Tag Archives: Children

The Halls are Alive with the the Sound of….. eh?!!!

As Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage approaches, opponents to the potential change have taken to the streets to hand out anti-gay leaflets.

This leaflet was handed out in Dublin and poses the important question: “Should children be exposed to sounds of sodomy?”
“As the date of the referendum to redefine the Irish Family draws ever closer it is time for christians of conscience to examine the dire consequences for the innocent if homosexuals are given access to the scarament [sic] of marriage.
“Marriage is between one man and one woman. Our legislators are without hte Light of Our Lord. At this very moment the liberal agenda conspires to undermine God’s Word and is drafting law to allow homosexuals to adopt children. Should children be exposed to this beastly obsession with unholy acts? Should the sounds of sodomy echo in the halls of a Christian home?
“In the coming weeks and months lobby your TD. Tell them children should not be exposed to unholy homosexual unions. STOP the adoption legislation. Contacat your TD now.”









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He’s apparently good at crosses


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December 11, 2014 · 10:21

what are we going to do with Keiran?

The Sunday School superintendent didn’t know what to do with Keiran.  He wasn’t the brightest of laddies and, although he was eager, he got most of the answers to questions about the Bible totally wrong.  ( eg – “With what did Moses part the Red Sea?” Answer: “with a sea-saw!”)  The Nativity Play was a matter of days away, and she couldn’t think of a part for him.

Then, fortuitously for her, one of Keiran’s Sunday School friends was stricken with ‘flu, and had to withdraw.  This boy was to have been the Innkeeper – and with only one line to deliver, “No, there’s no room at the Inn”, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem for Keiran to learn.  And learn it, he did – easily.  

The big day arrived.  The Minister, after the announcements, left the chancel area to the youngsters.  Enter Mary and Joseph…….  

They walked up to the Inn door, and “Joseph” knocked.  Keiran stood frozen to the spot, nerves having got the better of him.

“Please, Sir, my wife is about to have a baby”, said “Joseph”, “may we have a room for the night.”

Keiran hesitated, desperately trying to recall his lines.  But all that he could remember was, “No…”  And then hesitated. “Nope..” he tried again, then completely dried up.

“Joseph” looked at him for a moment, then desperately tried to improvise:  “have you got a stable round the back, then?”

Kern gulped nervously and again said “no…….

Exit stage left, “Mary” reduced to tears, to ask their pals what to do.

Someone suggested that they go back to Keiran, push him aside and force themselves into the inn.  So they did……..three wise men joined them, one of whom hit Keiran over the head with a gold bar, turning to the aghast audience, saying “It’s not real gold – it’s just a lump of metal wrapped in gold foil!”

At that stage, amongst the mayhem, shouting, and collapsing scenery, the organist started to play the tune, “Silent Night” , and the mums and dads and grandparents and brothers and sisters, muttered the words…”all is calm, all is bright…”

Peace, goodwill to all men

I understand that next year, Keiran will be one of the Angels (!), but without a speaking part.




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Children in Church (via CatholicVote)

Children in Church (via CatholicVote)

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July 2, 2014 · 12:14



Mothers Against the Devil (MAD). This is not in Uganda nor Nigeria, nor Pakistan  –  it’s in Parkhead. Glasgow

New Life Church 
179 Shettleston Road, Parkhead,
Glasgow, G31 5JL

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June 1, 2014 · 12:43

Seven is too young for the fixed rules of confession Published on 18 February 2014 Colette Douglas Home

Every Saturday morning there were pews of us, row after row of wriggling children.

We shuffled along shiny wooden benches, first in one direction then the other as we approached what John Cornwall has called “The Dark Box” in his new book of the same name. It’s better known as the confessional.

Catholic children were introduced to sin at the age of five. By six, we could differentiate a venial sin from a mortal one. A white lie was venial. Were we to die with its mark on our soul, we would go to purgatory where we would burn but only for a short time. A mortal sin would, however, condemn us to the fires in hell for all eternity.

That was a lot for a small child to cope with when it was drilled into me that missing mass on Sunday was a mortal sin. What would happen if I was sick one Sunday or if my parents took me on holiday? They might have said it was fine but I knew it wasn’t.

Oh, the terror then of crossing the road in case a car ran me down before I had the chance to confess. The writer Frank O’Connor immortalised his First Confession in a short story of that title. Aged seven, he’d contemplated murdering his bare-foot, shame-making grandmother and was “scared to death of confession”.

His terror abated when the priest confided: “Between ourselves, there’s a lot of people I’d like to do the same to, but I’d never have the nerve.”

I never met a father confessor with such a sense of humour. It’s hardly surprising, considering what the priests had to endure. What torment it must have been to sit hour after hour while hundreds of small children poured out their piffling misdemeanours.

What was it all about? Why were small children set on this path? Why make us feel bad so young? Why bring such negativity into our lives when we were barely out of junior infants?

After our first confession, truly carefree childhood was over. And the crazy thing is that the practice still goes on. Look at the furore the Scottish Government’s plan for a named person for each child has generated. Imagine sending your children off weekly to spill out their list of sins. A named adult pales into insignificance in comparison with this incursion on family life.

The children are no longer seen in a confessional box, though I would prefer its uncomfortable anonymity to the cosier face-to-face arrangements that replaced it.

In The Dark Box, John Cornwall, a writer on Catholicism, reveals that the regime I grew up in was introduced only in 1910 by a Pope called Pius X. Until then, confession was annual and didn’t start younger than at 12 to 14-years-old.

Making it weekly from the age of seven was an experiment that predated any real understanding of child development. We can but wonder what effects have trickled through the generations.

That said, I don’t entirely regret that it happened to me. There are upsides.

Who, in this confessional age, can doubt that we all get something out of dumping the bad stuff and being forgiven? To tell all and to receive absolution is very powerful.

At seven-years-old, the tales of heaven and hell and angels and devils and the notion of a soul that was Persil-white on Saturday and grimy-grey by Wednesday was grist to the imagination. Life is never dull when eternal hell-fire nips at your heels.

Don’t take my word for it. Read Joyce, Waugh, Toibin and Edna O’Brien. Though he came to Catholicism later, read Graham Greene too.

Growing up, as our lives became more complicated, there was comfort to be had. We could go into any church anywhere and anonymously tell all, knowing that within minutes we could walk out with a clean slate.

Remorse was necessary as well as a determination not to repeat the offence. These are not high hurdles when your conscience is troubled. I thought it was a clever psychological tool. And yet it was my generation that abandoned it in droves.

When the sexual mores of the congregation parted company with Roman Catholic teaching, confession in the European church collapsed. Cornwall reports that in America only 2% of Catholics attend it.

Meanwhile, turn on daytime television and confession is to the fore. People spare us nothing about their intimate lives. Open any magazine and there is a page of personal admissions and moral conundrums in search of answers.

We shouldn’t be surprised. John Cornwall’s book reveals that the practice of publicly confessing major wrong-doing in order to seek forgiveness and gain readmission to the community goes back to the early Christians and beyond into Jewish tradition. Prayer, penitence and charity were the route back to the fold.

So have Catholics made an error in abandoning confession in such large numbers over the years? I think not, not if the reason for their absence is that they no longer respect the Church’s rules on, for instance, sexual morality. If people don’t believe they have behaved sinfully, what would be the point in confessing?

At present, we are all more likely to turn to therapy for the peace of mind we seek.

For most people discontentment is not a matter of feeling guilty about their behaviour. It is more that we are puzzled about why we do what we do. We wonder why, when we are so fortunate in the world’s terms, contentment eludes us.

We go in search of explanation and understanding. We go in search of a better understanding of ourselves. It is, in the West at least, a more individualistic journey.

And yet there is an appetite for something larger, a shared faith and sense of belonging. It was evident in the millions of young people in South America who turned up to see the new Pope say mass.

He seems to bring a new ethos and different approach. Time will tell if it lasts. There have been many changes since I was a child, yet one tradition persists.

Seven is still considered to be the age of reason. It still marks the age at which Catholic children make their first confession and yet we know now that it isn’t good to give children such fixed rules so young.

We also know, sadly, about the incidences of child abuse that have dragged the church into disrepute. It was, John Cornwall writes in his book, the private access of the confessional that offered an opportunity to abusers. It was an opportunity to spot the vulnerable ones.

I find it strange to look back at a system that I was taught to believe was set in stone by God himself only to discover it was an initiative by a man, albeit a Pope. That same Pope Pius X also banned orchestral music and forbade women to sing in choirs.

He closeted trainee priests without newspapers or books or even lay teachers. He cut them off from family and contact with women.

And we wonder where it all went wrong.

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Martin Luther King Day: 20 January 2014

“One day, youngsters will learn words they will not understand.
Children from India will ask: What is hunger?
Children from Alabama will ask: What is racial segregation?
Children from Hiroshima will ask: What is the atomic bomb?
Children at school will ask: What is war?
You will answer them.
You will tell them:
These words are not used any more
like stage coaches, galleys or slavery
Words no longer meaningful.
That is why they have been removed from dictionaries.”

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They won’t be expecting THAT!

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December 16, 2013 · 15:39

From the Mouths of Babes….

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds , ‘What does love mean?’

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined

See what you think: ‘When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.. So my grandfather does it for her all the time , even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’

Rebecca- age 8 ‘When someone loves you , the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’

Billy – age 4 ‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’

Karl – age 5 ‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’

Chrissy – age 6 ‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’

Terri – age 4 ‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is OK.’

Danny – age 7 ‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing , you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss’

Emily – age 8 ‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’

Bobby – age 7 (Wow!) ‘If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend who you hate’

Nikka – age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka’s on this planet) ‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt , then he wears it every day.’

Noelle – age 7 ‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’

Tommy – age 6 ‘During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.’

Cindy – age 8 ‘My mommy loves me more than anybody You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’

Clare – age 6 ‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’

Elaine-age 5 ‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford .’

Chris – age 7 ‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’

Mary Ann – age 4 ‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’

Lauren – age 4 ‘When you love somebody , your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (what an image)

Karen – age 7 ‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross..’

Mark – age 6 ‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it , you should say it a lot. People forget.’

Jessica – age 8 And the final one The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbour was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry , the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard , climbed onto his lap , and just sat there.. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbour , the little boy said , ‘Nothing , I just helped him cry’

“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.” — Emilio Estevez (really!)

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Herbert and Catherine Schaible did not seek medical help for their eight-month-old son who died.

A fundamentalist Christian couple in the US who believe in faith-healing over medicine pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in the death of their infant son, nearly four years after they were put on probation for the similar death of another child.

The 10-year probation term in the 2009 case required Herbert and Catherine Schaible to seek immediate medical help if another of their children became sick or injured. But prosecutors said the couple instead prayed over their 8-month-old son, Brandon, before he died of pneumonia in April.

Assistant district attorney Joanna Pescatore said she could argue for any sentence up to the 20- to 40-year maximum prison term when the Schaibles return for sentencing in February.

The Schaibles were on probation because they had previously been convicted by a jury of involuntary manslaughter in the January 2009 pneumonia death of their 2-year-old son, Kent.

Herbert Schaible, 45, remained jailed Thursday, unable to post US$250,000. His 44-year-old wife has been free since members of their church raised 10 percent of the same bail amount to secure her release.

The no-contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea, but it means the couple didn’t admit wrongdoing and chose not to contest the evidence against them.

Herbert Schaible’s attorney, Bobby Hoof, said his client didn’t want to go to trial.

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