Sunday 30 August 2015

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Pray for a Dying Priest

I ask readers to pray tonight for Fr Norman Wrigley of the Archdiocese of Westminster, the holy, kind, gentle, and very much-loved Priest of the Archdiocese who so exuded charity, love for Christ and His Church, and his brethren, as well as a rare sincerity and simplicity of heart and manner that I decided I wanted to become a Catholic more or less immediately.

I have tonight heard that he is dying. May the Lord Jesus strengthen his servant and Our Blessed Lady intercede for him before the Throne of her Divine Son. May he receive the crown of life everlasting.

Pray for him.

Update: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr Norman Wrigley. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Friday 21 August 2015

"That Book Has Done Me a Lot of Good!"

Fr Raymond De Souza asks the question in the Catholic Herald to which all Catholics would like an answer, despite the unfortunate fact that Pope Francis, not a week into his pontificate, delivered the answer when he recommended Cardinal Kasper's book, entitled 'Mercy', to the Faithful gathered in St Peter's Square.

Depending on which side of this debate you fall - whether it be that of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Successors of St Peter until now - or some another side entirely, it has - in terms of the 'Kasper Proposal', been either 'uphill' or 'downhill' since then. With the benefit of hindsight, this was Pope Francis's public, and very early endorsement of Cardinal Kasper and the contents of his book. If I recommended 'Mein Kampf' to you, you might just think I was a Hitler sympathiser or in some way supported Hitler's beliefs if I said, 'That book has done me a lot of good.'

Similarly, if I I told you to read 'The Communist Manifesto' because that book has 'done me a lot of good', you might just think I was, in fact, a communist or some kind of Marxist. You might think these are terrible comparisons but, in both of these cases, if I do not follow this 'recommendation' of toxic books with some kind of caveat by way of saying, '...because I realised just how erroneous and mistaken the author was/is,' then you can pretty much guarantee that I agree with the contents.

For many it is fear and for many it is love that motivates an abundence of Vatican watchers who seem to be in denial as to our reality, to the point that despite the fact that in his first week as Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis recommended the Kasper agenda as reading material for the Faithful, many cling onto the hope that Pope Francis, somehow, does not personally back the Kasper proposal, even though it contains such profoundly poisonous errors concerning the inseperable teachings and disciplines of the Church that such willful ambiguities and glaring errors make it ideal material for the fireplaces of that same Faithful.

The loyal Faithful, that is, those loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His Vicar on Earth, have gathered over half a million signatures to Pope Francis to 'clarify', to make plain His Holiness's position on such matters as divorce, remarriage and the reception of Holy Communion, as well as the other 'thorny' issues to be debated in a spirit of parrhesia at the Synod in October.

As time goes by, and as we approach with not a small degree of trepidation the great 'debate' within the Church in October, are Catholics to pretend to ourselves and, in defiance of the known reality, to others, that the Pope is somehow secretly against the position of Cardinal Kasper and on the side of the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church as well as that of his venerable predecessors, despite no such clarification being forthcoming?

Are we to assume this in good - or rather blind faith - when instead of the clarification sought by the deeply confused Catholics in question, such recent unhelpful and utterly confusing teachings, such as 'the divorced and remarried are not excommunicated' appear to nudge the Church a little further towards an endorsement of the Kasper proposal?

I would have thought that even if the divorced and remarried are not formally, canonically, publicly 'excommunicated', some kind of term such as 'excommunicated' might just be applicable - in some manner - to those who, because of an irregular marital situation that involves the sin of sustained and continuing adultery, can neither receive Absolution, nor receive Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and as such are unable to communicate.

I don't know what a Catholic who wants to be loyal to Christ, loyal to the Church and loyal to the Pope says or does in these current circumstances, other than to pray that the crisis within the Church is well and truly ended as soon as is humanly and, moreover, divinely possible for He for Whom nothing is impossible. What I don't think Catholics loyal to the Christ, His Church and His Vicar on Earth can do is to pretend its all (a) okay, no problem here and (b) going to be okay. To say this would not be in keeping with the thought of the once Cardinal Ratzinger who had the following to say on a difficult but glorious future for the Church:

'From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity.'

To loyal Catholics, Pope Francis has, consistently behaved like a fiance who can't quite bring himself to tell his bride to be that he doesn't love her, doesn't like her, never really did, but keeps dropping huge hints every week that he has no intention of marrying her whatsoever. Pray for His Holiness, but accept it. He's just not into you and your beliefs. He's into something else entirely. That doesn't mean we stop praying for him or loving him as Our Lord has taught us.

Of course, if Pope Francis caps off a glorious Synod by donning the Tiara and publicly excommunicating all those who argued against the Infallible Teaching of Christ and His Bride, the Church, I apologise profusely in advance and take most of it all back, but I cannot be blamed for thinking - nor for being honest and saying - that in a little over two years, Pope Francis has, with a little help from his friends, taken the Church to the precipice and looks not a little bit afraid of the craggy rocks and rushing waters below. Given his public statements and his refusal to unendorse Cardinal Kasper and his proposal, we should by now be no longer at all surprised if he takes the Church over the edge. Unless something completely unexpected occurs, we can be forgiven for thinking quite sensibly that not clarifying, nor ceasing to promote Cardinal Kasper's agenda within the Church is, in fact, a clarification. It's just not the clarification you were looking for.

According to recent reports, we can be sure, 100% certain in fact, that eleven Cardinals definitely oppose Cardinal Kasper and have, in defence of the Truth, written a book detailing exactly why they have written against his proposal. You are worried. They are equally worried but not, it seems, His Holiness. According to exactly zero news reports can we ascertain that the Pope, the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of St Peter and Guardian of the Deposit of Faith shares their concerns. That is how serious this crisis is.

Our survey found that out of 219 Cardinals in all the world, only one believed that Pope St Pius X would recommd Kapsper's book entitled, 'Mercy'. The name of that Cardinal was Cardinal Wal...Oh, sorry, that information is confidential!

A demoralised clergy, laity and more than a handful of Bishops and Cardinals still hope - against all the evidence - that the Pope is going to protect the Deposit of Faith and teach that saving Faith at the Synod when for two years he has not done so through public statements, interviews, appointments, and by organising and overseeing this farcical Synod showdown in the first place, a showdown that weakens the Pope's most loyal natural supporters and strengthens those who seek the end of the Catholic Church as founded by Christ. For if Cardinal Kasper and his friends get their way, the Church will not be One, but many national Churches, it will not be Holy, but will endorse sacrilege and all that is unholy, nor will it be Catholic.

Will it, in the prospect of such a radical reversal of the Church's understanding of Herself, in such circumstances, be Apostolic? Would it not rather be anti-Apostolic? We have to accept that, somehow, since the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI, the Good News of Jesus Christ has become bad news and the bad news of Cardinal Walter Kasper has become good news. What that means for Catholics who cling to Jesus Christ and His Teachings in the midst of this madness I have no idea, but it is now far more unthinkable that Pope Francis will publicly and forcefully reject Cardinal Kasper's proposal than it is that he will, in some manner, legislate it into the life of the Church. The last two years have shown us that if - and it remains a big 'if' - Pope Francis throws the Kasper doctrine into the blazing fire at the end of the Synod it will be in spite of, not because of, Pope Francis's best efforts.

What Pope St Pius X makes of the present crisis in the Church, only God, Pope St Pius X and the entire Court of Heaven know. Pope St Pius X, ora pro nobis!

Thursday 20 August 2015

Notes on the Shadow Synod Part II

Nicholas Bellord's latest piece detailing the events and speakers at the recent Shadow Synod is enlightening. His latest piece for the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma can be read here.

Happy Feast of St Pius X for tomorrow!

Ora pro nobis!

Saturday 15 August 2015

Swimming, Against the Tide

Swimming, Against the Tide

You feel unnerved
And you can’t sleep at night
Is it something else you read online?
You’d put your trust in the Prince and now
Your sole refuge is with the Most High
Once you would swim with such confidence
With no need to grow weary and tired
Full of worry now!
‘When will this darkness end?’
‘When will the day be bright?’
‘When will we see light?’

Many waters cannot quench love
As sings the Bridegroom to the Bride
Many waters cannot quench love
But now you start to realise
Many waters cannot quench love

When every day brings another blow
And your hopes don’t materialise
Between the lines of a release from Rome
One, long recycled tissue of lies
As Mother Church praises ‘Mother Earth’
When Our Mother in Heaven resides!
O full of sorrow now!
And you take a breath
And you just roll your eyes
Turn them to the skies

Many waters cannot quench love
But now your Love is being denied!
Many waters cannot quench love
While their plans are finalised
Wherever that Sea dreams to send us

You are swimming, we are swimming, we are swimming, you are swimming against the tide
Because we’re swimming, we are swimming
You are swimming,
Where the Tiber meets the Rhine

(Let all Israel sing)
For when men rose up against us
They might have skinned us all alive,
The foaming waters couldn’t end us
They think they’re winning,
they think they’re winning, they think their winning,
But it’s the King who will decide!

They think sinning, they think that sinning,
they think that sinning
is just a another way of life!
We know that,
Many waters cannot quench love
So when Deep calls to the deep, calls you to rise
Star of the Sea, hear and defend us,
From the City, from the City, from the City,
Crowned at thy Divine Son’s side
In thy pity, in thy pity, in thy pity
Gird thyself upon thy thigh,
(O mighty one)
In thy comeliness and beauty,
Shed the brightness of thy rays
Thou hast loved justice, evil hated
Proceed prosperously and reign!
Because of justice, truth and meekness

Free thy city, free thy city, free thy city, free thy city, make thy city yours again!
Let thy city, let thy city, let thy city, occupied
Become your most loyal domain!

(O mighty one)
Many waters cannot quench love
To every Prince, be the splendour of our race
In honour of your glorious Assumption

Monday 10 August 2015

Happy Feast

Happy Feast, everyone, and don't forget to put the 'World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation' into your calendars. It all gives a different perspective to Pope Pius IX's rallying cry, “Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world.” It also makes me think that Rome has perhaps reached a new understanding with the powerful of this World about just what constitute grave sins against nature.

St Laurence is still praying for the Church of Rome, let us rejoice in that today. May his prayers aid the Pope and the Bishops to proclaim that Faith that saves, that Life which is eternal, that joy that cannot be robbed from man, that truth which sets us free: Jesus Christ.

Laurence's witness to Jesus Christ is still relevant, particularly today, because he shows us, like so many martyrs, that there is no 'easy road' to heavenly glory. His witness puts paid to the idea that mortal men are incapable of doing, with God, that which is impossible by nature.

The martyrs don't, it seems, suffer from 'Kasperism' however. If Our Lord Jesus Christ is and was pure and chaste, with His help, I can be pure and chaste. If the Lord Jesus loves with a love that is Divine, I can love with a love that is divine. If Our Lord Jesus Christ is and was merciful, with Him, I can be merciful. If the Lord Jesus Christ can face anguish, torture and humiliation and cruelty, I can suffer it too, but more, it is a joy to suffer it, for Him. Faith in Jesus Christ means we can become like Jesus Christ, think like Jesus Christ, live like Jesus Christ, love like Jesus Christ and die, if we are so privileged to be so persecuted, like Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, because He is Lord, makes all this possible to me and to all who believe in Him. It is only I who can stand in the way. Jesus Christ can enable me, if I beg Him to, to imitate Him and be united to Him in this life and for all eternity because Jesus Christ is Lord.

This is what the Catholic Church believes. We are called to become by adoption what Christ is by nature. We have a living relationship with God in His Church. We do not proclaim a dead Faith about a dead God but the the Living One. We are called to be like Jesus Christ, to become adopted sons and daughters of the Father Almighty. Of course, if you don't believe Jesus is truly Lord, the Eternal Word made flesh, none of that is remotely possible, not in a million years. I don't know how long it took St Laurence to die having been placed upon his grill, but he can certainly speak to us today about patience in suffering, holy perseverance, forgiveness of our enemies and the love which conquers all.

If One Peter Five's very interesting post on Bishop Athanasius Schneider's latest interview is anything to go by, we are going to need all the holy patience and perseverance, and Laurentian bravery, in this most harrowing and arduous of times, that, by God's grace, we can obtain.

St Laurence, pray for us! Pray for the Church of Rome!

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...