Monday, 14 July 2014

Watching as Christian Civilisation Crumbles?

"1-0...What marvels the Lord worked for us. Indeed, we were glad."
Or egging it on?

The latest papal interview with Scalfari is, as far as Catholic clergy and others will be concerned, a total and unmitigated disaster. At the unemployed centre, this headline faced me in the dining room. I turned to a friend and said, 'How does he know that?'

Within the world at large, there is a common perception that while not all Catholic clergy are child abusers and that the number who have consist of a very small minority, the headline '1 in 50' does have something of a 'an abusive priest could live down the road from you' feel about it and straight from the mouth of the Pope. Of course, we cannot verify directly that His Holiness said it because His Holiness chose to speak again to someone who misrepresents his every utterance, but His Holiness himself has never corrected any such misrepresentations, instead permitting Catholic Church-hating atheists to print whatever they think he has said without rebuke.

"2 per cent"?

The figure I have read concerning clergy abuse in the United Kingdom is 0.01 per cent of those found guilty of pederasty, since which time strict child protection procedures have been enforced to the letter. I do not know what the percentage is in other lands. Quite where the Holy Father got that figure of "2 per cent" is a mystery. If His Holiness has 'a little list' then let the Church trials begin, but while the figure seems to have been plucked from somewhere, it is a statistic previously unpublished. Nevermind, though, for as long as His Holiness looks like an 'action man' while perception of the clergy sinks to a new low - that is the main thing, eh? No?

And His Holiness is going to take 'action', is he? How much? What kind? Will he trump the vast number of priests Benedict XVI laicised and at whom he threw the book after following through on his promise to clear the 'filth' from the Church? Will this 'great multitude' of abusing clergy face genuine trial or just a trial by gossip and slander as the Franciscans of the Immaculate have? Much evidence not cited by the Supreme Pontiff - who is starting to come across as something of a 'great pretender' if not a 'pretender to the Throne' - suggests that in the US and in other regions, the pederasty crisis was homosexual in nature, but of homosexual priests who have acted on their inclinations, His Holiness takes a much less judgmental attitude. Homosexual - even active homosexual clergy - have received no public rebuke from this Pope. His Holiness claims some Cardinals and Bishops are paedophiles, so I guess that even your local Bishop will be a little peeved that he himself will be 'under suspcicion'.

Germany 1 - 0 Argentina: "This is the Lord's doing, a marvel in our eyes..."

Losing the heart to blog

It is true I don't have so much time to blog as I once did but I am very depressed. Why pretend otherwise? I'll never back assisted suicide but I do sometimes think that papal pronouncements and the dreaded interviews in particular are designed to kick faithful Catholics where it hurts so often and so hard that we end up backing assisted suicide because we cannot take much more of this because it is all coming from the Pope himself.

It's all very sad that loyal supporters of his predecessor have to grope at a World Cup result as evidence of divine favour resting on the former Pope, its all a bit pathetic really, but I guess that what is beginning to feel like psychological warfare being employed by Pope Francis on the Faithful, we have to clutch at something - anything - a sporting sign that Our Lord Jesus Christ has not abandoned us. It seems like such a small thing but there we go, and all under the eyes of the Divine Redeemer Statue in Rio as well. I wonder if fragments of the Lord are still resting on the Copacabana beach?

Where is the rallying cry against assisted suicide?

Don't be on the wrong side of history
While Pope Francis improves his own image at the expense of Catholic clergy around the World using figures (from seemingly nowhere) that could easily be used to create a 'moral panic' about your local parish priest, in this country, as in others, Governments and parliaments are mulling over whether to give your local GP the right to execute you with your consent. Presumably, under the Mental Capacity Act in the UK, if you lack the critical faculties of 'right judgment' or are in any way incapacitated, either a relative, doctor or 'trained professional' or all three and a judge will - in the event of this becoming law - one day no doubt have the power over whether to end your life or keep you in this increasingly harsh and cruel world. That will be after we've created a society in which to be 'terminally ill' is to be, literally, on 'death row'.

Yet on this matter His Holiness has very little to say. Of course, we can cite His Holiness's condemnation of a 'throwaway culture', of which neglect of the elderly and infirm, which can lead to a 'backdoor euthanasia' is criticised, but we have been told quite clearly that we must not 'obsess' over the rights of the unborn to life, nor to the dismantling of the natural family that is involved in same-sex marriage, so I guess His Holiness's lack of a clear statement against assisted suicide specifically is not terribly surprising. It would be nice to hear a rallying cry from Pope Francis against the scourge of State-assisted suicide sweeping the Western world, but I guess His Holiness has more important things to say and do, like trash the reputations of clergy while making himself look just grand.

Celibacy: A 'Problem'

Oh, that and suggesting that while clerical abuse of children remains a 'problem', that so does celibacy represent a 'problem' for the Church. Celibacy is difficult but surely highly commendable to the one who wishes to live in conformity to his Lord, Jesus Christ, the High Priest. I would have thought that if it was genuinely true that 1 in 50 priests can't stop themselves from raping and molesting children then, yes, indeed, they are obviously finding celibacy to be something of a 'problem'.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's quite the way in which His Holiness - whose every word is apparently 'misrepresented' by the atheist journalist Scalfari only for said journalist to be invited back for 'more frank discussions' - is telling it. I would not be terribly surprised if His Holiness believes celibacy creates paedophiles. Perhaps we're an interview away from that little 'shocker'. It pains me to say it but in the reign of Pope Francis we are now facing the grim reality that thanks to the speed in which his thoughts are communicated across the globe, the most influential enemy of the Catholic Church is perhaps the Bishop of Rome.

A Bishop in the South of England once mused that the Church should fight only those battles it can win. Perhaps His Holiness has taken note of that and come to the conclusion that the only battle the Church can win is the battle to see Her become irrelevant, Her mission to save souls and serve Her Divine Head destroyed. That's the good thing about blogging. I can say something controversial like that and you know I definitely said that, even if its only my private opinion. I don't have a 'fellow Jesuit' at my side to tell you I didn't say that or that I 'may not' have said it. Perhaps His Holiness should take up blogging and let us know what he 'really thinks'. On second thoughts...

A good and holy bishop...

We still have them. May God bless Bishop Philip Egan for promoting a holy hour within his Diocese to ask the Lord - Who we increasingly realise is our only Hope - to assist in the suicide of the assisted suicide bill. Today, while teaching the unemployed PowerPoint, I came in for quite some stick for defending the Church's position on assisted suicide. You would have thought the unemployed would be wise to the assisted suicide agenda but apparently I'm in favour of "torture" for defending the vulnerable from the malice of Government, pathological serial killing doctors, friends and strangers. I can't help but wonder why the Pope is 'obsessing' about the mafia while European doctors are quickly being given the mandate to kill their patients. The mafia are a local problem - bad as it is. Assisted suicide is everybody's problem with great potential for a new Holocaust of those we are told His Holiness is intent on defending. Let us hope history does not record His Holiness as Hitler's Pope.


The other day I heard, in response to a question from a colleague, the retort, 'Does the Pope have a balcony?' I always thought the real phrase was, 'Is the Pope Catholic?' 

Even the world, it seems, is waking up. 

That said, does this Pope even have a balcony, having changed address?

Pray for the Popes and pray for the clergy. It cannot be easy for them when the Pope leads atheists in the media's battle against the Church, its disciplines. laws and even its Teachings. 

May God help and assist them not to lose heart and to keep the faith and may God help us all. It might be late in 'extra time' but Truth will triumph in the end. You can see that sumptuous finish here.

"Go on, my son..."


Peter said...

Absolutely appalled at the this latest statement from Francis. Once again their are many out there who are arguing that this is a misquote or mistranslation. Francis put himself in a situation with a repoerter who has supposedly misquoted him before. As to the comment itself...all I heard today at work was talk about how many priests are actually paedophiles. One the pope says it's one in fifty it affirms that one in fifty is the case. I work for the most part with ordinary working class straight talking people and I can tell you now that this pope has done more to confuse Catholics and non Catholics alike about what the Church is, does, teaches and now what type of men its priests are. The sooner this papacy is over the better, but I have a feeling that we have a good few years to go still. I am quite literally seething with this man.

EuropeanCatholic said...

I have finally given up on this Pontificate.

I have found it exhausting trying to follow Pope Francis since March 2013.

But like many others, I have wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and give him chance after chance.

This latest "interview" or whatever it is or isn't or was or wasn't is the final straw for me.

You also could have mentioned the Pope's reported comments a few days ago to a group of evangelicals:

"I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community".

I would not comment on Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a man, but I do not think he is a good Pope.

I have the writings of Pope Benedict, Saint John Paul II and the Catechism amongst other writings, but I can no longer be bothered with this pontificate.

The Pope is like a bull in a china shop! One wonders what the other Cardinals think.

It has become embarrassing.

Murray said...

I'm making a habit of pointing this error out wherever I see it: The first Scalfari interview was submitted to the Holy Father for review prior to publication, and none of its content has been retracted, corrected, or clarified. We therefore have no substantial reason for continuing to view its content with suspicion, except that it's disheartening to contemplate the prospect of the Supreme Pontiff speaking in such a way.

If the pedophile comments have been reported accurately, the confusion will be immense, on the scale of "who am I to judge?" First, as you allude, the abuse crisis was predominantly ephebophilic and homosexual, in which the priests in question groomed adolescent boys for "consensual" sexual acts. Relatively few abuse cases were pedophilic, involving the abuse of pre-pubescent children.

Second, let's assume for the sake of argument that 2% of priests are in fact pedophiles, in the textbook sense that they experience a "primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children." By itself, this "fact" would tell us nothing: Are these priests leading a chaste life? Do they avoid the near occasion of sin? If so, while it would probably have been better for men with pedophilic attraction to have been identified early on and barred from the priesthood, how would we go about identifying them now, if they're living in accordance with Church teaching?

It appears the Holy Father didn't draw any such distinctions, so it's impossible to know what he meant. Was he talking about homosexual priests who experience attraction to adolescent boys? If this was what he meant, was he talking about confirmed abusers, or just the pool of potential abusers? Or perhaps he meant true pedophiles, chaste or not? I don't suppose we'll ever find out.

The Bones said...

No mgl, I don't suppose we will!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bones,
Your title says it all. Christian Civilisation has been under attack for a long rime but the accelaration of its demise is undeniable since Pope Francis's election as the Supreme Pontiff.

It quite takes your breath away to see what is happening here in Italy on all the subjects (apart from the assisted suicide (still only rumblings about it - but perhaps the next step?) you mentioned.

Don't lose your heart please. You have such a fine Catholic heart - and many talents to express it - that includes this excellent blog - a lovely place - an oasis - to visit for other extremely concerned Catholics to meet and know they are not alone in this time of great trial.

We have been abandoned by our leaders - and the TOP one doesn't seem to give a damn. And that's the hard truth.

Unbeleivable that we have arrived at this - a Pope who publically states he doesn't want to convert anyone to Catholicism. What is this?

The ecumenical prayer meeting in the Vatican was the last straw for me. Frankly I had been concerned from day one of his election ...I have never been able to connect to him the word that has haunted me from the beginning.

However I did try to give him time. I even had a Traditional Latin Mass offered up for him. He is also in my daily prayers - but what he is doing is devastating and soul-destroying...

I fear he probably won't do ANYTHING to stop the madness that has now completely raken over western civilisation...nothing indicates that he will.

Perhaps you just need a break..

We need you - I need to know you won't give up ...Our Lord has been so generous in his gifts to you ---(a little religious blackmail :-))

I would be sad to open my computer one day and find your blog seems that's what the enemies of tradition want - to make it so disheartening for us that we shut up in frustration and sadness..

I will pray more for you dear sir..

Sursum corda, Mr. Bones, and let's continue to lend a hand to each other!


Celia said...

You're probably aware of the John Jay study ( which has some interesting stats tho' only relating to the US e.g. that 4% of priests working 1950-2002 were accused of abuse (not convicted, note), that 68% of them were ordained before 1979 (interesting, no?)and that 81% of victims were male teenagers, i.e. abuse is overwhelmingly homosexual. The report is 10 years old, now, but it's probably still relevant.
2% is a not unreasonable guess, but I suspect a guess is all it is.
Pope Francis is what he is. I've tried making allowances (he's not very bright, not very articulate, struggling to learn how to be pope), but I think as Rorate Coeli has said, he's not a 'dimwit' and whatever his reason for the new interview he knew what the result would be.
Remember: it's not his Church, it's Christ's and one dodgy pope (there, I've said it) can't destroy it. Just depressing to live through!

Lynda said...

We, the Faithful, are suffering terribly. It is as prophesied. Let us never reject the unchanging Faith, in spite of the persecution from without, but worse, from "within". Let us pray for, and support each other, console each other in this time of the Great Apostasy. Know that you're not alone. Know also that your public adherence to the unchanging Faith, and reason - the truth - is helping others to endure. Thank you! I hope we can meet in person some day. Your grateful sister in Christ, Lynda

Lynda said...

Those accusations relation mostly to events from 1960 to 1984. Over half them were founded to be unsubstantiated. Many of the other accused had no due process whatsoever. Only a couple hundred were tried by civil authorities' criminal justice system, and only 64% convicted. Some were wrongly convicted - the most obvious and egregious case, probably that of Fr Gordon MacRae, now twenty years in prison for crimes that never occurred (only reasonable conclusion on the evidence before the Court). See Fr MacRae's website (run by someone else on his behalf) - These Stone Walls. Fr MacRae was betrayed in a most evil way by his diocese. Money was a clear motive in many of the false accusations fueled by dioceses paying out monies to accusers without any investigation of the truth or otherwise of the allegations. Some dioceses had a policy of just offering monies to all, rather than attempt to investigate the deluge of (often vague, copycat) complaints.

Fr John said...

I don't think he said that 2% of priests are child abusers/paedophiles. He said among the 2% of the population who are paedophiles, some are priests / bishops/ cardinals - there's a difference.

"Among the 2% who are paedophiles are priests, bishops and cardinals. Others, more numerous, know but keep quiet. They punish without giving the reason," Pope Francis was quoted as saying.

Православный физик said...

Let the Pope Francis drinking game begin...May his time be short, and another take his office.

John Vasc said...

This is the original interview publication - it leaves little room for doubt.

Pope Francis explicitly asserted that 2% of the Catholic clergy are paedophile. He definitely didn't say or even imply - according to the original text of the Italian article - that he was talking about a 2% proportion of the global population. He didn't refer to the population at all. 'Within the Church' was his frame of reference.
Nor did he say the clergy were 'among' the 2%. He said baldly that the 2% of the Church who are paedophiles *are* the clergy.
This is what he is directly quoted as having said:'"Molti miei collaboratori che lottano con me mi rassicurano con dati attendibili che valutano la pedofilia dentro la Chiesa al livello del due per cento... Il due per cento di pedofili sono sacerdoti e perfino vescovi e cardinali.'

ie 'Many of my collaborators who are struggling alongside me reassure me [sic!] with trustworthy data that assess paedophilia within the Church at the level of 2%...The two per cent pf paedophiles are priests, even bishops and cardinals.'

Even the Godless Washington Post is flabbergasted.
"Did Pope Francis really tell a 90-year-old atheist journalist that 1 in 50 priests are pedophiles — in an unrecorded ‘interview’?"

Tereze said...

If will finally accept that he is an anti-pope, then at least we can prepare for the future, for times when we will have to PROTECT OUR OWN FAITH against our own pope! If we will be only passive, he will stole, everything what we hold DEAR - from us. You can say ONE THING by now... We definitely can not trust this man, who happened to be a "pope"...

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

But remember if Bergoglio says black is white then, for idiots, it most certainly is. This is why whenever he says anything, we must assume believing it is likely to make us useful idiots.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

'We don't see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else,' said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

One of the weapons in Bergoglio's significant arsenal is scandal and he uses it with great deftness against the integrity of the Rock at every turn.

David said...

4 months ago I had an Opus Dei priest become very irate with me when I said I had some real difficulties with what the Pope was saying. The priest claimed that a Catholic is someone who agrees with whatever the (current) Pope says or does and doesn't question that.

I replied that perhaps then I'm not Catholic - and he retorted, "maybe you are not".

I have reduced my perusal of Catholic blogs to once or twice a week. I don't think of myself as a sedevacantist as I do not have the capacity to make a decision about the canonical status of Pope Francis. However, the fact is, I simply don't think of him as a moral or spiritual authority, which is the raison d'etre of the papacy.

Pope Francis spreads confusion and disillusionment among the ever-dwindling faithful. And the world loves him. For me, he may be the Pope but I would never let him teach the faith to my daughter. What does that say?

Unknown said...

Tee hee hee. A Pope Francis drinking game could be loads of fun. Too bad we can't all meet up at some pub!

Seattle K

Nicolas Bellord said...

Fr John: The report in the Italian newspaper La Republicca said: "Il due per cento di pedofili sono sacerdoti e perfino vescovi e cardinali."

There is no "some"! "Sono" means "are".

It is a statement that begs a lot of questions. How on earth does anyone know what percentage of paedophiles are priests - one can only know about those who have been convicted.

Unknown said...

Bonester--God can speak to us through the World Cup. Interestingly,
the winning point was scored by Mario Goetze (Mary--God). And the German team had 3 stars on their uniforms (Trinity) while the Argentine team had only 2. Benedict is not a "former" pope. He took the title Pope Emeritus.

Seattle K

rosaMaria said...

A true pope wouldn't speak as he does. But please don't "lose heart"; if we pray, receive the Sacraments, hold on to our Rosaries, the Holy Scriptures, we are all in this together and Our Mother the Church is under attack, infiltrated and sick, so it's not the time to abandon her!!..

Nicolas Bellord said...

David: The more I read about what Pope Francis is supposed to have said the more I am tempted to ignore everything he is supposed to have said. There are obviously enormous difficulties in translation and many of the reports are third or fourth hand. This latest with Scalfari is highly unreliable. On a previous occasion with Scalfari the Pope was offered the chance to review what he had written prior to publication but he declined. I do not attribute anything sinister to him in all this but I just think it best to ignore it all except when he publishes an encyclical or something that is clearly meant to be infallible on a question of faith and morals.

So far his only long document has been Evangelium Vitae which I started to read and got about half way through. It seemed good but it then got irrelevant to me as it continued on about how priests should organise their sermons. How anyone can be blamed for not agreeing with everything he says when one has not read what he has said or it is uncertain as to what he did say, I do not know.

Your Opus Dei priest is clearly wrong on this. Perhaps he was thinking of his own position and some requirement that a cleric has to obey where a lay person does not.

Just hang on in and stick with reading the spiritual classics: Thomas a Kempis, St Francis de Sales, Benedict XVI etc or just the Bible until the storm blows over.

Mary Kay said...

Joe P and Seattle K, I'd love to join you for a Pope Francis drinking game! We could use the Little Book of Insults to check whether we quoted correctly, and if not: down the hatch.

On a serious note, please don't be discouraged and give up this wonderful blog, Mr. B. Several months back, a beautiful and inspiring blog, which showed the Collect prayer and saint of the day, closed down. The blogger just gave up the fight. It was a very dispiriting loss!

For every commenter here, there are many more non-commenting readers, and we will all suffer if we lose your measured insight. It has got to be difficult to think about these topics daily, but your site is a source of great encouragement to Catholics and also a thorn in the side of the 'establishment'. Thank you for your hard work! I selfishly ask you to please, don't give it up.

Mary K

Dymphna said...

Has anyone considered that he might just be senile? At any rate don't lose heart and don't become a sedevaticant. We have had bad popes before.

Anonymous said...

The Opus Dei priest needs to learn the Faith - the unchanging and unchangeable Faith - which popes can support or undermine.

John Vasc said...

Bones - just to correct a small typo in your OP: the website on which you base your figure says "0.1%" not 0.01%.
0.1% is a tiny enough proportion - one in every thousand of convictions within the population.
As to the 'trustworthy data' the Holy Father says his 'collaborators' have told him of - it sounds like more Chinese whispers, along the lines of the '50% of all [Catholic] marriages not genuine' papal allegation. Personally I shall have a reasonable doubt this 'trustworthy data' (which the Pope implies he has not himself seen) actually exists until it is exhibited and published.

Anonymous said...

Pope Francis is continuing in the same vein as Archbishop Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. Blessed Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle . . .

Jacobi said...


I think I agree with Nicolas. There appears to be so much confusion about what the Pope actually has said. Translation these days appears to be a major problem. We must await a proper teaching document rather than ad hoc, unrehearsed interviews with reporters and camera men on aeroplanes. Evangelii Gaudium was not such a document.

But let’s be clear. The statement that we must agree with everything that the pope says or does is just daft. I can’t think of a more appropriate word.

It is also quite unlike Opus Dei to say that. I have some experience of them and they are normally very orthodox and sensible Catholics.

David said...


My experience of the few Opus Dei priests whom I have met is that they equate orthodoxy with an unquestioning acceptance of the currently reigning Pope's (whoever that may be at the time) words and actions.

TLM333 said...

Opus Dei is quite wrong about that. If I would take the time to look it up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I would quote the reference, but yes, Catholics are to follow the Pope UNLESS he teaches heresy. Then we are obligated NOT to follow him. We have had many bad Popes in the past, but am not sure what to make of this one. It seems that he is out of control and no one can rein him in inside the Vatican. (that said, one has to understand that the Vatican has always had its problems with corruption as well, but...there has to be a percentage of Cardinals that have the true faith that can somehow advise him to have everything checked out before its just put out there willy nilly) Some of his statements are just plain out ludicrous, and the thought has actually crossed my mind that he may be suffering from some sort of mental malady. As people from the US put it: He is just 'off the wall.' Something is really wrong somewhere. No Pontiff in his right mind would say what he is saying. I am wondering what the Cardinals are at this point thinking........I would think something like: "What in the WORLD DID WE DO???" Time will tell in this terrible situation. As others have said....just hang on to the faith, and pray for him and for the Church as a whole. One thing is obvious....Satan has a grip on the Church of Christ.

EuropeanCatholic said...

I do wonder what the Cardinal Electors think of Pope Francis.

The Pontificate of Benedict XVI seems so long ago now.

It is difficult not to think that Pope Francis is out of control.

I also think that this Pontificate is proving to be a disaster for the Church.

I also wonder if the supposed incredible popularity of Pope Francis is not all that credible.

The media often create their own celebrities.

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