Prayer for England

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy Dowry and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross. O sorrowful Mother, intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Seeking Clarification

Following Damian Thompson's piece today on Pope Francis's pastoral phone call response to a lady in a second marriage with a divorcee which then made it into Facebook and soon the World press, one wonders quite what the sensible Catholic reaction should be.

Has the time come to live in my allotment on Whitehawk Hill in order to wait for the Second Coming after, of course, having exchanged the words 'Cardinal Kasper' with 'Pope Francis' in my sidebar poll?

In the unlikely scenario that Pope Francis has said something that completely contradicts the Church's Infallible teaching, a great theological conundrum erupts in which we ask whether it is possible that a Pope can not be in communion with the Pope.

I guess that's not impossible, in certain circumstances. Of course, that would be a can of worms so full of worms that all the worms in my allotment could not quite do it justice. So, I'm not going to go there, yet.

The Holy Father's phone calls have quickly become the stuff of legend and, like all legends, we are never quite sure of the truth. It's a shame reporters and bloggers such as Mr Thompson cannot simply pick up the phone and call His Holiness in order to get that much needed clarification that Fr Frederico Lombardi will most likely refuse. Remember, that even in 'being pastoral' a Pope, who can never simply be 'Father Bergoglio' again (because he's the Pope) cannot really make a statement concerning one individual that does not then become something that is universal. God has not made exceptions to divine law.

Clearly, whatever the truth of the matter, someone is doing his level best in undermining of the Magisterium and the Office of the Papacy on purpose. The question remains whether that person is one of the Pope's enemies, or one of his friends, or the Pope himself, or even all three.

If this teaching 'changes' through pastoral chats with dissident Bishops and Priests (and Popes) who simply say, 'just do whatever you feel is fine by me' because of what a schizophrenic 'Father Bergoglio' says in his private capacity as a dissident priest in Rome then the future looks incredibly bleak.

Quite how a 'Father Bergoglio' could get away with this by intimating that he knows what 'the Pope' says but as 'a simple priest' I say something else, then we are at a real crossroads in the Church's history the likes of which neither the World nor the Church has ever before seen. With two Popes living in the Vatican, we thought it could not get any more weird. Perhaps we were wrong. Watch, once more, what Benedict XVI had to say about the Church as a divine institution that does not simply sway with the times, in his farewell address, because the Church is truly Christ's Body. I certainly think it has some relevance to the new theories being posited about 'being Church'.

I also think its a bit awfully timed that this news came out when we should be feasting and partying, rather than weeping, fasting and beating our breasts in sackcloth and ashes. Try not to let His Holiness (or his friends or enemies or those who claim to have chatted with him on the phone) spoil your celebrations. If you are a faithful Catholic and you feel a bit like you've been stabbed in the heart on Easter Wednesday, don't stop believing and keep on partying. The gates of Hell shall never prevail.

Perhaps we should heed the advice of the Supreme Pontiff not to listen to gossip for, if its untrue, Damian and others carrying this disconcerting story will have done us no service at all. Still, as Damian updates his blog, is the Vatican going to say it cannot clarify under some kind of 'Data Protection Act'? If this story goes off like a Supervolcano (for some reason bison and elk are currently fleeing Yellowstone), the Vatican press office will have themselves, if not also their 'boss' to blame. It is worth noting that there have been very few occasions on which His Holiness, who asked us to pray for him that he wouldn't 'make too many mistakes', has actually apologised for confusion he has caused.

Continue to pray for the Popes. I say that not just because we have two living Popes in the Vatican, but because this Pope has the potential make Popes of us all.

"Hello? Father Bergoglio? What an unexpected call! Well I never! How did you get my number?"

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Great Cardinal Kasper Poll

Take the poll today in the side bar, then we can send the results to Rome.

After all, in the run up to the Synod, the Church is seeking the views of the Faithful.

It is so important they are heard.

One word answer to a simple question.

If the Bishops Conference ever need someone to help them to simplify their survey for the
Synod on the Family, then my email's in the sidebar as well.

Why make things more complicated than they are?

Update: So, this is exciting stuff. So far the results seem to be overwhelmingly on the 'No' side. According to my survey, something like 84% of Catholics think Cardinal Walter Kasper should not be admitted to Holy Communion, due to the doctrinal positions he advances in public, in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Christ and His Church. I had to tell you this after receiving messages from the Faithful 'demanding' that the results of the survey be made public...

Is this Cardinal really 'in trouble with the Bishop of Rome', or just with his friends?

Location, location, location: Cardinal Bertone

One of the most refreshing aspects of this pontificate has been seeing Cardinal Sodano out in St Peter's Square washing the feet of the poor and adopting accommodation and a schedule more in keeping with the vision of Pope Francis. A poor Church for the poor. If ever that slogan could be applied to anyone, Vaticanistas say that of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. It is said that since the election of Pope Francis, Cardinal Sodano has decided to live incredibly simply, modestly indeed, and often refuses the visits of the influential and powerful of Rome. It is in the light of heroic and exceedingly humble, simple men like Cardinal Sodano, who refuses honours, ostentatious accommodation and 'worldliness', that we are able better to see more clearly the vices of other, more corrupt Cardinals, like Cardinal Sodano's brother in Christ Cardinal Tarscico Bertone. Such men as Bertone, you know, are much more 'worldly'. Oh how these two men get on. Verily, it is said that it is indeed like watching a house on fire.

According to The Telegraph...

La Repubblica said the cardinal's new apartment includes a large rooftop terrace and would be about 10 times bigger than Pope Francis' home once extensive renovations have been completed this summer.

There is no comment from Pope Francis on the subject, just as there was no formal comment from Pope Francis on the 'Bishop of Bling', yet such a situation surely deserves some really serious and positively generous mercy and severely pastoral love! Right? Because that is the way of new way of 'being Church' as espoused by Cardinals Maradiaga, Kasper and Co. Or should that be Inc?

Why, though, should the case of Bertone be compared to that of the Holy Father. The Holy Father has, for himself, and for his 'personal needs', decided to live away from the Apostolic Palace, in his own words, not to live modestly or as a public relations exercise in 'apostolic poverty', but to live in close proximity to others because he finds it 'psychologically hard' to live alone. Well, I have plenty of sympathy with that, even if this Cross is laid upon the shoulder of every Pope, and every other Pope for a long time has accepted that particular Cross.

Quite why it follows however that other Cardinals and Bishops in Rome should automatically follow suit because of the personal choices of the Pope - which he only advocated for himself due to his 'psychological needs' - is a mystery. I hope that His Holiness will not to listen to 'gossip' spread by warring Bishops who spread calumny and detraction about others to journalists. For this is the same Supreme Pontiff who, when asked by the media about controversial prelates in the Vatican who have at times adopted something of an 'alternative' lifestyle, quite at odds with what one would expect of any priest, responded with the question, '...then who am I to judge?'

Yet judgement has at times been swiftly declared upon some. This article suggests, not pleasantly, that Cardinal Bertone was among those who were thought by Pope Francis to be 'either incompetent or corrupt' in their oversight of the IOR. Thankfully, His Holiness can now rely firmly on the pure lily white virtue of saintly efficiency known to be among Mgr Ricca's most admired 'assets'.

That it is said that Cardinal Bertone was a very loyal and devoted servant to Benedict XVI, who following retirement denounced various unnamed 'crows' and 'vipers' around him who made his job as Secretary of State very difficult is, we must assume, a complete co-incidence. That these two camps involving Bertone and Sodano are mentioned in web chatter concerning Vatileaks is another co-incidence. That he was replaced by Pope Francis with Archbishop Pietro Parolin, described by Vatican net curtain twitchers as a 'creature' of the Sodano camp is also, we must assume, another complete co-incidence.

People will have different reactions to this news. Some will think Bertone deserves 'the chop' - whatever that constitutes in the scenario - because, though he has seemingly not defended himself against accusations of over-sized apartment related sins, which, by the way, is not a listed sin, unlike say, sodomy. Others will say that if 'action' is taken that the Pope has 'lost it' and turned into a school-teacher who listens when his children go around 'telling tales' on others and goes from 'old softie' to harsh disciplinarian according to his preferences for favourites among the class. A small minority of people will, if Bertone is sent into exile, be able to see that the Sodano camp is now fully in charge of the government of the Holy See. That need not be terrifying news, so long as you really do believe in the Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord.

Watch out now and walk carefully around Rome, for it looks rather like the Church of Rome is to soon develop some 'structural problems'. There is almost certainly a danger of 'falling masonry' in the vicinity of Rome. Whatever happens in this latest showdown between the 'humble, simple and modest' Bishops and Cardinals and the Bishops and Cardinals of 'excessively plush residences' we can be certain that Pope Francis will come out of it looking pretty good, as His Holiness always does and, as long as that happens, what's not to like?

For further reading, why not browse over Fr Dwight Longnecker's thoughtful post on why its not necessarily at all wrong for a Prince of the Church to live up to his name. Who knows, perhaps Cardinal Bertone needed more space for extra accommodation for others, for some charitable endeavour, or something innocuous like that? Maybe he just needed extra space for some nuns or priest visitors to live with him or something. Let us pray that Cardinal Bertone is given a fair hearing  before his name is dragged like mud through the international press...Oh no, wait. That's already happened! "This Bertone guy's obviously a real scumbag! Can't you tell, just by those glasses? I reckon he's in the mafia! You can just tell!"

'I thank you, O Lord, that I do not live like Cardinal _______________ (insert name here)'
Whatever happens, obviously the Pope's the Pope and can do whatever he pleases and execute justice as an Emperor one day and slip into his role as humble Bishop of Rome the next if he so chooses. I mean there was no actual 'trial' of Bertone concerning his oversight or his involvement at the IOR that led to his name being associated in the press with corruption, scandal and intrigue in January. There was no actual 'trial' of the 'Bishop of Bling' or formal investigation that reached a conclusion, but hey, let's not get bogged down in law or objective concepts about natural justice when a simple accusation from big-spending brother German Bishops and Cardinals who own stakes in a pornography literature company and who never liked you much will suffice.

You may well be wondering, if you are a Bishop, or even a Priest, just when does your flat get 'too big'? We could run a survey of English Bishops and find out. The answer could well be, 'When His Holiness's friends say so'. Is it a mortal sin to receive Communion in a second marriage and thereby commit sacrilege imperiling your very soul without repentance and amendment of your life and/or situation? 'Well now, let's not rush into any kind of rash judgment!'

Of course, had His Holiness Pope Francis done what 'a lot' of his predecessors had done and accepted the chalice of living in the Apostolic Palace, in keeping with Tradition, I suppose few in Rome would feel qualified to exercise a 'ministry of mercy' with 'princely' Cardinals and Bishops who just happen to have been well known as Benedict XVI's supporters, admirers and even friends. Thankfully, however, the enemies of Cardinal Sodano in Rome, the 'bad guys', can now be dealt with much more effectively and without any possible accusation of hypocrisy, unless, that is, you're one of those annoying Catholics who takes the Lord Jesus's words 'seriously'. I know I do, but Lord, fail You in so many ways!

It is so sad to see Cardinals and Bishops tearing each other to pieces. Jesus is Risen indeed! Just as He said, but where is the love Cardinals and Bishops should be showing to one another as Jesus taught? Sad it is, because I suppose that, even though Pope Francis said that he lives where he lives for 'psychological reasons', that even his venerable predecessors in Heaven, like BJPII and BJXIII might be thinking, 'I cannot shake this feeling this guy is making us look bad.'

Let us pray that he who wilfully ignores the Church's law will not fail to revere the Law of the Lord.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Silenced, Banned, Censured, Barred...

...are presumably just a few of the things one 'Fr John' would like to see happen to me. "Shut your cake hole, you troublemaker" is about the crux of it.

As readers know, I did indeed take a period of abstinence from blogging a while ago, which I have much appreciated. I feel refreshed and am basking in the joy of our great Mother of Feasts, the Easter Octave! I've still been keeping up with Church affairs and am quite exhausted after the Sacred Tridiuum.

I really did not like Pope Francis's 'Stations of the Cross'. Why do people compose Stations that constantly talk about social injustice, but little of personal sin and the consequences, as if personal, actual sin has no implications for society as well as the soul? It may be your cup of tea, but I'll stick with St Alphonsus.

'Fr John', however, will be at least glad to hear that, taking seriously His Holiness Pope Francis's exhortation to go out 'to the peripheries' and to endeavour in the spirit of the Gospel to render service to the poor, I have incurred the displeasure of a homeless hostel in Brighton, from which I have been banned.

Brighton's mysterious West Pier, after which the hostel is named
West Pier Project, a Council ran temporary emergency housing establishment in the heart of the city centre, has, I am informed in person by the staff on the reception, barred me from entry, following their discovery of the above video which I filmed of a friend who lives in the hostel explaining living conditions and the astonishing rental fee charged by the West Pier Project for his living there. This video I posted on my blog, The Eye of a Needle.

I asked them whether it was illegal for me to film an interview with a friend in his room and they maintained that it was, so it looks like I'll need a lawyer. Having been told I was no longer welcome to visit my friend Daryl, who let's face it, doesn't receive many visitors as things stand, because I had basically exposed something the West Pier would rather not be brought to light (quite what that is, I was not told) I had time only to wish Daryl happy birthday, smoke a fag with him outside the hostel and go to work.

So take heart, 'Fr John', its not just you who wants me to stop blogging, its also those who exploit the misery and destitution of the poor for personal gain, who extort from the poor exhorbitant housing benefit charges in rent in order to fill their pockets and live in luxury, since, I was told by a worker that the building is privately owned and we can therefore safely assume that the rental money of nearly £200 a week goes to the owner. They don't seem to do much to improve the building. Only a week or two ago another man I know there tried to open a window and had to go to hospital because a window pane fell out and sliced his hand open. The staff kindly paid for a taxi, but you should have seen the guy's hand. It was a total mess. I told him he should sue.

I asked the staff member who the owner of the property was, but was not given a name. The team member denied knowledge of such information. Perhaps the staff do not know who owns the property. You can bet Brighton and Hove City Council, however, do!

May God bless our Pope who calls us to serve the poor and to highlight and expose the injustices that take place in their regard...just like the last Pope on many occasions, also did! May the Blessed Virgin Mary pray for the poor and homeless of Brighton and aid us to defend their dignity. May the Lord embolden His Holiness, too, to preach the fullness of the Faith, 'in season, and out of season' while encouraging those working closely with him, such as Cardinal Mardiaga, Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Sean O'Malley and all who are privileged to enjoy the ear of the Pope in the 'G8', unyielding fidelity to the truth, charity, wisdom, prudence and zeal for the Salvation of souls.

Dear John...

You have now left me two comments, neither of which I will publish. In the first, you commented on my absence from blogging recommending that it stay that way. I thank you for your concern for my immortal soul, it is much appreciated.

This blog has until recently been receiving in excess of 2,000 hits a day, so I do not think I would cease blogging simply because one anonymous reader thinks I am polluting the Catholic blogosphere. I have a readership, albeit relatively small, but like I said, if you don't like what I write, don't read it.

In the second comment you have intimated that I am being closely 'monitored' and gone on to issue a latent threat that 'someone' 'somewhere' might cause difficulties for me or others, because of various posts that I have written which have been mildly critical of the manner in which His Holiness Pope Francis is governing the Universal Church. Where do you work? GCHQ?

That you should do this is concerning since I was led to believe that under His Holiness Pope Francis, a new era of 'free speech' had broken out like a 'new springtime'. Therefore, in such an atmosphere of freedom of expression of opinion, I see no valid reason why I am unable to make a contribution to the ongoing discussions which are taking place within the Church as to the direction in which the Church is being steered by the Successor of St Peter.

The Bishops Conference, Vatican Dicastries and GCHQ step up 'blogwatch'
In the second comment that you have left, I note that the title of 'Fr' was removed from the name 'John', so I ask sincerely are you really a Catholic Priest. If not, I would suggest you have been not just anonymous and therefore cowardly in your criticism of this blog, but deceptive also. I note, too, that you still have not yet wished me a Happy Easter or the blessing of the Risen Christ. In such an instance, I must ask myself, and indeed you, whether you are even a Catholic, since what Catholic, at this sacred time of the liturgical year, is not so full of Easter joy as to forget to wish even his enemies a Happy Easter. I must also take this opportunity to ask you to pause and ask yourself whether you were as quick to defend the reign of Benedict XVI as you are to defend every action and statement of the current Supreme Pontiff. If not, then I would suggest that you are not practising what you preach nor are you able to defend the licit expression of opinion that is, in no manner, contrary to either the ecclesiastical or moral law of the Holy Catholic Church .

So, once again, I say to you, 'John', if that is indeed your name, a very happy and blessed Easter to you. May the Risen Christ bless you and all you love and lead you and your loved ones to life everlasting.

Crikey. And there we all were thinking the trads were the bitter and twisted ones!

In Domino


Happy Easter "Fr John"

I received a comment from a 'Fr John' telling me that the blogosphere had been a 'better place' for my taking a break from blogging.

The joy of the Risen Christ be with you also, 'Fr John'. Or rather, 'and with your spirit'.

Nobody is forcing you to read my blog in the first place, so the fact that you 'keep coming back for more' suggest some form of slavery.

By His glorious Resurrection, 'Fr John', Christ has set you truly free!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter Everyone

Happy and Blessed Easter to everyone. I found this Regina Coeli on YouTube and thought it was really quite beautiful.

Christ has risen as He said. Allelulia!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Fanfare for the New World Order Church

I can see the theological point in baptising a child of a lesbian couple. I honestly can. I can even see the point in baptising a child of a lesbian couple (Who's the Daddy? Will the child even know the Father in Heaven?) solely because of a desire to bring Salvation to a soul - even if strong doubt remains over whether the child will be 'raised and educated in the Faith'. Prudence might suggest some kind of delay with assurances sought that the pair themselves desire Salvation and to live in accordance with the Teachings of the Church, but, who, who on God's green Earth, invited the cameras in - the world media?

Queen of the Clergy, pray for our priests
Even if you are going to do this, following Pope Francis's pastoral praxis on 'not turning anyone away' or 'closing doors', why invite Reuters or whoever to come and film the event - including excessively controversial lesbian kiss in the House of God photo opportunity and the interview with the lesbians using the occasion to campaign for 'same-sex marriage' in the Church?

Does the very fact that they behaved in such manner not suggest a serious lack of Catholic formation of the 'couple' and that therefore this occasion is an occasion of grave and serious public scandal? The Francis Effect is moving at breakneck speed and watch, because a watershed moment has been passed, in the full glare of the media, so expect more of the subtly diabolical over the next few years taking place in the Church. For this is not just any baptism, but, now that its in the media, it is the World's 'first LGBT baptism'. Naturally, the child was conceived, through 'assisted reproduction'.

To add insult to blasphemy, the Godmother of the child is the Argentine President who has made it plain she is totally at odds with Catholic teaching. Who will speak out? If priests around the World reject politically motivated 'LGBT baptisms' will they be left hung out to dry by not only the World, but the Catholic Church as well? I get the impression that the unqualified mercy preached by Pope Francis - which in outcome can become mere tolerance - might get quite a few of the clergy in a spot of bother.


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