Thursday 28 April 2016

Sympathy for Ken

'You're suspended!'

I've really no great admiration for Ken Livingstone but suddenly I do have a little sympathy for him. Before British entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar or anyone else lining up in the politically correct and outraged queue formed in a sudden media storm condemns the Labour politician for 'antisemitism', he and they may want to examine at least some historical research and evidence from the Shoah Resource Centre, that is The International School for Holocaust Studies, which, in its paper on 'The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement' asserts in its introduction:

In the summer of 1933, the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the German Zionist Federation, and the German Economics Ministry drafted a plan meant to allow German Jews emigrating to Palestine to retain some of the value of their property in Germany by purchasing German goods for the Yishuv, which would redeem them in Palestine local currency. This scheme, known as the Transfer Agreement or Ha’avarah, met the needs of all interested parties: German Jews, the German economy, and the Mandatory Government and the Yishuv in Palestine. The Transfer Agreement has been the subject of ramified research literature.

Many Jews were critical of the Agreement from the very outset. The negotiations between the Zionist movement and official representatives of Nazi Germany evoked much wrath. In retrospect, and in view of what we know about the annihilation of European Jewry, these relations between the Zionist movement and Nazi Germany seem especially problematic. Even then, however, the negotiations and the agreement they spawnedwere profoundly controversial in broad Jewish circles. For this reason, until 1935 the Jewish Agency masked its role in the Agreement and attempted to pass it off as an economic agreement between private parties.

And which concludes...

The Jewish boycott against Nazi Germany waned over the years and slipped off the public agenda as Nazi Germany consolidated its economic and international status. The German-Polish non-aggression treaty vitiated anti-German initiatives in Poland, and in the economic treaty between the two countries in November 1935, Germany obtained a Polish commitment to take action against the anti-German boycott committees in Poland.

The Transfer Agreement remained in effect throughout these years, although difficulties in implementing it emerged. The root of these difficulties was the inability of the fledgling economy of Palestine to absorb Jewish capital in the form of goods. Consequently, an attempt was made to expand the sphere of trade from Palestine to the entire Middle East. This gambit ran up against many obstacles, including the anti-Jewish boycott in the relevant countries. Despite efforts to expand the scale of the boycott, many German Jews did not succeed in making use of the capital that they had freed under the Transfer Agreement. An accord similar to the Transfer Agreement, known as the Clearing Agreement, was worked out between the Jewish Agency and the Polish Government in the second half of 1936 and signed in March 1937.

Its purpose was to enable Jewish emigrants from Poland to transfer their assets to Palestine despite Polish currency laws by purchasing Polish goods. Unlike the Transfer Agreement, the “clearing” was supposed to be reciprocal, i.e., to create the possibility of transfers of capital and goods from Poland to Palestine and vice versa. The path to this agreement was complicated, because the Jewish Agency had to protect itself against Polish demands to dictate policy, through the agreement, in the distribution of immigration certificates. Additional difficulties stemmed from internal struggles on the Jewish side. The Revisionists, after having formed a broad front in opposition to the Transfer Agreement when it was being drafted, evinced great interest in the Clearing Agreement and attempted to conclude separate arrangements that would circumvent the Jewish Agency, from which they had seceded by this time. The Clearing Agreement began to coalesce as the condition of Polish Jewry deteriorated and debates on “evacuation” became more frequent. Gruenbaum led the negotiations on behalf of the Jewish Agency, thereby implementing his gloomy prophecy concerning “flight and organized exodus.” These subsequent developments in Poland thus proved the sorrowful impotence of the boycott movement in contrast to the practicality of Zionist formula. 

Translated by Naftali Greenwood
Source: Yad Vashem Studies
Vol. XXVI, Jerusalem 1998, pp 129-172
The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement:
A Jewish Dilemma on the Eve of the Holocaust
Yf’aat Weiss 

Thoroughly interesting and moving, thought-provoking and now clearly...


Is the Holocaust Remembrance Center an 'apologist for Hitler' as well Ken Livingstone then?

Is this Jewish Historian, Edwin Black, who wrote a book entitled 'The Transfer Agreement' also wrote a book entitled 'IBM and the Holocaust' on that prominent company's role in the genocide of Jews, also an 'apologist for Hitler'?

Or is the historical truth just 'antisemitic' and offensive?

The idea that 'Hitler founded Israel' is plain wrong. The idea that - for reasons quite different to the Zionist movement - he tried to establish a homeland for the Jews in  the place then known as Palestine is the subject of much historical enquiry, from which some incontrovertible facts have emerged. 

I'll let the 'antisemitic' Jewish historian fill you in.

Saturday 23 April 2016

On Michael Voris and His Mother

May I too add my voice to the many who are standing in support of the heroic Michael Voris, who was brought back to the Holy Faith from a ruinous path, through the holy prayer and example of his heroic Catholic mother. May I join with those who are praying for him and for his often excellent apostolate, with those who are doing so in Heaven and those who are doing so on Earth.

Through the intercession of the Most Blessed and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of St Augustine of Hippo, St Monica, St Michael and St George, whose love for Christ and His Church you strive valiantly to emulate, may God grant you renewed strength and peace in your current trials and bring to shame and repentance those who by their envy and malice seek the destruction of your work for Our Lord and God.

As a viewer and a more loyal and dedicated one than I was a week ago, thank you for the work you do for the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May our God love you, protect you, guide you and defend you. Whatever you do, don't give up, take a breather if you need to recover your strength, but keep fighting the good fight, dear brother in Christ, until the end. May Our Lord Jesus Christ grant you victory over your enemies on Earth and the crown of life everlasting as your eternal reward!

Now that the Catholic world knows 'the real Michael Voris', may the Catholic world acknowledge that the 'real Michael Voris' appears to us more beautiful and resplendent in grace and glory today than he appeared to us before the Catholic world knew of his humble and brave confession of his past crimes, for in this revelation we see more brilliantly and more splendidly the grace and glory and the great power and the great mercy of our glorious and risen Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ. So, too, do we glimpse the wonderful work of his Saints, those who tirelessly intercede for us poor sinners, those in Heaven and those do such while living in exile on Earth.

With biographies such as his, in our scandalous times when so many tread the path of crime and fly into sexual promiscuity and the many snares of the evil one, may the wonderful conversion of Michael Voris serve to win many souls to the love of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church! It's only my opinion, but if there was any justice in this World - and were there more justice within the Church - you would be brought in and commended on your work for Christ by the Pope himself for your apostolate, for it is a marvel in our eyes!

Warrior for Christ and His Church

Michael Voris, lift up your head and be radiant, let your face not be abashed, for the Lord our God has redeemed you! May the good Lord give you grace to persevere in His truth and in His love, to the end!

Readers may have noticed that this blog's design has become predominantly 'pinker' than before.

 Well, let me tell you, it's not 'pink', its 'rose' and I am a Catholic man.

I am comfortable in my colour scheme!


Monday 18 April 2016

The Spirit of Amoris Laetitia and the Denial of God

In attempting to distill in one central armchair criticism, my main concern with Amoris Laetitia is not simply the notorious footnote that has become a black mark on the papacy, nor just the manipulation of important Catholic teaching by the employment of subtle changes in language used. The worst thing about the document is its spirit. The spirit of the document - the spirit in which it is written - is most telling of all, because its spirit will poison even those points in it which are Catholic and are easily reconcilable with the Catechism. This spirit, sadly, can be traced right through this pontificate like a stick of Brighton rock.

It is a cruel document. Cruel upon man and cruel upon woman. Cruel upon priests, cruel upon spiritual directors. Cruel upon husbands, cruel upon wives. It is a document of abhorrent cruelty. In terms of 'pastoral guidance' for the clergy who are faced with the man and the woman in a second (therefore, adulterous) union after a first marriage or for those in irregular situations of cohabitation or in same-sex relationships it is a disaster. It is a disaster not only because there is, quite incredibly, for a matter so sensitive, no guidance whatsoever, nor only because it presents to the impenitent a tempting 'conscience clause', but it falls into that now bulging papal category of 'teaching opportunity missed' which, however controversial they are, I always feel is a label that can be attached to all four (so far) Pope 'intentions' videos.

The reason I suggest this document is chillingly cruel is because it suggests to the sinner that there is no hope for him and for her. It is not chilling merely because it expects so little of man, for in many ways, much is expected, but because - and here is the spirit of Amoris Laetitia - it expects nothing of God. God is not expected to act. It hopes for nothing from God. It is, in fact, taken in its totality, a denial of God. It is almost as if God does not exist and that if He does exist, He is cruelly distant from man, from woman, aloof, wishing to have little to do with him, with her, when the very opposite is the case. It fails to convey God's closeness to man, the incredible intimacy that God seeks in His relationship with man.

What refuge a man can find in the Sacred Heart of Jesus! What help! What consolation, but what healing and aid! What manner of Divine Help, what sublime graces, the Most loveable Heart of Jesus wishes to pour into the souls of men. With what tenderness and love does Mary look upon her children. How much she yearns to gather her children into the furnace of the Heart of her Son! What graces come through her hands! Yet, Amoris Laetitia expects nothing from either Jesus or Mary. Expects nothing from the Saints! What strength and fortification can a man find in the Most Blessed Sacrament and in the Sacrament of Penance! Yet this document seems very much to envision a Church thoroughly pre-Pentecost.

The 'listening Church', having listened to the 'sad stories' and real tragedies of men and women who have given up on Faith in the Triune God, has listened so intently and so adamantly that the Church has forgotten that God is perfectly able and willing to help every sinner in every situation to escape the clutches of evil, to reject its false glamour and to serve the Lord with joy, even in suffering and in sacrifice of those things that charm him the most. Nothing is impossible for God. No situation can overcome God's grace if we wish to receive God's mercy - and His grace!

It is not just presumption that riddles the most controversial passages of this document, Present, also, is that other great sin against the Holy Spirit, the sin of Judas Iscariot in his end, the sin of despair! The Church portrayed by this document presumes God's mercy and despairs of His help! There is no help for the man and the woman caught up in the enemies' snares! There is only us and our sin. There is only us and our wretchedness, or worse, a concession to our difficult entanglements that denies that our situation is an unhappy one, but God's help has disappeared. We cannot - no not even with God's help - change! Divine aid has ceased! Heaven is shut up! In such a portrayal, yes, I suppose Henry VIII had little choice. He was only human! We can't expect anything from God - or man in co-operation with God or obedience in Faith to God. We are helpless! In that case, poor, poor Judas, indeed!

The devotional life and the age of Divine Love in the Church has, in the authors' minds, ended! It is, ultimately, a faithless vision. In this vision, we are orphans, strangers to God, enemies clothed in the garments of friendship with God, but incapable of being His friends. Look for the Heart of Jesus in this document and you won't find it. Look for the Heart of Mary in this document. You won't find it. Instead of Peter turning to the Lord to exclaim, 'Lord, to whom can we turn, You have the message of eternal life' you could be forgiven for thinking that this life - with its sadnesses, tragedies, follies and joys, is all there is and St Peter's Successor is now saying it. It is, unbelievably, as it was released in Eastertide, as if the Resurrection of Christ our Lord, never happened at all. It is as if the steering wheel of the Church has been wrestled from the hands of the devoted and believing and is now in the hands of cleverly disguised atheists.

Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God did not come, suffer, die and rise again to grant concessions to our weakness and sinfulness but to strengthen the weak, heal the sick, raise the dead to life, to endow sonship and daughtership on those far from God, to crown us, to make us holy, to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him. Amoris Laetitia, written as it is, by 'many hands' gives the impression that it is written by men who do not simply doubt God's promises, but even His existence and as St Paul says, its words, if Christ is not risen, are in vain. But Christ is risen, He has risen as He said and the power of the Resurrection fills all of creation and renews it.

We can be renewed. Jesus wants to make men into the New Man, women into the New Woman. We can do nothing without Jesus, but with Jesus we can do things we know we cannot do by ourselves. We can be holy, we can be made holy, we can love, we can love God in return. We were made for nothing less. The great sadness of this document - worse than any footnote - is that it fails, lamentably, to communicate our glorious, hope-filled, life-changing, earth-shatteringly, mind-blowingly incredible Faith! The Gospels make it very clear that Jesus Christ changes everything. The question that remains is do the authors of Amoris Laetitia believe that, or have they abandoned not just the flock, but the Faith as well! Jesus Christ has asked us to follow Him, not to follow the World. He would not ask us to follow Him, along the straight and narrow path, if, with Him, it were impossible, or were it not for His Eternal Glory, and both for our temporal and our Eternal good. The spirit of Amoris Laetitia suggests that the straight and the narrow way is a way that only an evil God - if 'the God of the Catholics' exists - would ask us to choose. The spirit of Amoris Laetitia is the denial of God, our Supreme, our only Good. It lays out before the reader a horizon without Eternity, a future without hope, a city of man and leaves the reader with the distinct impression that Baptism makes no difference, the Eucharist makes no difference, Confession makes no difference and that there is no point, no good reason at all in being or in becoming a Catholic!

"Heroism is not for the average Christian." ~ Cardinal Walter Kasper

Thursday 14 April 2016

Celebrate Reformation Day in a Catholic Spirit

Entrance wounds and exit wounds: Reformation tin cans are being sold in preparation for the celebrations of 2017
As various senior Churchmen call upon the Catholic Faithful to prepare to 'celebrate' the 500th anniversary Reformation of 1517, when Martin Luther penned his 95 Theses and nailed it to a Church door, one small team of Catholic entrepeneurs based in New Jersey, USA are selling a range of empty beer cans carrying images of those famous faces of the Reformation for the shooting practise of Catholics worldwide.

Much like the widely anticipated but schizophrenically, schismatically divisive 'Amoris Laetitia' is set to do, Luther's work set a carving knife to Christendom. And while the Pope's new Exhortation hasn't been nailed to a Church door yet, rather like the tin cans peppered with holes from air rifle pellets above, Amoris Laetitia is said to be more metaphorically riddled with holes than a block of Swiss cheese and its rumoured that if criticism of the document continues at its current frequency, the Exhortation could itself become ideal target practise in Catholic homes, gardens and apartment balconies soon. Let's hope collatoral damage is kept to a minimum.

To be greeted with exclamations of "Viva Christo Rey!"

The two Catholics came up with the idea while enjoying some target practise at their friend's ranch, after calls for celebrations of the most destructive event to have occurred in Christianity since the Great Schism began coming from senior bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church.

"We realised," says co-founder, Des Troy Hairazee, "that a shooting game for the Reformation would serve to mark the Reformation in a suitably Catholic way. We can't quite bring ourselves to celebrate the 500th anniversary with balloons and street parties and ticker-tape, unless we're going to have fun, retain our Catholic identity and make a clear distinction about the nature of our celebration. What is the nature of our celebration? Why, because these events led to the glorious counter-Reformation, of course!"

"The Reformation tin can shooting game's strength is that it can be literally played anywhere..."
"At first," says Des Troy, "we started off with King Henry VIII, the adulterous and murderous English King who put away his decent, virtuous Catholic wife and married his less principled Protestant fluesy Anne Boleyn. Unfortunately for him, the Catholic Pope of the time  - I say 'Catholic Pope' because just recently, we've realised that maybe Pope's don't have to be Catholic to be Popes -  was unable to distinguish between the need for discernment and pastoral accompaniment in an irrregular situation and the evil actions of a notorious and unrepentant public sinner who got himself excommunicated from the Church."

Hairazee continues, "After that, we started developing ideas of tin cans for other favourite Reformation characters, like Archbishop Cranmer and 'Mister Big' himself, the infamous German apostate and Bible-slicing heretic, Martin Luther. Ultimately, we don't want to upset the Waldensians - we know Pope Francis has apologised to them as well recently - but they didn't accept the apology and - after a period of self-examination, our conscience is okay with the idea of 'Where's Waldo?' tin can shooting game - a crack squad of elite cans that can be situated in discreet, hidden locations, and the family can then have fun finding Peter Waldo - and blowing his tin brains out. It really is fun for all the family.

A lay Catholic takes a break from playing the Reformation shooting game

"Naturally, at this time of confusion and while Catholics are led into serious error by the likes of Archbishop Blaise Cupich and others, we were considering a range of Cardinal Kasper cans, but we're putting that idea on ice for the moment. It would be inappropriate. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that the blue touch paper may have been lit on another grotesquely schismatic event within the Church on a hitherto unseen scale so we may in future bring out a new range including some of our own modern malefactors prayed for in the Canon of every Mass. We're hoping the events of the past couple of weeks will just be a footnote in Catholic history. We're naturally hoping things don't escalate quickly out of control..."

There's always one: A Nevada-based army chaplain gets 'carried away' amid the Reformation preparations...

The range of Reformation tin cans can be bought for just £4.99/$6/9Euro each and are available at the website

"Did I get him?":  Polish army employs a tactical nuclear warhead during some atomically exciting Reformation tin can target practise. The team were said to be 'zealous for the defense of the teaching of Familiaris Consortio.'

Wednesday 13 April 2016

St John the Pastoral

A Wise and Prudent Father

On social media and even some blogs, there are some quite wild and fantastical things being said of Cardinal Raymond Burke's 'intervention' including talk of 'betrayal'. What madness. Nobody's asked me for my thoughts, so I thought I'd give them to you anyway...

Precisely because faithful Catholics - especially in the blogosphere, yep, me too -are engaged in the painful realisation that their worst fears have largely been confirmed by the tone and noted passages within Amoris Laetitia, and because we are either involved in or are witnessing something akin to a mass public meltdown, it is probably a very good thing that Cardinal Burke has stepped forward with a calm and measured response to the document. Indeed, precisely because unfaithful Catholics - especially in the blogosphere - are engaged in the jubilant realisation that their dreams are made true by this document, is it important that Cardinal Burke has said what he has said. He has said, 'You are still living in dreamland.'

We can easily get into a frame of mind in which because we are angry at the injustice that we have seen, that we are entirely justified, in every sense, in how we respond to that wrong. Cardinal Burke's approach to the document is distinctly different to the lay, angry Catholic blogger. He is being criticised, may I suggest, because his response is humble, measured, deferential, meek, legal, proportioned, Christian and, for a man in his particular rank, very prudent. He is not pouring petrol onto the fire. He is pouring water.

Nowhere in the article he has penned for the National Catholic Register can it be inferred, that Cardinal Burke believes Amoris Laetitia to have added anything of great value or weight to the Church's proclamation of the Gospel. It can almost certainly be inferred that it adds nothing to the Church's teachings. Cardinal Burke is looking at Amoris Laetitia from a legal perspective. He is, after all, the former Apostolic Signatura. He knows his canon law. His assessment is that the Pope's exhortation is, as a leading Prelate, important and worthy of note. His assessment is that, 'There is nothing to see here.' Cardinal Burke is saying that, in terms of the Church's teachings and in terms of the Church's pastoral practise, Amoris Laetitia is 260 pages of irrelevant.

For full post click here.

Monday 11 April 2016

The Ambiguity of the Amoris Laetitia Reveals Far More than it Conceals

'Pray for me, that I may not flee, for fear of the wolves.' ~ Pope Benedict XVI, 24 April 2005

Can it possibly be accidental? It seems incredibly unlikely. The ambiguity, the obfuscation, the confusing selection of language served up in Amoris Laetitia is deliberate, planned and carefully constructed. Great thought has gone into it. The deceit is hidden in its employment of intricate language rather than honestly stating what is intended. How can its openness to interpretation be anything other than wilful? This, rather than making the inconsistencies and errors within it more tolerable, makes the authors more blameworthy than excusable, since such effort has been expended on deceiving the Faithful that it is orthodox, when it is anything but.

This is made even more sinister by the fact that this has been the intended outcome of the document despite Bishops voting out those aspects which were poisonous - and yet they were ignored. They might have thought that being invited to the Synod would entail their views being taken into consideration when they were instead arrogantly ignored.

Wolves at play
More sinister and - given its far-reaching audience - criminal is it yet, because this has been the intended outcome for three years, if not more. Their presence at the Synod, then, was to lend legitimacy to the deception, orchestrated, as it was, from the very summit of the Church. Rather than synodality being respected and strengthened, power over the issues at stake and decision-making has been abrogated to a central source with Politburo-esque efficiency. The sheer dishonesty involved in the Synod on the Family, of which Amoris Laetitia is the rotten fruit, is astounding. Now, the mask has finally been removed.

But it is more than astounding. It is chilling because cleverly disguising your true intentions through deceptive means isn't just what politicians do, it is what liars do, what thieves do, what con-men do. It is, in fact, what the Devil himself does. Jesus called him a liar and a murderer, a murder from the beginning. He is not, in fact, a murderer of men's bodies. He is a murderer of men's souls.

The Church is an infallible guide to faith and morals and one of the Successor of St Peter's roles is to speak and teach in such a way that clarity is given to the Faithful regarding both faith and morals, so that none may be led astray. This document fails to do that and I cannot see how - whatever else one may say of this exhortation - this can be interpreted as anything else but a dereliction of papal duty to teach, instruct and guide the Faithful in such a way as to lead the flock in the way of life eternal.

Cdl Brandmuller: Amoris Laetitia must be interpreted in light of tradition
Of course, there will be many who say that those who criticise this document are the real wolves, because they damage the unity of the Church. Most who read this document, however, are genuinely in search of the truth of what it really means. It's ambiguity permits both heterodox and orthodox to claim victory. Today - and until clarification is given - this battle over the document will be fought because it is so very important to the life of the Church.

Only the Pope himself can bring clarification to those passages which have caused confusion and scandal. A relatively short document could be produced that would bring this much needed clarification to the attention of the Church's cardinals, bishops, clergy and laity. With a word - not with 260 pages - the Pope could do this. If he does not, Catholics surely can only assume that the ambiguity itself and the continuation of the confusion that exists among the Faithful over it, is serving some kind of intention within the corridors of the Vatican. Such confusion can only serve the Enemy of God and man. It cannot serve the Lord's purposes. The Lord's precepts are crystal clear. It is only what now flows into the Tiber that is murky.

A Post of Unhelpful Pedantry

Just to illustrate that even a number of those florid, beautiful and seemingly innocuous passages within (That's) Amoris (!) Laetitia contain serious misrepresentations of Catholic Truth, see the above quote delivered to us by Word on Fire, Bishop Robert Barron's resourceful channel for evangelisation. This is a teaching document. Because it comes from the hand of the Pope it is, even if presented pastorally meant to be a Catholic teaching document. The more I read of Pope Francis's writings, the more I think he is good at talking about climate, or poverty, or even aspects of economics and social science, but not so adept at teaching about Catholicism.

Firstly, note how the Church's usual language has been seriously co-opted and compromised. The Church rarely, if ever, in Her encyclicals has talked about people 'in love'. 'In love' is the World's language that we Catholics may use periodically from time to time to express a personal state in a relationship. Find me another exhortation that talks about couples being 'in love'. Search through even the teaching of 'Theology of the Body' and I'm pretty sure that St John Paul II will have deliberately omitted such surface level worldly descriptions of authentic human Christian love.

Secondly, note how instead of the customary term, 'spouses' or even (controversial though I know such language nowadays is) terms such as 'husband and wife' we find the vividly secular replacement of 'two people'. We assume that Pope Francis is talking about traditional marriage and about spouses, about a husband and a wife, but because such language is too 'traditional' or even 'exclusive', in an age in of increased 'gender equality', widespread cohabitation and homosexual relationships some could wonder whether the 'two people' need necessarily be one man and one woman. It is left horribly vague in this age of gender and relationship 'fluidity'.

I write this not necessarily to impute some kind of mischief on the part of the author but to point out that talking about love and marriage and family while dispensing with the Church's traditional language and preferring instead the use of the world's 'terms and conditions' has serious consequences and can create even casualties. As Orwell said of war, the first casualty of this approach is truth.

Having married a woman during a nuptial Mass in the Extraordinary Form, though the vast majority of it was in Latin, I recall the vows that I made. I know what was asked of me and what the Church exhorted me to do. We all know what the Church's true exhortation to married couples is a call to lifelong fidelity, constancy, openness to life, exclusivity, giving children a Christian education, etc. I say "etc" loosely, but whatever is entailed in the "etc" I am pretty sure 'helping each other to become more of a man and more of a woman' is pretty low down that list. Marriage vows are like an iceberg, one priest told me, in as much as when approaching it, you don't see the whole thing, but only what's above the surface of a deep ocean. When you get married, you get to see what an iceberg really is and how deep it is. No wonder then, that so many, ill-prepared, find themselves in our superficial modern age so quickly shipwrecked.

But back to 'the mission' of marriage. In fact, I am quite certain that the greatest mission, indeed, the mission of the married couple, is to help each other attain to the perfection of Christian holiness and virtue in this life, aiding each other in Christian charity to reach - by co-operating with the sanctifying grace that Holy Matrimony confers upon the spouses, along with frequent reception of the Eucharist and Confession, the joys of Heaven. Every other blessing within marriage, including the blessing of children and the responsibility of raising them to love and reverence God will count for little if a married couple lead each other through malice, ignorance, infidelity and final impenitence, into the everlasting punishments of Hell. These accomplishment of these excellent duties will flow from a holy life of mutual love and fidelity to Christ. Through obedience to Christ, married couples help each other to save their immortal souls. Pope Francis's quote above is very sentimental, even endearing, but it is not actually true.

Christian Marriage is Holy
Now, it may well be that as part of the bi-product of a good and holy marriage, a couple do indeed become 'more a man' and 'more a woman' (let's assume, for Pete's sake, that this is within the original gender to which the individuals have been, in modern parlance, 'assigned'), yet it is not the mission of marriage and it is certainly not worthy of taking the superlative. There are indeed other aspects to the mission of marriage, such as evangelising through giving witness to the inestimable gift of Christian marriage, the joy and happiness that it brings, in a world beset by many evils that cause harm and despair, even amid trials and the various challenges the demands of marriage set before spouses, especially in our permissive age.

Yes, there are demands that Marriage makes on spouses. Yes, couples do not always faithfully replicate the perfect love manifest in the mystery of Christ's relationship with His Bride, the Church. However, that high standard is what married couples are called to and it would be terrible for anyone to give the impression that to ask for perfection in mutual charity is not possible and attainable when Christ Himself has said, 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect'.

By the time we examine whether platitudes such as 'love is a kind of craftsmanship', we wonder whether we have moved out of Papal exhortation zone and into the world of Pablo Coelho. Love is a commandment of God. Charity is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in a Christian. God is the potter and we are the clay. Christ is at the centre of marriage and in a successful marriage, Christ is enthroned over the spouses and He oversees its success. A successful marriage is nothing but a faithful marriage. Above all, though you would never tell from Amoris Laetitia, marriage is sacred and holy. He who violates marriage, violates the Church which is Christ's Bride!

Marriage, to be sure, chisels away at our selfishness and our pride and forces us to live for another, regularly putting self to one side and turning to God and our spouse. It is also humbling because we are regularly confronted by our own weakness and lack of virtue. God it is who makes Saints out of this glorious and august Sacrament. Spouses, whether they are 'in love' or not, work with Him when they love Him and show their love of Him, in their profound and authentic love of their spouse. That might very well enable a woman to help a man to become more of a man and a man to enable a woman to become more of a woman, but the goal of marriage is much, much higher than simply that.

Too often, in this pontificate, the horizon which Pope Francis points out to us is clipped, missing that element of supernatural life and eternal life, the ultimate gift and goal of the Christian. Married couples - all the baptised - are called to be Saints, nothing more, nothing less, destined for eternal life with the blessed who see God face to face in Heaven. Pope Francis, like all in authority in the Church, is called to point us to Christ, to point us to Heaven. Please God, may he strive to do so. May he begin to point us to Heaven.

Friday 8 April 2016

Synod of Collegiality, Parrhesia and Walking Together Draws to a Close

Because apparently there's no point acquiring extraordinary power if you cannot use it in an extraordinary way.  I guess there's no point gathering a consultative committee of bishops and cardinals to listen to their 'insights' from around the World, if you can't then overrule their voting decisions by the use of the sheer privilege your Office and Authority provides in the 'round up' of that gathering. Because power. Because 'I can'. Let it now be said just what an inordinate, absurd waste of time, money and energy that Synod on the Family, which has spanned two exhausting years, was.

Please, please, please don't anyone dress this multiple car crash up as some hopeful backdoor success for orthodoxy. Your Catechism has been sneakily stolen by a cunning, opportunistic street urchin who already has in his mind a million excuses as to how to defend his actions. Why? Here is just one of the whys. The others are currently being fleshed out by other bloggers and concerned Catholics at all levels of the Holy Church of God...

A document that addresses the reception of Holy Communion which can be interpreted differently in Germany to in Poland, from Diocese to Diocese and eventually parish to parish is an unmitigated triumph for Cardinal Marx and Cardinal Kasper. As far as they are concerned, the Polish Bishops can do whatever they like. It's not their problem. Their problem is overseeing the decline of the German Church and presenting it as a success.

It is a triumph for them as well as for all those other Bishops around the World for whom the issue of Holy Communion for the faithless, for adulterers and for all they cannot bring themselves to call to repentance for lack of spine and for love of money and prestige has caused them such a publicly expressed 'concern' within the Church. Not that they are concerned for souls, naturally. Far from bringing this issue to a close, however, there is every chance that this issue is now going to be the focus of a civil war within the Church, one overseen by the Pope and his Successors because within even countries and nations, unless individual Bishops conferences make a joint declaration, even Dioceses and parishes will, within a matter of time, do 'their own thing' based on 'their own interpretation.' Nobody - not one soul - will be able to say 'Pope said no, so end of'. So let's be clear. This is not a 'Humane Vitae' moment. Not one bit of it.

As made very clear by Voice of the Family - a much needed voice it is too...

Let them have their 'victory lap'. God willing, it won't last terribly long but after all...

And if you didn't see this multi-faceted 'gem' of a tragedy coming, a travesty for the Church's catholicity, its universality, its unity, a travesty for souls, for the salvation of sinners, for vocations to the priesthood, for the clergy, for religious life, for the protection of the Eucharist, for the Sacrament of Matrimony, for canon lawyers, for the proclamation of the Most Holy Faith and more, then today should be for you the wake up call you needed.

This is a war, it is ongoing and a significant public victory has today been won by those who are working to undermine Christ's Church and His Teachings by severing 'doctrine' from 'reality' by talking about reality as if 'reality' is  - as soon as a couple enter a parish Church - a pastoral pseudo-reality, immovably fixed in grace-starved habitual mortal sin. In that fictional ecclesial nureality, repentance and even Jesus Christ Himself is merely an 'idea' that the Church 'proposes'. It is faithless. It is an empty shell. It is not the Faith It is a deceitful replica of the Faith, faithful only to the outward appearance of it, created by those who do not believe in the real, authentic, original thing itself.

Nobody - nobody - is served by denying that what is within the document is indeed in the document, even if the most destructive parts are to be found within 'footnotes'. The document is riddled with confusing and erroneous suppositions and let us not be in any doubt that its authors intend for it to replace that which has come before. Even when Catholic teaching is stated the author is clearly so embarrassed of Jesus Christ that they must nearly reverse the sound teaching in the following assertion as if to please the faithless. There is no need for spin here from the BBC. The door to endorsement from the Pope for Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, for those in unrepentant mortal sin, is there within the document itself. There can be no doubt that the Pope has publicly abandoned - in this document - that which he is called to defend and uphold.

A new era, but not an era of peace
Nevertheless, all is never lost. There is always you and your prayers and your charity and your zeal and your love of the Truth and your willingness to proclaim it. More than this, there is always Jesus Christ, the Lord, the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still Lord of Heaven and Earth. He is still King and He is still the Head of the Church, the Body of which you are if you are Catholic. All Jesus asks us to be is faithful.

He will never lead you astray even if others in authority over you might attempt to do so and do it, outrageously in His name. Cling to Him in this a day of darkness for the Church of Christ. For as surely as night follows day, so a brighter dawn will follow even the darkest of those days. Be patient. Persevere. Pray.

Pray for married couples. They are under enough strain and pressure in these days as they are. Married couples need courage, encouragement, an exhortation to Christian heroism and an endless spring of spiritual nourishment and support in the spiritual desert in which we exist. The last thing married couples needed was an Exhortation to Christlessness because, let nobody be in any doubt, that's - and alas for him who signed it and they who penned it - what they just got.

To be quite frank, if George Soros's Open Society Foundation had literally paid in dollars a bunch of apostate bishops, cardinals and got them to get one of his own friends elected Pope, I sincerely beliee that they could not have done a better job at undermining the Holy Catholic Faith than those who have done so with such enthusiasm today. And finally, if you think I'm being in any way hyperbolic of today's events, you can read for yourself what The Tablet say of this document. Good luck finding the quotes from the 260 page document that contradict their conclusion, if, indeed, such a quote is there. That's another problem you see. There is no robust defence of Catholic doctrine in this florid document, only an apology for it swiftly followed by what looks awfully like a compromise of it.

Perhaps Fr Lombardi would like to elaborate, or are we past that stage now? Just how any Priest will be able from now to refuse those he might deem will be more damaged than healed, more condemned than forgiven by their receiving Holy Communion, without being seen to be entirely arbitrary and partisan, or unmerciful, exposed and with no recourse to the protection of the highest Officeholder in the Church is obviously something the Pope has neglected to consider. What a shocking betrayal of the clergy and of Jesus Christ the document - and the application of this document - is going to entail. For no sooner has a liberal clergyman or bishop read it, or at least its summary, will it be most likely applied. No sooner will one who is not yet in a State of sanctifying Grace, one in mortal sin, hear of this 'general absolution' will he or she seek the Holy One and mistake Him for mere bread, for if they really believed it were He, they would not dare approach the One who replied to Judas and those who sought Him, "I AM."

Pray for the Church, pray for the clergy, pray for the Popes, pray the Bishops and Cardinals and pray for an end to this shameful crisis, a crisis spanning decades that today finds its most notorious fulfilment in an Apostolic Exhortation that exhorts nobody to anything, but tempts and leads many into error, sin and death. There is no debate as to who wins this war. The heel of the Immaculate will make known the triumph of her Heart and Her Son's Holy Cross. All that remains to be seen is whether we will persevere to the end in the truth praying and working for the Salvation of the World, remaining in the truth of Christ to the Glory of the Most Holy Trinity now and forever. And remember, it's still Eastertide. Christ is Victorious, allelulia!

Friday 1 April 2016

Apostolic Exhortation Front Cover Exclusive

'The Joy of Love' is predicted to 'sell out' in minutes.

Not seen since the original 1970s bestseller edition sold out, now to be found only second hand on Ebay, Cardinal Baldisseri has confirmed that the 'teaching couple' from the 'The Joy of Sex' will return to grace the front cover of the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation.

When asked if the famous couple had been divorced, remarried and then divorced and remarried again in order to get back with each other again, or whether they had since 1972 contracted any civil unions with same-sex partners or indeed whether the husband and wife had been co-habiting during their extra-marital affairs, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri refused to comment saying, "The personal history of this famous couple is something to be treated within the internal forum only as they are taken up the private penitential garden path".

Eurovisionary: Cardinal Schonborn proved himself a big stage performer in 2014

Cardinal Schonborn, also called upon by Pope Francis to introduce the Exhortation to the Church and the World said simply...

"A lot of people are wildly speculating about the contents of the Apostolic Exhortation, 'The Joy of Love', due for release on 8th April. Without wishing to sound in any way sensationalist or hysterical, it's certainly set to be sensational and - at times, hysterical, but there is an embargo of strict secrecy on the actual contents. The text of the embargo states that anyone who discusses the contents of the Exhortation in public will have their Vatican flat mercifully investigated for corruption. Therefore, we thought we'd give the readership a scintillating, titilating and, dare I say it, tantalising taster by showing them the front cover - a way, if you like, of getting our readers 'in the mood for love'." 

The cover was apparently the idea of Francis ghostwriter, Bishop Victor Manuel Fernandez of Argentina, famous for his sensational and hysterical book about kissing and the Catholic Faith.I know its too late for an April fool, but I couldn't resist.

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...