John Smeaton, Director of SPUC, addresses Pope Benedict

For many decades, John Smeaton, the director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of the unborn. No sooner had he graduated from Oxford, than he established a branch of SPUC iJohn Smeaton, SPUC directorn south London. Having been general secretary of the organisation since 1978, he became its director in 1996. John Smeaton was elected vice-president of the International Right to Life Federation in 2005 and has helped coordinate over 150 successful pro-life and pro family groups in Cairo, Istanbul and Rome.

In his blog entry of 26 November, Mr Smeaton refers to a recent speech he gave in Poland which he addressed, among others, to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI:

“Today I am in the beautiful, historic city of Torun, Poland. I have been addressing the third international Congress organized by the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin and the International Gilson Society (USA) at the Higher School of Social and Media Culture in Torun.

During my talk I spoke about the maelstrom of carefully created confusion in the mass media about Catholic teaching on condoms, generated by prominent opponents of the church’s teaching, i.e. opponents within the Catholic Church (not least in Britain). I said:

This week especially, my heart breaks for my children and for my grandchildren; my heart breaks for the children of Britain and for children throughout the world. My heart breaks as I witness leading figures in the Vatican fomenting universal confusion on Catholic teaching on the use of condoms following Pope Benedict’s interview on that subject in the new publication: “Light of the World”.

In Britain, also, leading public figures in the name of the Catholic Church are misrepresenting its unchanging and unchangeable magisterial teaching on the transmission of human life. Opponents of Catholic teaching on the use of condoms are turning the clock back for humanity. They are turning the clock back to the Crucifixion when all of Christ’s followers and apostles deserted Him, except a few.

I address now the successors of the apostles, the Catholic bishops of the world. As the leader of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, the oldest pro-life organization in the world, I especially address you, Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and through you, the bishops of the world.

“Countless children, perhaps my own grandchildren, will be deliberately corrupted as a result of the exploitation and misrepresentation of your interview about condoms by opponents of Catholic teaching within the Catholic Church. As a result of the worldwide media’s perception of your interview, and as a result of policies and legislation enacted on the basis of a false representations of Catholic teaching, the corruption of young children and the destruction of countless children in the womb will go hand in hand. Countless women will be exploited by selfish or insensitive or brutal husbands and boyfriends, as a result of the confusion generated in the mass media by opponents, within the Church, of Catholic teaching on the use of condoms.”

I reminded the Polish congress that last month Cardinal Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, told a pro-life conference in Rome:

“The attack on the innocent and defenceless life of the unborn has its origin in an erroneous view of human sexuality, which attempts to eliminate, by mechanical or chemical means, the essentially procreative nature of the conjugal act … ”.

I explained that the world’s rejection of the prophetic teaching of the church on the inseparability of the unitive and procreative elements of marital acts had led to the imposition, in Britain, on families, of access to induced abortion and birth control drugs and devices to children at school, including Catholic schools, without parental knowledge or consent. I explained that this was happening with the co-operation of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales. “The artificial separation of the unitive and procreative elements of marital acts … underpins today’s culture of death”, I said.”

Please God that this heart-rending appeal of one of our most courageous defenders of life will reach the ears of the Holy Father.

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23 Responses to John Smeaton, Director of SPUC, addresses Pope Benedict

  1. toadspittle says:

    “They are turning the clock back to the Crucifixion when all of Christ’s followers and apostles deserted Him, except a few.”

    Says Mr. Smeaton.

    Wouldn’t it have been better to just say, ‘nearly all’?
    Bit of bathos here, Toad fancies.


  2. toadspittle says:

    Mr. Smeaton of ‘Spuc’ also denounces…

    …the maelstrom of carefully created confusion in the mass media…

    A ‘maelstrom’ of confusion there may well be, but Toad, who knows a bit about the ‘mass media’ – can assure the Spuc man that it was in no way ‘carefully created.’ As he (Toad, that is, not the Man From Spuc) has pointed out several dozen times before – the ‘mass media’ is not an organisation that is notorious for acting in concert. It does not get together to hold clandestine meetings in some backstreet stew at Canary Wharf, where evil plots to misrepresent His Holiness are hatched over champagne cocktails.

    Along with ‘bathos,’ Toad fancies he detects a bit of ‘paranoia.’
    Of, course he may be wrong…


  3. omvendt says:

    ” … the ‘mass media’ is not an organisation that is notorious for acting in concert.”

    They don’t have to hold meetings: they’re mostly left/libs anyway.

    The reptiles of the press are products of the Gramsci game plan and now they have hegemony.

    Left/libs dominate most western governments; they dominate the EU; they dominate the courts, they run the police; they dominate the universities; they dominate the bureaucracies; they dominate the media; they run Hollywood.

    No need for overt conspiracies.

    Although the ‘Journolist’ affair sounds like a juicy one to me.

    Here is a heartwarming article for your perusal (be sure to click on the links).

    You worked in the USA, Toad. How many of your fellow hacks voted Republican?

    Don’t worry – it’s a rhetorical question.

    Berger’s description of America fits most European countries too: “A nation of Indians ruled by Swedes.”


  4. kathleen says:

    No Toad, no paranoia.

    I remember once hearing on EWTN radio the fascinating story of a Jewish woman, a journalist (who eventually converted to Catholicism), say that clandestine back-room meetings to search for stories to discredit the Church is EXACTLY what went on in the newspaper she worked for!! This underhand way of carrying on slowly began to make her feel uneasy, then positively disgusted, and finally her protests to her workmates becoming increasingly unpopular, she decided to leave the paper. She said this way of carrying on was common in many parts of the press. It was quite a long time afterwards that she found her way to the Catholic Church, but it was this attitude that the Catholic Church is the “enemy” of liberals, pro “choice” feminists, anarchists, “tolerant” free-thinkers, and must therefore be sunk at all costs, which started to make her ask herself some soul-searching questions.

    This does not mean that all journalists in the media are tarred by the same brush……. I’m sure you weren’t like that 😉 , nor all politicians, teachers, and all the rest, but Omvendt is right, this crowd certainly does have the upper hand right now.


  5. toadspittle says:

    “You worked in the USA, Toad. How many of your fellow hacks voted Republican?”

    Asks Omvendt.
    Far too many for Toad – and almost always the upper executives and publishers – people who called the shots. The New York Times , dull though it is, is the exception rather than the rule.

    Left/libs dominate most western governments; they dominate the EU; they dominate the courts, they run the police; they dominate the universities; they dominate the bureaucracies; they dominate the media; they run Hollywood.

    Toad won’t bother to comment on most of this pantomime of paranoia, except to say that he finds the idea of Left/libs running the police anywhere in the western world very attractive, but sadly, absurd.
    You forgot to claim the ‘lefties’ are running the armed forces as well.

    Kathleen, you heard of meetings on newspapers to search for stories Believe me, the last thing newspapers need to do is search for stories. The problem every day is trying to fit in the millions already at one’s disposal.
    And searching for stories – often known as ‘investigative journalism’ – costs money. Cheaper to get them off the wire.

    Still, be happy and cozy in your paranoia.

    It’s certainly true that even if you ARE paranoid, it doesn’t mean they are not to get you…


  6. omvendt says:

    ‘Paranoid’ is the kind of label the Soviets used to attach to their dissidents, Toad, in order to discredit them. Easier to do that than actually deal with the facts.

    You can’t imagine liberals running the police?

    Goodness me, you must be a long time away from London!

    Never heard of Ian Blair or Brian Paddock?

    If you can muster the energy, ‘google’ those names.

    And I notice that you have zilch to say about the ‘Journolist’ scandal.

    True to form, you don’t lower yourself by addressing any actual evidence.

    Tell me, Toad: if Republicans call the shots in the U.S. press, how come all the ‘big name’ papers support the Democrats?

    Ditto the networks.

    Ditto CNN

    Ditto MSNBC

    Ditto NPR.

    The only conservative-leaning outfit is ‘Fox’ (which admittedly has healthy ratings, unlike CNN or MSNBC).


  7. omvendt says:

    “Ditto the networks.”

    Oops! Should be: ‘Ditto the Networks’.


  8. toadspittle says:

    Omvendt, true, I don’t follow the to-ing and fro-ing of politics in Britain and the States as closely as I once had to. Thank God.
    But, I read about the student protests in London and also an entry on Rabit’s blog re same. So, we are to assume that the mounted, baton wielding cavalry that charged the rabble were, in fact, a gang of wooly-minded left-wingers? That the Met Police spend their off time reading Foucault and knitting scarves for Greenpeace?
    But we shouldn’t really, (you or I) bother with this stuff. We will get nowhere.
    I blame myself. I happen to think a bit of diversity (with all of its concomitant unpleasantness) is better than a monolithic state of any persuasion, not only Catholic. You don’t. Fair enough. Best to leave it at that.
    But maybe you can explain the ‘Journolist’ scandal. I have no idea what that is.

    Only slightly apropos of this,
    I was reading my Philosophical Dictionary the other day – as one has to, from time to time – and on page 374, (I have the Penguin version, yours may be different) Voltaire sums up my attitude to religion neatly and succinctly in 16 words, and mostly short ones at that:
    “You are a Mohammedan, there are people who are not, so you may be wrong.”


  9. omvendt says:

    “But maybe you can explain the ‘Journolist’ scandal. I have no idea what that is.”

    Toad, If you scroll up a little you’ll see that I posted a link for you.

    Hint: see my post @ 1659, Nov 30.


  10. mmvc says:

    This prayer, composed by the Holy Father, was said at the conclusion of the Vigil for the Unborn on Nov 27:

    Lord Jesus,
    You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence
    the Church and the history of men;
    You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
    render us participants in divine Life
    and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
    We adore and bless you.

    Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
    truly present and alive among us, we beg you.

    Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
    make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
    the miraculous work of the Creator,
    open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
    that comes into life.

    Bless all families,
    sanctify the union of spouses,
    render fruitful their love.

    Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
    with the light of your Spirit,
    so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect
    the sacred nature of life, of every human life.

    Guide the work of scientists and doctors,
    so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person,
    and no one endures suppression or injustice.

    Give creative charity to administrators and economists,
    so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions
    so that young families can serenely embrace
    the birth of new children.

    Console the married couples who suffer
    because they are unable to have children
    and in Your goodness provide for them.

    Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children,
    so they may experience the warmth of your Charity,
    the consolation of your divine Heart.

    Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer,
    in whose womb you took on our human nature,
    we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Savior,
    the strength to love and serve life,
    in anticipation of living forever in You,
    in communion with the Blessed Trinity.


  11. toadspittle says:

    Omvendt, sorry, I was late reading the ‘Journolink.’

    I admire your tenacity in ploughing through it. I quit after about three paragraphs.

    Since we are exchanging observations on America, here’s my favourite, by
    H. L. Mencken in 1922. Of course things are quite different now, aren’t they?

    “The American people, taken one with another, constitute the most timorous, snivelling, poltroonish, ignominous mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the Middle Ages.”


  12. kathleen says:

    Dear Toad,

    Paranoia? Ahem……. a little bit of pot, kettle, black perhaps?

    You take everything uttered incredibly literally, and you haven’t said anything I didn’t already know in your post of 20:57 yesterday.
    To clarify: the desk of the anti-Catholic newspaper is covered with stories, okay?….so which ones to print? Well not the ones which can in any way give credit to the immense good that the Catholic Church does all over the world, but those juicy bits of scandal over there will do very nicely. No objective reporting there. Get the picture?

    Yes, exceptions to the rule are always to be found. Having said the above, the BBC, by its pretty fair reporting of the Holy Father’s visit last September after the hostility shown in the preceding weeks, surprised us all nicely.

    Teresa, you have put it in a nutshell.


  13. toadspittle says:

    Doh! Coding! Sorry! Foolish, sloppy, Toad!

    But, while I’m back on, how about that for a bit of fair and unbiased journalistic opinion, eh, Teresa? !!!


  14. toadspittle says:


    You bemoan the fact that newspapers don’t give coverage to…

    … the immense good that the Catholic Church does all over the world,

    That’s because it isn’t NEWS. It’s what people expect the Church to do. News is better when it’s unexpected. We all know the old cliche;
    “Dog bites man, no news. Man bites dog, news!”

    or how about..

    “News is information that somebody, somewhere, doesn’t want us to know.
    Everything else is advertising.”

    (By the way, what anti-Catholic newspaper?)


  15. kathleen says:

    Most (if not all) of the left-wing newspapers are pretty anti-Catholic Toad. But the one in question ie. that I mentioned above, on 30/11, I’m afraid I don’t remember…… if in fact she ever revealed the name.

    But there is very little reporting on the ongoing burning and devastation of churches and monasteries in Kosovo and elsewhere; attacks and murders of Christians in many parts of the world that only ACN and other Catholic news agencies report; constant harassment of Christians who have to flee their villages to add to the growing numbers of refugees; heroic acts of charity and courage of missionaries, those who stand up in spite of growing hostility against the horror of abortion, Catholic teachers who teach the unadulterated Faith who are being squeezed out of their livelihoods……….. the list is endless. All this is daily NEWS of which we barely hear a peep!

    Yes, I agree that ‘no news, being good news, is not news’, but there still are positive events and happenings of enormous impact, that are brushed over or ignored by a large part of the media.


  16. toadspittle says:


    I think what we must consider here is defining our terms, for want of a better expression.
    I note you talk above about the persecution of ‘Christians.’ Are they all Catholics, or are some Mormons or Lutherans, or God knows what? Does that matter? Toad thinks it does – to them, at least. How about, as you mention Kosovo, the terrible slaughter of Moslems not so long ago in the Balkans? Carried out by ‘Christians,’ or so they boasted.
    Moslems and Christians have been cheerfully cutting each others heads off for over a thousand years now. Occasionally, either of them pauses from this – generally to massacre Jews for a change.

    I remember on one newspaper I worked for in the 60’s and 70’s, that we more or less stopped bothering reporting on the near-daily sectarian murders in Northern Ireland. Too much, too often, too similar, ‘old news.’ Unless the numbers were spectacular. I don’t think we were wrong to do so.
    You may not agree.


  17. toadspittle says:

    Kathleen speaks of…

    ” Catholic teachers who teach the unadulterated Faith who are being squeezed out of their livelihoods”

    Supposing a child of yours was being taught ‘the unadulterated Faith’ by a Moslem, or a Quivering Brethren?
    Could happen.
    How would you feel about that teacher being ‘squeezed out’ Kathleen? Or supposing the teacher was an atheist?
    OK to squeeze him, or her, out of their livelihoods?
    No! Of course not! What an idea!

    Except Toad says squeeze out the lot of them. Then everybody’s happy.


  18. kathleen says:


    I’m referring to the persecution of all Christians, the majority of whom are Catholic.

    The fighting in the Balkans had indeed been between all the many religions and cultures for the last centuries. And “the terrible slaughter of Moslems not so long ago” (which in no way whatsoever do I condone) came as a result of years of harassment, attacks and murders on both sides, and from the Kosovan Moslems in particular.
    Anyway, the current situation for the Serbian Orthodox Church now is desperate, their patrimony there practically destroyed. And if you don’t believe me, just google it to find out. This pretty well summarises it:

    “The Serbian Orthodox Church and its Historical and Religious heritage are exposed to systematic destruction and extermination in the very presence of the most powerful armed forces of the world and in the very heart of Europe. The Kosovo Albanian gangs of looters, arsonsts, miners are mercilessly destroying the monuments which are of world wide renown and which have survived centuries of turbulent history. With such a systematic campaign against the Christianity, Civilization and World Culture Kosovo Albanian extremists prove that thier goal remains ethnically cleansed Kosovo without Serbs and their Christian monuments.”


  19. kathleen says:

    Re Catholic teachers…….

    Come on Toad, get real! I’m obviously referring to Catholic teachers in Catholic schools where the Faith in its entirety should be taught – that’s why parents send their children to Catholic schools, sometimes at great sacrifice. Why should they (the unpopular true Catholic teachers) be betrayed in this way, often by the schools Educational Board?
    Moslems or Quivering Brethren (who the heck are they?) can expect the same from their own Faith schools of course, but what has that got to do with the argument?
    No it’s just Toad hopping off down a little green lane again 😉


  20. toadspittle says:

    Kathleen says..

    “I’m obviously referring to Catholic teachers in Catholic schools where the Faith in its entirety should be taught..”

    Well, it wasn’t obvious to Toad, and it still isn’t. Are you telling me that Catholic teachers are being ‘squeezed out’ of the Catholic schools, which are their livelihoods?
    If you are, then I agree that you have ample grounds for anger. If you pay the piper you ought to be able to call the tune – and in Latin, if you prefer.
    Has this happened? Where? When?
    If Toad has, as he suspects, has got this all wrong – what exactly DO you mean?

    And, if you are right, I also wonder whether Moslem teachers are being ‘squeezed out’ for teaching their faith in its entirety?
    Toad bets not!
    If you can bear it, Toad would appreciate more information, re Catholics,of course, not Moslems..

    (And ‘The Quivering Brethren’ are a little Toad joke shamelessly stolen from Cold Comfort Farm, a very funny book. They would not be squeezed out of teaching jobs, because they wouldn’t be in them, as they regard education as sinful. They might have a point)


  21. Brother Burrito says:

    Good point.


  22. kathleen says:

    Apologies for the tardy reply -I have just been so busy.

    For lack of time to look up the references you ask for (and believe me, which do exist, and there have been numerous cases over the years) I think the new thread, ‘ Catholic World – A Report on the Bishops of England and Wales’ answers your queries very well!
    Can you imagine what would happen to an orthodox Catholic teacher/professor, in the employment of the current BCEW, transmitting to his/her pupils the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Fathers of the Church, the papal encyclicals (especially Humanae Vitae), the importance of Tradition, loyalty to the Pope and Magisterium, and so on? And forgetting to teach the oh so jolly ‘feel good’, Catholicism-lite that they propound? No, of course not……. they’d be kicked out before you could say “Jack Robinson”, or something of the sort.

    For orthodox priests who got kicked out of ‘liberal-contaminated’ seminaries, I could recommend the book “Goodbye Good Men” by Michael S. Rose…….. except that I personally found it so upsetting, I never managed to finish reading it! Hopefully though, there have been changes made, and improvements, since it was written.


  23. toadspittle says:

    Kathleen, no apologies needed in the least – I’m sure you have far more pressing and useful duties to fulfill than does Toad.

    BUT…the problem we seem to be having here, is with the word ‘orthodox.’ (Always words!) I suspect, that since Vatican 2, the heretical bishops aforementioned believe that thy are now the ‘orthodox’ ones.
    In fact, almost everyone on earth believes they are orthodox, and that everyone who disagrees with them is ‘unorthodox.’

    (Except Toad who likes being unorthodox, to the extent of boring orthodoxy. Ask Omvendt.)

    Thus, to the Moslem, all non-Moslems are unorthodox. And will go to Hell. Quite right, too.

    We must just be patient. When Orthodox Catholicism gets its turn again, it can ‘squeeze out’ all the ‘Cath-Lite’ crowd, who will be, ipso facto, unorthodox!

    And squeezed they will be! They won’t ‘feel good’ then!

    Swings and roundabouts! But then, you know all this.


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