Saturday 25 June 2016

Prayer for England

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, Thy Dowry, and upon all of us who greatly hope and trust in Thee. By Thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given Thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us Thy children whom Thou did receive and accept at the foot of the Cross O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren that in the one true fold we may all be united under the chief shepherd of Christ's flock, and that by faith and fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with Thee in our heavenly home. Amen.

Pray for our country, for the new prospective Government, for healing and unity in our land, for the Queen and for the conversion of our land to the Holy Catholic Faith. The brave decision of the country in the EU Referendum will undoubtedly have serious consequences for the people of the United Kingdom and for Europe. Amid the jubilation many are expressing are very sad and angry people who express their disappointment with disdain and contempt for the country and the decision that has been made. And pray for George Soros. I expect he made another fortune yesterday, but having backed and funded very heavily the Remain campaign, all the money in the world won't make up for losing one of the most 'valuable' member states in the crumbling European project. May God bless and heal our land and restore as a precious and gleaming jewel to the Blessed Virgin Mary, her Dowry, England.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Soros: Don't Make Us Hurt You!

The UK newspapers are at their best when they parade their left-wing 'anti-capitalist' credentials by giving away their front page to the opinions of one of the most ruthless and opportunistic market speculators in living memory.

Brexit voters should be aware that there will most likely be some financial backdraft from exiting the EU. It will make a lot of people, very, very angry.

You have to remember that big business, big banks and big financial investors have poured millions, or billions, into the EU project and the UK's incorporation into it.

They don't want too see all that money they spent, all that time they spent, all that energy, all those meetings, all those dinners, all those hours and hours of work going into their empire building dream, to have been a waste of time. Think of all those politicians whose original protestations to the EU were either bought off or dined off, or promoted off.

You have to hand it to The Guardian, though. When they have failed to win an argument about the EU, its ambitions of an 'ever-increasing union', its inherent 'democratic deficit', or even its economic success for the people of Europe, they make one last ditch effort to convince the British by at last telling them the truth - that the argument is futile because their real political masters - to whom even The Guardian bends the knee - reside neither in Brussels, nor in Parliament because their political masters are, in fact, their financial masters, the masters of the stock exchange, who, in a single day, can make a bread-basket out of a nation associated with economic prosperity.

Nobody votes for George Soros. Nobody votes for David Rockefeller. Nobody votes for Lord Rothschild. Nobody votes for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Nobody votes for banks and financial cartels or shadowy megalomaniac tyrants dressed up as 'progressive' philanthropists. Finally, at long last, The Guardian admits that the real Government runs the oil trade, the diamond trade, the gold trade and - in all likelihood - the drugs trade. You defy that Government at your peril. It just so happens that the EU Referendum debate has made it much easier to distinguish between those who are, at least in high ranking positions - the puppets of the financial masters of our age and those who have decided to at least maintain some kind of healthy independence from them. So, it was nice to read yesterday that that bastion of anti-capitalism, The Guardian, gave the arch-capitalist, Hungarian-American business magnate, 1 per-center, billionaire and world renowned 'progressive' philanthropist, George Soros to put the question to the British people: Would you rather be poor and free, or rich and slaves? 

Well done, then, to The Guardian, for finding someone well-versed in political discourse, a major player on the world stage, someone in a prime position to counsel the public on the grave consequences of this vote, someone prepared to tell the truth about this Referendum to the British people and to ask them a question far more profound than the one with which we will be presented when we vote tomorrow. I suppose we should not - given the political leanings of this long-standing newspaper - be terribly surprised that the person to put the question is...not even British. Mr Soros: You'll almost certainly never read this.

You might own our derivatives. 

You might own our assets. 

You might own our stock.

You might own swathes of our land.

You might own our politicians, our press and you might even own our Pope. 

But you don't own...

Our vote!

Monday 20 June 2016

British Values

As part of a government program to curb extremism and radicalisation, entitled PREVENT, these two YouTube videos have been produced by St Annes Primary School in Royton.

These are promoted, interestingly as 'British Values'.

Children are being taught 'British Values' in an effort to stop radicalisation in every school in the United Kingdom.

Whatever you think about that - how effective it will be - or indeed whether you think it the right approach, the British Government must know they are educating children in 'British Values'.

Not 'Christian' values.

Not 'Islamic' values.

Not 'secular' values.

Not 'religious' values.

Not 'Western' values.

Not 'Enlightenment' values.

Not 'European' values.

Whatever one believes of the Government approach to a shared set of common values, looking back, it seems rather jingoistic and even racist and xenophobic to tie the shared values of those who reside in this country to the concept of the nation state. Isn't that the kind of thing that the BNP, if elected, would do?

Thursday 16 June 2016

6/6/16: Evil is Visited upon the United Kingdom

I am not ashamed of this flag, for this is the banner of the Cross

Today, a Labour MP has been slaughtered, in broad daylight, by a knife and gun wielding maniac. Pray for the repose of her soul.

The media are making much of Jo Cox's 'Remain' campaigning. It is true that the Labour MP campaigned for the Government's objective of remaining in the EU.

The media are ignoring Jo Cox's human rights campaigning, in particular against the Israeli 'occupation' of 'the Palestinian territories'.

I believe that the British Press have barely let this passionate politician's body go cold before aligning her senseless murder, in cold blood, with the extreme right wing in Britain and, quite cynically by extension, the Leave campaign.

Regardless of the motivations for this outrageous crime, which has led to the death of a committed and passionate parliamentarian the mainstream media are already dancing over the political implications of what is being framed as a political assassination.

Note to the media: Not all Muslims are terrorists. It is a small minority.

Note to the media: Not all Brexit supporters are neo-Nazis. It is a small minority.

Note to media: Not all left-wingers are Stalinists. Oh, you knew that already!

The British Press have sunk lower than they ever have before but don't expect British politicians to behave much better.

Let there be a full enquiry, police investigation and trial of the apprehended man, his motives and his connections before a verdict is given to the British people concerning the terrible death of Jo Cox.

Presumably, the man arrested is the man who killed this woman.

Let us not presume to know his motives on specious hearsay.

That is not how British justice is meant to work.

I have a feeling that we will, in due course, be told by the British Press - and perhaps even by politicians with far less conviction and political backbone than Jo Cox - either by suggestion or insinuation - to vote 'Remain' in order to reject the violence of Jo Cox's murderer.

When it is presented to you, as it surely will be, if you really want to follow that logic, then do what Jo Cox proposed and boycott Israel.

I won't be boycotting Israel myself, but then I won't be bullied or emotionally manipulated into making a democratic choice that I am still yet to take, but if you want to be consistent with that logic then carry on her legacy fighting for the dignity and human rights of the dispossessed as she did.

May the soul of Jo Cox rest in peace. May her family, friends and colleagues find consolation and peace from God and may God and Our Lady come speedily to the aid of this country and rescue us from the evil that is being visited upon our nation, of which Jo Cox's senseless murder is the latest high profile manifestation.

Pray very much for our country, that Jesus and Mary will once more reign over our land and our hearts as King and Queen.

Monday 13 June 2016

For the Record: Omar Mateen, G4S Armed Security Guard

It is unlikely that either President Obama or the influential Bilderberg Group, who have been meeting this weekend in Dresden, would find this information of great interest, since it is clear from his statement that the terrible shooting in Orlando, Florida will be exploited by Obama, among others, to further a particular agenda for the US in regard to gun laws.

US readers will understand that I personally have an antipathy towards gun ownership as a subject, as it is something that we here in the UK do not have to debate. That decision, for better or worse, was made for us a long time ago and gun culture is alien to most of us English. Despite this, facts must be made known and made widely available when an event such as that which has taken place in Orlando occurs because of the issues it raises with regard to the second amendment in the US.

It is important for the American people that the following information is made widespread. Several news sources are now covering the vital information that Omar Mateen, the man responsible for the killing of at least 50 individuals at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, was a G4S security guard. G4S is the world's largest security company, a British multinational, working with government agencies, including the military and intelligence agencies and corporations, managing security contracts from schools and prisons to nuclear facilities and airports. The following is an official statement by the North American division CEO John Kenning:

“We are deeply shocked by this tragic event. We can confirm that Omar Mateen had been employed by G4S since September 10, 2007. Mateen was off duty at the time of the incident. He was employed at a gated retirement community in South Florida. Mateen underwent company screening and background checks when he was recruited in 2007 and the check revealed nothing of concern. His screening was repeated in 2013 with no findings. We are cooperating fully with all law enforcement authorities including the FBI as they conduct their investigations. In 2013 we learned that Mateen had been questioned by the FBI but that the inquiries were subsequently closed. We were not made aware of any alleged connections between Mateen and terrorist activities and were unaware of any further FBI investigations. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of this unspeakable tragedy and their friends and families.”

Within only the last hour, this statement has been pulled from the G4S North American website and no longer appears at the URL where it was posted originally.

Securing Florida, where their North American headquarters resides, in Jupiter.

Furthermore, though the assignment to which Omar Mateen was posted would seem to be fairly low level, another employee of G4S has confirmed that Mateen was an armed security officer. That's right! His gun licence and his firearm have almost certainly been supplied for him by the world's largest security firm with acknowledged ties to governmental, corporate, military and intelligence agencies and on the day he was carrying and using both an assault rifle and a pistol.

A CNBC news article makes this clear:

"He was an armed security officer," said a spokesman, David Satterfield. G4S said in a statement that Mateen had been employed by the company since Sept. 10, 2007. Satterfield said G4S was trying to ascertain whether any guns used in the attack were related to Mateen's work. "A lot of that is dependent on what law enforcement is releasing," he said.

An FBI spokesman said on Sunday that FBI agents had twice interviewed Mateen in 2013 and 2014 after he made comments to co-workers indicating he supported militant groups, but neither interview led to evidence of criminal activity. Satterfield said G4S was still gathering information on any contacts employees or the firm might have had with the FBI regarding Mateen.

Two consequences of this information become immediately apparent, whatever you think about America and guns and its rights and its wrongs.

Guns don't kill people. Brainwashed/radicalised G4S employees do.

Firstly, gun laws would make no difference in this case because we can safely assume that British multinational security companies with responsibility for guarding everything from gated Florida-based retirement communities to nuclear facilities in Nevada would be exempt from them.

Secondly, it must be asked how it can be that a man who has been 'on the radar' of the intelligence agencies, known to have associated with terrorists and/or Islamic extremists can have been allowed to work for the World's largest security company, in an armed capacity, to be given a gun licence and a firearm and neither the company nor the FBI have any problem with this.

The official (now hastily removed) statement, from G4S makes it known that they had knowledge of the fact that Omar Mateen was indeed questioned by the FBI in 2013. Apparently, the FBI dutifully informed them of this fact. Did the agencies and G4S think it wise to leave this man in place despite the fact he was suspected of sympathies for violence and terror. He was 'screened' by G4S in both 2007 (when he was given a contract) and in 2013 (the very year the FBI questioned him).

In 2013, following 'questioning' by the FBI over a matter the subject of which is not disclosed, the FBI's investigations were, to the public knowledge of G4S 'closed'. We are to believe that the one company with truly intimate ties with intelligence agencies were left ignorant of FBI's continuing concerns with Mateen and were told the investigations were 'closed'? G4S say this is what the FBI told them.

Yet the CNBC article makes it clear that the FBI say that they interviewed him in 2013 and 2014. It clearly states:

 'An FBI spokesman said on Sunday that FBI agents had twice interviewed Mateen in 2013 and 2014 after he made comments to co-workers indicating he supported militant groups, but neither interview led to evidence of criminal activity.'
Smells fishy, no? Why would the FBI not make global partner in intelligence operations, surveillance, crime response unit and armed security force, G4S, 'aware' that Mateen was still being investigated in 2014 and that he has been 'on the radar' of the FBI, under suspicion, presumably, of being, at the very least, a terrorist sympathiser, for the past 3 years?

And in a turn of events that I personally find just a little chilling, it just so happens that one of the major beneficiaries of mass shootings just so happens to be, that's right, security companies.

This article from 2012 for 'Security Info Watch' makes abundantly clear the fact that interest in armed guard services are 'up' following mass shootings in the US.

In that article, G4S's west region vice president, Robert Bobo said:

There’s a perception out there that’s there’s more liability exposure that may or may not be true, but it goes back to the qualifications of the person you’re putting in those armed positions," he said. "Selecting a person that is a military veteran that has three years of experience as a military police officer and taking that person and training them to be a civilian security officer will carry a lot more weight and reduced liability exposure versus taking someone off the street, training them as an armed guard and putting them in that position."
Another reason that a lot companies eventually decide that armed security is not in the cards for them is due to the fact that there’s simply less licensed armed security officers who cost more to hire than their unarmed counterparts.
"An armed security officer, because of the higher standard and higher training involved, typically can be twice as much or more per hour than an unarmed security officer," Flint said.

People are rightly wondering how it is that Mateen was able to shoot so many people in such a short space of time, with such precision and expertise. Well, if he's an armed security guard, he's been very well trained by G4S for such a task and may have had military training beforehand. Bobo adds that getting a job as an armed security guard with the company is difficult - not easy - because screening and vetting is very stringent and training is very intense.

"The requirements vary state-by-state," said Bobo. "Typically, for an armed security officer, state regulations might require that the person be 21-years-old and they would require the person pass a background check investigation. In addition, they would require that person have completed training, and it’s anywhere for armed guards specifically, between 12 hours to 40 hours based on state regulations and that’s in addition to any additional requirements that might be setup for unarmed. So, it really varies across the country.
Bobo said that G4S’ requirements to become an armed guard are much more stringent than that and that just because someone may pass muster for a state armed guard license doesn’t mean they will meet company standards. In addition to having to have prior experience in law enforcement or the military, Bobo said that G4S armed personnel undergo a minimum of 40 hours of training and that in most cases, they far exceed that.
"It’s our responsibility as an organization to ensure that we’re putting the right talent in those positions," Bobo added. "Our guys are getting anywhere from 50 to 160 hours of training based on the particular organization’s requirements and what they need that person to perform."
This training involves everything from the legal aspects of being an armed to security officer, to reporting responsibilities, firearms qualifications and weapons retention. O’Bryan said that armed guards are also trained on the use of force continuum, understanding behavior triggers in people and how to diffuse a situation through verbal commands.'
Managing the security of the Pentagon and GCHQ

Clearly either something in the vetting and screening process either went very wrong - if G4S are innocent parties in this mass murder - or very right, if they are complicit. Either way, public knowledge of Mateen's employment by this truly massive and global surveillance and privately owned, very heavily-armed security firm needs to be broadcast loud and clear. I am yet to see this fact in the British press.

In the ultimate irony in this story, is it really possible that included among the 'law enforcement agencies' who turned up to offer a rapid response unit to the mass shootings at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando was G4S, the same G4S who, until late 2014, managed 'security' operations at...wait for it...Guantanamo Bay. This is the same company that 'secures' the US nuclear facilities in Nevada and the same outfit whose employee had suddenly gone 'rogue'?

Good Heavens. I suppose with the reach and global presence of this mammoth security firm with responsibility for 'securing' everything from schools to government offices, managing the seas, borders and responsibility for 'combatting human trafficking' while maintaining surveillance operations extending throughout vast regions of the world in alliance with their partners, that's quite a dystopia you could build, especially with the same company managing and securing borders, airports and nuclear facilities. Let's hope and pray, for everybody's sake, that they never build it, because you know, if I were an 'ISIS fighter' or sympathiser who wanted to wreak massive destruction on the West, it's pretty clear which company I'd try getting a job with. Just look at the potential training courses...

Or anti-heroes, as the case may be...

It goes without saying that given that G4S manage airport security in Europe and elsewhere, could it not be said that the company is overdue something of a public investigation into their employees potential roles in airplanes that explode in the sky? Or does nobody in Government think that is worthwhile? It is now being alleged by eye-witnesses that the 'off-duty' G4S gunman at the centre of this horrendous tragedy did not act alone. Helpers or colleagues, I wonder?

May the victims of this attack rest in peace and their families find consolation from the Lord.

May God come to the aid of the United States of America.

G4S nuclear security guards. What could possibly go wrong?

May God help and have mercy on us all.

Saturday 11 June 2016

A New Novel by Marie Ann Dean


Paperback, Ebook
The Jeweler's Polish by Marie Ann Dean
For libraries, academic institutions and volume orders, please contact us directly.

By ​Marie Ann Dean

The Jeweler's Polish is a Catholic historical fiction novel set primarily in the small Mediterranean island of Malta at the time of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John. Containing a near-gothic narrative that includes knightly orders, Masons, Illuminati, conspiracies, curses, mysterious jewels, apparitions of spirits, poisoners, gender dysphoria, the evil eye, and incest, The Jeweler’s Polish presents to readers the 21st century young Englishwoman, Emerald Rohan Grady, and her ancestral namesake, the Lady Emerald Esther Maria de Rohan, niece of the kindly but corrupt Grandmaster Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc. But who, in reality, was Lady Emerald? Who was Lucas de Pinto? What made Captain Azzopardi meet his men in secret, at nighttime, in the historical city of Valletta? Who betrayed the kingdom of God and worked for the kingdom of Man? Why did Lady Emerald have to meet Pope Pius VI in Rome? How were the Jesuits and the Masons involved? Above all, who was the Repentant?

Marie Ann Dean’s familiarity with the isle of Malta and her literary skills are put to good use in constructing a near-gothic narrative, combined with an intriguing apocalyptic storyline involving the identity of the Antichrist and the timing of the Second Coming. The result is a highly entertaining read, reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code but of higher literary quality and more complex . . . a very diverting and compelling first novel that leaves enough plot threads untied to demand a sequel or two. The Jeweler’s Polish leaves the reader wanting more! - Mary Ann Beavis, Ph.D., Professor of Religion and Culture, Saint Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan.
From the start of the story, Marie Ann Dean draws the reader into an historical mystery that will capture the imagination. She does a masterful job of tying the past history of the Church and of Europe to current times. The heroines, Emerald both of old and of new, guide the reader through an exciting adventure that falls just short of discovering the biblical Antichrist. I highly recommend The Jeweler’s Polish - James A. Toups,author of The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope, Principal at RMR Corporation.
In The Jeweler's Polish, the heroine Emerald's plans to travel initiate a journey to seek the 'jewels' of her heritage. The story is immersed in intrigue, secrecy, and the adventurous danger of the hunt. Traitors, mistresses, knights, and monks fill the pages of an effervescent novel. The pages turn quickly: Dean diligently weaves the tale of Emerald's search for her hereditary matrix that serves both to elude and define her. Any reader of The Jeweler's Polish who has sought family trees, or who has been fascinated by the Da Vinci Code, or Angels and Demons, will no doubt be riveted to Emerald's search. The mystery is laced with danger and delight, discovery and disappointment, with new clues uncovered and the real hidden treasure of the heroine's beneficence . . . Is it not everyman/everywoman's journey to seek their source and uncover treasures hidden for the ages - whether in Tehran, Tokyo, or New York? In The Jeweler's Polish, one finds fellow seekers, while enjoying a well of literary refreshment - Reverend Brian Miclot, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Saint Ambrose University.
Malta is a fascinating, yet somewhat mysterious, island nation known throughout history as the home of the famous, but somehow also mysterious, Knights. In The Jeweler's Polish, accomplished author Marie Ann Dean brings us on one woman's fascinating voyage of self-discovery to Malta. Dean adroitly weaves together the tale of that woman's journey with events in the lives of historical figures connected with the Knights in Malta and elsewhere. As her prose portrays transformations in her characters, the reader is also brought to contemplate profound, yet very simple truths. You will enjoy The Jeweler's Polish - Monsignor Richard Soseman, J.C.L., Official of the Congregation for the Clergy, Vatican City State.

Friday 10 June 2016

Did the Pope Just Call Cardinal Robert Sarah a Heretic?

18 May 2016

Cardinal Sarah: "In the end, it is God or nothing."

10 June 2016

Pope Francis: "It is not Catholic (to say) ‘or this or nothing:’ This is not Catholic, this is heretical."

In this time of grave crisis within the papacy and the Church, this is going to sound inappropriate but it looks rather like things are about to get interesting.

The gloves are coming off and for Francis, so too is the mask.

It suffices to say that yesterday Pope Francis contrived to present his hearers with a very novel depiction of Our Blessed Lord, Who simply asks from His followers that which they are 'capable' and nothing more. Said His Holiness...

Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws' rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well. He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.”

This is not what He teaches us. This statement is - on the face of it - quite brazenly heretical. 'Pastoral Jesus' is not the Jesus of the Church or of the Gospels. Search the Scriptures, delve into the annals of the Church and you will find zero evidence for what His Holiness says whatsoever. This is a complete fabrication, an invention. In fact, Jesus says quite clearly, 'Be perfect as you Heavenly Father is perfect'. Our Lord knows our weakness, yes and says, 'Without me, you can do nothing'. In other words, Jesus can say that without God, you can do nothing because He is God. He says to the woman caught in adultery, 'Go and sin no more'.

If His Holiness offered Mass at Santa Marta today, he will have either heard or read the following from the Gospel of St Matthew...

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell. It has also been said: Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal. But I say this to you: everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.’

Our Lord, for some reason, neglected to say, after these words, 'in as much as you are capable'. And this is just one of many examples we could submit. Therefore, Pope Francis's fictional Jesus is not the Jesus Christ of the Catholic Church. Ergo, if Pope Francis is espousing a belief in Jesus Christ that differs very radically from the Jesus Christ of the Catholic Church, what does that make Pope Francis? What kind of Catholic, never mind what kind of a Pope, says of the Our Blessed Lord...

'Jesus is a great person! He frees us from all our miseries and from that idealism which is not Catholic.'
'And Jesus said to them, to the Pharisees: ‘you have killed the prophets, you have persecuted the prophets: those who were bringing fresh air.’”

Our Lord never talked about fresh air. However, He did warn us of false prophets and false Christs.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Inspirational Messages

In response to a reader, please find the context for this inspirational message here, the context being the inspirational message of Vatican communications expert, Fr Thomas Rosica.

I actually think the longer papal insults - and let's face it, there are so many - might look quite nice against a pretty scenic background, you know like they do with that 'footprints in the sand' inspirational message.

The "Meeting" is the Message

Towards the end of May, the month of Our Lady, Pope Francis met with, in the description of Catholic News Service, the 'grand imam of one of the most important Sunni Muslim universities in the world.'

In the wake of the "meeting" (sorry, I can't resist), media agencies around the world carried the story, zoning in on Pope Francis's passing comment to the imam that:

'The meeting is the message'.

Has there been as papacy as preposterously self-regarding as this one? When will sanity be restored? I am happy to concede that every institution the world over, including our own Royal Family, has a public relations team working to ensure that those institutions or persons are seen in a favourable light, even, the best possible light. And I'll also concede that it is impossible for some meetings to be devoid of a message that will go out to those who hear of it. When the Pope meets with a prince or minister from Luxembourg, or somewhere, we take little away from that other than the fact that there was a diplomatic meeting between the Supreme Pontiff and a prince from one of the Low Countries.

Yet, there is something particularly crass and vulgar - two adjectives which I am sorry to say describe quite well a great deal of this pontificate in both its style and in the little substance that is to be found in it - about this comment. This strange phrase, 'the meeting is the message' connotes not a small amount of cynical exploitation of persons and circumstances, because it gives the impression that the message is, in fact, the cause of the meeting and the end of the meeting. It's all for the cameras.

Fidel: "Don't tell me...the meeting is the message?"

Quite simply, it suggests that the meeting itself was of little importance, but rather more important is the message that it sends out to the world. In other words, it says, "This is a PR stunt" and we assume that the Pope, having said it, feels safe enough to say it under the impression that the person with whom he has met regards the meeting in a similar way. Whatever words were exchanged, the imam, too, we must assume, believes the message to be of greater importance than the meeting, because the meeting is the message. Conversely, the message is the meeting. The meeting isn't simply a meeting. The conversation isn't simply a conversation. It is all the message. But what is the message? Unity and fraternity between different faiths? Or is the message that these two leaders can meet and embrace now because that bigoted Pope who gave the Regensberg speech reminding the followers of Islam that their religion carries with it the story of brutal conquest, rape, pillaging, slaughter, enslavement and persecution is thankfully, out of the way?

There also appears to be an exceptionalism in Vatican protocol with Islam - and perhaps also with other religious leaders from other creeds - which makes this Pope, yes even the Pope, look rather inauthentic. You can only imagine the Pope without shame saying, 'The meeting is the message' to another religious leader because the message of religious unity is what they live for. There is no point in the Pope saying, 'The meeting is the message' when he meets a Macedonian governmental delegation who give him a new Papal Tiara. Suddenly, I have a feeling that the meeting is not the message, unless His Holiness is putting on that slightly repulsed face just for the cameras!

I'm guessing the meeting is not the message?

But then are we by now not used to this entirely cynical employment of the media to serve an agenda promoting the adulation of Pope Francis to the detriment of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ? 'The meeting is the message'. How ridiculous. There quite simply isn't any other walk of life on Earth in which anyone would contemplate saying that to another individual, even in the artificial world of public relations because saying it is utterly embarrassing. World leaders, foreign diplomats, politicians and others may be, in fact, quite shamelessly politically motivated, self-centred creatures using others (including their 'audience') to convey a desired 'message' to others through the media, but they tend not to brazenly admit it and have the message of their superficiality broadcast through the world. It's a bit like the man who gives alms to be seen by others. Once exposed, he should feel embarrassed, because the almsgiving is 'the message' and the message is for his audience.

There is another dimension to the 'meeting is the message' quote which is very revealing of today's insufferably naive but also incredibly pompous prelates that is the idea that public relations and photo opportunities can do, by virtue of the meetings themselves and reportage of them, that which cannot really be brought about by man. The idea is that by circulating images of two religious leaders 'getting on very well', hugging and kissing the like, people will be inspired to simply lay down their prejudices and this will foster harmony between religions and peoples around the world. Peace, however, cannot be brought about by such things. It takes more than photo opportunities to bring about peace between nations, tribes and religions. Prayer, reparation, penance, almsgiving, love of God and neighbour, perhaps real dialogue - meaningful dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation will foster peace and concord in the world, but true spiritual fraternity will only be discovered under the true spiritual paternity of God the Almighty Father, in His Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Sin, enmity and fratricide are not overcome by the principles of the Enlightenment, but rather by grace, truth and charity.

Was it something he said?

It is no wonder, quite frankly, that Benedict XVI was a Pope with whom the Sunni Muslim imam simply could not do 'business' with as the CNS article makes very and poignantly clear. Relations apparently broke down between the Sunni Muslim community and the Vatican in the wake of the Regensberg address. They can only now be restored because Pope Francis is 'a man of peace'. Apparently, peace with Islam means Islam cannot be subjection to any scrutiny or any criticism, despite the fact that its adherents maim, murder, torture, rape and enslave peoples around the world in a manner that the adherents of no other religion on the face of the Earth do. Yet as long as Islamic fanatics maraude Africa, the middle East and elsewhere on the rampage, the idea that meetings - whatever they could achieve - can simply be about 'messages' is simply laughable. A real, honest dialogue with Islam may be beneficial, but it has to be honest and it has to confront Islam with truth, rather than remain silent for fear of offending it. A meeting and a message will not moderate or humanise, inhuman, militant Islam. Whoever thinks it will is not living in reality, but rather a pseudo-reality he has concocted.

During his reign, he consistently taught what he was entrusted to teach concerning the Faith. He taught that dialogue and respect between the world religions was important, but he did not fear opposition in stating the problems that are inherent within Islam, because it historically, as it does today, rejects the right use of natural reason and still today imposes itself by direct political force, to the detriment of other faith communities, including Christians. Benedict XVI, I am sure, would happily meet with anybody, but he is far too wise, prudent and faithful to abandon truth - or even a firm intellectual position - for a photo opportunity. Benedict XVI was not afraid to highlight the need for Faith to purify reason, nor did he shirk from shedding light on the sins within the Church for which the Church needed to be purified. We are, it seems, inevitably heading for that purification right now.

Unless you mistake liturgical beauty for personal ornamentation, to me it seemed that during his reign, Benedict XVI was a simple man with no showy impulses, who carried within his person a dislike of vanity and deep distrust for anything that was artificial. Yet he was at ease in the company of anyone. For Benedict XVI, I am certain, a meeting was a meeting. For such reasons did most who met him admire him. If there was a message, this was a bi-product that could not be helped. Benedict was authentic and genuine. Presumably, he felt and still believes people deserve the real deal, not an imitation. A meeting was a space in which to dialogue, very respectfully and cordially concerning matters pertaining to the interests of the parties concerned. What a contrast to what we have today.

And I suppose that when one thinks of the tightly planned meetings Pope Francis has had in his three years so far, including that infamous one with the Bolivian president who handed him the Communist Crucifix, one wonders who is organising these meetings - so regularly photographed and distributed around the world -  and how many of them are planned in order to send a particular message. In these meetings, is the meeting the message? I do hope not, because real friendship, brotherly love is not about that kind of thing.

Wednesday 8 June 2016


As something of a top up on Fr Hunwicke's highly amusing post on the bizarre use of inverted commas in "Amoris" Laetitia, please find some more amusing signs that people - presumably for whom the English language is not their Mother tongue - have produced, and, we must assume, with a far lower degree of mischief intended...

More of these hilarious signs can be found here. I do assume that while the Holy Father thinks it is okay to place the irregularity of people's relationships in inverted commas, so as to mitigate any sense of "guilt" people in "irregular" situations or relationships may find, or rather, have placed themselves, he would rather priests do not address parties who have contracted second unions without an annulment in such manner as,

'And I see you have brought your "husband" (or) "wife" along to Mass as well!'

Monday 6 June 2016

Alarm Bells

We must be thankful to God for Cardinal Robert Sarah, among other leading prelates who care for the Church in this time of great crisis and upheaval. His Eminence's timely call to priests to re-order Catholic worship towards the Tabernacle, to the East, from whence Christ shall come again in glory, has given many a bewildered clergy fresh heart.

Those parishes - a small minority - in which the Sacred Liturgy is celebrated ad orientem have received from the Congregation of Divine Worship more public support for their endeavour to restore the sacred to Catholic liturgy and it is to be hoped that those priests who do not yet offer the Most Holy Sacrifice 'towards the Lord' will consider doing so.

National Catholic Register has a comprehensive article on the call from the good Cardinal which resurrects the clear liturgical direction pointed out by Pope Francis's predecessor (in his 'active' munus), Pope Benedict XVI, who elucidated most convincingly his views on the liturgy in his book, 'The Spirit of the Liturgy' as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

What will be interesting will be how this call is received by the clergy. To my disappointment, I witnessed recently on a social media thread one priest in the south of England make his case for - if not dismissing Cardinal Sarah's call - doing his best to find excuses not to follow his sage advice.

Pope Francis offers Mass ad orientem before the Sistine Chapel was desecrated by guitarist The Edge

The Sussex-based priest, clearly quite taken aback by the good Cardinal's call for ad orientem worship maintained that even if he had some sympathy with the idea, his implementation of it would set off 'alarm bells' among the congregation.

I really expect that this is the line that will be taken by many priests. How intellectually honest it is for priests to disobey the CDW 'for the sake of the people' I do not know. I recently paid a visit to the parish which the priest serves and he had allowed a Tablet article on an end to clerical celibacy to be photocopied and displayed in pride of place in the respository. Personally, if there is anything that sets 'alarm bells' in this lay man, it is an over-exuberant, almost evangelical zeal for spreading articles of a liberal bent from the most spiritually toxic magazine in what was once known as Christendom. So, articles calling for an end to the discipline of priestly celibacy? 'Fine!' Ad orientem worship? 'No! Think of the people! 'We don't want alarm bells!'

The idea that the people of God need to be 'shielded' from ad orientem worship and the signals that might send out to their delicate souls is one that I expect a lot of priests would agree with, but it tells us something about how a certain generation of priests see their priesthood nowadays. This is presumably a view that is operating from the same intellectual origin as the priests who consider it best to tone down the Gospel message of repentance in order to 'protect his people' from hard truths, such as the truth that those in mortal sin should not approach Holy Communion and that the road to Hell is broad and wide.

More than this, however, such psychological projections as that uttered by the Sussex-based priest also give an insight into the dangers of the real clericalism problems faced by the Church today. Catholics need gentle, yet firm leadership, but we also need faithful leaders who will lead us in Faith towards the Lord.

His candid admission that he himself said he had sympathy with the good Cardinal's advice was belied by his desire to control or in some way limit or curtail the visual power of the liturgy by remaining in his current position, facing the people. Of course, any priest would be foolish to simply turn up to Mass one day and re-order Catholic worship according to the Cardinal's clear direction without explaining in anyway why, or to give the impression that he had woken up one day and decided to do something different on a whim.

Real leadership requires that a priest who had decided that facing East was the right thing to do - in obedience to the CDW - explain and teach his people. I have seen myself priests do exactly this, taking a great deal of time to slowly, gently, firmly lead their people towards the worship of God ad orientem.

With such a 'Father knows what is best for you' mindset inevitably comes an infantilisation of the laity who simply 'could not bear' such a change or an upset to the liturgical norm operating 'in our parish'. We simply can't do it, the people will freak out! Think of the children!

Unfortunately, this standpoint neglects the perennial understanding of the priesthood - the logical one - that indeed a priest's congregation are both the children of God and his spiritual children. Priests literally are feeding their congregation the Body and Blood of Christ. Priests are feeding their children - God's children - by their preaching and teaching. The entire Mass, from beginning to end, is a teaching in the Christian faith, as well as the worship of the God Who comes down to us. Priests are not simply 'presiders' or 'celebrants' at a liturgical event - a community gathering. Real spiritual fatherhood means that the priest, rather than telling us what we want to hear, or doing what we feel comfortable with, leads us in the worship of Almighty God and shows us how to do it. The one time I went to Mass recently at this Sussex-based priest's parish, the altar server cleansed and drained the chalice while standing in the centre of the sanctuary at the Altar, facing the people. Quite what message that was meant to send out, I have no idea, but the message was received loud and clear.

In all of this, it is not just the spiritual health of the people of God that suffers for lack of fatherly guidance, but the priest's spiritual health as well, about which so few seem to care. We look to priests because they are placed in authority over us to lead us to God, to nourish us with the Sacraments, to feed us, to guide us to Heaven. We easily forget that priests need Our Lord Jesus Christ as much - perhaps more than we do, because of the weight of the duty and the task God has entrusted to the priest.

If a priest is not turning to the Lord, how can we turn to the Lord? If a priest does not fall down and adore, how can we adore? It is not just for the people's spiritual benefit if a priest celebrates Mass ad orientem. It is also for the priest's spiritual benefit. When the Face of Christ, rather than the face of the 'presider' is revealed and adored in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, both people and priest adore together the God Who reveals Himself. Priest and people together will grow in holiness and love of God when all are turned together to He Who comes. When the Lord Jesus returns, I presume we shall all be facing the same direction, looking upon the Lord who comes as Judge, Who we Catholics hope we shall look upon as Lord, Saviour and our most trusted and faithful friend.

Pray very much for the clergy. It must be very tempting to wish to disregard the advice and clear direction given by Cardinal Robert Sarah and to pass it off as unhelpful or disruptive to parish life, but truth cannot be sacrificed in order to keep people in a sleepy state, for...

The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. (Romans, 13:12)

The pressing issue - at this time of grave crisis in the Church is that the faithful need alarm bells. Without them, most of us wouldn't wake up. Clergy haven't been called by the Lord to be priests looking for a 'quiet life'. If priests are called to do battle against demons, they can expect, if they follow the Lord, to have the odd confrontation with a parishioner or two who want liturgy tailored to what makes them feel 'comfortable'. Jesus Christ didn't come to make us feel comfortable. He came to turn disobedient, wandering children into faithful sons and daughters, worshippers of the Triune God. I have seen with my own eyes parishes be re-orientated towards the liturgical East over a period of about 10 years. I have seen this transition take place with comparatively little 'trouble' or complaint. It can be done sensitively, gradually, thoughtfully and carefully. Priests will never please everyone but they can please God.

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...