Monthly Archives: December 2012
I thought I would confide to the blog some of the differences I noticed between English and Italian Catholicism over Christmas.
1. More people in church, even considering there are many more churches. Still, I think Catholic Church attendance in Italy is even lower than in England. I draw the conclusion that in the last decades the number of masses has been reduced, or the number of churches, or both. Perhaps the Christmas season favoured higher Mass attendance, though I think this only works for Christmas day, or perhaps the churches in central Rome are particularly busy during the Christmas period. I went to Mass on several occasions, and visited more churches where Mass was ongoing (some of them threw visitors out; most didn’t), stopping for the homily whenever I could. Packed everywhere. This was, I think, surprising, and even the contrast with last year was visible. Again, perhaps it’s just me, or it is only in the historic centre.
2. Compared to England, Confession in Italy seemed a mass sport. Wherever I went confessionals were open for business, three or more at a time, and rather busy. This went on basically every day. I do not have comparisons with England because I never spend the Christmas holidays there, but it seems to me the use of the Sacrament was massive compared to what I am used to see. Suspicious that this was purely Christmas-related, I started to check the confession times on the billboards, and it seems to me the situation is much better than in England even outside of the Christmas time. At least in the centre of Rome, I’d say Confession is taken pretty seriously. It might change in more “progressive” parishes in the suburbs, though…
3. Confession in Italy is often lacking in privacy. You have those beautiful, old, carved wood confessionals basically wasted by having the penitent approaching the priest from the front and kneeling in front of him. The others who are waiting are just three-to-four metres away. There’s a continuous buzz in the air, and the constant danger of having your confession made public if one is a bit old and accustomed by declining sense of hearing to speak somewhat louder, whilst the church acoustics certainly does not help privacy. There was, in fact, no privacy at all. I know difficult situations can always happen (from one of the “closed” confessionals came the thundering voice of a Jesuit confessor certainly advanced in years, and in need of a good hearing device…; pretty much a nightmare scenario for the timid penitent…), but it seems to me the system of approaching the priest from the front with no other privacy than a handful of metres of thin air in a resounding old church isn’t the done thing.
4. I have assisted – adding the Masses I have attended to, and those where I stopped to listen to the homily whilst visiting – to at least a half-dozen homilies. All of them were of very high quality, with no trace of the “social smartass” attitude I remember of my younger years, and sound Catholicism wherever you turn. Again, I might have been lucky, or perhaps the central parishes tend to be more conservative. It angers me these obviously smart priests – those I have seen were generally fairly young – are either unwilling or not allowed to wage open war against the secular thinking. They are doing a good job nevertheless, though, and I never had the impression I could have heard the same homily in an Anglican or other Protestant church, as it happened to me in the UK on several occasions.
5. The santino (holy picture) was back in force. Many church had them printed and stored in front of several altars, for the faithful to take them away. Whilst I have seen them very occasionally in England, this was massive and the clear result of some concerted action or directive from the higher echelons. It wasn’t standard fare, either, but rather the santino of the saint to whom the relevant altar is dedicated. They were eagerly taken away by the Italian visitors and clearly ignored by most tourists, which I think is a clear sign they were taken up by those really interested in using them. A beautiful revival of just another Catholic tradition, which I hope will soon find its way to Northern European shores.
In general, my (highly subjective) impression is the Church is more robustly followed by her followers compared to two-three years ago, though as I have already written she is clearly slowly losing the battle of demographics in the country at large. A country where for decades a diffused Catholicism was often only a hand of varnish – but where Catholicism was deeply ingrained in the collective way of thinking – is probably polarising and dividing itself between those clearly taking their distances from Church teaching and those getting closer to her.
As I have already written, Italy is at the vigil of historic elections, whose effects might be felt for decades to come. Let’s hope the dam holds for as long as it can, and that it gives a more assertive, but still rather soft church the time to reorganise and prepare for an unavoidable war for the country’s soul.
I am not a mother (neither a woman, come to that), so I can’t really tell.
Still, I can imagine. I can imagine that I am a mother in the bliss of newly found maternity, a joy without equals.
But then I imagine that when the child is just a few days old, I am informed by a very reliable person that this child is going to undergo great suffering and a painful death. How would it feel? A short time later, I must leave my home in the middle of the night, precipitously fleeing those who want to murder the child. Some years of relative tranquillity go by (during which, though, I have never forgotten the fateful words of Simeon) and one day, I discover that through a misunderstanding my twelve years old child is missing, somewhere in a great city far away from me. Then I return to where I last have seen him, every hour a nightmare and slow death; looking for him without success, for days.
Further years go by, until the now ancient words of the old man in the temple take meaning and form. My own and only child is – after being whipped almost to unconsciousness – made to carry the instrument of his own torture and stumble under his weight. Enough? No, not enough. I see my child savagely nailed to the cross, undergoing a slow and painful death in front of my very eyes. I see him dying, then have to endure the excruciating pain of having the cold dead body of my own child in my arms and to suffer his deposition on a tomb.
I am not a mother and I can’t really know how it would feel. But I can certainly try, and it takes my breath away. Most mothers would prefer to die and call themselves happy, rather than to have to endure all this.
At the same time I think of the challenges and problems of my life, problems I sometime tend to, well, rather make worse than they really are and when I compare my problems with those of Mary, I am helped to understand that perhaps my sufferings are not so unbearable after all, and that She who has suffered so much sees my problems and sorrows – even if infinitely less burdensome than hers – with great love and compassion anyway.
At the same time, I know that She is, in virtue of Her Son and in virtue of Her Sorrows, my (and our) Mother too. A mother to whom I can always open my heart in love and confidence, certain of being heard and loved; and a mother whose sorrows naturally sadden me. It is therefore fitting, every now and then, to dedicate ourselves to another Catholic devotion of the past unlikely to ever be mentioned by the friendly, smiling, joke-cracking and oh so nice progressive priest near you.
The Seven Sorrow of Mary is a traditional Catholic devotion by which the faithful briefly meditate (whilst praying or with a short introductory reflection, as in the Rosary) on those fateful seven moments in Mary’s life.
As already explained on a different occasion, the aim (and a main tenet of Catholicism at the same time ) is to unite ourselves to Mary’s and Jesus’ sufferance and at the same time to draw strenght and inspiration to bear the trials that we ourselves have to endure.
It isn’t really realistic to think that grave tests will be taken away from us. We are never going to be given tests we can’t endure, but most of us are going to be tested in some way or other, so don’t bet your pint. The best think to do is to try to grow our spiritual life by lovingly uniting ourselves to Mary’s and Jesus’ sufferance in order to be spared them if this is God’s will, and to be able to endure them and make them bear fruits if, alas, things have been appointed otherwise.
If you follow this link you’ll find a beautiful rendition of the first sorrow this devotion, with prayers and big images to help you stay focused. From there, you’ll be able to click your way to the following ones.
When you have followed the devotions to the end, please stop a moment and bask in the knowledge that once again, in the privacy of your home, a little part of the extremely rich and at times almost forgotten world of Catholic devotions has come back.
When you regularly visit a country and tend to always see the same set of people, it is easy to be tempted to think said country doesn’t change much; but in fact, it does, and it does in a very slow way that actually hides the danger of the movement.
Every year, perhaps 1.3 percent of the population dies. It may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. The last attempt of the leftists to introduce institutionalised perversion was in 2006-2007 and it failed so miserably – reinforced by the crushing victory of centre-right in 2008 – that one thought the country would be safe for a long time. Five years later, and with perhaps 8 to 10% of the electorate having changed the picture looks different already.
Mind: Italy is still emphatically not Spain, and the Vatican is still so powerful Berlusconi doesn’t dare to openly attack them even after the men in red threw him out of the window. But this strong power – not so strong as it used to be, but powerful nevertheless – is clearly, if slowly, vanishing. It appears clear to me what scandalised very many in 2006 scandalises fewer people in 2013, and what was inconceivable then (the homo “marriage”) is very well conceived now.
Therefore, 2013 or 2014 could be the year pro-homo legislation makes its entrance in this once so proudly Catholic country; it might not be so of course, and as I write I’d say it’s fifty-fifty; but the tragic reality is that the demographics are against us, because a generation of pussycat clergy was not able to convey the simplest truths to their sheep; therefore, whilst the clergy can still connect to those formed in years where sanity was considered normal, they have – irretrievably, in all probability – largely lost the younger generation of the 18-35 years old. These people are going to vote for another half century (if democracy survives for so long) and not very many of them might be re-shaped even by long years of assertive Catholic propaganda.
How do you remedy to this situation? By hammering the Truth into the head of the young, say I; through a relentless, daily bombardment from the churches (many of those in Italy), the TV stations (the biggest of them all), the newspapers (many of those, too). The alternative is the danger of becoming just another godless wasteland like England, when Christianity is now largely reduced to senseless slogans with the addition of a Christmas Pudding. We need a new Crusade aimed at reviving a dying Catholicism in Western Europe.
Did I see any of this assertive Catholicism during my stay in Italy? Not much. Of course, Italy is different from England, and Catholicism does have a different place in the public discourse; but there is no assertiveness, and no real grit. The left coalition is openly in favour of institutionalised sodomy, and there should be brimstone falling on them every day from the very powerful Catholic media; but you really can’t see anything of that; rather, some polite remark at the most. I concede Italians are better acquainted with Catholicism than the Brits and might (perhaps) need less shouting, but I do not think anything near enough is happening.
I will not bore you (for today) with the intricacies of Italian politics, but my impression is that the Catholic hierarchy are lulling themselves in a rather complacent optimism that they will manage to avoid the worst (as they have managed to do it in the last years) whilst still avoiding to openly support the Berlusconi-led right wing coalition. They seem to think that putting all their weight behind the centre coalition will be sufficient to avoid the worst. A very risky strategy, if you ask me, with no room for error: if the centre coalition fares badly whilst weakening the right-wing coalition, we are – as they say – in un mare di guai.
We will soon know where we are as the 24 February approaches rapidly. Let us hope Italy remains exempt from the heathenish, perverted madness we can observe in such a large part of the Western world.
It is interesting to observe how in matters of religion everything is interconnected.
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi, our wise forefathers used to say. We, who are far less wise, think everything must be fine because we “have the heart in the right place”, and as a result unavoidably make a pig’s breakfast of things.
Much has been written already about the liturgy, so I will skip the point today. Let us, however, take the expression lex orandi literally, as referred to the way we pray. Once upon a time, prayers were learnt by rote; as a result, basic tenets of the faith were hammered into the head of even the more theologically challenged.
As an example, let us take the “Hail, Holy Queen”, a prayer almosr disappeared in the wake of Vatican II and now revived together with the practice of the Rosary. When reciting the “Hail, Holy Queen” everyone was reminded – inter alia – that Mary is his hope; that he is a) a banished b) child of Eve; that he lives in a valley of tears rather than, say, in the Great Oprah New-Age Amusement Park; that Mary is our advocate, whose merciful help we sorely need; that we are exiled on this earth, and at the end of this exile we need Her to show us to Jesus, born of her through the miracle of the Incarnation, in order for us to know that, at last, we made it.
All this may seem banal, but it isn’t. I suspect most of the concepts expressed above either sound strange or are fully unknown to most of today’s “casual” Catholics, who have been encouraged to make their own prayers and as a result have ended up making their own theology, their lex credendi unfailingly mirroring the superficiality and chaos of their lex orandi.
Nor does this stop at the mere problem of bad instruction, because the new lex credendi will unavoidably create a correspondent lex vivendi. If I am not a banished child of Eve, do I really need to go to Mass? If I am not in need of any mercy, why do I need to go to confession? If I and mine are already worthy of the promises of Christ, what need is there to baptise my children? Hey, their heart will most surely be “in the right place”: after all, they are my children, and I am – as all my friends, some of whom obligatorily “gay”, will attest – sooo nice!
At this point, Christianity has all but disappeared from one’s and one’s family members’ conscience and way of life, and it has been replaced by a vague, but emotionally satisfying feeling of a generic perceived “goodness” without any logic. Perversion is now either ignored or “celebrated”, adultery is a way of life deserving of our “support”, contraception is accepted as obviously “right” and the Church – when one is even conscious of what the Church’s position on the matter is – clearly “wrong”; then the fact the Church can’t be wrong in doctrinal matters was not contained in any of the self-made prayers on which the theology of the typical Post-V II (un)faithful is based.
So, what do we have? No mass attendance (80% or more of the Catholics in the West); divorce like there’s no tomorrow (in Germany, same percentage of divorced spouses in Catholic Cologne as in neighbouring, Protestant Dusseldorf); aiding and abetting of sexual perversion (again in Germany, approved by the “Christian” party, led by the clearly atheist, (cough…) culona inchiavabile, Angela Merkel), contraception as a kind of social duty across the religious spectrum, & Co., & Co. …
It all starts with the attack against the lex orandi, both as liturgy and as individual prayer life.
Satan knows this very well.
The V II clergy are well aware of this too.
Which is why they have massacred them.
If you, for example, happen to land on what must be the most clicked Catholic questions and answers forum on the Internet, you will find, broadly speaking, two sections: the one where you can ask a priest or theologian, and the other parts where you can interact with other readers.
The first section offers answers generally (not always) consistent with Catholic teaching, and not deprived of a certain assertiveness at times; but depending on who writes the answer, can be extremely misleading for the faithful. I remember one instance where the relatives of a suicide were told not to worry (add here a ton of sugar), without any deeper explanation as to why they should have been, in fact, very worried. This wasn’t even Catholicism, this was bad “emotional assistance” work.
The second section was (with his various sub-sections) an attempt at making the rules as one goes along, with a mixture of well-informed and properly instructed posters and the usual crowd of “sensitive” half Sixty-Eight, half New Age Catholics having oh so much understanding for pretty much everything and being properly instructed on oh pretty much nothing.
When I was at the very beginning of my journey of rediscovery of Catholicism (I was the usual V II product: a horribly instructed lapsed Catholic, carrying with him an utterly shameful, awful system of values. Like many others, I rediscovered the religion of my forefathers outside of the usual V II-priest channels, and out of a natural thirst of knowledge and truth going past the waffle of V II priests) I found this kind of forum instructive; but rather soon I noticed that a lot of tar was mixed to the wheat, and as I became more and more knowledgeable the extent of the problem became fully known to me. I then stopped visiting such sites, focusing on the blogs of priests above suspicion and the specialised books and sources I could find in or buy from the Internet.
More amusing (I won’t even call them dangerous) are the kind of “questions and answers” places like “Yahoo answers”. These are pages you can visit for your own amusement, and they remind one of the kind of conversations cats would have about the intellectual life of dogs. It’s as beautiful an example of the blind leading the blind as few others on the Internet, and the product of the astonishing mentality according to which everyone is always entitled to open his mouth, just because he feels like it. Of course, the point system plays a role; but Good Lord, not even the promise of points should be enough to persuade people to expose their abysmal ignorance in such a way. The difference with Catholic fora, though, is that the exercises a’ la “Yahoo Answers” are so evidently amateurish that no sane person aged ten or above (fourteen, if he is the product of a progressive education) would ever consider the place a source of real knowledge in religious matters.
Of course, my esteemed half-dozen readers are of a different kind, or they would not have landed on this blog in the first place. Still, if colleagues or friends happen to touch the subject with you, you might want to warn them beforehand from the danger represented by half-baked knowledge, particularly when dished out in pages leading the uninstructed to think they represent legitimate, authentic Catholic patrimony.
What I generally do is to suggest to the “curious” that they do a very simple thing and start ordering the “Penny Catechism” from the Internet (I have given away a couple of those myself; they are so cheap you will not even embarrass the recipient, or you can “handle” them a bit and then give them up saying “take this, it’s my copy, I will buy another one”). Even a simple Penny Catechism, well-studied and properly digested, will make of an attentive reader a better Catholic than a vast number of nowadays priests and bishops, let alone of the amateurs writing on Catholic fora. After that, other Catechisms may be chosen (I find the higher Baltimore catechisms excellent for an attentive learner; the fourth has an easy-to-understand commentary too). At that point, more sophisticated books can easily be attempted and rapidly and properly absorbed, and at this point the choice is so vast that even after discarding everything remotely stinking of Vatican II one will have enough to read for more than one lifetime. But seriously, already the proper knowledge of the Penny catechism from the pewsitters would be enough to change the face of every English-Speaking country. Which must be the reason why I never see them on sale in nuChurches.
The Internet made this possible, and in fact I own to the Internet my re-discovery of Catholicism. The availability of serious texts on the net allowed me to research and instruct myself past the usual waffle I was surrounded with in my younger years, when Vittorio Messori and the likes of him were – amazingly – believed to be sources of proper Catholicism. The priest read once at school some pages of one of his books. Never in life had I met such a sugary succession of vapid common places, and inconsequential wannabe logical arguments. Even the believers among us laughed out loud at the idiocy but boy, the man sold well in the sugary atmosphere of the Seventies and Eighties, which demanded “feel good” platitudes and this ever-present idea now everything is done better and smarter. Unsurprisingly, the man supports the Medjugorje scam.
The priest couldn’t defend himself and the book from the logical remarks of seventeen years old accustomed to think logically. He abandoned the experiment. This was, by the way, the priest who once said in class (whispering in that too-clever-by-half way which conveys the message “boys, I’d get in trouble if my wisdom were known to my superiors”) that “the devil does not exist”. I kid you not. I hope they have retired him by now; and I hope he will save his soul, fat ass as he was.
Therefore, we see that the Internet is, in this as in pretty much everything, a double-edged sword. A wonderful source of knowledge and mutual enrichment (I am always rather pleased at thinking from how many countries my half-dozen readers connect to this blog…) and the source of endless drivel, trite common places, or much worse.
Use the Internet well, is the counsel I would give to your “curious” colleague or acquaintance. For example, by using it to purchase a Penny Catechism in your winter coat pocket, a small thing he can read three minutes at a time when he queue for the train ticket or at the post office.
Already this would be an excellent start.
You might have heard the one or other old-ish man (or, more probably, woman) waxing lyrical about “The First Christians”.
I have always been suspicious of this kind of “Firstolatry”, as I have never been told that the “First Christians” had any title to liturgical or doctrinal infallibility. Still, they tend to be mentioned rather often, and I am reminded of the “Firstolatry” every time I assist to one of those Novus Ordo masses where some self-satisfied old men (or women) carry the gifts to the altar, generally coming back to their pews with a face indicating how very, very special they are.
It seems also clear to me that such a reasoning (“The First Christians did it, therefore we should too”) contradicts the very meaning of Catholic tradition. If The First Christians were right, then many centuries of Catholic Tradition would necessarily be wrong! It’s like saying the Church started with the right foot, but then suddenly started doing things the wrong way. I do not know about you, but this stinks mightily of Protestantism to me.
I also thought “tradition” comes from the Latin traditio, “transmission”. We receive from our ancestors and in turn transmit to our descendants. Therefore, the “recovery” of an ancient way of celebrating the Mass is nothing to do with tradition at all! Those old ways have, precisely, been abandoned instead of transmitted, because The First Christians thought they were not good enough! Where’s the “tradition” in that?
Pope Pius XII called this excessive attention to old and abandoned ways “archaeologism”, as always hitting the bull’s-eye.
Once again, it is easy to see good and strong Popes can recognise and correct wrong tendencies they see developing among the sheep; much less good and weak Popes are unable to stem the spreading of fashions – or worse, as in the case of the altar girls – even when they perfectly recognise the error.
Let’s hope the “Firstolatry” will abate with the time, as we slowly come back to reason in liturgical matters.
I have written on several occasions on how societal trends move like a pendulum, with an issue slowly developing, then exploding – greatly helped by the media, who love these things – in a collective craze, and after a while deflating again. Sometimes the process takes a long time, on other occasions the pendulum swings more rapidly. To make some example, Roe vs Wade is now clearly under attack, and I seriously doubt it will survive another 40 years, whilst – to mention just some other cases – the AIDS-craze, the Mad-Cow madness and the Environ-mentalism all were much more short-lived.
On a smaller scale, perhaps another pendulum is slowing starting to swing the other way: the intimidation of Hollywood through the Homomafia.
I have just seen “Seven Psychopats” (a brilliant movie, if you like black humour) and couldn’t avoid thinking this will have the queens up in arms, screeching like it’s the first day of sales at Bloomingdale’s. What makes the (several) jokes more relevant is that the film has its first ending (yes, there are two of them…) with a joke so obviously uncaring of the screeching of the homo-lobby I can’t believe this was done by coincidence. On the contrary, the impression I had is that the message here is very clear: we’ve had enough of being intimidated and won’t put up with this anymore.
You could obviously say this is just one movie, and a swallow does not a summer make; but this is a $15m movie, not an indie aiming at Sundance Film Festival glory.
I couldn’t avoid thinking that just a couple of years ago a famous actor (Vince Vaughn, if memory serves) had to make a public apology because he had one line in which he said the Toyota Prius is “gay” (which it clearly is; readers of this blog obviously excluded). Heavens, if the Gaystapo gets bitchy because of a line like this, ” Seven Psychopats” will be bad for their coronaries.
I will continue to follow the trend, but I hope the infamous “Friends With Benefits” will be remembered as the low point, a romantic – if rather immoral for Catholic standards; most romantic movies today are – comedy utterly raped by the presence of the homosexual “friend of the lead character”, interpreted by a rather improbable Woody Harrelson. Interestingly, Woody Harrelson – whom I had not seen for a while before his homo role, and I suspect had to accept it to get back in the big game – now gives an excellent, gritty interpretation in “Seven Psychopats”, and I can well assume the man is trying to get rid of the bad odour left by his homo character; still, the man is clearly a liberal, so I might be wrong on this.
We will see how this pans out; but I must say I was so surprised I thought I would share this with you. More of this, please, and let us put an end to this insufferable climate of bitchy intimidation.
Rev. Philip Egan
Bishop of Portsmouth
Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth
Registered Charity No. 246871
Bishop Crispian Way,
023 9282 0894
023 9286 3086
Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP
Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party
10 Downing Street
Dear Mr Cameron
From Rt. Rev. Philip A. Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth
I am writing to you to send you best wishes from the priests and people of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, and the promise of our prayers for you, as you carry the heavy responsibility of leading our great nation. However, I am also writing to ask you, indeed to urge you, to change course on your intention to introduce same-sex marriage.
You have said you are an enthusiastic supporter of marriage and that you do not want “gay people to be excluded from a great institution.” Yet I wish respectfully to point out that behind what you say lurks a basic philosophical misconception about the nature of ‘equality.’ Equality can never be an absolute value, only a derivative and relative value. After all, a man cannot be a mother nor a woman a father, and so men and women can never be absolutely equal, only relatively equal, since they are biologically different. So too with marriage. Marriage, ever since the dawn of human history, is a union for life and love between a man and a woman. It is a complementary relationship between two people of the opposite sex, the man and the woman not being the same, but different. They are not, in other words, absolutely equal but relatively equal. This is why gay couples, two men or two women, are not being ‘excluded’ from
marriage; they simply cannot enter marriage.
By enabling gays to ‘marry’ and by equating the union of gay people with marriage, however well-intentioned, you are not only redefining what we mean by marriage but actually undermining the very nature, meaning and purpose of marriage. Marriage, and the home, children and family life it generates, is the foundation and basic building block of our society.
If you proceed with your plans, you will gravely damage the value of the family, with catastrophic consequences for the well-being and behaviour of future generations. The 2011 Census shows the parlous state of the institution of marriage which you claim to believe in so strongly, and of family life in general, with one in two teenagers no longer living with their birth parents and over 50% of adults living outside of marriage.
Can you imagine the confusion and the challenge for teenagers as they grow up and seek to reach a fully mature and integrated sexuality? This is why I fail to see how your intentions can possibly strengthen the institution of marriage and family life. Rather they will dilute it. More, you are ignoring the huge opposition of Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, as well as that of a huge number of ordinary people. You are imposing the aspirations of a tiny minority on the vast majority. Make no mistake, the change you are proposing is of immense significance. By it, you will be luring the people of England away from their common Christian values and Christian patrimony, and forcing upon us all a brave new world, artificially engineered. What you are proposing will smother the traditional Christian ethos of our society and in time strangle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in Britain to conduct its mission. There is no sanction whatsoever in the Bible and the Judaeo-Christian tradition for gay marriage. I cannot see how anyone who claims to be a Christian can possibly justify what you are intending to do.
I know you have spoken of the ‘quadruple lock’ and other legal safeguards. Yet for me many grave concerns remain about the brave new world you are fashioning in the name of the false gods of equality and diversity. For example, will I as a Christian have to support your ideology when preaching? Will you exempt the Church, its resources and premises, from charges of discrimination if it declines to host same-sex social activities? Will Catholic schools, Catholic societies, Catholic charities and Catholic institutions be free (and legally protected) to teach the full truth of Christ and the real meaning of life and love?
I appreciate how politically difficult it can be to undertake a U-turn and to sustain the attendant criticism such would bring. But when it is a matter of the truth, and the reasons are cast-iron clear, a U-turn would be hailed by history only as brave and courageous. This is why, like a Thomas a Becket appealing to Henry II, I do not hesitate to ask you to consider doing what is the right and just thing to do. Otherwise, will we ever be able to forget that it was the leader of the Conservative Party (sic) who finally destroyed marriage as a lasting, loving and life-giving union between a man and a woman?
I assure you of my respect, best wishes and prayers.
Rt. Rev. Philip A. Egan
Bishop of Portsmouth
CC: Priests and People of Diocese of Portsmouth
Although I’ve struggled to work out exactly what my faith is, I have always tried to live by the doctrines of Jesus. It’s not rocket science: be kind, be thoughtful, be respectful, don’t hurt or judge other people. If anyone has a better blueprint for getting through life, I haven’t heard it yet.
Tony Jordan, writer of BBC1’s Eastenders, Hustle and The Nativity
I have found this quotation on a rather strange, more than vaguely disquieting page about which I might write separately.
Unsurprisingly, a BBC writer manages to tell us in two lines everything that is wrong with himself and his ilk. We live in such stupid times that people who are supposed to be fairly well-educated show a lack of basic understanding of simple things that would have embarrassed an illiterate peasant of the late XIX century. And the embarrassment would have been fully justified, as the above mentioned illiterate peasant would have been much better educated in what really counts than the nincompoop from whom the quotation is taken.
Let us take all the components of this astonishingly stupid statement, so that the abyss of arrogance and ignorance it contains may be fully revealed.
1) “I have struggled to work out exactly what my faith is”.
This is so BBC it’s embarrassing. One is supposed to “work out what his faith is”. Hhhmm, let me see, what should my faith be? Perhaps a buddhist base with added Hinduism would do the trick? I might add a topping or two perhaps, like Confucianism and some Yoga; a helping of Kabbala might be interesting, and let us not forget Islam and (how is it called? o yes..) Christianity in order to be inclusive…
Seriously: even a child would – provided he is smart – know that before one talks about faith one should have an idea of what a faith is about: not something you work out yourself, but a system of religious values you adhere to. Otherwise it is not faith (whether a true or a false one), but merely a form of self-worship which, besides being utterly vapid, will most certainly be self-contradictory.
2) “I have always tried to live by the doctrine of Jesus”.
Here it gets really funny. Notice “the doctrines of Jesus” are separated from the concept of Christianity as faith (he is “struggling”, remember? “Working out”…); Jesus is that nice chap who seems to have doctrines which seem to, in a way, be in agreement with the moral values of the chap; hey, if he agrees with Jesus, Jesus can’t be wrong, can he now…. One starts to understand this man has no clue about Jesus, Christianity, or anything else… This is amply demonstrated by the following statement.
3) “It’s not rocket science: be kind, be thoughtful, be respectful, don’t hurt or judge other people”.
If I were to teach the fundamentals of Christianity to a class of morons, I would feel obliged to make it, erm, rather more complicated than that, and I am sure the morons would fully follow and digest the lesson. But this here is something which you might, if it were right, explain to a five-years-old. I know, it isn’t even right. But heavens, a person can’t claim to be happy with such a level of childish, extremely superficial thinking and call himself an adult, surely?
He is, of course, entirely wrong. If there’s something that can be said of the statement above, is that in it Christianity is largely non-existent, or openly denied. “Be nice, and allow everyone to do everything he pleases” is the purest antithesis to everything Christianity stands for. No Commandments, no hell, no heaven, no proselytism, no fear of the Lord; no original sin, redemption, real charity, system of Christian values, or church of any kind to be seen; besides, no reason why Jesus would have come on earth in the first place, no sign he would be in any way better than a very fine chap, & Co., & Co. Nothing of nothing.
A nicely sounding nothingness is what this man has, after his “struggle”, “worked out” for himself. I can tell you with absolute certainty that in kindergarten I was instructed better than that, and both my class comrades and I would have laughed at such a statement; but again, the man works for the BBC, so do not expect any sense in what he says…
4) “If anyone has a better blueprint for getting through life, I haven’t heard it yet”.
This is a declaration of intellectual – besides moral – bankruptcy as I have seldom read anywhere. Clearly, this man “struggled” so much that he has never bothered, whilst “working out” what kind of religion he should build for himself, to read a Catechism, or even a Protestant book of introduction to Christianity for Children if he wanted to have the message accessible to him. His statement makes the impression of one who has “worked out” his religion by talking to other miracles of moral vacuity at cocktail parties, and has at the end decided humanity cannot have made better than his effort. Seriously, read it again.
Now, that there are people like that is not new. What is typical of this generation is that such statements and such mentality is mistaken for, in a way, wisdom, or – if this is too big a word for the age of the X-factor – at least for some kind of thoughtfulness. Astonishing.
A recent survey indicated almost 60% of the Britons still defines themselves as “Christians”. If the likes of Mr Jordan include themselves among them, we are in really bad shape.
It does not happen very often that the likes of Yours Truly (and of his readers, who must all be carved out of the same, or at least a similar wood) are called “trendy” by a magazine read all over the world. More often, adjectives like “backward”, “narrow-minded” and the unfailing “homophobic” will be used.
Of course, being a magazine with planetary readership does not mean that the magazine is any good; but what it certainly means is that when such a magazine decides to host an article about a certain “trend”, the world has started to notice. Therefore, when – as I have from His hermeneuticalness – the “Economist” suddenly discovers that we “traddies” are the real “trendies”, they do nothing more than registering a phenomenon less and less capable of being ignored: sound Catholics are taking over the grassroots and are – and this must also be said – clearly intentioned to demolish the wall of madness built – and still maintained – by fifty years of drunken, stupid, and cowardly V II masonry.
We, we “traddies” are the real “trendies”! We are the future, because we are the real past. We are the orthodox ones, and the VII generation is on our way. Our ilk already produces a shocking percentage of new vocations (look at the SSPX statistics for France!) and will, in a decade or three, produce a corresponding number of bishops and cardinals. This, in turn, will give us Popes actually able and willing to do their job properly.
Even the “Economist” has noticed. No better way to say it.
By all the disgust about the astonishing feat of these last days (two perverted children “adopting” – or something like that – a third child, this one very young) we have somewhat overlooked the fact that in this case, astonishing behaviour is shown on several levels.
Let us take, for example, the mother. I mean by that the rightful owner of the uterus considered fit enough for an aging rock star and his chosen boy toy. No doubt the lady can use the cash as, for what I know, the physiological process of pregnancy is neither of little consequence, nor entirely pleasant, nor devoid of some (residual, nowadays) health risk. This without considering the bikini shape, as I am risking the assumption that one able and accustomed to have almost any whim satisfied will choose to have his boy or (more importantly) daughter as pleasing to the eye as technology…
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I have written only yesterday about the extraordinary times we live in; times when an old pervert who, together with his perverted (er, what….. mistress?) decides to have a new and unusual toy can easily “rent a uterus” and, through the help of sperm of not yet revealed origin, provide to what he probably calls “procreation” and certainly “fatherhood”.
Today, the “Telegraph” has an additional article about that. The article shows at the same time the pit in which the “Telegraph” has descended, the indifference to perversion of its journalists and more broadly the indifference with which vast parts of society – even among those calling themselves “conservative” – looks at abominations of this sort before happily moving back to the enjoyment of Cheryl Cole’s secondary sexual characteristics.
The article’s position first. It is in the “celebrities” section of the Telegraph’s “news” internet presence. From this we infer that…
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As reported in a clearly festive and non-judgmental mood by what is becoming the most lavender-reeking newspaper in England, the once great “Daily Telegraph”, Sir (or should I say: Dame) Elton John has now – probably tired of other extravagancies – hired a uterus and procured a baby to be adopted by his lady-male-friend and himself.
The fact that this symbol of perversion is now 63 does not add anything to the monstrosity of the matter (men, and I mean real ones, have had children at old age in all ages past, particularly if they had the need to ensure descendants to family or kingdom), but helps one to understand to what extent the perversion of modern times makes a god of every ego-driven whim.
The man is not only old. He is homosexual to boot. His desire to “adopt a child” is not due to his thinking that…
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I have written on another post that if the Catholic clergy dared to wage open war on sodomy, their efforts would not fail to be crowned with success. Let us see why.
One of the greatest fallacies of democracies is the diffused thinking that as every head has one vote, every vote was born equal; this is simply not the case.
In England as in every other democracy, a politician looks for the approval of lobbies and pressure groups, and tries to follow the popular fashion. What terrorises him is a negative press. This counts, and nothing else. The vast mass of voting sheep do not interest the politician. He doesn’t care for the fact that most people abhor sodomy, because this abhorrence is diffused and not organised; it’ s not opposed by any organised group threatening to put an end to his career, nor is it a fashionable issue able to give him some nice headlines.
Homos, on the other hand, do have organised and vocal pressure groups, and they have managed (through the cowardice of the common man and the silence of religious authorities) to create a narrative that lets them appear –incredibile dictu – in a favourable light. The professional politician, who in the end is often nothing better than a better dressed prostitute, registers all this, and acts accordingly.
How do you, therefore, persuade this kind of person to follow the Christian line? By following the rules mentioned above. He must be terrified of the flak that will be unleashed against him if he does not comply, and the Christian group must be recognisable as a biting organisation determined to get his scalp. Do this, and you are assured to get the attention and the compliance of the majority of your MPs and local politicians.
If you think that it does not work, please reflect about the influence gained by fringe groups of perverts: they did not do it through numbers (which just aren’t there) but through the powerful (if effeminate) voice their being organised and ready to fight gives them.
Now please reflect: if your MP is scared of a tiny minority of perverts, how terrified will he be of the Catholic steamroller moving towards him? The steamroller doesn’t have to be fast: it is sufficient that everyone should know the Church has time, and once a fight has been picked it will be continued until the flattening of her opponent. Imagine being an MP who has just noticed the Church will fight him to his complete atomisation (this means: taking care he can’t even be elected to represent a borough, and can’t be put in a quango to save his backside unless the government is looking for trouble) and think the effect this will have on all his colleagues. Being (the concept is a bit harsh; but again, life is…) whores, the said elected representative will run to espouse those principles the opposition to which is so dangerous to their political survival, and will do so more and more as the Church slowly starts getting a grip on the Catholic masses.
Lenin really was right in this: that democracy or not, the organised and motivated minorities are those who call the shots. The vast majority of voters are a herd of uneducated lazy me- too followers without own opinions, who will gladly absorb whatever trend and dominant “climate” they see around them. Do you want proof? Three years ago every cretin was an environmentalist; what has changed now is not that they have become smart, but that environmentalism is not the attitude that one must have to be deemed smart anymore…
Finally, let us consider that whilst perverts are a tiny percentage of the population, Catholics are a much vaster cohort; not only in sheer numerical terms, but in the speed with which they can make it “uncool” for the herd to oppose them. To do so you don’t even need to mobilise the 5 million Catholics in the UK, or the 1 m weekly churchgoers. Perverts don’t mobilise even a tiny part of their (very scarce) basis! What would suffice is to give your average politician a taste of what is rolling towards him; instant conversions to the arguments of the Catholics will be the result.
There is a time for peace and a time for war. Dear Catholic clergy, please lead us in battle instead of endlessly waffling about peace.
Browsing around, one reads suggestions – all of them good – about what our clergy should do in these difficult times: pastoral letters, interviews, and the like. Whilst I personally commend all these initiatives, in my eyes the times demand for something completely different.
It is nothing less than astonishing that in just a few decades the Church has reduced herself to such a degree of effeminacy that a warring Pope can’t even be conceived anymore. Modern Popes are supposed to be harmless great-uncles talking about the things that make us feel good, but never even remotely resembling people who can act, fight, and punish. The old warning of Pius XI, that a Catholic must be ready for fisticuffs (symbolic ones, as long as possible) would sound utterly outlandish in nowadays’ Popes, who are more likely to admonish us about the necessity not to harm spiders.
Popes of the past did wage wars, though; and I am talking here not only of the secular ones, made for the interest of the Papal States, but of the spiritual ones: both “warm” (like the Crusades) and “cold” ones (like the fight against the revolutionary thinking in France, or the fierce support given to Franco’s fight for Catholicism and civilisation).
All this has gone, and we see the results of this policy in everyday life: open any aggregator of Catholic news and you will find the now common stories about governments embracing sodomy, bishops undermining the seal of confession, Cardinals aiding and abetting heresy, and Christianity being slowly banned from any place that is not the toilet.
On the same page, you’ll also find the astonishing news about the Pope promoting peace, being in favour of understanding among the people, being saddened at the death of some religious leader, praising the work made by some people for peace, encouraging us to pray and extolling the virtues of peace.
All good, of course. Blessed be the peacemakers, and all that. But one truly wonders on which planet the Holy Father is living, and someone should tell him as a Pope he has a job to do that goes beyond talking, praying, and writing, and involves actual doing, including – as his masculine predecessor Pius XI would say – some (spiritual ) fisticuffs.
Nothing of this is to be seen. With extremely few exceptions, our Bishops and Cardinals follow the lead of the Holy Father and fiddle whilst Rome burns. They remind me of Quakers rather than Catholics, and we are seeing all around us what happens when the shepherds want to please the sheep, rather than actually lead them.
Unless this stop, we will continue to see decay around us whilst the Holy father happily tweets asking us how we can improve our spiritual lives; a world where – like in England now – a government daring to call itself Conservative wants to become an officially certified Sodom, without the Church declaring total war on them. In an extreme case like this – more extreme than pretty much everything that has been seen in the history of Christian civilisation – the British clergy should flay them every day from the press agencies, massacre their heathenism every Sunday from the pulpits, excommunicate every ( and I mean every) Catholic MP or local politician who even dares to send one tweet in support of sodomy; and go on and on against those politicians until their political career is utterly annihilated.
Don’t tell me it wouldn’t work: firstly, battles for Christ are fought irrespective of the odds , and secondly it would work, most certainly it would. But this is the material for another post.
Those like me who, now slowly getting old(ish), see around them a world much different from the one they grew up in can also, in a way, observe epochal changes and their roots.
When I was a child, the expression that the sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons wasn’t very easy to grasp. Forty and more years later, things begins to make a lot of sense.
Where shall I start? Let us see: divorce. One generation decides that divorce can be barely tolerated in extreme cases, but thinks it “unchristian” to withheld it from all those women victims of drunken bastards and violent psychopaths now suddenly roaming around (and, apparently, just not there in Jesus’ time…).
The following generation sees a more generalised use of divorce, and many children begin to grow with huge emotional scars, and already predisposed to that absence of serious commitment they can clearly observe in their quarreling, self-centred parents. Their generation, the third, will be largely rotten.
Or do you want casual Catholicism? The generation of those who found V II somewhat “cool” but still believed in God raised up a generation of people who believe, if we are lucky, in a mixture of New Age and Nelson Mandela. Their offspring will believe, if anything, in the X-factor and often will be not even baptised, because such a “rigidity” was obviously inconceivable to their enlightened parents. The consequences of this are as tragic as they are predictable.
If you, however, prefer a more tragic example, think of abortion. Again, at the beginning it is always the “extreme cases” used as “justification” for the legislative novelty; then the taboo is broken and the murder of a child becomes a matter of convenience or, as a satanic generation will not be ashamed to say, ” reproductive health”.
Let us conclude, of course, with sodomy, with the usual geniuses of the Sixties thinking that the sodomy laws were too “harsh”, and their children and grandchildren now confronted with a gigantic Sodom, spreading almost all over the West.
Now, let us take a closer look at your typical new-age aunt (plenty of those around in Anglo-Saxon countries). Her children are caught in destructive legal fight with their ex spouses, and their daughters went around the world sleeping with many men, and still liking none. She does not have grandchildren because they were aborted; if they weren’t , they’ll soon be fatherless. Drugs aren’t really an issue (the old aunt did marijuana herself without any problem), so when the daughter takes to heroin or the son to vodka she will, in a non-judgmental way, speak of “poor choices” as if they were insisting in buying the wrong chocolate brand. She might also be “blessed” with a pervert nephew or niece, and whilst she is obviously disgusted (because she grew up in a world which still knew what is normal and what is pervert) she will have to play the non-judgmental game and “celebrate” this other piece of evidence of what a rotten family she has.
The old lady will, of course, not see the causal links. She will not see the drugs, or the vodka, or the divorces, or the abortions, or the perverted offspring all mean the same: you reap what you sow. We will.
Of course, our marijuana-aunt is symbolic of a generation, and here and there there might be individual disgraces: the good mother tested with the perverted son, the good father whose son insisted in taking the road to drunkenness, and so on. These tragedies happen, and as no parent will ever be able to influence his child more than a certain (pretty good) amount, the risk of things going wrong is never to be completely excluded.
But in general, it’s fair to say parents who believe in commitment will tend to have children who believe in commitment, pro-life parents will tend to have pro-life children, and so on. The merits of the fathers do tend to transmit themselves to the children, too, though at times this will become more evident as the children leave the rebellious adolescence and begin, with slowly thinning hair, to look like their fathers.
The marijuana aunt will never know why her family is so rotten. But we do, we do!
Yesterday’s debate in the commons was below pathetic and at the same time indicative of the state this once great nation has reduced itself to.
Maria Miller, the minister for families who is trying to destroy them, is on record saying that “we support marriage” because “this is one of the most important institutions we have in this country”, and therefore “the Government should not stop people from getting married”.
The hypocrisy and disingenuousness of this is mind-boggling. The overweight lady simply forgets that whilst marriages obviously existed before Christianity, our understanding of marriage is deeply rooted in Christian thinking. I know that in places like Sodom people might have lived together and even called it “marriage” (they might, or might not; the Angel Maria Miller deserves hasn’t left many traces for us to investigate), but this is exactly not the point. The point is that a Christian society (in this country there are officially more than 30 million Christians; though one at times wonders where they are…) cannot understand social institutions in any other than a Christian manner, and even a non-Christian society generally has the intelligence to understand that sexual perversion is evil.
Maria Miller, like too many within her party, does not get this. She is impervious not even to Christianity, but even to natural law. We are governed by heathens without even the faintest idea of what is right and what is wrong; who do not even use that basic, elementary compass God has put in all of us, Christian or heathen, intelligent or stupid, to let us understand what is really, really wrong. But hey, she wants to be re-elected, so it must be fine.
One of the stupid assertions of the woman is that there will be safeguards to protect religious freedom, and for those who do not want to be forced to conduct such parodies of “marriage” in church. But wait, hasn’t the fat girl just said that “the government does not want to stop people from getting married” because “this is one of the most important institutions we have in this country?” What prevents, then, a future government from saying that church life is one of the most important institutions we have in this country, and people should not be discriminated against and impeded from participating to it with a marriage in church? I can see the woman sitting in Parliament and saying exactly that herself in just a few years!
And in general: what are these kind of promises worth? Have those within the so-called Church of England not been promised, many years ago, that there would not be women bishop, if you give them women priest? What of this now?
And what about the legislation about so-called “civil partnerships”? Were we not told, just a few years ago, that the institution of marriage as such should not be touched, which is why we have “civil partnerships”? How stupid can people be, that they do not get that every concession must force the next one, because if one refuses to be against perversion as such every “freedom” much chase the next “freedom”, every abuse must cause the next abuse, and Christianity must be destroyed one piece at a time?
Perverts and their aiders and abetters are eating away Western civilisation one bit at a time with the help of politicians prostituted to the popular sentiment of the moment, and most people do nothing because they are always told the next bit of Christian civilisation will remain intact. Fools. Those who support or do not fight against this measure will deserve to have their churches forcibly desecrated by perverts “celebrating” their rites. Don’t worry, it will come soon enough.
And of course I am angry at people like Yvette Cooper, the Labour witch who yesterday gave enthusiastic support to the new legislative measure (with which, by the way, every hope that Labour may decide not to support the legislation in Parliament has vanished). But you see, beside being an atheist, Yvette Cooper is not supposed to be Conservative. She is a bloody socialist, it is certainly not a surprise that she should pickaxe Christian values. But that people who call themselves “Conservatives” should do so is beyond contempt.
Make no mistake, this legislation will pass in the House of Commons without much opposition; the Anglicans will wait for the provisions meant to “protect” them before telling themselves dissatisfied but vaguely in agreement with how good the government’s aims are; the Catholic Church will do nothing more than feebly meow (Archbishop Nichols is clearly a friends of sodomy and has made everything to encourage them short of giving them open and enthusiastic approval). Do not hope for any help of Rome, either. We live in times of weak and cowardly Popes, happy to write books and tell themselves “saddened” whilst Rome burns.
It seems to escape most people that our Western democracies are becoming such pits of impiety that in comparison even revolutionary France seems a bulwark of conservative thinking. There are certainly precedents for societies which accepted sodomy as something to be “celebrated” (that’s not me, it’s Maria Miller again; she will rot in hell unless she repents), but you must go way back to the days of Sodom, or look hard at savages populations where the Word of God has never been brought. Certainly there are no past examples in countries calling themselves Christian and understanding themselves as the product of Christian civilisation. This country is about to vote itself out of the number of the Christian countries, and does not seem to notice, or to care.
The new gods are “celebration” (Maria Miller) , “equality” (Yvette Cooper) and an old profession not mentioned in parliamentary debates, but present in every word heard yesterday from the two women.
One must absolutely congratulate the city of St. Petersburg for their brave reaction to their twin city Milan to “suspend” the collaboration. I truly hope the brave Russians will not cave in to fashionable perversions; but judging from the reactions this should not be the case. It’s not everyday you read from an MP the words:
“Of course, it’s hard for many of our European colleagues to accept our law, as many of them are members of the gay lobby.”
It goes without saying that as an Italian I am deeply ashamed – though not entirely surprised – at the decision of my disgraceful countrymen.
Kudos to the Christians still remained, who believe in God rather than in political correctness and have their own salvation – and a healthy Christian environment for those they love – dearer than their own electoral interest.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
I have written not many weeks ago about the excellent intervention of Rowan Atkinson in defence of basic freedom of speech in the face ot the erosion of liberty caused by an increasingly more oppressive nannyism and dictatorship of obligatory niceness.
Since Atkinson’s intervention the Government – being a motley crew of oppressive cretins and friends of the perverts – has decided not to change the line of militant political correctness, but the Crown Prosecution Service has today made a big step in the direction of freedom of expression by announcing their support to the scrapping of insulting expressions as criminal offences.
This will cause another problem for our sodo-government, as the combined pressure of both increasing sectors of the public opinion and the return to sanity of the CPS will expose even more their oppressive nannyism and, in time – perhaps after another scandal or two, see the “gay horse” of the article – force them to cave in.
Kudos to the CPS for having the nerve to react to the oppressive climate of mandated political correctess Cameron & Co. Would love to impose on all of us.