Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Drama Of The American Voter

I wonder every now and then what I would do if I were in the fortunate position of having a US passport and were entitled to vote for the elections in 2012.

The answer that I would vote for Romney doesn’t come automatic to me, and whilst I might in such a case  end up voting for him I am not persuaded  I should do it, let alone I should as a Catholic feel a duty to do so.

I see Romney as the product of a rather hysterical – if extremely democratic, and beautiful to watch – system by which a candidate is selected thinking of what his adversaries will say of his private life and personal circumstances rather than considering what his agenda as a President will be.

Therefore, the choice for many seemed to be not only – or not really – between Gingrich’s robust Catholicism and Romney’s anodyne and flip-flopping attitude, but – all things considered – whether it would be preferable to have your candidate smeared because of his infidelities, or because of his religious ideas and professional past.   As a result, we find ourselves with a – undoubtedly, bright and capable as a businessman – candidate who doesn’t drink coffee or alcohol – but is allowed to eat coffee ice cream, apparently ; I give up… – , doesn’t watch TV, believes that Jesus visited the United States and a lot of very strange things with that, and is a flip-flopper like very few at this level before him.

But hey, everyone knows no one is going to nail him with some past fling, so he must be fine.

Now, I am surely not the only one who thinks Romney may be professionally capable, but is also a non-coffee-drinking moral vacuum changing his political convictions according to the advantage they can give him. I think he is consciously flattening his positions on Obama’s ones as long as he thinks he can do so without losing the Republican vote altogether. The reasoning seems to be: “Dear Republican voter, however my positions may stink to you, you will end up voting for me because Obama stinks just a bit more”.

I am not sure we should follow him on this reasoning.

Whilst the comparison between the candidates at hand is a fully legitimate one and I would not criticise the one who decided to vote, obtorto collo, for Romney, I think that there is another legitimate comparison: the one between the candidates these mentality produces, and the ones who would be produced if the “lesser evil” voting behaviour were to be abandoned.

A vote for Romney makes it absolutely impossible to have decent Republican candidates. Not now, not ever. If the principle is accepted that between two candidates one votes for the one who is less bad – Romney is undoubtedly less bad – this means the choice will always be between the liberal candidate and a candidate who is just a bit less bad, namely: merely enough to make him distinguishable. This candidate will then only have to near the liberal candidate as much as he can without being burned to be sure of the votes of all those who choose the “lesser evil”. If it works in 2012, there’s no reason why it should not be tried in 2020 (assuming Romney doesn’t die of excessive consumption of coffee ice cream in the meantime) and beyond.

The choice to skip the vote in 2012 – in the sense of not voting for any of the two – is, on the other hand, a signal sent to the Republicans – both the establishment, and the pavid crowds voting in primaries and caucuses – that if they go on this way they will never ever have a Republican president, because RINOs will not get the Republican vote. Not now, not ever. 

A Romney victory would ensure us another eight year of absolute pain, as in 2016 the choice will be between an established flip-flopper like Romney and another liberal madman like, probably, Hillary.  If Romney is told to take a hike, perhaps the Republican masses will start to understand that the McCains and Romneys of the world just do not win elections, and in order to win they need a real Republican or can avoid wasting the time.

Mind, it doesn’t have to be a Santorum; Bush was certainly not considered a hardliner in the US (though he always was in Europe; funny people, the Europeans…) , but he won two gubernatorial elections in Texas followed by two Presidential elections, and I dare to say Kerry and Gore were less extreme in many things than Obama is, and therefore the winning of mainstream votes more difficult. In a word, it worked. Compare with 2012, where Perry got out of the race for forgetting a couple of names and having some small blunder in front of the press. If this is the way the Americans select their candidates, it’s no surprise they must now choose between a liberal madman and a flip-flopping Mormon.

In conclusion, I fully understand those who decide to vote Romney after all. But as Romney is perfectly fine with sodomy, was clearly pro-choice until the day before yesterday and would clearly try to keep as much of Obamacare as he can do without openly quarrelling with his Congressmen and Senators, I wonder whether those who vote for him do not in the end simply vote a pale version of Obama, with some improvement thrown in when it was truly necessary (say: his pro-life stance), and probably reneged as soon as he is elected and starts to think about the 2016 campaign (there is videos around of his former pro-“choice” days; scary stuff, and no mistake).

Basically, trying to save the candidate in 2012 automatically locks one in with the worst possible candidate for 2016 and 2020; a candidate who, when President, would systematically try to please the Democrats at every turn, knowing that the obedient Republican sheep vote for him in any way and the only thing he has to do is to attract 10%-15% of the Democratic vote, and Robert is your father’s brother…

No easy decision at all, anyway.

Mundabor

Bishop Paprocki Takes Catholicism Seriously

Courtesy of Father Z, this video published from Right Wing Watch, a leftist site aimed at “expossing” the activities of the “extreme Right”. In their innocence, these people must think Bishop Paprocki is “extreme right”, which really says a lot about what them.

Bishop Paprocki’s message is simple: the Democratic party promotes intrinsic evil as a party platform, whilst the Republican party simply doesn’t. There may be  – there certainly are:  just think of the poof division – bad apples within the GOP, but there are no position on which the Republican has a party policy which constitutes intrinsic evil.

I do not know whether this suffices to make of Bishop Paprocki a representative of the “extreme Right”. But I think this is sufficient to say that Bishop Paprocki takes his job seriously. Note at the end he even dares to touch the unspoken tabu of the years Post-Vatican II, and say it very clear that voting for parties promoting intrinsic evil places the salvation of one’s own soul in serious jeopardy.

How very “extreme Right”….

Mundabor

Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

Rorate Caeli has an interesting excerpt from an interview to Bishop Slattery. Whilst the link to the original interview is given, I prefer to link to Rorate because it focuses on one issue: the liturgy, and this gives us an excellent starting point for wider considerations.

I am pleased that Bishop Slattery unites his voice to the ones of those who say that Vatican II has caused damage to the liturgy. What I would like to point out here is that I continue to see in his words the usual mentality by which the dirty water is defended and it is said that the baby was made dirty just because the dirty water was not used in the right way. Alas, if you wash a baby with dirty water you won’t clean him much.

Let us examine his words:

What we lost in a short period of time was…

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Kirchensteuer: What The Church Really Says

That’s right: 4.65 billion Euro in 2007 of net proceeds.

(Catholic Priests in Germany from 1997 to 2011)

As promised (with a slight delay, for which I apologise) my little explanation about what the position of the Church is. You will read this around on several German sites, like Kath.net, but I prefer to link to Kreuz.net anyway… There was another beautiful (and rather long, and technical) contribution I cannot find anymore…

In short, in 2006 the Church stated (obviously repeating Church teaching, not “innovating” in any conceivable way) that in order to be “out of the church” the faithful must severe three bonds:

1) the bond of the faith;

2) the bond of the sacraments, and

3) the bond of the hierarchy.

Only when all these bonds are severed, a person may be said to have left the Church. Makes sense. Let us see in detail what they meant:

1) There must be an internal decision to leave the Church. Mind here: a decision to leave the Church, not a decision not to pay the Kirchensteuer. The person must decide: “I do not want to be part of this anymore”. To find a rather clear example from this blog (though not from Germany) click the case of Anne Rice here. Mrs Rice says clearly “I am not part of the shop anymore”. 

2) There must be the correspondent open rejection of sacramental life. The person does not want to go to Mass, or to confession. He is seen in the community as having voluntarily detached himself from the sacraments.

3) The Church must have accepted this decision. She must, in other words, have acknowledged the fact that Titius or Caius have decided not to belong to the Church anymore.

Now, some people have challenged (in Germany and Switzerland) the Kirchensteuer as tax, and have decided to want to get out of the Church as corporation under public law (“Koerperschaft des oeffentlichen Rechts”, which is the legal status of the Church as legal entity in Germany; the entity – or regional entities – entitled to the money of the Kirchensteuer)  without going out of the Church as communion of faithful Catholics. This leaves, of course, their obligation to contribute to the Catholic work intact, but does not oblige them to finance the administrative monster, the luxury of the priests or the non-Catholic initiatives like, say, blasphemous art exhibitions, insurance companies run together with Protestants, or the countless heretical bishops and priests all over Germany. In the case of these people, it is absolutely obvious that they want to continue to be part of the Church as community of Catholics, take part to the sacramental life and contribute to the Church’s upkeep.  What they reject, is a payment automatism which only feeds the astonishing corruption of the German church and perpetuates it

The recent decree of the Bishop completely ignores  the necessity of the persistence of the three conditions together. The reasoning of the bishops is as follows:

1) you are obliged to contribute to the Church’s upkeep;

2) by declaring your Austritt, you have refused to contribute;

3) therefore, you have put yourself outside of the Church and I can, as a consequence, not administer the sacraments to you.

This is, of course, total nonsense. When a devout Catholic declares his exit from the system of the Kirchensteuer, this does not mean that one does not want to contribute; it merely means one is fed up with making the wrong people fat whilst they destroy Catholicism. 

Several other articles – all of them interesting, and all of them exposing the greed and shamelessness of the German hierarchy – have been published in the last days and I can’t cope with all the news and developments. There was the canon law specialist saying “simple: go to the priest with the receipt of the payments you have made to Catholic organisation you like, show them to him and let’s see how he can say that you are not contributing”, or the anonymous canon law specialist who insisted the German bishops’ decree had the worth of toilet paper;  further critical interventions appear every day.

It is more and more apparent the dear German bishops have shot themselves in the foot, big time. They have left their greed prevail on their better judgement – and on simple common sense; and on elementary Catholicism – in the hope they could get away with thinly veiled threats of mass excommunication and the remark that the Pope has “recognised” their decree, so it must be right.

This uproar is not going away anytime soon, because the issue is huge under several aspects: the money involved (see above: that’s an average of around EUR 300,000 per parish priest in 2007 from the Kirchensteuer alone, probably much more now with the sinking number of priests; call it “upkeep of the clergy…”) the theological principles called in defence of the Kirchensteuer and the refusal to give the sacraments to those who declare their Austritt ( = purest simony), and the exposure of the bishops’ greed out of their own deeds and words, for literally all the world to see. This latest aspect will, no doubt, cause a further loss of credibility among the German clergy, and cause more people to get out of the Kirchensteuer-system, who really have lost confidence in the Church and decide they will not care anymore. I am rather sure the Bishops will now react with a bog “offensive” in defence of sacraments for adulterous re-married and scandalous sodomites who pay, whilst calling the Society of Pius X “schismatic”. 

The German bishops probably hoped to score big with this ridiculous decree. Only a few days later, it is clear this is a tragic own goal.

Mundabor

 

Gore Vidal Reblog.

Mundabor's Blog

And so Gore Vidal has at last – as politically incorrect Italians say – stretched his paws. For those who don’t know much about him – and who can blame them? – the chap(ess) was an extremely impressive collection of shortcomings of more or less (generally: more) grave nature: clearly a sympathiser of communism and certainly a left-wing nutcase; a “jewish conspiracy” proposer (actually, a proposer of many conspiracies); obviously an unrepentant poof; an enemy of God; like many of his ilk, a friend of pedophilia and a veiled supporter of statutory rape (his comment on the Polanski affair according to Wikipedia: “I really don’t give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of?”  ). Ah, he was also a sympathiser of the then executed Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh. I am sure I am forgetting…

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The “Tablet” Fragments

Over at Linen on the Hedgerow, the continuation of a problem first raised by EF Pastor Emeritus: what to do with the copies of  the “Tablet”, an obvious toxic waste. The question is formulated as follows:

The dilemma grows – what to do with the bulk of (remaindered) Tablets?

You can’t use them as landfill material because of the environmental pollution threat – what can you possibly do with them?

Polite and creative suggestions gratefully received.

Of course, the best solution would be to save the trees and with them our oh so oh endangered oh planet from oh unavoidable oh death…

Failing that, we could put the Tablet fragments in one of those caves used to store nuclear waste.

Mind, though, that we would have to shred the paper very finely. Otherwise we would run the risk of some academically challenged researcher finding them in sixteen or seventeen centuries, and telling us that it can’t be excluded that in the XXI Century the Church had wymyn priests…

Mundabor

“The Church Up Close”

EF Pastor Emeritus reports about a Beautiful Initiative from Rome – actually, from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross – aimed at explaining the Church to journalists all over the world.

For an entire week, 28 journalists have been introduced to the complex – and counter-cultural; at least in theory – Catholic world and have profited for a full immersion in the Vatican corridors, including the Vatican Museum, the Vatican Library, rudiments of Church history and, yes, even a glimpse of the Vatican corridors. I’d personally have kept Father Lombardi out of their way, but I guess it couldn’t be avoided…

One can only praise such an initiative – in its third year already – as the ignorance of many journalists concerning everything Catholic is truly appalling. So appalling, in fact, that when one “researcher” comes out with a fragment of papyrus and says it “could be” that Jesus had a wife, the journalists present do not laugh out loud but even think the concept makes sense, in a way. Go figure.

More of these seminars, please, and keep up the good work.

Mundabor

Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

An interesting fruit of the battle about HHS mandate is the fact it forces the Church in the US to progressively clean herself from the influences of a not-so-glorious past; but in doing so, she runs the risk of her message not being properly understood, or being altogether wrong.

The issue here is religious liberty. There is no doubt in the US:

a) there has historically been a great measure of religious liberty, and

b) this religious liberty is now endangered by the HHS mandate and the Obama troops.

It seems wrong to me to deny that, from the factual point of view, religious liberty has served the Church in the US well. A country originally colonised by hard-line Protestants now has some 70 million Catholics, and I doubt this would have been the case if religious liberty had not been – though nothing is perfect on this earth…

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Kirchensteuer: Which Was The Vatican’s Role?

Cecco del Caravaggio – “Gesu’ caccia i mercanti dal Tempio”.

Before I pass – in the very next days – to the exam of how the latest invention of the German bishops is NOT what the Vatican said in 2006 (besides being obviously simoniacal), I would like to say two words about the role I think the Vatican has played in the matter.

In the only contribution I have read which gave a precise description of the Vatican position on the German decree, the verb used was that the Vatican has “rekognosziert” the decree.

Now, “rekognoszieren” is a word which in German can be placidly called non-existent in the usual sense of the word, though you will find it in the vocabulary. There are, though, the vastly more spread Italian verb “riconoscere”, and Latin verb “recognoscere”, which are, as I understand them, somewhat complicated words.

Let us say that I understand that the Communist Chinese government is the authority holding sway over the land. I “acknowledge” that they are in power, and deal with it accordingly. I will have an embassy, for example, and give the head of state the honours of the head of state when he comes to visit. I am simply recognising a reality, a fact of life.

I will also call the Archbishop of Canterbury “Your Grace”, because even if he is clearly a layman without holy orders, I recognise the fact that the English Government considers him to be an Archbishop. Of course he isn’t; but again, of course he is.

Now, this does not mean that I approve the Communist Chinese government; nor does this mean that I consider the Archbishop of Canterbury a real archbishop. Very simply, they are there and I deal with it, recognising a reality already in place.

Now, it is to me rather peculiar that the Vatican was not said to, say, “approve” (Zustimmen), or even the in my Italian eyes somewhat less explicit  Anerkennen the German decree, but merely to “rekognoszieren” it. It seems to me a linguistic gymnastic which can only have one meaning: the Vatican does not give an official seal of approval, but merely recognises that this is the interpretation of the German bishops.

Of course, this is the usual Benedict-style, “run with the hare and hunt with the hounds” attitude, and its aim seems to be to bend over backwards to allow – or let us say it Vatican style: not disallow – the German Bishops to maintain that their take is at least not in contradiction with Church teaching, whilst at the same time avoiding the unspeakable simoniacal shame of declaring urbi et orbi that the Church feels free to give sacraments only against fixed money payments in a measure decided by themselves.

My understanding of what has happened is therefore – and until I manage to know more about the matter – that the Vatican is saying  something on the lines of: “well, it’s complicated; I have given guidelines in 2006 which repeat what I understand as an Austritt (exit) which would justify an excommunication; but you have now put a certain interpretation on it and I recognise as a fact, acknowledge the reality that this is the way you German Bishops see things”.

It can’t be denied that the Bishops’ decree is in striking contrast to the Vatican instructions (themselves not a novelty; mere Catholic sense) given to the very same German bishops in 2006 (and object of the next blog post, hopefully).

My impression is that the Holy Father – whom we know was personally involved in this decree – wanted a formula allowing him to let them free to go on as they wished ( = ka-ching) but without appearing to approve of their position as they would have wanted.

The result was, methinks,  this neither meat nor fish decision, and this strange, factually unused verb “rekognoszieren”.

Mundabor

Kirchensteuer: What It Is And How It Survived

Marinus van Reymerswaele, “The moneychanger and his wife”.

Before I write another post about the Kirchensteuer, I think it necessary to give some enlightenment (at least according to my limited lights) about the genesis and – more importantly – the place of the Kirchensteuer in the German Weltanschauung.

It is widely reported that the Kirchensteuer was introduced as compensation for expropriation of Church patrimony. This is, of course, nothing else than a historic remnant, which in itself would not in the least justify the existence of such a “tax”.

Firstly, Italy, France and many other countries have seen massive expropriation, without anyone ever being even tempted to propose or even to think anything of the sort (I have already explained that the beautiful sette per mille in Italy is a completely different cup of tea, whose adoption in Germany I would salute enthusiastically; not so the German Bishops…). Secondly, the amount collected through the Kirchensteuer (between 7% and 9% of the tax bill of the vast Catholic population in Germany) is such a vast amount that to justify it with past expropriations is an example of very bad numeracy.

No: the reason for the existence of the Kirchensteuer (paid, let us not forget it, by Protestant and Jews alike) is a social and cultural one, and it is the change of the social and cultural framework which will, in the long-term or perhaps earlier, destroy this anachronistic institution.

The Germans are an extremely gregarious people. If Italians are foxes, Germans are wolves. They think and act in group, and to them the community and the idea of doing things together – and to oblige themselves to do things together – is much stronger than among Italians, French, Spaniards or Britons.

Whilst this can be bad in certain situations (say: a country fighting under the bombs with utterly remarkable tenacity, to an extent which to the individualistic oriented Italians seems senseless; nay, inconceivable) it has in the past brought remarkable advantages. From the health system to the system of state pension (which in Germany were and are based on an insurance and cooperative system rather than on a state-owned mammoth; note once again the mentality of close-knitted communities spending their money efficiently) to the cooperative banks, Germans have always had a knack for this idea that they cooperate, and are therefore stronger. I struggle to recall now from my younger years at school a more complex, powerful and successful example of widely ramified alliance than the Hansa, another clear fruit of – if also spread outside Germany – German thinking.

This mentality, which pre-dates the Kirchensteuer, was a fertile humous for such a system. The Germans wanted to pay in a cooperative way, and the Kirchensteuer worked because it corresponded to the German way of thinking.

But this mentality – and this is very important – works only until the Germans see value for the money they pay. They reacted – literally – violently  when the waste and political correctness following the Reunification proved to them the money was massively wasted away; they are exceptionally attentive that their social security system – the most efficient in the West, I am sure – gives a good return for the costs it causes (and it does!); they handle based on a principle that as long as they know “where the money goes” there will be no great discussion as to the lawfulness of such an operation, or the opportunity of having the Church going to bed with the State in such a rather scandalous manner.

It was a win-win. The measure was accepted among the masses; the Government cared for the receipt of the money in a far more economical way than the Church and the other organisations would have ever been able to; most Catholics (nay: most people) were rather poor, and their payments a pittance anyway. And it was all so, so German…

Then the changes came.

The explosion of mass welfare in post-war Germany led to an expansion of the welfare state; which led to an expansion of taxation, now rather painful even at low-income levels, and brutal already at medium-income level. This in turn led to a literal explosion of the Church’s revenues.  Therefore, not only we saw an explosion of incomes per se, but an even more pronounced explosion of revenues as the taxation of low and average incomes grew more than proportionally.

In Germany, you never hear the Church complaining about high taxation. They have their snouts right there in the trough. Smart move for the government, too. This is also what made the Church in German so influential already in V-II times: they who pay the most will, human nature being what it is, probably be the loudest (and no, the Vatican is certainly not above such influences; by far not).

Secondly, this vast wealth has made of the German-speaking churches the ones with the richest clergy around. Your average German priest has an income your average non-priest Scot or Welsh can only dream of, and is rather well situated even in comparison to the other Germans. His income is linked to the one of the German Beamte, the life-hired, middle and higher echelons of the Public Service. Once again, they are fully linked to a very powerful lobby, and as they do not have children their disposable income is, for a priest, more than remarkable. The factory worker, the shop employee, the small accountant slowly take notice, and wonder, because they don’t even go to church anymore.

Which leads us neatly to the massive social shift in the attitude of Catholics, once disciplined soldiers of the German church and now utterly indifferent to everything going in the way of their adulterous or contraceptive behaviour. This, the German church deserves entirely; they had it coming and they should now complain only with themselves. By trying to pander to the feelings of their wandering sheep, the stupid German clergy alienate them long-term, and make themselves despised by the children of those entrusted to their care. The grandchildren will not even think of ever paying the Kirchensteuer. It serves the German clergy right, by the way.

Fourthly – and I think the least important factor as far as revenue is concerned, but the most explosive for devout Catholics – there is the scandalous waste of public money for things that have nothing to do with being Catholic: a big administrative apparatus, scandalous “ecumenical” initiatives everywhere, and so on. The Church in Germany has become so little Catholic, that Catholics finally start to question the Catholicity of an obligatory and automatic payment. 

Summa summarum: what one hundred years ago were small payments for most, made by devout Catholics who knew their money went to a serious organisation who spent the money wisely, have now become substantial payments the Church demands from largely non-churchgoers who know their money is wasted by an over-fed apparatus (and for devout Catholics: in non-Catholic or even scandalous initiatives).

Now, how could the system survive as the pressure built up? Basically in two ways:

1) By shrinking. The system has been creaking for many years now, and the number of Kirchensteuer-payers decreasing regularly. Mostly were, though, non-churchgoers. It is only in the last years that the system has started to show serious fissures.

2) By social pressure. Think again of how gregarious the Germans are. Merely to be seen to want to subtract oneself to a solidarity payment smells ( or used to smell) of Southern-European anarchy, and of menace to the world as we know it. Even among Protestants (many of them, let me assure you, as atheist as Mao) the resistance to the Austritt (the exit out of the system) is fairly strong. The Proddies react, by the way, exactly like the Catholic hierarchy: they lick their people’s plates, and hope for the best.

You wish. 

I hope this has given a cultural framework – at least as I understand it – of why the Kirchensteuer was born; why it operated fairly well for some decades without any massive moral questioning or legal challenge; why it created an explosion of revenues and with it of corruption, addiction and waste, whilst at the same time creating an unholy alliance between tax-imposing politicians and tax-cashing clergy; and why all this is now slowly crumbling, caught in the middle between mickey-mouse Catholics who want sacraments against their money, real Catholics who do not want their money to be used to finance an utterly corrupted apparatus, enslaved to the money of the adulterous and contracepting crowds, and a shameless clergy who wants money against sacraments, or at least wants you to believe that without paying the first you won’t have access to the second.

But for the latter consideration, you’ll have to wait for an ad hoc post.

Mundabor

 

Two Words On “Actuosa Participatio”

Following my blog post some days ago about the extremely interesting blog Ars Orandi, I would like to make some observations – perhaps controversial, perhaps not – about the way my poor lights understand the actuosa participatio.

We all agree if one sits on the pew thinking of the afternoon’s football match you he is way short of the mark. We also all agree one should try to participate to Mass according to his own ability. But after reading the very interesting considerations of the author of the above mentioned blog, I could not avoid reasoning that in times past (pre Second Vatican Disaster) there were a lot of not so well-educated people  who insisted in praying their rosary or their devotion during Mass rather than, as S. Pius X so beautifully puts it, “praying the Mass”. I know that this is the case from what I have heard in my family of what happened in past decades, and for having seen “church scenes” on several occasions in Italian films of the past.

There can be no doubt – I think – the ideal form of following the Mass is the already mentioned “praying the Mass” so beautifully encouraged by Pope St. Pius X. Still, it is a fact several decades later many members of the (oh, blast the political correctness…) working class still preferred the method of praying  their own prayers during Mass, at least in Italy.

The latter way was, as a modern business consultant would put it, sub-optimal. But I wonder: was that not actuosa partecipatio, too? Could it be that the lady telling her beads was not also following – in a more generic way – what was happening at Mass? Could it that she missed the fundamental structure of the Mass, did not know when the Consecration was, and did not have at least an inkling of what was happening on the altar as she prayed? I think we can safely exclude it (for example, try to overlook the dramatic spiritual intensity of the Consecration in a Traditional Mass, if you can…).

Fast forward to the present times, when the wonderful reforms of the Second Vatican Castration force us to repeat many times what the priest has just said as if we were in kindergarten. Is this participatio more actuosa than the one of the old woman once going through he rosary beads; or does it tend to become rather a mechanical repetition of a ceremony not really lived in its spiritual intensity (much diminished in the Novus Ordo anyway), and not understood in its supernatural significance?

Mind: the old semi-illiterate woman telling her beads did not have any doubt about the significance of the Consecration whilst the Novus Ordo pewsitters,  who are considered unable to even listen to a Psalm without repeatedly parroting one line, seem to struggle massively with the concept.

If we reflect on these and other examples (does the frantic hand-shaking help to stay near Christ? Or does it lead us away from Him, plunging us in the “community” dimension?), we must agree that actuosa participatio must not be defined within the limits of what is physically “done” at Mass in response to of accompaniment of the Priest’s doing, but must be extended at the way the pewsitter – and be he as uneducated as you like, and uncomfortable with anything other than his rosary-  is “with it” as the Mass happens, fully aware of what is happening if very probably unaware of the minutiae of the procedure.  

Of course, the priest’s attention in saying the black and doing the red must be, I think, obsessive. But this is in order for the priest to be able to forget himself as he celebrates the Mass and take every personalised or ego-driven aspect out of it. As in every kind of formal procedure – take the famous “Zen tea ceremony” –   the celebrant forgets himself as he strictly follows a complex procedure not leaving him any space for ego-digressions, which is the reason why such kind of strictly regulated procedures – even outside of Christianity – never fail to attract the admired approval of the public.

But must the pewsitter be a parrot of the priest? Must he try to become another Zen master of ceremonies?  Of course, the nearer he can follow the Mass, the better; but failing that, isn’t the old peasant saying her beads vastly better in her participation to mass than the modern crowds even – I have seen it many times – playing or drawing with their little children on the pews? Pray, what kind of “participation” is this? And why is such a kind of participation nowadays almost universally approved of, whilst the old woman saying her beads was suddenly not good enough? 

Therefore my conclusion is: let the translated missals be distributed and used as widely as possible, and let us encourage everyone to “pray the Mass” as closely as they can. But let us put in the centre the actual understanding of the supernatural function of the Mass, and let us allow those who are not educated enough to feel comfortable with the strict following of the Mass to follow the Mass in their own prayerful and devout way.

It is the priest who must “say the black and do the red”, not the pewsitter.

Mundabor

 

If Jesus Had A Wife, Christianity Is A Fraud

… which clearly means that Jesus did not have a wife.

In the face of the ocean of stupidity currently flooding the blogosphere, let us make clear a couple of rather elementary concepts:

– You either believe that Jesus is God, or you don’t.

–  If you do, you cannot at the same time believe Jesus would lie to you, or would allow the Church to be plain wrong on the matter of his celibacy.

The chain of absurd consequences of even examining the possibility of Jesus having being married is much longer than that. It makes the prescription that bishops should be celibate (last time I looked, celibacy for bishops was a matter of doctrine, infallible Magisterium) look rather strange, as if Jesus had said “I eat meat, but you must be vegetarians”.

Then there is the matter of what values would the Gospel have even as a realistic record of Jesus’ working and times, if the Gospels failed to record something so evidently huge as Jesus being married; we would, in fact, have to take the Gospel as… Gospel only until the next fragment of papyrus emerges. The stupidity of all this is mind-boggling.

Furthermore, there are the obvious consequences  of his alleged marriage. Was Jesus married, and all those who followed him after his death had simply become oblivious of the matter? Was Jesus part of one of those couples who prefer not to have children so they can afford a Mercedes? Or did he have children with his wife, for whose record we are now waiting for the next scrap of papyrus? Did all those martyrs who have known him personally, or who knew personally people who had known him personally, just forget to mention the fact to their acquaintances? And how it is that the Jewish tradition of the times, absolutely obsessed with genealogy and family trees, would simply forget to register the fact? 

It this were only a matter of stupidity (immense one, of course; but still stupidity) it would not be worth more than a tired smile and a sad reflection about the imperfection of human nature. But the problem is that such astonishing bollocks openly undermines the authority, the function, and the same legitimacy of the Church; then if one is stupid enough to believe the Church of God “got it wrong” on whether Jesus was married, there is absolutely nothing on which the Church might not be wrong, either; and the list is too long for me to bore you with it. 

Please, please whip in the face (if this is legal in your country) every smartass talking with you about the “interesting possibility” of Jesus having been married.

It will be a salutary lesson, highly beneficial to his (or her) soul.

Mundabor

 

 

 

Ka-Ching, Kirchensteuer, Communion

And so we are now informed that (courtesy of an “acknowledgment” of the Vatican) a German bishop is allowed to consider (or at least to say so) a German devout Catholic who refuses to pay the Kirchensteuer not a member of the Catholic Church anymore (I do not say this is the case, as this seems to be the most simoniacal bollocks heard in the last several centuries; I merely refer that they say so).

At the same time – and I link to only one of the many astonishing pieces of news you can read on the German press with sad regularity –  200 German priests and deacons openly announce they give communion to divorced and remarried so-called Catholics (the number might have grown or gone down in the meantime, but this is not material here).

Let us reflect on the implications of this:

1) It is to be strongly assumed the divorced and remarried Catholics believing they receive communion do pay the Kirchensteuer. Therefore, if one pays one receives the sacrament (or at least he think he does; but what counts here is that  his priest says that he does) and his state of mortal sin, and a scandalous one at that, is not seen as impediment  because of the “commandment of brotherly love”, whether the devout Catholic who does not live in scandal but does not pay the pizzo* is told by his own priest that he is outside of the church, and cannot receive the sacraments, or – what counts here – his priest says that he can’t.

This is worse than stupid: this is simoniacal, utterly disgusting, and a clear case of prostitution.

Twice.

2)  It is not very clear how fast Archbishop Zoellitsch (one of the men behind the new initiative concerning the Kirchensteuer and the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference; go figure) has told the relevant priests and bishops that they are now suspended from service due to their obvious, and very public acts of sacrilege, and invited very fast to repent or face sanctions up to and not excluding being defrocked. Hmm…

Now let us reflect: what does this tell us about Archbishop Zoellitsch, and the hierarchy who put him in his place? What must we deduce from the very obvious fact that those who continue to pay as wished by the Archbishop are not only pandered to continuously, but priests and deacons behaving in an obviously and publicly sacrilegious way are left unpunished, whilst those who merely want to be treated like the other 1,2 billion Catholics and in conformity to the Church understanding of charity and the duty of a Catholic for 2000 years are threatened to be excluded from the sacraments?

Is there a scandal bigger than this one in the entire Church? Nay, is there a scandal bigger than this one in the entire history of the Church?    

This is, my dear readers, the poisoned fruit of the German Church being allowed to get in bed with the secular authority, and becoming both addicted to the money and the whore of those secular laws and values by which she gets so obscenely fed. It says here when the then Bishop (or perhaps already Cardinal) Ratzinger first came to Rome he was surprised to see it had fewer employees than…. the diocese of Munich. I couldn’t verify the statement, but it seems rather credible to me. 

 The German Pope sees all this, and “acknowledges”. You reflect on this very sad circumstances and start to understand why the 200 priests and bishops aren’t punished; and why so many German bishops and cardinals (and one Pope, even) are so ready to shower almost unlimited understanding for the “suffering” of Catholics living – poor lambs – not only in sin and open scandal, but in open defiance of elementary Catholic rules.

Mala tempora currunt. I truly hope the next Pope will not come from a country of the Kirchensteuer area.

Mundabor

*pizzo = Kinnbart = chin-beard. Also the unofficial name of the payments made to the mafia by shopkeepers and others out of fear of retaliation if they refuse to pay (because the mafia always avoids open threats, and stroking one’s pizzo was the way to make the shopkeeper understand it was ka-ching time..)..

The Shroud And The Papyrus

Strangely, the Sacred Shroud of Turin (here a film negative) does not seem to excite the curiosity of the media.

The Shroud of Turin has been accurately examined for many years now, and even fragments of it have been taken away and examined with the most sophisticated means available to modern technology. After all this, its authenticity is not definitely proved.

A woman wants some publicity and when she find a papyrus fragment reporting that Jesus would have had a wife, she automatically concludes that Jesus might (but we don’t know, she hastens to say; you don;t say?)  have had a wife. If she had found a papyrus saying “asses fly”, she would probably have told us it might have been that in ancient times asses used to fly.

What an amazing discovery, and what an academically challenged researcher.

This is very interesting. On the one hand, you see no liberal press – or feminist “researchers” – ever defending the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, which is an utterly, utterly impressive archeological find and, by the way, several metres long. On the other hand, a small piece of papyrus written several centuries after Christ is found and everyone thinks he can play Dan Brown.

I am afraid this papyrus story will give us some angry moment yet. Stay tuned.

Mundabor

Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

You only need to click on this article to understand what is wrong with today’s “Telegraph”.

1) The Photo

Taken by Alamy, a professional Data bank, it has clearly been chosen to convey a positive image of sodomy: smiling, likely staged young faces surrounded by the support of the present, and a festive atmosphere. The “Homograph” clearly approves. Faggots.

2) The Caption

Read the usual homosexual language: “gay” instead of sodomite or homosexual; “gay right” as if they existed in the first place; “pioneer” as if the insitutionalisation of sodomy were anything worth “pioneering”. Faggots.

3) The Article

Whilst the article reports some of the criticisms, it has at least two big faults:

a) it does not condemn in the least. Just imagine an article writing about combined marriages in some Muslim country, where the  interviewed says “we’re so proud our human right to decide the fate of our children has been…

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Homophobic Australian Parliament Discriminates Against “Loretta”

We are informed after days of debate the Australian Parliament has decided to face reality and reiterate that a marriage is between a man and a woman.

Make no mistake, this is still a rotten Parliament, utterly friendly to the sodomites and ready to sanction scandal and abet perversion. The country is, apparently, even worse than its Parliament, being – allegedly, but I do not doubt it – in its majority in favour of the so-called “gay marriage”.

Still, the elected representatives seem at least in their majority able to preserve a bit of decency or, failing that, a bit of logic.

“Look” – they seem to say – “we support pretty much every kind of perversion and would never dare to be counter-cultural or, even, Christian. But this here is a matter of simple logic and of facing the realities of life, and there’s no way two Lorettas can be considered “married” unless we want to cause in the future generations the same hilarity the Monthy Phyton video caused today in heterosexual people.  Therefore, we will continue to be your bitches in everything concerning sexual perversion, but we will stop struggling against reality and we suggest Loretta does the same”.

At least in that, they are right.

Who knows, perhaps now that this decision has been made the one or other Australian will, even in the horrible cultural environment he finds himself in (this is the country “Anty Moly” hails from; not good at all…), start thinking in a halfway rational way and decide that this madness has gone on for long enough, and the encouragement of sexual perversion must stop.

Mundabor

“Celibate Gay Priest?” What’s That?

Unfortunately, the “Taj Mahony” is still there…

 

 

Even after the felicitous departure of Cardinal Roger Mahony from the Diocese of Los Angeles – last time I looked, the biggest diocese of them all as far as the number of faithful is concerned – strange things continue to happen over there, hovering like ghosts over the diocese like the horrible Cathedral left to us as a memento of irreligiousness, wasteful megalomania and outright stupidity.

We are informed ( I have it from Father Z, who mentions the CNA, which mentions other sources) that a Los Angeles priest has been suspended for openly supporting what he astonishingly calls “gay marriage”.

Not so surprisingly, the chap describes himself as “a gay man and a celibate gay priest”.

Now, one can only approve of the decision of the Diocese to suspend the obviously heretical man from making further damage among his sheep; but the question is not this one.

The real question is: how likely it is that the man decided to “out” himself at the same time as he made public his support for the logical impossibility of so-called “gay marriage”? How likely it is, on the other hand, that the man was openly homosexual and had outed himself some time, perhaps a long time, before the event? 

I write this because it strikes me as odd that the Priest be suspended because he “supports gay marriage”, whilst the fact that he is openly  homosexual does not seem to have been a factor in the decision.

More gravely, CNA reports that the priest “will be suspended as long as he remains politically active”. What! Without making a complete abiura, and apologising for the damage done? Should he be, then,  allowed to go back to his parishioners as an openly gay priest who used to publicly support “gay marriage” but is not able to do that anymore? What is this, an Anglican province of Los Angeles? 

Even the notoriously weak and “nuanced” authorities if the Church in England made very clear, when the Ordinariates were announced, that no openly gay Anglican so-called priest would be accepted in the priesthood in the Catholic Church, for the simple and elementary fact that a priest cannot be more allowed to be homosexual than to be a paedophile or a lover of dogs, and that whilst the Church cannot enquire into the mind of people, once one has told that he is a sexual pervert the game is up, period.Good Lord, has the Diocese of Los Angeles not had enough problems in the past thanks to the ingress of sexual perverts (in great part homosexual) among her ranks? Are they so eager for the next payment of several hundred million dollar? 

One reads such news, and wonders. There are dioceses that manage to make bad headlines even when they are supposed to make good ones, because the mismanagement, corruption or worse are so widely spread that it is difficult to give glimpses of the diocese’s workings without the rot emerging.

“Suspended as long as he remains politically active”, my foot.

Abject apology or kick him out, say I.

Mundabor

  

 

Mundabor’s Suggestion To Good German Catholics Who Are Fed Up With The Kirchensteuer

Avanzino Nucci, “Peter’s conflict with Simon Magus”

So, you live in Germany and you have been conscious many years now that the Kirchensteuer is only there to serve the perpetuation of a very fat secularised apparatus, which becomes more secularised because as its revenues depend from the Kirchensteuer they must do whatever they can to avoid the dissenting, contracepting, and adulterous crowds from getting out of the system; and a result, they bend over backwards to please and appease them, as you can see almost daily in the press.

What to do?

If I were in your shoes, I would do as follows:

a) Austritt. No ifs, and no buts.

b) Visit the next (or my usual) Pfarrer and say to him in his face (possibly having recited the “Creed of the Apostles” out loud, and having asked him whether he believes that I am a Catholic)  as follows:

“I am baptised and confirmed, and weekly churchgoer. I pray the Rosary (if you do) every day. I go to confession regularly. I keep fasting days, and days of obligations (& Co.,  & Co.). I have declared my exit from the Kirchensteuer, but I am a faithful orthodox Catholic and want you to know it.

If you agree that I am still a Catholic and can receive the sacraments, I will attend here and you will receive the money I will see it fit to give to your parish directly; otherwise you can go, with all due respect, to hell (where you will very probably go; you can say this) and I will find a better priest, and a more Catholic one  (SSPX? FSSP? Or perhaps your neighbour? Or his neighbour?)  than you are.

Please note I will behave in everything in a way which would not cause the minimum problem in a Catholic from any other but a German-speaking country. I will not only contribute, but I will contribute generously. But I will contribute to those Catholics organisations I like and whose work I approve of. You will, once again, get from me what I will see fit to give you, and I will not tolerate any enquiry, or any negotiation on the matter, as it would be fully normal in any other country on Earth, bar the German-speaking ones.

Your call, Father.”

If I know my German priests, it will be all fine with the third one at the latest, with the one or the other mumbling something about the duty of the priest to administer the sacraments to faithful Catholics, and happy to keep both the sheep and the money.  These are people who administer the sacrament to the fake Catholics, it won’t be so difficult to find those administering them to the real ones. Nor can’t they say that the sacrament is invalid because you are excommunicated, because you aren’t.

Or the priest will say no, and then it will be the next chap’s turn. Germany has, compared to England, a great number of churches and one would be spoilt for choice. You might have to travel a bit to find a church and a priest whose Mass you like, but I can’t imagine there will be so many difficulties.

Imagine the scenario: a priest is put in front of the choice between saying to a devout Catholic who wants to go to mass, participate to the sacramental life and contribute (as he should) to the upkeep of the Church that he is obviously welcome, or to say to him “no, I do not want you, go away! Jesus said: “Go into all the world and preach the Kirchensteuer to all German countries!”;…knowing, if he so behaves, that the neighbourhood will know what kind of priest he is (you will post this on the internet of course; twitter, facebook, the lot…) and that every neighbouring priest who has a modicum of intelligence will get, as already said, both the sheep and the money whilst he misses out on the first (he won’t care anyway) and on the second (he will).

I am almost sad I do not live in Germany. It would be an interesting experiment and a nice occupation for Saturday mornings; I must confess I see myself enjoying doing it… .

Mundabor

Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

Having had the privilege of living in what can be called as different cultures, I can give my readers a perspective – a subjective one of course, but I think a widely shared one – about the issue of gluttony.

In Italy, gluttony as a concept is still alive and kicking. When I was at school, the teachers did not hesitate in publicly scolding overweight children – children who in today’s britain would not even be called fat – as “gluttons”, and there was an icy atmosphere in the class as an eight-year-old girl was ruthlessly exposed as an example of wrong behaviour, or a nine-years-old boy as a menace to his own happiness.I remember very, very clearly no one in the same class would have ever thought of branding such scoldings as “insensitive”. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knew they were made out of sincere interest for the health…

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Catholic Church Conservation On The Kirchensteuer

From Catholic Church Conservation, some beautiful lines of comment on the recent Kirchensteuer turmoil.

Cathcon- this gives a whole new meaning to Pay and Go (mobile communications package in the UK and I think beyond).     The next step will be credit card access at turnstiles- he says half-jokingly.  It is morally worse than the sale of indulgences, as while the purchase of an indulgence was a pious act, it was not the only means to salvation.    I have visions of crowds of Germans assisting at Mass in France or other neighbouring lands on a Sunday.

I suggest that the German bishops now proceed to ask the Pope to silence Bishop Huonder, who has unilaterally dismantled the Swiss system (the equivalent of the German Kirchensteuer) and substituted it with voluntary contributions, against the dictum of the Swiss law, and who is on record  with the following statements (translation is mine):

„Noch immer wissen viele nicht, daß die Katholische Kirche als solche für die Mitgliedschaft keine Steuern verlangt und daß sie in fast allen Ländern kein mit der Schweiz vergleichbares Steuersystem kennt.“

“Many still do not know that the Catholic Church as such does not demand any tax for her membership, and that in almost every Country she does not know a tax system comparable with the Swiss one”

and

  „Auch darf ihnen unter keinen Umständen mit der Verweigerung der Sakramente gedroht werden.“

“In addition, not under any circumstances can they be threatened with the refusal of the Sacraments”.

I wonder who is the real Catholic?

We must pray for the leaders of the German Church and for the Holy Father, a clear accomplice of the German simoniacal troops, and who in his old age is fabricating disasters in rapid succession.

Mundabor

The Thing With The Apologies.

So Paris Hilton has “apologised to her gay friends and their families” for the oh so terrible things said in a taxi about homos being “disgusting” (certainly true, at least if referred to the open, effeminate ones) and probably infected with AIDS (a bit far-fetched, this one, but I got the gist).

It goes without saying that the truth could not remain “un-apologised” for long, but… how much is such an apology worth?

Who on earth can doubt that the woman (I do not call her “lady”, for obvious reasons) really told in the taxi – away from journalists and TVs – what she really thinks? Is there one single person – starting from the alleged “gay friends”, which I imagine not numerous anyway – who thinks the lady made her remarks for… no reason whatever?

What are now the repeated affirmations about how wonderful sodomites are worth? Does really anyone believe the PC theatre?

For once in her lifetime, Paris Hilton has made headlines for the right reasons. This being Paris Hilton, though, the apologies do not come as a surprise.

Mundabor

Church in Germany Openly Simoniacal.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Simony is usually defined “a deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual of annexed untospirituals”. While this definition only speaks of purchase and sale, any exchange of spiritual for temporal things is simoniacal. Nor is the giving of the temporal as the price of the spiritual required for the existence of simony; according to a proposition condemned by Innocent XI (Denzinger-Bannwart, no. 1195) it suffices that the determining motive of the action of one party be the obtaining of compensation from the other.

The various temporal advantages which may be offered for a spiritual favour are, after Gregory the Great, usually divided in three classes. These are: (1) the munus a manu (material advantage), which comprises money, all movable and immovable property, and all rightsappreciable in pecuniary value; (2) the munus a lingua (oral advantage) which includes oral commendation, public expressions of approval,moral support in high places; (3) the munus ab obsequio (homage) which consists in subserviency, the rendering of undue services, etc.

The spiritual object includes whatever is conducive to the eternal welfare of the soul, i.e. all supernatural things: sanctifying grace, thesacramentssacramentals, etc.

I am very curious to know what strange excuses will the Archbishop Muellers of the world invent to exclude the german Church is simoniacal at her very core; and publicly, shamelessly so.

We are informed the German Bishops’ Conference has now intervened and reiterated that in their eyes, you aren’t a Catholic (and therefore cannot have access to the sacrament in normal circumstances) unless you pay them exactly what they want.

Mind, this is not a generic appeal to the fact that a Catholic has a duty to contribute to the expenses of the Church. This is the open, astonishing arrogant demand of exactly how much they want from everyone (that will be 7% of the income tax, thank you very much) , and that (coherently) if they do not get it there will be no sacraments.

The German Bishop say, with astonishing hypocrisy, that he who refuses to pay the Kirchensteuer refuses to give his contribution to the Church maintenance; but this is, to put it very gently, poppycock. It is very much to be assumed that those who want to get out of the Kirchensteuer system but continue to be part of the Church will give generously;  they merely demand the right of every Catholic to choose to whom and how much to give, rather than being imposed a mafioso-type payment from his own religious authorities who say to him “it is so and so much, or else…” and then squander the money in all sort of un-Catholic initiative, exaggerate payments to the clergy, and so on. Besides being openly simoniacal, the system of social pressure to get money, and exactly how much from each, can only be defined as mafioso.

So the situation that might be created is that a good, churchgoing, generously giving Catholic ( I remind you that a Catholic, and the more so a priest, has the duty to assume that everyone is contributing in adequate measure according to his means) might be told by his priest “no sacraments until you pay to us the money I want from you”. Whether the man is, say, a generous giver to the Dominicans, or to the Verona Fathers, or Aid to the Church in Need (Kirche in Not in Germany), is fully irrelevant: No Kirchensteuer? Es tut mir leid, but no Confession…

This, without considering that a priest should be ready to, say, hear the confession of the faithful at every day of the day or night, without asking him whether he has paid the membership quote for the year.

Really, what a disgusting bunch. Much different from the few enlightened, intelligent and, well, Catholic ones like Bishop Huonder.

The avidity of the German (and Vatican, mind; a part of the money ends up there, which is why the Vatican does everything it can to allow this situation to continue) clergy is in contrast with the fact that the only local Churches on the planet insisting in defending a system of forced “taxation” if one wants to call himself “Catholic” are, not coincidentally, at the head of the “movement” for the communion to scandalous adulterers, the “understanding” for sodomitic “unions” showing “commitment”, the “deaconesses”, and the like. They are so prostituted to their own client base, that they have all but altogether forgotten why they are there to deal in the same as an organisation trying not to lose clients. So they try two very old methods: the carrot with the dissenting, and the stick with the devout. Congratulations.

I have often written about the scandalous state of the Church in Germany (Switzerland and Austria are pretty much on the same line; as far as I know, they are the only countries on the entire planet to have the Kirchensteuer; there might be some other like Liechtenstein, but you get my drift) and the fact that their astonishing ability to disregard their job description is due to their great fear of losing the huge  amount of money deriving from the Kirchensteuer, a rich trough not snubbed at all by the Vatican snouts.

To give you an idea, in Italy  every taxpayer can choose if 7 pro mille (not percent) of his income tax goes to the Church, to other religious organisations  or to lay charitable organisations. Very many (also among the non churchgoers, and even many atheists) choose the Church, and even if the amount is around one tenth of the German one (it is more complicated than that of course, but you get the point) it is fair to say Italy has a rather well-organised and well-funded system, and the Church cannot complain about the lack of money, though there is certainly no room for the luxury and waste of the German clergy. Of course, this is also because of the donations (not taxes) freely given by the Italians; but this is just as it should be. 

Now, even with a “guaranteed income” of around one tenth than the German one, the Church in Italy runs an infinity of places with a social function, from free time associations to (very important) places where children can play and gather in absolute security. Having lived in both countries, I can assure you the role played by the Church in Italy in these matter is vastly more important than the one played by the Church in Germany, a country where the infrastructure for children and youth is – other than in Italy – stunning without any need for the Kirchensteuer.

Most important, though, is another consideration: that in Italy no priest would ever dream, in his most drunken state, to consider one who has not given his seven pro mille to the Church a non-Catholic. He wouldn’t, firstly because he knows he doesn’t have any right (moral or, less importantly, legal) to a certain, definite, fixed amount from a sheep; and secondly because he would – even in his most drunken state –  immediately understand that one might want to give the money somewhere else merely because, say, he thinks that bishops waste too much money. What any of this is to do with the person being a Catholic would be a mystery to him – even in his most sober state – as it is to me.

This is what is in the press at the moment (German reader will read the consequences the Sueddeutsche Zeitung clearly draws from the Bishops’ statement: non-Catholic, ergo no sacraments…; makes sense). It would even appear there is even a plan to have the German priest have a talk with the man who wants to get out, in order  to make clear to him they will exclude him from the sacraments. One is reminded of those obnoxious people when you want to cancel your subscription to the gym.

I want to hope that someone with a brain in his head (instead of his wallet) within the German Church will “clarify” and de facto modify the Bishops’ position; but I doubt they will, then to admit one can refuse to pay the Kirchensteuer and remain a Catholic would be, long-term, a death-blow to the Kirchensteuer, and the trough is very big indeed.

In the meantime, there are rumours Benno Elbs will be appointed as the new Bishop of Graz, Austria. The man is described from the Standard as a “liberal churchman”, who is “the people’s ideal candidate”. In Austria, this means something, and if confirmed is no good news.

The German-speaking “shepherds” certainly think this will help to keep the customer satisfied.

Mundabor

Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

I have written several times about the scandal of the Kirchensteuer, which besides being absurd in itself is the main cause of the generalised prostitution of the German/Austrian/Swiss clergy, so fearful of losing the extremely generous income it provides.

It now turns out already in 2009 a rather conservative Swiss bishop had unilaterally decided to set an end to the Kirchensteuer and to substitute it with a voluntary contribution.

Let us listen to the press officer of this excellent man:

„Noch immer wissen viele nicht, daß die Katholische Kirche als solche für die Mitgliedschaft keine Steuern verlangt und daß sie in fast allen Ländern kein mit der Schweiz vergleichbares Steuersystem kennt.“

“Many still do not know that the Catholic Church as such does not demand any tax for her membership, and that in almost every Country she does not know a tax system comparable with the Swiss one”

The astonishing…

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Vatican-SSPX Talks: Bad News For The “Conspiracy” Crowd

As it turned out, the Leberkäse had nothing to do with the entire story….

I have often written on this blog – with disbelief, sorrow and some amusement – about the rather numerous cohort of those for whom the Pope is always the one responsible when he does something they like, and the hapless victim of cruel, ice-cold, shameless corridor plotters when he does something they don’t.

It can’t work, you see. Either one has the shop under control (and then he is responsible), or he hasn’t (and then he is responsible too, incidentally…).

This strange disease by which the Pope is either the man in charge or the victim of the famous “wolves” (people he has chosen to stay or remain near him, without exception; this too is elegantly overlooked) according to whether we like what comes out of the Vatican reached frankly amusing proportions in the last months. On this occasion, the famous preambolo – of which it was clear that it had been approved by the Pope, then otherwise the SSPX would have never dared to run to the wall by saying it was – was given back to the SSPX with mysterious last-minute changes, which were and remain clearly unacceptable not only for the SSPX, but for everyone who love their work and the preservation of Tradition they so beautifully defend.

Ah, how the pious cohorts of Pope Benedict went to defend him! The wolves have betrayed him! They have profited when he was taking a nap and have changed the text of the preambolo! Perhaps they changed some key words whilst he was eating his Leberkäse ! And all under his nose! Shock! Horror!

It now turns out that rather smartly, the SSPX – in my eyes tired to be used and abused by the Holy Father, though certainly far too diplomatic to say so openly – have addressed a more or less direct request to the Holy Father asking him who was the responsible for the, erm, voltafaccia.

At this point, you can be as much the Pope as you like, but you are in a bit of a spot. If you do not answer, they will make it public that you have refused to answer, which will let you look extremely bad; if you say that it was someone else’s fault you have to find and agree the version with the poor scapegoat first – which knowing the Vatican means the entire planet will know about it it in a matter of weeks – and then you will have to go back to the text and change it again, losing face twice in one go;  no, the only way to limit the damage is to tell the SSPX the truth and hope they sweep it under the carpet in the hope this nicety will spare them the “worse” (say, a renewed excommunication).

Unluckily for the Holy Father, the SSPX does not make this kind of calculation, does not appear to value his word much and wants the planet to know it, and has – I can find no other words – exposed the Pope by saying in a very diplomatic and gentle way, but still klipp und klar, that the Pope has confirmed the person responsible for the changes is – surprise, surprise – he himself.

Kreuz.net reports the interview with Father Schmidberger, the head of the German province of the SSPX. The interview is on Pius.info, and if you understand German you can listen from 3:25 to dispel every doubt as to who is responsible for what. As Father Schmidberger is a rather authoritative and prestigious source, I do not think there can be any doubt whatsoever – even for the “wolves party” of the conspiracy theorists – about how things went.

Alas, now the time to face reality has come, and all those who have accused those around of the Pope of being “wolves” must ask themselves why the Pope should, now that the truth has emerged, by considered by them any more gently than how they were considering those around him.

Like everyone else, I would so much like to believe that the Pope is on the side of a sensible restoration of traditional Catholicism and that he works, prudently but steadily, toward that goal. There was a time – in particular after Summorum Pontificum – when I have thought that this was more or less the case, at least that this was partially the case, in preparation of the successor who would then set the foot on the accelerator. My, was I wrong.

Not only is this Pope fully committed to the errors of Vatican II bar the worst modernist heresies;  not only does he consider Vatican II as a whole so much above criticism  that he will not allow the SSPX to work in peace whilst he allows wannabe Catholic Bishops and Cardinals all over the planet – particularly in Germany and neighbouring countries – to set forth their work of destruction undisturbed; but he will not even refrain from wilful deception to damage the SSPX, eating his own word in the hope to divide them in the process. 

The game is now up, the SSPX has managed the crisis in a rather admirable way – they might lose Williamson and his “wing”, but will not be substantially weakened by internal strife; more a pruning than a falling – and Father Schmidberger’s claim that they are now more united make perfect sense in light of both the Papal behaviour and the clear absence of strife – apart from the Williamsonites, who aren’t very quiet at the best of times –  within the Fraternity. 

Kudos to the SSPX for having said – charitably but openly – what was clear enough but too many refused to see. This might well bring them a renewed excommunication – which might have come anyway, after letting them believe it won’t if they behave… – but frankly I do not think they are in the least afraid of it.

To say the truth, I think they don’t think much of the Pope, and want the world to know where they stand, and to know why; I cannot otherwise find a reason for their decision to tell urbi et orbi that the Pope has eaten his word at the last second; a statement as damning in his hard reality as it was gently expressed (see the interview again, and if you speak German enjoy the crystal clear subtext of the interview). Once again, the Holy Father was too clever by half.

Next time you complain about the collapse of the talks, please don’t take it out on Cardinal Bertone, or on Cardinal Levada. Rather, think how the Holy Father allowed them to be in the centre of the scandalised Catholic criticism for months, and  whether the Holy Father would have ever told the truth if he had not been put in a rather tight corner by the Fraternity.   Perhaps a prayer for them both (and for the Holy Father, who needs it most) is in order.

Mundabor 

Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

From a sedevacantist site (I do not go there first; google leads me there) a rather funny (if, in the end, serious) list of excuses for the Pontiff’s appointment of Archbishop Mueller, which I give below to you with few modifications:
  • Benedict is surrounded by wolves – he’s an innocent lamb fearing for his life
  • Benedict is a victim of “The Vatican” – he can only appoint whom the Vatican bureaucrats tell him to appoint – he has no real authority
  • Benedict is going senile or off his meds
  • Benedict is weak and can’t resist the peer pressure
  • Benedict is in a liberal dream – we need to pray for him to wake up
  • Benedict doesn’t know Mueller is a heretic – how could he possibly be expected to ensure the man he appoints as watchdog of orthodoxy is orthodox himself?!
  • It’s all a big mystery – no one knows…

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False Prophets: The Dalai Lama.

Very pleased with himself: the Dalai Lama.

“All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.”

This incredibly senseless twitter statement comes from a man who can be considered the epitome of the stupidity of our times: the Dalai Lama. A man so in love with himself and his “popularity light” among people who need a smattering of spirituality whilst they go on living their heathenish life, the man attempts to go “beyond religion” in his quest for a better spirituality and ethics.

Let us examine the implications of what the man says:

1) Truth changes, and he is the man to tell us when it does. Grounding ethics in religion used to be adequate, but this is no longer the case. Says who? The Dalai Lama, of course.

2) There is a “reality of the world today” that is different from the reality of the world of all ages past and future. For some unfathomable reason (other than the desire of the man to be universally popular among the ignorant world masses) human nature and human condition have now changed. Says who? The Dalai Lama, of course.

3) The man is “increasingly convinced”. He doesn’t really know. His truths are evolving. Sounds like a monologue of one who has had one vodka too much, and shouldn’t have been left near a computer. But it sounds very modern and in tune with the times, so it must be fine.

The entire blabber is entirely senseless. Truth is either unchangeably true, or it isn’t Truth. It can’t be “evolved”, become “inadequate”, or need to go beyond itself. As a religion is a set of beliefs based on the faith in a supernatural entity and the truths this entity wants its follower to know and live by (irrespective of what their personal preferences are; otherwise it is not a religion anymore), to say that religions are becoming “no longer adequate” is tantamount to say that this supernatural entity needs to be corrected by the Dalai Lama himself when he (she, it) begins to go astray, or goes past best before date, or his message becomes inadequate for the “new times”.

Unsurprisingly, this astonishingly brainless twitter message received vast support from the “spirituality light” crowd, the “let us all be oh so inclusive” set who want to be free to do whatever they please without any restriction than their own, very conveniently shaped idea of what is right and wrong.

This is what happens when people follows false prophets: the blind leading the blind.

The orgy of populism this twitter message seems to introduce (it is very easy to see what the Dalai Lama is thinking about: a kind of “a-religious” “ethics” where everyone can feel comfortable whatever his behaviour, “beyond religion altogether”) will fit very well with the lifestyle of so many in the West; those, that is, whose entire spiritual life is based on wholly concepts like “inclusiveness” and “tolerance”, and whose ethical values consist in doing whatever they please, and allowing everyone else to do just the same. They certainly deserve the new ethics “beyond religion” of the Dalai Lama: Similia similibus solvuntur. 

Unsurprisingly, this man is on the side of easy approval on pretty much every modern controversy: be it about feminism, environmentalism, sexual perversion, or even abortion, there’s no way of catching him out saying something the masses might be seriously displeased with, and he will not take a stance he knows to be seriously unpopular.

To show you the enlightenment of this self-appointed “incarnation of bodhisattva” here is, verbatim, his opinion about homosexuality:

    “If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask ‘What is your companion’s opinion?’. If you both agree, then I think I would say, ‘If two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay.'”

“A la carte” morality, and perfectly coherent with the gradually emerging discovery that religion is now  passé, and ready to be substituted for extremely profound concepts like “if there’s no harming others, then it is okay”.

I complain about our trendy bishops, but this here is on another scale altogether.

Seriously, what an ass.

Mundabor

Martini Rotten (No Ice Necessary)

We need a change from Martini, fast…

There is little doubt that personalities of Cardinal Martini’s caliber have been a thorn in the side of the Church for many decades, and have promoted the agenda of the revolutionaries who wish to marry the Church with the world, and do away with the Ten Commandments. While we should pray for God’s mercy on his soul, the permissiveness and license he received from the supreme authority is another sure sign of the auto-demolition that has occurred within the Church… a mother’s tragic betrayal by her own sons.

These very wise words come from the “Pastor’s Corner” of the US Site of the SSPX, where every week a priest of the SSPX offers his own thoughts. 

I fully agree with the statement: Martini’s work was meant at nothing else than the demolition of Christianity (and the Church) as we know it. I am still incensed at the honours that have been tributed to him after his dead, even from the highest place. Whilst I do understand an elementary sense of diplomacy should refrain a Pope from saying “heavens, what a mistake we made on that one”, the eulogy of such a scandalous man is in itself a scandal.

The author of the blog post also says

It seems that the time for such rebels is over and – today – no young version of Martini would be made a bishop or cardinal.

This is probably true if taken literally, but I wonder whether there is such difference in not allowing anymore nutcases like Martini to become bishops, and allowing countless other nutcases similarly oriented, and who are already bishops or cardinals, to go on pretty much undisturbed.

At this pace, the extreme wing of the “everything goes”  fraction will retire circa 2030, after another around 20 years of wreckage of everything Catholic. If things go on at the present pace, in 20 years time Catholicism will be nothing one than one of many cultural factors in many European countries, and one seen with mistrust and perhaps – here and there – possibly persecuted at that.

The idea of leaving a rotten bunch of heathens calling themselves Bishops and Cardinals free to cause an almost unprecedented damage in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – and considerable damage everywhere else; all in the name of the beautiful “renewal” of Vatican II – is more than what a man who loves Catholicism  can bear without losing his countenance. The continuing spectacle of not only inaction in front of heresy, but even praise of the likes of Martini (and of himself as dearly departed) is one that should fill with rage the heart of every sincere Catholic.

I know the Church is indefectible, but being indefectible does not mean that it might not be wiped out by large parts of the Western world due to the cowardice and inaction of the Church hierarchies – up to the very top – in these last several decades. 

We need a Pope with guts, fast, or we must prepare ourselves for a world where real Christianity is considered an unpleasant extravagance at best and a weed to be exterminated at worst, whilst a parallel politically correct “church” tells us how much (or how highly) we must think of Catholics who live in a situation of permanent scandalous adultery. If you think this is fantasy Catholicism, please reflect a large number of Catholic Bishops are making just that in Germany. They will not, of course, officially challenge Church teaching; they will only take care that their (paying) public knows the dear bishops are really on their side, though they cannot say so openly.

A shadow church barely disguised within the official one, and daring to openly challenge Church teaching.

The Holy Father knows all this, and does nothing.

Mundabor

 

Reblog of the day

Mundabor's Blog

The appointment of Archbishop Mueller to the CDF was the signal for the Modernist troops to start an attack in defence of the money they cash from the not-so-faithful in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

This time, the openly heretical assertions come fromt he youngest Cardinal, Woelki, an appointment of Pope Benedict both as Archbishop and Cardinal.

Woelki, whose diocese lies in Berlin (last time I looked, the city in Europe with most lesbians compared to the population), is reported by the Tablet as follows

Commenting on gay men in relationships he said he tried not to see them as just violating natural law but as people trying to take responsibility for each other in lasting partnerships. “We must find a way of allowing people to live without going against church teaching,” he said.

I do not know whether the Cardinal really said (the Tablet might have twisted his real words)…

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The “Ars Orandi” Blog

 

I have become aware of this blog as the author has recently started to link to my blog, thus making me aware of his existence through the clicks coming from there.

This blog is so good, that upon first perusal of the most important  links I have decided to immediately put it in my (ahem, extremely exclusive) “Blogroll” list.

As the name indicates, the blog is mainly concerned with liturgical and devotional matters. What makes it very interesting, though, is the different perspective given to the liturgy, seen not so much from the side of the priest, but rather examined closely from the side of the layman.

To discover the richness of this site, I suggest you read the “about this blog” page, (Achtung! This is an extensive programmatic statement rather than the usual short declaration of intent). Extremely interesting (and rather complete, too) is also the Q & A page, giving a vast background on the blog author. Vastly important is in my eyes the section (which you find on the right-hand column) about the “Methods of Hearing Mass by Lady Lucy Herbert”, with the brilliant “Blogger’s introduction” and, following, the various parts of an (as I suspect)  enlightening book about less intuitive ways of actively participating to the Mass.

I intend to read this blog as I would read a book, as it is my impression that (besides containing a real book in the above mentioned “Methods”) its content is highly structured and a coherent ensemble of instruments helping the laity to profit from the Mass. The variety of topics will, in due course, inspire one or three reflections, with which I will of course afflict my patient readers.

For the moment, I can only suggest that you click the site and “take the tour”. It is really one of the best blogs I ever came across, and being  written in English it is accessible to a worldwide audience.

My congratulations to the anonymous author, a man who has undergone rather severe trials in the past through the madness afflicting the Church (see the Q&A  section), and has managed to maintain his intelligent loyalty to the Church intact.

Enjoy the blog.

Mundabor

The Torah Declaration On Homosexuality

Reacting to the obvious infiltration of homo-thinking among not only “liberal” Israelites, this internet site – created by round two dozen Jews who have overcome their perverted sexual tendencies with the help of Rabbis and other correligionists – has published a rather  well-written Declaration on homosexuality.

The link to the “declaration” site had some problems to load on Friday; I have therefore copied and pasted the entire text below.

Kudos to these brave Jews who dare to defy the “monumental shift” in even the jewish world’s attitude towards homosexuality, and have the guts to say it as it is.

As I write, 223 “Rabbis, Community Leaders, and Mental health Professionals”  have signed the declaration. I do not know exactly what role a “community leader” has in the Jewish world, but do not doubt the Rabbis and mental health professionals must be well represented.

At times, I have the impression that in matters of sexual perversion we might be approaching the turning of the tide, as the mainstream progressively reacts to the homo bullying and refuses to be considered “bigot”, “hateful” or “homophobic” just for defending common sense and common decency against a bunch of aggressive perverts.

Below is the entire text of the Declaration.

Mundabor

———————————-

Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality


Societal Developments On Homosexuality

There has been a monumental shift in the secular world’s attitude towards homosexuality over the past few decades. In particular over the past fifteen years there has been a major public campaign to gain acceptance for homosexuality. Legalizing same-sex marriage has become the end goal of the campaign to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality.

A propaganda blitz has been sweeping the world using political tactics to persuade the public about the legitimacy of homosexuality. The media is rife with negative labels implying that one is “hateful” or “homophobic” if they do not accept the homosexual lifestyle as legitimate. This political coercion has silenced many into acquiescence. Unfortunately this attitude has seeped into the Torah community and many have become confused or have accepted the media’s portrayal of this issue.

The Torah’s Unequivocal And Eternal Message

The Torah makes a clear statement that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle or a genuine identity by severely prohibiting its conduct. Furthermore, the Torah, ever prescient about negative secular influences, warns us in Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:23 “Do not follow the traditions of the nations that I expel from before you…” Particularly the Torah writes this in regards to homosexuality and other forbidden sexual liaisons.

Same-Sex Attractions Can Be Modified And Healed

From a Torah perspective, the question whether homosexual inclinations and behaviors are changeable is extremely relevant. The concept that G-d created a human being who is unable to find happiness in a loving relationship unless he violates a biblical prohibition is neither plausible nor acceptable. G-d is loving and merciful. Struggles, and yes, difficult struggles, along with healing and personal growth are part and parcel of this world. Impossible, life long, Torah prohibited situations with no achievable solutions are not.

We emphatically reject the notion that a homosexually inclined person cannot overcome his or her inclination and desire. Behaviors are changeable. The Torah does not forbid something which is impossible to avoid. Abandoning people to lifelong loneliness and despair by denying all hope of overcoming and healing their same-sex attraction is heartlessly cruel. Such an attitude also violates the biblical prohibition in Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:14 “and you shall not place a stumbling block before the blind.”

The Process Of Healing

The only viable course of action that is consistent with the Torah is therapy and teshuvah. The therapy consists of reinforcing the natural gender-identity of the individual by helping him or her understand and repair the emotional wounds that led to its disorientation and weakening, thus enabling the resumption and completion of the individual’s emotional development. Teshuvah is a Torah-mandated, self-motivated process of turning away from any transgression or sin and returning to G-d and one’s spiritual essence. This includes refining and reintegrating the personality and allowing it to grow in a healthy and wholesome manner.

These processes are typically facilitated and coordinated with the help of a specially trained counselor or therapist working in conjunction with a qualified spiritual teacher or guide. There is no other practical, Torah-sanctioned solution for this issue.

The Mitzvah Of Love And Compassion

It requires tremendous bravery and fortitude for a person to confront and deal with same-sex attraction. For example a sixteen-year-old who is struggling with this issue may be confused and afraid and not know whom to speak to or what steps to take. We must create an atmosphere where this teenager (or anyone) can speak freely to a parent, rabbi, or mentor and be treated with love and compassion. Authority figures can then guide same-sex strugglers towards a path of healing and overcoming their inclinations.

The key point to remember is that these individuals are primarily innocent victims of childhood emotional wounds. They deserve our full love, support and encouragement in their striving towards healing. Struggling individuals who seek health and wellness should not be confused with the homosexual movement and their agenda. This distinction is crucial. It reflects the difference between what G-d asks from all of us and what He unambiguously prohibits.

We need to do everything in our power to lovingly uplift struggling individuals towards a full and healthy life that is filled with love, joy and the wisdom of the Torah.

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