Friday, 26 December 2008

Juventutem Releases Audio CD

Juventutem Australia are delighted to present music highlights from the Juventutem (Extraordinary Form) liturgies in Sydney at WYD 2008. This includes music from three Pontifical Masses, and Solemn Pontifical Vespers with Cardinal Pell. This handsomely produced CD would make an excellent gift for both family and friends with a love of sacred music. All proceeds go to help youth communities in parishes/apostolates within Australia.

The track listing is as follows:

1. Introit: Gaudeamus (Chant)
2. Kyrie: Cum Jubilo (Chant)
3. Offertorium (Chant)
4. Agnus Dei (Chant)
5. Recessional (Help of Christians)
6. Ave Maria (Victoria)
7. Ave Maris Stella
8. Organ Improvisation by Juventutem Organist
9. Ave Verum (Byrd)
10. Magnificat alt. Polyphony
11. Tantum Ergo
12. Introit (Nos Autem) (Chant)
13. Kyrie: Missa Brevis (Palestrina)
14. Christus Factus (Anerio/Handl)
15. Sanctus: Missa Brevis (Palestrina)
16. Benedictus: Missa Brevis
17. Communio: Per Signum Crucis
18. Motet: Anima Christi (Hymn)
19. Organ Postlude by Juventutem Organist
20. Kyrie: (Cunctipotens) (Chant) by Juventutem Schola
21. Offertorium (Chant) by Juventutem Schola
22. Sanctus (Chant) by Juventutem Schola
23. Organ Postlude by Juventutem Organist
24. Christus Vincit (Chant/Organum)

Learn more about the CD here: Juventutem - World Youth Day 2008 CD

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas Mass times

Christmas Masses according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

Christmas is the only day of the year which keeps the old custom of celebrating its Feast at midnight. At this hour we call to mind that Mary in her spotless virginity gave to the world its Saviour. In the midst of darkness, the Light was born. Therefore the Church celebrates Christmas on December 25th, the time of the year when the days begin to lengthen. The custom of having three Masses originated in Jerusalem. A Mass was said in Bethlehem at a very early hour in the morning. Later a second Mass was celebrated in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. About midday a third Mass was celebrated.

The Midnight Mass specially recalls the temporal birth of Jesus. The Mass at Dawn especially recalls the spiritual birth of Jesus in our souls, and commemorates the adoration of the shepherds. The Third Mass during the Daytime recalls especially the eternal generation of Jesus, and celebrates the dignity of the Son of God

Mass times:

Wednesday 24 December 2008
Advent Carols, followed by Midnight Mass (Missa Cantata)
11.30pm (Carols), Midnight (Mass)
St Andrew's Church, Ravelston, Edinburgh

Thursday 25 December 2008
Second Mass of Christmas
10.00am, FSSP Oratory, 6 Belford Park, Edinburgh

Thursday 25 December 2008
Third Mass of Christmas (Missa Cantata)
11.30am, St Andrew's Church, Ravelston, Edinburgh
12.15pm, Sacred Heart Church, Bridgeton


Please comment with any further Mass times you are aware of.


Juventutem Advent Message

Juventutem International Federation (
Advent Message 2008 – on Sunday 21st December 2008

Spiritual words, from the Ecclesiastical Assistant:

Dear Juventutem members and friends,

On this fourth and last Sunday of Advent, let us do our best to focus on the great mystery of the Incarnation and let us not be distracted by material things.

Et videbit omnis caro salutare Dei – Then all flesh shall see God’s salvation”: these final words in today’s Holy Gospel remind me of the famous exhibition at the National Gallery in London, UK, in the year 2000, named: “Seeing Salvation”. On display were a great number of beautiful representations of Our Lord. The exhibition explored how the figure of Christ has been represented in the Western tradition. Looking at paintings, sculptures, coins and engravings, it examined different aspects of the visual identity of Christ and the different pictorial questions that artists have confronted as they made his image. The man who was at the origin of the exhibition had had to work hard to convince the Gallery’s authorities to accept such a theme, particularly as it would clash with the opening of the Tate Modern gallery (where reverence and even good taste are not often on display). The “Seeing Salvation” curator was rewarded since the exhibition has been an utmost success, attracting the largest number of visitors of all exhibitions hold in Britain for 20 years – more than 5,000 per day during 4,5 months!

In this last Sunday before the Nativity of Our Lord, we reach the very last days in our Advent preparation to “see Salvation” in our turn. We want to spend these 4 days in the anticipation of the wonder soon to be shown to the world: God made Man. We want to rekindle in our souls the craving for seeing the Messiah, whose coming had been announced as early as right after the original sin, in the book of Genesis, when God had told to the serpent: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head” (Genesis 3:15). We want to listen even more attentively to St John the Baptist, the great herald of the Most High, in whose voice are gathered and summarized centuries of expectations and of prayers and of hopes from all the generations of just men and of holy women and of deserving children, since our fallen race was deprived of the sight of God’s adorable Face.

Because this is what it is all about: we were created in a state of perfection which made us fit to actually see God. But we have lost this grace through our sins and since then we are looking for the true light and are so often deceived by false ones. Every minute our magazines and TV screens and radios display the latest news about these sportsmen, politicians and actors ambiguously called “stars”, to such an extend than even good Catholics are tempted to look at these “stars” and follow in their direction. Blind leading the blind.

On the contrary, we want to know only one Star, and this is the “Star of Jacob”, the “Sol Justitiae” or “Sun of Justice” just about to rise in Bethlehem. He is the true Light, granting genuine radiance to all creatures, as much as they wish to reflect and mirror his splendor, and letting all their beauty turn into darkness whenever they turn away from Him. We know this of course, since we hear it every day at Mass in the Last Gospel:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him: and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4).

Now more than ever, we want to see this true Light of God, and be delivered from this world’s flashing illusions! We want to see the face of God again and be ravished in such splendour! But our souls are still very weak and mistake true glory with pretence and true might with arrogance. This is why of all the means of salvation, God has chosen to be born of a woman as a true Child of men and Son of God. In but a few days this King will lie not even in a bed since “there was no place for Him at the inn” (Luke 2:7), but in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, between a poor Virgin of Israel and a Carpenter, surrounded not with crowds of devout human subjects but with donkey and ox: “That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto his own, and his own received Him not” (John 1:9-11).

In order to see this Light, one has to put away the dirty spectacles of human pride and of self will, one has to be able to simply believe the Good News of the Creation and of the Redemption. One has to accept and believe that, to start with, we have not made our own selves but have been made by Another greater than us, and that this Mighty One, Whom we hade rejected, demonstrated his essential bounty in setting up a most wonderful and loving scheme in order to save us, instead of abandoning us or of destroying us.

This is why the shepherds were the first ones informed: “Do not be afraid. Behold, I bring you good news of a great event that will bring joy to all the people: there has been born for you this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, Who is the Lord Messiah” (Luke 2:8-11). Oh, with what joy and gratitude the good shepherds must have ran to the cave, with what simplicity of heart they must have knelt in front of the manger and, before this throne of humility, more precious than gold, must have paid their homage to the new born King!

But I anticipate. Today we are still with Our Blessed Lady on our way to Bethlehem. Today we share with Her and with St Joseph a mixture of worry and of joy. We worry because Our Lady is about to give birth and we know that the City of David is overcrowded with Jews, travelling to this their place of birth in order to fulfil emperor Caesar Augustus’ edict of registration. And we rightly fear that no relative, no friend of Joseph might have any spare room for this poor and inconsiderable cousin from Nazareth to stay in, let alone for his wife to give birth. We see Our Lady prepare nonetheless the swaddling clothes and the basic items She might have brought with Her for her Son to be born. We see St Joseph and Our Lady weary from travelling and anxious to know how the Lord of lords, soon to enter the City of David, is going to be welcomed.

But we also rejoice with them, since we know that God does not fail, and that His scheme of redemption will not be stopped for lack of protocol, not even for lack of blanket! Rather, with St Joseph and with Our Lady, we do what depends essentially on us, who do what nobody can do in our stead, we do what would be sadly lacking if we neglected it, I mean: we prepare a spiritual habitation for the Divine Child in our hearts. We welcome God’s saving Light: we believe, we repent, we expiate, we hope and love always deeper:

“That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto his own, and his own received Him not. But as many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:9-13).

Dear Juventutem friends, let us get ready then for seeing Salvation! We know that if our eyes have been carefully designed by God to receive light and be fulfilled by it, to a much greater extent our intellect is designed to discern the truth and our will power to reach out to what is good. And this is just about to be supremely and perfectly fulfilled when, during Midnight Mass, we will unite in spirit with the shepherds before the manger (and with St John at the foot of the Cross simultaneously). Through our intelligent faith then, at the Elevation of the Host after the Consecration, in our hearts with every possible strength and conviction let us make ours the words of the Last Gospel: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Hence let us give thanks in this moment, for we will have seen God’s Salvation indeed, which is the literal meaning of the Holy Name of Our Lord really present in the Host: “Jesus”.

Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP
Ecclesiastical Assistant to the Juventutem International Federation.


Juventutem news:

Last summer has been a busy time for Juventutem with our presence at the International Eucharistic Congress in Québec in June, followed with our intense programme at World Youth Day in Australia in July.

In July as well, Juventutem England (YCA) hold a well attended retreat at Douai Abbey, Berkshire.

In August, Fr de Malleray was in Madrid (Spain) again where he visited various places of interest in the perspective of WYD 2011.

In October there was a successful Juventutem meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand with Bishop Basil Meeking and Rev Bill Define, Regional Superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter.

In October as well, Juventutem members from various country including Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, France and Ireland took part in the ceremonies of the twentieth anniversary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. David Oostveen and Cosimo Marti represented the Bureau of the Federation in their capacity of Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

This very month, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Juventutem Rome (Italy) welcomed Cardinal George Pell as he came to the FSSP personal parish church Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini to offer a pontifical high Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On the same day, Juventutem Italia attended a musical meditation on the Holy Rosary.

This month again has been announced the release of a CD with the music and chant recorded during the Juventutem liturgies at WYD 2008 in Australia.

During Advent, Christmas cards have been sent by the Bureau of the Federation to all the members (at least those who make sure they send us their updated contact details) and to our benefactors.

In the meantime, the Federation has received applications from two new prospective groups. Following this, we are glad to announce you of the foundation and affiliation of “Juventutem Londrina” in Brazil and of “Juventutem Czech-Slovakia”. Please visit them on Contacts have been made with potential members in Asia (other than Juventutem Hong Kong). A further application from Ancona in Italy has recently reached us and is currently being examined. On this matter, it should be reminded that the name “Juventutem”, as related to youth activities linked with the Extraordinay Form of the Roman liturgy, morally belongs to the International Juventutem Federation and should therefore be used only with its approval. The reason is that the founders of the Federation are the same ones who chose the name “Juventutem” and started the movement in Spring 2004.


Upcoming events:

Meeting in Bern, Switzerland: 20-22 February 2009. Every group is cordially invited to contact the Bureau and send at least one delegate. Like last year, the purpose is the diversity of representatives rather than the actual number of members attending. Please do your best to support this event which is an important opportunity for the Juventutem International Federation to update and grow stronger. Of course we do not expect many members outside Europe to be able to travel to Bern, but please pray for us and with us during this important meeting. Contact: Juventutem, Kirchbergerstrasse 42, CH-3008, Bern, Switzerland; Tel./fax: +41 31 371 29 20. Email Cosimo Marti at : codama at

Juventutem in Chartres: 30 May-1st June 2009. A Juventutem Chapter is to attend again the great Traditional pilgrimage from Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris to Notre-Dame cathedral in Chartres: on Whit week-end 2009. Come and join the Juventutem young adults, one group among 8.000 young Catholic walking the 70-mile pilgrimage across the beautiful French countryside! Contact: email Gregory Flash, at: flash at For your information:

International Youth Gathering organised in Marian Shrine of Le Puy-en-Velay, France: August 18-23, 2009. Plan ahead and make sure you will be with us during this wonderful week in one among the most ancient Marian shrines in the world. Come and venerate the famous “Black Madonna”, come and attend beautiful liturgies, meet young adults from various countries motivated by the Roman traditions of the Church, improve your Catholic knowledge through sound lectures and explore the breathtaking volcanos landscape of the “Massif Central”. Contact:

Juventutem retreat in England: 18-20 September 2009: At Douai Abbey, Berkshire, come (whether you live in the UK or not) and pray with other young Catholic adults. Juventutem Ecclesiastical Assistant Fr de Malleray will preach the retreat. Contact:

The Juventutem Bureau wishes you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2009!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Publication of Vatican document on human life

Cardinal Keith O'Brien has welcomed the publication earlier today of the Vatican document "Dignitas Personae" on the subject of biomedical research.

The document prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and approved by Pope Benedict XVI, was launched at a press conference in Rome earlier today. Speaking after the launch, Cardinal O'Brien said:

"I welcome this unambiguous teaching document which affirms the Church's view that human beings are entitled to dignity and respect from the moment of conception and posses an absolute right to life. Sadly, in the course of recent years such universal and fundamental rights have been utterly destroyed in the UK most recently by the passing of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. As well as defending human life, this document also welcomes and endorses scientific research, making it clear that such work must be ethical and effective. I would urge any Catholic working in these fields to examine their conscience very carefully in the light of this informed and explicit teaching. Ultimately such individuals must ask themselves if their work is compatible with their faith."

Cardinal O'Brien added:

"The United Kingdom has a shameful and scandalous record in the field of bioethics with no meaningful ethical oversight whatsoever and nothing but a string of expensive failures to show for decades of "anything goes" science. It is worth remembering that over the last 18 years, the HFEA has never refused a license for preimplantation diagnosis or embryo experimentation and has never turned down any application to use human embryos. It has no members who hold the embryo to be inviolable. Meanwhile overblown promises of future success constantly manipulate the emotions of those suffering terrible illnesses. The example of 'Dolly' the sheep is instructive, born in 1997, its birth followed hundreds of grotesquely deformed earlier attempts, it died prematurely and the company behind its creation went out of business. Yet the hype and superficial coverage surrounding that event suggested it was some kind of success story!"

Cardinal O'Brien concluded:

"I hope that the clarity of thinking shown in 'Dignitas Personae' will inform debate here in the UK and encourage biomedical research which is ethical and successful such as that using adult stem cells. Since the passing of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act in October, the UK (uniquely in the Western world) now allows experimentation on human embryos, human cloning, and the creation of part-human part-animal embryos. It even allows for tissue to be removed from individuals without their consent. We have set many nightmarish precedents in this country, I hope that as understating of the dignity of human life at every stage grows we will create a new culture of life in this country, where the deliberate destruction of human life is not licensed by the state and paid for by the tax-payer."

(source: SCMO)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Petition Virgin Cable to carry EWTN

Phil Andrews of the Blog Pellegrinagio has started a petition to to urge Virgin Cable in the UK to carry EWTN(?). As you may know, EWTN is already carried by Sky, but not Virgin.

You can view and sign his petition at this address:

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Catholic bloggers wanted

a message from John Mallon

John Mallon is trying to assemble an email list of Blogs in the English speaking world, especially in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. He is currently working as Contributing Editor for Inside the Vatican magazine, doing media relations for Human Life International, and assisting at the Envoy Institute in a promotional capacity. He has two degrees in theology and frequently has items of interest to Catholic Bloggers worldwide. With 25 years of experience in the Catholic Press, he has found that major secular outlets are often closed to these messages. If you have or know of Blogs that would be interested in receiving press releases and other pertinent materials for your Blogs, he would very much appreciate getting a mailing list of these blogs for this purpose. This is not spam. Anyone not wishing to receive these materials will be removed from the list immediately upon request. Catholic Blogs are absolutely critical for spreading credible information on the Church. This mailing list could serve as a News Agency supplying news and other information to Catholic Blogs.

It is absolutely maddening trying to harvest emails off of Blogs, where people won't post their emails. He is only interested in people who want to receive these messages, not bothering anyone.

For more on John Mallon please visit his website at:

Please let me know if you can help.

Thanks & God bless you,

John Mallon
johnmallon at

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Pluscarden retreat

During Lent, one of our readers kindly organised a traditional Retreat to Pluscarden Abbey on behalf of our Traditional Latin Mass community in Edinburgh. The retreat was led by Fr John Emerson FSSP. Father Abbot and the community made us welcome and the sacristan was very assiduous in ensuring we had everything we required to celebrate Mass in the EF and all other devotions including Benediction.

Father Abbot has agreed we can return again next year and the guest-master, Brother Gabriel, has already reserved both guesthouses (male and female) for our exclusive use for the weekend of 19th – 21st June 2009.

Please do comment if you are interested, and watch here for further information!

Monday, 24 November 2008

news from Papa Stronsay

On 31 October 2008, the Rt. Rev. Peter Moran, Bishop of Aberdeen, granted faculties to Fr. Michael Mary and to Fr. Anthony Mary, FSsR (Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer) at Golgotha Monastery on Papa Stronsay(?). These faculties include jurisdiction for the sacrament of Penance in both Papa Stronsay as well as the monastery chapel on Stronsay.

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer are a group of traditional monks -- Fathers and Brothers -- in full communion with the Holy See., based on the Orkney island of Papa Stronsay

Coming up this week...

Two events next Sunday in Edinburgh:-

Sunday 30 November
Prayer for the conversion of Scotland
1:30pm, outside Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

To celebrate the feast of Saint Andrew, Patron of Scotland, there will be a prayer meeting outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, at 1.30pm. Please come and bring your friends. All welcome. Christ the King, Let Him reign!

Sunday 30 November
Nativity Carol Concert
4.30pm, foot of the Mound, Edinburgh

...for all November/December events, please click here.

Please comment with details of further events you may be aware of.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

About Us

Juventutem Scotland is the local Chapter of the Juventutem International Federation, an international Catholic network fostering the sanctification of the youth worldwide according to the Roman traditions of the Church. We wish to contribute to the sanctification of the members of Juventutem and of any youth our contemporaries.

Our common aspiration as Juventutem members is to draw our sanctification from the traditional liturgy and spirituality of Holy Mother Church. To which end we require the support of prayer, friendship and learning. This is borne out in three spiritual commitments that anchor each member's day and week:

1. recite daily for the sanctification of youth the extract from Psalm 42 «Judica Me », (“Judge me O Lord”) or say a prayer of your choosing (Hail Mary or Our Father for instance);

2. enter into a church or oratory once a week to adore Our Lord really present in the tabernacle;

3. once a year or more: attend Holy Mass in the 1962 Roman rite; go to Confession; on behalf of Juventutem, partake in some faith activity (Holy Hour, doctrinal talk, pro-life initiative, charitable action, excursion, etc).

On a practical level Juventutem members meet regularly either for informal activities, or for attending Holy Mass, group prayer (for example Rosary vigils), Gregorian Chant, pilgrimages, retreats, etc. A number of these are list in the sidebar to the right. We plan to have regular meetings including an informal meal, a talk by a local Priest, Holy Mass or Holy Hour, with the immediate aim being to organise a group to participate in the Chartres pilgrimage in May 2009 (for more information, see here).

Juventutem International Federation was founded in 2006 with Juventutem Scotland founded in 2008. An independent non-political youth structure loyal to Roman Catholic authorities, the Juventutem International Federation draws inspiration from the International Una Voce Federation, as well as from various other Catholic institutions.

Joining Juventutem costs nothing; all you need to do is forward this form (PDF) to the local Chapter leader (contact details coming soon).

Please note that whilst members of Juventutem are normally aged 16 to 36 years, those older than 36, married, or in consecrated life, are invited to join as associate members.

We are delighted to hear from you and assure you of our friendship and prayers. Our Lady, Help of Christians, give fervour to our youth!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

FSSP retreats in England

"Please support me with your prayer, and I will be happy to do the same in the recollection of the retreat, invoking divine power on each one of you, on your families and your communities."
-- Pope Benedict XVI, 25 Feb. 2007

3 retreats preached at Douai Abbey (Berks., UK) by Fr Armand de Malleray, of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter

1. Advent Retreat (3 nights)
8-11 December 2008

Starts Monday 8th December 2008 at 2pm –
ends Thursday 11th December 2008 at 11am

Theme: "Our Lady and the Incarnation"
Retreat open to all

Cost: £137 - to cover:
1-Accommodation: single room with en-suite bathroom, full board. The Guest Master suggests a donation of £125 per person (individual discount granted on request)
2-Retreat Master’s expenses: a minimum £12 per person expected.


2. Vocation Retreat (2 nights)
7-9 January 2009

Starts Wednesday 7th January 2009 at 2pm –
ends Friday 9th January 2009 at 11am

Theme: "Ask the master of the harvest to send out labourers for his harvest." (Mt 9,38)
Retreat for celibate men, age 16-40 [Vocations video]

Cost: £70 - to cover:
1-Accommodation: single room with en-suite bathroom, full board. The Guest Master suggests a donation of £58.75 per person.
2-Retreat Master’s expenses: a minimum £11.25 per person expected.
N.B. special reduction for students: £45 everything included.


3. Lenten Retreat (4 nights)
2-6 March 2009

Starts Monday 2nd March 2009 at 2pm –
ends Friday 6th March 2009 at 11am

Theme: "By his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5)
Retreat open to all

Cost: £169 - to cover:
1-Accommodation: single room with en-suite bathroom, full board. The Guest Master suggests a donation of £155 per person (individual discount granted on request).
2-Retreat Master’s expenses: a minimum £14 per person expected.


Schedule: Silent retreat (inside the premises); meals with table reading on the theme of the retreat or music; includes a one-hour conference in the morning and in the afternoon; coffee-break; walks around the Abbey; possibility of private meeting with the Retreat Master and of confession; daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite; other devotions possible (Rosary, meditation).

Possibility of attending some of the monks prayers (Douai Abbey is a community of monks of the English Benedictine Congregation).

Location: Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton RG7 5TQ, Berkshire, United Kingdom (about 1 hour west from London). Website:

By car: Douai Abbey is situated 1 mile north of the A4 about half way between Reading and Newbury in Berkshire. The turn off the A4 is about 6 miles from M4 Junction 12.

By rail: the nearest station is called MIDGHAM, but it is actually in Woolhampton village: trains from London Paddington, Reading & Newbury. A lift from and to the railway station can be arranged directly with the Guest Master (tel.: 0118 971 5399).

The building is equipped for wheel chairs.

Booking and contact: Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, 179 Elgar Rd, Reading RG2 0DH, Berks – Tel.: 0118 987 5819 – E-mail: malleray[at] Website:

N.B. Your payment will take place at the Abbey during the retreat. Deposit has already been paid. No other payment required.

To make a donation to help others – especially students – attend the retreat: please use contact above (£ cheques made payable to "FSSP England" – please mention then "Retreat Sponsoring". Thank you very much).

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Cardinal's Open letter to the Prime Minister


28 October 2008

Dear Gordon

I write this open letter to you on a matter of immediate urgency, namely tomorrow’s debate in the Lords on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Although I was relieved that last week’s debate in the Commons on the Bill did not address the issue of abortion, I remain convinced that the Bill is misguided and certain sections are potentially most harmful.

Among these is Schedule 3 which has never been properly discussed in Parliament. It provides for taking tissue from incapacitated adults and children without their consent for the express purpose of creating embryos for research. It will be debated in the House of Lords tomorrow (Wednesday 29 October) with Government support.

The Bill could allow for the derivation and use of human eggs from the ovarian tissue of aborted baby girls, a proposal which was first aired by the HFEA in 1994. The HFEA public consultation at that time showed that 83.2% of the 9,000 respondents opposed the practice, and even the few in favour underlined the necessity of consent.

Should this Bill become law, removing tissue from incapacitated adults or children, without their specific consent in order to create animal-human hybrid or other embryos would be permissible, as would creating artificial sperm or artificial eggs from bone marrow or even cord blood.

The grotesque implications of these procedures are utterly horrifying. The proposals in this Bill represent a breach of 50 years of ethical medical research. They by-pass the Declaration of Helsinki, the Human Tissue Act, the Mental Capacity Act and the Human Rights Act. Removing parts of people’s bodies without their consent, utterly flies in the face of all BMA and GMC guidance on consent to research.

Such behaviour was last seen under the Nazis. Following the liberation of the concentration camps in 1945, the full horrors of the Nazi’s atrocities were revealed to a shocked world. The hideous savagery of their experiments convinced the civilized world that such practices must be outlawed forever. I am appalled that you are promoting a Bill which seeks, by stealth, to create a regime where extracting tissue and cells from human beings no longer requires their consent or involvement.

I am staggered that you would endorse legislation, which describes the creation of embryos from a person without their consent as ‘non-invasive’ and which enshrines the concept of ‘presumed consent’ in UK law. This legislation would set a nightmarish precedent, by allowing scientists to experiment on those lacking capacity – in the absence of explicit consent – largely as they see fit.

I urge you to amend Schedule 3 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill as a matter of great urgency and human decency.

Yours sincerely in Christ

+ Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien
Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh

Sunday, 26 October 2008

All Saints / All Souls

Holy Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Roman rite:

The Feast of All Saints

Saturday, 1 November 2008
12:00 noon (Missa Cantata)
St Andrew's Church, Ravelston, Edinburgh [map]

Commemoration of the Faithful Departed

Sunday, 2 November 2008
11:30 am, (Requiem)
St Andrew's Church, Ravelston, Edinburgh [map]

Please comment with any further Mass times you are aware of.


Saturday, 25 October 2008

Gregorian Chant Weekend

St Mary's, Forest Hall (Tyneside), will be hosting a Gregorian Chant weekend from November 7th-9th. This is being run by the Scottish Gregorian group and is open to singers of all levels of experience. For further details contact

As well as singing at the Extraordinary Form Mass on Saturday morning, there will be First Vespers on the Saturday night, singing at the Ordinary Form parish Mass on the Sunday morning and the EF Mass at St Joseph's, Gateshead. The fee is £10 to cover materials and refreshments.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Coming up this week...

Thursday 23 October
Annual LIFE Torchlight vigil for Pro-Life
6.30pm, George Square, Glasgow
procession to St Andrew's Cathedral, prayer service 7.30pm - 9.00pm

Saturday 25 October
SPUC Scotland Day Conference
10.15am - 4.00pm,
Adelaide’s Centre, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow.
[Download booking form (PDF)]

Saturday 25 October
Sung Mass
11.00am, ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey(?), nr. Stirling [MAP]

Upcoming events - November/December [updated]

Saturday 8 November
Pro-Life Rosary Vigil
11am - 12.00 noon, outside Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Saturday 22 November
Una Voce Scotland Requiem Mass
12.00 noon, St Andrew's Church, Ravelston, Edinburgh

Sunday 30 November
Prayer for the conversion of Scotland
1:30pm, outside Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

To celebrate the feast of Saint Andrew, Patron of Scotland, there will be a prayer meeting outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, at 1.30pm. Please come and bring your friends. All welcome. Christ the King, Let Him reign!

Sunday 30 November
Nativity Carol Concert
4.30pm, foot of the Mound, Edinburgh

Saturday 6 December
Pro-Life Rosary Vigil
11am - 12.00 noon, outside Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Saturday 13 December
Una Voce Advent Day of Recollection

Wednesday 24 December 2008
Advent Carols, followed by Midnight Mass
11.30pm (Carols), Midnight (Mass)
St Andrew's Church, Ravelston, Edinburgh

Thursday 25 December 2008
Second Mass of Christmas
10.00am, FSSP Oratory, 6 Belford Park, Edinburgh

Thursday 25 December 2008
Third Mass of Christmas
11.30am, St Andrew's Church, Ravelston, Edinburgh


Please comment with details of further events.