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A pill for every ill? From birth control to death control at the pharmacy counter

Under ‘“landmark”’ proposals by medical watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, two types of contraceptive pill may soon be available at pharmacists; the MHPRA is recommending that progestogen-only pills Lovima 75 and Hana 75, containing desogestrel, ‘a synthetic form of the female sex hormone progesterone’, should ‘be reclassified for sale over the counter’ (‘Pill at the till: contraceptive could be sold over the counter in “landmark” shake-up’, Telegraph, February, 13, 2021). 

The £6.4 trillion pension burden and the taxpayer prevention programme

New figures show that ‘[t]he twin burden for taxpayers of final-salary pension schemes for public sector workers and the state pension has risen by more than £1 trillion in three years’; an Office for National Statistics report shows ‘that liabilities for Government-managed pensions, including the state and public sector pensions, grew from £5.3 trillion at the end of 2015 to £6.4 trillion at the end of 2018, an increase of 21 per cent.’ With fears regarding the impact of Covid on the economy, the cost of state pensions is set to increase further in April, as the Government’s ‘“triple lock”


The projected closure of St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, is heart breaking for so many of us priests in the south of England.  Wonersh is our Alma Mater.  Seminaries are our future. This news has come in the wake of the projected demise of Downside Abbey where my uncle was Ordained. The Monasteries are our hidden strength!  How much more decline must we face? As the Emeritus Bishop of Portsmouth once quipped, ‘At this rate we will be extinct by 2030!’

Transgender children at risk – of growing up?

The Care Quality Commission has rated the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service ‘inadequate’ after its inspectors ‘found vulnerable young people “were waiting too long for treatment”’; with over 4,600 children on its waiting list – some of them ‘waiting more than two years for a first appointment’ - the Trust, which ‘runs the UK’s only gender-identity development service for children’, has been ‘told it must significantly improve its service and waiting times’.

A prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for help

Holy Virgin of Fatima, in your great love and compassion for us, you came to Fatima to warn us of the spiritual and temporal dangers to which our sins have exposed us.

We have half heartedly believed you, if not totally ignored you, and now we see clearly the just punishment of God on our very doorstep.  Relying on your word, we know it is never too late to turn to the compassionate Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

We are afraid, dear Mother, and we come to you asking for faith and Christian fortitude to face the unknown. 

Biden and the abortion ban: African lives don’t matter?

Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and Asha Kasliwal, Dr Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, applaud President Joe Biden’s reversal of the US policy banning the use of foreign aid to fund abortion, vigorously pursued by Donald Trump; they claim that ‘[p]reventing abortion services from operating does not stop women seeking terminations’, and say that ‘this policy’s eff

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