Friday, September 20, 2013

McBride now works for Cafod

I am a bit sensitive to reporting in the media at the moment. I was a little disconcerted by the revelations about Damian McBride, Gordon Brown's spin doctor who by his own admission spread poison about his colleagues.

What I cannot understand is that he now works for Cafod.

Don't we consider calumny a serious sin anymore or is it just too much to expect people who work for that 'Catholic' organisation that deals with social justice to actually be just, to have clean hands and a pure heart?

Again what worries me is the connection between the Labour Party and Cafod, its head at one time shared a house with a Labour minister. Shouldn't someone from the Bishop's Conference ask a few question.
Cafod's image is becoming increasingly tarnished!


Unknown said...

Notice he has worked there since 2011 Father?? Maybe it's worth talking about the good work CAFOD does, maybe encouraging those young people who are finishing uni or th form this year at to look at their wonderful gap year program, or any other Catholic gap year program. Or maybe talking about how our Holy Father is longing to heal wounds of the church and how he does not look at a stagnant church stuck in a rut, but longs for a church that realises that it is developing and alive. You're posts are sometimes wonderful, but then I find you seem to need a way to turn them into a criticism of the catholic church today and that you more and more open up to a cascade of negative comments towards our Holy Father, like the Greeks spent their time in the 5th century looking back at a 'golden era' and how 'good it was then' maybe we are falling into a similar hole. It would be wonderful Father, and I would really love it, to be able to sit down and talk to you face to face, as I have a lot to learn from you and vice versa.

Oona said...

Perhaps Catholics should be asking more questions, Fr Ray, but I have found a more effective tactic is to remove all the posters, never mention them, except vaguely in passing and big-up Aid for the Church in Need.

The kids get the same credit in their GCSE, and they get a Catholic message. Clean hands, clean heart.

Innocent as doves, wise as serpents.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Fr Ray 'Catholic' NGOs in this country seem to have form when it comes to curious appointments from the political classes. Former Hyndburn MP Greg Pope (with a decidely mixed voting record on Catholic issues) moved swiftly from the Commons to be deputy director of the Catholic Education Service in 2010.

Supertradmum said...

I find it odd that many of the lay faithful do not support Cafod because of links to contraception and abortion groups. Here is a link and a quotation.

Around the park were stalls and stands by all of the various organisations involved in the Make Poverty History campaign. These stalls were not protesting, they were promoting and we were given oodles of free pens, stickers, hats etc throughout the day. It may not have been their intention, but by supporting the Make Poverty History campaign Cafod succeeded in collecting hundreds of young people on coaches and trains before depositing them in to the hands of the various sales teams of the Make Poverty History supporters. That included organisations that support abortion like Oxfam, Comic Relief etc and even some who provide it, like Marie Stopes International and International Planned Parenthood Federation - one of the largest abortion providers in the world. Nice one Cafod.
Fast forward a few years and Cafod are at it again, this time promoting the IF campaign whose supporters once again include organisations that support abortion. This campaign is being promoted by Cafod in Catholic schools, kids in Catholic schools are going on that website and clicking 'who we are'. Those kids are being lead to logos and links of organisations that promote or support

Lepanto said...

Isn't the Bishops Conference recruiting at the moment?

Highland Cathedral said...

I clicked on the link to CAFOD and discovered that their media team consists of six people. SIX people, for goodness sake. How much does that cost and why does CAFOD need so many media people?

blondpidge said...

Agreed Highland Cathedral. I clicked on that link too and thought that the media department was astonishingly large.

Unknown said...

Dear Father

You have the courage to speak out. To tell the truth. With a few more priests like you the Catholic Church can get back to being the Catholic Church. Unfortunately we seem to have so many careerists in so many prominent positions in God's Holy Church. Yes, this problem dates from the time that the Church became a legal faith/institution; but has there ever been a time when so many of its leaders seek the affirmation of men rather than the truth and Glory of God? No. Thank God for Fr. Blake!

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

Well Father Blake, you better clear the decks, boss up and get yours ears cleared as Jane Ireland has a lot to teach you. One of my serious concerns about some of today’s Catholics is how they seriously want to re-educate orthodox priests. All those years in the seminary – wasted, was it ?

CAFOD certainly gives cause for concern, it does not stand out as a particularly Catholic organisation, rather a socialist NGO receiving millions from the UK government (19% in 2009) which they spend in unexpected ways, such as donating hundreds of thousands of £ to “Islamic Relief Worldwide”. How many Catholic donors are aware of that I can’t help but wonder ? In view of the horrific persecution of Catholics currently devastating the Middle East, the question needs to be posed.

Not all donors are delighted with the way their donations are processed, which can be said to have been less than efficient for a multi-million pound organisation. It’s worth reading :

A former director caused great scandal, but, the bishops were unperturbed, no news there :

So maybe the good Father B did right to bring certain facts up ?

Unknown said...

Sarcasm was not necessary and fully unappreciated and belittling, is that what we now resort to when having a sensible discussion. What was intended was he all have a lot to learn from each other. No one, not even a priest, knows everything and has all the right answers, and as you can see, I said I had a lot to learn from father blake, but as Pope Francis said in his recent interview, the young church works along side the ancient church to build it, neither can live without the other, otherwise there is a danger of the younger seeming self sufficient and the older enforcing its cultural models. instead the younger church uses its strength while the ancient church uses it's wisdom. As a church we build and move forward together. Maybe it would be better to ask what I meant or thought Fr Blake could learn from others rather than attacking with sarcasm. I do not know whether some of you have worked in large companies and organisation, working in the theatre and drama industry you realise media and publicity actually takes a large team to be able to organise and deal with, I doubt they are sitting in offices continuously doing nothing and getting paid for it. There isn't great money in charity work. Why do we keep casting judgement and not stand up and do something. Why don't YOU voice your concerns to CAFOD why don't YOU stand up and start doing something yourself. We can nit pick all we like but what does that do to the church and our souls and our relationship with both our holy mother church and the lord?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Jane: I am sure that CAFOD does much good work but there are things which concern me such as their views on the use of condoms. I therefore support other charities which seem to be more faithful to Catholic teaching such as Aid to the Church in Need.

On your point about how modern Charities work I am also concerned - shedloads of money spent upon fund-raising, very high salaries (here Cafod's £60,000 p.a. is modest compared to others) and to get that money I suppose they think they need lots of media people. But compare this to the religious orders who do & did enormous good work throughout the world; all their members received was bed and board and even that was usually very Spartan. Do you imagine that Mother Teresa needed or had a media department?

I hope the employment of Mr McBride will be reviewed. Father Ray mentions the sin of calumny. Few people seem to have any idea about the sin of detraction which Mr McBride seems to have specialised in.

Catholic Left-winger said...

None of us know whether Mr McBride has confessed of his sins and put himself at right. I assume, given remarks made by people who know him well, that this is exactly what he has done.
When we are surrounded by readings which remind us that sinners are the ones the Lord came for (see today's Gospel on the Feast of St Matthew, as well as last Sunday's Prodigal Son and this Sunday's clever steward), perhaps we should be overjoyed that he has turned his life around and is dedicated to the work of a Cafod.
As a former senior civil servant, he is perfectly placed to to offer invaluable advice to the chrity, not unlike the steward of whom we will hear this weekend.
Cafod do a lot of invaluable work and, whilst I am on the left of politics and regularly rub shoulders with people who profess beliefs I disagree with, they do not effect me and, rather, lead to me challenging them on their beliefs.
I know of Cafod people challenging the likes of Marie Stopes Internationally in a very vigorous manner at conferences. We should be careful not to make sweeping judgements.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Catholic left-winger: If someone realises that they have been committing sins they should go to confession and tell the priest in private what they have done. I do not think revealing them in the Daily Mail presumably at great financial profit is quite the same thing. I have not read what he has written but perhaps you could enlighten me as to whether he is showing contrition in what he has written. Is it just a coincidence that this comes out just before the Labour Party conference or is it intended to cause maximum damage to Labour?

I imagine Profumo did charitable work for no remuneration. Is McBride doing the same?

I will rejoice if he has truly repented and made restitution for his calumnies and detractions.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

This just will not do.

1. Father Blake is an excellent priest who nobly practises his faith and vocation in a seriously hostile environment. He has a very-well informed take on what is happening to and in the Church and deserves support not criticism. He has had quite enough of that from a certain Brighton journalist and certainly needs no more from Catholics, ancient or modern.
2. The idea of me sitting down and teaching Father Blake "face-to-face", at par, is risible. Same goes for any layman.
3. "We all have a lot to learn from each other". Yes, here I detect a classic thought-terminating cliché quite devoid of meaning. Who says so anyway ? I know my Faith well and what is necessary for my salvation, which is my primary task on this earth. My spiritual direction comes from my confessor, not an unknown blogger.
3. "No-one, not even a priest, knows everything and has all the right answers." Who said they knew everything ? Another trite and pointless TTC.
4. What’s this about "young church" and ancient church" ? How are these churches defined ? Are they different ? How and why ? When did the Catholic Church change the Faith ? Why is Church not capitalised ? The Catholic Church is a continuum and She is One, Holy, Catholic and Eternal.
5. "Working in large companies etc" – IMNSHO it is rather risky making assumptions about people of whom I know little, if anything at all. I try hard to avoid making wide generalisations as they have a nasty habit of coming back and biting me somewhere.
6. Anyone who thinks there isn't great money in charity work" is blithely unaware of the outrageously high pay in many "Charity" organisations. £87,000 : chickenfeed it ain't.
7. As for CAFOD, Deacon Nick Donnelly exposed some of the anti-Catholic thinking behind this organisation "I [contacted] CAFOD to point out that they were breaking the moral teaching of the Church by having a link from their website to another website that promoted homosexuality among young people. This site even promoted in graphic detail homosexual genital acts and talked about it in terms of being a special moment when one lost one's virginity! Eventually, and reluctantly, CAFOD removed the link to this website, but protested that they had a duty to provide all types of information for young people.” Now, for me, that is a scandal, pure and simple. Plus there is more of the same, so sad to say. And I am reliably informed CAFOD is notorious for ignoring incisive questions, specialising in ducking and diving, I wonder why ? Maybe it’s not true.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

I forgot to say that to nit pick is one word not two, not that I ever nitpick myself.

Unknown said...

"not that I ever nitpick myself." see your previous comment.

Unknown said...

and if you are under the illusion you have nothing to learn then I'm afraid I can make no comment. I am fully aware of my ignorance and that I am not a perfect person, I look around me and see so much I can learn from those close to me as well as those I am not eve acquainted with, in the way they live their christian life. For example, I struggle with the poor, it's so much easier to look the other way, and yet I can learn so much from Fr Ray's work and commitment to the poor, may God grace me the strength and courage he has granted Fr Ray with if that be his will. I'm not saying the church is divided, maybe it would be worth going to read Pope Francis' interview as he words it far better than me. But we learn to move forward by looking back, and we must acknowledge that we are all from different generations, who have had different experiences of faith and on different roads. We are not inward looking, we are here to share the gospel and good word, someone may have much to learn from you if given the chance. Perhaps guidance and an example are better words than 'teach' I am not talking about let us all lecture at each other. I am talking about growing together as a church. God Bless. and Fr please do not mistake me as this person seems to have done, I am not wishing to attack or slander you, I am wishing to share with you an opinion and a matter of conscience with you, I never comment without fully examining my heart and conscience first. And as to 'face to face' I merely mean things are lost over the internet and meanings can be misunderstood and twisted, it would be a blessing to discuss with you properly instead of over this medium, it was never meant to be insulting. God bless.

mike keen said...

Go and read the audited accounts on the Charity Commission website for CAFOD. Have a look at the administration charges

This is no longer "The Good Shepherd Fund".

Nicolas Bellord said...

Mike: I have not looked at the accounts but I think one has to be a bit careful in interpreting them. I suspect that if one of Cafod's staff has to fly out to some third world country and supervise the giving of aid or some project all the expenses he incurs will be classed as administrative expense. So a high level of administrative costs is not necessarily indicative of unnecessary expense.

Patricia Phillips said...

Everything that needs to be known about CAFOD can be found here:-

Support wholly Catholic charities like ACN and the Little Way Association instead.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...