was asked her reason for doing this, her reply was:-

"Why did I bother to go on with it and run such a dangerous gauntlet? I was then Chairman of the 'Child and Family Protection Group'. I was contacted by parents who strongly objected to their children at school being encouraged into homosexuality and being taught that a normal family with Mummy and Daddy was outdated. To add insult to their injury, they were infuriated that it was their money, paid over as Council Tax, which was being used for this. This all happened after pressure from the Gay Liberation Front. At that time I took the trouble to refer to their manifesto, which clearly stated: 'We fight for something more than reform. We must aim for the abolition of the family'. That was the motivation for what was going on, and was precisely what Section 28 stopped ...... Parents certainly came to me and told me what was going on. They gave me some of the books with which little children as young as five and six were being taught. There was 'The Playbook for Kids about Sex' in which brightly coloured pictures of little stick men showed all about homosexuality and how it was done. That book was for children as young as five. I should be surprised if anybody supports that. Another book called 'The Milkman's on his Way' explicitly described homosexual intercourse, and indeed glorified it, encouraging youngsters to believe that it was better than any other sexual way of life."



So there we have it, David Cameron, why the apology?
I suspect that the vast majority of the electorate agreed then with Section 28 and the need for such legislation, and would still agree. Could it be that 'principles' have been sacrificed on the altar of 'political expediency'? I don't think that you have done yourself or your Party any favours, Mr Cameron.