Posted by The Parish

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 5th August 2018
Blue Book Page 190

Dear Friends, 

I was surprised to catch a fragment of a vigorous radio discussion on LBC about The Catholic Faith. (Listen Again Iain Dale 6.05pm Thu 2nd). Caroline Farrow, who is a sub-editor for the Catholic Universe (and also the wife of a Catholic Priest!) was making a brave attempt to defend church teaching. The wily presenter was merrily taking her down a myriad of conflicting avenues using the event to pour scorn on the Catholic Faith. Live on air, the poor woman had clearly been required to speak at short notice. She had not had time to prepare the subject and keep the presenter squarely focussed on the main event. Evidently Pope Francis had made some “revolutionary” declaration on Church Dogma. He had “overturned” 2000 years of received teaching. What on earth had the Pope said? He had simply declared, in a more substantial way, what St. Pp JohnPaul ll had stated back in March of 1995. In the encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” (The Gospel of Life) JohnPaul had declared that the circumstances where the use of the death penalty might be justified (eg. as being the only way to protect innocent people from some murderous malefactor) are so rare as to be non-existent.

Francis has merely taken that teaching forward. He is saying that in the 21st century such circumstances actually are Non Existent! He is building on the legacy of JohnPaul who feared that the world is succumbing to a “culture of death”, where human life is disposable, especially at the beginning and end of the journey. Francis has definitively ruled on the subject of the death penalty and the position of the Catholic Church in the 21st Century. He said the death penalty is “inadmissible” and that the Catholic church would work for its abolition across the world. Capital punishment is “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”. Francis has fearlessly placed the Church at odds with regimes, such as in the USA & China, where executions are carried out in great number, and not always in the full light of justice.

Despite the pros & cons of the penalty itself, the dehumanising effect for all those who participate in such a dreadful occupation has irreversible effects to personal and family health. I remember certain prison officers who used to tell me that they would willingly “do the deed”. I used to shudder to think what other measures of secret justice they might be tempted to administer? On LBC the main subject was quickly set aside.

The moment was used to vilify the absurdity of 2000 years of church doctrine, the sacraments, scripture, and Christian morality especially relating to marriage and human sexuality. On the one hand The Pope was said to have “overthrown” church teaching (which he has not) on the other it was required that he should overthrow all these other matters as well. It is just “burdening people with 2000 years of Catholic Guilt”. Despite Mrs Farrow’s erudite protestations to the contrary, and that she couldn’t think of any Catholics who were so “burdened”, there followed the usual dreary catalogue of ill-informed callers all airing their personal prejudices. I was mad and ready to get on the phone but also 15 minutes late for the next young couple who wanted to rehearse their wedding. St Paul says we should “Speak the truth in love” Eph4:15 We need more intelligent Catholics who are willing to speak up for human dignity and the Catholic faith in the modern world. 

Not just priests and clergy! 

God Bless
Fr Kevin 

Forthcoming Funerals 

Margaret RiP 

Margaret died at the Lewisham Hospital last Thursday. She has been such a kind and faithful single lady at St Joseph’s always worrying more about other people than herself. She lived at Plume House. At the present time we await details for her funeral. 

Martin RiP 

Martin lived with his wife Rita at the flats in Crooms Hill for more than 30 years. His funeral will be a memorial celebration at OLSS at 12.00noon this Tuesday 7th. (Cremation at Hither Green) 

John RiP 

A Dublin born man John & Teresa have lived for many years in Greenwich and are much loved both at OLSS & St Josephs. They were married at St Josephs in 1959 and are just one year short of their Diamond Anniversary. His Funeral is arranged at St Joseph’s this Thursday 9th August at 11.00am. (Cremation Falcon Wood 12.30) 

Simon RiP 

Simon is the father of Vanessa & Grandfather to Amalie & Etiene who are very faithful at OLSS. He lived in Bromley and has died after an aggressive illness aged just 57. Funeral this Friday 10th at Kemnal Park Cemetery 

Michelle – Sheila RiP 

Sheila (who preferred to be known as Michelle) lived in Fingal Street. She was a long standing member of St Joseph’s Church. Her funeral, originally arranged at St Joseph’s on 28th August, has been brought forward to Tuesday 21st August at 12.00noon. (Burial at Eltham) 

Furniture appeal 

Donna M is a young woman who attends St Joseph. She needs to furnish her home and is appealing for any furniture such as a wardrobe, chair, table or cupboard (except a bed) See contact details in the newsletter in the church.

Please remember among the sick: 

May (Eltham Respite Care) 

Jenny (Now Home) 

Anthony (Guys Hs) 

Peter (Duncan Hs Thamesmead) 


Catherine M, Elizabeth F, Gus H, James B, Stanley O, Martin F, Helen A, Patrick B, Michael M, Dorothy M, Patrick K, Nellie C, Christopher D, Andrew A 

May they Rest in Peace 

Edward 100km Charity Walk 

Edward is planning a charity walk at the end of August. He would like to promote his project at OLSS this weekend. 

Baptism Preparation 

If you are seeking the Baptism of a Child either at OLSS OR St Joseph the next meeting will be on Wednesday 12th September in the Parish Rooms at OLSS. Please come at this time when we look at the responsibilities of parents and Godparents and consider carefully the diary for both churches. 

There will be no meeting in August. 


Saturday 4th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Michael B (RiP) 

Sunday 5th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Frances D (Thg/WB/BD) 

18th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: John O (RiP)

in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Dan B (RiP ann) 

Monday 6th No Mass on Monday 

Tuesday 7th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: 

Mass St J’s 7.00 Int: Margaret L (RiP) 

Wednesday 8th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: 

Thursday 9th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: 

Mass St J’s 11.00 Requiem Mass John O Riley RiP 

Friday 10th Mass OLSS 9.30 Int: Paul K (RiP) 

Saturday 11th Mass OLSS 6.00pm Int: Val H & Joan K (Strength & Well Being) 

Sunday 12th Mass OLSS 9.00 Int: Parish & People 

19th Sunday Mass St J’s 10.00 Int: Marie E (RiP) 

in Ordinary Time Mass OLSS 11.00 Int: Galwey Family

Parking at St Joseph’s: The New Parking restrictions have come into effect this week. You must now buy a ticket for £1 per hour. I have finally received a backdated letter from Mr Richard Cornell Head of Parking Services. His letter regrets that no consideration may be given for church users and has ignored every element of our request. I have written again seeking an onsite meeting. At the present time the Yellow ZigZag markings running alongside the school both in Commerell Street & Conley Street are not subject to restrictions on Sundays. I have asked for this to be clarified. The letters are available in Church. You may seek clarification for the same purpose and write to: 

Mr Richard Cornell – Head of Parking Services.
Strategic Transportation DRES
Floor 5 The Woolwich Centre
35 Wellington Street
SE18 6HQ 

Post expires at 9:03pm on Sunday September 9th, 2018