Heythrop College’s SHAG week poster advertises Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism

SHAG-Poster-723x1024A reader of Protect the Pope has pointed out something that has been overlooked in our coverage of Heythrop’s SHAG week, the poster produced by Heythrop Student’s Union includes a reference to BDSM, which stands for Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism.

Though it has been noticeable that with the publication of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ certain groups have sought to normalise the sexual perversions of BDSM, it is shocking to see Heythrop students presenting Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism as just another type of sexual activity.

As an antidote to this public presentation of sexual perversion as normal here’s the beautiful paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on conjugal love:

 “Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter – appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values.” (CCC 1643).

‘Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.” (CCC 2361).

‘”The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.” Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

‘The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.

(CCC 2362).

Protect the Pope comment: Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism are the very opposite of the Christian understanding of the nobility and honour of the intimate and chaste union of husband and wife. The promotion of the Theology of the Body and BDSM at Heythop shows relativism and subjectivism at its most extreme.  As a student of Heythrop has explained all views are tolerated, accepted and understood. It is in this culture that the new Bellarmine Institute is being established.



64 comments to Heythrop College’s SHAG week poster advertises Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism

  • Joseph Matthew

    It is best not to judge the students who have probably been given no proper formation in the beauty of the faith. But we have every right to judge the institution which allows this and the superiors who choose to remain silent.

  • Wake up England

    This advertising poster also contains a reference to abortion.

    Would someone from the Jesuit’s Heythrop College Students’ Union please tell us interested Catholics what their stance on abortion is?

    Does Heythrop College support abortion?

    Given the style and graphic design of the poster displayed above, it looks most unlikely that abortion is a subject which Heythrop Collgege’s “Shag Week” discussions are about to condemn. Quite the reverse, in fact.

    There is quite obviously something very, very wrong at the core of Heythrop College’s understanding of the word “Catholic”.

    The fact that the Principal and governing body of a Catholic Jesuit educational institution can possibly allow their Students’ Union to promote this immorality publicly and unashamedly, and cause such grave scandal, is sickening.

    Time Heythrop College was shut down until it has been investigated by Church representatives. One assumes the Jesuit order disapproves of condoms, sexual lubricant and vibrators being given-out as prizes for the winners of a sex quiz? Has our Archbishop of Westminster anything to say about this?

    One wonders, of course, what OTHER anti-Catholic evil is also churned out at Heythrop Catholic College? Because, believe me, it won’t just be the Students’ Union that’s rotten. The rot will probably have come from the top and is likely to be endemic throughout the entire establishment. If this were not the case, the Students’ Union would never have been permitted to advertise and hold this Gravely sinful and scandalous event.

    Has the governing body of Heythrop anything to say? I feel the Man in the Pew is owed an explanation and an apology.

    I do not believe the past Catholic benefactors of Heythrop Jesuit College envisaged “Shag Week” when they helped pay for the institution’s foundation. The Jesuit Order campaigned tirelessly for money from the Man in the Pew to set it up, don’t forget. Thousands and thousands of pounds from our grandparents.

    What a total dereliction of duty and integrity. Yet another wound for Our Lord from the so-called “Society of Jesus”.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      “Has our Archbishop of Westminster anything to say about this? ” I wonder if like Farm Street (and the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council – formerly Soho masses) he can claim this is outside his jurisdiction?

      I think it is up to the Jesuits to let us know whether they support this kind of grotesque behaviour. Or is all lost with the Js? I remember reading a biography of Father Martin D’Arcy and how shocked he was when one of his fellow Js introduced his girlfriend at the breakfast table – but that was perhaps 40 years or more ago.

  • Lynda

    The name says it all; it’s a good indication of what’s being promoted. And as we know, babies are killed every day as a result of this promotion of abuse of self and others. Physical and spiritual deaths result.

  • Wake up England

    The Oohmy company has organised a sex quiz at Heythrop College:

    There is a link to Oohmy’s website above supplied by Catholic Blogger.

    Available from the Oohmy on-line sex catalogue (amongst a huge range of items) are the following:

    [ some items have been deleted by moderator due to offensive nature of OOhmy's catalogue]

    Orgy bed-sheets in black or purple (£44.99)

    A game called “Monogamy” or another game called “Test Tube Shooters”

    A “Divine” condom cube (£21.99)

    An Inflatable SHEEP and HANDCUFF set

    Some devil’s horns in plastic

    a “Teeth-spiked” Sadist Tooth chastity belt ring

    A “Gates of Hell” leather p**** device.

    Dear Archbishop Nichols,

    Are you happy with what’s going on at Heythrop Catholic College run by the Jesuits? Do you suppose the Pope will be happy when he hears?

    Yours sincerely,

    William Weber

  • Wake up England

    “THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES” are also being performed at Heythrop Jesuit College during the Students’ Union “Shag Week”.

    For those readers who may not know, the Vagina Monologues were written by Eve Ensler, She said she wrote them “To celebrate the vagina”

    She also said that her “fascination” with vaginas began because of “Growing-up in a violent society”

    As their name suggests these “Monologues” are a series of stories, Sometimes they are read by the same person; sometimes by different people.

    One of the Monologues is called “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could” in which a grown-up woman is recalling with great relish and pleasure how she was raped when she was 13 years old by an older woman aged 24. This rape is remembered by the story teller as positive and healing experience; she says “It was a Good Rape”.

    This is just one example of one of the Vagina Monologues. I expect the Heythrop Students’ Union will be seeing to it that the entire “set” of monologues is performed.

    Surely this glorifying of Lesbian rape is deeply contrary to the Catholic faith?

    How can such an appallingly evil performance be permitted in a Catholic theological Jesuit college?

    If I were a parent I would have very deep concerns indeed about a child of mine who was at a Jesuit school.

    • Lynda

      Most Jesuits appear to be apostates, and as for the Order, corporately, it ought to be suppressed. The damage done to souls by this Order over the past 70 years or so is incalculable.

    • Joseph Matthew

      I have often thouht that there is a sexually deviant angle to all of this. Even in purely pagan terms, this is not a celebration of normal human sexuality.

    • She did not “write” them in the literal sense. They are an edited concatenation of a series of interviews with women about their true feelings about their sex lives that have been anonymised. It is a sad fact of life that many people do enjoy underage sex. It is however, stillconsideredrapeinthe eyes of the law for very good reasons of the physical and mental health of the victims. Art is a mirror to reality, not a form of propaganda. If it doesnt reflect reality it has no credibility. If it obviously pushes political messages instead of presting emotional truth and social issiues it has no purpose… that doesnt mean there’s no political message but your surface interpretation would seem to be very shallow.

    • Also taking the mot controversial element of the play and back extrapolating from it that the rest of the content must be equally offensive is obvious bias. If you spent less time trying to ban such plays from RCC institutions and more time watching them you might learn some things about narrative story telling and how abusers actually work. The woman who is raped is messed up and still imagines she has a fake relationship with her abuser years after the event – it poisons her adult relationships. It is through the perversion of love as well as through fear that such victims are controlled. If the RCC understood this or attempted to instead of closing its mind to depections of sex that are realistic it might have been better equiped to notice a few more of the peados hiding in the church by how they operate. You dont have to agree with every element of a work of art to see merit in it. The play is a huge commercial success for a reason and it isnt just one rape monolgie

      • Wake up England

        A. Miller:

        The Vagina Monologues are pernicious.

        “IT WAS A GOOD RAPE” is dreadful as a statement. Appalling.

        Do you support rape Anthony? Or not?

        The matter is a simple question of Good and Evil.

        So let’s not be ambivalent about identifying evil where it manifests itself; because if we start to blur the boundaries we end up with abortion in Catholic hospitals. That’s where pretending Bad is Good gets us.

        • “The matter is a simple question of Good and Evil.”

          No, it isn’t. It is a question of art.
          You can repeat a statement without promoting it.
          This is a quotation of an opinion.
          For example if I wrote a play about Hitler in which he said “All Jews must be exterminated”
          it doesn’t follow that it is my opinion or that I am promoting the extermination of all Jews.
          Of course it may be that some neo-Nazis will become big fans of the play for the wrong reasons.
          Similarly it may be that the Vagina Monologues is a big hit with peadophiles or it may be that it raises the issue of peadophilia in a way that helps with the apprehension of peadophiles. Or it may be that the effect of the play is both. It’s both popular with deluded peadophiles who think it is meant to endorse their lifestyles and it encourages people to confront peadophilia. It is a fact that most people who suspect abuse dont report it out of fear – including adults. It could be Eve Ensler wasn’t actually told the story as it is told on stage by her source but made it up or took a real story and embelished or distorted it for dramatic reasons. But even if you write things with the best of intentions it isn’t possible to completely control how the public reacts to them.
          This is called the Alf Garnet effect.
          That it is disturbing does not mean it cannot be said if it is contextualised responsibly.
          The question is, is it?

          Well, from the fact that Eve Ensler annoyed both the religious right and a vast array of sanctimonious feminist bigots I’d say she probably got it about right.
          All depictions of the devil are not “promoting Satanism” …it is actually a tiny bit more complex than that.

          What is being shown is a human experience – it is shocking because it is not an experience you want to admit exists. Of course we dont know the full facts – we have to trust the author. She could be a peado herself who just made it up because that’s her own fantasy but I somehow doubt that.

          Also you have to admit the piece is technically clever. There are thousands of one man / one woman plays that have a short run and die a death. For a piece like this to have the mass audience it does it must speak to people on an emotional level and it must have a carefully worked out dramatic structure. You dont just interview a load of nobodies stick it on stage and it becomes a smash hit.

          Let’s turn the question round. What parts of the play do you NOT object to?
          Is it really about a rape monologue or is it the real problem you have the idea of sex as an enjoyable experience? Is not your real fear that by concentrating on the enjoyment side of sex the play may detract from what the RCC sees as sex’s most important function – the procreation of children? There’s nothing wrong with the enjoyment of sex as a topic. Although it is of course completely wrong to have sex with minors – particularly if they are deluded enough to “enjoy” it.

          • Wake up England

            Tony Miller you spout forth a good deal of rubbish.

            Writing about (and glorifying) the Lesbian Raping children is wrong.

            The fact that this ridiculous and odious “performance” is allowed to be performed at a Jesuit Theological College is also wrong.

            Waffle on all you like with quasi intellectual posturing if it escalates your self-esteem; nut it does not alter the stark difference between Right and Wrong. It’s really very simple.

  • William

    Why is anyone shocked at any of this? This is the norm for the Catholic Church in 2013. What would be real shocking is a religious order and university that actually believes and practices the Catholic Faith. 50 years of this evil has caused a complete and total collapse of the Faith, and it has gotten 10,000 times worse since March.

    • Denis

      “and it has gotten 10,000 times worse since March”
      Then perhaps this blog should be re- named because it clearly is an unintended irony to call it “Protect The Pope”.

    • Wake up England


      So do you think we should just pack-up our rosaries and give up?

      You are articulate and obviously bright. You, and people like you, have a duty to “fight to good fight with all your might” (as the Protestant hymn puts it).

      Your post above sounds rather defeatist and sulky. Buck-up and stop feeling sorry for yourself; there’s plenty you can do to help the Church.

      Despair, William dear, is a sin.

    • katherine

      As Deacon Nick said in his other article about Heythrop , an educational establishment does exist where all the teachings are loyal to the Magisterium, staffed by teachers who love the Church. Its a distance learning institute situated in Birmingham in a house that was Cardinal Newman’s first home after he became catholic. Its one of the best kept secrets of the English hierarchy. Most of them would prefer you did not know about THE MARYVALE INSTITUTE.

  • ParryP

    Sadly all this waywardness & dissent we have read about elsewhere on this site is due to “Catholic” clergy & lay people striving to fit in with this world rather than being in it but not of it.

    • Sonja

      So true — and W o E — thanks for all the words of encouragement. They are being heeded. I am trying hard to look at what I do and where I go to see if I can make a difference — for the faith.

  • The astonishing news that the Jesuit-run Heythrop College is holding a “SHAG Week” with all the sexual connotations and overt perversions that such an event invites, is simply another sign that the devil is running the whole show.

    My real concern, when I hear of such an obscene deviation from Catholic academic life, is that the public will make a simple equation: the Catholic Church – having gone through a period of enormous guilt following the revelations about sexual abuse – has not even begun to learn the lessons. It will be seen as an entirely dysfunctional institution if these disordered academics do not get a grip.

    The SJ’s in control here (or out of control?) are in the Pope’s own religious institute, for heaven’s sake. Have they no sense of propriety?

  • Francis


    Anyone in the Catholic Church who wants the Church to avoid repeating the terrible events of the past should read the John Jay Report – The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950 – 2010.

    It is available on line.

    I do not think that an event like SHAG week which appears to trivialise marital love is going to lead anyone into a closer relationship with Almighty God.

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam – for the Greater Glory of God – is the motto of the Society of Jesus.

  • Catherine

    Remember too that the 50 seminarians at Allen Hall, the Westminster Diocesan Seminary, in their 4th, 5th and 6th years, receive their priestly formation in this ‘Catholic’ environment.

    • Wake up England


      NO I certainly DID NOT know this. How absolutely appalling. Thank you for telling us.

      Good Lord we’re in a mess.

      • Deacon Nick Donnelly

        Yes, Catherine is correct when she points out that seminarians from Allen Hall attend Heythrop College for theological studies.

        • Wake up England

          So they’re being exposed to sex quizzes organised by a company which sells “Orgy bed-sheets” (Black or Purple) and a spiked sex toy named “Gates of Hell” not to mention a “Divine Condom Cube”.

          When the annual Westminster diocesan appeal for donations to the seminaries is made (which it probably still is) does the generous Catholic know where he (or she) is paying for the seminarians to go?

          Like many seminaries, Allen Hall was built with money raised from donations from the faithful. I suspect many people still give. The same people helped to build Heythrop College too. Are we not, as a Church, letting down those who have generously donated to what they thought was a worthy cause?

          • Deacon Nick Donnelly

            I very much doubt that any of the seminarians from Allen Hall attend any of the events of Heythrop’s SHAG Week. The ones I have met are good, sincere men seeking to give their lives totally in the service of the Church. Deacon Nick

          • Wake up England

            Oh, Thank goodness! Nothing to worry about then! Thank heavens nothing serious is amiss. There was I being paranoid. Silly old me.

    • Lynda

      Similarly-immoral events are put on at Maynooth university college where Irish diocesan priests study.

      • Wake up England

        Oh well, better not rock the boat, A?

        I mean, if it’s going on in Ireland, it must be okay.

        I expect the bishops know all about it; and if anything Really serious was going-on they’d have done something about it.

        Deacon Nick had me really worried for a minute!

  • Wake up Britain “Writing about (and glorifying) the Lesbian Raping children is wrong.”

    You haven’t actually demonstated that it is a glorification of child rape. What you have done is taken one line out almost two hours of monologue and used it damn and denigrate an entire work of art.
    This is called a fallacy of division – arguing that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts.
    Having failed to demonstrate that the play glorifies rape you then fall back on the fallacy of repetition.
    If I simply repeat that the play is glorifying child rape enough times then people must buy it.
    Sadly that is not true.

    There are many disturbing things in the play.
    For example


    Much of the content is about rape. And many types of rape are recounted in the play.
    Many of those interviewed are the dispossed … so it’s hardly a shock they have some messed up views of the world.
    Should these people not be given a voice on stage?

    The text was actually revised so the 13 year old is portayed as 16 in later versions.
    Still, no one was happy. The dialog was actually changed to remove the “good rape” line.
    Completely defeating the point of the piece – that it’s supposed to be “real” and “unedited” monlogues.
    Of course it would have to be edited in some way for it to work dramatically.
    Still no one was happy.
    A pointless exercise since we all know she was 13 in draft 1.
    So even if the writer compromises with their critics they’ll still never be happy – still never stop using it as a stick to beat beat beat them with? Anyone would think entertainment was some kind of commercial rival to religion the way you go on…

    The political backlash against the play started only after it started to turnover serious money and is, in my view, almost entirely cynical and driven by the bitter and jealous. This despite the fact most of the royalties are given to anti-violence charities. You’re just wrong – in 140 countries and 48 languages – and I think that scale of success is your real problem.

  • Of course that doesnt meant that an RCC theological college has to promote or stage a production … that’s not my concern by yours. My concern is the hyperbolic nonsense you come out with. Of course there is art that promotes peadophilia but does that mean, for example, that we should destroy Eric Gill’s statues?



    “A work of art stands in its own right. Once it has been created it takes on a life of its own.” Bishop George Stack, Westminster Cathedral

  • Wake up England

    Tony Miller:

    I disagree with child rape.

    If you wish to drone on and on trying to defend it, then that’s your tragedy.

    It is a question of simple right and wrong; good and evil.

    Pseudo-intellectual nonsense will never change the truth; and the simple truth is that pretending an account of homosexual rape is art is deeply sick.

    • Wake Up England. You keep calling me a pseudo-intellectual. I’m not. I’m educated and perhaps that’s my real crime in your eyes. Sadly the RCC has a long and dismal history of trying and failing to supress artistic works and as a result generating much greater publicity for the artist than money can buy – for which we should really all thank you.

      Also my name is Anthony (after the founder of monasticism) it has three syllables – please use them as I do not want to be confused with Tony Soprano or Tony Blair …or indeed Tony Benn.

      “the simple truth is that pretending an account of homosexual rape is art is deeply sick”

      It is not a pretence. Theatre is a performing art. The constituant parts of the play are a load of collected stories about sex and rape. It becomes art because someone has collated the pieces into a narrative structure, put it on stage, found other people stupid enough to pay to sit through it, managed to get a publisher to reproduce the text and managed to get other people to mount their own productions. It is art because a level of skill and craft has gone into the production of the work. Whether it is a valuable work of art, or whether it is a “morally corrupting” work of art (and they do exist) is a subject that is open to debate …but that it is a piece of art is not in really question. Neither does it mean that it is a good thing that it is art, but the work of the artist in bothering to interview thousands of subjects and turn their experiences into a coherant narrative structure deserves respect and simply bleeting that it is “simple right and wrong; good and evil” just wont work for you I’m afraid … as it didn’t work for Mary Whitehouse. Some things Mary Whitehouse moaned about she had a valid point, much of her witterings were pure prudery and the majority contained some truth and some nonsense – but … it sadly is not black and white however much and however blindly and however repetatively you repeat the fact. Even if no one promoted the play it would still exist. Once an idea has been brought into being it cannot be destroyed – only controlled. At the centre of the play is a very simple concept – lets interview lots of women about sex and rape and concatenate it. It is a significant work of art because before it was written no one had actually done this before. Of course, there are problems with the play – it’s a rather negative view of men for one – but it is at the end of the line …only one play and only one person’s point of view of other people’s views. All art is biased in some way – or there is very little point in it.

      Purporting loaded statements such as “I disagree with child rape. If you wish to drone on and on trying to defend it, then that’s your tragedy.” and then working your way through alll the possible syllogistically fallacious arguments that could possibly be seen to confer guilt will sadly not convince anyone with a functioning brain. The fact that I am defending the play does not mean that I agree with its viewpoints. All it means is I’m not a bigot. The list of criticisms of the play from every angle and pressure group is so long it is near farcial – all of these critics of course fail to realise that by writing endless tracts and attacks on it they are actually validating it as a piece of art by giving it their attention. Sometimes it is better to let things die quietly. Will it still be performed in 100 years time …or will we all have moved on? That’s the real test of a piece of art. Among the more ludicrous criticisms of the play I’ve even heard the play described as pormographic – to which I can reply that it doesn’t turn me on and such critics must have either led very sheltered lives or be much more easily stimulated than I am.

      Honestly, it’s greatest crime is being a bit dull – who wants to listen to a load of women moaning for 2 hours?

  • Wake up England

    Anthony Miller: [moderated comment]

    Being “educated” is rather a subjective concept. It certainly does not preclude pretentiousness as is evinced by your posturing here. Nor does it preclude Psudo Intellectual nonsense which is a hallmark of your style.

    In my opinion you affect a stultifyingly pretentious approach in defence of the indefensible. Your educational achievements are quite irrelevant; and nor are they immediately apparent. So I suppose we’ll just have to make up our own minds about your academic abilities, or lack thereof. “You” are a sideshow in this debate.

    If you regard the VMs as art then that’s yet another dubious misjudgement on your part and belies very limited discernment and artistic discretion. Again, this is not the issue au fond.

    I am interested that the pernicious Vagina Monologues have been performed in a Catholic educational establishment. One under the supposed umbrella of the Jesuit order.

    Almighty God’s Church regards Lust; Masturbation; Concupiscence; Rape; Sexual Incontinence; Scandal and Adultery as being very Grave Matters which are offensive to God. The VMs evinces all these Capital Sins.

    So wheedle and carp all you like with your imperspicuousness, but do not believe you can disguise bad as good; or sinful with meritorious. Vide the Catechism of the Catholic Church should you require basic facts and proofs of your gross distortions of Truth.

    • Personality attacks are the last refuge of the argument loser. Unfortunately I am not one of the new fashion of people from Jade Goody to the cast of The Only Way is Essex who believes in pretending and promoting ignorance so I will leave you with the words of Ms C Bronte


      ” Almighty God’s Church regards Lust; Masturbation; Concupiscence; Rape; Sexual Incontinence; Scandal and Adultery as being very Grave Matters which are offensive to God.”

      True but he didnt say we couldnt write about them.
      Whether the Vagina Monologues is plucking masks from the corrupted, promoting corruption or both is, sadly, beyond my pay grade but that the Cardinal Newman Society’s campaign to ban it almost a decade and a half after it was first written isnt going very well is not a shock.

  • Wake up England

    Anthony Miller:

    Wrong yet again, I fear – as usual:

    Vide “The Catechism of Christian Doctrine Approved by the Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales” 1971 edition. (This work is in print and may be had from the CTS).

    Question 212 “Are immodest plays and dances forbidden by the Sixth Commandment?”

    Answer: Immodest plays and dances are forbidden by the Sixth Commandment, and it is sinful to look at them.

    You really ought to have the grace and humility to admit you’re at sharp variance with the Catholic Church over this subject; and that your views do not correspond to those of the Church of Jesus Christ.

    Attempting to argue hind legs from donkeys will not alter the Church’s teachings, however tenaciously you continue to try.

    Your views on this are not Catholic.

    • It’s not 1971 anymore.
      A modern version of the Catechism is available online

      The 6th commanment is “thou shalt not kill”
      I think it must mean the 7th
      Although the church does not condemn depictions of death
      I am not sure what “immodest” means but as I wouldnt describe the Vagina Monolgues as porn
      The Vatican gave up on banning books for a reason. It was a political failure
      That said I believe Opus Dei still has a list of banned books but allows people to read them under
      “spiritual direction”

      • Wake up England

        Anthony Miller:

        Funnily enough I know it’s not 1971 – rather a silly remark on your part. The Catechism is re-printed from time to time, but the current edition will not be any different from the 1971 publication. You appear to think the church has undergone a change of mind. You’re quite wrong.

        Astonishingly for one who pretends to know so much about the catholic Faith you have also got the 10 Commandments wrong too! The Sixth Commandment is “You shall not commit adultery”.

        The Seventh is You shall not steal. You also get that wrong.

        The “Index” of banned books is nothing to do with the subject under discussion; nor has Opus Dei.

        You should have the integrity to admit you’re just wrong here. Nothing you have said stands up to scrutiny. You don’t know the Commandments and you’re clutching at ever more irrelevant straws to support your bizarre arguments.

        • Nicolas Bellord

          WUE: I believe the Anglicans and Protestants number the commandments differently by splitting the first into two. It probably reveals where Mr Miller is coming from.

          • Wake up England

            Nicholas Bellord:

            1) The “Anglicans” ARE Protestants.

            2) By quoting from the Catechism of Christian Doctrine Approved by the Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales ( A Catholic work) it is fairly obvious that I am using the authentic, Catholic, numbering of the 10 Commandments.

            3)The Protestant presentation of Christianity is deeply flawed. That is why they are called our “Separated Brethren”.

            When, as a matter of idle interest, did the Protestants decide to re-number the 10 Commandments; and WHY?

            Is Anthony Miller a Protestant, and if so should he be taken seriously on this blog?

            Is he taken seriously and does anyone actually care?


        • Wake Up England. The Catechism is indeed different today from 1971
          For one thing it’s a lot longer than it used to be.
          The RCC has actually changed the Catechism many times – mainly to add things or clarify things.
          Most embarassingly of all time it managed to release a Catechism in the 1860s that denied papal infallibility
          before it was defined as an official doctrine – something it’s had a hard time living down.

          I dont suppose the 1971 version for example contains

          2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

          You are quoting from the famous penny catechism
          which has been through multiple revisions and versions over the years
          some of them official and some …less so.

          It’s interesting too that you started off from the point of the play promoted child rape and when I pointed out it doesn’t and that isn’t your only objection you’ve moved to the attack of it might promote adultery. This is true, it might. But that’s not the point you started out from. Which makes me suspicious of your motives. Perhaps “the play promotes adultery” is not enough to incite the troops into action but smearing an author and making exagerated claims are not okay. What you’re saying about the author is highly inflamatory and defamatory…

          Anyway what is “immodest”? You can see much worse things than the Vagina Monologues on ITV after the watershed so I dont know why you’re picking on live entertainment over other media. Perhaps because it’s simpler to cause venue problems? I’m not saying there’s no point in protesting things … maybe there is a point even if you never ever win. But this is a play that has been publically performed for over a decade and a half. Why now do you feel the need to try and ban it … seems like hysteria to me.

          Also what Opus Dei gets up to is not unimportant. The Index of banned books and Opus Dei are relevant to the discussion. Parts of Opus Dei still openly use the index and Opus Dei is part of the Church. Indeed it is a personal prelature of the Pope. Of course the people who are told what they can and cannot read by Opus Dei have taken vows to do so … so it is unfair to suggest the church wishes everyone to live their lifestyle … but still … it is of concern to people.

          The reason the Church stopped banning books was simply no one took any notice of them anymore, the list was so long as to be laughable and it gave great publicity to authors. I believe the official reason given for the abandonment of Index Librorum Prohibitorum was that so much is now published that “the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith could not keep up with it”. Therefore the Church revised its policy to pick its battles more carefully.

          Sadly the Church is not infallible when it comes to art – the Index Librorum Prohibitorum was made to look stupid not just by the huge number of books on it but by the fact that books were added and deleted at different times and sometimes multiple times when theological and political fashions changed.

          What would you know about art or entertainment anyway? You didn’t notice Eric Gill was a nonce (not like there weren’t load of clues in his work) …or Jimmy Savile come to that. Mind you neither did the BBC. Maybe you’ve got more in common than you think….

          By the way I believe in Exodus 20
          You shall not murder.
          comes before
          You shall not commit adultery.
          But it may depend on which translation you use or something.
          Anyway I dont suppose it amounts to a hill of beans
          but it is interesting different people seem to number them differently.
          Dunno why …but it’s not a shock that sex is a bigger deal the RCC than murder.

  • Wake up England

    Anthony Miller:

    Oh For Goodness sake, you numpty:

    I told you I was quoting from “A CATECHISM OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE APPROVED BY THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF ENGLAND AND WALES” If you choose to call it the Penny Catechism you would not be alone, although (unsurprisingly) it hasn’t been a penny for years.

    Keep up, dear.

    The current edition (Published as I have already said) by the CTS is to all extents and purposes EXACTLY THE SAME AS IT WAS IN 1971. I just HAPPENED to have a 1971 edition to hand. I hope you can grasp this simple concept?

    YES, KERCHING and BINGO, it’s different from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That, Genius, is why they’ve got different names! A bit like Mrs Beeton’s “All About Cookery” is DIFFERENT to Mrs Beeton’s “Household Management” Similar name: different book. Got It?

    You say you are “Suspicious of my motives”. Why? I am a Catholic (You probably say “Roman” Catholic). I consider the Vagina Monologues to be pernicious because they are contrary to the mores of the Catholic Faith; I particularly think they are MOST unsuitable in a Catholic (Jesuit) college which trains Catholic priests. Those are my “Motives” and I make no apology for them. I think they are offensive to Almighty God.

    I am not “Smearing” the Authoress. I merely find her piece repellent and unsuitable in a Catholic educational institution. I am not alone in so thinking as the comments on this blog will shew.

    What is interesting is why you are defending their suitability in such an environment. Are your motives led by integrity? Or a desire to get a reaction and upset people by an attempt to shock? Most of your arguments on PTP could have been written by a middlebrow anti-Catholic hippie circa 1968. They’re a bit old hat. We’ve all seen HAIR and read Germain Greer you know. At any rate, your motives do appear to be driven from a love of God.

    Your opinions about the Index (as it was always referred to; not by its full laborious title – the use of which shews you can’t remember it) bores me ridged and are largely rubbish. Can’t be bothered to discuss twaddle you’ve obviously newly gleaned from Wikipedia. Come back if and when you’ve something original to say on this subject.

    I have probably forgotten more about E. Gill than you’ll ever know; he was a frequent guest in our house, but I’ve no idea why you’re banging on about him; or Jimmy Saville. Red herring smoke screen technique which makes donkeys fear for their hind legs.

    I think you’re a fairly serious nutcase. Not entirely unintelligent in a 1975 Undergraduate, Bob Dylan/Magic Roundabout sort of way; but worryingly potty. (Or maybe you drink too much………).

    • “I particularly think they are MOST unsuitable in a Catholic (Jesuit) college which trains Catholic priests”

      They are grown ups. I dont see the big deal. The thing is since Heythrop decided to merge with the University of London in 1970 it’s function is not just to train priests. There is a serious question “what is the RCC getting in return for allowing the University to claim its department has a Catholic ethos?” if in effect it’s just like any other secular University environment. However, that’s more to do with your existential identity crisis than it has to do with the validity or invalidity of the play as a work of art if you ask me. It is just another episode in the long running drama of finding conflicts between the Church and the state which this site aims to perpetuate. A case of “we dont have any power in the outside world let’s push some of our own people around a bit”? You drone on endlessly on this blog about preserving Catholic identity. There’s a word for people who need to define their identity by telling other people what to do…

      “I have probably forgotten more about E. Gill than you’ll ever know; he was a frequent guest in our house, but I’ve no idea why you’re banging on about him; or Jimmy Saville. Red herring smoke screen technique which makes donkeys fear for their hind legs.”

      Not at all – Jimmy Savile and Eric Gill really did promote peadophilia using the RCC. They used the age old methods of targeted philanthropy and paying lip service to religion to gain access to minors.
      You cant claim to know the best frame of reference from which to talk about peadophilia with great authority when your success rate in spotting obvious nonces is so poor. Maybe you do have something to learn from the play.

      Having said that in my view it’s not porn …erm … I’m a boring straight male.
      Suppose it’s possible it turns someone on. However…
      I’m still sure there are a lot more intantaneous methods of selfish sexual gratifical.

      “I merely find her piece repellent”
      Simply being “repellent” does not make a piece of art “immoral” – whether you personally would enjoy or want to sit through it is not the point.
      My point is – why focus on this play?
      Obviously as a live promoter it bothers me that live entertainment may be being unfairly scapegoated here.

      Have you seen this
      Sex Box, said Channel 4 commissioning editor David Glover, is “a rather mischievous, fun idea that actually allows sex to be completely private but the conversation to be truthful and immediate”.
      Honestly I just find such things a bit tawdry … and if they do have a value why are they on immediately after the 7 o’clock news – a whole hour before the watershed? Who wants to listen to these bores droning on anyway? In what way is it not voyeristic? It’s just the closest they can get to showing actual sex without showing actual sex or getting a complaint from Offcom. Then again maybe I’m an old prude. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong in this … but it isn’t my idea of a fun night in.

      “The Campaign For Real Sex season is a response to “the explosion of online pornography”, according to Channel 4′s head of factual programming, Ralph Lee.”

      Response to or cashing in on? How do you present sex in a non-titilating way? After all we are biological creatures with hormones not a brain alone …? Maybe it isn’t possible? Why when there’s so much simulated sex in mainstream film is the thought of listening to two people discuss real sex so disturbing…? Where’s the black and white here? Tell me because I honestly dont know.

      Say what you like about the Vagina Monologues but it isn’t hiding its agenda or the nature of its content. It’s not pretending not be adult content. Its not trying to get anything under wire. It’s not hiding behind a mask. It is uncomfortable to watch, it may indeed be some kind of porn to a few Lesbians (I cant claim to understand gay sexuality well enough to know) or the desperately sad but it’s not snide. It’s not pretending to be what it isn’t. It’s not the nudge nudge wink wink style of sexual titilation and neither is it a strip show … it’s something different. Is it “immodest” to talk about sex? I dont know the answer to that. Personally I dont really talk about my sex life in public but maybe I dont have as big a sex drive as other people.

      “At any rate, your motives do appear to be driven from a love of God.”

      I didn’t say they were.

      “Is Anthony Miller a Protestant, and if so should he be taken seriously on this blog?”

      I’m an agnostic – that is neither atheist nor religious nor anti not pro religious. It is of little interst to me how Catholic or Protestant you think I am or where Richard Dawkins would like to put me on his ludicrous “scale of agnosicism from 0 to 10″. Strictly speaking anyone who dissents at any level from any aspect of RCC teaching may be categorised as a protestant. But I would point out you haven’t ex-communicated me and are happy to count me as a statistical “Catholic” when it is good PR. My view is if you’re going to criticise art from a religious perspective then it is fair for me to criticise the church from within its own frame of reference.

      “Is he taken seriously and does anyone actually care?”

      I hope not.

      • Wake up England

        Anthony Miller:

        Typing mistake. I meant to write your motives DO NOT appear to be driven from a love of God. My mistake.

        • No indeed, I’m just looking after my own interests. First they came for the lesbians…

          • Wake up England

            Dear Tony:

            You are quite potty but not unintelligent. Much of what you write (although rambling and long-winded) is well-reasoned.

            HOWEVER: having just re read the Vagina Monologues (yes, I have a copy) I am absolutely certain they are quite unsuited to any Christian environment; particularly an educational catholic one.

            The repetition of the word CU** six times in succession is not art, it’s offensive and designed to shock. It’s Feminist ranting.

            In a way I admire you for trying (unconvincingly) to defend The VMs. Maybe some people consider they do have a place in contemporary adult literature. I think they are bad and obscene. I certainly think they portray a very un-Christian view of sex; and they certainly promote and glorify Rape; Lesbianism; Masturbation; Lust: Concupiscence; Lack of sexual Continence; Lack of Purity and Chastity.

            You may find them inspiring. I find them abhorrent. You may not find them pornographic in nature; I disagree. I could quote from them, but I don’t think Deacon Nick would publish my quotations.

            You see Anthony, I believe in Almighty God; and I believe The Vagina Monologues are offensive to Him and therefore immoral. You do not share my catholic beliefs, and therefore you and I start our arguments from different premises. I fear we will never agree about this.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    Look at:


    which explains the two different systems of numbering. It seems it is exclusive to English and Helvetian Protestants.

  • Andrew

    I studied at Heythrop circa 2003. I’m an Anglican with no particular axe to grind. However, there appears to be a scandal being generated here about people who are largely innocent.

    If you study at the college, it’s very clear that the administration does not exert control over the Student Union, which largely exists for the undegraduates who mostly seem to study philosophy or psychology. Whilst the philosophy undergraduates benefit from excellent philosophical training by Jesuits and Religious, these students are usually irreligious and often athiest.

    Were the college to seek power to run the Student Union, they would likely receive pressure from the University of London who would object that the undergraduate students should have freedom to run their union in the way they choose. I imagine part of what it means to have degrees accredited by the University of London is that a Student Union has to be allowed in the college.

    The seminarians and religious and many of the undegraduates studying theology generally don’t have anything to do with the Student Union. Most of the Masters degree students are part-timers or people studying in the evening. They never really go near the Union either. The people running the Student Union are usually a small group of undergraduates who don’t share the Catholic faith of those running the college and many of those that study there.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      Dear Andrew,

      Many thanks for this informative comment. I must say when I was at Oxford in the 1950s the National Union of Students appeared and I thought they were rather a nuisance. Most things happened at College level and we had a Junior Common Room which seemed to function admirably to deal with the concerns of the undergraduates in each college. The NUS struck me as load of left-wingers, totally unrepresentative of the undergraduates, who had quite unnecessary pretensions.

      However I still see Universities and their Colleges as being in loco parentis; particularly now when undergraduates are younger (National Service having been abolished) and the majority have probably not been away from home before unlike us who had had the doubtful privilege of being at boarding school. Thus I think any college should have oversight of what students get up to and that means having some oversight of student unions. Heythrop seem to have abandoned any responsibility in this respect. The proctors at Oxford were not heavy handed and could protect students from the results of their follies so that we were not subject to the ordinary sanctions of the law which would have applied to those young people outside the University.

      • At 16 you are an adult. At 18 you are definately an adult. It is a rite of passage being able to see all the films and plays that you didn’t used to be able to see as a minor and make your own decisions. If you want to keep people infantilised up to 21 please emigrate to the USA. People have to be acknowleged as grown up at some point.

        “The NUS struck me as load of left-wingers, totally unrepresentative of the undergraduates, who had quite unnecessary pretensions. ”

        I used to love the student union elections – they were beyond satire. Once elected of course all the people who had stood for election would, of course, completely ignore their own platform as they didn’t ever need to seek re-election like real politicians. In reality within certain limits the Union was run by the University. It did have powers but was hardly ever able to exercise them as it needed a quorate meeting of all the students to change policy. This only ever happened once over an issue to do with disabled access.

        “The proctors at Oxford were not heavy handed and could protect students from the results of their follies so that we were not subject to the ordinary sanctions of the law which would have applied to those young people outside the University.”

        Another law for the privileged. It was ever so.

        • Wake up England

          Really Anthony Miller:

          You are a fearful bigot.

          No-one was “Infantilised” until 21! What a ridiculous notion! Many of our historical figures were married before puberty. Get a grip on history.

          Infantilised indeed!

          Coming of age (or Majority) on the other hand is quite different.

          The University was In Loco Parentis until the undergraduate was 21. The University was able to safeguard the morals and behaviour of the undergraduate until he came down. In so-doing Universities were doing their jobs. When the age of Majority was lowered to 18, all universities were undermined in moral authority.

          In my opinion, Anthony Miller, this was a retrograde step. It seems I am not alone here in thinking so.

          Bring on the donkeys and their endangered hind legs. Mr Miller will go on for aeons about this, I predict.

    • Augustine

      Dear Andrew,

      Thank you for your input. What you say makes a lot of sense.

      But I do think that the Heythrop authorities are being quite disingenuous.

      1. They claim to have had no control over the arrangements for SHAG Week, but I have no doubt that if the Student Union were to organise a racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic event, the same authorities would suddenly find a way to intervene.

      2. They claim to have an ethos of inclusivity and openness – but Fr Holman refused to allow a reader of PtP (who just happened to mention that she was a Catholic journalist) to attend as an observer.(See posting by Deacon Nick Donnelly, on October 21st, 2013).

      If she had claimed to be a student interested in studying at Heythrop who needed to find out information about “safe sex”, I am sure that the response would have been very different. Clearly Fr Holman did not want the details of the SHAG week published in the Catholic press.

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