Friday 28 February 2014

Why Doesn't Francis Teach What Jesus Taught?

Long post warning alert...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican this morning. In remarks following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the beauty of marriage and warned that the Church must accompany – not condemn – those who experience failure in married life. He explained that Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church, and therefore you cannot understand one without the Other.

The Holy Father also warned against giving in to the temptation to entertain “special pleading” in questions regarding marriage. The Pharisees, he noted, present Jesus with the problem of divorce. Their method, the Pope said, is always the same: “casuistry,” — “is this licit or not?”

“It is always the small case. And this is the trap, behind casuistry, behind casuistical thought, there is always a trap: against people, against us, and against God, always. ‘But is it licit to do this? To divorce his wife?’ And Jesus answered, asking them what the Law said, and explaining why Moses framed the Law as he did. But He doesn’t stop there. From [the study of the particular case], He goes to the heart of the problem, and here He goes straight to the days of Creation. That reference of the Lord is so beautiful: But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh’.”

Pope Francis went on to say, “The Lord refers to the masterpiece of Creation,” which is precisely the human person, created as male and female. God said He “did not want man to be alone,” He wanted him to be with “his companion along the way.” The moment Adam meets Eve, he said, is a poetic moment: “It is the beginning of love: [a couple] going together as one flesh.” The Lord, he repeated, “always takes casuistic thought and brings it to the beginning of revelation.” On the other hand, he explained, “this masterpiece of the Lord is not finished there, in the days of Creation, because the Lord has chosen this icon to explain the love that He has for His people.” At the very point “when the people is unfaithful,” he said, God speaks to him with words of love”:
“The Lord takes this love of the masterpiece of Creation to explain the love He has for His people. And going further: when Paul needs to explain the mystery of Christ, he does it in a relationship, in reference to His Spouse: because Christ is married, Christ was married, He married the Church, His people. As the Father had married the People of Israel, Christ married His people. This is the love story, this is the history of the masterpiece of Creation – and before this path of love, this icon, casuistry falls and becomes sorrowful. When, however, this leaving one’s father and mother, and joining oneself to a woman, and going forward... when this love fails – because many times it fails – we have to feel the pain of the failure, [we must] accompany those people who have had this failure in their love. Do not condemn. Walk with them – and don’t practice casuistry on their situation.”

Pope Francis also said the Gospel episode encourages us to reflect “about this plan of love, this journey of love in Christian marriage, that God has blessed the masterpiece of His Creation,” a blessing, he said, “that has never been taken away. Not even original sin has destroyed it.” When we thinks of this, we can “see how beautiful love is, how beautiful marriage is, how beautiful the family is, how beautiful this journey is, and how much love we too [must have], how close we must be to our brothers and sisters who in life have had the misfortune of a failure in love.”

Turning again to Saint Paul, Pope Francis emphasized the beauty of “the love Christ has for His bride, the Church”:

“Here too, we must be careful that love should not fail: [it is dangerous] to speak about a bachelor-Christ (It. Cristo troppo scappolo): Christ married the Church. You can’t understand Christ without the Church, and you can’t understand the Church without Christ. This is the great mystery of the masterpiece of Creation. May the Lord give all of us the grace to understand it and also the grace to never fall into these casuistical attitudes of the Pharisees, of the teachers of the law.”

His Holiness's papal teaching on today's Gospel starts out from the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holiness is quick to tackle the 'casuistry' of the Pharisees concerning the issue of divorce. It is unfortunate at this particular moment in history that His Holiness feels unable to place his own emphasis upon the full message of Jesus, Our Lord, and steers clear from repeating what Christ has said concerning divorce, remarriage and adultery. His Holiness chooses to steer clear of Christ's controversial teaching for this age (and every age), concentrating rather on Christ's Bridegroom relationship to His Bride the Church. The words of Jesus on divorce ("What God has joined together, let no man put asunder") go unaddressed by Pope Francis. Similarly, the words of Jesus on remarriage ("Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.") go eerily unaddressed.

His Holiness, for reasons known only to himself, wants to talk about everything but what Jesus said on something so relevant to the Synod. Obviously, in the modern Church, Jesus Christ is a real problem rather than The Answer. His Holiness decides to meditate upon the beauty of Creation and marriage, Christ's relationship with His Church and - it looks like this is how the Synod on the Family will be framed - the importance of the Church not "condemning" those whose marriages experience "failure", instead, "accompanying" them along the way, while "feeling" the "pain of their failure". Jesus's Truth is here being obscured by, or even confused with, His mercy.

The full text of the Gospel for today is as below:

1 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them.
2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
3 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"
4 They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away."
5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.
6 But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.'
7 `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
8 and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.
9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.
11 And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her;
12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich: That Synod moment...
Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith today asks what is at stake at the Synod. If the teaching of Jesus is at stake, then Everything is at stake. May I make the sober prediction that as has gone His Holiness's homily, so will go the Synod on the Family, as the Church ignores the words of Jesus Christ Himself and, in the name of pastoral necessity and compassion, covers up or ignores the Lord's own Teaching which Her Hierarchy know full well cannot be changed.

For this reason, and others, I make the sober prediction that the great schism in the Church predicted by various and many Saints and mystics is fast approaching, as an adulterous Church takes the great leap 'forward', leaving Jesus Christ and His faithful ones, behind. I pray that I am wrong, but if His Holiness seems averse to announcing the Truth today, there is little reason to think it will be announced tomorrow. We can 'accompany' people and 'feel' people's pain as much as we want but if even the Successor of St Peter does not call Christ's people to repentance, we may just as well be strangers. Repentance does not seem to be a word that belongs in the new 'dialogue' taking place in the Catholic Church.

And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 
What's at stake at the Synod on the Family?
Why imagine the Lord would give a different answer to the 2014 Synod on the Family that He gave at the circa 33 Synod on the Family? Cardinal Muller knows and states the answer that Jesus has given. His Holiness's homily gives rise to the question: Is Pope Francis possibly looking for his answers elsewhere? If Jesus's clear and transparent teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage can be obscured in such manner in this area with appeals to "feeling" the "pain of failure" from Peter's lips, then why not His teaching on marriage being a Sacrament requiring persons of male and female gender also?

It has been promised that, in the end, the Immaculate's Heart will triumph in a manner that none of us could expect, but for the time being, Cardinal Kasper makes it clear that the target at the Synod on the Family is not just the Sacrament of Marriage, not just the Church's understanding of family, but the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Jesus Christ Himself...

Pray for Francis and for those who govern the Church of Rome, for one gets the distinct impression that in order for the reformers to succeed in officially admitting the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, the 'Holy' in Holy Communion might just have to go. Just make Communion a 'symbolic' sign of fraternal communion and unity and the 'Problem' has gone away, has He not?

Thursday 27 February 2014

Two for the Price of One: Creation and Marriage

Well, would you Adam and Eve it?

'And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea, beyond Jordan. And great multitudes followed him: and he healed them there. And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And he said: For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.

From the words of Our Lord and Saviour we can therefore deduce not only that divorce and remarriage is never permitted by God but that Our Lord Jesus Christ was no evolutionary thinker.

Firstly, Our Lord asks whether they - the Pharisees - have not "read" as if what is to be read concerning marriage is completely trustworthy and true.

He draws upon what can be read concerning union "from the beginning". Well, "from the beginning" means, I would posit, an allusion to Scripture from which we hear of our origins "from the beginning". It is here where we learn of God Who made them "male and female".

"Moses, by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives," said the Lord Jesus. In other words, Moses permitted divorce because divorce arises from "hardness of heart" - sin. Moses tolerated a sinful human custom, that Jesus Himself condemns.

But, says the Lord, "from the beginning" it was not so. Then Our Lord condemns divorce and remarriage, calling it what it is - adultery.

Now either Our Lord is a liar or mistaken (something which we cannot countenance without denying His divinity) or His teaching was that God made man and he made woman, for each other, "from the beginning", i.e from the time of Adam, the first man, and Eve, the first woman, according to what could be "read".

Am I gleaning too much from this?

Septuagesima: What is is and what happened to it?

Wednesday 26 February 2014

My Most Popular Post of All Time

Looking at my 'stats', something that I very occasionally do, I was astonished to learn that the blog entry below is the most popular blog post on my blog since I began blogging...

'This is a fluffy bunny rabbit. Fluffy bunny rabbits are descended from...err...someone help me out here! Anyway, it is clear from my academic research in a lab that the Lord made fluffy bunny rabbits to breed like rabbits, look fluffy, crap on hillsides, pop up every now and then in parks and make children go, "Look, Daddy! A fluffy bunny rabbit!", for us to pet and feed and keep in our back gardens in hutches and go "aww" when hey twitch their cute little noses. And that, is a scientific fact.'

And that's it! After all the hours and thought I have put into this blog over the years, that this should be my most popular post is a little perplexing. I guess I should keep them short! Obviously, the powerful figure of Charles Darwin hovers still over us all and the theory of evolution remains a complex and highly emotive matter of discussion. Not everyone is convinced, clearly. Most clergy, however, are probably appealing to allegory alone when using Scripture to explain our origins. "This explains our fallen nature, we see ourselves in Adam and Eve. It's a spiritual allegory etc, etc..."

And so we do. For the moderns, this appears to be all the Church can do, but one really does wonder sometimes. If it leads to Catholic priests saying confusing things with regard to certain doctrinal statements of the Church deemed to be infallible, such as our being descendants of one set of first parents, who we know as Adam and Eve, who fell from grace, then how helpful is this approach? I have said similar things to Fr Barron to friends explaining that Adam means 'from the Earth' and Eve, 'mother of all the living', stating that we are descended from first parents who are given these names by the author of Genesis.

Is it really such a joke to take Genesis literally?

I cannot with my hand on my heart chuckle away and maintain that God did not literally make the Earth in seven days (or ages?) and only thousands, rather than billions of years ago creating our first parents, Adam and Eve, making Eve from Adam's side, because I have to be open to the strong possibility that on this matter, as in all others, Scripture is inerrant, that the Holy Spirit does not lie and that it is perfectly possible because God can do all things, as He chooses, when He wants, in the manner in which He desires, because for Him, nothing is impossible or difficult.

At the time of the Creation, I was not there. Neither was Richard Dawkins. Neither were you. There were no human eye witnesses to Creation nor the time scale involved. Who am I, a mere creature, to suggest that any human, scientific theory trumps Holy Writ when human reasoning and even data is open to not only exaggeration, but error and even falsification? If, despite years of scientific research, scientists have struggled to 'carbon date' the Shroud of Turin, which is now being claimed as authentically again as the burial Shroud of Our Lord, then why are carbon-dating experiments of geological sites deemed to be 'unquestionable'? Perhaps I am skating on thin ice here, but exactly what could the margin of error be? Millions of years? Billions of years? Such are the themes explored honestly by the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, examining evolution and creation through the sciences, history, philosophy and theology.

I must say that science is really not my thing (as you may have guessed), but I do wonder whether it is plausible, or even probable that the World and the Church has been hoodwinked by the Royal Society (which spawned both Huxley and Darwin and Dawkins) on this issue, as it was on the 'global warming' fiasco in which years of temperature declines were covered up by by the UEA, in order to maintain the chosen narrative that the Earth was warming amid constant propaganda to that effect. Despite all the efforts of scientists to convince the World that only empirical evidence is worthy of submission to a scientific debate, the UEA went to great lengths to 'hide the decline' of temperatures that, they propagated consistently, were rising.

Benedict XVI: Not wholly convinced by evolutionary theory

A friend of mine introduced me recently to a really quite interesting, even compelling website for The Kolbe Center, named after St Maximillian Kolbe. St Maximillian Kolbe held that the theory of evolution was plain wrong and, I would think, of diabolical origin, and that nothing produced by scientists could persuade him otherwise as to the literal veracity of Genesis. Nothing in the writings of St Maximillian Kolbe suggests that the martyr-Saint was a stupid man or an ignorant one, but in the modern day Church one wonders how he would fare among his contemporaries. Perhaps not too well.

Another intelligent man not wholly convinced by the theory of evolution appears to be Pope Emeritus Benedict. In an article penned in reply to an Italian critic of the Church, atheist and mathematician, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Benedict wrote...

'Science fiction exists, moreover, in the context of many sciences. What it offers are theories about the beginning and the end of the world as found in Heisenberg, Schrödinger and others. I would designate such works as science fiction in the best sense: they are visions which anticipate true knowledge, although they are, in fact, only imaginative attempts to get closer to reality.

There is, however, science fiction on a grand scale even within the theory of evolution. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins is a classic example of science fiction. The great [molecular biologist] Jacques Monod wrote some sentences which he has inserted in his works which could only be science fiction. I quote: "The emergence of tetrapod vertebrates ... originates from the fact that a primitive fish ‘chose’ to go and explore the land, on which, however, it was unable to move except by jumping clumsily and thus creating, as a result of a modification of behaviour, the selective pressure leading to the development of the sturdy limbs of tetrapods. Among the descendants of this bold explorer, of this Magellan of evolution, some can run at a speed of 70 miles per hour ... " (Quoted from the Italian edition of Chance and Necessity, Milan 2001, p. 117ff.).

The same made it clear that the Church had nothing to fear from scientific discoveries since truth could not contradict truth. Not being a scientist but being more than a little sceptical of anything that comes from scientists as known 'fact' in a world that consistently repeats lies and half truths, especially from institutions such as the Royal Society that spawned a lengthy, consistent list of eugenics advocates, among whom are the Darwin dynasty and the Malthus dynasty, one really does wonder whether evolution (accounting for our origin) is more about faith in the theory to back up the ideology it provides rather than the objective search for empirical data that proves it beyond a reasonable doubt. It just seems to me to be rather convenient that one man's theory should lead to evolutionary principles being applied to human beings and it becoming such a dominant ideology within just one century that Nazi concentration camps emerge, extermination of the 'unfit' soon follows, only then to be followed by a host of other eugenic evils still prevalent today in its wake such as artificial contraception, abortion and sterilisation.

The Immaculate Conception Controversy

Over time the Church has attempted to wash over the deep theological implications of the theory of evolution being accepted generally, but one convincing argument against it is made by the Kolbe Center in this article on Our Lady as The Immaculate Conception. Thus did Our Lady describe herself at Lourdes.

If Our Lady is THE Immaculate Conception and 'THE' can only mean one and only, it means that only Our Lady was conceived immaculately. Though Catholic Doctrine would grant to Eve, the Mother of all the Living an Immaculate pre-Fall existence, had she been 'conceived' by natural means, Eve herself would have been conceived Immaculate and stayed so right up until the Fall. Eve's conception from a pre-Human species of ape is necessary for the evolutionary theory to be held by Catholics rather than shunned. Catholic teaching would hold that had she been conceived in such manner, but by God's intervention granted a living Soul, then by virtue of Catholic doctrine she would have been Immaculate in her conception, if not remaining so after sin entered the World through the sin of our first parents.

Yet Our Lady of Lourdes does not talk of Our Lady being the second Immaculate Conception or one of two, or that any other person was Immaculate at conception. No, she says...


If Our Lady is the only Immaculately conceived Woman, then Eve, the 'Mother of all the living' was not conceived at all, otherwise, Our Lady has told an untruth at Lourdes. Our Lady does not lie, therefore Eve must have 'arrived on the scene' by some other manner than conception. What might this manner be? From the side of a sleeping Adam? Oh no, we don't believe that, because that's 'impossible' (as if turning water into wine at a Wedding is 'possible'.)

This, of course, could never convince atheists who scorn both Jesus and Mary, but I am certainly open to the idea that it should convince Catholics that the theory of evolution can and should be rejected, unless we are to deny Mary the title accorded to her by the Church at her bidding. Richard Dawkins might be some kind of talking monkey, and heck, I might be some kind of talking monkey, but nobody says that about the Mother of God!

If the tasty line of reasoning taken by the Kolbe Center on The Immaculate Conception holds water (and I rather think it does), then evolution cannot be a theory entertained by Catholics without denying an article of Faith promulgated by infallible decree by Pope Pius IX in 1854. On the Origin of Species, as Providence would have it, was published in 1855.

Monday 24 February 2014

Luther's Protest is Over...Apparently!

Whoa there! Praise the Lord! Did I just hear a room full of Pentecostals cheering the Pope of Rome? Yes, yes, I think I did. I did! Amen, but its Septuagesima, so I might refrain from saying the 'A' word...for now!

Damian Thompson highlighted the fascinating friendship between the Argentinian Pope Francis and English Episcopal 'Bishop' Tony Palmer. I watched the video on the eminent Dr Thompson's blog of Pope Francis making his 'heart-melting' ecumenical overtures to charismatic evangelicals and thought not a great deal of it. I was disconcerted by His Holiness talking of Tony Palmer as a 'Brother Bishop' since as far as I was told, Anglican orders remain null and void, but I thought to myself, 'Well, the spirit of Vatican II blows where it will...'

If you watch the video above, consider one of these...
What Damian did not show us was exactly to whom this Papal message of fraternity was shown and who its audience turns out to be and I hope His Holiness will not be too offended if I say that to me their beliefs seem highly problematic.

The Pope Francis message, according the footage above, was actually addressed to just one preacher and his (apparently) very, very prosperous flock. The name of this preacher is Word of Faith minister, Kenneth Copeland. You can go to Mr Copeland's website here.

If you watch the long video above (I skipped a lot of it) you will see precisely the audience Pope Francis is embracing, their 'style of worship' and the nature of their Christian beliefs. The 'spiritual hug' that Francis was sending was to an objectively, acutely heretical pastor and his followers, who for some reason think that just because Pope Francis sent a nice message, that what this really meant is that the doctrines of the Catholic Church don't really matter much anymore and with God's help 'we can all work it out' without conforming our beliefs to that of the Catholic Church.

Even the Wikipedia entry on Mr Copeland's cult alone is pretty harrowing, according to which...

'Word of Faith teaching holds that God wants his people to be financially prosperous, as well as have good health, good marriages and relationships, and to live generally prosperous lives. Word of Faith teaches that God empowers his people (blesses them) to achieve the promises that are contained in the Bible. Because of this, suffering does not come from God, but rather, from Satan. As Kenneth Copeland's ministry has stated, the idea that God uses suffering for our benefit is considered to be "a deception of Satan" and "absolutely against the Word of God." Additionally, if someone is not experiencing prosperity, it is because they have given Satan authority over their lives. God will not do anything at all unless the person invites him to.'

KCMC Inside Edition from Louie Verrecchio on Vimeo.

'Bishop' Tony Palmer states at one part of the footage above that Francis and he made a "covenant" when the two met in Rome on 14 February, the Feast of Sts Cyril and Methodius (and St Valentine). He doesn't really say what this "covenant" involves other than going on to proclaim with overwhelming joy that whatever it is that has divided the Catholics and Protestants for centuries is solved by virtue of the new Pope's virtue. In fact, Tony Palmer is decidedly vague about the nature of the 'reconciliation' that the 'spirit of Elijah' is beckoning him to achieve with Pope Francis between Catholics and Evangelicals, Protestant Pentecostals and Charismatics, but still, its an interesting word for Palmer to use. Why, one might ask, would the Vicar of Christ on Earth be making "covenants" with those who do not express any kind of wish to be converted to the Catholic religion, but who instead, seek 'unity'?

The Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church suggests towards the end of his message to the group that full unity will be achieved by God ("ask and you will receive") and His Holiness seems certain of it, in an age in which some misguidedly desire 'certainty in all things'. The only problem I foresee with 'unity' with the flock of Kenneth Copeland and his worldwide Word of Faith ministry is that his followers believe in the rather unfranciscan Gospel of prosperity ("ask and you shall receive") as well as numerous other heresies concerning the nature of suffering and, as one might expect, the Word of Faith movement has expressed zero interest in, or understanding of, the Sacraments of the Church, the role of Scripture and Holy Tradition, the Mass, the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Priesthood, the Communion of Saints, Purgatory, Catholic worship and the true role of the Successor of St Peter and the Successors of the Apostles, the Bishops. Unity is a great thing, but all who become Catholic must accept Catholic doctrine, such as the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, who most Pentecostals believe was no different to you and I. In fact, she was sinless and is sinless.

May God forgive me for speaking out of turn, but exactly what kind of Miracle of God does His Holiness expect to appear that would see the Catholic Church unite with not just schismatics, but unrepentant, or even invincibly ignorant people? Why would any Pope see unity like this as desirable unless conversion to the doctrines is embraced with it? Loving the Pope is not the standard of Catholicism. Accepting the Magisterium is.

How can the Bride of Christ dream of welcoming in hoards of people who, and I cannot stress this enough, do not believe what the Catholic Church teaches aside from a portion of its morals and a vague belief in the divinity of Christ, though not, of course, the Divine Motherhood of Mary or much else concerning Church doctrine? An Evangelical Ordinariate would be great, if it was established for those who have accepted Church teaching.

Somehow, Tony Palmer, by quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church on faith, works and justification, asserts that for Pentecostals in the global mega-church of 'Word of Faith', centuries of disagreement between the Church and the Evangelicals is over because Pope Francis sent a word of encouragement to the born again Evangelicals. "Luther's protest is over", apparently! Luther, bless him, just didn't understand what the Church was saying about faith and works. Even the Catechism says so!

One gentleman, called John Edwards, who may or may not remain an Evangelical Christian, blogged that he left 'Word of Faith', which he describes as an unhealthy "cult" and lists 31 reasons why their movement is wrong and yet he, it would appear, remains a Protestant! So if a Protestant who has been in this "cult" rejects its heresies, why is the Successor of St Peter 'reaching out' to them only for the self-proclaimed pastor to call His Holiness, "Sir!"?

Is you a saved pusson?
Please, dear readers, do not think ill of me, nor that I have against the Pentecostal churches anything but the hope that they may recognise in the Successor of St Peter His Holiness, the Vicar of Christ on Earth - rather than a friendly man in white who you call "Sir". The Pope is also the Guardian of the Deposit of Faith and Chief Shepherd to the Faithful. The Faithful, as far as I am led to believe, are bound in conscience to accept all the Teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as revealed by God and to reject error, false teaching and heresy for the good of our souls and that of others. That would, I think, include the 'Gospel of Prosperity'.

The very fact that Tony Palmer, at one point in the video describes himself as "saved" would suggest to me that he has little understanding of Catholicism, because if there is one thing we are meant to know as Catholics, it is that we cannot know, but only hope that we will be 'saved', since in a State of Grace we should not presume a favourable judgment and we can easily fall out of a State of Grace and into mortal sin quicker than you can say 'apostasy', die that way, choose to remain impenitent and descend immediately into Hell forever and ever. Friends they may be, but if anyone is in a good position to tell this to Tony Palmer, Pope Francis is, since they've apparently been friends for 20 years. Friendship is a beautiful thing, but quite why the Successor of St Peter is sending 'spiritual hugs' and ecumenical overtures to Word of Faith's ministry while its leaders defraud the flock of vast sums of cash in the name of Jesus while promising them earthly riches in return is bizarre. Feeling lovely about each other is not what Unity is about. Christian Unity is about communion in the Church with Peter who feeds the flock the Catholic Truth.

Pray for the Pope and for the conversion of all to the One True Faith.

Regime Change Fears Mount in Rome

VATICAN CITY -- High level Vatican diplomats have expressed fears that through well-funded subversive intelligence operations, Washington is planning regime change at the Holy See.

With evidence growing that the 'Springs' that arose in the Arab world that ended with regime change in Libya, Egypt, Syria had CIA sponsorship from the beginning, concern is mounting in Rome that, at any time, CIA-sponsored insurgents in the walls of the Vatican could gain popular momentum in a planned Washington coup upon the Papacy and the Church.

It is rumoured that the NSA are tapping phones and listening to conversations taking place in Rome while well-funded black operations such as Catholics for Choice, a group established to undermine Church teachings, as well as US/UK intelligence operations CTA and ACTA, continue to foment distrust of the Papacy and rebellion against the Magisterium.

CIA plan for the Synod on the Family: 'Problem-reaction-solution' paradigm
His Holiness Pope Francis, who has apparently been made aware of the danger, is deemed to be a grave threat to the new world order of global affairs because of his outspoken and passionate defense of the natural family, firm stand on abortion, attacks on IVF, embryology and artificial contraception, promotion of chastity, condemnation of socially-destructive sex education, denunciation of euthanasia and assisted suicide, rigorous defence of marriage and powerful opposition to the disintegration of Christian civilisation. With approval ratings still high and with a notably global following, His Holiness is a said to be a impediment to the Washington-sponsored attempts to make Vatican City as docile to the whims of elite power brokers as Washington itself is. Could the wave of CIA sponsored regime changes which this year took in the Ukraine happen in Rome?

Public Enemy: Francis narrowly escapes assassination in 'lamb bomb' plot
Speaking off the record, one former CIA officer, Robbie Dickens said, "Quite how long Washington will stand for Pope Francis's robust defence of Catholicism is unknown. Certainly, his popular pro-life message is not welcomed by Government insiders and US defence analysts.

Francis's clarity of teaching and powerful defence of marriage and the family remains a thorn in the side of the Washington establishment, but it is hoped that through agents placed within the walls of the Vatican, the so called 'pink revolution' planned by the CIA operatives at the Synod on the Family could yet bring about the toppling of the popular but conservative Franciscan regime.

Continued Dickens, "It is rumoured that this should be with the intention of placing upon the Throne of St Peter a figurehead "fluffy", magazine cover-agent pope, who is as popular as the Dalai Llama - and who offers similarly harmless platitudes about love, compassion, peace and fraternity - but who offers no resistance and proclaims few eternal truths required to stem the collapse of the natural order, the loss of authentic worship and the breakdown of the family necessary for global citizens to submit themselves entirely to, and eventually succumb to the worship of, the global super-State envisaged by Washington.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Since When Was Violent Uprising Morally Okay?

London, 2011

Ukraine, 2014

Remember protesters, if you rare planning to violently revolt, there are things you can do in Kiev that you cannot do in London. If you violently revolt in Kiev, the British Government, the CIA and the Western mass media are basically on your side. Just don't try this at home, kids. 

Pray for Ukraine.

And if you are British and really want 'regime change'...well, it will happen one day.

Pastry-Shop Christians

“Without divesting ourselves, we would become pastry-shop Christians, like beautiful cakes and sweet things but not real Christians.” - See more at:

“Without divesting ourselves, we would become pastry-shop Christians, like beautiful cakes and sweet things but not real Christians.” - See more at:
“Without divesting ourselves, we would become pastry-shop Christians, like beautiful cakes and sweet things but not real Christians.” 

~ Pope Francis, October 4 2013

I don't know how I missed that one but some insults surely sound better in French...

"A-ha! C'est grave! C'est terrible! Le Cretien pâtisserie!"

Thursday 20 February 2014

CNN and an Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching

Irony, anyone?
My piece for CNN on 'The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults' can be read here.

I am grateful to CNN for giving this mostly unemployed but passionate Catholic blogger and occasional writer the opportunity to write a piece for their religion and belief blog.

However, readers will be interested to know that CNN did not offer payment for my services. I was asked to write something and gave them 1,000 words. I'm not sure how long it took me, but it required a bit of thought and took me a good while to write. It was edited down to what it is now, but though I didn't write the piece for pecuniary reward, and its good that hopefully I have raised the profile of Catholic blogs as well as this one, I would like to give CNN a small introduction to Catholic Social Teaching.

There exist four sins crying out to vengeance. Along with sodomy, the oppression of the poor and wilful murder is the sin of denying just wages to the worker. I will concede that CNN never promised me a fee for my article, but it turns out that CNN did not see fit to do so because they do not pay for 'op-eds'. Now, many may say, 'Welcome to the world of journalism, my lad', however, I would posit that I was hired to write a piece, CNN are a gigantic global news network sitting on piles of cash and here am I, a mostly unemployed gent in Brighton, writing for a global multinational company with considerable wealth for free.

Multi-billionaire 'philanthropist', Ted Turner
Not only for my own sake, but for others who may be asked to write an 'op-ed' for CNN, I would suggest that with a company and brand so huge, with profits presumably so high and with such a global corporate brand, the 'policy' set by the chief editors of the corporation might consider paying budding writers for the time and effort they spend on writing for them.

Since then I have done a bit of digging and, as it turns out, CNN's is owned by Time Warner and remains a division of the Turner Broadcasting System, named after death-merchant, Ted Turner, a multi-billionnaire who enjoys pouring chunks of his vast riches into Planned Parenthood and other abortion-industry activities, while encouraging the peoples of the World to stop breeding and have only one or two children (he himself has five) in order to reduce the global population. So, the company was founded by a billionaire eugenicist who still retains considerable influence on the company.

And since I have discovered that CNN's founder, who wields, one can assume, a certain influence on the company, I have decided that in the unlikely event that they wish me to write another piece for them, I would rather not.

Like I say, its good to have my blogs profile and therefore the profile of other Catholic bloggers, priest and lay faithful, raised by a piece on CNN's religion and belief blog, and I'm sure such a privilege will boost the old CV, but exactly where do these enthusiasts for culture of death get off denying a goodwill payment to a mostly unemployed blogger who writes for free nearly all the time in order to spread the Holy Faith of Christ. 

If CNN have any sense of conscience regarding paying those who they hire just wages, something that Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition tells us God takes seriously, then instead of giving it to me, because 'it's just our policy, dude' perhaps their HR department can make a donation to a charity who genuinely care for expectant mothers and their unborn children, The Good Counsel Network who, with a little of Ted Turner's millions could really help a lot of women, families and children.

His Holiness Pope Francis may say some pretty insulting things at times to sections of the Catholic Church, but one thing I have noticed about Pope Francis is his concern that justice be done for workers in the global economy. Obviously, CNN isn't as interested in the message of Pope Francis as it at first appears. Pope Francis is the kind of chap who will make a sandwich for a Swiss guard and have the homeless round for tea. I really don't think Francis is CNN's cup of tea at all!

This one goes out to CNN...I guess this sense of decency in such matters isn't just a Catholic thing. It's an English thing as well...

Wednesday 19 February 2014

The Sacrament of Penance in Need of 'Reform'?

Confession in need of reform?
Thanks to Protect the Pope for alerting us to the astonishing comments by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor made in a letter to author John Cornwell. Reported by The Tablet...

‘Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor believes that Confession is in need of significant reform and should be discussed at a special synod on the sacraments.

The Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster has called for “proper reform to the sacrament” and says Confession has not received “serious reflection by any authoritative people within the Church” despite declining numbers of Catholics making use of the sacrament.'
 The remarks come in a private letter to the Cambridge academic and author John Cornwell, who is campaigning for a ban on childhood Confession and who sent the cardinal a new book he has written on the sacrament.
Mr Cornwell, who says he was the victim as a boy of sexual solicitation by a confessor, has written an open letter to Pope Francis calling for a ban.
 A spokeswoman for the cardinal stressed that he was not endorsing an end to childhood Confession, had not read Mr Cornwell’s book when he replied to the author, and in no way associated himself with the letter to the Pope.

The spokeswoman told The Tablet the issue should be discussed by bishops from around the world. “The cardinal believes that Confession could be considered as a topic for an Episcopal Synod on Sacramental Life. [He] thinks there needs to be much serious reflection in the Church as to why people are not going to Confession and what would encourage them to return to the Sacrament.”

Right. Well, we can all agree that the Church might reflect seriously, at the Synod on Sacramental Life, on the urgent need to promote the Sacrament of Penance, or Confession, that enables we Catholics to 'reform' our lives by this glorious Sacrament of healing and forgiveness as the Lord Jesus, by His free gift, crowns those who are contrite and make a firm purpose of amendment, with mercy and reconciliation with God and strength in the spiritual warfare in which we Catholics are all engaged.

However, quite what 'proper reform of the Sacrament' in this age, in which prelates of the Church promote a form of light, or even counterfeit Catholicism, would look like is the stuff of nightmares. May God grace those in authority in Holy Mother Church to meditate and reflect seriously on this great gift from Christ to His Church, but also to protect this Sacrament from any human interference that may harm it under the guise of 'reform'. As a Catholic Cardinal, there was no higher authority in the United Kingdom during his time at Westminster.

As Deacon Nick has suggested, if the guidance of Holy Tradition, as well as Blessed Pope John Paul II on promoting this Sacrament of mercy and grace was generally unheeded by this prelate during his reign at Westminster, by a retired prelate who is said to be privileged enough to have the ear of His Holiness Pope Francis, then perhaps he himself might reflect seriously on who may take some share of the blame if the Church continues to see 'declining numbers of Catholics making use of the sacrament.'

Pray our Politicians May Become Moral Crusaders

Readers will, I hope, join me in praying for David Cameron and Cardinal-Elect Vincent Nichols, that these astute and able politicians may one day, by the grace of God, become the moral crusaders this country desperately needs, laying waste to the culture of death and promoting a culture of life, love, concern for the vulnerable and liberty for the Church of Christ.

There is a moral crusade out there, that involves defending unborn human life and mothers at risk of abortion, a crusade for purity and the teaching of virtue in schools, a crusade in defense of virginity, chastity, marriage and the family, a crusade for the return of devotion to Mary, the Ever Virgin Mother of God in our isles. At the current time, neither the Cardinal or the Prime Minister is remotely interested in any moral crusade other than those which are politically opportune for them in their chosen fields. It is sad to say that neither of these men belong with Martin Luther King or Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, or even Mary Whitehouse and Billy Graham.

John Smeaton of SPUC: A real moral crusader
These people, whatever anyone thinks of them, stood for something - right and wrong - and unless you stand for something, as the saying goes, you will fall for anything. Having watched in abject horror as he laid so low during the 'same-sex marriage' debate, I hope readers will forgive me for my cynicism over Cardinal-Elect Vincent Nichols's recent crusade against benefit cuts.

That Cardinal Vincent Nichols can, as we have seen, attract such widespread press in the wake of his comments on the Government's fiscal policies only serves to make more apparent the impact such prelates could have made, and still could make, in a country that has surrendered the institution of marriage to a band of the wicked.

That Cardinal Vincent Nichols can, as we have seen, attract such widespread press in the wake of his comments on the Government's fiscal policies only serves to make more apparent the impact such prelates could have made, and still could make, on the issues of abortion, human embryology, artificial contraception, the campaign for assisted suicide and the vast array of evils that blight the United Kingdom, whether its inhabitants be rich, or indeed, poor.

Perhaps, too, join me in congratulating John Smeaton, a real moral crusader for marriage, life, love and for the unborn child, for his Cardinal John J. O'Connor pro-life award from Legatus. If only H.M. the Queen, the UK Government and the Catholic Church of England and Wales saw fit to honour those who stand up in defence of truth, human life, the unborn child, marriage and the family such as John Smeaton. This is an honour well-deserved, John, for your bold witness in standing up for the Catholic Faith and for marriage, the family and the innocent unborn. Moral crusaders, you know, do not simply 'hold their tongues'.

Will Homosexuals Belong in the Brave New World?

90% of unborn children diagnosed in pre-natal tests revealing downs syndrome are aborted. To suggest that the fate of unborn children with the 'high risk gene' showing the likely sexuality of the unborn child would be vastly different is to underestimate precisely what it was that drove the British Eugenics Society and their ilk to long for days such as this. Let's get this 'straight'. Both Margaret Sanger and Marie Stopes had no time for homosexuals. Zero time. The 'great eugenicist thinkers' still lauded today, like Bertrand Russell and the other elites of the Royal Society were not into the homosexual thing at all. They wanted and many still do want a utopia - a perfect society formed by an elite vanguard.

As Catholics we hold that all human life is sacred. All human life is made in the image and likeness of God. Whether such a 'gene' exists will, no doubt, become a matter of faith, rather than science. It doesn't really matter whether it genuinely exists or not since the science will remain dubious. What matters is that the scientific high priests can say that it does exist and the people will believe them.

Going by the writers and members of the British Eugenics Society and their chief obsessions I would tentatively suggest that they wouldn't be looking for the 'gay gene' if they didn't think it was worth worrying about. They are not doing these experiments 'just to find out'. If I had to make a guess, I would tentatively suggest that gays do not get a free pass into the Brave New World. We know what screening and pre-natal tests means for unborn children diagnosed with downs syndrome. It means death before seeing the light of day.

"Vee are only looking during zee experiments to see vezzer zees genes exist ya? Zer is nothing to vurry about. Move along now, zer is nussing to see here!"

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Fighting on the Enemy's Terms

Kudos to Caroline Farrow for entering the bear pit on BBC World Service. Catholic Voices faces an unenviable task in communicating the Church's position on same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom and in taking on the ire of the gay community and its huge political as well as financial muscle. No wonder you'll never see a Bishop on telly defending Catholic teaching in this area.

You will see, in Caroline's epic joust with a gentleman on the BBC on the issue of homophobia how those now in the ascendency can justly feel that victory is close, or even already theirs in the public debate on 'same-sex marriage'. I hope Caroline, since this is not a criticism of her, will not feel offended if I make a couple of suggestions for the Catholic Voices team.

Why we are losing the battle...

Firstly, we have a huge problem here that is based in the political gay lobby's previous victories in terms of public discourse. They are winning? Why, when truth is not on their side? The issue at stake here is 'same sex marriage', right? Or is it? Is the issue 'homophobia' or 'homophobia' and opposition to 'same-sex marriage' and the link between the two? Is it not obvious that the political gay lobby has opponents of SSM by the short and curlies now because opposition to it can be painted as 'homophobia'?

SSM arguments are based solely in emotive propaganda
In the heat of the battle it is all too easy to forget where we are and why we are losing. We are now discussing 'same-sex marriage' on the terms of the political gay community - that is - their turf, their language and built upon solid victories the lobby has already won in the public imagination, which means we have to apologise for the Church's stated position on homosexuality. This means that for 'media purposes' we have to propose a presentation of the Church's position on homosexuality which is inoffensive, when, in actual fact, it is deeply offensive to those who see nothing wrong with homosexuality either as a condition in the first instance that afflicts individuals or as a practice these individuals engage in.

How can this be, when the truth is not on their side? Because they have, through previous victories, convinced people, though certainly not all, that truth is on their side. What is their 'truth' so powerful that Catholics now fear causing offense to this community and to their powerful friends in high places? Their truth is founded upon a lie, repeated over and over and over again that becomes so emotive and powerful that opposition to it melts or crumbles. What is this lie? The lie is that such a thing as 'homophobia' should be the grounds upon which men and women lose the right to freedom of thought and speech.

Homophobia and Thoughtcrime

We are playing on the enemy's terms already conceding that they have won because Thoughtcrime and Speechcrime are now hallmarks of the 'liberal' society! The political gay lobby do not respect even intelligent and forthright Catholic speakers and apologists because we accept that 'homophobia' is intolerable. No previous society has accepted this 'fear of homosexuality' to be a crime or something to be punished. The opposite is in fact the case, because previously in British society, the practice of homosexuality was thought to be dangerous to that society. People still wonder whether the toleration of homosexuality is dangerous? Well, how wise they were, our forebears, since it is the acceptance of the criminalisation of the perfectly natural and ordinary thought of British men and women that has led directly to the year 2014 when marriage is to be redefined.

If Catholic Voices wants to effectively build a 'culture of encounter' or a 'dialogue' with the modern British man and woman, it has somehow to play on the Catholic Church's terms, not that of the World, otherwise there will be nothing for the World to clash with. If the truth is not released, there is no real battle. Of course, speaking the truth will make you hated, pilloried, or even arrested for speech or thoughtcrime, but if it is not released then there will be nothing for the World to clash against.

The Facts

Fact 1: There is no undeniable evidence that, outside of the metropolitan regions of the UK, everyone is 'okay' with homosexuality. What are we saying to these people who hold perfectly reasonable and natural prejudices against those who engage in homosexuality or who disagree with homosexuality in general? We are saying, 'you are wrong', when actually, even if they often lack charity towards homosexuals, they are right.

Fact 2: The Church's teaching states, categorically, that no unjust discrimination is to be shown to the homosexual, so we have nothing to apologise for, with regard to our moral position. We are not calling for homosexuals to be rounded up and shot and can never condone any violence or even unjust discrimination against homosexuals. We are calling active homosexuals to repentance.

Fact 3: The Church's teaching states, categorically, that homosexuality is an instrinsic moral disorder. Oh and we are so embarrassed about it. Why? Because we are afraid of offending people? Because the World will laugh at us? Because we are not sure we believe it? Every previous society but ours has seen it as being such, yet we accept that homosexuality is 'normal' and 'natural'? No. I'm sorry, but that is not the Church's position on paper. The Church's position on paper is that it is not normal and it is not natural. That might be deeply offensive, but you have to let the truth fly otherwise nobody - not even the nicest atheist will respect you because you refuse to hold onto your moral principles which fly in the face of the World's reasoning.

Fact 4: The homosexuals involved in the political gay lobby are only in a position of power and ascendency because they have won every public debate on the lie that 'homophobia' (a) objectively exists (it was a term created in the 1960s by psychologists who only years before deemed homosexuality to be a mental 'illness') and b) is evil. It would certainly be evil to discriminate against a homosexual person simply on the grounds of his condition for the vast majority of forms of employment. However, it is not 'evil' to assert that homosexuality and especially the practice of homosexuality endangers every society that tolerates it - and that is exactly why we are where we are now, in the year 2014, with advocates of 'same-sex marriage'.

Facing rejection and facing it without 'phobia'

I have no doubt that for speaking the truth unapologetically Catholic Voices and any Bishop, Cardinal, or Archbishop-Cardinal Elect would be roundly:

a) Laughed at
b) Jeered at
c) 'Crucified' by the media
d) Possibly arrested
e) Possibly fined
f) Dropped by all media companies
g) Be the cause of many complaints
h) Ridiculed
i) Despised

The list goes on and on. Well, so those who follow Jesus Christ should expect, since He promised those who followed Him and who spoke the Truth out of charity and in charity, would face exactly this. We now live under the assumption that we have to be incredibly careful what we say otherwise we could cause deep offense to people. Meanwhile, our enemies do not respect us since we are not a true rival and those who might be our friends never get to hear the full truth which may, if it were released, win their agreement because frankly, with the gay lobby, things have gone "far too far" and "enough is enough".

Simply by shielding people from the truth, we deprive the most vicious old queen from despising us and wanting to kill us and deprive those whose natural inclinations and natural beliefs are in agreement with ours, the opportunity to draw closer to the only institution on Earth that agrees with them on paper, for there exists outside of the metropolitan areas of the UK, vast swathes of British people who are indeed our natural 'constituency' and who, if you talk to them, 'don't really agree with that type of thing'.

Why remain silent when the silent majority is really on your side? Do we really think G.K Chesterton, or George Orwell indeed, would accept the charge of 'homophobia' if he vigorously disagreed with homosexuality, let alone the absurdity of 'gay marriage'? The gay lobby are winning because nobody dares to contradict their propaganda based not on logic, or reason but powerful emotive propaganda. The day someone does so convincingly will be the day they may not 'lose', but the day in which you challenge the entire ground upon which rests their shaky argument and British people respect you because you are sincere in telling the truth - a truth that many secretly agree with because they believe, at least in this respect, in the natural law.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Vatican and UN Establish Periphery Parks: Where Traditional Catholic Dreams Come True

What traditionally-minded Catholic could forgo this wonderful opportunity, established out of the bowels of the mercy, patience and kindness of Pope Francis and his team of advisors.

Book today, traditional Catholics, for Periphery Parks. It is hoped that these will 'spring up' in every country where the Catholic Church has a presence in the World.

Saturday 15 February 2014

'Going Deeper' With Pope Francis

"Let's go deeper...When did your desire to attend to the Latin Mass start?"

It is saddening that an Italian journalist at Radio Maria has fallen foul of the broadcasting organisation's policy towards reporting on Church affairs. Good grief, I mean, if fidelity and obedience to everything the Successor of St Peter says and does is the yardstick of Catholicism then the entire editorial boards of The Tablet and the National Catholic Reporter, among others, should have been sacked years ago. I feel great sympathy for Professor Roberto de Mattei and I'm sure His Holiness wouldn't want people being sacked on his behalf in a Church of mercy.

Rorate Caeli also has some pretty depressing news today concerning the Holy Father's thoughts on those who wish to attend the Traditional Latin Mass liberated by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. His Holiness has recently toned down some of his language but I find these latest words, attributed to him by a Czech bishop, to be a little insulting personally and a little insulting, too, to his predecessor of fond memory. Speaking of the Mass of Ages, mused His Holiness...

"When I search more thoroughly - the Pope said - I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: 'móda', Italian 'moda']. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us."

Ah, we can only stand back in awe at the patience and kindness with which the Franciscans of the Immaculate have been tolerated. One immediately recalls, from experience, just how kind and patient therapists can be! I suppose in terms of fashion, the 1970s is, for many people, just 'where its at', even though many have long since left it behind, seeking something more solid, noble, worthy of the Lord, something more dignified, reverent and beautiful than what that particular era had to offer the people of God. What is it about traditional Catholic worship that has today's bishops get so hot under the collar? What will, God willing we get there, the liturgy in Heaven be like for all eternity?

Finally, last, but not least, please of your charity say a prayer for a friend of mine, Kevin, who was more a friend of Jason's, who died in his sleep the other day - young, recently out of prison, addicted to various drugs and drink, leaving behind him children and the mother of his children and even his grandfather who outlived him. I will miss him very much and so will Jason who is very much grieving. It appears very much that Brighton has claimed another victim of its notorious claim as the capital of drug-related deaths in the United Kingdom. May his soul, by the mercy of God and through the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, rest in peace. There are, as Brighton can testify, more dangerous addictions in this World, than the worship of the Triune God and devotion to the Mass.

I don't know what world Cardinal Hummes lives in, but amid the jubilation of so many in Rome, in the real world, things are a little bit more complicated than his rather fanciful image of the Church's missionary life. Myself, when I hear news like that, a man so young dying, who felt no hope for the future, feel an abject failure in transmitting the Gospel to the poor. Good Jesus knows I did next to nothing to try and lead him to Mary and Jesus. I don't know what circles Cardinal Hummes moves in, but a reality check for such Churchmen is sorely needed. The election of a charismatic and popular Pope, for the vast majority of the World and even for the vast majority of Catholics, has changed nothing. What world do these prelates live in?

Friday 14 February 2014

Breaking: Europe Shun Novus Ordo Calendar

Rejects SS Cyril and Methodius and keeps the Feast of St Valentine.

Yes. We're all trads now...

Media Coverage of The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults

Thanks to a reader for alerting me to the news that The Week, a British weekly news magazine, has run a piece on the differences in the media's portrayal of Francis and Benedict and the insults issuing from the mouth of our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

In particular, The Week links to my satirical piece joking that I had been commissioned by the Catholic Truth Society to compile 'The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults'. Unfortunately, the article makes no mention of the fact that this was a joke piece, even if the insults so far compiled are real.

The religion editor of a US media company has also contacted me asking me to write a piece for their belief blog on the Pope Francis Insults Book idea, which I will keep respectful in tone, of the Successor of St Peter.

I have amended the satirical post to ensure that there are no further misunderstandings over the nature of the 'book'.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Eucharistic Discourse

The Catholic Herald is reporting that His Holiness said yesterday...

"If anyone among us does not feel in need of God’s mercy, if he does not consider himself to be a sinner, it is better that he not go to Mass!" ~ Pope Francis
I would prefer that the Holy Father had replaced the word "Mass" with the words "Holy Communion".

At the same time, I would like to hear His Holiness talk also of our need to be in a State of Grace in order to receive Holy Communion, lest we eat and drink unto ourselves condemnation. None of us are 'worthy' but we should not be in a state of mortal sin when we receive Our Lord's Body and Blood. We don't hear much on that from Bishops, do we?

Sentiments of faith, unworthiness and penitence come and go and of course we should examine our consciences before Mass and pray to foster sentiments of penitence. Because we are sinners, we can experience the fog of our sins, especially pride, which blinds us to our deep unworthiness, even while in the Presence of God. However, people have lots of excuses for not going to Mass already. They surely don't need His Holiness to accidentally give them another one so they think, "I don't have to go to Mass anymore because I don't feel like I'm a sinner." 

The rest of His Holiness's address on the Eucharist was very good I thought. Here is a taster...

'We go to Mass because we are sinners and because we wish to receive God’s forgiveness, to participate in Christ’s redemption, his forgiveness. That ‘I confess’ that we say at the beginning is not merely a ‘pro forma’, it is a true act of penance! … In that bread and that wine we offer and around which we gather, the gift of the body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins is renewed every time. This best summarises the deepest sense of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, and in turn it opens our hearts to the forgiveness of our brothers and to reconciliation”.'

I'm not a priest, let alone a pontiff, so what would I know, but I'd imagine that good preparation is the key to papal homilies that can't be interpreted as supplying an excuse for people not to go to Mass. Not going to Mass will not pour light onto the blindness of the proud hearted. Going to Mass and being in the Presence of God can only help. Attendance on Sunday Mass and Holy Days are binding on Catholics, who commit mortal sin if they wilfully absent themselves. If you wilfully miss Mass one Sunday, you shouldn't receive Holy Communion the next until you've been to Confession, I would have thought.

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...