Thursday, 23 June 2016

Hexam & Newcastle Rachel's Vineyard Awaresness Afternoon

Text Version:

Rachel’s Vineyard UK will be running an awareness presentation to the priests, deacons and chaplains of the Hexham and Newcastle diocese on Thursday 7th July 2016 at St Cuthbert's chaplaincy, Durham City. It will take place 1 - 3 pm. Food and drink will be provided.

If you are unable to attend please feel free to nominate a lay representative.

Rachel's Vineyard provides weekend healing retreats for women (and men) suffering from post-abortion trauma. This trauma manifests in so many ways: self loathing, addictions, abusive relationships, PTSD symptoms, emotional and spiritual paralysis. The purpose of this presentation is to help give you insight to this ministry and to help you respond with confidence to those who are suffering in this way. You will be glad to hear that we will be running a weekend in the North-East for the first time this October and would like your help to reach out to those in desperate need. Your prayers for the continued success of this work are appreciated greatly.

For further details and testimonies from those who have attended the weekend please visit our website:

To book your place or for more information please contact Helen Salomon on 07786 505577 or email:

Sunday, 5 June 2016


I did not realise it was so long since I had posted anything or checked the comment box. Please accept my apologies. I am blogging today because I keep getting asked about Amoris Laetitia, and I want to make a comment on the wider situation.

First that footnote. This need not worry us, because AS isn't a teaching document nor a legal document; it is a pastoral document. Yes it may lead some to admit those in irregular unions to Holy Communion -which is wrong and dangerous to their souls of all involved- but let us not kid ourselves: such has been going on for years anyway.

Second, Francis himself. Yes the man gives conflicting messages and sometimes says things that are difficult (if at all possible) to reconcile with the Doctrine of the Faith (see where John-Henry Westen has recounted some of these for us) but vilification of the man is, I think, lacking in charity. And where charity is absent, God is absent, since God is charity: Deus caritas est. If we have a Pope who lacks theological astuteness, we cannot blame him for being a poor pope: we have to lay the blame with the enemy, who persuaded the Cardinals to go in the direction of Francis in the conclave.

What I see in Francis is typical of priests from the 1970’s onward; priests who tried to make everyone, including those in irregular unions, feel good about their relationship with Christ, even if it meant ignoring doctrine so as to admit such folk to Holy Communion. From my conversations with a number of priests, I think they did and do this on the basis that they are breaking man-made canon law. They do not see themselves as abandoning the faith. I think the same has to be said of Francis. The man clearly has a good heart; he just lacks theological sharpness –probably due to the formation the Jesuit received. Let us at least give the man credit for meaning well, even if we do have to confront him in charity, as Paul confronted Peter.

Sadly, the Jesuits and the catholic Church itself have an identity crisis that Francis is not going to be able resolve.