Sunday 30 June 2013

Tu Es Petrus

I found this little Tu Es Petrus video with images of Pope Francis.

May the Lord grant the Successor of St Peter, His Holiness Pope Francis, long life and a glorious and fruitful reign as the Chief Shepherd of the Faithful for the glory of God, for the Salvation of souls and for the wise and prudent governance of Holy Church. 

Sorry this gesture of affection and filial love comes a day late, Your Holiness, but that's what happens when the Bishops' Conferences are allowed too much authority. They'd move Christmas Day to the following Sunday if they could.

Saturday 29 June 2013

United in Our Differences

'In the Church, variety, which is itself a great treasure, is always grounded in the harmony of unity, like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan. This should inspire us to work always to overcome every conflict which wounds the body of the Church. United in our differences: this is the way of Jesus! The pallium, while being a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome and with the universal church, also commits each of you to being a servant of communion. To confess the Lord by letting oneself be taught by God; to be consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel; to be servants of unity. These, dear brother bishops, are the tasks which the holy apostles Peter and Paul entrust to each of us, so that they can be lived by every Christian. May the holy Mother of God guide us and accompany us always with her intercession. Queen of Apostles, pray for us! Amen.'

'Dear Metropolitan Archbishops, the Pallium that I have conferred on you will always remind you that you have been constituted in and for the great mystery of communion that is the Church, the spiritual edifice built upon Christ as the cornerstone, while in its earthly and historical dimension, it is built on the rock of Peter. Inspired by this conviction, we know that together we are all cooperators of the truth, which as we know is one and “symphonic”, and requires from each of us and from our communities a constant commitment to conversion to the one Lord in the grace of the one Spirit. May the Holy Mother of God guide and accompany us always along the path of faith and charity. Queen of Apostles, pray for us!'
 ~ Pope Benedict XVI, Feast of SS Peter and Paul, 2012

"No, Laurence, its your round, I bought the last four..."
Does anyone detect a shift in emphasis?

"Where is Bobby Mickens? Ah, there you are. After this one the next pint is on me, Bobby. Your round, yeah? Thought so..."

Bobby and I are working on a new blog together. It's called 'Protect the Bishop'. It's been set up to protect Bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, from nasty divisive Catholics, especially from the evil traddie Catholics at 'Rorate Caeli'. 

Bobby and I are encouraging Deacon Nick Donnelly to pack up and go home now that the Pope has no proper enemies anymore and is near universally popular. Despite what Bobby thinks about the Catholic Faith and my own view on it which is informed by the Magisterium, our disagreements about a whole range of Catholic issues (almost all of them actually) have been put to bed because we are united in our differences. We bonded in a pub recently having admitted to each other that there are times when Popes are granted the heavenly gift of making us cry.

Here is what the Lord Jesus said about unity:

'As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.'

Of course, it is most likely that the Holy Father was reserving his striking comment for the Orthodox and I'm not going to put the cart before the horse and say that it was for anyone else. It seems to me to be obvious that someone who campaigns for a change in the Church's teaching on any number of issues such as homosexuality, artificial contraception, clerical celibacy and an end to the 'policy' on women priests will find it difficult to be 'at one' with someone who adheres to the Magisterium of Holy Church guarded by the Successor of St Peter, defender of the Deposit of Faith.

In the light of this, I'm 99% certain the Successor of St Peter was talking directly to the Orthodox and that His Holiness desires only that the Eastern Churches may once more breathe with 'both lungs' in full and visible Communion with the Successor of St Peter. When that happens, the Latin Church and the Orthodox Church will be united despite some visible differences in liturgy. Oh what a glorious day that will be!

In which case, "Buy your own drinks, Bobby, I'm off. The only religious body around at the moment that are truly united in their differences are the Freemasons. I can't be doing hanging around with schismatics within the Bride of Christ. It's like banging your head against a brick wall."

There Could Be Trouble Ahead...

Friday 28 June 2013

Cardinal Burke at Sacra Liturgia Conference in Rome

Cardinal Raymond Burke is speaking on the Sacred Liturgy at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in Rome. Fr Z, Fr James Bradley and others are live Tweeting his remarks on the importance of liturgy that is befitting for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the need for Sacred Ministers to adhere to the Church's rules and disciplines in Her Rites, as an example of love for the Lord and His Church. Some great quotes or digests of what Cardinal Burke is explaining are emerging on the live feed. Here are a few:

 'Discipline purifies man of self-centred thoughts and disposes him to lift up his heart to the Lord.'
'Liturgical law isn't rubricism but an expression of love for the Lord and his Church.'

'Only by honouring God's divine right of worship does man find happiness in this life and the life to come.'

'We are face to face with real falsification of sacred worship.'

'Bishops are to 'exercise vigilance so that abuses do not creep into […] the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals'.'

'The right understanding of the liturgy, and the relationship between Man and God, is safeguarded by the law.'

'Study of the juridical structure of the liturgy is vital; without it the Church's greatest treasure is subject to abuse.'

Already, in Rome, a Mass in reparation for the offensive remarks of Cardinal Burke has taken place.

More pictures as they come in...


A Catholic man I knew has killed himself. Pray for his soul.

Aside from the grave act of evil that is suicide, suicide has a social dimension as I am now experiencing in all its depressing, horrific reality.

The last time I spoke to this man I tried to talk him out of taking his own life and urged him to come back to the Faith. There were probably things I should have said that I did not say. There were probably things I said that I should have said better. I will perhaps always live with this regret that I didn't call him more to reach out to him. His last words to me were, "It's been nice talking...don't leave it so long next time." It feels as if these words will forever be etched into my soul.

Suicide is not just the autonomous act of ending a person's life. This man was so consumed with his own grief that he forgot that I and those he knew were his brothers and sisters. He was so consumed with the grief that social services decided he could no longer see his daughter of 13 until she was 18 that he has left her and his friends to deal with news of his suicide. "If only I had said this, if only I had said that. If only I had cared more. If only I had called more. If only I had prayed the Rosary with you. If only I had done this and that."

Among the terrible things about suicide is the reality that your guilt and pain, shame and humiliation, frustration and even despair are not necessarily placed immediately upon the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Absolution, but are passed immediately onto those who knew you who spend their lives trying to absolve you and themselves. The guilt and pain that is yours is no longer a guilt, burden and pain shared, but a guilt and pain transferred to those who knew you. Suicide is an act that enlightens the consciences of those who knew you, but it does not forgive them. It leaves them seeking forgiveness for a sin which is singularly yours and when they want to apologise for the times they feel they let you down, there comes no answer, because you are no longer here. I can only be consoled by the thoughts of Pope Francis today, who talks of the Mystery of God's patience.

"The Lord takes his time. But even He, in this relationship with us, has a lot of patience. Not only do we have to have patience: He has! He waits for us! And He waits for us until the end of life! Think of the good thief, right at the end, at the very end, he acknowledged God." 

Pray for him because only God can judge him and His judgment alone is perfect. May his soul and the souls of the Faithful departed, through the great mercy of God, rest in peace.

Monday 24 June 2013

Gather with Peter

No pun intended, but I find the 'empty chair' image quite disconcerting. Far be it for me, a lowly, if not particularly humble layman, to criticise the Holy Father. I have to reserve my disquiet, since we are talking about the Successor of St Peter, under whom we gather as children of the Lord in unity.

Would St Francis of Assisi have attended a concert in his honour? No, but then St Francis was never a Pope, nor a Bishop, nor a Priest, and again we see here the striking discordance between the role of anyone who wishes to imitate the poverello and stand in the shoes of St Peter, Prince of the Apostles simultaneously. 

The Lord Jesus knows what I've been thinking about the Holy Father's recent public action (or omission) and I'm certain that my thoughts have been uncharitable enough to warrant a Confession if only because we may not have the real/full story. Harbouring resentment and grievances is always wrong, and to do so against your spiritual Father, the Chief Shepherd on Earth, is not good. It is sinful, it damages our Faith and fosters discord and disunity. The good news is that 'out there', outside of the uptight Catholic blogosphere and in the real (virtual) world, there is universal applause for the Holy Father as evidenced by this Yahoo report. This is good because the Pope has won headlines again and even atheists are shouting, 'way to go, Pope!' with others saying 'This Pope might bring me back to the Church.' If that is the case, Deo gratias!

The problem is - and I've said this before - that with every bold, surprising, external gesture of poverty, simplicity and humility, His Holiness makes it more difficult for a Pope to enjoy some music with his Bishops and Cardinals ever again and makes Cardinals who enjoy Beethoven look bad, while His Holiness looks good, even though this was arranged ages ago. Let us be clear, however. The Lord Jesus sees into the heart. He knows 'what is in a man'. External appearances mean nothing to Him. That which rises high in the sight of men can be loathsome to God.

Maybe it is a bit indulgent to go to a concert in the Year of Faith called by the music-loving Pope Benedict XVI. Maybe the Princes of the Church shouldn't be publicly entertained with beautiful music. Maybe they should be out washing the feet of the poor instead. Maybe that's true, so maybe next year why not cancel this kind of thing and do something else more 'Gospel' orientated rather than the whole thing becoming a PR sensation and leaving some wondering if it is possibly a carefully manicured publicity stunt.

What I do not like about the 'empty chair' signal is that it could be interpreted that here we have a Pope who is willing to make others look bad in order to look good and to accept worldly honour while throwing his Cardinals under a public relations bus. It will displease many to hear it, but I consider it more sinful to seek headlines, fame and honour from the World than to enjoy a relaxing bit of Beethoven with your Brothers and, in this case indeed, spiritual Sons. Are we really saying that a Pope cannot be seen in public doing anything that isn't radical, public, touching or sends a potent Gospel message? Must the Pope always be seen 'doing' something radical? Is the Papacy to be transformed into a 'show'? Let's be frank. The Pope is still enjoying good headlines, but it was not 'great PR' and the admiration of the World that got St Peter crucified upside down.

Not every Pope will be like Francis, so how can any Pope come after Francis? What does the evidence of Francis's humility mean for perception of all of his predecessors? How can anyone be a 'normal run of the mill Pope' again? Humility is hard for all of us. It goes against our natural inclinations towards the elevating of the self. We are told to reject the Devil and all his pomp and all his works and all of his 'empty show'. As Pope, Benedict XVI had the humility to see that not everything depended on him. His critics often found it hard to see his own simplicity and quiet humility as he pointed to Jesus. The challenge to the critics of Pope Francis is not to recognise his great humility - because that is evident to everybody. No. Pope Francis's critics need to recognise Peter, under whose pastoral care we share communion and visible unity. Whatever our thoughts of the first months of Pope Francis's pontificate, he is the Successor of St Peter and where Peter is, there is the Church and where the Church is, there is eternal life.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Pray for the Pope

I can't quite express how I feel about this Sanctuary, but I think the above could be described as a post-Renaissance masterpiece.

His Holiness is reported to have said of a concert at which his attendance was expected, "I am not a Renaissance Prince who listens to music instead of working."

This could be received as a sideswipe at His Holiness's predecessor, who loved music and concerts. The Pope is now and always will be Successor of St Peter, the Prince of the Apostles and has various titles that connote a Sovereign or Monarch. If we did not believe this we should have to believe that the Chair of St Peter was empty, which makes the image above doubly freaky.

If His Holiness does not want to fulfill the duties placed upon him as Pope, why did then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio accept the Office of the Papacy? Every Bishop in the World has things to which he will be expected to attend. Not every Bishop actually enjoys Fairtrade craftsales or the Nativity at a local school.

For some reason, when I think of this Pontificate, I keep thinking of this great film entitled 'The Madness of King George', which is ironic really, because the Pope is called Jorge. Pray for His Holiness. I'd be right gutted if asked to play guitar for the Pope and His Holiness didn't show because he thought he was above such nonsense, which naturally, he would be. It's a bad analogy, but hey ho...Pray.

Pray for Ireland at a Pontifical High Mass

New Pope, New Face in the CDF?

Liberation theology? No, not for me.
When Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Gerhard Müller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was he naive or just trusting?

Questions like this are today worth attention as Archbishop Muller heaps praise on 'liberation theology' as a development that "should in my opinion be included among the most important currents in 20th century Catholic theology."

Among the most important currents in 20th  century Catholic theology? The 20th century. Not a great century for Catholic theology, then. Liberation theology was the Church's answer to Marxism, because, basically, it was Marxism, despite what Archbishop Müller says. It pointed to Christ as Liberator, not of those enslaved to sin, but as liberator of peoples in class struggle and if that happened through violence, it did little to condemn that violence. This is what led Pope Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratzinger and Prefect of the CDF to say of it:

'An analysis of the phenomenon of liberation theology reveals that it constitutes a fundamental threat to the faith of the Church. At the same time it must be borne in mind that no error could persist unless it contained a grain of truth. Indeed, an error is all the more dangerous, the greater that grain of truth is, for then the temptation it exerts is all the greater.'

Of course, not all 'important currents' are good and praiseworthy, so we can hope that Archbishop Müller went on to criticise liberation theology. That is, we can hope in vain, as the new head of the CDF has form. As Vatican Insider says:

'The arrival of the Catholic Church’s first Latin American Pope made it possible to look at those years and experience without being conditioned by the controversies that raged at the time. Without the ritualism of the false mea culpas and superficial changes, it is easier today to see that the hostility shown by certain sections of the Church towards the Liberation Theology movement was politically motivated and did not really stem from a desire to preserve and spread the faith of the apostles. Those who paid the price were the theologians and pastors who were completely immersed in the evangelical faith of their people. They either ended up in the mince or faded into the shadows.

For a long time, the hostility shown towards the Liberation Theology movement was invaluable factor in helping some climb the ecclesiastical career ladder. In one of his speeches, Müller (who in an interview on 27 December 2012 suggested it was likely a Latin American would substitute Ratzinger as Pope) did not hesitate to describe the political and geopolitical factors that had influenced certain “crusades” against the Liberation Theology movement: “the satisfaction of depriving the Liberation Theology movement of all meaning was intensified by capitalism’s sense of triumph, which was probably considered to have gained absolute victory. It was seen as an easy target that could be fitted into the same category as revolutionary violence and Marxist terrorism,” Müller said.

It would be great if the CDF could challenge this Archbishop on his eulogy of liberation theology, but unfortunately, the head of the CDF is an advocate of liberation theology. Cracking. Didn't Our Lady of Fatima say something to suggest that the dogma of the Faith would be preserved in Portugal, but, by implication, could be lost anywhere or everywhere else - even in Rome?

A pictorial summary of liberation theology
The Church's condemnation of liberation theology? Ah, well, it was just a little rule. I have no doubts that the Holy Father is perfectly orthodox and His Holiness himself is said to have fought liberation theology in Buenos Aires, but one really does get the impression that those who promulgate error have been emboldened by the election of a Successor of St Peter who has such little regard for customs, rules, disciplines and norms.

Perhaps the Cardinals chose a Latin American Jesuit who would be popular on purpose. The popularity of the Pope takes the heat off their wayward doctrines, beliefs and lifestyle. After all, as others have said, turkeys don't vote for Christmas. Certain members of the Church's hierarchy obviously see in Pope Francis a 'soft touch'. Out of love for the Church, His Holiness's love for the Bride of Christ, I would like to see Pope Francis take a break from the cuddly Pope parade and get a little bit tough on those who promote error and endanger souls. Where better to start than at the CDF?

Thursday 20 June 2013


If the 'rules' and 'laws' of the Catholic Church are not important anymore then there is there any reason why a layman, Priest, a Bishop or even a Pope should not be a Freemason?

Discuss. Of course, I'm not saying the Pope is a Freemason, but if the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has no 'rules' or the law of the Church is 'unimportant' or 'irrelevant', what does this mean for other rules, laws and disciplines in the Church, as well as those 'rules' adhered to by monastic communities, or laypersons, such as the one hour fast before reception of Holy Communion?

Ironically, if, hypothetically, a Pope was a Freemason (though not this one, of course), then severing the Church from its disciplines, customs, laws and rules would be a nifty way to start your pontificate. To suggest a Pope even could be a Freemason would be to commit calumny and gossip against the Pope. Both gossiping and calumny are against the 'rules', as we know, but while the Holy Father says 'don't' do this or 'don't' be that, His Holiness's message is compromised by over-riding the Church's own rules and laws ('dos and don'ts) that tell the Priest/Bishop/Cardinal/Pope how to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy.

Ironically, also, many Catholics are Freemasons precisely because they perceive the 'rules' to have been 'relaxed' in the 1970s, despite the fact that no formal relaxation of the rule on membership of Masonic lodges ever occurred. When you meet one in Sainsbury's and tell him to his face that it is a mortal sin to be a Freemason, he tells you the 'rule' was relaxed in the 1970s. Of course, it wasn't relaxed or changed, it was perceived to be because the 'spirit' of the times suggested it might have been. Why do they believe that? Could it be because 'everything' was perceived to have 'changed' in the seventies and the Church's 'rules and laws', especially in the Sacred Liturgy, were perceived to have been 'relaxed'?

A Church without 'rules' and that is entrusted to men who disregard its 'laws' could very easily slip into anarchy and lawlessness. In many areas of the World, possibly in every country, of course, anarchy and lawlessness is exactly what happens on the Sanctuary of the Living God. What delight that must give the enemy of God and man, the Devil, who, knowing the frailty of human nature, more or less told our first parents, 'Oh, go on. It's only a little rule'. Yes, it was only the breaking of a 'little rule' that lost our Original Innocence and gave us Original Sin.

The idea that those who respect the Church's laws, customs, disciplines and rules are 'pharisees' is quite cheap. The idea of obedience is not new in the Church, it was something exemplified and embodied in Our Lord Jesus Christ Who showed and lived obedience to the Father even unto His Passion and Death on the Cross.

Pope Francis will undoubtedly be the Pope that the Second Vatican Council was waiting for, a Pope who will embody its missionary zeal, its outreach and inspiring love for the poor, marginalised and discarded. Equally, however, His Holiness will also embody, just as much, the fault lines, inconsistencies, errors and liturgical 'time-bombs' promulgated in its wake.

Like many I love what the Holy Father says and does, his teaching by example, his great faith and preaching on the urgency of the Gospel, but it strikes me that the rules that apply to the Sacred Liturgy are there in order that Jesus Christ and the most sublime Sacrifice especially are as visible as they possibly can be. "He who does not pray to God, prays to the Devil," says the Holy Father, but the source and summit of Christian prayer is the Holy Mass. It can only be the Devil who wants to obscure Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The rules are there not to burden Priests or leave the Priest 'unemancipated', but to emancipate, to make more visible, to magnify the Lord.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

No Reply Yet...

'Dear _________

Thank you very much for the further information regarding this role.

Unfortunately, as a Catholic, I can see some things in the 'Statement of Faith' that I cannot in conscience sign, since they do not reflect what the Catholic Church believes.

Just as an example:

'3. The Bible, as originally given, is the inspired and infallible Word of God. It is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour.' 

Well, the Bible is not, in the opinion of the Church, the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour, since it requires interpreting by an Infallible Body which cannot err, otherwise anyone can look at the Bible and behave or believe as they interpret it on a wholly subjective basis.

I believe that the Catholic Church is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour because it is holy, since it was founded by Jesus Christ and is guarded from error and falsehood by the Holy Spirit.

There are other points, as well, at which I would not be able, in conscience, to sign this 'Statement of Faith' without committing formal apostasy from the Catholic Church.

I would be happy to sign the Nicene Creed as a Statement of Faith which I attach in place of the one given by the Evangelical Alliance.

Shall I still apply?

Best wishes.

_______________ '

Oops. I think I was meant to say 'Yours sincerely', but we're Christian brothers who believe the same things, right? So I think it will be okay. No reply yet though...

"The Carnival is Over"

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Would you sign this?

Do you have to commit formal apostasy to get a job helping the homeless?
I went to a local Catholic Church at the weekend and saw a job advertised by a local Christian homeless charity. In order to apply you have to sign this 'Statement of Faith'.

'Statement of Faith

1. There is one God in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

2. God is sovereign in creation, revelation, redemption and final judgement.

3. The Bible, as originally given, is the inspired and infallible Word of God. It is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour.

4. Since the fall, the whole of humankind is sinful and guilty, so that everyone is subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.

 5. The Lord Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son, is fully God; he was born of a virgin; his humanity is real and sinless; he died on the cross, was raised bodily from death and is now reigning over heaven and earth.

6. Sinful human beings are redeemed from the guilt, penalty and power of sin only through the sacrificial death once and for all time of their representative and substitute, Jesus Christ, the only mediator between them and God.

7. Those who believe in Christ are pardoned all their sins and accepted in God’s sight only because of the righteousness of Christ credited to them; this justification is God’s act of undeserved mercy, received solely by trust in him and not by their own efforts.

8. The Holy Spirit alone makes the work of Christ effective to individual sinners, enabling them to turn to God from their sin and to trust in Jesus Christ.

9. The Holy Spirit lives in all those he has regenerated. He makes them increasingly Christ like in character and behaviour and gives them power for their witness in the world.

10. The one holy universal church is the Body of Christ, to which all true believers belong.

11. The Lord Jesus Christ will return in person, to judge everyone, to execute God’s just condemnation on those who have not repented and to receive the redeemed to eternal glory.

This is the Off the Fence statement of Faith; it is displayed on our website and is the wording from the Evangelical Alliance. All Trustees, staff and volunteers should adhere, believe and sign this statement.'

Would you sign this? I can see one or two problems that could impede my application...I mean...the Bible, 'as originally given'? What on Earth does that mean? If you have to sign a Protestant oath why was this advertised in a Catholic Church? Nice to see they give a nod to the perpetual virginity of Our Blessed Lady, though. I mean, I'd love to apply for this job but I've just cut off my hand and plucked my eyes out because the Bible told me to.

Someone just kindly sent me this Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship link on Wikipedia. It seems they have an eerily similar 'Statement of Faith'.

Why Seven Times Seventy Seven?

St Peter: "But why must I forgive my brother seven times seventy seven times, Lord?"

Our Lord: "Because this is the average number of liturgical abuses that will take place during the papal Masses of the twenty first century."

Lord, forgive me!

His Holiness Pope Francis has, however called upon us to be 'revolutionaries' in a very stirring homily, changing 'one heart at a time'.

I really do like this homily. Here is an excerpt:

“In the Gospel, there’s the beautiful passage about the shepherd who realizes that one of his sheep is missing and he leaves the 99 to go out and find the one,” Pope Francis said. “But, brothers and sisters, we have only one. We’re missing 99! We must go out and find them.” 

Avanti! Avanti!

Monday 17 June 2013

Pray for Holy Priests

I recently drove a young man to his home town as he makes preparations to join the seminary. He's young, just out of university where he completed a science degree. The first time I met him was at a local Catholic 'youth' group which had generated this year the majority (if not all) of the vocations to the Priesthood in the Diocese (or Deanery, I forget which) this year.

The group of young adults had played a distinct part in his 'coming back' to the Church after a period of lapsation. The group have a meal and a talk, usually on one aspect of the Catechism and is joined to a small lay Benedictine community near the Church.

What struck me about the man, still in his early twenties is how generous he is being to Holy Mother Church. His future having just graduated from university in his branch of science guarantees him a great career, but this field of science moves quickly, so his trying of his vocation to be a priest is really laying everything he has in terms of his future career on the line and giving it all to God. If it were not to be he would have trouble getting back into the field of science he is in because it moves very quickly in this particular branch.

The thing that really impressed me about him was his generosity. He said to me, "I came to realise through that I want to lay down my life and serve God in the Priesthood." What struck me wasn't that he said that he wanted to be a priest, but that he wanted to 'lay down my life' for God. What came afterwards were the words 'in the priesthood', but his words seemed to etch themselves into my being and almost sting a little. Of course, this was unintentional on his part, but obviously the real drama of his decision impacted on me. Call it 'Catholic guilt'  - a mixture of guilt and admiration - if you like but obviously there is something unresolved in me. I also admire his decisiveness - his willingness to make a decision and follow it through - rather than spending years 'discerning'. It is as if he is throwing everything up in the air, giving the Church everything and whatever the Church gives him, is what he will accept. This is brave. It is, in the World's eyes reckless, but it is also generous. I have no doubt the good Lord will reward this young man's generosity in whatever path He desires for him.

For reasons I shall not go into, I do feel somewhat like the 'rich young man' in the Gospel who wants to follow Jesus everywhere but the road that Jesus wants to take him down - a road that involves real sacrifice - the road that involves a cost. There is a real sense of personal sacrifice there, in this particular man I met - a real sense of vocation - of Priesthood - a real sense of 'I want to give God everything - I don't want to hold anything back for myself' or 'Totus tuus' as Blessed Pope John Paul II would say.

The whole Church, every parish church, for its Priests, its children, its 'lungs' in religious and contemplative life and even its buildings - all - relies on the generosity of men and women financially and vocationally - on men and women's generosity to the Church, as they respond to the sublime generosity of our God who gives Himself entirely, holding nothing back, to us.

I really think that, despite what so many say of him, generosity was ultimately the motivation of St Francis of Assisi, after whom our Holy Father takes his name. Generosity led Francis to Christ Crucified, to shunning worldly riches, to lepers and to wed holy poverty - not the love of poverty for its own sake or these things or even people for their own sakes. Generosity is the manifestation of love and is really, or should be, the visible fruit of Faith.

Say a prayer for him, pray for his vocation, for holy priests and for holier Bishops.

Saturday 15 June 2013

1,000,000 Rosaries for the Holy Father Facebook Campaign

Join the Facebook campaign here.

But counting!

Police Unveil New 'Homophobia' Sniffer Dogs

 An inspector calls: 'Giles' can smell homophobia from 800 yards away...
Can you sniff the scent of homophobia? Can you spot some homophobia from a 'long or short-range' distance? Well, meet the new range of sniffer dogs unveiled this week by Manchester Police which can smell even the trace of homophobia and prejudice against LGBT persons.

"Yappy are you when men revile you..."

A crack team of chihuahuas has been unleashed on Manchester in a new pilot scheme to clamp down on homophobia-related crimes amid controversial claims that the new team of dedicated foot soldiers combating prejudice is an attack on freedom of thought, speech and even conscience.

The 'hounds of homophobia'

While any moves to put corgis on alert for such undercover activity are said to have been blocked by Buckingham Palace, the elite squadron of chihuahuas are expected to be rolled out once the 'same-sex marriage' legislation is passed and Christian Monarch Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II gives Royal Assent to the divisive and controversial law that will allow men and women to marry members of the same gender, putting such issues as consummation, adultery and a host of other issues in marriage in a grave situation, or even, the grave itself.

Homophobia-hound, 'Terence': 'Did you just say "queer"?' 
Speaking of the new breed of heroic homophobia hunters, a spokesperson for Manchester Police, PC Rupert Rabies said, "We understand that in the light of the new legislation there may be some citizens for whom the idea of 'same-sex marriage' might be a bit much, especially when they realise the kind of stuff that will be taught to their children."

He continued,"With this in mind, then, we thought we might need 'back-up' in the ongoing fight against prejudice and homophobia. This elite team of chihuahuas will be just the thing to combat hate and prejudice in the 21st century, since nine out of ten of our dogs can sniff homophobia, even thoughts, from 800 yards away. At this time when terrorism is still an ever present danger, be very afraid, this recruitment drive of specialist politically correct sniffer hounds will be a welcome addition to our force of anti-terrorism dogs."

'Did you just call me a woofter?' 

Homophobia-hunting chihuahuas: Successful in the US
The idea, imported after successful use in several US states is known already for its controversy. One of the British homophobia hunter hounds, Terence, responds to potentially derogatory words and phrases like 'queen', 'queer', 'gay', 'poof' and 'bi'. When PC Rabies was asked whether this kind of language could be used perfectly innocently in remarks that had nothing to do with homosexuality, he responded, "Yes, but these dogs have been specially trained to pick up on the inflections in the human voice. It's not what you say, they can pick up on the way you say it and alert officers to any homophobic incident immediately."

'Brokebark Mounting': Crack team of chihuahuas was 'indoctrinated'
MI5 trained specialist peace-enforcing pooches?

Of course, chihuahuas are not naturally political dogs, and so MI5 took time to train the new peace-enforcing pooches in their new role.

All the recruited team of chihuahuas were subjected to a series of pro-homosexual movies, soap operas, songs and plays, all involving dogs of the same breed over a long period of time, to enable them to accept what they had hitherto not understood as being wholly 'natural' to be virtuous and even heroic. PC Rabies said that as part of 'Operation Torpedo Marriage' films starring chihuahuas, such as Brokebark Mounting were shown to the dogs in order that they would acquire the sense or the 'scent' of homophobia in order to sniff it out in human beings in and around the capital, in shopping malls, libraries, airports and train stations - even - in future - in the workplace.

Doing the Devil's Work?: Critics say this is 'a step too far'
Blessed are the paws?

Anti-gay marriage campaigners and bilious, vitriolic hate-mongers who mostly nest in Catholic Church and other Christian denominations have reacted angrily to the news of the new breed of homophobia sniffer dogs, suggesting that the Government's attitude to those who campaign against the new legislation is 'dogmatic' and totalitarian and that Cameron and the Metropolitan Police should 'paws and think again'.

A Government poll however found that homophobia sniffer dogs are supported overwhelmingly by 97.3% of the population, despite the population not having been consulted and the move not appearing in any White Paper or party manifesto. The first homophobia sniffer dogs are expected to be rolled out in Spring of 2014, so if you're not convinced of 'same-sex marriage' by then, watch out, because it is rumoured that G4S have ordered a specially trained chihuahua for every adult in every major city to sniff out any anti-Government or dissenting sentiment as the new law comes into force.

Spooches? A squadron are said to be operating from GCHQ monitoring sentiment against 'same-sex marriage'

Are GCHQ involved?

Alarm has also been raised that the crackdown on any 'scent' of homophobia has already reached the digital communications division of GCHQ, and that the new breed of 'chihuahunters' are to be employed in hunting any signs of homophobia on the internet. Civil liberties campaigners are especially concerned in the wake of the NSA internet spying scandal that has rocked the digital communications world and had internet users wondering whether security services are profiling them for some future 'lockdown' when political dissidents could be purged and taken 'offline'. The world awaits a new dog-whistle blower to emerge who will tell us whether these chihuahuas are a force for peace and freedom or radical new tool in a future of oppression and tyranny.

Walk for the Good Counsel Network

Come and join The Good Counsel Network on Saturday 20th July in walking approximately 13 miles from Wandsworth to Wapping, starting with Mass at 10am and finishing with refreshments, cakes and biscuits.

For those who do not know, The Good Counsel Network is a Catholic pro-life organisation aimed at abortion bound women in order to help them to choose life for their children instead by assisting them with real alternatives.

The GCN are asking all participants to attempt to raise at least £100 in sponsorship. They are hoping to have as many participants as possible to help us raise lots of money to save more lives. Once you sign up they will provide you with a fundraising pack in order to help you with your fundraising, and give you all of the important details. They are offering a special Good Counsel Network t-shirt and a beautiful framed picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the person who raises the most amount of sponsorship by August 20th 2013.

Please note that on average about 20% of sponsorship is given after the day of the event. If you want to join the walkers just click attending on Facebook and give Conor Carroll your email address and he will get in contact with you soon, or alternatively you can send him a private message with your address, or email him at or call on 0207 723 1740.

Thursday 13 June 2013

I've Got an Allotment

Yes! I waited three years and now I've got one.

I hope one day my allotment looks like this. At the moment, it looks nothing like this.

What shall I sow first, apart from love? I may set up a special allotment blog so that green-fingered readers can keep up to date with what I hope will become a thing of great beauty.

It will need a shed of course. Every man needs a shed.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Novena to St Anthony of Padua

St Anthony: Shocked Catholics by celebrating 'Ad Orientem', turning around only to show the Eucharist to a mule...

I am making a Novena to St Anthony of Padua for the intentions of those who I know and for help in discerning my state of life/vocation etc and I hope His Holiness Pope Francis will not be aggrieved that I will include his own intentions in the Novena, since people were making such 9-day prayers to St Anthony before the 1940s. Long, long before the 1940s...

Seriously though, we have been told that the Holy Father prays 15 decades of the Rosary a day and prays the Rosary while drifting off to sleep - much like His Holiness's predecessor. He has told us as much. Pray for our Holy Father. What an Office His Holiness must fulfil and what grave responsibility is placed spiritually upon his shoulders! Who knows, Pope Francis could be the 'last Pope' of St Malachi's prophecy of the Popes. Going by Pope Francis's 'radical' style and somewhat impulsive actions and remarks, that would spare His Holiness's Successor a great deal of trouble.

Let's pray also that Belgium finds God and its conscience at the same time, since both of these are surely one. Child euthanasia...Well, I must admit I never thought they'd call it that.

Sunday 9 June 2013

Veri Disturbing

It goes without saying that The Guardian's coverage and exposure of the NSA's surveillance operations using Google, Twitter, Facebook and the rest simply must be read. Alex Jones is looking more credible as each day passes, but then, I thought he was credible anyway.

Tim Stanley has some interesting thoughts here and his colleague Mic Wright has explained the long and short of the 'Prism' scandal here.

Friday 7 June 2013

Breaking: David Cameron to Attend Bilderberg 2013

More on this tomorrow. I was interviewed very briefly by The Huffington Post today who told me that Mr Cameron will be attending the Bilderberg Conference. Some cheek, eh?

Down with the New World Order! Viva Christo Rey! Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

That's what I should have said. I got some great quotes from Alex Jones on 'same-sex marriage' and will post over the weekend on Watford. The word on the street is that Obama may show up as well. I always suspected David Rockefeller was Cameron's real boss.

Pray for all present at Bilderberg. Tomorrow, by the way, is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which we have been promised will triumph 'in the end'.

Bilderberg Conference and the Culture of Death

When we talk about the Culture of Death and when we talk about Bilderberg, we are talking about the same thing, since the Culture of Death is funded largely by the architects of Bilderberg.

If we want to talk about abortion, it is impossible to talk about abortion without discussing Bilderberg participants. If we want to talk about artificial contraception, well, it is impossible to talk about this without talking about participants at Bilderberg. If we want to talk about 'same-sex marriage' - a momumental shift in the understanding of marriage and the destruction of family life sought to be implemented on a global scale, it is impossible not to talk about Bilderberg. The (oc)culture of Death is funded and developed by powerful men like David Rockefeller.

That is why this is a Catholic issue. That is why I blog on it. That is why I'm going to Watford. Men like Rockefeller and Soros do not own elected Governments and, even if they do, there is no reason why they should. There is no reason why he should have the ear of Government, but the Church Militant should not.

Thursday 6 June 2013

Go, Alex, Go!

'Without justice - what is the State but a band of robbers?' - St Augustine

That was the BBC, covering Alex Jones. Rather it would be better for them to cover Bilderberg.

I am tempted to go to Watford tomorrow with my camcorder. I'd love to meet Alex Jones.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

'The Great Wall of Watford'

I'd like to say I'm reporting live from Bilderberg 2013 and that I've just dedicated a Rosary for the intentions of the rulers of the age. Alas, I am not there shouting in a megaphone in vain as I strive to save the world from the New World Order.

You can follow Charlie Skelton of The Guardian's live blog on the Bilderberg conference here and, naturally, Infowars and Prison Planet. Apparently, Tina Turner is there, singing, 'Watford, Got to Do With It?' Sorry, terrible joke.

A beautiful piece of conceptual art outside The Grove Hotel, Watford
It is notable that two Lords (at least) including Baronness Shirley Williams, are present at this year's Conference. Just saying. Present too will be Peter Mandelson, Ed Balls, Ken Clarke and George Osborne, who will be playing Scrabble with David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, the Chief Executive of Google, the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and, oh I can't be bothered with the rest. You'll have to see for yourself. No Nigel Farage, strangely...

What with the way new Church buildings are going, you'll be glad to hear that the above sculpture is not from a newly built Catholic Church. It's worth mentioning that if it were not for the internet, you would never have heard of Bilderberg, or, at least, it would be highly unlikely.

They work for you, or they work for them?
It was all quite "hush hush" before this form of communication, which is what led some people to believe this meeting was some kind of 'conspiratorial' conference, in which the enslavement of the World to a dystopic, brutal, corporate, fascistic, Orwellian future world in which humans were eventually micro-chipped, was discussed for a few days. Silly conspiracy theorists. There's no way that could happen, although I today read that all dogs in the United Kingdom will have to be micro-chipped, by law, by the year 2016. Thankfully, nobody at Bilderberg considers those their discussions may effect to be animals or commodities to be tagged and if there is one thing these people respect, its privacy, as we can see by the gigantic wall surrounding The Grove Hotel.

Why not say an Ave for them now. For all we know, they could be discussing Rerum Novarum, Caritas in Veritate and Pope Francis's latest homily because we'll never hear a word of what was said. “I’m honored to have been asked to go,” said Sherard Cowper-Coles, former diplomat and current director at BAE , “But it’s crazy. They [the organizers] wouldn’t tell us where we were going to stay until a couple of weeks beforehand,” adding with a smirk: “Some people had to book their private jets in advance.”

That's a problem we can all relate to, I think you'll agree. Honestly, I'd love to be there fighting the good fight and giving you live coverage and Watford isn't that far away, but prayer is more efficacious than megaphones. We should pray. Prayer can bring down walls, as Blessed Pope John Paul II so effectively showed us. Has 'same-sex marriage' and its spread across the Western world ever been discussed at Bilderberg? Well, I guess we'll never know...Pray for them, but we have been assured that the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph in the end.

Ora pro nobis

Bilderberg in Watford really should be front page news, but hey, as David Rockefeller said, 

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years... It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries." - David Rockefeller, Bilderberg Meeting, June 1991 Baden, Germany 

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Oh Dear...

The fight for marriage goes on. And there were we looking to the elderly for wise and independent counsel.

Shall we start camping in sleeping bags and tents and holding vigil outside Buckingham Palace with candles, holding banners of Our Lady and praying our Rosaries and offering flowers to the Queen now or leave it a few weeks?

Done well and advertised well we could make a real impact. And get arrested of course. International news no less. Oh, Archbishop Vincent Nichols would be delighted. His Grace would be so proud of us!

It could be a kind of ecumenical gathering of loads of people who disagree with 'same-sex marriage' - those who support real marriage - camped outside Buckingham Palace holding round the clock prayer vigils for the Queen.

She needs to know that, having celebrated the anniversary of her Coronation, we support her reign in its Christian ideals. She needs to know she has our support but that Parliament does not.

I really don't want to live in a country in which children are taught about homosexual sexual practices in schools and teachers are sacked for being true to their consciences.

Buckingham Palace saw a lot of flowers when Princess Diana died. It needs a tsunami of prayers ascending to Heaven for it now. An attack on marriage of this magnitude is an attack on the Monarchy itself.

Now that's what I call great liturgy.

Monday 3 June 2013

So Clever, So Intelligent, So Persuasive

Well, I listened quite steadfastly to some of the debating in the House of Lords today. Overall it was quite depressing.

Lord Dear's address was pretty convincing - damning even - of the legislation. In any previous age you would be hard pushed to find anyone to disagree with it.

'Let's not redefine marriage, think of the children and the future. This is a bad law that will ruin marriage, the family and see conscientious objectors sacked,' was the general thrust. It really should be as simple as that, right?

Sad, though, to see Satan working so fast and effectively through the elderly as well as the young with really very clever, intelligent and persuasive arguments. There did not appear to be many 'Bishops' in the House of Lords ready to cry out, 'Get thee behind me, Satan!' I'm not sure today's Anglican Bishops believe in him anymore. Did they ever?

What a cunning old serpent he is, Old Nick. Again, the saucy love of homosexual couples which hitherto could not speak its name but now never pipes down for a moment predominated the discussion, but again, just as in the House of Commons, children were not really discussed. Why? Who cares about them? We're here to talk about the rights of the gays and lesbians! That's all that matters surely! Nobody wants to talk about children and what this country is going to be like for children in families growing up in this post-Christian, overly-sexualised and homosexualised culture. In such matters he appeals to the good side of human nature, yet twists it so that we end up endorsing sin and evil, death and destruction, depravity and ultimately, despair and the loss of God. I'm pretty sure the Devil could sell more or less anything to today's politicians - child murder even. Oh, no, wait, he already did that in the 1960s with the Abortion Act.

I think we should be honest and admit that the arguments for 'same-sex marriage' are seductive because they appeal to a version of 'love' or a feeling of 'love' that has replaced what hitherto generations that preceded ours believed 'love' was. Real love is dead - Christian love is dead - not in reality, of course, but in the minds of the populace and the popular imagination. It is our responsibility - an awesome responsibility - as Catholics, to awaken within the nations the Christian vision of love in all its beauty.

'Equal love', 'equal marriage', 'equal this', 'equal that'. So clever, so intelligent, so persuasive - how could anyone not be convinced by it even if the slogans are pretty vapid and empty? You've got to hand it to him. Now anyone who disagrees with this is laughed out of town as some kind of medieval leper. He's nearly got this country sewn up. Just keep them talking about 'equal love', 'equality', how far the LGBT community has come from criminalisation to freedom and help them to forget about the consequences - the real, actual, concrete consequences for society. The destruction of the human language, the terrifyingly vast array of laws that will be changed with the 'knock on' effect, the impact on children and their education, the possible recruiting of children into the gay lifestyle, the abuse of childhood and its innocence and purity, the persecution of those who don't agree with the new definition, the removal of adherents of traditional marriage from the public sphere. All of these matters and many, many more are seductively removed or airbrushed in the debates on 'same-sex marriage' in the name of the new religion (a religion adopted even by Anglican 'Bishops').

The irony, of course, is that the reason the Devil was cast out of Heaven was because he sought one thing with the Almighty and Ever Living God. What was that one thing he sought with God?


St Michael says, 'Bad choice, for who is like unto God?'

So sad that so many are signing up to the Devil's religion, including the Houses of Parliament, who believe they can change what God has ordained from the beginning. 

And how laughable it is to hear the House of Lords talking about 'equality'. If there were any 'equality' in this world, we'd all be born into great privilege, own a massive house in the country with lots of bedrooms, have an impressive title and never have to work a day in our lives.

Instead, people with one spare box bedroom in which they keep a vacuum cleaner and some other stuff are evicted from their property when they cannot find the money from their benefits to pay the dreaded 'Bedroom Tax' causing some to be made homeless and others to kill themselves in dread of the prospect of the street.

Equality? Yes, very clever. Let's make sure that in the minds of the public the word 'equality' henceforth means you can have sex with whoever you want, whenever you want, because sex is free, you can marry whoever you want and it would be really quite preferable if you didn't have children. God forbid anyone should think of economic and social justice.

God's Laws

Anglican Michael Nazir-Ali, is worried about the Queen signing the 'same-sex marriage' legislation and thereby failing to uphold 'God's laws'.

Of course, I agree the Queen should uphold the Divine Law, but really, Michael, where were you for the Abortion Act (1967) and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act etc, etc.

You sound like a man who takes religion seriously, Michael. This is not what Anglicanism is about. Anglicanism is about doing what the Government tells you to do. Have you ever thought of becoming a Catholic?

That said, if Her Majesty wants to take her oaths seriously that would be just grand and now would be a great time to do so.

St Charles Lwanga and Companions, Pray for Us

Two articles that are rather concerning today.

Viscount Astor has penned a piece for The Telegraph calling on the Lords not to throw out the 'same-sex marriage' proposal. Viscount Astor says:

' reject a Bill on a second reading that has been passed by the Commons, however strong opinions are, would be quite wrong. While it has happened very occasionally, it would be against the tradition of the Lords and would affect the relationship between the two Houses of Parliament. The Lords would be seen as an undemocratic chamber, not the guardian of democracy it often is.'

Lord Dear, however, was quite clear about the 'democratic deficit' that is contained within this legislation, saying, quite rightly, "There has been no royal commission; no committee of inquiry; no mention in any party’s manifesto prior to the last general election. Indeed, the possibility of its introduction was flatly denied by the leader of the Conservative Party in an interview on national television only three days before his successful election. There has been no proper public consultation, no matter how much the Government try to massage the results of what was, it has to be said, their limited consultation process."

The Telegraph also reports that Anglican Bishops are under pressure to abstain in the vote which will take place tomorrow. Thankfully, though, we can rely on Anglican Bishops not to bow to State pressure, because history tells us that, like Catholic Bishops, they have spines of raw steel.

St Charles Lwanga and companions, pray for us.

Sunday 2 June 2013

Eucharistic Adoration with Pope Francis

Thanks be to God the Holy Father knelt for the incensation of the Blessed Sacrament.

Deo gratias! 

No need to get up so soon though, Your Holiness.

After all... Dominus est!

Let us adore Him, our Eucharistic Lord!

Rosary for Marriage

Rosary for Marriage tomorrow.

And the day after...and the day after that...and...but especially tomorrow.

Pray for the Lords voting on 'same-sex marriage tomorrow'.That's Monday. Tomorrow.

It just so happens on that day to be the Feast of St Charles Lwanga and companions, who died because they refused the 'same-sex' advances of a Ugandan King and stayed true to the Eternal King, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sadly, MPs lack the courage to stand up to the advances of today's advocates of the homosexual agenda.

Pray that the Lords throw the legislation out.

Saturday 1 June 2013

Bilderberg 2013

Keep calm, everybody. 

There's nothing to see here, now.  

I feel sorry for David Rockefeller, though.

No multi-billionaire should have to spend the night in Watford.

'Free Vote? Yes...Well, It Depends On Your Definition of Free...'

In order to obtain the definition of 'Free' please refer to the Government's Ministry for Language and Definitions.

According to The Catholic Herald...

'MPs have urged peers to throw out the same-sex marriage Bill on Monday, saying that the free votes in the Commons were a sham. In a joint letter, a group of 15 MPs told members of the House of Lords that although the main parties claimed to have allowed MPs to vote with the consciences in reality pressure was placed on them to vote in favour of the controversial legislation.

The signatories said that MPs were threatened with the ruin of their careers if they opposed Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill. “The main parties announced a free vote but we saw varying degrees of coercion with threats made, for example, to an MP’s future political career or withdrawal of party support at future elections,” said the letter, which was signed by Catholics Edward Leigh, Therese Coffey and Jim Dobbin. “Regrettably, our ability as MPs to oppose, amend or scrutinise this Bill was heavily constrained,” they said.'

Great. Just great. If that is how the consciences of MPs are treated in 'free' votes which are not allegedly 'free' at all, then how does it bode for the consciences of the citizens of the United Kingdom which we are assured will be left 'free' after the legislation comes in? Looks like 'freedom is slavery' after all...This allegation, which if true would be an enormous deceit by the main party political leaders should be front page news. Will it be in the papers?

See also and H/T to: Protect the Pope

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...