Wednesday 31 July 2013

Zenit Corrects Cardinal Burke Interview Over "Communist Misconception" Quote

On the 25th of July, Zenit published an interview with Cardinal Raymond Burke about the importance of the Sacred Liturgy for the life of the Church, Catholic belief and morality.

Blogs and websites that carried the news of the article honed in on a quote we believed was from Cardinal Burke on the Liturgy in which it was reported widely that His Eminence responded to the following question with the following answer:

Zenit: Some argue the liturgy is mostly about aesthetics, and not as important as, say, good works done in faith. What is your view of this argument that one often hears?

Cardinal Burke: It’s a Communist misconception. First of all, the liturgy is about Christ. It’s Christ alive in his Church, the glorious Christ coming into our midst and acting on our behalf through sacramental signs to give us the gift of eternal life to save us." "It is the source of any truly charitable works we do, any good works we do," he continues. "So the person whose heart is filled with charity wants to do good works will, like Mother Teresa, give his first intention to the worship of God so that when he goes to offer charity to a poor person or someone in need, it would be at the level of God Himself, and not some human level.""

On 29th of July, Zenit issued a correction which has now been made to the original interview which Zenit maintain has come from His Eminence himself.

The article now reads...

Zenit: Some argue the liturgy is mostly about aesthetics, and not as important as, say, good works done in faith. What is your view of this argument that one often hears?

Cardinal Burke: It’s a common misconception. First of all, the liturgy is about Christ. It’s Christ alive in his Church, the glorious Christ coming into our midst and acting on our behalf through sacramental signs to give us the gift of eternal life to save us." "It is the source of any truly charitable works we do, any good works we do," he continues. "So the person whose heart is filled with charity wants to do good works will, like Mother Teresa, give his first intention to the worship of God so that when he goes to offer charity to a poor person or someone in need, it would be at the level of God Himself, and not some human level.""

Thought I would just point that out, in case anyone was in doubt over what His Eminence really said. I know I'm drinking too much coffee today but I must admit to feeling rather on edge.


What in the name of all that is holy is that thing?! Is that thing meant to be a Crucifix? Well, it was Brazil! 

I sincerely pray that that thing is not going to be promoted outside of His Holiness's meeting with the Brazil's Bishop's Conference. Yuk! It does not look like the kind of holy object that wards off demons! It looks more like it would attract them!

The Holy Father has given an excellent homily today on the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola. It is well worth reading.

Afternoon Catholic Herald Must Read by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith

Weeping for Rome? Our Lady of La Salette
One reason why I fled to the allotment on the day of the Holy Father's impromptu interview with journalists on the plane back to Rome was because in just one interview His Holiness appeared to be disconcertingly vague and excruciatingly diplomatic in his 'dialogue with the World' on many different subjects.

Fresh from a rip-roaringly successful WYD in Rio, Pope Francis was garrulous on nearly every 'sensitive' issue in the Church today, from homosexuality to divorce and remarriage, but inside each statement there is a kernal that gnaws away at the soul - an element that suggests that Catholics (and non-Catholics - even atheists) simply do not know what is round the corner in terms of this papacy.

Peter is the Rock - the Rock on whom the Faith of Christ is built - the Rock on which the Church is built by Our Lord and, much as it will displease readers to hear it, there is something worryingly 'un-Rock' like about the statements of the Holy Father.

The simple fact is that the Pope who generally refuses interviews for his own reasons has, in one interview, said things on different subjects that are literally taking days to digest. Not only are they taking days to digest but, not for the first time, if we recall what the Holy Father said about atheists and redemption, Catholics loyal to the Magisterium are being forced onto the back foot in order to positively present the Pope's words in total harmony with traditional Catholic teaching. The world is telling Catholics that 'your Pope is changing the Church' and we have to keep saying, 'No, no! You've got it all wrong. This is what His Holiness meant...' His Holiness does not want us to be indolent and he is certainly making Catholic bloggers work and even the Vatican itself - work hard to 'represent' his teachings.

In fact, we can go even further as to say that a Pope saying some quite woolly things doctrinally is fostering a hotbed of discussion on the internet about Catholic prophecies from La Salette to Fatima. Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith today pours over what His Holiness intimated about the issue of divorce and remarriage. His Holiness's words were as follows:

“I think this is the moment for mercy. The divorced may have access to the sacraments. The problem regards those who are in a second marriage … who cannot receive communion. But, in parenthesis, the Orthodox have a different praxis. They follow the theology of economy, and they give a second chance: they allow that. “But I think that this problem – and here I close the parenthesis – should be studied within the framework of matrimonial pastoral care.
One of the themes that the Council of Cardinals will consider in the meeting in … October is how to proceed in relation to matrimonial pastoral care. A few days ago I met with the secretary of the Synod of Bishops, for the theme of the next Synod and, speaking … we saw this anthropological theme: how faith helps in the planning of the person, in the family, and enters into the pastoral of matrimony. We are on the way towards a deeper matrimonial pastoral care. This is a problem for many people.

Yikes! The implication of the Holy Father's words are that a new epoch may possibly require a new attitude from the Church to the divorced and remarried. Before we go on any further, can you imagine how his words are being taken in the offices of The Tablet, the National Catholic Reporter and by heterodox Catholics, including the large amount of heterodox Bishops and Priests around the World? If Archbishop Charles Chaput was correct to say that Francis will disappoint both traditionalists and liberals, then why does His Holiness keep offering an olive branch to those who despise Catholic teaching or who wish to overthrow it?

Unhelpfully, St Francis prophecised a 'destroyer' Pope
October will be a busy month indeed. I predict that the press, lapping up Francismania will be encamped at Assisi IV, hoping to hear Pope Francis say something distinctly loose about ecumenism, religious liberty and salvation.

Conspiracy theorists who believe Freemasons are hard at work inside and outside the walls of the Vatican attempting to build a 'One World Religion' will be sitting on the edge of their seats. According to the Pope, October will also see a 'review' of the Church's position on the divorce, remarried and the Sacraments. There is little doubt that, doctrinally, at least, the 'Pope of the New World' is not going to great effort to affirm teaching with clarity in the face of the World's hopes, fears and expectations. Already His Holiness has, either deliberately or accidentally, provided the enemies of the Church much hope, be it false hope or not, that the Church's future will be one not of just dialogue with the World, but an openness to overturning Her teachings for worldly acceptance.

Marriage is in crisis across the Western world and elsewhere. The Church is built on Peter, but if the pillar of the Church's teaching on divorce and remarriage with regard to the Sacraments goes, the pillar that will be removed will be the Lord's own teaching on marriage that He taught while He was Himself on Earth, since Jesus Christ did not teach 'accommodation and pastoral care' in this regard (much as genuine pastoral care is needed), but instead called those who divorce and remarry adulterers!

Of course, a 'moment of mercy' in terms of 'deeper pastoral care' that recognises the position of the Orthodox Church could simply mean firm guidance for priests in how to care pastorally for those in the Church in this situation. Or, alternatively, it could mean the overturning of the Lord's own teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage by dispensing the Sacraments to all and sundry, regardless of their marital state. If one pillar of the Catholic Church gets knocked down, the whole building will likely collapse!

Both Fatima and La Salette as well as other prophecies from Saints and Blesseds have predicted such horrific events that "Rome will lose the faith" and "become the Seat of Antichrist". Meanwhile, as if those shaken by recent statements have not enough to contend with, there is a woman who calls her 'prophetic' role 'Maria Divine Mercy' who claims to be receiving messages from Jesus and Mary that Benedict XVI was the last true Pope and that Pope Francis is the false prophet spoken of in Revelation - the implication being that the man who sits upon the Chair of Peter is an atheist! Order your foil hats, which can also be used as mantillas for ladies now from!

Our Lady's tin foil hats: They even double up as mantillas.
Not surprisingly, the Church's Hierarchy have condemned the woman who predicted a 'wicked gesture' by the Pope during Holy Week, and her 'visions'. Among vast changes in doctrine that will be used to destroy the Church and Her mission, she is even alleging that what will transpire in this papacy will be the end of the Mass, as those in the Vatican conspire to deliberately erase Our Lord's presence from the Eucharist by changing the words of consecration, thus causing Sanctuaries to be without Jesus our Eucharistic Lord! Anyone familiar with the prophecy of Our Lady of Good Success will know that one vision of Mother Mariana involved the extinguishing of the Sanctuary Lamp. I sincerely hope and trust and pray that this 'prophetess' is a first class fruitloop of the highest order sent by the Devil to cause disunity and sow schism in Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ and should thus be utterly ignored.

Papal tin-foil hat modelled by Pope Leo XIII
The trouble is that ambiguity in statements of the Holy Father springing from a perfectly reasonable desire to 'dialogue' with the World over such issues as those on which Fr Alexander Lucie Smith today reports will not help those who believe, quite correctly, that communion with, reverence for and loyalty to the Successor of St Peter is fundamentally necessary for Salvation.

Why? Because this sense of ambiguity and the vulnerability of Francis's statements to a multiplicity of interpretations from different audiences will continue to feed the fires of disunity and concerns that Rome itself could eventually fall into schism. You may say, and you may well be right, that blogposts like this do not help, but Our Lord, St Peter and St Paul and a Cloud of Witnesses told us to be vigilant if not totally paranoid.

The immense and surprising popularity of Pope Francis, the open battles over the meaning of his public statements and his commendable desire to reach out to the World is, while attracting enormous interest in the Catholic faith, simultaneously creating suspicion and a sense of dis-ease within the Church among those who hold fast to doctrine that had hitherto been understood to be 'off-limits' in terms of alteration. The result is that we can take heart and be cheered that following the impromptu interview, Peter Tatchell, at least, is not taken by the new Pope, but be rather concerned that Terence Weldon perceives the Holy Father's words to be an endorsement of his agenda for 'the Masses'.

Pray for the Holy Father, for holy Priests and holier Bishops,and pray especially for those who by the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, govern Holy Mother Church against which the Gates of Hell shall never prevail.

An English Bishop Who Cannot Be Spun

Bishop Egan's has released a statement following the legalisation of 'same-sex marriage'. It is wonderful to hear a Bishop speaking with such courage and clarity.

“As Catholics, like Israel in Egypt, we now find ourselves in an alien land that speaks a foreign language with unfamiliar customs. For what we mean by matrimony, sexual intercourse and family life is no longer what today’s world, the Government, the NHS and policy-makers understand by marriage, sex and the family."

“Parliament’s Orwellian attempt to redefine marriage radically changes the social context and this presents a massive challenge to the Church in England and Wales: to those who wish to marry in our churches, to Catholic parents bringing up children, to teachers in our Catholic schools, and to the clergy engaged in pastoral ministry. It may also be a legal minefield, although we will have to wait before the full implications of the new legislation take effect.”

“We will certainly need to review our preaching, teaching and school curricula, which henceforth must recognise that our Catholic system of meanings and values is strikingly different from what secular culture now deems normal or acceptable.”

"The Church loves homosexual persons, even if we hold firm to our Christian conviction that sexual relations find their true place within marriage”.

"As Catholics, let us be on our guard, and continue compassionately to warn our society of the wrong turns it is taking.”

Bishop Egan said that the passing of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill was “the inevitable outcome of a process that has been gathering pace since the sexual revolutions of the 1960s.”

While the World opines about what the Pope did say or didn't say, it is refreshing to hear an English prelate stating the truth in charity.

"Who Am I to Judge?"

Okay, I'm just going to put this 'out there'. As someone who has committed the particular sin and who carries the cross of homosexuality, I am pleased that the Holy Father is 'reaching out' to homosexuals, as the media puts it and, as someone who has sinned so greatly against Heaven, I too would say of another, 'Who am I to judge?' But does that mean I cannot tell someone the truths of the Church's teaching on homosexuality or explain it?

I know we are all sinners in need of God's mercy. I agree very much with the sentiments of the Holy Father that the Church should not 'marginalize' persons with a same-sex attraction. The Church wants to gather her chicks to Her breast, as Christ said as He lamented over Jerusalem. I do wish His Holiness had not decided to adopt the secular usage of the word 'gay' since this word has been stolen. Even if it is the language of the man on the street or even the lay Catholic in explaining Catholic teaching, it is, I think, a little unbecoming of a Pope.

I know that priests are human like all of us are human and, being priests, their weaknesses are even more targeted by the Devil than our own, since the Devil wants most to strike the Shepherd, so that the flock may scatter.

I know that His Holiness talked of the 'sins of youth' in reference to Mgr Ricca and that Cardinal Keith O'Brien's admission suggested that his lifestyle had been something long-term and persistent.

I'm just wondering when the Church authorities can, would or should make a judgment call on someone's suitability to the Priesthood. It seems to me that 'Who am I to judge?' as an attitude must have been one factor in the huge amount of time it took for Cardinal Keith O'Brien to 'come clean'. By the time he did, because he'd been 'told on', the Catholic Church in Scotland was sent into disarray.

The gentleness and compassion of Pope Francis is indeed most endearing and wonderful. He gives the impression that His Holiness is tender-hearted and merciful. That said, if nobody - nobody -  makes a judgment call on a gay man's suitability in the Priesthood at any point in his career then the Church suffers greatly later on.

When a priest acts on his homosexuality it causes great problems not least for the priest's spiritual life, but also he can become a target for blackmail. It also means that when he, as a priest does what a priest needs to do - preach the Church's teaching on homosexuality - he becomes vulnerable to being 'taken down' should anything come to light. It undermines both faith and belief - it undermines the credibility of the Church and of the priesthood and opens the man who teaches the Truth about human sexuality to charges of hypocrisy.

A gay man, as a Catholic, may fall and fall again, but this cannot be the way with the seminarian or the priest - not if he is serious about upcoming or already taken vows. Who is to say that any priest or seminarian is not a person of 'good will' or 'seeking God' - only God actually knows what is 'in a man'. This language is - in the current state of play in the Catholic Church - a little vague. Unless seminaries have ultra-holy rectors who can see into men's souls exactly how, in the light of the Supreme Pontiff's comments, is he to know whether a candidate is suitable for the Sacred Priesthood?

Perhaps I am making a mountain out of a molehill as we bloggers sometimes do. As far as I know there is no 'total outright ban' on homosexual clergy - just the seeking of reassurances that active homosexuality is something that the candidate has substantially and honestly left behind - just as a heterosexual hopefully isn't out womanising his local district in the run up to his entrance into the seminary or ordination. The Church, I believe, looks for candidates with a spiritual maturity that means that the candidate not only believes what the Church teaches concerning the condition of homosexuality, but who is not, or no longer is, mastered by his inclination.

Much as it is unpleasant to judge people's personal qualities, is it not a lack of due judgement of people's personal qualities the reason why the Barque of Peter has taken on so much water in the past 50 years? That is, unless of course, we don't really care anymore.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

St Francis Shows Brazil's Bishops How it is Really Done

Pope Francis Suffers First Negative Media Reports

Pope Francis: Is the honeymoon over?
Time Magazine's Tim Padgett has posted an article arguing that the Successor of St Peter has not gone far enough on homosexuality in the wake of his impromptu interview with journalists on the flight back from Rio.

Tim Padgett writes...

'Papal statements often get the same breathless scrutiny that’s usually lavished on cryptic symbols in Dan Brown novels. So it’s hardly surprising that the world, especially Roman Catholics like myself, is breathlessly decoding what Pope Francis told reporters on his flight back to Rome from Brazil on Monday regarding homosexuality:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” 

As TIME’s Stephen Faris has noted, while the Pope’s remarks might be a welcome and humane sentiment, they hardly represent a break with Catholic church doctrine, which still condemns homosexuality. The Vatican’s catechismal stance regarding the LGBTs in our midst remains the same: The church may love the sinner, but it hates the sin. And since Francis was referring specifically to gay priests—who like other Catholic clerics take a vow of celibacy and so don’t commit the “sin”— His Holiness wasn’t exactly going out on a theological limb.'

When are non-Catholics going to understand the basics of Catholicism?

The Pope is Catholic. The Catholic Church has always condemned homosexual acts as contrary to Divine and natural law and no Pope will ever have the authority to remove or erase the Truth from the Deposit of Faith. There will always be a large section of society - perhaps even a large section of the Church - who cannot accept what the Church proclaims concerning sin and Salvation.

From each and every Pope is expected a reversal of Catholic doctrine. Sorry, guys, it isn't going to happen and if it ever won't. No Pope has the authority to make the truth a lie or to make lies into truth.

How sadly predictable it is that the Pope has courted such favourable headlines until His Holiness presents, in a very charitable manner, what the Catechism has to say on homosexuality. If only the 'gay lobby' would change the record, or at least try Side B - see things from a different angle as the Pope is trying to present it.

Being forgiven by Jesus and asking for the grace not to do it again isn't that hard, guys, even if going to Confession can be embarrassing and humiliating, but God raises up those who are lowly and are burdened by sins and crowns the humble and contrite of heart.

Really, its a great relief, take it from me, whenever Jesus takes our sins away from us in Confession whether our sins be great or not so great, but each and every sin can be forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance.

You think I'm uptight? If only the gays would lighten up and embrace Jesus's love that He wants to pour out onto us. We cannot get to Heaven without Jesus and He wants to save everyone!

Pope Francis Not a Freemason

So, not so much of a conspiracy theory after all then...

Let's be frank Pope has ever, as far as I know, publicly let on that there is a 'problem' with the power and influence of Freemasons in the Vatican. More power to your elbow, Your Holiness.

I'll be even more frank. The first thought I had about our beloved new Pope was that he might be a Freemason, only because when His Holiness greeted the crowd he said, "I want to build a big brotherhood."

Nothing sounds more masonic than a 'big brotherhood'. When His Holiness said that, I thought, 'Oh no! What if the Pope's a Freemason?'

In fact, I became so worried His Holiness was a Freemason that I typed into YouTube, 'Pope Francis Freemason' and came up with this insanity...

So thank you, Your Holiness, for putting my mind to rest, since it stands to reason that no masonic Pope would talk about the influence of the Freemasons in the Vatican.

Deo gratias! Phew. I'll sleep better from now on!

Bring Beach Balls of the Rarest

Right! I'm off to the allotment!

Right now, if I had a shed, I'd consider living there until things have died down a little.

Update on the Francisan Friars of the Immaculate

Courtesy of Mary Victrix

'It was reported in the Catholic online press today that our religious community, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, has been assigned an Apostolic Commissioner by the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated life.  Pope Francis has ordered the decree which goes into effect on August 12.
Pope Francis has also severely restricted our use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and this has been reported by a major italian journalist as a “contradiction” of Pope Benedict’s permission granted in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

This is an unfortunate instance of an overeager journalist sensationalizing something he can only speculate about. The restrictions on our community are specific to us and have been put in place for reasons specific to us.  Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict.  The visitation of our community began under Pope Benedict and the Commission was recommended by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz who was appointed to the Congregation by Pope Benedict.

What is being reported in the press and what has actually transpired within our community over the course of a number of years are two different things. Many of us - I would hope most of us - Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, welcome the Holy Father’s intervention into our life and trust fully that Holy Mother Church knows exactly what she is doing, even when the journalists do not.  We entrust ourselves to her care, just as we do to the Immaculate.'

Please pray for our Institute.

This is very consoling, apart from the fact that the decision came down against those in the community who are devoted to the Traditional Latin Mass. Why is an internal dispute settled by a decisive move against the Mass of Ages by the Pope? I still fail to see how this is not in contradiction to Summorum Pontificum, since a number in the community desire Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Now let us consider the not so consoling. The implications are that the Supreme Legislator of the Catholic Church can and possibly will move against other communities should circumstances warrant it. What does this mean? A letter or two from parishioners of a Church? A letter from the Diocesan Bishop?

Let's be realistic here. How many Bishops who feared moving against Priests celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass before will see news of this tragedy and be emboldened?

I will be honest in saying that when I spent time with the Franciscans of the Immaculate on the Pilgrimage to Walsingham two years ago the two inspiring Friars present made it clear how devoted to the Latin Mass they are and the important element it played in their spiritual life. This Franciscan Order's new vocations thrive on the Latin Mass - its part of the reason young men join the Order. They are attracted by the beauty of the traditional rite. To the majority (and I think it is a majority) in the Friars of the Immaculate, this may feel like a crucifixion. The traditional rite may well have been the reason they entered the Order.

It is true that this dispute was begun under the reign of Benedict XVI, but do we really believe that Benedict XVI would have come down like a tonne of bricks against the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, requesting permission from Rome for the celebration of the Mass that he himself had enshrined as needing no formal request for its lawful celebration?

Let us leave it there. It is, as Fr Angelo has said, an internal matter and his statement is a model of obedience. We would expect nothing less from an Order that under the care of their Seraphic Father Francis. 

Monday 29 July 2013

Pope Francis on Pope Emeritus Benedict

 “I love Benedict XVI, he’s a humble man of God and a man of prayer. When he resigned, it was a great example … some say to me, how is it possible to have two popes in the Vatican? I heard a beautiful phrase that it’s like having your Grandpa at home, someone who’s wise, venerated, loved, and listened to. If I have a problem, something I don’t understand, I can ask. On the Vatican leaks scandal, for example, he explained everything with simplicity and a spirit of service." 
~ Pope Francis

The Catholic Herald today highlights a quite breathtaking series of quotes from Pope Francis in an 'off the cuff' interview he gave to journalists on the 12-hour flight from Rio to Rome. The contents of the interview have been covered by the 'National Categorically Not Very Catholic Reporter'.

Issues covered in the interview include:

The role of women in the Church
Travel plans
The charismatic movement
The Vatican Bank
Curial Reform
Divorced and remarried Catholics
The Jesuits
The Canonisation causes of Blessed Popes John Paul II and John XXIII
The Ricca Affair and 'the lobby'

Quite sweeping, I think you'll agree. I apologise to anybody offended by the headline image but I'm sure Pope Emeritus Benedict will be none too thrilled when he hears the fate of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Perhaps he already has.

One thing is certain amidst what is beginning to feel like a mini-tribulation. We are in for a radical and very different papacy to what Catholics have perhaps hitherto experienced. Hold on tight. This is going to be a rollercoaster. Hold fast to the Magisterium, pray for His Holiness and...

I'm taking a break. I can't take any more of this. I'm off to the allotment!

Franciscans of the Immaculate Restricted on Celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass

Chiesa and the LMS Chairman today report the stunning, and frankly chilling news that the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have a new Superior, not a member of the Order but a Capuchin, Fidenzio Volpi, and that the priests of the Order have been forbidden to say the Traditional Mass in public or private, without special permission. This is effective from Sunday 11th August.

According to Sandro Magister, this appointment has been approved by His Holiness Pope Francis who has, by his apostolic authority, utterly contradicted both Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, embedded into the Law of the Church by the Pope's predecessor, Benedict XVI. Many will be unsurprised by this flagrant contradiction of Church law if only because in this the reigning Pope has form.

As Sandro Magister says...

'And this in itself is cause for astonishment. Because the Franciscans of the Immaculate are one of the most flourishing religious communities born in the Catholic Church in recent decades, with male and female branches, with many young vocations, spread over several continents and with a mission in Argentina as well. They want to be faithful to tradition, in full respect for the magisterium of the Church. So much so that in their communities they celebrate Masses both in the ancient rite and in the modern rite, as moreover do hundreds of religious communities around the world - the Benedictines of Norcia, to give just one example - applying the spirit and the letter of the motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum" of Benedict XVI.'

According to the same journalist, 'the decree bears the date of July 11, 2013, the protocol number 52741/2012, and the signatures of the prefect of the congregation, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, a focolarino, and of the secretary of the same congregation, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, a Franciscan.'

Cardinal Burke celebrates the TLM at the Friars of the Immaculate's seminary
In an 'extraordinary' manner, Pope Francis has, according to Magister, therefore allowed the astonishing over-riding of the existing laws instituted by his predecessor which give to all priests and religious communities the full and legal permission to celebrate the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

The Franciscans of the Immaculate will not be the only ones who will be stunned and crestfallen by this appointment and decree, but none other than Cardinal Raymond Burke and, one would imagine, all priests in the Catholic Church who have been 'emancipated' by the pontificate of Benedict XVI to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass will doubtless feel confused and betrayed.

A seagull awaits the election of the new Sovereign Pontiff of the Church
According to Magister, this chain of events began when a small group within the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate petitioned Rome in anger at the frequency with which the Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated by the community.

There will be not a few priests who, knowing that the Mass of Ages is not universally popular within even their own congregations, will be concerned that if this can happen to an entire Franciscan Order, affecting each and every of their communities spread around the World, that it can happen to them, despite it being perfectly licit to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form since it was decreed by Pope Benedict XVI to have been 'never abrogated.'

Magister continues...

'But precisely this was contested by a core group of internal dissidents, who appealed to the Vatican authorities complaining of the excessive propensity of their congregation to celebrate the Mass in the ancient rite, with the effect of creating exclusion and opposition within the communities, of undermining internal unity and, worse, of weakening the more general "sentire cum Ecclesia." The Vatican authorities responded by sending an apostolic visitor one year ago. And now comes the appointment of the commissioner.

'But what is most astonishing are the last five lines of the decree of July 11: "In addition to the above, the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.” The astonishment stems from the fact that what is decreed contradicts the dispositions given by Benedict XVI, which for the celebration of the Mass in the ancient rite “sine populo" demand no previous request for authorization whatsoever.'

Shortly before he died, St. Francis of Assisi called together his followers and warned them of the coming troubles, saying:

'Act bravely, my Brethren; take courage, and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.
St Francis gave a prophecy concerning his Order shortly before his death
Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Christ] these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy
Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer.'

A seagull attacks the dove released by Pope Benedict XVI on 26.01.13
There will be some in the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who may consider that this prophecy of St Francis is perhaps relevant to our times. Let us pray earnestly for the Pope and for the now persecuted sons and daughters of St Francis in the Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, who must be so dear to their Seraphic Father Saint Francis and pray to God in Heaven that His Holiness Pope Francis will reconsider the promulgation of this nefarious decree, since its implications extend way beyond the Franciscans of the Immaculate, but potentially to any religious community or indeed any parish priest who celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the wake of Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae.

Quite what the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Raymond Burke - who has celebrated Pontifical High Mass with the Franciscans of the Immaculate and whose depth of knowledge of Church and canon law is perhaps unparalleled in the whole Church - makes of this decree is anybody's guess, but I'm in a state of disbelief that following all that the then Pope Benedict XVI laid down in the Church's law by Motu Proprio, the flickering flame of the Mass of Ages can so easily be extinguished!

Prophecy of Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana

Restorationist: Our Lady of Good Success
Okay, I was going to post this last night in the wake of that truly awful outbreak of absurd dancing by the Bishops Conference of Brazil. I thought better of it, because Bishops will be Bishops in the modern age.

However, if Rorate Caeli's reports are true today, then it behooves us who believe that the liturgical renewal began by the then Pope Benedict XVI was from God, to take some consolation that while the restoration of the liturgy and of perfectly reasonable and lawful Catholic piety ('What was held as sacred for previous generations remains sacred...') may not be supported, or continued, or may even be opposed by the reigning Pontiff, that it will be finally accomplished through the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God.

Here are words from Pope Francis that may have some priests a little concerned...

'The Pelagian solution. This basically appears as a form of restorationism. In dealing with the Church’s problems, a purely disciplinary solution is sought, through the restoration of outdated manners and forms which, even on the cultural level, are no longer meaningful. In Latin America it is usually to be found in small groups, in some new religious congregations, in (exaggerated) tendencies to doctrinal or disciplinary “safety”. Basically it is static, although it is capable of inversion, in a process of regression. It seeks to “recover” the lost past.'

There is much in that passage that may well be wise and true and much that may be highly contentious. This does not mean any Catholic, myself included, should be anything other than loyal to Pope Francis, it just means that as Catholics loyal to the Successor of St Peter, we must pray as the Blessed Virgin has asked us to do so, for His Holiness Pope Francis and for the continued restoration of the liturgy, the form and manner in which it is undertaken, as Cardinal Raymond Burke said, teaches and promotes Catholic morality, belief and prayer.

"During these unfortunate times, evil will assault childhood innocence. In this way, vocations to the priesthood will be lost, which will be a true calamity."

"Against them [holy ministers of the altar] the impious will rage a cruel war, letting fall on them vituperations, calumnies and vexations in order to impede the fulfillment of their ministry. But they, like firm columns, will remain unswerving and will confront everything with the spirit of humility and sacrifice with which they will be vested, by virtue of the infinite merits of my Most Holy Son, Who will love them in the innermost fibres of His Most Holy and Tender Heart."

"The secular clergy will be far removed from its ideal, because the priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry and they will become attached to wealth and riches which they will unduly strive to obtain."
"How the Church will suffer on that occasion of the dark night of the lack of a Prelate and Father to watch over them with paternal love, gentleness, strength, discernment and prudence. Many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger."

"Therefore pray insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the secrecy of your heart. Implore our Celestial Father that, for love of the Eucharistic Heart of my Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity...He might take pity on His ministers and bring to an end those ominous times, and send to the Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of its priests."

"My Most Holy Son and I will love this favoured son with a love of predilection, and we will gift him with a rare capacity, humility of heart, docility to divine inspiration, the strength to defend the rights of the Church and a tender and compassionate heart, so that, like another Christ, he will assist the great and small, without despising the more unfortunate souls who ask him for light and counsel in their doubts and hardships....Into his hand the scales of the Sanctuary will be placed so that everything is weighed with due measure and God will be glorified."

"The lukewarmness of all the souls consecrated to God in the priestly and religious state will be the cause of the Devil taking possession of this land [Ecuador], where he will achieve his victories by means of foreign and faithless people so numerous that, like a black cloud, it will obscure the pure heavens of the then-Republic consecrated to the Sacred Heart of my Divine Son."

"With these people, all the vices will enter, which will attract in their turn every type of chastisement, such as plagues, famines, internal fighting and external disputes with other nations, and apostasy, the cause of the perdition of so many souls so dear to Jesus Christ and to me."

"In order to dissipate this black cloud which prevents the Church from enjoying the clear day of liberty, there will be a formidable and frightful war, which will see the bloodshed of countrymen and foreigners, of secular and religious priests, and of religious. That night will be most horrible, for, humanly speaking, evil will seem to triumph."

"This, then, will mark the arrival of my hour, when I, in a marvelous way, will dethrone the proud and cursed Satan, trampling him under my feet and fettering him in the infernal abyss. The the Church and Country will be free of his cruel tyranny."

For all we know, and we know very little indeed, the promised Prelate could be Pope Francis himself, since God's ways are mysterious and impenetrable to our feeble human reasoning. All Our Lady asked us to do is to pour out our prayers to God and to her, as she asked at Fatima, as she asked at Akita, as she asked at La Salette, as she asked at Quito. I have a feeling that the SSPX see themselves as the ones identified by Our Lady of Good Success. I have to say, however, that there are many Catholic priests in full communion with and loyal to the Successor of St Peter, who feel passionately about the Sacred Liturgy because the Mass is the single most important and holy daily event on Earth.

The Mass is not Vegas, though some in Rio could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps it is. What happens at the Mass, unlike Vegas, does not stay in the Church but reverberates and echoes around the entire globe, be it covered by mass media or not. If what Rorate today reports is true, some of these priests dedicated to restoring the Sacred in the Church's Liturgy may well be crestfallen over the stark or insensitive nature of His Holiness's comments.

Do not give in to despair. Our Lady will complete what you, brave, courageous and noble Priests of Jesus Christ, have begun in loyalty to His Holiness's predecessor. You will be victorious come what may, for the One for whom you work - the One who is in you - is the all-powerful God, to whom belongs all power and glory forever.

Remain firm, even in the face of persecution or calumny. Do not give up, for what you have begun, Our Lady will crown and complete. The Catholic Church is either a Church of continuity, embracing Her holy tradition, or She is no Church at all, since She was founded not just by any man, but by Our Lord Jesus Christ, by God Himself on Earth.

If the practices and devotions of those who came before us were truly or entirely "lost", then we should not venerate their relics, nor would men desire to imitate them and follow the path to God that they traced out for us. An essential, integral, vital, necessary, irreplaceable part of that path was their enduring devotion to the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, be they Popes, Bishops, Cardinals, Friars, Monks, Nuns or lay men and women.

Your Holiness! You are right to say that we should not cast off the elderly because they have wisdom! Let us not therefore cast off the wisdom of those who came before us; the Fathers, the Doctors, the great Popes, the 'Elders' of the Church! Let us embrace what they embraced for everything they learned came from God, not from themselves! That is why we revere them and they themselves revered those who came before them, acknowledging the Church's debt to their holy endeavours!

We love you, Your Holiness, as the youth in Rio love you! Do not turn upon those who love you but who also love all those who came before you and who love that which was given to the Church by their heroic sanctity and work for God, from God! Their prayer, their respect of holy tradition, their piety, their devotion, their zeal and great love for God and His Bride, the Church, gave us the Treasure of all treasures - the Mass of Ages! Do not abandon their efforts, their accomplishments, nor the growing flock to whom you are Chief Shepherd who have tasted the sweetness of the Mass of Ages, since in doing so, Your Holiness would be disregarding not only the aged, but the youth as well!

Traditional Catholic: St Francis of Assisi
If all those who seek the renewal of the liturgy and who have discovered the riches of Catholic worship in the Traditional Latin Mass are pelagians, then St Francis of Assisi was a pelagian, since this was the Mass that nourished his love of Jesus Christ, the One who said to the Poverello: "Francis, rebuild My Church, which you can see has fallen into ruin!"

Do you really believe, Your Holiness, that Saint Francis of Assisi, who by holy tradition took the seat vacated by Lucifer in Heaven, because of his great humility, would admonish those who cherish what he himself cherished? Your Holiness, do you believe that St Francis of Assisi himself belongs to an age that is "lost"? We know you are humble, your Holiness, since the whole world knows it so well, but is Your Holiness humble enough to take as his heavenly guide the one after whom he himself is named - the layman and playboy who became the Saint and stigmatic mystic who we, just like you, love and revere - Francis?

Sunday 28 July 2013


There are some simply astonishing pictures of the 3 million attended WYD in Rio on The Telegraph.

There are other astonishing things that have happened at Rio, but let's not dwell on that.

Tutu Concerns Over Homophobic Heaven

Calm down, Desmond, God fears nobody
"I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this." ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Okay, Desmond, well thankfully God is not homophobic nor are any of the Saints. God detests and loathes sin - every kind of sin under the sun, but God loves sinners. The sin of Sodom remains a sin crying out to Heaven for vengeance despite the abyss of mercy that flows from the Heart of Jesus for sinners. God loves all sinners and aside from Our Lady Immaculate, only sinners can become Saints! The Lord said, "I did not come for the healthy, but for the sick."

If you cannot deal with the Catholic position on homosexuality (Heaven's position on homosexuality) and worry that you still wouldn't fit in in Heaven because of your views on this subject are so widely divorced that of the Almighty, then remember 'the other place' is no better. There, in Hell, they hate God and everybody, including themselves no matter what their sexual orientation is or rather was. There is no sin on Earth that cannot be forgiven aside from final impenitence, but Desmond, in Heaven there is no stain of sin, disorder, or concupiscence at all.

I think, dear readers, this is what happens to those who do not believe in Purgatory.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Brilliant Zenit Interview with Cardinal Burke on Sacra Liturgia Conference 2013

Gifted with eloquence and an incisive mind towards matters of Doctrine and Liturgy, here is an excellent interview with Cardinal Raymond Buke.

Despite the obvious differences between Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI's reign with regard to liturgy, Cardinal Burke also gives us an exemplary display of loyalty to the Successor of St Peter, His Holiness, Pope Francis.

The Cafe

I work in a local cafe in Brighton. A cafe is a small microcosm of society. There you have a real mixture of people from different backgrounds all in one small, condensed place.

So, let's examine the cafe as it currently is. The coffee and tea addicts come in the morning. They order coffee either alone or with others. Some of them smoke. They smoke outside because of government regulation on smoking, but all is well.

In come the young children. These are the ice cream addicts. So, in they come and their mums and dads buy them ice creams. The adults sit in the cafe supping their coffee and tea and the children eat their ice creams. So far, the cafe is a happy place with people indulging their little habits and vices but social order is maintained to the degree that it is both happy and healthy.

In walks a young couple celebrating the birthday of one of them. They order a bottle of wine. The cafe is licensed so they drink a whole bottle of wine between the two of them. A middle aged man is in the corner of the cafe alone. He's on his fourth beer. He goes to the bar and orders another, followed by another two. He walks up and he's stumbling. The cafe owner can see he's had too much and refuses him any more beer. He makes a fuss but admits he is drunk and goes home. The cafe is still a happy place.

Food has been consumed and customers have taken advantage of the wonderful coffee, teas and dishes served up by the cafe. People are getting along, some alone, others with friends. There are a lot of children and families here. Its all going nicely.

One Year Later...

The next year, the Government has introduced the legalisation of all drugs. Drugs can be consumed anywhere for the purpose of this story and can even be sold in cafes. So, in the morning, in walk the children and the families, loners and couples, all drinking their tea and coffee. Never one to pass up on a fast buck, the owner of the cafe has a range of drugs for sale behind the counter and has a sign outside saying, 'Formerly illegal drugs now for sale'.

So, first, in come the cannabis smokers. They walk in and order some cannabis. They sit outside in the sunshine smoking cannabis around children and families. They giggle frenetically, find everything amusing, order loads of crisps until eventually they fall asleep at the table. The families are a little confused and tell the owner. The owner tries to wake them up but he can't get them to move. He says, 'Just leave them there for a while', they'll be okay.

Then, in walk the cocaine addicts. The cokeheads walk in and order two bags of cocaine for £80. They go to a table inside the cafe, in front of families, couples and children and snort all the cocaine they have in an hour. They're loud, confident, aggressive, insulting to others and have an inflated sense of their own self-importance. They are behaving like total idiots, disliked to the rest of the cafe. They go back to the cafe owner and say, 'This s**t is amazing, give us some more.' In fact, now they've started doing cocaine in the cafe, they don't want to leave, because they're having the best party they ever had while others in the cafe find them incredibly irritating.

In come the heroin addicts. The heroin addicts buy from the owner a bag of heroin for £20 each. They've been paid and are generous and so say to the owner,

"Perhaps some heroin for your staff as well? We've been paid so we'll buy a round of heroin for your team for their wonderful customer service."

Two of the staff decline the offer, but the other two, the chef and the dishwasher decide to accept. Both are within minutes laid on the kitchen floor in a narcotic bliss for around a quarter of an hour or so. Afterwards, they jump up and ask the boss for more, and are prepared to go without wages to be paid in heroin instead. The following week, neither of them turn up for work because they have sold everything they have in order to devote their whole lives to heroin.

A bad trip in the cafe
Next walk in the acid heads. They come in, order some acid and stare at the ceiling comparing notes with each other of what they can see on the ceiling despite there being nothing there at all but white emulsion.

Then come the ecstasy takers. They order from the cafe owner a small bag of ecstasy tablets. They spend the afternoon telling each other how much they love one another while drinking loads of water and dancing to music on a stereo with a weird repetitive drum beat.

Very soon, the whole cafe is off its nuts and is in chaos. A child has had his foot punctured by a discarded needle by one of the heroin addicts and has contracted HIV. The children and the families have left, never to return and because he's making more money than he's ever known what to do with, the manger has turned into a nightclub by the next month, yet, for some reason, despite the wholesale acceptance of drugs, the heroin addicts are still despised because they steal everything in sight to accommodate their habit and are banned.

Extrapolate the cafe to the whole of society and that is what you have in the event of the legalisation of all drugs.

Just Because All Drugs are Addictive Does Not Mean All Drugs Are the Same

The average amount of coffee I consume in a day
So goes the argument:

If coffee is a drug and tobacco is a drug and tea is a drug, then people who say class A drugs should be illegal are hypocrites.

Okay, so when was the last time a popstar or Hollywood celeb was on the front page of a newspaper under the headline...

'My Coffee Hell.'

'My Cigarettes Nightmare'

'My Tea Shame.'

Who has brought forth their confessions in public and said, "My addiction to tea/coffee/fags destroyed my family/work/home/relationship life."

The answer of course is none. I don't mind at all that to all of us the label 'drug addict' can be applied, but that does not mean that all drugs are the same or that tea and coffee should be banned.

Where are the 'coffee and tea anonymous' meetings?  I should really attend. Of course, these are not drugs that destroy human relationships, lives, families. Now, you may contest that these drugs do not destroy lives because they are legal drugs. Surely no, this is not why they do not damage society. Surely it is because the effects of these drugs are manageable by the individual and that, even if the effects are not managed by the individual, the harm done to society by them is negligible.

In other words, there is a reason why Governments have hitherto taken a pragmatic view on which drugs should be available for social purposes and which drugs should be banned, penalised and discouraged. This is why illegal drugs are classified for the purposes of law in terms of crime and punishment.

Next comes 'the argument from alcohol'. Alcohol's availability is a social good. It only becomes a social evil when it is abused and drank solely for the purposes of total intoxication. Alcohol can be drank in moderation - indeed, we can even drink it to excess from time to time and feel the consequences later on. That said, alcohol by itself is not a social evil - it gladdens the heart, fosters concord when consumed at social gatherings, but fosters street fights or violence when abused or taken to extremes.

By itself, alcohol is not a social evil. It not always is, but can be, drunk sensibly and even if at times we fail, because we are sinners, we are encouraged to 'stay sober for your prayers'.

So here is the clincher:

You cannot smoke crack in moderation. You cannot inject heroin in moderation. Smack does not foster social harmony or cohesion, neither does crack. It is all about self-annihilation from the start. It serves no social purpose. You cannot snort cocaine in moderation. These drugs will, very quickly, take over your whole life if you do not get help. That is why they are social evils. These drugs will, very quickly, ruin your family, cause you to forget your duties, dominate you and enslave you until you care about nothing - n-o-t-h-i-n-g - but the next fix.

Just because all drugs are addictive does not mean all drugs are the same - that is why not all drugs are legal and some are banned substances for the protection of society.

I would concede that, at this time, in this evil time, alcohol abuse is so harmful and so great, especially among children and the young, that an argument could be posited for the banning of all alcohol for sale in shops for the social good, if children cannot be stopped from obtaining it and becoming alcoholic. To ban alcohol in this country may not work, but if it were proposed, we should consider it as a self-sacrifice for the good of children in this generation that we should consider it.

Yet, even that would not be because alcohol is evil, but that our age has lost its ability to protect children from the associated dangers of alcohol and, indeed, so many things created for human enjoyment.

There are some 'drugs' that our condition - affected as it is by what St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas called 'concupiscence' - can cope with and still maintain its social order, structure and cohesion, based on married and family life. A family can gather around a table and enjoy a bottle of wine. They cannot gather around a table and enjoy a bag of smack. Heroin, cocaine, acid, ecstasy, 'meow meow', crystal meth, ketamine, marijuana are surely not among the drugs that our condition can cope with because as every day in Brighton tells you, these things do nothing good in society, but only ensure the abject enslavement of all who take them, more or less immediately and with destructive consequences for all.

Why Fr Alexander Lucie Smith is Wrong and the Pope is Right

'Legalisation, regulation and taxation will mean that drugs are freely available. But you know what? They already are. The single most astonishing thing about the War on Drugs is its abysmal failure to stop anyone who wants drugs accessing them.' - Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, a Priest and Catholic theologian is arguing against the Holy Father's public position on drugs calling for an end to the 'war' against them.

Before I move forward to counter Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith's argument as I defend the Pope's stance, let us ask a question. Where does the Devil stand on this issue? I think once we have ascertained Beelzebub's position on the matter we may be further ahead in deciding whether we should go down the road of legalisation and regulation or retain the current state of affairs.

I would imagine that Satan wants to see the West legalise drugs. Here is why. He has achieved much through 'decriminalisation' and 'legalisation' and even 'regulation' in this country alone on several social evils. If we take ourselves back to the 1950s, when 'class A drugs' was a phrase unheard of and the cities were not awash with such powerful 'recreational' narcotics, Western societies did not have to confront this issue on such a wide scale. We cannot, however, see this issue in isolation because, suddenly, in the overflow of the excesses of the 1960s, nearly every social evil and taboo has been overturned. We can see Satan's hand in the gradual overturning of Christian laws in the common good of society masking itself as kindness, tolerance and even 'love'. The more dechristianised we have become as a society, the more tolerant has society and Government become to social evils.

The argument employed by Fr Alexander is this: that people are doing it anyway, people are going to do it anyway, so let's ensure they do it in a safe, regulated manner. Yet, is this not the argument employed by the social reformers who give condoms to school children and promote to them 'safe sex' way before they are ready and divorce sex from marriage?

Is this not the argument employed by the social reformers who sanctioned pornography? People are going to use pornography anyway, so let's not worry about it and just let this industry flourish. Is this not the argument employed concerning abortion? Women are dying in 'unsafe' abortion clinics ran by bad abortionists, so let's regulate it, legalise it and ensure unborn babies are killed in regulated abortion clinics ran by 'good' abortionists. There was once a 'war' against abortion in this country, with abortionists inhabiting prisons in the United Kingdom, yet now abortionists are free to roam around destroying the unborn. A paedophile group is now campaigning for the same 'rights' as homosexuals. People are going to fiddle with children anyway, so let's just provide them with children?

There were once Christian laws in the country concerning sodomy. These were never there, presumably, to punish homosexuals but to protect society from a prevailing culture that would damage both the institution of the family and marriage. Abortion laws were not there to punish women but to protect society and children. Here we are today, abortion more rampant than ever it was and the definition of marriage destroyed by a Prime Minister and sanctioned by a Christian Monarch. Despite the anger caused when a Pope, Bishop, Priest or layman says this, this is what society held as true only fifty years ago. I use these points only to illustrate that the more that Government and society has 'given in' to the temptation to liberalise laws there for the protection of society in the common good, the worse things have become for all - even if 'individuals' within that society see these developments as improvements in their personal liberty and freedom.

The fact of the matter is that it is true to say that bad men are making lots of money off the back of drug addicts. Why do these men become good if they make money off drug addicts in a regulated manner?  If Mr Big is a criminal under existing laws, then why does the head of GlaxoSmithKline become virtuous when he simply does what Mr Big was doing illegally? And exactly how seriously taken is the so called 'war on drugs' anyway? How are tonnes of bags of heroin and cocaine getting into the country? These are imports from a black market that involves millions, billions of pounds every year. Are you telling me that our customs people are so inept that they can do nothing - nothing - to stop this trade?

Here in Brighton, as far as I can see, there is no real 'war' on drugs. There is a war on drug addicts who are usually homeless. Lewes prison is full of junkies who were entrapped by Sussex Police into selling small amounts of heroin or cocaine in order to fund their own habits, but as for finding the real bigtime suppliers, the police seem either incompetent or are not too bothered. It strikes me as more likely that Government policy is designed to turn a blind eye to the reality of the drugs trade in the life of the nation because they know that it is a multi-billion pound black market trade that plays a part in the life of the economy. It wouldn't be wild conspiracy theory to suggest that the people at the top of this trade could even be part of an untouchable super-elite known to those in power.

Drugs, too, are not just something dabbled in by the poor, but the rich as well. Even our political elite themselves entertain themselves with them at times. Some lawyers do copious amounts of cocaine and we know that the media is awash with it. The fact is that drugs like these destroy lives. I do not see how if you 'regulate' and 'legalise' them, they will stop destroying the lives of individuals. Neither do I see the link Fr Alexander makes between legalisation, regulation and moral regeneration coming in its aftermath. Why can't moral regeneration come first? Isn't the duty of the State to ensure that laws reflect a moral society working in the common good of all, especially the protection of the family and children?

Believe me, I can really see the immense appeal of Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith's arguments. Unfortunately, however, they reflect the power of the Devil's suggestions that using the apparatus of the State to endorse social evils will remove social evils or somehow enable society to manage them. Time and time again, this has been proved to be a lie from the Father of lies. Why the employment of this argument would make drugs a different story is beyond me. Sadly, the legalisation of all drugs might work in utopia, but there and only there. The result of legalising drugs would create that State driven dystopia - the road upon which we are already well down.

Regardless, I expect the legalisation of all drugs to take place whatever the Church says about it, because it is the desire of the most powerful men on Earth that it should happen, for their profit and society's misfortune. George Soros's Open Society Foundation funded a recent report condemning the drug war as a failure. Mr Soros is a keen advocate of a liberal drug policy because he is a social liberal and a serious player in the creation of a dystopic new world order ran by a liberal but tyrannical super-elite along the lines of Brave New World. I know quite a few addicts of class A drugs. None would wish their plight on anyone. I fail to see how legalisation of these drugs would enable people to leave their lives of drugs, while Government and society endorses that very lifestyle through legalisation and regulation and I fail to see in Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith's argument, the Augustinian vision of 'The City of God' - a city awash with the finest wines and meats, but also heroin and cocaine?

Remember that ultimately those ensnared in the kinds of drugs that cause addicts to steal or that cause dealers to kill do have moral choice and that they tried to make a very rich Amy Winehouse go to rehab but, for a time at least, she said 'no, no, no.' 

Most people I know, though not all, who are doing class A drugs have given up on life, given up on God or feel that life and God has given up on them. Many street heroin takers were abused in childhood and use it to mask or numb their pain. I met a heroin user recently, a Catholic, who showed me the wound, which was actually near his groin, into which he injects heroin time and time again. He was abused as a child by the Christian Brothers. He attended the Papal Visit by Blessed Pope John Paul II and received Holy Communion there, but has since all but given up on the Catholic Faith. Terrible things were done to him by the Christian Brothers - all manner of abuse, sexual and physical! Another I know who has always been on heroin was raped by her step-father repeatedly. When she confronted him about it in her twenties, he, a Catholic no less, said, "You never said no."

These people I try with almost no success, to draw back into the Church, to offer compassion, but they are often so damaged and so scarred as individuals and so embroiled in this lifestyle that it overtakes their daily existence in their search for drugs that can numb their inner pain, their broken hearts. I have great sympathy with them, but the wounds are so deep, their pain so great, their existence so much on the peripheries of society that has abandoned them, that I doubt they will ever come back to the Church to be communicants and receive Jesus Who alone can heal such afflictions. Much of what happens to these unfortunates is unjust - their treatment at the hands of authorities for what is an addiction - but there needs to be stigma and there should be taboo around drugs if only for the protection of children who will face these same temptations as young adults. Pray for them, and pray for me that I may be truly Christlike towards those who I know who struggle daily with class A drugs. Catholic theologians, Government ministers, social reformers, the policy think-tankers - all these may know many things, but how many crack and heroin addicts do they actually know?

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...