Wednesday 30 April 2014

Twitter Doesn't Allow Enough Characters for the Elaboration of Papal Teaching


“Inequality is the root of social evil,” Francis said today via Twitter Inc. to his nearly 4 million followers.

Twitter doesn't allow enough characters for the elaboration of Papal teaching.

That said, His Holiness has a point, so let's start the ball rolling with our campaign to Pope Francis to make Deacon Nick a Bishop. I know he's married and all, but only by such equality in the Church will he be able to defend the Pope and the Church's teaching with full freedom.

As we all know, once you're a Bishop, you know, you can do pretty much as you please.

No Comments at The Catholic Herald

While we reflect prayerfully upon what it means in the life of the Church when a blog set up to defend the Pope and the Magisterium is closed by order of a Bishop, it is worth noting that readers of The Catholic Herald are unable to comment upon the closure of Protect the Pope.

I find it most interesting that the mainstream Catholic press incorporated a 'comments facility' into their articles and blogs so that the Faithful (and unFaithful) may actively participate in discussion on the subject matter. To me, today's reality is that commentary on the closure of the Protect the Pope blog is not welcome and that speaks volumes as to how much The Catholic Herald really esteems the opinions of its readers, the majority of whom are the Catholic faithful, be they clergy, religious, or lay. I am certain that the editorial team has its 'reasons', but I expect none of them are particularly good ones. We wouldn't want a scene now, would we? It would be better for one man to be silenced rather than risk any 'trouble', wouldn't it? Have some 'High Priests' been in touch, I wonder?

The interesting thing is that the dereliction of duty on the part of swathes of the once great Catholic press in reflecting the opinions of the Faithful is one good reason why blogs, such as Protect the Pope and others started in the first place. The blog, Protect the Pope, was popular and had many readers partly because it spoke about those things hidden that really needed to be revealed. It shone a light on the ineffectiveness and complacency of so many Bishops and priests complicit in the dissident movements that hamper the mission of the Catholic Church.

Clearly, there are some Bishops, priests and Catholic newspaper staff, be they writers or proprietors who really do prefer, as Pope Francis called it, a 'bat-like' existence, preferring the shadows of secrecy, with a horror for notions of transparency and with zero interest in the opinions of Christ's flock. Clearly, someone, somewhere either at The Catholic Herald itself or somebody who wields influence with its comments policy, does not like 'the light' and fears the voices of those who read Protect the Pope, who are Christ's Faithful - since supporters of that blog are faithful to the Church's teaching. Under the wings of Bishops, meanwhile, and under their protection are those who wish to remake the Church into that organisation that springs not from Her true identity, but from their perverted imaginations.

The Deacon, Nick Donnelly has obeyed his Bishop in his request to close down the blog that - even though while he stopped writing on it recently upon his Bishop's request - continued to have those in authority in the Catholic Church getting 'hot under the collar'. I do hope that the abuse of authority that would appear to be at the heart of this action against this Deacon, who respects his vows of obedience to his superior has not taken on a new life of its own in the offices of The Catholic Herald who, one would assume, not only have a duty to inform its readership of such puzzling events taking place in the Church, but, in the interests of discussion, in the interests of transparency and in the interests of respecting its readership's desire to offer its opinions, would allow them to comment if only just to make known their gratitude, in an esteemed publication, for the blog that has been sacrificed for Heaven knows why.

Such indifference to the opinions of the readership are an insult not just Deacon Nick Donnelly who has invested so much time and energy in protecting the Pope and Teaching of the Church through writing online, but indeed to all who read The Catholic Herald online. Of course, it is good that the newspaper has highlighted this as a headline, but I, for one, would have liked to leave a comment of support for the Deacon who I feel is the target of some very unjust treatment. Perhaps consider putting a couple of quid in the poor box instead of buying the newspaper. Money is the only language the establishment Press understand.

Pray for the Bishop who ordered the closure of Protect the Pope. Such draconian action on the part of any Bishop on any loyal servant - son - of the Church suggests worrying issues with 'Fatherhood'. Perhaps this Bishop sees his role as some kind of profession in which those 'beneath' you require validation from you in speaking the truth. Didn't Our Lord say something about those who abuse power and authority given to them in His name?

It is a possibility, though not a foregone conclusion, that other bloggers - clergy and possibly lay - will be placed under an element of pressure in the future. To the enemies of the Truth, that one blog has been closed will be ample encouragement to try to silence those with a commitment to the Magisterium who regard blogging on the Catholic Faith as an important feature of their work for Christ in the Salvation of Souls. I doubt any Bishop would feel threatened by a 'peripheral' blog such as mine, but just in case, I should let it be known now - and this is no criticism of the ordained who have taken particular vows of obedience - there will be no 'white flag', since to hold ones tongue in today's Catholic Church, would be to ignore a hundred thousand voices, in Heaven and on Earth.

Update: Comments are up and running on the Herald article. Must have been a technical glitch! Whoever turned the light on, well done. Deo gratias! Go over and offer your support to Deacon Nick and make your views known.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Pope Francis Personally Intervenes to Unmuzzle Dissenting Irish Priest

Unmuzzled: Dissenting Irish priest
Courtesy of The Irish Times

'Pope Francis is believed to have intervened directly with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to have all sanctions on silenced Irish priest Fr Sean Fagan (86) lifted.

It was confirmed to The Irish Times in Rome last night that Marist priest Fr Fagan, who has been subject to sanction by the Vatican for six years, is no longer so.

The superior general of the Marist congregation in Rome, Fr John Hannan, said last night that Fr Fagan is now “a priest in good standing” where the church is concerned.

It has also emerged that the change in Fr Fagan’s circumstances may have involved direct intervention by both Pope Francis and the former President of Ireland Mary McAleese. 

The Irish Times has learned that Mrs McAleese, who is away from Rome at the moment, wrote to Pope Francis last December requesting that he directly intervene where Fr Fagan’s case was concerned. Receipt of the letter was acknowledged by the Pope’s secretary. It is understood that the Marist congregation was informed of Fr Fagan’s changed situation at Easter.

Others understood to have been approached to intervene with the Vatican on Fr Fagan’s behalf include his own congregation, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, the papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and the former head of the Dominicans Fr Timothy Radcliffe.
For many years Fr Fagan, who has suffered ill health for some time, had been critical of rigid stances by the Vatican on issues to do with conscience and sexual morality notably in letters to this newspaper. In 2003 he published the book Does Morality Change? And in 2008 Whatever Happened to Sin?
In 2010 he was informed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he would be laicised should be write for publication any material it considered contrary to Church teaching and should he disclose this to media.

Remaining copies of his book were bought up by the Marist congregation whose website last night still carried a statement first posted in February of last year which reads that “ the writings of Fr. Sean Fagan in the book What Happened to Sin do not have the approval of or represent the views of the Society of Mary.

It was reported at the weekend that the CDF’s change of stance towards Fr Fagan was because “he loves the Church in spite of all its weaknesses: that he accepted his censure and observed his restrictions; and to his advanced age.” 

Welcoming the news the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) said in a statement yesterday that “it has been a source of great unease to our members and of continuing shame and embarrassment to our Church that a priest and theologian who has made such a huge contribution to Gospel and to Church over very many years would not be regarded as a priest ‘in good standing’.”

It said that “statements welcoming the lifting of restrictions on Fr Fagan by the Marist Order, the CDF and the Irish Catholic bishops are the least that might be expected.”

It also noted “that the decision of the CDF, according to reports, was influenced by pressure brought to bear through the efforts of friends.” It believed “that a concerted effort by the orders and congregations, supported by the Irish bishops, could lead to the lifting of similar restrictions on other members of the ACP colleagues of Fr Fagan, and from the Marist congregation.”

This was a reference to those other priests silenced by the Vatican, including Fr Tony Flannnery, Fr Gerard Moloney, Fr Brian D’Arcy, and Fr Owen O’Sullivan.'

Springtime indeed, but will such relaxation of censure for those who have difficulty being faithful to the Magisterium also be applied to the FFI? Family of the Franciscans of the Immaculate were assured by Pope Francis that they would be released 'from the tomb'. They were not given a deadline as to when but were told 'soon'. Let's hope the 'soon' is not quite in the same sense as the Lord's promise, 'I am coming soon', as while a thousand years are like a day to the Lord, it is not quite the same here for God's children suffering here on Earth.

Do say a prayer for Deacon Nick Donnelly, who has been ordered by his Bishop to close down the Protect the Pope blog, a reliable source of Catholic news, debate and commentary which defended the Papacy and the Magisterium. May God help Ireland to rediscover the glory of the One True Faith and may God have mercy on us all. Am I right in wondering whether there is no longer a need to 'recognise dissent for what it is'? Perhaps, if enough people write, Pope Francis will step in in this moment of mercy, this epoch of pastoral love and overturn Bishop Campbell's decision to order to closure of Deacon Nick's blog?

Kasper Poll Results Coming In

Kasper: "You can't refuse me Communion! Don't you know who I am?!"
The results are in...

In a survey of 302 Catholics, a whopping 87 percent of respondents voted that Cardinal Kasper should not be admitted to Holy Communion compared to a small minority, 13 percent, who said he should.

I think there's little doubt that this sample is pretty much representative of the entire Catholic world, since clearly even The Tablet's hard-working team could not muster up the enthusiasm to get their friends to take the poll from different computers. The question is, will Rome act?

With shock results like this we have to ask: Is Kasper for the axe? Overnight our team of analysts will be giving you the reaction to news of Kasper's sudden fall from grace. This is what 87% of the Catholic World looks like...

If you extrapolate our survey to across the Catholic world, then the following image gives you an approximate understanding of just how large the margin against Cardinal Kasper receiving Holy Communion was to those who believed the Lord of Hosts (who is truly present in the Blessed Host) should be dispensed to the Prince of the Church. I think you'll agree that the survey's results are staggering and are sure to be taken into consideration at the Synod.

He sounds a bit trad to me...

Pope St John XXIII: Sounds a bit trad!
'Doing penance for one's sins is a first step towards obtaining forgiveness and winning eternal salvation. That is the clear and explicit teaching of Christ, and no one can fail to see how justified and how right the Catholic Church has always been in constantly insisting on this. She is the spokesman for her divine Redeemer. No individual Christian can grow in perfection, nor can Christianity gain in vigor, except it be on the basis of penance.

That is why in Our Apostolic Constitution officially proclaiming the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council and urging the faithful to make a worthy spiritual preparation for this great event by prayer and other acts of Christian virtue, We included a warning to them not to overlook the practice of voluntary mortification.'

These were the words of Saint John XXIII prior to the opening of the Second Vatican Council. It was July 1st 1962, when these words were addressed in his encyclical Paenitentiam Agere. The 'reforming Pope' was intent on persuading the Church of the first need for the Christian community to do penance and offer up prayer, especially to the Holy Spirit, in the time running up to the Second Vatican Council. Good Pope Saint John continues...

The Apostles held undeviatingly to the principles of their divine Master. When the Holy Spirit had descended on them in the form of fiery tongues, Peter expressed his invitation to the multitudes to seek rebirth in Christ and to accept the gifts of the most holy Paraclete in these words: "Do penance and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."(11) Paul too, the teacher of the Gentiles, announced to the Romans in no uncertain terms that the kingdom of God did not consist in an attitude of intellectual superiority or in indulging the pleasures of sense. It consisted in the triumph of justice and in peace of mind. "For the kingdom of God does not consist in food and drink, but in justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

And further...

Certainly, Venerable Brethren, when one views the faith which distinguishes the Church, the sacraments which nourish and perfect her, the universal laws and precepts which govern her, the unfailing glory that is hers by reason of the heroic virtue and constancy of so many of her elect, there can be no doubt that the Bride of Christ, so dear to her divine Redeemer, has always kept herself holy and unsullied.

But of her children there are some who nevertheless forget the greatness of their calling and election. They mar their God-given beauty, and fail to mirror in themselves the image of Jesus Christ. We cannot find it in Us to threaten or abuse them, for the love We bear them is a father's love. Instead We appeal to them in the words of the Council of Trent—the best restorative for Catholic discipline. "When we put on Christ in baptism (Gal. 3.27), we become in Him an entirely new creature and obtain the full and complete remission of every sin. It is only with great effort and with great compunction on our part that we can obtain the same newness and sinlessness in the sacrament of penance, for such is the stipulation of divine justice. That is why the holy Fathers called penance 'a laborious kind of baptism'."

Before reminding us that...

Our first need is for internal repentance; the detestation, that is, of sin, and the determination to make amends for it. This is the repentance shown by those who make a good Confession, take part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and receive Holy Communion. The faithful should be specially encouraged to do this during the novena to the Holy Spirit, for external acts of penance are quite obviously useless unless accompanied by a clear conscience and the detestation of sin. Hence Christ's severe warning: "Unless you repent you will all perish in the same manner." God forbid that any of Our sons and daughters succumb to this danger.

But the faithful must also be encouraged to do outward acts of penance, both to keep their bodies under the strict control of reason and faith, and to make amends for their own and other people's sins. St. Paul was caught up to the third heaven—he reached the summit of holiness—and yet he had no hesitation in saying of himself "I chastise my body and bring it into subjection." On another occasion he said: "They who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires." St. Augustine issued the same insistent warning: "It is not enough for a man to change his ways for the better and to give up the practice of evil, unless by painful penance, sorrowing humility, the sacrifice of a contrite heart and the giving of alms he makes amends to God for all that he has done wrong."

I look forward, in the time running up to the Synod to His Holiness calling me, as a Catholic, to do penance, go to Confession, seek the will of God, encourage me towards Christian perfection, to mortify my flesh, avoid and detest sin and to offer up a Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Third Vatican Council , sorry, Synod on the Family where we shall, God willing, hear that the Pope and the Cardinals and Bishops hold 'undeviatingly to the principles of their divine Master.' No?

Happy Feast of St Catherine of Siena

Before people message me to tell me how offensive this joke post is (I've already had one complaint) I am of course not comparing Pope Francis to the Emperor Nero. That would be absurd in the extreme. The joke is that Nero blamed everything bad, including the burning down of Rome, on the Christians, who were made into the perfect scapegoats for the follies of Rome. Of course, we do, because of our sins, play our part in a fallen world, as well as a world redeemed by the Blood of Christ. Francis, while of course nothing like the Emperor Nero, has a forte in letting rip into Christians, as this little online compilation attests. If you put all of Francis's insults together in one large paragraph, you get an impressive little stream of bile that wouldn't be completely out of place in ancient Rome...especially the one about the bats! Basically, I take the Pope's words on the chin, we could all be 'better Christians' but the joke is that Christians haven't received this much criticism since Nero.

Monday 28 April 2014

The Inglorious Insurrection of Mgr Basil Loftus

St John Paul II Defeated Communism... a phrase we hear a lot.

He was certainly instrumental in its collapse but not the collapse of the
Freemasonry that gave it to the World. Communism was a child of Freemasonry and Freemasonry is still very much alive and kicking outside and inside the Church.

For one man - even a great and holy Pope - to defeat Freemasonry would be a tall order indeed, since they form a secretive anti-Church, a mystical body of anti-Christ, the counter Church.

The defeat of the sons of Satan will be the victory of the Immaculate.

Alcohol, Street Drinking and the Rise of the New Puritans

 The Eye of a Needle

We often take it for granted that an age and society that fosters moral relativism and that promotes hedonism will lay few, if any, curbs, restrictions or moral codes upon others.

Debates that surround the issues of same-sex marriage, abortion and assisted suicide readily deny, despite sound reasoning that points to the opposite, the real societal impact of such lifestyle choices upon others, preferring to enshrine personal freedom as paramount in the public sphere. The sanctity of life and marriage is thus sacrificed for a new sanctity – that of personal choice. Those who oppose the new ‘freedoms’ of the age are vilified as intolerant, narrow minded bigots.

Diversity, Equality and Discrimination

Bizarrely, however, the new found ‘freedoms’ of the modern age do not extend to everybody. Even in an age of moral relativism, in which everybody has their own truths, certain lifestyles, which for many are grounded in addiction and illness, are still singled out for their effect on the public square.

Recently, while walking down a street in Brighton, I came across a sign in a newsagent doorway that read, ‘The Sale of Alcohol to Street Drinkers is not Permitted on these Premises – The Management’. It so happens that street drinkers have been on the end of near constant attention from the police and PCSOs in Brighton. Doubtless the authorities have their own reasons for doing so, so as not to put off the tourists, to curb antisocial behaviour, to keep the city ‘safe’. However, reading the sign I could not help but think what authorities are saying is somewhat discriminatory, prejudiced and insulting.

What is a ‘street drinker’?

What is a ‘street drinker’ might sound like a question with an obvious answer. It is someone who drinks alcohol on the street. One might ask whether, however, a couple sitting in a park in Brighton drinking champagne are ‘street drinkers’ and whether these persons would be refused champagne once word got around to newsagents to, ‘Watch out for the guy who drinks champers in parks with his wife.’ The word ‘street drinker’ seems to have other connotations of the poverty and misery of the outcast, denoting a ‘tramp’ like existence. These people, I assume – a certain ‘type’ of drinker - who cannot afford to drink in pubs, clubs and bars, but who drinks cans outside, is the real target. It would be too simplistic to say that this message from Brighton newsagents was of the ‘No Irish, Blacks or Dogs’ variety, because this kind of outlawed ethnic (and canine) discrimination was more clear cut. The term ‘street drinker’ is more subjective, a little more ambiguous and left very much to the arbitrary opinion of the newsagent who is being encouraged to think of a client base which is ‘out sort’ and a kind of customer who is ‘not our sort at all’.

Refusal register
The age of peculiar double standards

Our age, it appears, is to be the age of acute double-standards. For instance, what would the reaction be if, say, a wedding cake maker put a sign up today in his shop window saying that wedding cakes will not be available to same-sex couples who wish for such for their celebration?

Doubtless there would be an outcry, even a clamour for the delicatessen to be closed down by the vociferous LGBT community, especially in Brighton, even though the owner was acting in accordance with his sacred conscience. Where is the political movement for the rights of alcoholics, street drinkers and homeless people? Of course, it does not really exist, because these people either have no voice in the public sphere or are deemed unworthy of having a voice. Of course, one may reply, each shopkeeper has his own right to sell what he chooses to each and every customer as they come, as they appear and I could agree with that principle. It is one that I would say extends to the B&B owner who does not want homosexual activity in his establishment.

Yet, here in Brighton at least, it would appear that this is not the whole story. The decision by newsagents not to sell alcohol to street drinkers is one that has been made with the local authority in what appears to be a city wide action that singles out street drinkers for rejection, enforcing the idea that all are ‘equal’ before the law, but some are less equal than others. The initiative also has the striking effect of reinforcing the notion that somehow, because someone is homeless, poor, or alcoholic, that they are to be treated as pariahs or, at least, second-class citizens.

For full article click here.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Saint John Paul II, Pray for Us

'Totus tuus': The Pope who lived for the Blessed Virgin
I do not like the exceedingly rushed manner in which two Popes were elevated to Sainthood today, waiving the protocol that was expected for every other soul. It smacks of a desperate Church that wants God to do its will, rather than wait for God to act.

Anyway, now that I've got that off my chest, let us just take a little time out to honour St John Paul II the Great who was, there is little doubt, a man of astonishing and heroic sanctity.

I am currently reading his encyclical letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia. I highly recommend it, especially at this time when the Eucharistic Lord is in grave threat - and continues to be the Victim - of widespread abuse and neglect.

St John Paul II has been criticised in traditional quarters for various things, but his love for God, Our Lady and especially the Holy Eucharist were never in doubt and while travelling afar, he promoted devotion wherever he went with missionary fervour and apostolic zeal. He consistently preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and prompted men and women around the world to live for holiness and virtue.

He truly believed and preached that Jesus Christ can and desires to transform the lives of those who seek God and the Truth. He valiantly fought both communism and the Culture of Death that continues to throttle the West, through artificial contraception, abortion, the embracing of homosexuality, euthanasia and IVF. His enemies were many and surviving assasination, for which he thanked the intercession of Our Lady, he forgave the man who wanted him dead. One could go on and on, which is why there are so many books on him and will doubtless be many more.

But let's highlight his deep love for the Holy Eucharist. I particularly like the following passage from his encyclical on the Eucharist...

The sacramental re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice, crowned by the resurrection, in the Mass involves a most special presence which – in the words of Paul VI – “is called 'real' not as a way of excluding all other types of presence as if they were 'not real', but because it is a presence in the fullest sense: a substantial presence whereby Christ, the God-Man, is wholly and entirely present”. This sets forth once more the perennially valid teaching of the Council of Trent: “the consecration of the bread and wine effects the change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. And the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called this change transubstantiation”. Truly the Eucharist is a mysterium fidei, a mystery which surpasses our understanding and can only be received in faith, as is often brought out in the catechesis of the Church Fathers regarding this divine sacrament: “Do not see – Saint Cyril of Jerusalem exhorts – in the bread and wine merely natural elements, because the Lord has expressly said that they are his body and his blood: faith assures you of this, though your senses suggest otherwise”.

I also appreciate these passages and cannot help but feel they remain highly relevant to our times...

All of this makes clear the great responsibility which belongs to priests in particular for the celebration of the Eucharist. It is their responsibility to preside at the Eucharist in persona Christi and to provide a witness to and a service of communion not only for the community directly taking part in the celebration, but also for the universal Church, which is a part of every Eucharist. It must be lamented that, especially in the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many. A certain reaction against “formalism” has led some, especially in certain regions, to consider the “forms” chosen by the Church's great liturgical tradition and her Magisterium as non-binding and to introduce unauthorized innovations which are often completely inappropriate.
I consider it my duty, therefore to appeal urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity. These norms are a concrete expression of the authentically ecclesial nature of the Eucharist; this is their deepest meaning. Liturgy is never anyone's private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated. The Apostle Paul had to address fiery words to the community of Corinth because of grave shortcomings in their celebration of the Eucharist resulting in divisions (schismata) and the emergence of factions (haireseis) (cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34). Our time, too, calls for a renewed awareness and appreciation of liturgical norms as a reflection of, and a witness to, the one universal Church made present in every celebration of the Eucharist. Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church. 

This passage speaks of the care, love, reverence and generosity with which the Saint believed the Holy Eucharist should be treated, housed and honoured.

Like the woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany, the Church has feared no “extravagance”, devoting the best of her resources to expressing her wonder and adoration before the unsurpassable gift of the Eucharist. No less than the first disciples charged with preparing the “large upper room”, she has felt the need, down the centuries and in her encounters with different cultures, to celebrate the Eucharist in a setting worthy of so great a mystery. In the wake of Jesus' own words and actions, and building upon the ritual heritage of Judaism, the Christian liturgy was born. Could there ever be an adequate means of expressing the acceptance of that self-gift which the divine Bridegroom continually makes to his Bride, the Church, by bringing the Sacrifice offered once and for all on the Cross to successive generations of believers and thus becoming nourishment for all the faithful? Though the idea of a “banquet” naturally suggests familiarity, the Church has never yielded to the temptation to trivialize this “intimacy” with her Spouse by forgetting that he is also her Lord and that the “banquet” always remains a sacrificial banquet marked by the blood shed on Golgotha.

May all of us honour this Saint and not merely pay lip-service to his greatness, but imitate his deep spirituality, his personal heroism, his life of penance and prayer, his willingness to suffer for Jesus and for the salvation of sinners, his love for the Eucharist, his devoted fidelity to the Mother of God and his care and love for the Church.

Saint John Paul II the Great, pray for all of us, for the Successor of St Peter and all Bishops, Successors to the Apostles. For a gentle reminder that there are some in the Church who wish to re-write history and present to the Faithful today's Saints as radical, care-free Popes who wanted to reform everything in sight, read Offerimus Tibi Domine on Saint John XXIII.

Back by Popular Acclamation

All this saint-making without much evidence of the miraculous is a boon to those Catholics who want to be canonized within a few decades of death. Nowadays, you need not produce any miracles! Indeed, as both Popes taught us, there is hope, the hope for those who are in Christ Jesus, for us all.

'I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul…. I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.

A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken Him?”'
E. Cardinal Pacelli said this in 1931. He became Pope Pius XII in 1939.

It appears that the Church has, in recent times, been up for canonizations by popular acclamation. Give that man a sainthood! I'm not the only one who thinks he was great.

Saturday 26 April 2014

The Head of the Church

Exactly 33 years to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision.

When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white.

Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere.

When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices - two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh.

They seemed to come from near the tabernacle.

As he listened, he heard the following conversation:

The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: "I can destroy your Church."

The gentle voice of Our Lord: "You can? Then go ahead and do so."

Satan: "To do so, I need more time and more power."

Our Lord: "How much time? How much power?

Satan: "75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service."

Our Lord: "You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will."

In 1886, Pope Leo XIII decreed that this prayer to St. Michael be said at the end of "low" Mass (not "high", or sung Masses) throughout the universal Church, along with the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen); and the practice of the congregation praying these prayers at the end of Mass continued until about 1970, with the introduction of the new rite of the Mass.

I suppose, in his diabolical endeavour, that a very cunning ploy of the Devil would be to convince people outside of the Catholic Church and the majority of the Faithful to believe that the Pope, not the Lord Jesus Christ was the Supreme Head of the Catholic Church. Blessed Pope John Paul II, who will be canonized tomorrow, did not believe he was the Head of the Church but enjoyed as Successor of St Peter visible headship by virtue of the Apostolic power given by Christ to Peter, as the Vicar of Christ on Earth. Blessed Pope John Paul II did not believe he was the Church's Lord and Master but its chief servant. I must say that I find it fascinating that the vision of Pope Leo XIII suggests that the great battle in the Church against the Devil would take place 'around the tabernacle'.

My First Bulgarian Immigrant

A couple of evenings ago, I went to a nearby cash point to get out some money, whereupon I was greeted by the sight of a man bedding down for the night outside the supermarket. His bedding was laid out in a most orderly manner.

It turns out that said man was a Bulgarian immigrant. I asked him how long he had been here, he replied, "one month". His English wasn't terribly good, as you can expect, but we managed to hold a brief conversation.

I doubt he was homeless in Bulgaria, but he maintained he was here, in Britain, 'looking for work'. Good luck to him. I asked him if he was a Christian, he said that he was. You could tell he wasn't your average Brighton homeless man because he was sober. I wished him happy Easter and went on my way. Welcome to the United Kingdom, where all your dreams come true. I didn't have the heart to tell him that according to official Government policy he only has two months left before being packed back to Bulgaria, but then I guess that what with having no address, he might not get the letter from David Cameron telling him to go home in the absence of employment or the letter that welcomed him to the UK.

Perhaps David Cameron is a Christian after all. He seems awfully keen on inviting orthodox Christians from Bulgaria and Romania here en mass, as well as Polish Catholics here en mass. Another 40 years of that and this country will be Christian once more.

Pope Now Alienating Comic Superheroes

Say a prayer for Batman. Everyone knows how sensitive he can be.

"A Little Bread and Wine Does No Harm..." #2

"A little bread and wine does no harm, surely..."
One reason why it is incredibly difficult to believe the Pope said that is because of the excommunication of Greg Reynolds. Though there could be a thousand reasons for the excommunication of this dissident priest - and it is noteworthy he wasn't given a single reason - Greg Reynolds was widely believed to have been excommunicated for his disgraceful act of giving Holy Communion to a dog.

If - and we would doubt a Pope would ever say it - but if Pope Francis said that, then Greg Reynolds would be in a position to feel hard done by. Not that he didn't deserve it, of course. After all, 'its only bread and wine' in the eyes of the Pope, so 'who would he be to judge' in terms of excommunicating Mr Reynolds. The only person who could formally excommunicate someone for giving Our Eucharistic Lord to a dog, without appearing to be a hypocrite, would be a Pope who truly believed in the Church's doctrine on the Real Presence, rather than suggesting it was 'bread and wine' which 'could do no harm'. St Paul said the opposite, that unless we examine our consciences and purify our hearts, consuming the Sacrament will bring us condemnation, spiritual sickness and even spiritual death.

Giving a dog a 'symbol of Christ's love in bread and wine' frankly isn't that scandalous. If what Christ had merely instituted  was merely a 'sign' or 'symbol', then that could be offensive to some Christians, but that isn't really outrageous. "Do not give what is holy to the dogs," said Our Lord. There is nothing - NOTHING - more holy in the Church's custody than the Lord Jesus Himself, the Most Blessed, Most August Sacrament of the Altar. Naturally, if a priest gives Christ to a dog he is automatically excommunicated anyway. It goes without saying that the Eucharistic Lord Jesus Christ, Who gives Himself to us, Who 'humbled Himself to accept a share in our humanity so that we may share in His divinity' has been the focus of the worship, praise, adoration and devotion and reverence of the Faithful for as long as the Church has existed.

Not believing this doctrine as a husband or wife, in a family would be a catastrophe for any Catholic family. Not believing in this doctrine as a priest and failing to teach it would be a spiritual catastrophe for any parish. Not believing in this doctrine as a Bishop and failing to teach it would be a spiritual catastrophe for any Diocese. Naturally, I'm inclined to believe that if a Pope did not believe this doctrine, then the Church would be temporarily in the custody and governance of someone as potentially destructive to the Church as any atheist, because, fundamentally, if a Catholic doesn't believe Jesus Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, an atheist he or she may as well be.

Hitherto, some have been inclined to believe, naively, that the debate started by Francis, Kasper and others in the Church on Communion for the divorced and remarried was about the issues of divorce and remarriage and pastoral attention to these persons. The reported comment attributed to Pope Francis concerning 'bread and wine' and how it 'can do no harm' throws the light back onto what this battle is really all about. It's not about the issues. It's about Him - the Eucharistic Lord, Jesus Christ, Prisoner of Love, Our Saviour, God and King, present in every Tabernacle in every Church around the World, we pray, until the very end of time.

If in a comedy poll of Catholics, 87% believed that Cardinal Kasper should not receive Holy Communion, it isn't because they believe Cardinal Kasper isn't entitled to some bread and wine. Nor are they saying Kasper is not perhaps a jolly nice fellow.

No, what matters is whether Cardinal Kasper believes that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ or not. If he wants to throw Jesus Christ around to men and women in mortal sin, then he has no respect for either Jesus Christ, nor men or women who should receive Him in such manner that will bring them spiritual life, not spiritual death.

Every priest, every bishop, every pope is a custodian of Jesus Christ, the loving and saving Victim who gives himself to us whole and entire under the guise of bread and wine for our salvation and sanctification. If these ministers didn't believe in the Real Presence, then that would account for the catastrophic loss of faith visible in nearly all parts of the Church, in nearly all parts of the world. Why? Because if these ministers did not believe this holy doctrine, held always and everywhere by the Catholic Church, their faith in the reality of the Resurrection and the divinity of Christ would also be very much in doubt. Ignore the title of this video, but do watch the interview with the man whose 'lady', as well as himself, is at the centre of this alarming storm.

Friday 25 April 2014

"A Little Bread and Wine Does No Harm..."

If a Pope didn't believe the doctrine of the Real Presence, would he lose the authority to teach?

If Pope Francis really said that, please God Pope Francis did not say that, then as to whether the Church is governed by a manifest heretic, all bets would be well and truly off.

Would Fr Lombardi please clarify at least that the Pope definitely didn't say that?

Someone left a comment on my blog saying it is 'impossible that he said that'.

No longer bread, no longer wine
It's not impossible. Before he became Pope, remember that Francis was a Cardinal, before that a Bishop, so, in fact, anything's possible. You know what most Bishops are like.

A Norbertine brother once said to me that every major crisis in the Church has been about the Real Presence. And the crisis of the Church is a crisis of Bishops. The modern crisis is therefore twofold. A crisis of faith and a crisis of leadership in faith.

Indeed, the first crisis among Christ and the Apostles (though it was not a crisis for Jesus) was in the immediate wake of the Eucharistic discourse.

Many disciples left Jesus after that and it was left to St Peter (first 'Il Papa') to speak up on the Apostles behalf, saying, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life.' That's kind of like what giving religious assent to the incredible is and it is noteworthy that St Peter spoke for the Apostles in giving it. "This is incomprehensible, but I believe You."

If this Pope doesn't believe that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, Humanity and Divinity of Our Lord, then that wouldn't just explain things a little. That would explain everything. One does not need to go over a year of confusing statements and actions again.

If he didn't believe that doctrine, which all Catholics must uphold, or if he openly opposed it, that would pose serious problems for Catholics across the World, because that would make the Pope outside of Communion with the Divine Head of the Church, Jesus Christ and, of course, St Peter. The implications are terrifying. Absolutely nothing - including the Eucharistic Lord Himself - would be safe in such hands.

The Vatican must, at the very least, confirm that the Pope did not say that because if Pope Francis did say that, Catholics have not just a right but a duty to resist his teaching. Not only that, but His Holiness, shouldn't be receiving Holy Communion.

As well as little teaching on the family, and barely any concrete teaching on doctrine, other than platitudes on the poor, Confession and 'mercy' we have received as yet very little teaching on the Holy Eucharist from His Holiness. With 75% of Catholics completely unbelieving of the Real Presence, now would be a good time. It is well within the Pope's power to put this lady - currently discussing Pope Francis's reported words on divorce, remarriage and 'bread and wine' in various media outlets - right. In so doing, it would confirm that His Holiness does indeed believe that which the Church has believed and taught 'always and everywhere'.

This is a perfect opportunity for His Holiness to give us some clear, concise and much needed teaching on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, because 'bread and wine' it no longer is, once consecrated, even if the Holy Eucharist appears to the senses to be just that. There is no point in fasting even an hour before Communion if it is 'just bread and wine'.

The Lord did not die on the Cross in order to give us bread and wine. We had that already. He died upon the Cross - and was raised again on the third day - and left us Himself, His Body and Blood, under the guise of bread and wine as a remedy for our souls and the pledge of immortality for those who persevere to the end in the One True Faith. The Eucharist is God Himself. It is Jesus! If a Pope did not believe that, not only would faithful priests refusing Communion to those in a state of mortal sin be 100% correct, but every Catholic who held onto that teaching would, yes, be more Catholic than the Pope, because that Pope would have ceased to be a Catholic.

Thursday 24 April 2014

It's all been a terrible misunderstanding...

Fr Lombardi: "I can explain everything...kind of."
'Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships. Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope's public activities, no information or comments are to be expected from the Holy See Press Office.
That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is a source of misunderstanding and confusion. Therefore, consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences.'

Oh...well, that's cleared that one up then. Thanks for that! We all know that the Pope cannot change the teaching of the Church and certainly not by calling a random woman in Argentina, because he is not Almighty God. What we do not know is what the Pope said. Of course, everyone's entitled to their privacy, but given the forest fire travelling across the world's media, I think the Vatican is going to need more than just one bucket of water in order to put this blaze out.

Cracking. I mean, why say, "The Pope assures me he would never have said that and would never say that" when a more long-winded and vague statement which leaves much to interpretation will suffice? 

Nobody can confirm, or say with any certainty what the Pope said on the phone, except the person who claims to have talked to the Pope.

But there's nothing to worry about.

Got that? God help us.

Meanwhile, The Catholic Herald is reporting that the woman at the centre of this uniquely dangerous ****storm, one...

Mrs Lisbona, who later called a Buenos Aires radio station to discuss the phone call, also claimed that in reference to her priest the Pontiff said, “There are some priests who are more papist than the Pope.” She also said that Francis told her he was “dealing with the issue” of Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Really? These priests who take Christ's words seriously are more 'papist than the Pope', are they? He's 'dealing with it', is he? Interesting. I hope to God he said no such thing because I could have sworn the Son of God 'dealt with this issue' already while He was walking on Earth, but I guess the Lord Jesus simply doesn't know His place nowadays. Who do you think you are, Lord? The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity or something? Everyone knows that You cannot be as Christian as the Pope!

The latest papal insult, again aimed at Christians calls out those who profess Christ but who are, "Like bats. And with a little sense of humour we can say that there are Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord.” Meanwhile, while Christ was crystal clear, the Pope's true thoughts on divorce and remarriage remain as shadowy as can be. 

I don't mean to rant but before Easter Wednesday 'The Vortex' was the title of an online Catholic web programme hosted by Michael Voris. Today, it is the Catholic Church. On Holy Thursday, the Holy Father asked us to examine our consciences and ask ourselves, in the story of the Passion of Our Lord, which character we are. "Are you like Judas?" he asked. Well, I must confess that on a bad day, I can be all of them, including the traitor (apart from Jesus). If this story is not put to bed in a more emphatic manner than it has been today, then what are Catholics to ask Pope Francis but 'Are you Peter or are you not?' 

Long before he became Pope, Jorge Bergoglio was a bouncer at a party venue. Being a Christian isn't a guarantee of Heaven. His Holiness surely knows that, but neither is being a Pope. There's another Party Venue with another bouncer. I hope His Holiness isn't wearing trainers, be they black, if not red. We'll leave that for Fr Lombardi to clarify in due time. While you're at it, why not release the rest of the Fatima secret, or, as fidelity to the doctrine of the Faith collapses in a heap in Rome, do we just have to guess that too?

'The dogma of the Faith will always be preserved in Portugal, etc...'
~ Our Lady of Fatima
Where might it not be preserved?

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Seeking Clarification

Following Damian Thompson's piece today on Pope Francis's pastoral phone call response to a lady in a second marriage with a divorcee which then made it into Facebook and soon the World press, one wonders quite what the sensible Catholic reaction should be.

Has the time come to live in my allotment on Whitehawk Hill in order to wait for the Second Coming after, of course, having exchanged the words 'Cardinal Kasper' with 'Pope Francis' in my sidebar poll?

In the unlikely scenario that Pope Francis has said something that completely contradicts the Church's Infallible teaching, a great theological conundrum erupts in which we ask whether it is possible that a Pope can not be in communion with the Pope.

I guess that's not impossible, in certain circumstances. Of course, that would be a can of worms so full of worms that all the worms in my allotment could not quite do it justice. So, I'm not going to go there, yet.

The Holy Father's phone calls have quickly become the stuff of legend and, like all legends, we are never quite sure of the truth. It's a shame reporters and bloggers such as Mr Thompson cannot simply pick up the phone and call His Holiness in order to get that much needed clarification that Fr Frederico Lombardi will most likely refuse. Remember, that even in 'being pastoral' a Pope, who can never simply be 'Father Bergoglio' again (because he's the Pope) cannot really make a statement concerning one individual that does not then become something that is universal. God has not made exceptions to divine law.

Clearly, whatever the truth of the matter, someone is doing his level best in undermining of the Magisterium and the Office of the Papacy on purpose. The question remains whether that person is one of the Pope's enemies, or one of his friends, or the Pope himself, or even all three.

If this teaching 'changes' through pastoral chats with dissident Bishops and Priests (and Popes) who simply say, 'just do whatever you feel is fine by me' because of what a schizophrenic 'Father Bergoglio' says in his private capacity as a dissident priest in Rome then the future looks incredibly bleak.

Quite how a 'Father Bergoglio' could get away with this by intimating that he knows what 'the Pope' says but as 'a simple priest' I say something else, then we are at a real crossroads in the Church's history the likes of which neither the World nor the Church has ever before seen. With two Popes living in the Vatican, we thought it could not get any more weird. Perhaps we were wrong. Watch, once more, what Benedict XVI had to say about the Church as a divine institution that does not simply sway with the times, in his farewell address, because the Church is truly Christ's Body. I certainly think it has some relevance to the new theories being posited about 'being Church'.

I also think its a bit awfully timed that this news came out when we should be feasting and partying, rather than weeping, fasting and beating our breasts in sackcloth and ashes. Try not to let His Holiness (or his friends or enemies or those who claim to have chatted with him on the phone) spoil your celebrations. If you are a faithful Catholic and you feel a bit like you've been stabbed in the heart on Easter Wednesday, don't stop believing and keep on partying. The gates of Hell shall never prevail.

Perhaps we should heed the advice of the Supreme Pontiff not to listen to gossip for, if its untrue, Damian and others carrying this disconcerting story will have done us no service at all. Still, as Damian updates his blog, is the Vatican going to say it cannot clarify under some kind of 'Data Protection Act'? If this story goes off like a Supervolcano (for some reason bison and elk are currently fleeing Yellowstone), the Vatican press office will have themselves, if not also their 'boss' to blame. It is worth noting that there have been very few occasions on which His Holiness, who asked us to pray for him that he wouldn't 'make too many mistakes', has actually apologised for confusion he has caused.

Continue to pray for the Popes. I say that not just because we have two living Popes in the Vatican, but because this Pope has the potential make Popes of us all.

"Hello? Father Bergoglio? What an unexpected call! Well I never! How did you get my number?"

Tuesday 22 April 2014

The Great Cardinal Kasper Poll

Take the poll today in the side bar, then we can send the results to Rome.

After all, in the run up to the Synod, the Church is seeking the views of the Faithful.

It is so important they are heard.

One word answer to a simple question.

If the Bishops Conference ever need someone to help them to simplify their survey for the
Synod on the Family, then my email's in the sidebar as well.

Why make things more complicated than they are?

Update: So, this is exciting stuff. So far the results seem to be overwhelmingly on the 'No' side. According to my survey, something like 84% of Catholics think Cardinal Walter Kasper should not be admitted to Holy Communion, due to the doctrinal positions he advances in public, in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Christ and His Church. I had to tell you this after receiving messages from the Faithful 'demanding' that the results of the survey be made public...

Is this Cardinal really 'in trouble with the Bishop of Rome', or just with his friends?

Location, location, location: Cardinal Bertone

One of the most refreshing aspects of this pontificate has been seeing Cardinal Sodano out in St Peter's Square washing the feet of the poor and adopting accommodation and a schedule more in keeping with the vision of Pope Francis. A poor Church for the poor. If ever that slogan could be applied to anyone, Vaticanistas say that of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. It is said that since the election of Pope Francis, Cardinal Sodano has decided to live incredibly simply, modestly indeed, and often refuses the visits of the influential and powerful of Rome. It is in the light of heroic and exceedingly humble, simple men like Cardinal Sodano, who refuses honours, ostentatious accommodation and 'worldliness', that we are able better to see more clearly the vices of other, more corrupt Cardinals, like Cardinal Sodano's brother in Christ Cardinal Tarscico Bertone. Such men as Bertone, you know, are much more 'worldly'. Oh how these two men get on. Verily, it is said that it is indeed like watching a house on fire.

According to The Telegraph...

La Repubblica said the cardinal's new apartment includes a large rooftop terrace and would be about 10 times bigger than Pope Francis' home once extensive renovations have been completed this summer.

There is no comment from Pope Francis on the subject, just as there was no formal comment from Pope Francis on the 'Bishop of Bling', yet such a situation surely deserves some really serious and positively generous mercy and severely pastoral love! Right? Because that is the way of new way of 'being Church' as espoused by Cardinals Maradiaga, Kasper and Co. Or should that be Inc?

Why, though, should the case of Bertone be compared to that of the Holy Father. The Holy Father has, for himself, and for his 'personal needs', decided to live away from the Apostolic Palace, in his own words, not to live modestly or as a public relations exercise in 'apostolic poverty', but to live in close proximity to others because he finds it 'psychologically hard' to live alone. Well, I have plenty of sympathy with that, even if this Cross is laid upon the shoulder of every Pope, and every other Pope for a long time has accepted that particular Cross.

Quite why it follows however that other Cardinals and Bishops in Rome should automatically follow suit because of the personal choices of the Pope - which he only advocated for himself due to his 'psychological needs' - is a mystery. I hope that His Holiness will not to listen to 'gossip' spread by warring Bishops who spread calumny and detraction about others to journalists. For this is the same Supreme Pontiff who, when asked by the media about controversial prelates in the Vatican who have at times adopted something of an 'alternative' lifestyle, quite at odds with what one would expect of any priest, responded with the question, '...then who am I to judge?'

Yet judgement has at times been swiftly declared upon some. This article suggests, not pleasantly, that Cardinal Bertone was among those who were thought by Pope Francis to be 'either incompetent or corrupt' in their oversight of the IOR. Thankfully, His Holiness can now rely firmly on the pure lily white virtue of saintly efficiency known to be among Mgr Ricca's most admired 'assets'.

That it is said that Cardinal Bertone was a very loyal and devoted servant to Benedict XVI, who following retirement denounced various unnamed 'crows' and 'vipers' around him who made his job as Secretary of State very difficult is, we must assume, a complete co-incidence. That these two camps involving Bertone and Sodano are mentioned in web chatter concerning Vatileaks is another co-incidence. That he was replaced by Pope Francis with Archbishop Pietro Parolin, described by Vatican net curtain twitchers as a 'creature' of the Sodano camp is also, we must assume, another complete co-incidence.

People will have different reactions to this news. Some will think Bertone deserves 'the chop' - whatever that constitutes in the scenario - because, though he has seemingly not defended himself against accusations of over-sized apartment related sins, which, by the way, is not a listed sin, unlike say, sodomy. Others will say that if 'action' is taken that the Pope has 'lost it' and turned into a school-teacher who listens when his children go around 'telling tales' on others and goes from 'old softie' to harsh disciplinarian according to his preferences for favourites among the class. A small minority of people will, if Bertone is sent into exile, be able to see that the Sodano camp is now fully in charge of the government of the Holy See. That need not be terrifying news, so long as you really do believe in the Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord.

Watch out now and walk carefully around Rome, for it looks rather like the Church of Rome is to soon develop some 'structural problems'. There is almost certainly a danger of 'falling masonry' in the vicinity of Rome. Whatever happens in this latest showdown between the 'humble, simple and modest' Bishops and Cardinals and the Bishops and Cardinals of 'excessively plush residences' we can be certain that Pope Francis will come out of it looking pretty good, as His Holiness always does and, as long as that happens, what's not to like?

For further reading, why not browse over Fr Dwight Longnecker's thoughtful post on why its not necessarily at all wrong for a Prince of the Church to live up to his name. Who knows, perhaps Cardinal Bertone needed more space for extra accommodation for others, for some charitable endeavour, or something innocuous like that? Maybe he just needed extra space for some nuns or priest visitors to live with him or something. Let us pray that Cardinal Bertone is given a fair hearing  before his name is dragged like mud through the international press...Oh no, wait. That's already happened! "This Bertone guy's obviously a real scumbag! Can't you tell, just by those glasses? I reckon he's in the mafia! You can just tell!"

'I thank you, O Lord, that I do not live like Cardinal _______________ (insert name here)'
Whatever happens, obviously the Pope's the Pope and can do whatever he pleases and execute justice as an Emperor one day and slip into his role as humble Bishop of Rome the next if he so chooses. I mean there was no actual 'trial' of Bertone concerning his oversight or his involvement at the IOR that led to his name being associated in the press with corruption, scandal and intrigue in January. There was no actual 'trial' of the 'Bishop of Bling' or formal investigation that reached a conclusion, but hey, let's not get bogged down in law or objective concepts about natural justice when a simple accusation from big-spending brother German Bishops and Cardinals who own stakes in a pornography literature company and who never liked you much will suffice.

You may well be wondering, if you are a Bishop, or even a Priest, just when does your flat get 'too big'? We could run a survey of English Bishops and find out. The answer could well be, 'When His Holiness's friends say so'. Is it a mortal sin to receive Communion in a second marriage and thereby commit sacrilege imperiling your very soul without repentance and amendment of your life and/or situation? 'Well now, let's not rush into any kind of rash judgment!'

Of course, had His Holiness Pope Francis done what 'a lot' of his predecessors had done and accepted the chalice of living in the Apostolic Palace, in keeping with Tradition, I suppose few in Rome would feel qualified to exercise a 'ministry of mercy' with 'princely' Cardinals and Bishops who just happen to have been well known as Benedict XVI's supporters, admirers and even friends. Thankfully, however, the enemies of Cardinal Sodano in Rome, the 'bad guys', can now be dealt with much more effectively and without any possible accusation of hypocrisy, unless, that is, you're one of those annoying Catholics who takes the Lord Jesus's words 'seriously'. I know I do, but Lord, fail You in so many ways!

It is so sad to see Cardinals and Bishops tearing each other to pieces. Jesus is Risen indeed! Just as He said, but where is the love Cardinals and Bishops should be showing to one another as Jesus taught? Sad it is, because I suppose that, even though Pope Francis said that he lives where he lives for 'psychological reasons', that even his venerable predecessors in Heaven, like BJPII and BJXIII might be thinking, 'I cannot shake this feeling this guy is making us look bad.'

Let us pray that he who wilfully ignores the Church's law will not fail to revere the Law of the Lord.

Monday 21 April 2014

Silenced, Banned, Censured, Barred...

...are presumably just a few of the things one 'Fr John' would like to see happen to me. "Shut your cake hole, you troublemaker" is about the crux of it.

As readers know, I did indeed take a period of abstinence from blogging a while ago, which I have much appreciated. I feel refreshed and am basking in the joy of our great Mother of Feasts, the Easter Octave! I've still been keeping up with Church affairs and am quite exhausted after the Sacred Tridiuum.

I really did not like Pope Francis's 'Stations of the Cross'. Why do people compose Stations that constantly talk about social injustice, but little of personal sin and the consequences, as if personal, actual sin has no implications for society as well as the soul? It may be your cup of tea, but I'll stick with St Alphonsus.

'Fr John', however, will be at least glad to hear that, taking seriously His Holiness Pope Francis's exhortation to go out 'to the peripheries' and to endeavour in the spirit of the Gospel to render service to the poor, I have incurred the displeasure of a homeless hostel in Brighton, from which I have been banned.

Brighton's mysterious West Pier, after which the hostel is named
West Pier Project, a Council ran temporary emergency housing establishment in the heart of the city centre, has, I am informed in person by the staff on the reception, barred me from entry, following their discovery of the above video which I filmed of a friend who lives in the hostel explaining living conditions and the astonishing rental fee charged by the West Pier Project for his living there. This video I posted on my blog, The Eye of a Needle.

I asked them whether it was illegal for me to film an interview with a friend in his room and they maintained that it was, so it looks like I'll need a lawyer. Having been told I was no longer welcome to visit my friend Daryl, who let's face it, doesn't receive many visitors as things stand, because I had basically exposed something the West Pier would rather not be brought to light (quite what that is, I was not told) I had time only to wish Daryl happy birthday, smoke a fag with him outside the hostel and go to work.

So take heart, 'Fr John', its not just you who wants me to stop blogging, its also those who exploit the misery and destitution of the poor for personal gain, who extort from the poor exhorbitant housing benefit charges in rent in order to fill their pockets and live in luxury, since, I was told by a worker that the building is privately owned and we can therefore safely assume that the rental money of nearly £200 a week goes to the owner. They don't seem to do much to improve the building. Only a week or two ago another man I know there tried to open a window and had to go to hospital because a window pane fell out and sliced his hand open. The staff kindly paid for a taxi, but you should have seen the guy's hand. It was a total mess. I told him he should sue.

I asked the staff member who the owner of the property was, but was not given a name. The team member denied knowledge of such information. Perhaps the staff do not know who owns the property. You can bet Brighton and Hove City Council, however, do!

May God bless our Pope who calls us to serve the poor and to highlight and expose the injustices that take place in their regard...just like the last Pope on many occasions, also did! May the Blessed Virgin Mary pray for the poor and homeless of Brighton and aid us to defend their dignity. May the Lord embolden His Holiness, too, to preach the fullness of the Faith, 'in season, and out of season' while encouraging those working closely with him, such as Cardinal Mardiaga, Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Sean O'Malley and all who are privileged to enjoy the ear of the Pope in the 'G8', unyielding fidelity to the truth, charity, wisdom, prudence and zeal for the Salvation of souls.

Dear John...

You have now left me two comments, neither of which I will publish. In the first, you commented on my absence from blogging recommending that it stay that way. I thank you for your concern for my immortal soul, it is much appreciated.

This blog has until recently been receiving in excess of 2,000 hits a day, so I do not think I would cease blogging simply because one anonymous reader thinks I am polluting the Catholic blogosphere. I have a readership, albeit relatively small, but like I said, if you don't like what I write, don't read it.

In the second comment you have intimated that I am being closely 'monitored' and gone on to issue a latent threat that 'someone' 'somewhere' might cause difficulties for me or others, because of various posts that I have written which have been mildly critical of the manner in which His Holiness Pope Francis is governing the Universal Church. Where do you work? GCHQ?

That you should do this is concerning since I was led to believe that under His Holiness Pope Francis, a new era of 'free speech' had broken out like a 'new springtime'. Therefore, in such an atmosphere of freedom of expression of opinion, I see no valid reason why I am unable to make a contribution to the ongoing discussions which are taking place within the Church as to the direction in which the Church is being steered by the Successor of St Peter.

The Bishops Conference, Vatican Dicastries and GCHQ step up 'blogwatch'
In the second comment that you have left, I note that the title of 'Fr' was removed from the name 'John', so I ask sincerely are you really a Catholic Priest. If not, I would suggest you have been not just anonymous and therefore cowardly in your criticism of this blog, but deceptive also. I note, too, that you still have not yet wished me a Happy Easter or the blessing of the Risen Christ. In such an instance, I must ask myself, and indeed you, whether you are even a Catholic, since what Catholic, at this sacred time of the liturgical year, is not so full of Easter joy as to forget to wish even his enemies a Happy Easter. I must also take this opportunity to ask you to pause and ask yourself whether you were as quick to defend the reign of Benedict XVI as you are to defend every action and statement of the current Supreme Pontiff. If not, then I would suggest that you are not practising what you preach nor are you able to defend the licit expression of opinion that is, in no manner, contrary to either the ecclesiastical or moral law of the Holy Catholic Church .

So, once again, I say to you, 'John', if that is indeed your name, a very happy and blessed Easter to you. May the Risen Christ bless you and all you love and lead you and your loved ones to life everlasting.

Crikey. And there we all were thinking the trads were the bitter and twisted ones!

In Domino


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...