Famously, Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during the Second World War, organized "Divine Service" on the quarterdeck of HMS Prince of Wales for his first wartime meeting with Franklin D. Roosevelt, the US president, on 10th August 1941.
After the war, Churchill said:
"On Sunday morning, August 10, Mr. Roosevelt came aboard H.M.S. Prince of Wales and, with his Staff officers and several hundred representatives of all ranks of the United States Navy and Marines, attended Divine Service on the quarterdeck ... I chose the hymns myself – 'For Those in Peril on the Sea' and 'Onward, Christian Soldiers.' We ended with 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past,”' ... Every word seemed to stir the heart. It was a great hour to live. Nearly half those who sang were soon to die."Today, one of Ireland's great pro-life leaders, Patrick McCrystal, is appealing for 9 days of prayer, starting today, for the downfall in Ireland of the Children's "Rights" referendum. What's at stake for Irish families and for Irish parents is every bit as grave as what was at stake for those on board HMS Prince of Wales - as Pat McCrystal, the father of a large family, explains on the HLI Ireland website.
I particularly commend Patrick's prayer novena to my fellow Catholics for whom it is designed.
I refer visitors to my blogpost last week in which Fr Fleming described the proposed amendment to Ireland's constitution as "potentially be a disaster for Irish families."
The proposed amendment, according to Fr Fleming "represents a dramatic ideological shift in both emphasis and practice", "provid[ing] a beachhead by the state into what has traditionally been the preserve of the rights of parents in the upbringing of their children."
Fr Fleming is a foundation member of UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee, and a corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life
Whether or not you join Patrick's prayer novena, to which I strongly commend you, everyone should pray - and, if possible, work for the defeat of the amendment.
You might also look at Pat Buckley's blog for a full legal analysis of the wording and text of the referendum on children,
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