Monday 28 February 2011

Why 'Liberalism' Within the Church is So Dreadful...

Jesus said, "I thirst"
The really terrible thing, you know, about the 'liberal' position on many issues pertaining to the Catholic Faith and the Salvation of Souls is just what a mockery they make of the Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord. All of that dreadful suffering, suffering that we cannot even imagine, only to have those in His Church lead men and women away from Him, rather than to Him.

These individuals, even within the Church, claim that sins such as the use of artificial contraception, homosexual acts and even abortion are not sins and that it is the Church that needs to change Her view. What a mockery those who hold this position make of the saving work of Our Saviour on the Cross.

If we are saying that Our Lord did not die for the active homosexual or for the man and woman using artificial contraception or for the woman who procures an abortion, or the doctor who performs it, then Our Lord most assuredly did not die, either, for the penitent thief who hung beside Him on Good Friday.

If He did not die for the sins of the penitent thief, to whom He promised Paradise, then neither did He die for any other sinner, whether s/he be a murderer or a robber, a adulterer/ess, or an active homosexual. His Death, therefore, let alone His Resurrection, would have been in vain. This is the really very wicked side to the 'liberal' position, more wicked when it is held as belief inside the Church, since what these men and women seek to destroy is the sense of sin. In so doing, they seek to make Our Lord's Birth, Life, Ministry, Death, Resurrection and Ascension an irrelevance. Souls are left confused as to the truth. Therefore, because of this deceit, whether it is done knowingly or unknowingly, by 'liberals', Souls are led away from Our Lord Jesus Christ in Whose Cross alone can we have Hope of Salvation.

Those who hold the 'liberal' position on so many issues believe that it is only the Church that they are affecting with their error, but this is far from true. Their words, as well as what they fail to say, affects Souls, Souls who desire to be led to Jesus and they affect Jesus, Who desires Souls to come to Him, as He Himself expressed when, as He hung on the Cross and said, "I thirst". Sin is always a great scandal, but a greater scandal is caused by those that lead Souls not necessarily even into sin, but away from Jesus and His Cross, the God who died for, and loves, Souls.

Imagine these people are asking for Jesus, instead of their salary...

That is what liberals do.

Chinese Bishop, Imprisoned for Decades, Dies At 90

Rest in Peace: Bishop Augustine Hu Daguo
Courtesy of Zenit

Bishop Hu Was Persecuted for Fidelity to Pope

Bishop Augustine Hu Daguo of the apostolic prefecture of Shiqian, Shihtsien, in the Chinese province of Guizhou, died on February 17 at the age of 90.

The bishop, who was approved by the Pope and part of the underground Church, spent decades in prison and forced labor camps because of his fidelity to the Pontiff.

In China, religious practice is only permitted by the government with the oversight of the Catholic Patriotic Association, the body through which the authorities recognize religious personnel and register places of worship. Hence there is a "national" or "official" church, directed by the Association and the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China. And then there are the laypeople, priests and bishops who oppose such control and who wish to obey the Pope directly. The latter constitute the non-official, or underground, Church.

L'Osservatore Romano reported today on the death of Bishop Hu, noting that "the civil authorities, who never recognized him as bishop, impeded his residing in Shiqian." It continued: "Despite the fact that his residence was in Duyun, in the Archdiocese of Guiyang, with discretion and effectiveness he administered the clergy and faithful of his apostolic prefecture with great zeal and spiritual fervor, giving life and hope to the various parish communities, scattered in the mountainous region.

"Bishop Hu led a life teaching simplicity and poverty, in full adherence to the principles of the universal Church and to the primacy of Peter. He was very gifted from the intellectual point of view and was always esteemed by all as an ecclesiastical saint. In the last years," L'Osservatore Romano reported, "he did not hide his difficulties with language, with understanding and with mobility, though he continued to spend his energies in the service of the Lord and to dedicate himself particularly to hearing the confessions of the faithful." The prelate's funeral was held on Feb. 20. The news article noted, "In him, as in so many other Chinese bishops who have died in the last years, were fulfilled the words of the Book of Wisdom (3:1): 'But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.'"


Augustine Hu Daguo was born on May 15, 1921 to a family of long Christian tradition in Tongzhou. He was baptized when he was only one month old. From the age of 7 to 11 he learned to know the Sacred Scriptures, regularly frequenting the local Catholic church. In 1936 Hu entered the diocesan minor seminary of Guiyang. He was ordained a priest on June 29, 1951. After his priestly ordination he taught in the major seminary and in 1955 he was sent to work in the parish of Youtangkou as vice-pastor. On April 4 Father Hu was arrested, and then imprisoned for almost three years in the detention center of Guizhou.

In 1958, the priest was sentenced to ten years of forced labor and re-education in three different factories in Guizhou. At the end of his sentence he was sent to the factory of Fuquan in semi-detention. Later he was sent to teach in the theological seminary of Chengdu, in the province of Sichuan. The difficulties for the priest were still not over, because four years later he was removed from his position due to his firm fidelity to the Pope. Hence, he decided to return to Guizhou, where he was appointed pastor of Duyun, Dushan, Fuquan, Tuanbo and Wen'an. In 1987 he was ordained a bishop by Bishop Joseph Fan Xueyan of Baoding. In 1999, at the age of almost 80, Bishop Hu sustained a leg injury, from which he never really recovered.

Archbishop Condemns Freemasonry, Cardinal Attends Masonic Inauguration!

Another subject on which high ranking members of the Church's Hierarchy are of one mind, one heart...Good grief!

With thanks to Gloria TV

Archbishop Condemns Freemasonry in Monaco
Archbishop Bernard Barsi of Monaco, has strongly condemned free masonry on the occasion of the installation of a new mason denomination in the principality. The archbishop said in front of the French weekly news magazin ‘Le Point’ that "the constant teaching of the Church is negative and remain unchanged, because freemasons principles are incompatible with Catholic doctrine. Therefore the Church forbids its faithful to be members of Masonic associations. Barsi added: “Freemasons are in state of grave sins and cannot access to the Holy Communion".  
In France, a Cardinal Greets Freemasons
The Primate of the Gauls, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin was present at the inauguration of a new Masonic Center in the city of Villeurbanne [Vilörban] in the person of Father Payen [Paie]. Present at the ceremony were also the mayor of the city and the mayor of Lyon. The blog asks: “Did Fr Payen come to remind the incompatibility of a Freemasonry membership for Catholics?” This was hardly the case as the mayor of Lyon commented afterwards: “The presence of Fr Payen removes the myth of a mistrust between Freemasonry and the Church."

No mixed messages there, then! You really couldn't make it up...

Sunday 27 February 2011

Please Sign this if you Wish to Defend Christ, His Church and Her Poor...

Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols
Your Grace,

We urgently write to encourage you to take stand up in defense of the homeless of Westminster.

By now, Your Grace must have heard via the national and local press, or perhaps through 'The Passage', that Westminster City Council plan to ban Soup Runs to the homeless of the City and that Westminster Cathedral is at the heart of this proposal, a malicious move by the Council that undermines the freedom of religion of Catholics and other Christians in feeding the poor, but is also an attack upon the Poor in whom Christ Himself is present in a mysterious and special way.

This proposal by Westminster City Council is therefore nothing other than a violent assault upon Christ, His Body - the Church - and His Poor. We humbly implore, Your Grace, that you do all that you can, publicly and privately, to defend the Poor who are fed by the Catholic Church and doubtless other Christians in the piazza and to do all that you can to take a public stand against this evil proposal and to encourage others to do the same.

In good faith, we are certain that if you have heard this news, then Your Grace will already be making preparations to defend the Church and the Poor who are fed by Her against the proposals of Westminster City Council. We must join together and protest against this move. Lazarus is on your doorstep, Your Grace and we in the Church Militant are called to feed him, to clothe him and to shelter him. We will be judged by Christ on our response to the sufferings of His Poor and the injustice that they experience everyday. The Church cannot possibly acquiesce in this proposal from Westminster City Council. It must be fought by the Church because the homeless very often have few voices willing to stand up for them and are often without a voice of their own with which to defend themselves. This proposal must be fought and we know that with prayer and with campaigning on behalf of the homeless men and women who face stigma, prejudice and persecution on a daily basis, it must be defeated.

We remain your humble and obedient servants.

Westminster Council Proposes Banning Soup Runs for the Homeless

A homeless man beds down on Victoria Street, Westminster
Thank you very much to a reader who has alerted me to this profoundly disturbing news which appears on Ekklesia and the Daily Mail.

'Campaigners have expressed alarm at a proposal by Westminster Council to ban rough sleepers and the charities who care for them, from the streets around Victoria. Westminster Council has opened a four week consultation on a new byelaw which will fine people in the Victoria area if they “lie down or sleep in any public place”, “deposit bedding” and distribute free food and drink.
This byelaw will affect the 1,600 people estimated to sleep rough in Westminster each year, many of whom bed down in the Victoria area. Voluntary groups hand out food in the Victoria area, especially at Howick Place behind the House of Fraser. These groups will be facing the possibility of moving or being fined for their charity if the ban goes ahead.
Funny how the Councillors all have shelter...
Alison Gelder, Director of Housing Justice said: “While we completely understand the problems experienced by residents in this area, this byelaw, which is an attack on civil and religious freedoms, is a completely over the top response. It also cuts across the successful work that Housing Justice and others are doing to reduce both rough sleeping and the need for food distribution on the streets.
”The consultation period is running until 25 March. The London Soup Run Forum, convened by Housing Justice will be releasing further information when it becomes available. Westminster Council tried to ban soup runs across London in 2007, but following public outcry the proposal was not included in the London Bill.
Housing Justice is the national voice of Christian action in the field of housing and homelessness. They support night-shelters, drop-ins and hundreds of practical projects nationwide by providing advice and training for churches and other community groups who work with homeless people. They work by uniting Christians and churches of all denominations across the country to work for change. They embrace partnerships with people of all faiths (and none) who share their values of social justice and compassion.'
Westminster Cathedral piazza: Where the homeless are fed.
Westminster Cathedral is at the heart of this proposal and we can safely say that if anything is going to get Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols very angry, it will be this! In only days he will be storming out of Westminster Cathedral to Westminster City Hall just two minutes down the road, with his Mitre and Crozier, demanding, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the protection of the Church's Poor.

As our Tina said, Caritas in Veritate is something we can all agree on. Well, the bits about social justice anyway. Diocesan Justice and Peace Co-ordinator! This is your big moment! Round up the team and go tell the Council exactly what you make of them and their wicked plan!

Sleepless nights are what many homeless men and women experience daily. It can't be easy sleeping in a doorway where you're not sure if someone is going to piss on your, spit at you, offer you a cup of tea or set you on fire, especially in London. Sleepless nights are what the Councillors of Westminster should be having, but then again, there's no guarantee these Councillors listen to their consciences. We know that the Archbishop will be experiencing considerable anguish upon hearing this news, for he is called by Christ to be Shepherd to his flock and to be a Father to the Poor.

Interestingly, it just so happens that the Archbishop is giving a seminar at the London School of Economics 'Forum in Religion' public lecture on Wednesday 2 March 2011. What a marvelous opportunity this will be for him to condemn the action proposed by Westminster City Council, whose thinking on homelessness is so obviously informed by the cold-hearted economists of the London School of Economics (or the 'Libyan School of Economics' as one Telegraph blogger describes them). Archbishop Vincent Nichols will apparently 'be speaking about the importance of religious freedom, and arguing that promoting religious freedom increases our capacity to do good in the public square.' How apt! The public 'piazza' even!

It was in 2008 that the London School of Economics was commissioned by Westminster City Council and Crisis to publish detailed research into the 'effectiveness' of Soup Runs in Westminster, so this news should not totally surprise us. It is, to put it mildly, an audacious proposal for a Council that understandably does not really want to face up to the fact that Dickensian poverty still exists right outside their doorstep. It must be awful for these Councillors stepping out and nearly treading on a beggar. Cardinal Basil Hume, on the other hand, faced up to it and set up The Passage to help homeless men and women in London find their feet, which was a lot more than Westminster City Council's ever did for the homeless of the City. The Council's response appears to be somewhat more, well...Dickensian. Oh my! Even Stephen Fry will be upset about this! Even hardened atheists will be upset about this! Imagine, then, how furious the Archbishop is or will be, when he finds out! I would not like to be in the shoes of the man making this vicious assault upon the homeless and destitute.

Daniel Astaire
The 2008 study by the LSE is presumably what has led Daniel Astaire, Westminster City Council's cabinet minister for society, families and adult services to comment...

'Soup runs have no place in the 21st century and it is wrong and undignified that people are being fed on the streets. Handing out free food only serves to keep people on the streets for longer, damaging their health. There is no need for anyone to sleep rough in Westminster as we have a range of services that can help them off the streets to make the first steps towards getting their lives back on track.'

Hmm...Wouldn't that just sound so much more convicing if it were a quote from a rough sleeper! Who should we write to? I think Daniel Astaire might just be our man. The Archbishop, I doubt, needs our encouragement, but just in case he has not heard of this proposal...

Abortion "Safer" than Childbirth Says Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

"Look at the screen. Blink and you could miss him..."
Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

Suffice to say that the long-term psychological, physical, mental and definitely spiritual effects of abortion are very well-documented.

In terms of all these harmful effects upon a woman, abortion is far more dangerous and less safe than giving birth. Unfortunately, when a group of doctors get together under the banner of the Royal College, the World takes the statements very seriously because they're 'experts', aren't they?

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gyanaecologists have a very explicit agenda to promote abortion and I have in various posts in the past elaborated on why it is also an explicitly eugenic one at that. In other words, these doctors are saying,  "Don't worry about getting rid of your Downs Syndrome baby. It's the safest procedure in the World." Still, while the Royal College does indeed have a ghastly eugenic dimension, I am open to the idea that, basically, the Royal College just think that abortion is a great thing all round.

Of course, regardless of whatever evidence the Royal College would use to support their vile assertion, there has, as yet, been absolutely no safe abortions for unborn babies, this figure resting at zero since the practice was first legalised and liberalised in 1967. I believe the number of unsafe abortions for unborn children is around 200,000 a year in the United Kingdom.

For a doctor or group of doctors to say that abortion is safer than childbirth is about as shocking as a Priest telling a group of Catholics on retreat that there is no Hell. Thanks be to God, that's something that never happens here in the UK, but if ever a Priest did, it wouldn't surprise me to hear he was a Jesuit...

Saturday 26 February 2011

Why Small Things Make a Big Difference...

Caritas in Veritate is anti-contraceptives
A question is asked by Dr Tina Beattie today which deserves a half-decent response.

"If we can't gather together undivided around Humanae Vitae, can we do so around Pacem in Terris and Caritas in Veritate?"

To this I would say that if we can't gather together undivided around Humanae Vitae then we shall be unable to stand together at all. That is, after all, pretty much what has happened since the 1960s, is it not? Mass lapsation, the embracing of the contraceptive age, fewer children in Catholic families, fewer Priests, fewer monks, fewer nuns, fewer Catholics knowing their faith and teaching it to others? This is the backdrop, the very culture against which Pope Benedict XVI finds himself combating and urging others to combat. That is why he has called for a New Evangelisation of Europe, because Europe, so rich in Catholic tradition, needs the Gospel proclaimed once more, so much. The Holy Father has made it clear that Catholics need to pass on the Faith whole and entire, the Gospel 'in its entirety', not shadows of the Gospel or what we could call 'just the nice parts' about social justice.

The appeal for unity among 'conservative' Catholics and 'liberal' Catholics around Caritas in Veritate is, I am sure Tina will hate me saying, a little devilish. I say this because it is devilishly appealing in the way that Cardinal Biffi's portrayal of the Antichrist presents the enemy of the Church as someone very agreeable on issues of social justice, ecology, humanitarianism but denies the saving power of Christ that people really want. It puts forward, once more, a vision of a Church firing on one cylinder, that of the Church's very rich teaching on social justice, rather than on all cylinders, which is the Church's entire and even more rich teaching on, well, Justice and not just Justice but Mercy, Love and, in a word, Jesus. Only when She proclaims Jesus does the Church fire on all cylinders.

Jenga: Fun for all the family
In other words, removing one part of the Church's teaching, like Her teaching on the 'transmission of human life' is like playing that game 'Jenga', where slowly by surely you remove more and more little wooden blocks that form a once strong tower. Then, finally you remove the one wooden block that underpins all of the rest and the whole edifice comes down among disappointment and humiliation, as well as hilarity for the victor, who is, in this analogy, the Devil.

The really sad thing about the liberal position is that the end result of removing this wooden block (because it is inconvenient, irritating, a 'stumbling block', if you will that is just so very tempting to pull!) is that the Church starts to resemble something very worldly, something that mirrors society, or even apes it, rather than being what She is called to be, the Church Militant that stands boldly and fearlessly in order to hold a mirror to society's neglected Conscience, pointing to Jesus. When She stops exhorting men and women to embrace Jesus, to change, to repent, to be converted, to embrace conversion of heart to seek the Face of Christ then She falls into decline. The Jenga analogy certainly works with regard to those who seek to undermine the Church's position on contraception, abortion, homosexual relations and all those 'inconvenient' wooden blocks or even those who just remain silent upon these issues, because it is Jesus who they are silencing.

Let us take the Jenga analogy a little further. There are some who maintain that the 9/11 attack was an 'inside job' and that this was achieved by placing 'nano-thermite', very small explosives, throughout the 'Twin Towers' from top to bottom. Whether this is true or not is not the point. That is a discussion for conspiracy theory sites. The bombs, these theorists claim, went off in the basement and then throughout weakening the whole structure and that is what caused the towers came down into their own footprint, as they would in any controlled demolition. The 'nano-thermite' theory posits that the dynamite heats up to an extreme temperature that weakens the whole of the steel structure. This it does before exploding the structure properly so that it can no longer stand and so it crumbles. The heat enables the actual demolition job to be easy. In the end, it comes down much like it does, well, in Jenga.

That is what denial of the Magisterium is like. Explosives are placed at various places in the Church in the form of various heresies and their proponents, from the base of the Church, to near the very top. These are the Devil's agents. Whether these proponents know that these heresies will bring down the structure or not is not the point. It is the effect that matters not their intention and the effect is to weaken the Church dramatically.

What heretics in influential positions do is act as red hot 'nano-thermite' that weakens the entire structure and strength of the Church. This can be done so subtly that it is not even seen. It just takes time before eventually the structure goes and calamity is the result. Of course, the fact that Our Blessed Lord promised that the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against His Church is indeed a comforting one, but let us not be so naive as to underestimate the threat. For just as there are plans to rebuild the site of where the 'Twin Towers' once stood, so these people would like to build a 'new Church' should the structure of the present Church be reduced to rubble as many of them hope it will. Let's face it, whether it is Pope Paul VI or Pope Benedict XVI, they sure don't have much time for the man 'at the top'. The truth is that many would very much like to see the building of a 'new Church' that is built upon a cult of man, rather than upon the worship of God. Scary, but true. The really sad thing is that at some point over the 1960s and 70s whoever was in charge of 'security' in the Church allowed a lot of 'explosive' material and persons into places high and low in the Church.

There the analogy ends. I shall end this post by saying that, sadly, regardless of her question, which remains an important one, Dr Beattie has clearly not bothered to read all the bits in Caritas in Veritate that condemn the contraceptive age and warn of the dangers of this threat being extended to Catholic countries that have explicitly rejected them, such as the Philippines, for just one example. I guess that, really and truly, Dr Beattie is a 'spirit of Caritas in Veritate' kind of a gal and that should not come as a terrific surprise.

'…some parts of the world still experience practices of demographic control on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion. In economically developed countries, legislation contrary to life is very widespread, and it has already shaped moral attitudes and praxis, contributing to the spread of an anti-birth mentality; frequent attempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress (no. 28, 2). Some non-governmental Organizations work actively to spread abortion, at times promoting the practice of sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. Moreover, there is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies which de facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures.
Further grounds for concern are laws permitting euthanasia as well as pressure from lobby groups, nationally and internationally, in favor of its juridical recognition (no. 28, 3). Openness to life is at the center of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man's true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away. The acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber and makes people capable of mutual help. By cultivating openness to life, wealthy peoples can better understand the needs of poor ones, they can avoid employing huge economic and intellectual resources to satisfy the selfish desires of their own citizens, and instead, they can promote virtuous action within the perspective of production that is morally sound and marked by solidarity, respecting the fundamental right to life of every people and every individual (no. 28, 4).

Hey! What do you know, Tina?! Maybe you and I can gather together around Caritas in Veritate, after all, because, in the excellent encyclical, the Holy Father seems to reaffirm the teaching of Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae really rather boldly and in the context of a global economic crisis. Apparently, readers, this lady actually teaches theology at Roehampton University in London. One Caritas in Veritate study aid coming your way, Tina, love...

Michael Voris's Update in the Philippines...

Where ONLY the Catholic Church stands in opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill

Friday 25 February 2011

Could You Be the Catholic Political Warrior of the Future?

Faith in the Future: Catholic Parliamentary Internship Scheme from Catholic Church (England/Wales) on Vimeo.

I wish I could do the book-keeping work that I do for St Mary Magdalen's voluntarily, but, sadly, this is the only employment that I have, so this money is what puts bread on the table. I suppose I could go on the soup run to get my dinner, but then the £12 a week that I spend on food for the soup run out of my payment means that I am able to experience the joy of giving as well as that of being on the receiving end of generosity.

A commenter also told me not to criticise Austen Ivereigh because I am not fit to 'polish his shoes'. Well, at least Austen can afford to have someone polish his shoes and while it may not be me that he would go to in order to have them polished, because I seem to be largely unemployable, at least I can say that I don't whore out my Catholic Faith to any liberal media establishment willing to publish something very inoffensive indeed to a crowd of people so used to Polly Toynbee's vitriolic rants against the Holy Faith, that the Catholic Faith has to be coated in warm words and saccharine in order for it to be consumed, lest the readers choke to death. It's a dirty job, Austen, but I know somebody has to do it. I thought most of the article was actually very good.

Besides, despite what Austen might think, I don't hate him or even dislike him. How can I when I've never met him? All I say is, "Don't hold back, Austen! You tell those liberals what's what! Better to lose bad friends than your immortal soul! Go get 'em!" Anyway, the upshot of 'Margaret's comments is that 'she' (it isn't necessarily a 'she', as I doubt 'she' has used her real name) is writing to His Lordship, + Kieran Conry, presumably to complain either about my salary or my blog or both. This is indeed her right. She is entitled to write to the Bishop, but I can't see what His Lordship would complain about in this blog. After all, His Lordship is 100% in accord with Pope Benedict XVI in matters on Faith and Morals, obedient to the Successor of St Peter and of sound, orthodox theology, so what would he see in my blog that would offend him? Like all Bishops of England and Wales, His Lordship wishes only to see the defense of the Catholic Faith in the United Kingdom, the stamping out of heresy and the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed from the rooftops, to be beamed back to Earth via satellites onto the laptops, desktop computers and mobile phones of every citizen in the realm and beyond, as His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged us to, in playing our part in the New Evangelisation of Europe.

We can all at least agree that there exists no field of human creativity that needs the New Evangelisation more than that of politics. It is with this in mind that the Bishops Conference of England and Wales are asking whether there any young people interested in becoming the Catholic Church's new breed of evangelists in the political World? The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales are training up our bright young things to be at the coal face of Westminster and Brussels life, to face down those wolves, with their evil secular agenda, diabolical anti-life policies and secret plans to violently rape the Bride of Christ while she's not looking. There is absolutely no way, no way on God's green Earth that the Bishops of England and Wales are going to allow this to happen. Not from Europe, not from Westminster. No way, hosea. That's why they're training young adults to be pro-life soldiers for Christ, brave, upright political warriors of the 21st century who will stand up for Truth and strike the serpent where it hurts, on its head, in the corridors of power in the United Kingdom and Brussels. Could you be the next Oona Stannard or even Greg Pope? Wouldn't you like to be? Then this the chance for you!

Of course, I'd be interested in applying myself but I doubt that their Lordships would want this washed-up reprobate, with his useless degree in Politics from Liverpool University (2:1) and his NCTJ in Magazine Journalism, because, after all, if there is one quality necessary for work in Westminster it is that of being diplomatic. Although their Lordships love Our Blessed Lady, Our Blessed Lord, His Holy Church. His Pope, the Holy Doctrines of the Church and have great zeal for Souls, they, above all others, understand the need, the very urgent need for us to be diplomatic and to use very diplomatic language when discussing the Catholic Faith. You see, when the Dioceses send parishes out posters about a forthcoming Fairtrade gathering to foster social justice, it doesn't mean that. What it really means is that there will, during the course of Lent, be a seminar given by a highly respected Priest entitled, 'Our Need for Regular Confession'. It's in code, because the Church is suffering persecution for having spoken out undiplomatically in the past.

The interns in the video above now and then say that the work is "spiritual". What is "spiritual" about working in the sleaze-pit of Westminster or with the greased-up, go-go-dancer grabbing, gravy-train robbing-slime-bag politicians of the European Union? Gosh, internships in Brussels and Westminster! I'll bet that costs the Catholic Trust for England and Wales (CaTEW) funded initiative, a small sum. but then, I'm not so cynical as to complain about that because their Lordships are just being generous to their flock and feeding their tender lambs. They will never feed them to the wolves! Not now! Not ever!

Let's face it, the Catholic Communications Network (CCN) paid their staff £190,246 last year alone, but it is parishioners money that our intrepid and steadfast Bishops of England and Wales are prepared to see spent in order to communicate the Gospel, to defend our Holy Mother the Church and to save souls and, what is more, as Damian Thompson will tell you, they are worth every single penny. We know that each one of those men in the CCN does it all for the love of God, very often defending Christ and His Church out of office hours, at early hours of the morning on blogs that uphold the Magisterium and defend the Successor of St Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning!

God bless and protect our Bishops so that they may continue to strike fear into the enemies of Christ and His Bride, the Church!

Fr Gerald Vann OP

Fr Gerald Vann, Priest and author
I today purchased a book entitled Awake in Heaven. It was written by Fr Gerald Vann OP (1906-1963 - May he rest in peace). The book received an Imprimatur from Bishop Leo, Episcopus Northantoniensis, on 27 March, 1947. Fr Vann was in the Dominican Order of Preachers and wrote extensively on the Faith.

Is it any good? I'll let you know when I have read it, but for the meantime, it is for sale on my Bone's Catholic Store for £10. It is an old book, hardback but, that said, you can make me an offer and I doubt very much I will refuse. In this work he studies St Thomas Aquinas and the 'Summa Theologica', Dogma, Morality and Happiness, Politics and also includes an essay on the work of Aldous Huxley. A portion of which I shall write below.

Among other works he wrote were The Heart of Man, On Being Human, The Divine Pity, The Sorrow of God, St Thomas Aquinas, Morality and War and His Will is Our Peace.

'Christian mysticism at its highest is the fulfilment of the Incarnation and therefore of the love of both of God and of man; and it is this fact which enables it to serve the world and may enable it even at the eleventh hour to save the world in the power and the prompting of God. it is able to serve and to save because at the very summit of union with the Infinite and Unknowable it remains humble and homely; it is never too absorbed, too proud to remember the little things of the world, the needs and cares and sorrows of men and women, not to love with God the creatures he has made and redeemed and in which his glory is made manifest. It is strange that this should be obscure to Mr Huxley with his concern for the world in which we live - so obscure apparently as to lead him into the uncharacteristic (because ill-informed and unscholarly) gibes which every and then obtrude into his pages. We are all children of a single family; and it is as a family that we are meant to return to God, the Infinite Incomprehensible who is yet the Father of us all.'
~ Fr Gerald Vann OP, Awake in Heaven

A student of the Dominican Order as published a review of some of his another of his works, The Divine Pity, which you can read at Godzdogz. Also, interestingly, Fr Aiden Nichols includes a study of the theology of Fr Gerald Vann in a book entitled Dominican Gallery which you can read online here.

Pray for the Philippines and its Bishops

This program is from

Michael Voris contrasts the difference between the Bishops of the Philippines and the Bishops of the United States, in the contraception 'debate' taking place in the country now.

Fr Barron of Word on Fire is an Excellent Catholic Communicator

Fr Robert Barron has a site called Word on Fire. It's really quite a big website. A lot to navigate through. I very much like his ease with communicating the Catholic Faith and his relaxed manner in front of the camera. He's our David Attenbrough or Simon Schama.

St Mary Magdalen Church Choir Blog

St Mary Magdalen Choir now have a blog...
St Mary Magdalen Church Choir now have a blog and very interesting it looks too.

Clare strives to encourage the Choir to 'sing the Mass' rather than to 'sing at Mass'. She has a lot of knowledge of Gregorian Chant and the blog looks like it is going to be very informative. Hopefully, video of the Missa Cantata will be available on the Choir blog after Ash Wednesday.

Click here to see the blog.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Priests Threaten Mass Exodus Over New Translation

Time to ring those alarm bells...
'They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us.' ~ 1 John 2:19

Still, personally I think these guys bluffing...or maybe just Fr Anthony Ruff-ing. Make no mistake here, this is insurrection, open rebellion against not just the Authority of the Church Herself, but against His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.  Thanks to The Catholic Knight, who alerted us to this in-depth piece concerning the organisation mentioned in my previous post - the National Council of (we are the Gaudiem et Spes) Priests. My thoughts, bold, deep purple, bracketed.

Courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald...

'The Catholic Church is facing open defiance over its new Mass, with at least a dozen Australian priests indicating they will refuse to use it when it comes into force later this year. Hundreds more are angry about the lack of consultation for the new, more literal translation of the 400-year-old Latin text, which was heavily influenced by a Vatican advisory committee headed by the Sydney Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell.
What supporters say is a suitably elevated and poetic text more faithful to the original Latin is seen by detractors as an outdated, contrived and less inclusive version that ignores modern English and could further alienate Catholics from the church. It has become the latest battleground in the culture wars between progressive Catholics and traditionalists over the direction of reforms stemming from the 1960s Vatican Council, which allowed the faithful to celebrate the liturgy in their own language for the first time.
To be gradually introduced from June, the new Mass will be the compulsory version of the English mass by November. But Father John Crothers, the parish priest of St Declan's parish in Penshurst, said he could not in good conscience use the text, which he believed to go against the 1960s Vatican Council's spirit of ''aggiornamento'', meaning ''up-to-date''. ''I've no problems with changing things - it's part of my philosophy that you've got to change and grow and develop. It's the fact that this is going backwards instead of going forwards,'' he said. ''I won't be saying the priest part. If the people wanted to do the responses in the new translation, it's up to them.''
In Ireland this month a group representing more than 400 priests publicly denounced the new translation as ''archaic, elitist and obscure'' and urged their bishops to delay the changes for at least five years until the clergy and laity were consulted.
The chairman of the National Council of Priests of Australia, Father Ian McGinnity, said hundreds of its 1600 members were ''pretty steamed up'' at the Vatican's lack of consultation but most had not yet decided how to respond. At least a dozen had indicated they would not use the new English translation, he said. ''We're also very concerned that the language, the idiom, might perhaps estrange more Catholics [in grave and mortal sin] from participation in the Eucharist,'' he said. Asked what sanctions a local bishop could apply to defiant priests, Father McGinnity said: "I really don't know. I suppose he could suspend a bloke. But given the [priest] shortage, it's unlikely." Father Crothers said he had told Cardinal Pell his position at a clergy conference last year. "I said at the conference, 'I won't be doing it, and where do I stand there?' And he's just said that he expected all the priests will do it" [and in a spirit of obedience to the expressed will of the Holy Father, you said, "Gotcha! Will do!"...right?]
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, the vice-chairman of the international translation committee, said consultation had been extensive but there would have to be ''dialogue and encouragement'' with opponents. ''I think a lot of the criticism is really a fear of what we think the thing is, and when we get to the reality, it's not like that at all.''
The executive director of the National Liturgy Commission, Peter Williams, who has spent the past year travelling the country to explain the new Mass, said it had already been successfully introduced in New Zealand. ''I think that's what's going to happen here. Of course there will be some irritability, but in due course people will have made the change."

If they go, they go, but somehow I doubt they will...yet.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

"We are the Gaudium et Spes priests..."

"Benedict XVI has continued the reversal of Vatican II"
Dr Tina Beattie has put fingers to keyboard and given us a really very interesting testimony of the life of a Priest grounded in the 'spirit of the Second Vatican Council'.

Dr Beattie would be very a reliable source for names and numbers that you might want to pass on to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, were there not so many Priests worldside who are 'well dodgy'. Tina, as an eminent theologian of the Church, in a teaching role, doesn't seem to have many bloggers in her sidebar so it is hard to see with exactly whom she is in sympathy. Still, that said, the articles to which she links appear to be a pretty good source for those deeply concerned by the rebellion taking place within the Bride of Christ against all that is both good and holy.

Thank you, then, Dr Beattie, for this genuinely interesting account of one legitimately ordained priest's ministry and for his reflection upon the Priesthood from the Second Vatican Council onwards. My thoughts in bold, deep purple. I publish the thoughts of this priest, in full, because they really are very important indeed. These are the thoughts of Fr Eric Hodgensunderlined and bold.

Reflections on an Ordination Golden Anniversary
December 2010
by Fr Eric Hodgens, Melbourne
'We are the Gaudium et Spes priests. We went into the seminary at the highest rate in living memory. We were ordained between 1955 and 1975 – in double the numbers our parishes required. Most of us were from the Silent Generation with a few years of Baby Boomers at the end. We took Vatican II to heart.
We changed from being priests called and consecrated by God to being presbyters called and ordained by the Church – the People of God. Ecumenism became a normal way of thinking for us. Prepared for the challenge by Cardijn’s apostolate of like to like, we were successful at educating a newly vital and active laity. We worked with the people rather than for them. We realised that clericalism was an evil, not a good, and discarded it with its style and culture. We ran highly successful and active parishes. Though ageing now, many of us are still on the job. Our presbyteral and pastoral lives have been a source of that unusual experience – joy.
But not without grief. We have experienced the awakening 60s, the exciting 70s, the suspicious 80s, the depressing 90s and the imploding 00s. During the 1980s we became aware that a lot was going wrong. Ordinations suddenly dropped after 1975. We started to lose parishioners – first from Mass then from affiliation. Both of these changes had mixed social causes.
Worse! Discordant decisions were coming down from the pope. Priestly celibacy, despite being highly contentious, was reasserted by Paul VI in 1967 without discussion. In 1968 Humanae Vitae was a shocking disappointment. Most of us never accepted it. Paul VI began appointing bishops opposed to the council’s ethos. This was most notable in Holland which had become a trailblazer in implementing the council. Paul killed that initiative and we are all the worse off for that. The whole trend was demoralizing.
Then came John Paul II. Charismatic in front of the TV camera; brilliant at languages; but – out of touch in scripture and limited in theology, a bad listener and rock solid is his self-assessment as God’s chosen man of destiny. His whole life had been spent in the persecuted church of Poland with its fortress church mentality frozen in time.
The open dialogue of the Church with the new ideas and values arising out of new knowledge in scriptural criticism, theology, psychology, sociology, anthropology stopped. New scientific discoveries in genetics were treated with suspicion and their application usually condemned. Sexual mores were promoted to the top shelf of his panorama of sin – a bit of an obsession with him.
Power corrupts. The history of the papacy shows this pre-eminently. Unchecked potentates believe their own propaganda. Taken to the extreme, they claim infallibility. Pius IX bullied Vatican I into institutionalizing such a claim. Since then creeping infallibility has resulted in the pope and his theologically limited curia stealing the term “magisterium” from its real owners – the college of professional theologians. How can you conscientiously give assent of mind and heart to policies formed without theological debate, consultation, transparency or accountability? In contemporary government and business this would be judged unethical.
John Paul’s lust for power showed very early and was taken to monumental proportions. Accountable to nobody, John Paul moved against any opinion other than his own and removed many exponents of alternative opinions from teaching and publishing. His most powerful enforcer was the Ratzinger-led Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Other Roman dicasteries joined the campaign.
The CDF is the current euphemism for the Inquisition. True to its mediaeval roots, it assumes the pope to be entitled to enforce his views. It conducts its delations and proceedings in secret. In today’s secular world this is a violation of human rights.
Theological censorship justifies itself as the quest for the truth and poses as truth’s champion. In fact it is the enemy of the discovery of truth because discussion is forestalled. The contemporary secular world understands this and wisely enshrines freedom of speech and debate as a central value. The Church no less than any other enterprise is at least the poorer and at worst prone to error when it rejects this value.
All of us are abused by this process. The priest at the coal face is not consulted, yet is contemptuously expected to defend policies he and his people do not believe. John Paul II also enforced much of his own devotional life on the church at large. Despite Vatican II he effectively stopped the third rite of Penance, reversed a burgeoning dynamic theology of Eucharist by reverting to and re-emphasising devotion to the static Real Presence, reinforced a distorted devotion to Mary based on fundamentalist theology and introduced peculiar devotions such as Sr. Faustina’s Divine Mercy Devotion which undercuts Easter – the climax of our liturgical year. A more grievous abuse of power by John Paul II was his appointment of bishops.
Appointees were to be clerical, compliant and in total agreement with his personal opinions. This has emasculated the leadership of the Church. The episcopal ranks are now low on creativity, leadership, education and even intelligence. Many are from the ranks of Opus Dei – reactionary, authoritarian and decidedly not creative. Many, often at the top of the hierarchical tree, are embarrassingly ignorant of any recent learning in scripture, theology and scientific disciplines. Many are classic company boys. Some of the more intelligent and better educated seem to have sold their souls for advancement. Can they really believe the line they channel? Ecclesiastical politics have trumped integrity. And when these men are appointed as the leaders of priests without any consultation they become a standing act of contempt.
Worse still, this happened over a period when the priesthood held its biggest proportion of intelligent, educated and competent leaders. It was those very qualities which blackballed them for appointment under the blinkered but powerful regime. Our best chance has been missed.  [Deo gratias!] Today the ranks of the priesthood are depleted due to low recruitment over the last forty years [and who might be to blame for that?]. The pool from which future bishops must be chosen is very shallow.
A newly critical laity questions policy but receives no answers. Why can’t women be leaders in the Church? Why do priests have to be celibate? What is wrong with contraception? Why alienate remarried divorcees? Why this salacious preoccupation with sexual mores? Why are scientific advances always suspected of being bad? Why can’t we recognise the reality of homosexual orientation – and the social consequences of that recognition? Have we learnt nothing from the Galileo case – or the treatment of Teilhard de Chardin? Can’t we escape the Syllabus of Errors mentality?
Benedict XVI has continued the reversal of Vatican II. He is imposing a new English translation of the Sacramentary on a resisting English speaking constituency. This may very well backfire because many priests are not going to implement it. Benedict has received back bishops from the schismatic Society of St Pius X. He has encouraged the Tridentine Mass in Latin. He has reintroduced kneeling for communion on the tongue at his public Masses – all deliberate key pointers to regression from the spirit of Vatican II. To the priests who embraced Vatican II they are iconic insults.
Then he has the nerve to decree[d] a Year for Priests in 2009 with St John Vianney as patron. Like Fr. Donald Cozzens, many felt they were being played. The celebration of the importance of priests in the church is belied by the contempt with which they are treated. How can Rome call priests to repentance when it is so recalcitrant; so slow to admit any failing of its own? How can they be serious in stressing the importance of the priest as confessor when it is clear that confession has all but vanished from the life of the Church? How can they urge Holy Hours and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament when most priests have moved on from that static theology of Eucharist to a dynamic one – with Vatican II leading the way? How can they urge priests to more intense prayer when they show no evidence of a change of heart or attitude – the genuine indicator that prayer is working?
We took as normal the world and the church into which we were ordained. In reality, the religious affiliation of the period was abnormally high. Mass and sacramental participation and priestly vocations were at a high water mark. The reversal which began in the late 60s was always going to happen. But with Vatican II we had the tools to handle the new situation. A large group of the priests were ready to meet the challenge. They did not get the chance. The orders from above were to withdraw to the fortress and sing the old song. Instead of embracing the new they lost the opportunity and left us high and dry – and disappointed.
In the western world priests still always rate highly in job satisfaction surveys. They generally enjoy their job and do it well. That is because they are happy in their own patch. But they feel betrayed by the pope and the bishops. If you ask them what they think about the powers up top and where the official show is going you get a very different answer.'

Well! All in all, it looks like the now retired Priest read more into Vatican II than was really and truly there and he is hardly the only one. Poor lamb. Or, rather, poor, mislead Shepherd. It goes without saying that there is far, far too much in this genuinely interesting account (for the CDF) of the Priesthood of Fr Eric Hodgens - now a retired Priest of Melbourne, Australia - with which I take issue and which I believe, actually, no, I know to be totally at odds with the Magisterium of Holy Church, but I thought you'd find it interesting nonetheless.

Strange, isn't it, that opposition to the Pope seems to be a steady constant in his argument? Strange, doubly, trebly strange, even, that it doesn't actually matter whether it is Pope Paul VI, the Venerable Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning, reigning. They are all on the receiving end of his unjustified criticism. Strange, how strange it is, that whomsoever should happen to be the Succesor of St Peter, Peter is considered by this particular Priest to be the enemy of both Faith and Reason. To this particular Priest, though it has to be said that he is 'one of many', whoever sits upon the Throne of Peter is considered unreliable as a witness to the Truth and is an enemy of the on-going pursuit of some kind of new truth decreed by endless 'marginal musings' that bear a bizarre resemblance to the prevailing view of society at large. I suspect that Fr Eric Hodgens, deep down, is really just another sede vacantist at heart. Thank God that he is not supported by an entire host of Priests in Australia, or anything like that. He's a loner, a one-off, a maverick. I mean, it isn't like our Bishops think like he does. There would be no Bishops who would condone Fr Eric Hodgens, the sede vacantist! We hope and pray and trust that this is so, but then, Pope St Gregory I the Great prophecised...

"Upon the appearance of the Antichrist, not only hoards of laity, but a veritable army of Priests and Bishops will go over to him." 

Always a quote worth remembering, that. Let's be blunt. It's not just Dr Tina Beattie who is awaiting the arrival of the Antichrist, since it is pretty obvious that she has rejected Christ Himself, represented through His Sovereign Pontiff, His Representative on Earth, Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning. A National Council of Priests in Australia (granted, we don't know how many members they have, but I suspect there are 'many') clearly support the views of this Priest (were it not so they would not have published it) who contradicts pretty much everything that we believe to have been revealed by God to His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We have every right to be more than a little alarmed. As the near undeniably providential Michael Voris informs us, these National Councils of Priests are nearly going global. There are 'doctors', quite possibly, in the highest ranks of the Church, who look forward not to the Second Coming of Our Lord, but the coming of one who will deceive 'even the very elect of God'. Regarding the testimony of Fr Eric, well you can contact the CDF here, but this ordained Priest is old in the way that makes even the hardest of hearts feel sorry for frail, elderly Nazi war criminals who get tried by the Hague. Is it really worth it?

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Hey Tina, Baby! Great News!

"Sisters, doing it for themselves..."
Thank you, Acts of the Apostasy (Rorate Caeli broke the story) for alerting us to this absolutely fantastic, sublimely wonderful news of seismic proportions which will not only given God great joy, but will give His spokesperson for women's affairs on Earth, Dr Tina Beattie - prophetess, true daughter of St Joan of Arc, mystic of the Church and doctor of theology - abundant joy as well!

It looks like a 'woman priest' takes the Catholic Faith more even more seriously than Dr Tina Beattie. If you have not heard this news already then it is my personal joy to reveal that a lady priest has recanted of her lady priestness and resolved never to be a lady priest again. Oh boy...this is going to feel good and you know what they say...if it feels it! This is a written statement by Norma Jean Coon, RN, MFCC, PhD of San Diego, California.

'On July 22, 2007, I was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Patricia Fresen, of Germany and South Africa who was ordained by three male bishops in Germany for the group called Roman Catholic Women Priests. The ordination took place at the Santa Barbara Immaculate Heart Spiritual Center. Because neither Patricia Fresen nor myself were given permission for the ordination by Pope Benedict XVI, the ordinations were illegitimate and not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Thus an excommunication process called Latae Sententiae occurred, excommunicating oneself by failure to observe the Canon Laws of the Church. 
I wish to renounce the alleged ordination and publicly state that I did not act as a deacon as a part of this group except on two occasions, when I read the gospel once at mass and distributed communion once at this same mass. I withdrew from the program within two weeks of the ceremony because I realized that I had made a mistake in studying for the priesthood. I confess to the truth of Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. I confess the authority of the Holy Father on these issues of ordination and recognize that Christ founded the ordination only for men.
Formally, I relinquish all connection to the program of Roman Catholic Women Priests and I disclaim the alleged ordination publicly with apologies to those whose lives I have offended or scandalized by my actions. I ask God's blessings upon each of these folks and their families.
Norma Jean Coon, RN, MFCC, PhD
San Diego, California
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sister, renouncing it for Jesus
Holy God, I ask your blessings on my Bishop and my pastor and priests in Rome who have assisted me in the process of being re-instated into the Roman Catholic Church and I forsake all connection with the Roman Catholic Women Priests program via Internet or otherwise.
I thank you for the efforts of my family in my behalf and ask for Jesus' Light and Love to pour over my husband of 47 years and my five children.
Forgive me my Beloved Jesus and Mother Mary for pursuing my own will in this matter of ordination and as I consecrate myself to your Divine Will through the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask you to pour out Light and Love upon any who have placed themselves outside of your Love and Light Bless us, O Lord, for these thy gifts and place us in the Heart of the Father, as we pray for more priests to serve in our church and for vocations to enrich our Church in the United States.
Forgive us for failing in obedience and enrich us in your Holy Love, I pray through Jesus and Mary. Fiat+

Oh Tina! It's so moving, isn't it?! Doesn't it just bring tears to your eyes?! Redemption! O Lord, we marvel at your works! Oh, how the Angels must be weeping with joy! Oh, Tina! Just imagine the joy of your patroness in Heaven too, who I see you've recently added to your sidebar, as well! I'm going to go out and get me another beer! If you were here, Tina, love, I'd buy you one myself and we could both celebrate!

"Catholic Faithful Should Demonstrate Their Anger, Non-violently"

Tahir Square: It's just like St Peter's Square, isn't it?
Creative Minority Report has alerted us to the West's fascination with Egypt and sudden desire to paint every situation, institution and authority as being "just like Egypt." Now, not that surprisingly, a journalist has compared the Catholic Church as being a bit like Egypt.

I suppose that there are Catholics, I need name no names, who think of Pope Benedict XVI as a cold-hearted dictator sitting in the Vatican ordering his troops to fire live ammunition, water cannons and tear gas at dissident Catholics, but, as yet, I've had no phone call from the Vatican telling me to open fire on Austen Ivereigh. Taking aim at dissenting Catholics is something I do voluntarily.

That said, I did have a dream last night in which His Holiness came to me to reassure me that Summorum Pontificum will be defended and not to worry, but a dream is just a dream, isn't it? Here's what the writer, Richard Taylor of the Philadelphia Enquirer said in his article, 'Catholic Faithful Should Demonstrate Non-Violently'...

The Catholic Church isn't an Egyptian dictatorship, but its authority structure has many similar features. It is autocratic and totally top-down. It fears and crushes dissent. It disdains democracy, at least in its own structures. It is not accountable to its members, nor does it consult meaningfully with them.

When Catholics try to offer helpful ideas, we are rebuffed or ignored. More often than not, our leaders treat us like children who are to be seen but not heard, rather than thoughtful adults with talents, intelligence, and experience that the church desperately needs. Our protestations about priestly sex abuse and leaders' cover-ups fall on deaf ears.

Won't our beloved church continue to be held up to scorn for its actions until this medieval structure changes?

Can you believe that? An entire newspaper dedicated to spreadable cheese? Suffice to say that every time we Catholics commit sin with wilful consent we are taking place in our own little demonstration and rebellion against Christ and His Church, so there really is no need to descend upon St Peter's Square with placards. The Lord can see us. We don't even need placards. Other Catholics like to go further, of course, and to demonstrate against Christ and His Church by penning articles that undermine the Church's teaching on a range of issues, whether those issues be related to the transmission of human life, the dignity of human life from conception to death or the dignity and sacramental nature of marriage, the holy union for which human sexual relationships are exclusively reserved.

It was, I suppose, only a matter of time before a Catholic journalist looked at Egypt's Mubarak, or Libya's Gadaffi and likened them to Vatican City's Pope Benedict XVI. The truth of the matter, unfortunately, is that the 'dissidents' more or less took over the Church a long time ago and 'the revolution' was not so much televised as staged in more or less every parish Church and Diocesan House in the West for all the Faithful to see.

If you go to (more or less) any parish Church in the United Kingdom, for example, or even Italy, which as we know is rather near to St Peter's Square, will you find a high percentage of Priests with a Benedictine Altar arrangement? Will you find a high percentage of Priests 'towing the line' and speaking regularly about our need to be in a State of Grace in order to receive Holy Communion? Will you find a high percentage of Priests recommending that, really, the best way to receive Our Blessed Lord is to kneel because what, with our senses we perceive to be bread and wine, after Consecration, will be the Lord of Lords Himself? How many Priests or Bishops will you find who actually preach what the Church teaches on the evils of artificial contraception or even abortion? How many of these will you find who take what His Holiness has taught about the need for Sacred Liturgy that fosters prayer and respect for the Blessed Sacrament? How many will celebrate Mass Ad Orientem? How many follow his example of fidelity to Christ and holiness of life, for he truly is a model for all those ordained?

What is more, the truth is that dictatorship is really not the Benedictine way. Of course, every now and then he will make a polite appeal to Bishops to "recognise dissent for what it is", but doesn't he just say it so politely? He doesn't say, "You cockroaches had better start shaping up or else I'll get some Taliban Catholics to diss you on their blogs, you traitorous, wicked, drug-fuelled mice."

The truth of the matter is that if you really want to see "people power" in action, you need only read the blogs of Catholics loyal to the Magisterium and to the Holy Father, whether they be Priests or Lay Faithful. Nobody is telling us to do it and there are plenty of Priests and certainly Bishops who would really rather we did not remind them of their solemn duty to care for souls, to be true Shepherds to us, their flock and to 'preach the Gospel in season and out of season'. It goes without saying that this is always done in a non-violent manner.

The 'velvet revolution' achieved near globally by liberals within the Chuch may have been unbloody, but one certainly fears that countless souls paid a high price and, what is more, if you really want to know what a tyrant is, get a group of ten parishioners together to ask politely, or, if you want to 'walk like an Egyptian', demand, for your freedom to have the Traditional Latin Mass made available so that you may worship the Lord our God with liturgy that respects the great Mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Tell them that the highest authority within the Church, the Vicar of Christ, has explicity sanctioned your freedom, with Apostolic Authority, in asking for this. Then, await his response and then await the response of your Bishop. Believe me, real "people power" is the last thing that the vast majority of the Church's Priests and Bishops want to see. As for the Holy Father, well, His Holiness did permit it. You could even say that he liberated his people from tyranny. This the Successor of St Peter is doing not by ordering his troops to open fire, but with a step-by-step reform of the Universal Church because he knows that for the vast majority of parish Churches, anarchy is more or less the certified norm.

Always the Bridegroom, Never the Bride...

Gay marriage is 'wrong', but Civil Partnerships are just dandy
Well, well, well. Terrible earthquakes appear suddenly, out of the blue, while huge uprisings in the Middle East take the World's breath away with surprise, but Austen Ivereigh can always be relied upon to undermine the Infallible Teaching of the Catholic Church on sexual morality and to spread his error and falsehood in the mass media.

Thank you, John Smeaton, Director of the SPUC, for drawing our attention to Mr Ivereigh's latest endorsement of that which is condemned by the Magisterium. It makes me sick to my stomach that Austen is sought out as a spokesman on Catholic issues and that he is paid in order to do so. The least that he could do is actually defend the Catholic Church's position on sexual morality.  Writing for The Guardian, one could be forgiven for thinking that Austen is just going along with the housestyle of the publication, writing for a particular audience. Unfortunately, though, he isn't even doing that. What the Church believes, Austen does not.

While Damian Thompson has raised questions over whether the Bishops Conference of England and Wales really meant what it said when Archbishop Peter Smith released his condemnation of the moves to legalise gay "marriage" religious ceremonies in Churches, or whether the Bishops were leant on by Rome, John Smeaton has provided us with an exemplary analysis of Austen Ivereigh's latest outrageous misrepresentation of the Catholic Faith. Of course, it isn't really a misrepresentation of the Catholic Faith as such, when Austen is speaking 'from the Throne', ex cathedra, so to speak, the kind of liberal diahorrea to which we have all grown accustomed. He's quite consistent like that, you know. In a way, you always know where you stand with Austen because you can take the Catechism of the Catholic Church and just know he's going to say something that contradicts it totally.

Austen's latest offerings. Isn't he just so quotable? 

"Civil partnership is a fine thing, and should be extended. But the government's desire to create 'gay marriage' is quite wrong".

"There are many kinds of loving, committed relationships. And it's good that the state supports them. It would have been much better if the legal privileges of the Civil Partnership Act of 2004 were not restricted to same-sex couples, but were available – as in France and Italy – to maiden aunts, marriage-phobic men and women, the disabled and their lifelong carers. It is right that people who commit themselves – lovingly, sometimes even sexually – to each other, and express that in stability and commitment, to have inheritance and hospital-visiting rights, tax breaks and the like. But civil partnerships are not marriage."

The question Austen could address, but won't, and quite possibly never will, is this. Austen, why is so-called gay marriage "wrong" but Civil Partnerships in which people of the same sex commit themselves "lovingly, sometimes even sexually" to each other not wrong? Come on, Austen! What is wrong with him? It's like he only does foreplay with Catholic teaching. He just can't go 'all the way'. Ah well, who can blame him. I mean, if he actually communicated the Catholic Faith, he'd lose friends in the media, wouldn't he? He'd be unpopular with many. He'd be hated by many of those who read his articles or listen to his musings on the Faith in the media. The Tablet would distance themselves from him. He'd be persecuted by the liberal establishment for speaking out for the Truth. He'd be derided as a 'Taliban Catholic' or something else. Then, maybe, just maybe, he might be worthy of his presumably quite ample salary. Coveting the jobs of others is sinful, of course, but O my...What I would give to have Austen's job! You know, Austen, if I could reach the number of souls who read your stuff, I'd still do it for the what I get now as the book-keeper and secretary of St Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton...

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Holy See Official Warns of the UN's Semantics Strategy

UN: Purveyors of new language espousing a new ideology
Courtesy of Zenit

'"Husband" and "wife" is out, and "partner" is in. Also out: "man" and "woman." "Gender" is the word of choice today. Want to say "Contraception?" Try "reproductive health."

With these and similar word games combined with an extreme interpretation of "anti-discrimination," international institutions are imposing ideologies across the globe -- policies that oppose Catholic thought and influence daily life. And in general, people realize there's been a change too late.

This was the warning made by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent representative of the Holy See to the U.N. offices in Geneva, when he spoke Thursday in Rome at the headquarters of the Communion and Liberation movement.

His address was titled "The Force of the Word. Truth and Ideology in International Organizations." Marta Carabia, professor of constitutional law at the University of Milano-Bicocca, also spoke. The event was moderated by the director of the International Center, Roberto Forlan.

"Geneva is a place where culture is generated daily," said Archbishop Tomasi, recalling that 30,000 employees of international entities reside there, holding more than 9,000 conferences every year. To clarify the problem, the prelate recalled Benedict XVI's thought on the dictatorship of relativism:

"A good part of contemporary philosophy states that man is incapable of knowing the truth. And, as a consequence, the man who is incapable of [truth] does not have ethical values."

Thus, the archbishop continued, "he ends up by accepting majority opinion as the sole reference point -- although history demonstrates how destructive majorities can be," as in the case "of the dictatorships imposed by Nazism and Marxism."

According to Archbishop Tomasi, words from Judeo-Christian tradition are disappearing: words such as truth, morality, conscience, reason, father, mother, child, commandment, sin, hierarchy, nature, marriage, etc..

A new vocabulary that "represents an individualist ideology taken to the extreme and which inspires the guidelines of the employees of world governance" is coming to the fore, he said.

"The United Nations aspires to create a new international order and to do so it creates a new anthropology," as when it speaks of gender - "not the one given by nature but the one chosen by the individual," Archbishop Tomasi explained.
This undermines the very structure of society in what pertains to the family, he added. A Thomist vision that exacts "conformity of the intellect with reality" is replaced "by a concept of reality as subjective and as a social construction in which truth and reality do not have a stable content," the prelate cautioned.

This "alliance between ideology and pragmatism" challenges Christian wisdom, he affirmed, even if in the long run "they will not be able to underestimate or simply ignore the anthropological realism of the Christian tradition."

Asked how these strategies come about, Archbishop Tomasi said it is a complex process, beyond the proponents themselves. He traced it to the dictatorship of relativism.

"To say that a pear is not an apple is not discrimination," the archbishop reminded. "And these soft laws are transformed into juridical norms. Then there is a new convention and it becomes law and it is applied even in a small village."

For her part, Marta Cartabia affirmed the importance of the language of law. She noted the ambiguity since the 1995 Beijing Conference, with its emphasis on "gender discrimination," which has nothing to do with a biological fact but simply with the interpretation of a role that a person wishes to have. She noted that in Spain and Germany today, one can "ask for a change of sex despite physical characteristics, guaranteed by the law with a trivial procedure such as going to a registration office.  "How can woman be defended," Cartabia asked, "if the role is only optional?"'

Thank you, Archbishop Tomasi.

Crushed Bones

Yesterday was a disappointing day on a personal note. I had an interview at a local parish Church for a parish secretary. I dressed smart, thought the interview went well and then discovered I didn't get the job. It is all becoming very disheartening when I can't get a job as a parish secretary even though I am a parish secretary already. I seem to get a lot of interviews and then people meet me and it all goes down hill from there. It wasn't a full time job, part-time, three days a week, but the income would have been helpful. It's almost as if I've got the word 'unemployable' stamped on my forehead, just that I can't see it. I wore a tie, combed my hair. Today I'll be applying for a job in a funeral directors.

Still, things could be a lot worse. I could getting spayed with rounds of live bullets indiscriminately by Libyan forces or be trapped in a building in Christchurch, New Zealand following an 6.8 scale earthquake. Say a prayer for them, the victims, the finding of those trapped, for those who have lost loved ones and for the eternal rest of the dead. Poor Libyans too. Both the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals of Christchurch are now in ruin. The Transalpine Redemptorists of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer have pictures of the Catholic Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, before and after...all...very...depressing...I think you'll agree.

If you want to say a prayer for employment for me as well, that would be much appreciated.

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

It has been a long time since I have put finger to keyboard to write about our holy Catholic Faith, something I regret, but which I put larg...