Monday 31 October 2011

The Undead on Procession in Brighton

Let the undead bury their, er, undead...
Last weekend, Brighton was hit by its annual procession of the undead. Basically, people, mostly young people, dress up as zombies and go on procession through Brighton. This appears to kick off what turns out to be more or less a week of 'festivities' grounded in the thin end of the occult wedge. In fact, even a few days before All Hallow's Eve, the checkout girl from Sainsburys was serving customers dressed up as one who has risen from the tomb in a less than glorified body.

A huge amount of commercialism surrounds 'Halloween' now but that shouldn't detract us from a desire of the young to go on procession, even if it is just to give outward expression to an inner reality. It is a little sad that there is only a small, if growing, visible public counter-culture in Britain when it comes to Catholic processions, not that vast swathes of the youth would want to join in - it might even freak some people out a bit.

One can also see in the zombie processions and what amounts to a week of preparation for Halloween, with all the parties and dressing up and stuff two societies running in parallel lines - one society, society at large, immersed in a culture obsessed with death and another society - the Church - which with a strong heartbeat should live up to Her proclamation of life 'in all its fullness'. Tomorrow, thanks be to God, October will be over and November will have begun, a month in which Holy Church intensifies Her loving prayers for the Souls of the Departed. It struck me today that the Souls in Purgatory's greatest torment is not the 'purifying fire' but the thwarted desire to see God 'face to face'. They are in a different realm and though they anticipate and greatly hope to see God, believing surely in this eventuality, their spiritual reality is much different to the Saints in Heaven and indeed ours. The Saints in Heaven see God and enjoy the vision of His Glory. We do not see the vision of His Glory, and yet, at Mass we do see God, disguised as bread in the Blessed Host.

The Souls in Purgatory must therefore yearn for what the Saints in Heaven possess and what we here on Earth possess also, when we receive Holy Communion, for unlike those in Purgatory, when we receive Holy Communion, we are united in our Souls to God. God and us become one.  Much as it may seem as if our lot, on Earth, is a vale of tears, our position is more enviable than that of the Souls in Purgatory, since at Communion, we possess in our souls what those souls do not - Jesus Christ Himself, His Body, Blood, Soul, Humanity and Divinity.

How much those Souls in Purgatory must lament that they did not perhaps always appreciate that this was so. How likely that we shall be guilty of the same lack of love for Our Lord! How much we should be aware that it is His Body and His Blood!

How much then, we who have time that we often squander, should have compassion on the Dead and remember them in our prayers as often as we can, for we have been promised by Holy Church that our prayers can bring them not just relief, but the eternal vision of the Triune God. We, too, can gain indulgences from Holy Church, as Rorate Caeli reminds us today, by visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead in the month of November. If we are wise, then we shall surely do so. What a great mystery it is that we poor and feeble creatures can bring relief to the Souls in Purgatory by our prayers. If we knew what Purgatory was like, then surely we would endure much for them and pray very regularly indeed for them.

Sunday 30 October 2011

What's On In the Van?

A friend of mine leant me a Daily Mail disco compilation with this cracking song by The Nolan's. This song is playing therefore in the van on a regular basis. I just thought I'd update readers because with the world economy in turmoil, floods, earthquakes and famine ravaging the Earth, what's playing in my van has got to be at least '...and finally' newsworthy.

For those who want to learn this song on guitar, there are some significant key changes and they don't sound quite right to me, but it is exceptionally great song by a Catholic band, though, I wouldn't like to bet my van on whether they've all lapsed or not. What with the last 50 years having seen a decimation of the Catholic Faith, it wouldn't surprise me. All The Nolans went to Cardinal Wiseman school in Greenford, Essex, and St Catherine's Catholic secondary in Blackpool. I hear that they have reformed or, at least, did in 2009. Perhaps they'd consider coming down to Brighton and doing a gig for the Building Restoration Fund at the community centre. Their autobiography, Survivors, is available for anyone interested in the joys and the sorrows of the Nolans story and is apparently for sale on their website.

Assisi III

You can have all the beards in the World, but there is only one Pope.

Well done to Archbishop Rowan Williams for kneeling before the Tabernacle of the Lord.

May the Lord assist him in calling in the Government to use water cannons on the protesters outside St Paul's Cathedral.

No more Mr Nice Guy, Archbishop, its time to get mean, and I mean Westminster City Council kind of mean. If you asked them to do it to the homeless, that would be bad, but these guys are just left-wing, Gap-wearing protestors who look as if they are posing for a new magazine dedicated to the sole subject of 'how to look great while protesting'.

Are you going to let them close down the Anglican Cathedral in London? Do they think they can do that to you just because you have a beard, are verbose, thoughtful, reflective, sensitive to modern day man and above all because you are an 'accommodating' Anglican? Well, no more accommodating! Get ready, protesters! Nobody ****s with the Archbishop of Canterbury!? You got that, amigos?! Nobody! Now let me introduce you to my little friend!

Half of them are probably just tourists anyway and apparently most of their tents are empty. Its just water - it won't kill them. They'll do what I always do, and go running home to mummy and daddy.  They probably need a good wash anyway. Let's see how 'anonymous' and 'united as one and divided by zero' they are when their tents are being water cannoned into the Thames!

Pope Benedict XVI is a true Successor of St Peter, a fisher of men. Look at all these souls who he brought to Christ to adore Him in His Sanctuary.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Scouting for Catholic Blogs

'Be prepared' for a three-fingered salute...
A commenter has appeared on my blog on a few occasions, I have noticed that he is popping up on James Preece's blog as well as at Smeaton's Corner.

Anyway, I thought I would just warn Catholic bloggers to 'be prepared' for the individual. He is called 'Scout', at least that is his avatar name and whoever it is, the individual is so concerned at the rise of the Catholic blogosphere that he has decided to start a blog called 'Catholic Internet Watch'.

The 'Catholic Internet Watch' blog is, as you can expect, rather anti-Catholic in tone, devoting itself to 'exposing Catholic lunacy, prejudice and hypocrisy on the internet'. My personal opinion is that there is something a little 'lunatic' about spending your life bewailing the opinions of Catholic bloggers, when you are not even a Catholic. I mean, should I just dedicate one blog against the, how shall we say, misunderstandings, of our brother pilgrims in the Islamic religion? Sounds a bit silly, if you ask me. I mean, if I did, I could be accused of being some kind of 'Islamaphobe' and I might even deserve the name. Still, that's his choice, I guess. Other 'scouts' were into other pastimes like orienteering, doing a good turn once a day, tying undeniably intricate knots and putting up tents in the dark, but if you want to troll around the internet, mate, commenting on the blogs of faithful Catholics, dissecting the opinions of their (sometimes incredibly eccentric) commenters, posting them up list-like on your blog and generally being angry with the Catholic blogosphere, then, well, its your life.

The individual himself, however, remains enigmatic. In defence of his Catholic-baiting, the individual protests...

'I am the grandson of three Catholic grandparents and count Catholics amongst my friends. Real anti-Catholic prejudice is something I deplore. Growing up in London during the 1980s and 1990s, I remember the  suspicion against Catholics at the time of the IRA bombing campaign. [Read: "I can slag off Catholics and the teaching of the Church which they often re-iterate on such topics as abortion because my grandparents were Catholic and I know some Catholics. I don't think Catholics are all dangerous Irish terrorists, but I do dislike them immensely. Especially the faithful ones."]

Critics ask me, "Why focus just on Catholics?" It is true that narrow-mindedness can be found amongst the members of other belief systems [Really? You mean, like those of 'humanists'?]. I could start a blog called "Protestant Internet Watch", "Muslim Internet Watch" or "Atheist Internet Watch" and find much of legitimate concern to blog about. If I wanted to be even-handed, I could do an "Everybody Internet Watch" and devote each week to a different misbehaving group. [Why not Scout Watch? I was only in Cubs, but I reckon those Scouts are well dodgy. It never seemed natural to me.]

The fact of the matter is, though, that my time and knowledge is limited, and as the old dictum goes, "it is best to write about what you know best". I believe I am, or hope I am, well-placed to study Catholic internet goings-on because I was immersed in that world for a while myself [Okay, but are you now, will you ever be or have you ever been, A CATHOLIC? Because if you are not inside the Church, in full communion with the Pope, then you are going to find it all a bit confusing. It may very well be the case that the best you can do, in your current position, is respect the right to religious freedom and its expression...]. But that does not make me "anti-Catholic". In fact, I admire the more beautiful aspects of Catholicism, and was at one time very personally interested in the religion on a positive level. [Is he talking about the Latin Mass?]

What eventually turned me off was the effect Catholicism has on so many of its followers. [Something incredible happens to Cathoilc believers. They believe! Not only do they believe but they publicly defend and proclaim the Catholic Faith! Outrageous!] That is why Catholic Internet Watch was born. The internet is a largely anonymous forest where you can often best gauge what people are really like and what they are really thinking. It is here that I learnt about the darker side of the collective Catholic mind, and I believe it has to be exposed if people are to become aware of the problem that exists. In many ways, the Catholic leadership fails to deal with or even encourages bad thinking and bad behaviour, and this is also something that needs to be exposed. [Clearly, Scout has not been scouting so long as to pick up on Catholic blogdom's oft-repeated exasperation with the Bishops Conference of England and Wales].

Catholic Internet Watch encourages Catholics to build on that which is good and beautiful within their movement, and challenge that which is bad and ugly. My blog could not be more pro-Catholic in the most authentic sense of that term. It is only by taking on the hardliners and challenging the Catholic community to address them that progress can be made in taking the Catholic Church forward, both morally and reptutationally.' [Read: "The liberal ones who don't really believe are okay, but the ones who both believe and endeavour to teach or preach the Faith in its fullness are 'hardliners'. Frankly, they're a bit like terrorists."

Oh, we're so 'hurt' and so 'offended'. We should really call the 'Equalities Hotline' immediately because some troll has set up a blog devoted to carping at Catholic bloggers. I can't believe Austen Ivereigh would sink this low! That was a joke by the way. Still, I'm at a loss to explain which Bishop could possibly be responsible for this deeply uncharitable blog. That's the Catholic Internet Watch blog, I'm talking about, by the way, not mine.

That said, I do rather recoil in horror at some of the things Catholics have been writing about marital rape according to one blogpost that CIW pens and some of the things Catholics say about Jews on the internet which can, as we know, be most unpleasant. All in all, however, I do get the impression that this individual must have to spend quite a bit of time to get to genuinely offensive Catholic blogs and I get the impression that this individual might just generally also despise faithful lay and priest Catholics and perhaps, maybe, just maybe, the Pope too.

Personally, I think this is a case of 'spiritual envy', because he has noticed that Catholic believers have Faith, which he doesn't have, Hope, which he doesn't have, and Charity (though he could be forgiven for thinking we need to work on all three, especially the last). With that I will end the post. So God bless you, Scout. I will certainly pray for you, not so much for the success of your blog, because it is awful, may God strike it down and bring it to ruin without harming your computer, but for you, that the Lord may shower you with blessings, both spiritual and temporal, that Our Lady watch over you, the Saints intercede for you and that God may grant you His peace in this life and the vision of Himself in the next.

Clocks Go Back Tonight... remember to set your grandfather clocks for tomorrow morning's Mass.

I don't want to sound like 'Big Brother', just I've had experience of turning up for Mass and people are having coffee and biscuits in Spring. The worse that would happen this time of year is turning up for Mass an hour early, which is okay if you can access the Church, or cold if you cannot.

Dominican News?

Does anyone have any pictures or words on todays prayerful vigil outside Blackfriars Hall, wherein the Catholic Labour MP, John Cruddas, whose track record in terms of voting on life issues and the rest is abysmal? How did it go?

I was greatly encouraged to hear that one Dominican priest, Fr Leon Pereira, has written a reply to Paul Smeaton over the inclusion of John Cruddas on a bill of speakers at Blackfriars Hall today.

Fr Pereria's letter to Paul Smeaton is one of which St Dominic would most likely approve it is...

'Dr Cruddas’ voting record as an MP on abortion and same sex unions is not in keeping with the teaching or mind of the Catholic Church. This matters all the more because I am given to understand that Dr Cruddas describes himself as a ‘practising Catholic’ - a designation at odds with his actions as an MP. His actions appropriate the dimension of scandal precisely because he is a public figure. Therefore what he says and does in public which is contrary to Catholic faith and morals, all the while describing himself as a ‘practising Catholic’, are a scandal to the Faithful and prone to reinforce the assumption that perhaps these things (abortion, same sex unions, etc) do not matter, and that Catholics may reasonably conform their mind to that of the age, and still somehow (mysteriously!) remain fully Catholic without incurring any penalties whatsoever. That is a grave wrong wrought against God and His Church.

Is the Church then unable to dialogue with institutions or individuals who hold certain beliefs contrary to our Faith? Not at all. From the beginning we prayed for the very same emperors and authorities who persecuted and killed us. We appealled to them, to their reason, for tolerance and for the truth (the sole truth that comes from God which they can still perceive by the use of their reason, and not necessarily faith) which enables genuine justice and peace in society.

Notice how in her history the Church has not hesitated to negotiate with authorities, no matter how evil their deeds. We hold out the hope for their conversion and salvation, beginning with the cessation of their evil deeds, but also we do not see anything or anyone as beyond hope whilst they are still in via, still alive.
Fr Leon Pereira OP leads prayers at 40 Days for Life vigil
So in our desire to spread the Gospel, we should never be reluctant to dialogue with anyone, whatever their beliefs, so long as they are genuinely open to dialogue. You cannot dialogue with soliloquists, but we can still pray for them. I see the invitation extended to Dr Cruddas as a great opportunity for the friars at Blackfriars, Oxford, to ascertain where exactly his faith has gone wrong, and how his conscience has come to be so deformed.
I am not too surprised that he has ended up like this, because the Church in our country has for too long been filled with compromise on essentials, and tolerated error - error which has poisoned the minds of too many Catholics who take secular assumptions as their yardstick in morals, and not Christ and His authoritative teaching, expressed by His Church.

But when Blackfriars opens its doors to the public to hear Dr Cruddas, this becomes a different matter. The invitation, although not an awards ceremony, nevertheless takes on the air of an accolade. Out of politeness it is unlikely that Dr Cruddas will be asked serious (however awkward) questions. Instead it is most likely he will leave Blackfriars with a sense of vindication, confirmed in his erroneous position by our silence and misplaced courtesy. Is it inconceivable that he or his supporters may say that he was honoured by an invitation to Blackfriars, where he set forth his positions in a well-received and unchallenged lecture, etc? The false impression given then is that Dr Cruddas truly is what he calls himself: a ‘practising Catholic’. And it is the Catholic in the pew who will suffer - either by being misled into error, or by the scandal this will cause.

At the heart of this, I wonder why Dr Cruddas in particular was invited by the Las Casas Institute? There are many MPs to invite, so the reason is unlikely to be his membership of the Commons. I hazard that it is his Catholicism and perhaps his affiliation to the Labour Party. But, as I have said above, his distorted understanding of the Catholic Faith is a scandal because he is a public figure. There seems to be an assumption in this country that to be Catholic is to be Labour. This naivete reached a nadir in the fawning displayed by our Church over that most reprehensible couple Tony and Cherie Blair. In Mr Blair’s case, I cannot understand how he could be received into the Church without a public abjuration of his erroneous beliefs and practices - for example, his own voting record on abortion. These were errors he committed before he became a Catholic, but they were in the public sphere, and his reception as a Catholic without any recantation is a continuing scandal.

The Church must remember that her one Lord and Spouse is Jesus Christ, and not hurry to jump into bed blithely and blindly with any political party or establishment. It is such ‘promiscuity’ which infects us, infects our faith, and makes the Church weak, sick and compromised.

The assumption that the Church’s social teaching is more naturally alligned to the political Left is a false one. The great irony is that Dr Cruddas (who has woefully failed to stand up for the Catholic teaching on abortion by his voting) has been invited by an institute committed to ‘justice and peace’ (our normal shorthand for Catholic Social Doctrine) when the single greatest justice and peace issue in our country is abortion! Is that like inviting the BNP to speak on ethnic minorities?

Justice and peace has, in the U.K., often been interpreted as ‘soft’ issues, that the middle classes can protest safely, for example, nuclear weapons and their disarmament, or ecological issues. I call them ‘soft’ because they do not impact our daily lives, even though we live in the shadow of nuclear destruction and environmental pollution (I am suspicious of ‘Climate Change’ being treated as a pseudo-religion, one which supplants the Gospel in the minds of too many Catholics and Christians; the only unforgiveable sin for them seems to be one’s ‘carbon footprint’). The things which do impact our daily lives are abortion, employment, just wages, euthanasia, the poison of contraception, and the erosion of both marriage and the family.

Perhaps the ‘Cruddas Affair’ is a wake up call to Catholics. Why is the Church so sycophantically snuggling up to the Left? Why do we tolerate errors on this scale? Why are Catholic public figures not brought to task for the scandal they cause? Justice and peace must be at the heart of the Church’s faith and morals, and I mean true justice and peace, and not simply those ‘easy’ or ‘soft’ issues which the wider society will not object too much to, and which does not require individual Catholics to convert to the Gospel.

We sign agreements to make our parishes ‘Fair Trade friendly’. That requires a conversion of sorts, although I understand that Fair Trade as it now stands could be improved and made fairer. But why do we not make a covenant with all our families (remember, they are the ‘domestic Church’ according to Vatican II!) to be ‘Humanae Vitae friendly’? Is it a good use of our energies to chain ourselves to the gates of Faslane, when hundreds of thousands of children are slaughtered in our cities every year? Probably not, but it is easier isn't it? It's easier to moan about carbon footprints than to form our consciences according to the mind of Holy Mother Church. But then the Gospel isn't about what's easier.


Fr Leon Pereira, O.P.'

God bless this Dominican priest and those who care passionately about the Truth of the Holy Faith to organise and attend a vigil in reparation for Mr Cruddas's inclusion on the list of speakers today at Blackfriars Hall.

Tesco to Sponsor Gay Pride March in London

Tesco have decided to sponsor Gay Pride in London
In terms of lower prices, though it has to be said the cost of living in general appears to be skyrocketing, the major supermarkets have us over a barrel.

Catholics, those Catholics who do not agree with Gay Pride marches and the political homosexual agenda, may in futur.e decide, however, to boycott Tesco due to the supermarket giant's decision to sponsor the Gay Pride march in London.

To read more click here.  H/T Chrysostom

Thursday 27 October 2011

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace...

The address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to religious leaders in Assisi, 
27 October 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Distinguished Heads and Representatives of Churches, Ecclesial Communities and World Religions, Dear Friends,

Twenty-five years have passed since Blessed Pope John Paul II first invited representatives of the world’s religions to Assisi to pray for peace. What has happened in the meantime? What is the state of play with regard to peace today? At that time the great threat to world peace came from the division of the earth into two mutually opposed blocs. A conspicuous symbol of this division was the Berlin Wall which traced the border between two worlds right through the heart of the city. In 1989, three years after Assisi, the wall came down, without bloodshed. Suddenly the vast arsenals that stood behind the wall were no longer significant. They had lost their terror. The peoples’ will to freedom was stronger than the arsenals of violence. The question as to the causes of this dramatic change is complex and cannot be answered with simple formulae. But in addition to economic and political factors, the deepest reason for the event is a spiritual one: behind material might there were no longer any spiritual convictions. The will to freedom was ultimately stronger than the fear of violence, which now lacked any spiritual veneer. For this victory of freedom, which was also, above all, a victory of peace, we give thanks. What is more, this was not merely, nor even primarily, about the freedom to believe, although it did include this. To that extent we may in some way link all this to our prayer for peace.

But what happened next? Unfortunately, we cannot say that freedom and peace have characterized the situation ever since. Even if there is no threat of a great war hanging over us at present, nevertheless the world is unfortunately full of discord. It is not only that sporadic wars are continually being fought – violence as such is potentially ever present and it is a characteristic feature of our world. Freedom is a great good. But the world of freedom has proved to be largely directionless, and not a few have misinterpreted freedom as somehow including freedom for violence. Discord has taken on new and frightening guises, and the struggle for freedom must engage us all in a new way.

Let us try to identify the new faces of violence and discord more closely. It seems to me that, in broad strokes, we may distinguish two types of the new forms of violence, which are the very antithesis of each other in terms of their motivation and manifest a number of differences in detail. Firstly there is terrorism, for which in place of a great war there are targeted attacks intended to strike the opponent destructively at key points, with no regard for the lives of innocent human beings, who are cruelly killed or wounded in the process. In the eyes of the perpetrators, the overriding goal of damage to the enemy justifies any form of cruelty. Everything that had been commonly recognized and sanctioned in international law as the limit of violence is overruled. We know that terrorism is often religiously motivated and that the specifically religious character of the attacks is proposed as a justification for the reckless cruelty that considers itself entitled to discard the rules of morality for the sake of the intended “good”. In this case, religion does not serve peace, but is used as justification for violence.

The post-Enlightenment critique of religion has repeatedly maintained that religion is a cause of violence and in this way it has fuelled hostility towards religions. The fact that, in the case we are considering here, religion really does motivate violence should be profoundly disturbing to us as religious persons. In a way that is more subtle but no less cruel, we also see religion as the cause of violence when force is used by the defenders of one religion against others. The religious delegates who were assembled in Assisi in 1986 wanted to say, and we now repeat it emphatically and firmly: this is not the true nature of religion. It is the antithesis of religion and contributes to its destruction. In response, an objection is raised: how do you know what the true nature of religion is? Does your assertion not derive from the fact that your religion has become a spent force? Others in their turn will object: is there such a thing as a common nature of religion that finds expression in all religions and is therefore applicable to them all? We must ask ourselves these questions, if we wish to argue realistically and credibly against religiously motivated violence.

Herein lies a fundamental task for interreligious dialogue – an exercise which is to receive renewed emphasis through this meeting. As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true nature. The God in whom we Christians believe is the Creator and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family. For us the Cross of Christ is the sign of the God who put “suffering-with” (compassion) and “loving-with” in place of force. His name is “God of love and peace” (2 Cor 13:11). It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans.

If one basic type of violence today is religiously motivated and thus confronts religions with the question as to their true nature and obliges all of us to undergo purification, a second complex type of violence is motivated in precisely the opposite way: as a result of God’s absence, his denial and the loss of humanity which goes hand in hand with it. The enemies of religion – as we said earlier – see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion or any judge above himself, now having only himself to take as a criterion. The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence.

Yet I do not intend to speak further here about state-imposed atheism, but rather about the decline of man, which is accompanied by a change in the spiritual climate that occurs imperceptibly and hence is all the more dangerous. The worship of mammon, possessions and power is proving to be a counter-religion, in which it is no longer man who counts but only personal advantage. The desire for happiness degenerates, for example, into an unbridled, inhuman craving, such as appears in the different forms of drug dependency. There are the powerful who trade in drugs and then the many who are seduced and destroyed by them, physically and spiritually. Force comes to be taken for granted and in parts of the world it threatens to destroy our young people. Because force is taken for granted, peace is destroyed and man destroys himself in this peace vacuum.

The absence of God leads to the decline of man and of humanity. But where is God? Do we know him, and can we show him anew to humanity, in order to build true peace? Let us first briefly summarize our considerations thus far. I said that there is a way of understanding and using religion so that it becomes a source of violence, while the rightly lived relationship of man to God is a force for peace. In this context I referred to the need for dialogue and I spoke of the constant need for purification of lived religion. On the other hand I said that the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria and leads him to violence.

In addition to the two phenomena of religion and anti-religion, a further basic orientation is found in the growing world of agnosticism: people to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God. Such people do not simply assert: “There is no God”. They suffer from his absence and yet are inwardly making their way towards him, inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness. They are “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”. They ask questions of both sides. They take away from militant atheists the false certainty by which these claim to know that there is no God and they invite them to leave polemics aside and to become seekers who do not give up hope in the existence of truth and in the possibility and necessity of living by it. But they also challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others. These people are seeking the truth, they are seeking the true God, whose image is frequently concealed in the religions because of the ways in which they are often practised. Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God.

So all their struggling and questioning is in part an appeal to believers to purify their faith, so that God, the true God, becomes accessible. Therefore I have consciously invited delegates of this third group to our meeting in Assisi, which does not simply bring together representatives of religious institutions. Rather it is a case of being together on a journey towards truth, a case of taking a decisive stand for human dignity and a case of common engagement for peace against every form of destructive force. Finally I would like to assure you that the Catholic Church will not let up in her fight against violence, in her commitment for peace in the world. We are animated by the common desire to be “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”.

Thankfully, no traditional Catholics will find the idea of a statue of St Francis of Assisi dancing to Scott Mackenzie's 60s classic offensive, because they'll all be too offended by the Holy Father's speech to all religious leaders and none because His Holiness didn't tell them to convert or else.

Mears Brothers Cleared of Wonderland Scam

Mears Brothers Ltd: Thoroughly pleasant chaps...
In what amounts to an astonishing twist of justice, the Mears brothers at the heart of a 'wonderland' scam have been cleared of their conviction. Two more thoroughly pleasant and decent men, you would be hard pushed to find.

How did they arrive at a situation whereby from being behind bars for an alleged massive fraud to perhaps being recompensed for the result of what now appears to have been a mistrial because a juror received a text that said 'guilty'? Find out here. Phew. And there I was thinking this town was still ran by gangsters with leverage and influence over the Council.  Strangely, no retrial application has been made...

I didn't realise that the contract awarded to Mears Group Ltd by Brighton and Hove City Council in 2009 was worth £200 million. What a bargain.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

UN: "Earth Could Collapse Like Chicken and Mushroom Pie"

2100: Earth implodes after the 12 billionth baby is born
Why? Because world population figures are literally exploding, potentially causing whole towns, cities and yes, even countries, to fall into the depths of the Earth in what UN scientists have called the 'Fray Bentos Population-Earth Effect'.

In this nightmare scenario, because of human greed and selfishness, Earth itself would fracture and then disappear. This is what will happen to Earth if you have more than one or two children. Because the world population figures could, by UN Population experts, literally EXPLODE to 12 BILLION PEOPLE, the Earth, according to a new report commissioned by the UN, could potentially implode.

Is this what you want to see happen to Earth? Are you that selfish? Can you not think of the future generations, of your children's children, who we strongly discourage you from allowing into the World? Can you not think of their share of the Earth's resources?

Doomsday: The 'Fray Bentos' Population-Earth Effect
Is this what you want Earth to look like?

Is it?

Is it?!

Is it?!!!

These mushrooms could be your children and your children's children! Are you insane? Think of them and either abort them, or contracept forever! Are you that EVIL and SELFISH that you won't KILL YOUR future CHILDREN so that the future generation can also enjoy the fruits of the Earth?

Here at the UN we think you are, because even though our Malthusian population institute has got it wrong on population growth and human resources before, so many times, we are, fundamentally, motivated by eugenic ideology, not facts, not truth, but ideology. Thank you for taking time to read our frightening eco-eugenic propaganda and don't forget to kill your children and thwart the creation of new life. Look, its happening already!

If you've had more than 2 children, then remember...YOU DID THIS!

No Abiding City

Brighton's homeless have, according to the BBC, doubled this year. Meanwhile, I received a text telling me that, in Oxford, homeless are left outside in the cold because all the shelters are full. I am quite certain that there is an unusually large queue for this time of year at the soup run on the seafront, due to what has been described as a "purge" from London, around venues for the Olympics and that some have made their way to the 'city by the sea'.

The BBC link above actually has some quite shocking quotes from homeless people who tell of their having been forcefully pushed out of areas of London. The South East is therefore receiving some more homeless than is apparently usual. China did the same, India did the same, so who can blame that other 'third world' nation, the UK, from doing the same. After all, they're not good for tourism and the image of the UK.

It has been a strange two days or so. On my way to going to visit George and Diane yesterday I came across a couple, Neil and Margaret, outside the Jobcentre in Brighton, having recognised Jim, a former successful jockey, now hanging out in Brighton hoping to be found by the Rough Sleepers Team in Brighton. He turned up at the door of the Church on Friday during Catechism asking for a sleeping bag. Fr Ray gave him his jacket and I gave him a duvet from the garage of the Church. His story is rather confusing, I have to admit, but however he got here, he is in Brighton and is now rough sleeping.

Despite the fact that the interview above is rather 'in your face' I thought it worthwhile posting it up. It isn't 'politically correct', it isn't necessarily 'tasteful' and it isn't that 'pleasant', but nevertheless, these are the real opinions of real people living life on the edge in Brighton and for that reason they are worth hearing. I don't personally agree that 'foreigners' are taking a great deal of housing, certainly not in Brighton, Brighton being not half as cosmopolitan a city as, say, London, but nevertheless, that is their perception. Given that the man, Neil, has fought for this country and is left destitute after his stint in Northern Ireland, I certainly believe his words are worth listening to. I found it astonishing that the couple were looking for work at the Jobcentre even though they are homeless, but, even so, they are cut off from the benefits system, Neil having missed his letter telling him he has a medical assessment, when he was in Manchester, because they sent the letter to the wrong address. If you don't turn up for your medical assessment, in this country, then you are cut off from the benefits system. They've been in Brighton a week or two and sleep in a car park and it is getting colder by the day.

Their words are a challenge to us all. Perhaps there are issues with them, there is likely to be, but I believe that the Gospel still speaks through them. They are right to say that unless they have been here 6 months sleeping rough then they will not be considered to have a local connection and the Council will not house them until they have seen winter through.

I recently heard that a man of just 39, a rough sleeper called Steph Kelly died in Brighton on the streets. He had been taking a great deal of drugs over time, upon his release from prison. At the meal at the evangelical Church for the homeless on Monday they gave him a minutes silence. Men and women cried as they remembered the friend that they lost to drugs, alcohol and a cocktail of prescription drugs. People had tried to warn him to stop but he couldn't, wouldn't or didn't think he or the life he was living was worth it. You might perhaps think that street homeless and hostel homeless would become immune to hearing of the deaths of their brothers and sisters, but despite the harshness of their lives, often ravaged by alcohol and drug addiction, they intensely love their brothers and sisters. I know someone who says he has 20 friends who died in the last two years. He worries that he is next, but he 'doesn't care' either whether it is him. He says he cares when others die, but he doesn't care if he dies. There is a certain nihilism there, a devil may care attitude towards himself and yet when it comes to others, it is something else entirely.

Meanwhile, this evening, I met a lady who had a most horrendous story to tell. She is a mental health nurse who now feels she cannot work in the United Kingdom because the NHS is so appalling. She complained of the way in which the NHS deals with mental health patients and especially the 'care in the community' system. She said that in America, things are markedly better, whereas here, we never get to the root of the problem for mental health patients and just throw medication at them and then let them go. However, tonight she was particular angry.

Why? Well, her story, or rather the story of her niece, who she was comforting tonight, is not pleasant. The story of her niece is, in fact, perhaps the most harrowing story I have heard for a long time. Recently, her niece, who I met, and her boyfriend and son, befriended someone in their area. They didn't know he had mental health issues. One night, he called at her flat, where she lives with her boyfriend and son and was troubled, so they invited him in for a cup of tea. The man proceeded to go to the kitchen and got knives out of the drawer and started cutting himself up in front of them. In fact, he started cutting himself up so much that he cut a vast array of his arteries all over his body. The boyfriend tried to stop him but he just kept grabbing more knives. The mother had to get the son and literally throw him out of the house while getting the neighbours to call the emergency services. By the end, the man was dead, only to be brought back to life later by the emergency services. The niece now lives in a house which is covered in the man's blood. Totally covered in blood.

They have tried repainting the walls but the blood is still coming through. The man thought he was possessed and was trying to cut 'the demon' out from himself. He was rushed to hospital but the couple and the son were left in a house literally covered in blood. Understandably, they want to move but the Council are not yet doing anything to move them. The house should really be abandoned by now, in my opinion, and they are still in shock. But the most harrowing aspect of the story is that even though the man was at death's door, having cut himself to pieces, literally with parts of his internal organs hanging out, he is now out of hospital and is calling at the door of the couple and he won't stop going round. Why has the man not been sectioned? Why is he not in a secure hospital? Is he not a 'danger to himself and others'? Well, this is 'care in the community'.

Apparently, it was Margaret Thatcher who closed down all the mental asylums of Britain and just let the society that she said did not really exist deal with psychopathic mental patients. Say a prayer, or a Rosary, for the lady (you can pray for the 'iron lady' as well, of course), her niece and her family as despite the terrible things that have happened at the flat, the local authority seems to be washing their hands of the situation, while they are still trying to wash the blood off the walls and repaint them despite the fact that blood is still coming through. I don't know why people who are troubled come to Brighton but they do. Some people are desperate to get out. The lady I was speaking to about it is Catholic but she has lost her faith over the years, so say a prayer for her too and for the protection of her relatives.

The niece, who still lives in the same house, still coping with the trauma of what happened went on her way back to the same house where the same guy is still calling round is on the edge of a breakdown. Her boyfriend is, following what he saw, having a nervous breakdown. I told her that the Catholic Church has exorcists but that it is likely that 99% of cases are literally to do with 'mental health'. She replied that if you had seen this guy cutting himself open and opening up his chest in front of you, his eyes and face changing so much that that person you thought you had met was no longer there, you'd know that demonic possession is totally real.

Oh and, last, but by no means least, pray for the man who is (at best) seriously mentally ill, who is harrasing the family and that the authorities will take action that will save his life and bring peace to their lives. Welcome to Brighton and, remember, its nothing like what the Council and tourist board say it is. You could have the best 'global economy' run by a world bank in the World, even one run along the lines of the Church's social teaching, but, somehow, I don't think it would save the West. Only Our Blessed Lord can save this country.

This is Laurence England reporting to you live from Brighton and, while the view here is sometimes pretty, there is no doubt in my mind that this country is going to the wall, big time and how! If you live in the countryside, well, good for you! My advice, for the time being, is stay there! And it isn't even Halloween yet...Ave Maria, gratia plena...Anyway, to end, let's end with something light. As you'll hear from our video, I've got nothing on John Squire, but George, even though he isn't famous, is still a better singer than Ian Brown. Why not say a prayer for Ian and his ladywife too who is, apparently, a Mexican lady.

Sunday 23 October 2011

Jon Cruddas MP Should Not Be Given a Platform at Blackfriars

Jon Cruddas MP: An inappropriate choice of Catholic speaker
That's my opinion and the opinion of a growing number of Catholics concerned that a Catholic politician who has a track record of voting for anti-life legislation is being given a platform to speak at Blackfriars Hall, the Dominican permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. I'll allow John Smeaton of the SPUC to fill you in on the details...

I hear that Mr Cruddas was dropped from the Catholic Internship scheme by the Bishops Conference precisely because of his public views on abortion, the Stonewall legislation, on the legislation that forced Catholic adoption agencies to close or deny their links to the Church. Good for the Bishops. Bravo...

'In December Mr Cruddas told The Catholic Herald that abortion:

"should be safe, legal and rare".
Since 2000, Jon Cruddas MP voted 18 times with the anti-life lobby, for example voting in favour of the anti-life Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act at second reading (which denotes approval for the bill's principles) - a law designed to kill millions of innocent human beings deliberately created never to be born. He also voted for the pro-euthanasia Mental Capacity Bill (now Act) at second reading and third reading (which denotes approval of the bill as a whole). Mr Cruddas has expressed his pride in his voting record in support of the homosexual agenda.* In this connection I draw attention to the June 2004 US bishops' document Catholics in Political Life which says:
"the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
[...] Jon Cruddas is due to speak at Blackfriars Hall, the Dominican permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. Organization for this event is led by the Las Casas Institute Halley-Stewart scholars Robert Heimburger and Marcos Medina. The event is entitled ‘The Modern State and the Kingdom of God’. Jon Cruddas is giving talk five Building Democracy.

It is appalling that a "Catholic" politician who holds pro-abortion opinions has been invited to speak at this event and on this topic.

Hear hear! I was passed a leaflet concerning this event today and lost it. If anyone can tell me any more about this man's rather scandalous inclusion at a Dominican event, do let me know and I will post it up. "Safe, legal and rare". You can read the rest of his dreadful interview as he attempted, in vain, to seek the Labour leadership here.

Catholic politicians approaching Holy Communion should be "safe" (in a State of Grace), "legal" (voting in line with a conscience informed by Holy Mother Church) and really, and truly, because it seems that a number of Catholic politicians in the UK care more for their careers than for the Gospel, and cannot therefore fulfil the first two criteria, Catholic politicians approaching Holy Communion should be "rare".

Why Divorce Doesn't Rock...

Pop group, The Stone Roses, are set to reform amid rumours (yes, this is gossip) that the singer Ian Brown needs 'Fools Gold' (the title of one of their songs) to, rumour (yes, that'll be gossip) has it, help him settle up for a divorce from his lady wife.

Everyone knows that divorce is a terrible, tragic thing for individuals, families and society. Everyone knows it is terrible and damaging. Nobody really wins. This is why some firms of solicitors advertise nowadays, quite brazenly, the fact that they can offer the public 'great deals' on divorce settlements, advice and the rest with big banners above their offices entrance saying 'Get divorced here'. Even the breakdown of human relationships is a source of revenue and money nowadays.

With such a high percentage of marriages ending in divorce nowadays (is it one in two or three now?), it isn't surprising that some, even within the Church, rather resent Christ's teaching on it and would rather He hadn't said what He said about the matter and the subsequent teaching that the Church continued to proclaim after He had ascended and sent the Holy Spirit to guide Her into all truth. Such a teaching didn't always win the Apostles friends then and it doesn't win those of their Successors who are brave enough to repeat it today.

Like many teachings of Holy Church there is no doubt that the Church's teaching on divorce, remarriage and the rest is 'difficult'. I'm just now trying to think of an area of Church teaching which isn't 'difficult'., I can't. What a surprise. Divorce ruins peoples lives and there is plenty of evidence on the net in terms of studies to suggest that it is especially damaging to children, yes even rich children. Anyway, regardless of why Ian Brown and The Stone Roses are reforming (which will interest some and leave other readers mystified), I thought I'd just compile a small list of rockstars and popstars who have divorced. Could the problem be that too many of them just 'wanna be adored' or are rockstar/popstar divorces and their incredible frequency just reflective of a society that can't handle marriage, children and the vows they made when they were 'in love'.

Rock is, as the Holy Father has noticed, the Devil's playground. Here's that list. I don't understand quite why so many of these people are pin ups, modern heroes, people that people want to emulate, people that people near worship...

Noel Gallagher (Oasis)
Liam Gallagher (Oasis)
Amy Winehouse (now deceased)
Johnny Cash
Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi)
Bruce Springsteen
Mick Jagger
Phil Collins
Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
Michael Jackson
The Edge (U2)
Slash (Guns 'n' Roses)
Mariah Carey
Paul McCartney (The Beatles)
Phil Spector
George Harrison
John Lennon
Bob Dylan
David Bowie
Bob Geldof
Marvin Gaye

...the list goes on...and on and in fact, unless you only like classical music, I expect that at least 70% of your record or CD collection was recorded by a divorced rock/pop star. Now. I am a poor sinner and I am in no position to 'cast the first stone' and indeed nobody ever pretended that the rock hall of fame was a Litany of the Saints. Each of the above and their rock and pop counterparts will have their own personal, possibly quite harrowing reasons and stories behind marital breakdowns. I know it isn't something we should be voyeuristic about and we are not to judge. We know that Our Lord doesn't snuff out waning candles or crush broken reeds and Our Lord loves the broken-hearted ('What becomes of the broken hearted?').

There just seems to be a trend in rock and pop to enter into this realm of fantasy, ego-centrism so that people become divorced from reality and end up in divorce settlements. Who am I, indeed, such a wretched sinner to judge? Still, I do find the trend among the modern musicians to divorce intriguing. How on earth could that small, and it must be small, minority of pop and rock stars who do settle down and have a family cope with the vast array of temptation that must come their way? Do rockstars, the men at least, always remain 'children' and never accept responsibility and the reality of family life which is, to many, myself included, rather daunting or even frightening.

It is also telling in another sense, in as much as it is incredibly difficult nowadays, to find a 'rock/pop' star who is able to say anything, and I mean, anything, positive about the Pope or the Catholic Church and yet some are Catholics. Many musicians are 'tortured' souls dealing with inner 'demons'. Music is for many cathartic. Many songs, even modern ones, express a yearning for redemption, unconditional love, meaning and ache that we all have within us for God. Consciously or unconsciously, many pen songs that can touch upon our deepest spiritual yearnings for comfort and consolation or understanding.

Yet, if you can find a modern musical artist who can be questioned about the Pope or the Church without slagging both off about Aids, HIV, condoms, teaching on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and the usual areas of 'difficulty' then I will give you, as Cardinal Arinze once said, a 'turkey', maybe even for Christmas, though I expect the Christmas number one will take care of that. Some of the modern musicians are even Catholic, as I say, albeit lapsed.  Maybe there is a bit of a trade off, I don't know, as if someone were to speak out for the Church then their record sales would hit the floor or something.

Like I say, I'm not judging these people listed above or the many others who divorce. It is their heartbreak we are discussing. I just don't know how healthy it is for a society to put these people on pedestals like it does and to near worship them even though, really, in terms of wives, husbands, mothers and fathers, they are simply not good role models. I don't believe that 30 somethings out there are going around thinking, "That Ian Brown is cool. He's the singer of the Stone Roses. He's getting divorced. Right, that's it, I'm getting divorced too!" I just think that perhaps 30 somethings shouldn't be thinking, "Great, the Stone Roses are reforming! Wow! I'm getting a ticket no matter how much it costs." Why? Because he's got a child with his wife and his marriage is falling apart. Meanwhile, the guy, no matter what his reasons, is off to tour with the band of his youth and I think that that is ultimately terribly, terribly sad. Secondly, I saw them live the last time they toured and they were absolutely atrocious then. I can't think of any reason why they should have improved this time. The man can't sing for Heaven's sake.

The really irritating thing is that Ian Brown and a lot of the modern musicians are also so terribly self-righteous. So many of the above are always lauded for their commitment to social causes, or for slagging off the Government, or condemning corruption, or for wanting to end poverty, or feed the World, or something perfectly noble like that. Meanwhile, when it actually comes to true charity, which, as we know, begins at home and the self-sacrificing love that it takes for marriage and family life...well, it just becomes the 'creative spark' needed for that 'difficult' second or third album. As Ian Brown once said on Newsnight before a confused BBC presenter, Tracey MacLeod on The Late Show..."Amateurs!" 

 Is he still going to wear that dollar bill-decorated t-shirt?

Saturday 22 October 2011

New Translation 'Chant': Will parishes be provided with Diocesan sick bags?

...Warning: Do not, I repeat, do not watch the above video on a full stomach...

The St Mary Magdalen Choir Blog has posted a quite astonishing piece concerning what parish choir leaders should be expecting from the first Sunday in Advent. The choir leader attended, in a spirit of fraternity with other parish choir leaders in the Diocese, a 'taster' of what the new translation of the Mass could mean for the liturgical renewal of parish life in Arundel and Brighton. She was, reading from the blog, to put it mildly, quite taken aback. Apparently the music above is what the Diocese rather generously describes as 'Gregorian Chant'. For once, words fail me. All I will say is...No, I've been posting too much on that subject recently. Just watch the video and you'll see what I mean. Is this a Mass setting for the Catholic Church or music for a megachurch in Hackney?

Friday 21 October 2011

Dawkins Won't Debate With Christian Apologist

Dawkins: Intelligent, brave, but above all, humble...
Tim Stanley today posts on Richard Dawkin's decision not to debate with Christian apologist William Lane Craig because, basically, what is the point in Manchester United playing Cheltenham Town FC? It's obvious that Cheltenham Town are just amateurs in comparison. In the video here, Dawkins, back in 2009, asserted that he wouldn't debate with Craig because he doesn't debate with Creationists. Interestingly, he said that he would debate with Bishops, Cardinals, Archbishops or the Pope, but not with born again Christians. So, you cannot say Dawkins does not respect authority!

For once, I have some sympathy with Dawkins. Those born again Christian apologists are quite frightening! They are full of fire for the salvation of sinners and yet are nearly totally ignorant of even the Bible they claim to love!

You tell them that scripture says one Baptism is necessary for the remission of sins, and they don't accept your Baptism or your Faith because you're not 'born again' enough.

You tell them that scripture says that the Lord Jesus left to His One True Church, His Body and His Blood in the Eucharist and they don't accept it saying that He meant it in some weird metaphorical way, as if Our Lord's words were left to them for interpretation.

You tell them that Christ left to His Church the power to forgive sins when He 'breathed on the Apostles' and said, 'receive the Holy Spirit' and yet still, in the face of all that scriptural support for your assertions, deride and mock the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

You tell them that the book they claim to know, venerate and love was, at least the second part at any rate, written by Catholics and even the first part would have been written by Catholics had they lived to see Our Lord in the flesh, since all the Prophets (that'll be those Jews again) longed for the coming of the promised Christ who would take away the sins of the World. They weren't Catholics then, but, the Church assures us, they are now, from Adam to Daniel. Whatever they are, they're not Baptists.

You tell them that the story of Creation is not a perfect scientific description of the formation of the Universe and all that is made, but an allegory of our original state of perfection and the entrance of Original Sin into the World, which is washed away by Baptism, and they look at you like you're the Antichrist.

You tell them that scripture supports the immense significance of Our Blessed Lady in Revelations since it is clear that the 'woman' who battles the big red dragon is our Heavenly Queen and they don't get it.

You take them through a small open-top bus tour of the works of canonized Catholic theologians and philosophers and you only draw from them blank faces.

You tell them that if Christ had willed that there should be a million different Churches saying a million different things about His nature and about salvation, with a million different doctrines, then He would not have prayed for unity for His Church and prayed that His disciples should all 'be one' and they say 'we are all one' even though they can't stand the doctrines of Holy Church.

You tell them that their Bible, had it not been doctored and an entire book, that of Maccabes, not been removed from the King James edition, then their Bible as well as yours would testify to at least a rudimentary understanding of Purgatory, purification after death, or at least the holy practice, as we cast our eyes forward towards All Souls Day, of praying for the repose of the souls of the dead.

You tell them that scripture supports the Church's assertion that the Church is built upon St Peter, the Rock and that Christ singles out Peter as the foundation of the Church upon which the gates of Hell shall never prevail and suddenly, the born again fruitcakes are calling you a 'fundamentalist'.

Yes, I have sympathy for you, Professor Dawkins. Believe me, against guys like that, you simply cannot win! They simply won't listen to reason!

Why can't he put a cork in it?

Williamson: What is he trying to achieve?
For some good analysis of Bishop Richard Williamson's latest attempts to cause an ecumenical train crash with multiple casualties, read Catholicism Pure and Simple.

Worth a read is the Transalpine Redemptorists response. A Reluctant Sinner has posted a comprehensive answer to the public meanderings of this most offensive and reckless man. Ah, what to say? Other than to say that every time Bishop Williamson speaks on such things, he crucifies Christ all over again.

He fosters disunity in the Body of Christ, the Church, rather than unity, and he also fosters emnity with the children of Israel, the Jews, rather than peace. What has the World come to when a layman has to tell a 'Bishop': "Jesus died for you. He died on account of your sins"  This is basic Catholicism, I know, but hey, this guy clearly needs a little catechesis. And why is he banging on about the "Jew's behaviour"? What is so wonderful about his behaviour? If his behaviour was that great, wouldn't the Holy Father have publicly commended such a fine and wonderful Christian who uses whatever influence he has to promote the Gospel? No. In fact, in The Light of the World, the Holy Father makes it quite clear that he was unaware, when the excommunication was lifted, 'what kind of a man' the Vatican was dealing with.' Yikes! If the Holy Father said that of me, I'd be bricking it!

So what kind of a man are we dealing with? Well, every time he speaks to the media and does this he seems to set back talks further, create more distance between the SSPX and the Church, cause more harm and offense to the Jewish people and just generally raise Hell. Yes, historically speakingthe high priests of the Temple, were Jews, just like Our Lord, Our Lady and the Apostles were Jews, and indeed nearly all characters in the Gospels were Jews. A small group of these worked actively towards Our Lord's cruel torture and death. This small group whipped up a portion of a crowd and raised public sentiment against Our Lord. However, other than Williamson, I know no Catholic who reads the Passion narrative purely in its historical context and who reads it thinking, 'The evil Jews crucified Christ. Wicked, wicked Jews!'.

This Man, Jesus Christ, is, after all, the man who submitted Himself to a cruel and terrible death out of love for all of us, out of love for me, out of love for Bishop Williamson and out of love for, yes, the Jews, even those Jews who were historically, personally present and responsible at the time for His death and execution. "Father, forgive them," He cried, "for they know not what they do." Even Caiaphas, in his great malice, cannot have really understood Who he was mocking upon the Cross, because if he did, he quite simply wouldn't have done it. He'd have begged forgiveness. There is a blindness there, a hard-heartedness, an ignorance and an unwillingness to come into the light. He didn't recognise, like the Centurion did, in Jesus, the only Son of God.

Unfortunately, while we cannot, in the same spirit, ask the same forgiveness for Bishop Williamson from the Heavenly Father, for we cannot say that he 'knows not' what he does, we can pray for him. Sadly, he does know what he is doing and it is incredibly damaging to the Church and to relations with the Jewish people and to the SSPX. That is why he is so disturbing. What is motivating him other than Pride and malice? Does he say these things because he longs for the conversion of the Jewish people, like St Paul? Or is he just, actually, well, masturbating?

He does not strike me as a man who loves Jesus Christ, nor His Church, nor even the SSPX. He strikes me as a man who loves only himself, which, for (even an invalid) 'Bishop' is incredibly sad. Ironically, in that sense, I find him to be something of a Caiaphas character - a bit heartless. Say a prayer for him that the good will the Church seeks from all men towards Her may be at least in some part evident in his life. I'm being a bit nasty aren't I? Still, if Bishop Williamson thinks spouting mental diarrhoea through the media is acceptable, then he has to accept some coming back his way, even if, as is most likely, he never reads it. For me, the most appalling thing about Williamson isn't his repetitive 'controversial' remarks - it is his public demonstrations that he is a source of disunity, division and most of all, that he is blatantly, publicly distancing himself from the theology and thought of the Holy Father. What he is doing, which appears to be deliberate, is quite wicked.

Update: Please see a good analysis at A Sensible Bond

Thursday 20 October 2011

'Occupy' Movement: Do They Want a Catholic Monarch?

"What do we want? A Catholic on the throne! When do we want it? Now!"
With their Guy Fawkes masks and their two finger salutes, presumably connoting the dual nature of Christ, it looks like they do. Wonderful news!

On a more serious note, I must say that I find the 'Occupy' global movement to be rather sinister because we don't really know who is behind it. Who is funding it?

Apparently the movement is very much linked to 'Anonymous' who now have posters all over Brighton. Yes, Brighton!  They have a website which is calling people to action under what appears to be a kind of middle class Marxist/anarchist umbrella. I've read some interesting stuff about the Occupy movement, especially by Brendan O'Neill of Spiked on his Telegraph blog, who has pointed out that the movement is, for a revolutionary youth-led initiative, both tame, lame and totally unfeared by the establishment it publicly states to oppose. These young 'revolutionaries' appear to be more concerned with how they look, than their actual agenda. Take this quote from an Occupy protester in New York (this is for real by the way)...

Interviewer: '"Why are you protesting?"
Protester: “I like the use of public space as a performative realm and I like the combination of bodies in space. I think it makes a statement.”

Er! Hello! What is this?! A protest or a meeting of Narcissists Anonymous!? Others have pointed out the links between 'Occupy' and the establishment itself. Others have wondered whether the movement may in some way have its origin in the establishment and that anarchic revolutions which have been seen in the Middle East and Africa are the desired end. I must say that a 'revolutionary' movement taking aim at the heart of the establishment is hardly going to be granted public approval from the White House and I shall not be the first nor last person to suggest that any new political movement which does not deeply offend George Soros, but instead wins his public approval, is perhaps not totally authentic or inspired from a 'grassroots' level. It does appear to be The Guardian's cup of Tea (Party), but while that shouldn't surprise us too much, it should make us wonder who is behind it.

The motif of the movement appears to be these Guy Fawkes masks, which keep the faces of the people who want 'change' hidden. Clever, clever. The idea has been lifted from the (propaganda?) Hollywood movie V for Vendetta, wherein the protagonist blows up the British Houses of Parliament (spoiler) and all the people rejoice because the leader is a 'bad man' and they watch her blow, liberated, as they are, from their political oppressors.

Both the film and the current trend among upper middle class lefty activists to wear these masks, which appeared first in Britain, notably, during the riots of the Summer, have forgotten that our history books tell us that Guy Fawkes, with some Catholic mates, plotted to blow up Parliament because he and his friends wanted a Catholic monarch on the throne. That is, Guy Fawkes desired monarchy, Catholic monarchy specifically, rather than anarchy or even parliamentary democracy and certainly not a new variant of Marxism that enthrones reason alone as God, despises religion, persecutes and crushes the Church and sets up a stronger vanguard of capitalist oligarchs to rule over the people with more ferocity than ever they did before.

Ironically, The Catholic Knight tells us that Catholic Prophecy suggests European revolutions will occur, but that the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph and after a quite terrifying intervention by Almighty God, it will all result in a Catholic monarch from France restoring the Holy Roman Empire in a great new age for the Church lasting until the appearance of the Antichrist. Wow! It all sounds absolutely mental to me, but then, thank God, we are not bound to believe such things since they are sourced from private revelation. Thank God, indeed, for the less we believe it, the less likely it is to be true, right!? Still, it is worth telling it to these youths in Guy Fawkes masks though, just to see the look on their, er, faces.

Liberalism Arrives in Poland

Palikot: Liberals cannot abide the Cross
A former Vodka tycoon (yes really), Janusz Palikot has caused uproar among Poland's Catholic community (which is meant to be about 99.1% of the nation's population), by calling for the Cross adorning the Parliament's wall to be removed because...

“We respect the religious character of the cross. That is why it should not be pulled into political disputes and should not hang in the parliament.”

According to this news report, Palikot 'would take the matter to Poland's Constitutional Tribunal, if the Speaker of the Lower House did not take on board his party's requests. Failing that, he said that he would turn to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg'. I think he has forgotten his country's history or perhaps desires for it to be erased from national memory and let's face it, the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg can always be relied upon to defend freedom and liberty of religion, national culture, heritage and have a strong history of venerating the Holy Cross.

Evidence, if more were needed, that as soon as liberals enter the corridors of power, they wish the Cross to be removed from people's minds, hearts and politics. I hope and pray Polish parliamentarians and the vast majority of the country tell Palikot where to get off and say, "Thanks for the vodka, Janusz, but if it has to be a choice of either you or the Cross, then the Cross stays and you go." Pray for Poland which, not for the first time in its history, is the last man standing in defense of what remains of Christendom.

Catholics Driven from their Homes by the State

A lady stands in solidarity with the Crucified...
No matter what you believe about gypsy communities, that is the long and short of what took place yesterday. Driving these Catholics, men, women, elderly and children from their homes wasn't cheap either. I hear that even those dreadful taser things were used. It can't have been pleasant for the children to witness yesterday's scenes.

For £20 million, perhaps the local authority could have found other land for them. They could have just given them £50,000 to buy a plot of land and let them get on with it, couldn't they?

There are days when reading The Telegraph just makes you want to take out a subscription to The Guardian. This was one of those days. I'm sure if the economic crisis got really bad and homeowners couldn't keep up on their mortgages and a significant proportion of the 'law abiding majority' found themselves in tents, caravans and vans, they'd soon have a different perspective on the draconian application of planning regulations by local authorities, but until that day, cruel prejudice and a rather dark human mode of justice will doubtless prevail.

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith's blog post for The Catholic Herald today is short, sweet and to the point. There has been a lot of vitriolic nonsense directed towards the activists who campaigned for the gypsy community at Dale Farm. Personally, I'd have thought anyone who stood up in defense of these marginalised, misunderstood and often despised Catholic families who actually take Christ's teachings very seriously would be highly esteemed in Our Blessed Lord's eyes, but there we go.

Pansy Grayling Throws Toys Out of Pram in No Pope Show

AC Grayling: Had hoped for private discussion with the Pope
You know all is not well with Britain's soul when even 'devout Christian', Sir Cliff Richard, backs gay marriage and admits that he has something akin to an assisted 'suicide pact' with his sister because by then he believes euthanasia will by then be legal.  How times have changed!

The singer is one of those people for whom one is tempted to campaign to make assisted suicide legal, just for a day or two, for a 'hard case' that makes for 'bad law'. Was the crooner the power behind the throne of the Blair years, conducting Government policy from his yacht? It wouldn't surprise me, but then, let's face it, it could have been any one or all of the sprawling cast of the mega-rich cabal of acolytes that gathered like flies around the heap of dung that was the Blair years, couldn't it?

One wonders whether the never-to-retire, shacked-up-with-a-'former Catholic priest'-pop-creature who was famously a leading luminary of the 'Nationwide Festival of Light' organised by Malcolm Muggeridge, Lord Longford and Mary Whitehouse, campaigning against the pornographic nature of the mass media age, is too much different to his long-term friends, Tony and Cherie 'devout' Blair, in their conception of a God made in their own image and likeness. My, how times have changed since the 70s, however, and with the times, the opinions of the singer who made heaps of money out of atrocious records (and worse movies), while spreading his Christian credentials everywhere he went. What is the difference between these strange 'Christians' who maintain that Christianity needs to be updated to the 21st century or adapted to modern times and atheist A.C Grayling? Not much as far as I can see. At least Grayling is intellectually honest enough to say that he believes there is no God, and that the moral law, if such a lofty thing exists for him, is a blank sheet of paper on which humanity can write, rather than pretending that God agrees with him on a moral issue because "some of my friends are in gay relationships". If some of my friends were murderers, adulterers and thieves, would that make murder, adultery and robbery right?

Anyway, back to Grayling. The combative atheist who usually pulls no punches in condemning the Catholic Faith as a force of darkness overshadowing a world enlightened by the light of his atheistic, rationalistic philosophy has thrown his toys out of the pram and snubbed the Assisi III pilgrimage of Truth meeting with people of all faiths and none and most importantly, the Holy Father himself.  It has today been posted on by Francis Phillips of The Catholic Herald and the pilgrimage promises to be an interesting, eye-catching, hopefully not eye-watering event. I have every confidence in the Holy Father that he can lead this without the event looking as if he believes 'your truth is as good as mine'. It is, after all, the battle against relativism that has marked his very impressive pontificate.  The 'poor man's Dawkins' (that's Grayling, you understand, not His Holiness) has, sorrowfully, backed out because...

“I thought it was originally to have a discussion with the Pope about the place of religion in society but then it turned out it was a minor event and what they wanted was these guests to accompany the Pope on a pilgrimage. So I decided to withdraw.”

If it was a discussion with the Holy Father about the place of religion in society, that would have been a rather short exchange...

Pope Benedict XVI: "And what role do you believe, Mr Grayling, religion should play in the public square?"
A.C. Grayling: "None whatsoever, Ratzi! I believe this man-made garbage you describe as religion should be eradicaed from the Earth, starting within the education system and working its way up from there, until all religions except the one which reigns supreme, my own particular brand of intolerant atheism, are utterly destroyed, especially your paedo-kiddie-fiddling-Nazi Youth one, Your, er, Holiness...May I take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me and to arrest you for crimes against humanity?!"
Pope Benedict XVI: This is an interesting point of view. How do you make your head spin 360 degrees like that?

The problem with some atheists, you see, and most especially the religious types, is that they are so convinced of their own rightness that accompanying a diverse group of people of 'all religions and none' is like some personal (almost papal) endorsement of collective insantity. Grayling is a fundamentalist, remember and you can't dialogue with fundamentalists. The idea of pilgrimage, to Grayling, is nonsense when even agnostics and reasonable atheists are happy to go to Santiago de Compostella because, whether you believe, or whether you do not, life, objectively speaking, is for us all a journey. Even pagans believe that. The Holy Father is right to say that life is a pilgrimage towards truth for all, no matter to what religion, if any, you subscribe and that eventually we all meet Truth Himself.

Personally, my suspicion is that Mr Grayling cannot abide the idea of accompanying a diverse group of religious people anywhere and would rather surround himself with fawning atheist admirers and perhaps cannot stand the idea that the Holy Father might get gain more limelight and press coverage out of Assisi III than he will. What's the point in being a famous atheist if you're not the centre of the attention of the liberally biased media and the Successor of St Peter simultaneously? A.C Grayling...What a pansy! He's silly really, because if he had trusted in God then, who knows, perhaps he would have got five minutes with the Pope who is known for his generosity in terms of time and charity towards even those who despise him. By the way, regarding Assisi III, I do think that critics of Francis Phillips's article are wrong to suggest that the town's most famous son would be opposed to the idea. After all, wasn't his whole apostolate marked by loyal obedience both to the Pope and the Magisterium?

I hear Libyan dictator, Col Gaddafi is dead. May he rest in peace. Condolences to Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair and all those British foreign diplomats who knew him so well and of whom Gaddafi must have been so fond. All of them must be devastated, especially Mr Blair, since his meetings with the dictator are an aspect of his political career of which he is particularly openly proud and of which he is always only too happy to discuss in public. We haven't yet legalised it in this country yet, oh give the Government time, but we're already exporting 'assisted suicide' abroad: Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Col Gaddafi.

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...