Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

'Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.' ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Friday, 29 November 2013

Wowzer!


I just watched the BBC's programme on Comet ISON. I'm not a science boffin, but I like this Comet from the start because it reminded me of Our Lady - all that blue and white. I also like the fact that after so much investigation scientists cannot work out this Comet. It's 'unpredictable'. Not too unpredictable I hope!



If it has survived, which is seems to have in some shape or form, it might be perfect timing for the procession St Mary Magdalen Church is having on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Brighton. Do come if you are in the region. If I can remember, I'm going to try and invite some Coptic newsagents and Kebab shop owners. They love Our Lady even though most of these newsagents still sell porn and condoms in their shops.

The latest news on it is here. It seems to have scientists baffled. That's good. I love the fact they still aren't sure how water got here. We Catholics, we love a bit of mystery. Wow. That's pretty amazing footage. I'm a medievalist, so I'll be counting my beads...

Our Eucharistic Faith

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." 

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

The Gospel seem to present the Eucharistic discourse in St John in quite stark terms. Jesus spoke and taught with great clarity - especially on the controversy of the Real Presence. No parables are given by the Lord here. This is stark and authoritative teaching. That He would give His Body and Blood as food and drink for the life of the World continues to divide today. There are some who take care to genuflect before the Blessed Sacrament and to kneel in order to adore the Eucharistic Jesus and some who think better of it. The Gospel presents the controversy as a bombshell that splits the disciples with only St Peter - the Prince of the Apostles - to defend the doctrine presented to them by responding that Jesus has the words of eternal life. The first Pope would go on to presumably defend this doctrine, as would all Popes who would follow him in succession.

It is fascinating that at this point in the Eucharistic discourse, the narrator decides to place within the account that line.

'Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.'

Those who 'would not believe' and those who would are tied to to the Eucharist and the Real Presence, not just to any general or vague aspect of Jesus's teaching. It seems to be the point on which people decide to depart from Jesus or to follow Him. This seems to be the fault-line running through the followers of Jesus. Notice that those who cannot accept this doctrine really do leave and we are not told whether they come back or not. They do not continue to follow Jesus, apart from the one who would betray Him, who had, we assume, stopped following him already in his heart. At no point does Judas, who sees Jesus in political (and then economic or currency) terms, seem to be a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and God, but only as a 'master' or as a teacher. Those who walk away and the one who will betray (note they are lumped together) cannot accept the doctrine that Jesus taught on the Real Presence - that He will be - is - the Bread of Life, our Eucharistic food.

On belief in His Divinity, so tied up with His giving of His flesh and blood to His followers, the Gospel of St John again shows Jesus starkly and clearly stating that belief in Him is necessary for salvation.

'Therefore I said to you, that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin.'


Jesus didn't 'take any prisoners' with His teaching and yet Pope Francis, who has said some more novel things about faith and justification, calls Him the greatest evangeliser - the evangeliser 'par excellence'. Neither, it seems, did Jesus do anything to stop those who He knew would either walk away, or betray Him. It seems that, right from the beginning, the acceptance of His message was more important to Him than the number of people who would accept it. He did not try to make His message more palatable, to remain relevant to the people or attract more followers. If the message of Jesus was popular for a time in His Ministry on Earth, everything would seem to have changed at this crucial moment, when He reveals the Eucharistic dimension of His Mission. His Truth was more important in His Earthly Ministry, than the number of people following Him.

Final Roll Call for Guild Meeting


Come to the Guild Meeting.

Email me at englandsgardens@googlemail.com and Fr Tim Finigan at blackfencatholic@gmail.com to confirm your attendance.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

My Boss and Capitalism

Tim Stanley has today written a neat little piece on Pope Francis's exhortation. Well worth reading. I don't have a big axe to grind against capitalism.

I work in a cafe in Brighton. My boss pays me not very much an hour. I think its just above the national minimum wage. I have no formal contract, so I cannot even speak of a 'zero hours contract'. There are no formal contracts for any of his employees.

He doesn't give sick pay to any of his employees. He doesn't give holiday pay to any of his employees and I guess if one of them needed it, there would be no maternity pay either. I am employed to work when he wants me or the cafe needs extra assistance. I am on a rota, but if the weather is bad they call me up and say, 'We don't need you today'. Well, I never know what the weather's really going to do, so I'm really his slave.

Meanwhile, he makes a lot of money, so I hear. Apparently, he's doing really well.

I ask you: Is the problem with this arrangement capitalism, or is my boss just a ****er?

I would sooner that my boss was free to run a cafe and screw his employees over in the process (which is, on the face of it, what he does, though we are all 'grateful for the work in these times of austerity') and get rich, than the State take over his cafe and run EVERYTHING, including cafes.

Yes, I know there are laws that cover this, but ultimately, it is catering and nobody at my workplace feels they can do anything about it because he can just find someone else who will do it his way. Let's face it, if he sacked us, he could always find some Polish workers or other immigrants who would probably be only happy to work in similar conditions.

I don't think I believe in 'structural sin' and its pretty recent for the Church to become obsessed with changing 'sinful' structures in society. Strange that at the same time, unjust laws, such as on abortion received less notice from Bishops. There is an element in the Pope's recent exhortation that focuses on the sinful 'structures' in society and capitalism, politics, etc, etc. We have heard so much of this recently from Bishops Conferences. I don't like it, though I do understand that as long as you talk about sinful 'structures' in society, people will believe you are relevant and nobody will be offended, because as long as the sin belongs to a structure than to people, then nobody will repent because the structures need to repent or undergo a 'conversion'...like the papacy, for instance...though I must confess I, unlike Bobby Mickens and Tina Beattie, did not hitherto understand the papacy to be a gross human evil blighting the Church and the World.

What I'm considering doing, however, is soon approaching my employer and saying something along the lines of this:

"Look, you make loads of cash out of this cafe and you don't even give your staff a decent wage for our work, nor a contract, nor much else. Meanwhile, as well as robbing your staff of their basic working rights (I hate the word 'entitlements') this is a lovely cafe which could feed the homeless once a week in the evening, since it would amount to only a small percentage of the massive profit I am told you make out of this joint, and yet you still won't give water to customers in the summer for free, claiming that the water is off, when its not, even though you are minted because you are that stingy! Oh...and Jesus and Mary love you! Have you thought of coming back to Holy Mother Church full-time?"

I think that's what St Anthony of Padua would do. By the way, this man is a Catholic!

Now, if you just extend this to multinational corporations, I think you'll get the gist that all companies are full of people just like my boss is a person, not a structure. The problem is not necessarily the corporations, yet I guess you don't get to the top without stepping on a few toes. The problem is people who work within them responsible for their company's rampant and ruthless activity, especially owners, with little time it seems to see to the examination of their consciences. I do not, for instance, believe that 'Primark' are evil. I do believe that there exist senior figures within Primark who are a bit like my manager only more so. The problem is Original Sin and unless the Holy Father has done away with it (and I do not believe he can) these kind of problems will always persist. In other words, 'The poor you have with you always.' People will always screw other people over for a bit of extra cash, so what can we do?

We cannot make avarice illegal without reverting to State control of everything. We can preach Christ Crucified. He conquers hearts, not institutions or structures. Preach repentance. Preach on the evil of avarice and how many souls end up in Hell because they loved money too much and worshipped it as their God while starving or neglecting the poor or refusing to acknowledge the labour of their workers with generosity. Jesus is Lord and Saviour and forgives every sin of every person who desires His forgiveness. He wants to change us. Jesus changes people's lives, not the lives of structures. Jesus cannot forgive 'structures' or 'systems'. He cares how you treat your employees and He will see justice done for the poor.

People forget that the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is about a spiritual as well as moral reality. One of these guys goes to Heaven and one goes to Hell. Both destinations are everlasting. Christ maintained that how we treat the poor had not just effects which are temporal (poverty, suffering, hunger) for the poor, but eternal (damnation) for the rich! Unfortunately, I don't really pick up too much about Eternal Life or repentance in this exhortation. We all need repentance.

If you want to save your soul, as a Catholic, be generous, be kind, be forgiving and loving. If you have employees, treat them well! It is not rocket science. Jesus cares how we treat others - our neighbour. It is not about creating an earthly paradise of justice, peace, brotherhood and love, though this is a wonderful potential benefit of the primary reason for our existence - the Salvation of our souls through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

This life is ultimately about saving your immortal soul. It is the choice between Jesus and Eternal Life or the Devil and Eternal Death. It is the choice between vice and virtue, Life or Death, avarice or liberality. The idolatry of money is obviously an issue for my boss. It's probably an issue for me. Avarice is a deadly sin, but it is a sin that belongs to people, not structures. It requires individual conversion to Jesus Christ to overcome it, like Pride, Lust and all of them. No sin can be conquered by the State. Jesus, it is He, who has conquered sin and death. He alone can lead us to the true liberty of the children of God. Say a prayer for my boss. He shares the same name as our Supreme Pontiff, though now that the papacy is to undergo a conversion, for how long a Pontiff is to be Supreme is now anybody's guess.

I believe in "trickle-down theory", but it seems obvious to me that it is people, not structures that do not desire money to necessarily "trickle down". St Francis of Assisi preached to people, not institutions. He preached repentance to people, not structures. He preached a relationship with Jesus Christ that leads to Eternal Life, not a vision of communitarianism for its own end, though I would never suggest this is the Holy Father's idea of Catholic Social Teaching. We will all die. We will all be judged. Our Lady had the Beatific Vision before her eyes at all times and I expect she was very, very kind to the poor. For Catholics, this is surely the only vision that will do. Nothing else will satisfy the human heart but Jesus and the love of Him!

The Promethean Great Comet of 2013: Is it a Pelagian?



Space Station: "Houston. I think we have a Promethan Neo-Pelagian here. What do you make of it? Over."

Houston: "What the heck is a Promethean Neo-Pelagian? Over."

Space Station: "I don't know but it looks like we're about to find out. For the time being, check out this blog for an exploration of the subject. Over."

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Bones of Contention


Damian Thompson writes today on questions raised from His Holiness's latest Exhortation. Yes there are many. Here are a few of mine...

Question 1. Does the holder of the Office of the Papacy own it? Is it his possession or is he custodian and guardian of both the Office and the Deposit of Faith?

Question 2. The Lord Jesus Christ, Victorious Head of the Church, His Bride, calls every Pope to conversion and indeed all human beings to conversion. We are called as Catholics to continual conversion of life. The Office of the Papacy is not a human being, so what does the Pope mean?


Question 3. What would a 'conversion' of the Papacy look like? It's not a loft.

Question 4. Does Our Lord Jesus Christ get any say in this at all or is it something His Holiness would like to do since His Holiness is asking conversion of others? Has Our Lord been consulted? Has St Peter? My my, Your Holiness. Going by your words it would appear that you are ambitious, indeed!


A reader has also sent me an image of an interesting, if theologically problematic Rosary obtained from Fatima (of all places!). Pope Francis, Your Holiness, I am your spiritual child in God, but even if nobody around you sanctioned these Rosaries, you and the circus that surrounds you are beginning to terrify me...


We Have Seen the Humility...Now for the Ambition

There is lots of opinion out there on the Exhortation, but have you read it?
They say that some people try to impress others by saying they have read a book, such as 1984, or Brave New World, when in fact they have not. People even claim to read books because they believe people will be more likely to sleep with them if they say so. Well, no such temptations will arise with this 'little papal book'!

Comment and opinion has already been fired into the world wide web concerning the Holy Father's exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. How did they read it so quickly? This new document is not easy to read at all and it is a confusingly long 'manifesto'. I am known to walk into a few cul-de-sacs when I write and sometimes suffer from what they call a 'butterfly mind'. Sometimes what I write just goes on and on. At such times, I think its most likely my 'ego' taking over. We Catholics know it as intellectual Pride.

Today, I spoke to someone who has written a piece on it having read the document (and this person was telling the truth). The individual said it was 'exhausting' that it "took five hours" - the average length of a Fidel Castro speech. I'm not sure if the individual meant five hours to write the article or five hours to read it. It is certainly not easy to digest. In fact, I've now read as much as I can without my eyes bleeding and I have to come back to it again and again. There are real nuggets in there, as well as some 'Hold on, what do you mean by that?' moments that we have come to expect, but its so long and dense it will take me ages to find them again. Much of it forms a kind of summary of the first nine months of this papacy, like a 'collected works' of the Holy Father's homilies and statements in the media - 'Thoughts of Pope Francis: Collected Works'.

Gosh, three paragraphs already! It is not that I come away from this exhortation with nothing, but I was hoping to find out more about the Pope's vision than I had already heard and read. The initial burning of my heart within me in the first thousand words gives way to torpor.  Sorry -'I want to be completely honest in this regard'. It is so heartening to read Francis's defence of the unborn and the dignity of all human life, but within it, an enigmatic appeal to readers concerning his own power to change Church teaching is slightly disturbing:

“Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernisations’. It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

His Holiness surely need not sound apologetic for teaching the Truth. It may sound pedantic, but the Successor of St Peter need not say that in this regard 'I want to be completely honest', because we do not expect him to be anything else but honest. He is, after all, the Pope, who one would expect to be completely honest in every regard. Who is proof-reading this Pope? Would the individual please step forward because it sounds as if the Pope is saying to the abortion lobby, "Believe me, if I could change the truth...I would!' while it is in fact the Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth that sets us free.

Certainly, it is not progressive to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life, but is not the whole problem about 'progressive' solutions to human dilemmas that they degrade, diminish or destroy humanity? None of the progressive solutions are anything but 'final solutions' for humanity - part of the 'throwaway culture'. This is a theme that runs throughout abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, artificial contraception, human embryology, IVF and the list of crimes with which we are so familiar now as the 'Culture of Death'. I omit from this list homosexual unions known as 'marriage', because this global trend seems to have dropped off the Papal radar, but for an oblique reference to marriage being at times 'modified'. Presumably adherents of this branch of 'adolescent progressivism' will have to be 'let down gently' in the next exhortation.

'We have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?'

Who indeed? You can make a donation to The Good Counsel Network, who run on a shoestring of resources here. Obviously, the Holy Father is not suggesting that we accompany women to the abortion clinic and hold their hands during the murderous procedure or that rape or poverty is a justifiable solution to 'the painful situation' of pregnancy, but such words could be misinterpreted when taken out of their original context. Having just re-stated the Church's timeless teaching, some wily souls could read the Holy Father's words as a nudge and a wink to the emotive power of poverty and rape as situations in which the decision over whether or not to bring a pregnancy to term is assigned a 'special status'.

I say this only because this is the constant refrain of the pro-abortion lobby and a powerful tool in their propaganda for the war on women and children. So effective is it, indeed, that the Pope seemingly has to mention these instances so as to appear conciliatory in an era in which the US President believes that to give birth because of an 'unexpected' or unwanted pregnancy is to be 'punished' with a baby while promoting IVF as the way to be 'blessed' with a baby.  The 'painful situation' alluded to is not the baby or pregnancy - it is the instance rape, or the situation of poverty, but will everyone realise that from the Pope's words? Most likely not.

To concede that pregnancy in a situation of extreme poverty is a 'painful situation' runs the risk of creating an 'idol of money' that puts a price on human life. It may sound cold, but the painful situation is not the arrival of a new baby, but extreme poverty and it should be noted that it is in countries and vicinities of extreme poverty that the population control junkies at the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - as well as respective Governments -  plough their respective gargantuan piles of cash - not into education and poverty relief - but into 'new vaccines', abortion facilities, sterilisation and artificial contraception promotion to assist in the decimation of the African population! In fact, if these nations want Western 'aid' they have to accept our 'population control' ideas as conditions of that aid, a fact not mentioned by Pope Francis, but condemned by Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate.

I note too, indeed, that on the issues of artificial contraception, sterilisation and the range of weapons in the arsenal of the population control billionaires and trillionaires, spread across the globe by such dynastic families as the Rockefellers and such global investors as George Soros, this Pope remains eerily silent. Everyone says this Pope's life is in danger from the mafia. Well, as long as he doesn't name names in the global war on humanity by a powerful elite of eugenically minded families who think they own the planet, frankly, I don't see it happening!

The Catholic Manifesto

At which point we come to the crunch of the blueprint which is either naive or a ladder step in what some would see as a grand deception, should The Catholic Manifesto ever be implemented. His Holiness is asking the powerful banking elite to be part of a restructuring of the global economy that places mankind and his environment first and that puts banking and the financial sector at the service of man for man's betterment and flourishing in all aspects of human life.

The kind of men who rule the World, the kind of men who own the gold, the kind of men who run the banking industry and notably, the media, the kind of men who His Holiness is addressing are not in the slightest bit interested in restructuring the economy in order that man might benefit and that the sanctity of life may be respected as human beings flourish in families and prosperity. They are, however, interested in 'restructuring' man so that he may better and more faithfully serve the economic model, whatever form or shape that takes.

It may be 'unbridled capitalism', or it may be that this 'model' will come to the end of its usefulness. Globalisation ensures that whether it is capitalism or communism or a perfect but barbaric synthesis of the two, the banking sector's particular ideology can be negotiable. For example, parts of the New York banking sector were happy to fund the Russian Revolution and sustain for a time that which came in its wake with never an apology or thought for the resulting 30-40 million dead people, so its not like the banking sector cannot be persuaded to buy into a 'big idea'. Today, China of controlled population infamy and zero human rights for everyone is where international investors are 'hedging their bets'.

The Holy Father desires that these people who work consistently, ruthlessly and conspiratorially against all for which Christ and His Church stands work with the Church to create a new and better society that places man and his needs at the centre of its economic life. Meanwhile, 'Why not turn to God and ask him to inspire their plans?' is a question that could be addressed to the elite banking sector as well as to politicians who so often do their bidding.

Well...


'No single act of love for God will be lost, no generous effort is meaningless, no painful endurance is wasted.' ~ Pope Francis

In reading this Exhortation, you will have fulfilled all three, thanks in part to Pope Francis's humility but largely also to his ambition. 'I dream of a “missionary option”' writes the Pope in his exhortation. Ah, Holy Father, I, yes, I too am a dreamer, but even I who am a dreamer knows that this 'Catholic Manifesto' will succeed only if either the Church is co-opted by the global banking elite from the inside as part of a New World Order with a One World Religion based on a Big Brotherhood Cult of Man that eliminates all who don't agree with it, or the banking elite convert to the Faith of Christ and worship Him as God. Hmm...which one's more likely as we approach the 100th anniversary of the visions of Fatima? Start 'hedging your bets' now, why not, or a spread bet on both?

Apologies, readers, for a post that is a little too long. If you don't applaud, obviously you'll be taken and outside and shot. There is much to recommend in the Holy Father's new exhortation, in terms of evanglisation, and his thoughts on the poor, but I encourage you to read it and discover these gems yourselves. Happy reading!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas is coming...Buy the Holy Father a Gift

Littlewoods are selling these delightful slippers for those cold winter months.

Buy the Holy Father a present for just £25.00.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The Theology of the Pottery Chalice When Applied to Church Architecture


Cheap, functional, humble, simple, in keeping with the poor, humble, simple Nazarene, with no need for flying buttresses. Honestly. Flying buttresses! Whatever were they thinking?! Would the humble, simple, poor Nazarene recognise such extravagance?!

I've been having a debate about  the evil pottery chalice on Facebook. In order to join it you'll have to go to my Facebook page. By all means offer your thoughts.

Flying buttresses: Why ever did they bother when a simple warehouse would have sufficed?

Meanwhile there is a BBC report that the Pope has put me on display in Rome. Don't worry, readers, Deo volente, I am safe and well here in Brighton, Deo gratias!


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday Quiz



Leave a comment to guess.

Then find out the answer here.

The winner gets to admonish an Archbishop on the internet.

I understand the modern age presents many of us with difficulties, but I expect these are not all entirely unique to this age and I would have thought an Archbishop might issue a rallying cry to fidelity to Jesus Christ and the Magisterium. It would appear not on this occasion.

His Holiness Pope Francis despite some media splutters, is not swanning around advocating dissent (as can be read here). Despite his popularity with Bishops, I am not sure many Bishops understand His Holiness's vision. When was the last time you heard of a Bishop promoting the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Holy Rosary and Confession within days of each other?

There is a way to rouse the faithful out of complacency and it starts with Bishops teaching the Faith without 'but's. To be Christian in the modern age is extremely counter-cultural, we may even stumble along the way, but we are called to be faithful to Jesus Christ and His Church. Bishops should encourage us all to be faithful to Jesus Christ.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Pope Francis: A Hard Act to Follow

When Pope Francis does this he is applauded. When I do it I am arrested.
So, how is it going? We live in different times. People now associate the Church with the sex abuse crisis perhaps less than they did and due to the great media buzz surrounding Pope Francis, we are experiencing a more positive response from those outside the Church towards Catholicism.

I must say, however, that I am finding imitating Pope Francis quite difficult. How is your kissing mission going? I would have thought by now that the general public would have seen so much kissing by the Pope in the media that they would react to my kissing the general public the same way, but something's not quite right.

If I go up to ladies and ask them for their children so that I may kiss them, not only are they not interested, but they say they are going to call the police. I go up to ugly or disfigured people, start touching them and kissing them and pointing to the sky and they tell me to "f*** off" or to "get away from me, you maniac". Pope Francis? What am I doing wrong? Has anyone else experienced these difficulties in evangelising the Pope Francis way? Perhaps its just a thing that doesn't translate in England.

New Movie: Chesterton




The life of GK Chesterton is to be made into a Hollywood motion picture. 'Chesterton: The Movie' is to hit screens in late 2014. We've been given a sneak preview of the script and I think you'll agree that its set to be an action packed adventure which will give Russell Crowe's Noah a run for its money...


Act 1, Part III

GK Chesteron's wife walks into the study while the genius is hard at work at another Father Brown story.

"Would you like a cup of tea, dear?" she says.

"Thank you, that would be lovely," replied Chesterton.

"Any plans for the day, dear?" says his wife.

"Yes, I'm meeting Hilaire for a pint. He's working on an essay and wants to discuss it with me. I was thinking, shall we go to Brighton next weekend?" said Chesterton.
"That would be nice, dear." replied his wife.


Gripping stuff, I think you'll agree. I can't wait!

Guild Meeting Announcement: Calling Catholic Bloggers


Preparations are under way for a meeting of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma (TGOBTB), the coalition of Catholic bloggers using the new media to spread the Catholic Faith. This group is not to be confused with A Call to Action That Leads to Schism (ACTATLTS) and it is impossible to be a member of both. You cannot serve God's Church and schism. You'll love one and hate the other. Got it?

Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Blackfen
So, this is a call to those Catholic bloggers out there within the Guild, as well as those bloggers not in the bosom of the Guild, as well as those who comment on blogs or use Twitter (etc) who uphold and defend the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church.

I can now confirm that the Guild will be given a talk entitled, 'Medical Aspects of Miracles: Drawing us Towards Faith' by Dr Adrian Treloar FRCP, MRCPsych, MRCGP. Dr Adrian will discuss some miracles that have happened in Lourdes an explore what we can learn from them. Dr Treloar is a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry

Come to the Guild's meeting at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Blackfen, next Saturday (30th November 2013) to meet, listen and discuss with fellow bloggers as we fight and write together under the banner of the Cross, in defence of Our Lord Christ and His Church and for the Salvation of souls.

It is also only fair that if you wish to come to the Guild's meeting that you inform me, the Chairman, but also Fr Tim Finigan, whose parish will be graciously hosting the meeting, so that he and those who will be kindly hosting us may know how many shall be in attendance.

Email the Chairman at englandsgardens@googlemail.com

Email Fr Tim Finigan at blackfencatholic@gmail.com



Thursday, 21 November 2013

Terrible as an army set in array...


And then there's just terrible, as Elvis ditches Gregorian Chant for secular music.


Long live Christ the King! Viva Christo Rey!
May the Virgin of virgins intercede for us on this Feast of the Presentation of Our Blessed Lady.


There...that's better!

'While the king was reposing, my spikenard yielded the odour of sweetness.'

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Preparing for the Feast of Christ the King


Preparing for the Feast of Christ the King? Feast your eyes on then on Quas Primas, the encyclical of Pius XI. It's not popular with the UN or many Governments on Earth, but it is a worthwhile read for all.

16. Christ as our Redeemer purchased the Church at the price of his own blood; as priest he offered himself, and continues to offer himself as a victim for our sins. Is it not evident, then, that his kingly dignity partakes in a manner of both these offices? 
 
17. It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power. Nevertheless, during his life on earth he refrained from the exercise of such authority, and although he himself disdained to possess or to care for earthly goods, he did not, nor does he today, interfere with those who possess them. Non eripit mortalia qui regna dat caelestia.[27]
 
18. Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ."[28] 

Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved."[29] He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. 

What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?"[30] If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation."[31]

Come, Lord Jesus! Whatever happens with this Comet (or the next one, or the one after that), the Sun's 'flip out' and whatever, indeed, comes our way, let us recall that Christ is King, the same, yesterday, today and forever. His Empire is Universal. Whatever happens let us pray that we will be made and found worthy, by the infinite merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, and of Our Blessed Lady, Queen of the Universe, to serve Him and praise Him both now and for all eternity. Let us also pray that the end of pottery chalices will come soon.

Lord, have mercy. 

Lord, defeat modernism!

Christ, have mercy.

More 'Signs and Wonders'

Brother Sun is about to flip and a Comet is hurtling towards the Sun
Within weeks of each other, two cosmic events are to take place in close succession. The Sun's magnetic fields are about to flip, according to scientists. While the Sun's poles do this every 11 years, apparently, according to scientists, coronal mass ejections are said to be likely. That could be bad news for bloggers and everyone else if electrical power grids are shafted.

The other event is a Comet, ISON, that will shine as bright as the moon to onlookers, which is hurtling towards the direction of the Sun. Perhaps both of these events will pass of peacefully and we'll just see a spectacular light show, but I think these events may fall under the bracket, 'Fearful signs...in the heavens'.

In the 'bad old days' people considered such things to be omens, portents, warnings and were filled with foreboding. In the Middle Ages people would flock to Churches to repent and to pray. These days, we've 'moved on' from that kind of thing. Perhaps we have, but it appears that Almighty God, Who holds and sustains the entire Universe according to His will, has not.

Whatever happens, I think we can be assured that neither climate change nor fracking will be to blame. So, be you in Margate or Medjugorje, I guess we'll all be looking up when these stars collide wondering, 'Does this mean my redemption is near at hand?'

Monday, 18 November 2013

Planet Earth! You Got Mail!



'Who is she that cometh forth, bright as the sun
  
I don't take this MDM lady terribly seriously (can you really take a 'PR consultant' prophetess seriously?) but I have to concede she has a gift for reading the 'signs of the times'. It is, as the Holy Father warned me against, something I sometimes look at out of a sense of 'curiosity'.

Is she right about the Comet and the Warning? Time will tell. Forewarned is, well, forewarned. I mean, its not as if she's the first 'prophetess' to suggest such things.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Revisiting BBC Hardtalk Interview with Archbishop Vincent Nichols


I thought it was worthwhile revisiting this now infamous interview with BBC's HARDtalk in the light of the survey on how Humanae Vitae has been received by the laity, since Bishops decided to stop teaching it in 1968.
S. And yet you and the Pope are sticking to a deeply traditional, small "conservative" line. Therefore the disconnect between the general population and the Roman Catholic church appears to be getting wider. Does that not worry you?

N. Well no, what would worry me more frankly is to try and refashion a message simply to suit a time. I think there is if you like a critical distance to be held between how the church struggles to understand a revealed truth and how a society is moving. If they're too close there's no light. If they're too far apart there's no light.

S. There's no church. If they're too far apart frankly there's no church.

N. There might be no church. That's true.

S. There'll be nobody in the pews.

N. That's true.

S. And let me first just quote [to] you, sorry to interupt but it is important, the Pope in his letter to Irish Catholics in which he expressed great remorse for what happened in Ireland going back to the child sex abuse scandals. He said and I'm quoting his words now: "Fast-paced social change has occurred often affecting peoples' traditional adherence to Catholic teaching and values." The Pope himself surely recognises there is a problem here and is the Chruch not going to have to respond to it?

N. Well let me quote the Pope back to you in 1986, I think it was, as a theologian he said he could foresee the day when the church in some parts of the world had shrunk so much that it would become a small flock.

S. He used the word "remnant".

N. Yes he probably did. That's a very biblical expression. So he's not ... afraid of that. He would put fidelity over success so the criteria we're here for is not success.

S. You say he's not afraid of becoming "a remnant" he would put orthodoxy, loyalty, purity.

N. No, no a search for truth.

S. OK so maybe purity of theology before ...

N. (interrupting) That is the experience of every Christian. That's the experience of everybody who loses their security loses their status in a society loses their life in martyrdom. It's the whole pathway of fidelity to Christ. It's just the way it is.

S. The Church of England for example in this country is taking a rather different view. They believe there has to be some flexibility. The church has to be a reflection of society's values to a certain extent and therefore we see women priests, women vicars, and there's obviously in some parts of the Anglican Communion, women bishops.

N. Certainly.

S. Some of their vicars are also prepared to sanction gay unions. That church is showing flexibility. Is the Catholic church not going to have to do the same eventually?

N. I don't know. Who knows what's down the road?

S. Well I'm just asking you. You're rather an important player in the Catholic church. What do you believe it should be?

N. No no. There's no doubt in my mind that our first call is to faithfulness and not to success. And if faithfulness involves that kind of shrinking then so be it. But it's not as if the church has policies and then focus groups, then tries to re-shape so that it captures the mood of the day or the wind and therefore gets momentum behind it. That's not simply the way the Catholic Church understands itself.

And then, suddenly, from out of nowhere, comes the survey. Of course, the whole Church is praying that this survey isn't used for purposes that in any sense water down the holy Teachings of Our Lord, but it just goes to show how wise was Archbishop Vincent Nichols, despite widespread misunderstanding of his words in that interview, because, as His Grace indicated, you just never can tell what is down the road...Ah, how prudent is this Shepherd, how wise!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Healing the World




Cardinal Maradiaga's Dallas speech - not to be confused with JR Ewing's Dallas speech, has been analysed posthumously above by the late Michael Jackson and Michael Voris below. It would be lovely to think that one day Subway will give out free food for the homeless between 3pm and 5pm every Friday, but unless a deeply committed Catholic (or Buddhist/Hindu/atheist) obtains a franchise - it probably is never going to happen. Even then, if he did, he'd have to ensure he didn't tell the Head Office.

Regardless of my deep distrust of Latin American liberation theology, because it has a tendency to remove our need for Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection from the Church's mission of Salvation, I do love the idea of the Catholic Church humanising capitalism and encouraging everyone to love and give to the poor.

It's a lovely thing - the whole idea of it. The sad thing is that the enthusiasm generated from speeches like that of the Cardinal tend not to actually translate into anything concretely aimed at helping transform society to be more 'just' and 'humane'. This kind of thing usually makes people feel good inside and people end up pretending that talking about it is equivalent to doing it. Haven't people been talking about the social justice elements of the Second Vatican Council for about 40 years?




Gosh. Now that's what I call a sax solo.

Clearly Pope Francis has a talented 'inner circle'. I guess you could tango to this. The Mardiaga speech, if you take away the fact that he is a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, could more or less have been made by a Buddhist or, with some little modifications to the speech, an atheist. This recipe of secular humanism cake with a bit of Jesus as icing powder sprinkled on top is essentially about doing good, being caring and compassionate - healing the world - but it doesn't separate us in any distinct way from the World.


If tomorrow the World became loving, caring and 'sharing' and we men and women acted justly and humanely, we men and women would still need Our Lord Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. For this reason, I am convinced that if the Antichrist appeared tomorrow, not just laity, but hoards of Bishops, Priests and Cardinals would go over to him because it is most likely that when such a man does appear, he'll be a 'peace and justice' kind of a guy, only with supernatural abilities, while laity, Bishops, Priests and Cardinals who no longer believe in the supernatural Reality of the Church will be defenceless against his wiles.

Smooth-talkin' guy: The Antichrist
Believing in, worshipping and loving Our Lord Jesus Christ separates us from the World.

If it does not, there is a big problem. Proclaiming that we have a need for Salvation separates us from the World. Proclaiming that He is our Salvation also separates us from the World. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to heal the world. He came to heal sinners. He did even not come to save the world. He came to save sinners. Before He wants us to touch and transform the world around us, He wants to touch our wounded souls and save us. He loves us more tenderly than we can imagine and desires an intimate relationship with us - not with 'society'.

A relationship with God the Father, through the Son, in the power and unity of the Holy Spirit is what He comes to bring to us. That is the main Event in the life of each man and woman in this World and how the Devil would prefer that we did not think of it. The Devil is not stupid. He is abhorrently, mind-bogglingly evil, but one thing he is not is dumb. His intelligence is angelic not human. He knows our reluctance to turn to God, our weakness, anxieties and fears. He knows that the Gospel and Our Lord's words really can be twisted and selected and spun to divorce them from His Teaching and His mission to save souls - a mission He has entrusted to His Bride, the Catholic Church - His Body - to continue in His Name after His Ascension, united to Him, the Head.

May God help not just Cardinal Maradiaga, but all Princes of the Church to teach their flock to know, love and adore Jesus, the Lord Who saves us - the Redeemer. What good would it do a man, to liberate the poor, yet remain always and ever enslaved to sin and find himself in opposition to God? There is a strand of thought within the Catholic Church that is not so much envisaging the 'lion laying down with the lamb', but the abortionist laying down with the pro-lifer, the pro-lifer saying 'sorry' to the abortionist and both abortionist and pro-lifer telling each other how much they "love each other, man".

Following Our Lord Jesus Christ separates His followers from the World. For this reason the Catholic Church has known periods of excruciating persecution. When the World and the Church meet, embrace and kiss, it is most likely that Jesus Christ and following Him has fallen off the agenda for the Church. It is then - then - that the morality of the Church falls, like a 'house of cards'. I am sure that the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary will have assisted in anything that is good in this blogpost. Therefore, thank you for the postcard, Blessed Mother!

Friday, 15 November 2013

High Praise, Indeed, from President to Pope




In a jaw-dropping statement, the President of Italy thanked the Successor of St Peter, otherwise known as THE POPE, His Holiness Pope Francis, for introducing elements of "doubt" and "uncertainty" in communicating the Catholic faith and applauded His Holiness's reluctance to promote unpopular teachings of the Faith, noting the "absence of all dogmatism"  in the Holy See's "dialogue" with the World.

'Pope Francis made the first state visit of his pontificate today, traveling two miles from Vatican City to Italy’s presidential palace, where he voiced the church’s solidarity with the nation in facing social challenges that included immigration, unemployment and the well-being of families.
 
Pope Francis said: “There are so many questions on which we share common concerns, and where our responses can converge,” the Pope said in his address to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, following their private half-hour meeting. “The primary task for the church is to bear witness to God’s mercy and encourage generous responses of solidarity in order to open a future of hope.”
Pope Francis recalled his July visit to the southern Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, a landing point for many immigrants without legal permission to enter Europe.

During that visit, the Pope said, he “witnessed at close range the suffering of those who, owing to war or poverty, set out as emigrants under often desperate conditions,” and “saw the laudable example of solidarity of the many who work generously to welcome them.”
Pope Francis also mentioned his pilgrimages to the island of Sardinia in September and to the city of Assisi in October.

The Pope said that the family lies at the “centre of social hopes and difficulties,” since it is the “primary place where the human being grows and is formed, where one learns values and the examples that render them credible.” Thus, he said, the family deserves to be “appreciated, valued and protected.”'

Read the full Catholic Herald article here.We appear to have a Pope who, far from casting the mighty from their thrones, makes the work and lives of the powerful elite more than comfortable. How eugenic population control advocates like David Rockefeller must be laughing all the way to his banks. His Holiness even mentioned "sustainable development" - a green euphemism for depopulation via the promotion of abortion, sterlisation, abortion and other forms of birth control at one end, and assisted suicide and euthanasia at the other.

And is it just me, or is there something quite artificial about this 'dialogue' with the World. In order to have a constructive dialogue, at some point, Francis surely has to say:

"This is what I/We believe concerning the issue of ________________.

Now you tell me what you believe concerning this issue of _______________.

Interesting. Now, I will explain why I am right on this issue and you can defend your position but all authority has been given to me by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Such has not been given to you."

Unless a true, expressed opinion is made concerning what the Church really believe, there is no dialogue between the Church, but a dialogue about how some day we should really get together for a dialogue. If there is no disagreement, one wonders just how effective this kind of 'dialogue' is.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

'Mad-Dog' Maradiaga Lays Out the Next Decade of Disaster

High-fives all round for the social gospel...but what's the agenda for souls?
A friend of mine alerted me to what is being touted by Rocco Palmo as the 'programme' under the papacy of Franciscus coming from his inner circle and frankly, if you don't mind me saying, this speech is a foreboding one to say the least.

You might think a tabloid style header including the words, 'Mad-Dog Maradiaga', is a little bit disrepectful to a Prince of the Church and you'd be dead right, but I can imagine that when Michael Voris's beady eyes get sight of the Cardinal's recent speech in the US, he's going to hit the roof. And then some! Why? Because this agenda is insanity!

I'm becoming something of an acolyte of Michael Voris undoubtedly because in the near absence of Bishops teaching the fullness of the Catholic faith, and with a small, if vocal, minority of priests doing so, hey, where do you turn for the message of Eternal Life? The man, as they say, tells it like it is and to the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth, clarity and unqualified love for truth are qualities that are hard to find and, when found, are refreshing to the soul.



And herein lies the crisis. I - and others, I expect - are tuning in every day or two to hear the opinions of a lay man on the state of the Church with pithy and incisive statements that encourage the hearer to deepen his faith. The speech of Cardinal Maradiaga is disturbing. It is even more disturbing when heard on Rocco Palmo's site.

It is the infectious enthusiasm that is most off-putting. Its the presumption and the downright denial of the Church's reality that comes across with the 'we are Church', 'yes we can', 'we're gonna be alright' political sloganeering that reminds one of that awful Sheffield Labour rally in which Neil Kinnock told us his party were on the verge of a massive landslide only to lose to John Major. Its the raw triumphalism, something condemned by the Pope, in fact, that has me running for the hills. It is not even liberation theology. It is no theology at all. Jesus Christ is entirely unnecessary to this vision of the Church.

Kinnock: We're not 'alright'...
On paper, it seems a bit long-winded and tedious, but listening to it gives me the chills. It's not what the Cardinal has to say about the poor and the Church or the poor Church for the poor or about the social mission of the Church or what the Church can contribute to the political and economic sphere. It's not that. It's the very near total exclusion of the Church's primary reason for Her existence that is deeply disconcerting.

It is about everything but Jesus Christ and the Salvation of souls. It does not even really require Jesus Christ and the Cross upon which He shed His blood at all. It is a perversion of the Catholic Faith. There need be no Heaven, since we're bringing it down to Earth, if not by force, then by sheer wishful-thinking while the Cardinal ignores the terrible realities that Our Lady of Fatima, even in those secrets that are known to be fully published, explicitly informed us about.

These are, namely, the existence of Hell, Purgatory, Heaven, the reality of Judgment, Divine Justice and, apparently, if rumours of the unpublished, inconvenient secret be true, a Chastisement set upon the earth so devastating that it could outdo the times of Noah, as God presses the 'reset' button on mankind in such a manner as to leave the living envious of the dead. This life, whether we be rich or poor is a preparation for the life to come. If the Church does not have man's spiritual condition at the top of the Her priorities, not just mankind is threatened, but She Herself, is doomed to irrelevance in every age. Almighty God will judge the poor with equity and knowing we are to be judged by Almighty God, we should treat them with utmost respect and dignity.

Lived Lumen Gentium centuries before Lumen Gentium 
And yet, when you read what this Cardinal has to say, you would think that the Church's message about the poor and the Church was something invented in the 1960s, conveniently forgetting that St Francis of Assisi and St Anthony of Padua and other medieval Saints entire lives lived this aspect of the Gospel message, while blazing a supernatural fire of love for God across their Assisi and Padua! Yes! Oh how they loved and respected the poor, but oh, how they loved Jesus Christ before and above all others!

The social teaching of the Catholic Church is indeed a jewel - a veritable gem - in the Crown of the Bride of Christ, but it is not, in itself, the essence of the message of the Gospel. It is one aspect of a whole. It is the overflowing of God's love in the soul. If it is not that, it is probably of little worth. It is an effect. It is not the cause. Our greatest need and desire is for the Salvation that comes from the grace and mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything else - e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that is good flows from our salvific relationship with Him in His Church.

Read it and weep for the insanity that is about to take over the Catholic Church now that the 'errors of Russia' are emanating from the very heart of Rome! What Cardinal Mardiaga is teaching did not work for Latin America. It will not work either in the United States, or in Africa, or in Europe. What we thirst for is God. What we truly desire is Salvation. Only the Catholic Church can offer it to the World. So why on Earth would a Prince of the Church hide the Church's very Light, Jesus Christ Himself, under a bushel and offer to the World 'something else' instead? Do yourself a favour, readers. Buy yourself a pair of flares now. We're a-going right back to the 70s. These Princes do not get it yet, after forty years in a spiritual wilderness, that this agenda wins admiration, but not converts or people who desire the Lord Jesus Christ. Cardinal. You may just as well hand the keys of the Vatican over to the UN. Have readers ever noticed that the Orthodox Church does not suffer this kind of insanity? Why? I'll tell you why. It is because the Devil has zero interest in destroying the Orthodox Church.

Note to Cardinal Maradiaga. God help you and us. If you do not address the real crisis of Faith and the schism that is opening up within the Bride of Christ - if you do not read the riot act to those in rebellion against the Faith of Christ, they themselves will think you are on their side. By ignoring them and trying to shift attention to some social work project, you are ignoring the reality of apostasy and very likely schism within the Church.

People can find everything but Jesus Christ outside of the Catholic Church. Why would they wish to come and unite themselves to the Bride of Christ if they can find what you desire to offer them outside of the Catholic Church? Is that not, Your Eminence, the story of Latin America, 'all over'? The evangelicals are taking over because you did not give to your people the Lord Jesus! Spare the Vatican some needless work. The laity do not require a 'Congregation for the Laity'. The laity need holy, sound, Catholic magisterial teaching from wise, prudent and faithful Shepherds - those who Christ has appointed to be Successors to the Apostles - to do exactly that and not a great deal else. Grrr!!! When will they learn?!



Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Poll Results In

It's official: The sensus fidelium maintains that He is a Catholic God

Yes. Of course He is.
  27 (60%)
No. He is entirely Other.
  4 (8%)
Yes. He was Jewish but, oh its complicated. At least He showed no interest in Mormonism. Deo gratias!
  2 (4%)
Yes, if Mary is Catholic, then her Son is, her Son is God, therefore God is Catholic.
  2
 (4%)
Yes. If the visible Head of the Church is Catholic, then the Invisible Head is, since the visible head is Vicar of Christ.
  10 (22%)
Okay, now you've really spun me out. Your telling me God is a Jewish Convert to the Catholic Faith?
  0 (0%)
Christ is wedded to His Church. His Church is Catholic, Christ is God, therefore God is Catholic.
  11 (24%)
Just chill out. It's a Mystery.
  3 (6%)
No, I will not chill out. Jesus Christ is Lord, Second Person of the Trinity. He founded the Catholic Church. The Divine Founder is not indifferent to His Church. In fact, it is His Bride!
  11 (24%)
Yes, but does that answer whether God is 'a Catholic God'?
  1 (2%)
Jesus said, 'I am the Vine, you are the branches.' If the branches are Catholic, they come from a Catholic Vine. Jesus is God. Ergo, God is a Catholic God. He can never be separated from that Divine Institution which He has established.
  12 (26%)
To deny that God is a Catholic God would be to deny that God became Man.
  5 (11%)
Yes, but God is still Other, regardless that He founded the Catholic Church.
  4 (8%)
In Holy Communion, Jesus gives us His Body, Blood, Soul, Humanity and Divinity. Holy Communion unites me to Jesus. I am Catholic. Need I say more?
  10 (22%)
So you are saying you are Jewish?
  0 (0%)
Right, I'm off to the pub. This is doing my head in.
  3 (6%)
I cannot tell you what God is, but I can tell you what God is not and He is not a Freemason and He is certainly NOT a Protestant!
  4 (8%)
He is Lord of the Universe. He is Lord of the Catholic Church. He is THE LORD.
  14
 (31%)
Yes...but He's still Catholic.
  11 (24%)

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