More Catholic Than Francis? Of Course I Am!
A small “c” catholic magazine – the one who on the day of the infamous Synod mid-term declaration, the relatio post disceptationem, came out with an article explaining to us how much the Church still has to do; which really tells you everything you need to know about the sad business of prostitution – now thinks it can publish a smart article by asking us if we are more Catholic than Francis (no link, of course).
The article is an exercise in Clericalism, and one can only remark here that Clericalism is truly one of the marks of V II; Grima Wormtongue as he thinks and speaks.
The answer to the heresy and blasphemy is very easy, so I will keep it short.
Yes, if you are a good Catholic you must be vastly more Catholic than the Pope, because the Pope spreads heresy and confusion whenever he opens that stupid mouth of his. Yes, you know that you are more Catholic than the Pope because you, in striking difference to people who write for that magazine, actually know the first three things about Catholicism. Yes, you know that you are not making your own religion, or of yourself a God, because you compare your thinking with two thousand years of Catholicism and discover that not you, but Francis is at variance with that, and at variance in such a tragic and massive way as to not leave an excuse to anyone. Yes, you can recognise a traitor and a heretic because the Church teaches you how to do so, and many papal encyclicals (search this blog, or shut up) help you to do it effectively. Yes, you do not give any credit to the novelties of an encyclical letter if they go against what the Church has always taught.
The article is, in fact, so stupid that th every simple concept is not realised, that if the Pope had not made such an ass of himself, even with the extraordinary way of an encyclical, so many Catholics would not criticise him; but if he does, well obviously they do. Being Catholic never meant being stupid, whatever this rag wants you to believe.
It is utterly pathetic that the utterly clericalist claim be made that we should submit to heresy, because the heresy happens to be Pope. Have the people over there never read the words of St Paul?
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
And we should not believe to angels, yet believe a stupid, ignorant, boorish Argentinian of which we can never even know if he is even sober when he opens his mouth?
This is not a light issue. This has a direct bearing on our salvation. Very plainly, you cannot serve Christ and Francis.
I know Whom I will choose. Everyone else can make his choice, and pay the price of his stupidity if he so wishes.
I have a page called “the quotable Catholic”. You see it above this text. The very first quote is also repeated on the right hand column of this blog. It could well make the difference between salvation and damnation for many of us. It states:
What Catholics once were, we are. If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were. We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then. If you were right then, we are right now.
I will stake my salvation every day on those words. I hope to die with these words in my mind, and “miserere mei, Domine” on my lips. Those who think they must believe not an angel, but an Argentinian heretics are reckless fools.
Don’t be among them. No matter what (you know what I mean), never betray the faith of your Fathers under the disguise of a “restyling”, or an “updating” (ahem, “aggiornamento”).
It’s not an update. It’s heresy, and blasphemy.
I stake my salvation on the words above. I will never give allegiance to evil heretics and their little, little minions.
Let these little Grimas talk as much as they want. God will know what to do with them.
As for me, I will follow the Lord.
I am not surprised anymore at what kind of nonsense gets published nowadays, but perhaps you still are.
One of the latest examples of dreamed-of Catholicism for the weak is this article published on the Catholic Herald.
Its author seems to think Catholicism was born ca. 1960, and Martin Luther King was one of the founders. The idea that true Catholicism would not cause wars is not only too stupid for words, but it also shows an utterly appalling ignorance of the very basis of Catholicism.
If the thinking of the author of this rubbish is right, Catholicism hasn’t been “true Catholicism” for more than nineteen centuries. But truly, the article doesn’t show the will to be heretical, but rather an appallingly distorted view of Christianity.
Let us proceed in order.
Most Crusades have been offensive conflicts: the Church takes the initiative to gather armies with this or that military purpose, whilst not being under attack herself. Be it Jerusalem, or Southern France (or, ahem, Constantinople) none of the attacked were even planning – let alone executing – a major military operation against Christian Europe. This goes to show the Church is very well not only in the business of the defensive wars, but in the business of the purely aggressive wars, too. Unless, of course, the author does not want to tell us that true Catholics should not, well, take the Cross and try to bring the Holy Land in Christian hands, or at least try to make pilgrimages in the Holy Land possible, because hey, this isn’t very Catholic…
The outlandish idea that “Christianity has a very strong streak of pacifism in it” (this isn’t a joke; it’s in the article, verbatim) can also only be born of profound ignorance of both Christianity and pacifism. What the confused author might have wanted to say is that Christianity tends (unless circumstances demand otherwise; see above) to be rather pacific, but it truly never entered anyone’s mind for almost twenty centuries that Christianity might be “pacifist” in any way, shape or form. The presence of a rather detailed “doctrine of war” should eliminate any doubt from the mind of any person accustomed to think; but again, this person must be accustomed to think.
The “pacifist Jesus” is also something that would have astonished every theologian before the age of Modernism. Jesus was – as it is clearly evident in the Gospel – constantly accompanied and protected by armed men, and being God he certainly did not have any physical need for their protection, much less their armed protection. Still, armed they permanently were. During the last supper, he even asks those who do not have any to sell their garments and purchase a sword, and I can’t imagine any least “pacifist” statement than this. He is, shortly thereafter, satisfied with the two swords present; which is undoubtedly more swords than you and I have around when we dine among friends; and this, without being God.
When I hear of Jesus “the pacifist”, I cannot avoid thinking of the parable of the King’s war. In the Knox version:
Or if a king is setting out to join battle with another king, does he not first sit down and deliberate, whether with his army of ten thousand he can meet the onset of one who has twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still at a distance, he despatches envoys to ask for conditions of peace.
There cannot be a clearer mockery of pacifism than this. Jesus doesn’t say a word about the morality of the King’s intent per se. He merely points out that if the King is going to wage war, then please properly, and considering all the consequences. If this can’t be done – again: He doesn’t say the King shouldn’t wage war because war is wrong per se; the problem here is merely that the other chap is going to defeat the King with his bigger army – then it’s better to think lucidly beforehand and try to negotiate a good peace.
There is no condemnation of war whatsoever, and here war is chosen as an example after another example has just been presented (the building of the tower) and when countless other examples could have been chosen instead. Let me say it once again: to make his point – the necessity of reflecting on the consequences of taking up Christ’s cross – Jesus uses a comparison with war without attaching to His comparison any moral condemnation of it. What.more.does.one.want.
This isn’t Dalai Lama talk; this is Military Academy talk! This could have been Machiavelli or Sun Tzu, but it is Our Lord instead!
But no: in the XXI Century of widespread sloganeering and wet pacifism, suddenly a new Jesus emerges: one that doesn’t want the Crusades, but has a “strong streak of pacifism” instead. One can vividly picture this new fantasy Jesus, eating granola bars with his Disciples with a raised little finger, speaking of peace in a rather high-pitched tone. A fantasy Jesus after their liking, for sure.
It is very telling of our times that the biggest Catholic weekly in the UK serves his readers with such insipid, a-historical, unrealistic, utterly sugary fare.
UK 2022 and Civil Fellowships
United Kingdom, Year of the Lord 2022…..erm, no, apologies: Year 2022 of the Common Era.
The UK Government has recently approved a law recognising “Civil Fellowships”. Through “Civil Fellowships”, the “smart” community (that is: those who have sexual intercourse with dogs, sheep and other animals; the word “bestiality” is now considered “smartphobic”, and a criminal offence) are allowed to have their “union” recognised by the Government, with various provisions to protect, say, the dog in case of death of his “partner”. Obviously, civil fellowship gives the couple right to adopt children, or dogs, or other animals. Nothing new in that, right? It has always happened and Old MacDonald had a farm, too….
The smart community is very proud, and Liberal England rejoices at the new legislation. “Inclusive” and “Progressive”, it is defined. The PM David Chameleon defined it “Conservative”, because “Civil Fellowships” are, clearly, family and the Conservative Party protects the family.
In an interesting development the Catholic Archbishop of Soho & Sodom, Vincent Jokeson, declared:
“In this country, we were very nuanced. We did not oppose smart civil fellowships. We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those. What we persistently said is that these are not the same as marriage.”
So, says the Bishop, provided you don’t think this is a marriage, it is actually fine. We are “nuanced” here in Britain, and Christianity be stuffed.
There is a little problem though, because the reigning Pope, Christinger, had expressed himself – not saying anything new of course, but doing nothing else than repeating the most banal concepts of Christianity – already in 2017 as follows:
Although the particular inclination of the zoophile person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.
Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in zoophile activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.
We have therefore, as we write the year 2022, an evident conflict between basic Christianity and the “nuanced” bishop of Soho & Sodom, Jokeson.
Criticised from, well, the Christians, and in particular from the “Catholic Harold”, Bishop Jokeson “answered” as follows:
Clearly, respect must be shown to those who in the situation in England use a civil fellowship to bring stability to a relationship
It is clear that to our bishop, relationships between – or among; you never know – sexual perverts is something to which “respect must be shown”. More so, he recognises their “relationship” as something that must be helped to achieve “stability”. The bishop clearly thinks that if zoophiles do not have stable relationships, this is bad. “Let’s help Jonathan and Bella to bring stability to their relationship”, he says to himself, “as “respect must be shown” to their civil fellowship. “Clearly”!
In order to make his thinking more clear, Bishop Jokeson
said the key distinction between civil fellowship and marriage is that the former does not “in law contain a required element of sexual relationships”.
It is not clear what this means, as the Civil Fellowships were legalised for no other reason than to give a legal sanction to the sexual behaviour of those afflicted by such a perversion. Zoophilia is not being “friend” with Fido. It really isn’t! Please don’t let me get into the details, but it seems as we write the year of.. em, the year 2022 of the Common Era, bishop Jokeson is the only one pretending not to know what this is all about. Truly, this is hypocrisy beyond belief.
More on the subject from the Bishop:
“One-love fellowships are not marriage because they have no root in a sexual relationship, which marriage does,” he explained. “And that’s the distinction that I think it’s important for us to understand, that marriage is built on the sexual partnership between a man and a woman which is open to children, to their nurture and education.”
“Pay attention, children”, says the bishop, “this is an important distinction! Marriage is open to nurture and education but screwing Bella, the female Belgian shepherd, isn’t! Therefore, we must call the latter relationship (to which, as we have said, “clearly” “respect must be shown” and which must be helped to “stability”) with a different name! Don’t confuse the two, little ones!”
Bishop Jokeson concluded his argument with the following words:
So while bishops Jokeson said we must “respect the existence of one-love fellowship in law,” he said, “the point we are at now is to say that they are not the same as marriage.”
Ah, now Christians all over the world will be satisfied. We have said it isn’t marriage, therefore everything is fine! How “nuanced” has England become in 2022!
That’s the point “we are at now”. Christianity, now, has no point.
Apart from the frontal conflict with the most elementary Christianity – that I will not even start to explain, as even the most tragically retarded liberal would exactly know what the point is – there is an additional matter, on which the Catholic Harold takes position as follows:
There’s one new element in that answer: the preposterous argument that “one-love fellowships are not marriage because they have no root in a sexual relationship, which marriage does.” In other words, they’re not like marriage at all. But of course they’re like marriage in one very important respect: that they have as a fundamental defining element that those in such unions have the legal right to adopt children.
The “Harold” is, of course, right, then in 2022 England, one-love fellowships have the right to adopt children (and dogs, and other animals). This is something considered too absurd even to think about only 50 years before, but now part of the common feeling of the nation, of which the PM Minister Chameleon is an enthusiastic supporter. So much so, that Bishop Jokeson himself thinks these unions are worthy of “respect”, and the civil fellowship are good because they help to “bring stability” to them.
Aren’t we all oh so inclusive.
The Harold again:
“This isn’t the first time Archbishop Jokeson has said he accepts and supports these unions, and has attempted to father his views on the bishops’ conference: in the immediate aftermath of Pope Christinger’s visit, in September of 2020, he claimed that the bishops weren’t against them and was on record with saying”:
“In this country, we were very nuanced. We did not oppose smart civil fellowship. We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those. What we persistently said is that these are not the same as marriage.”
Get this? “We persistently say it’s not the same as marriage”.
Job done, then! Bravo! !
Summorum Pontificum: Online Petition And “Catholic Herald”
When the most reputable Catholic weekly magazine reports about the growing worries of the Catholic world concerning a possible roll back of Summorum Pontificum, it is clear that we are not in front of the paranoia of some small group of traditionalists but of a serious concern spread among a multitude of serious (meaning: orthodox and churchgoing as opposed to “liberal” and “non-judgmental”) Catholics.
Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to define the Catholic Herald “traditionalist” in any way, it is clear that this fairly conservative magazine considers the appeal of Rorate Caeli and Messa in Latino highly relevant for conservative Catholics the world over. Tellingly, not only Rorate Caeli but the Catholic Herald also publish a link to an online petition. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that serious Catholics participate to these initiatives in great numbers. The petition is the same for both internet pages, so you don’t need to send it twice.
I repeat below the list of addresses posted yesterday, in case you’d want to back up your petition with a personal email.
Pope Benedict: a) email@example.com or b) firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardinal Levada, CDF: email@example.com
Congregation for the Clergy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congregation for the Evangelisation of People: email@example.com
Osservatore Romano: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Enemy In Our Midst
From the Catholic Herald, a rather shocking example of how much is still to be repaired within the damaged body of the Only Church. The more shocking, because it comes from a country which by all its problems is still considered at the forefront of the Catholic world and where, for example, the majority of the population still approves the ban on abortion.
It would appear that almost ten percent of the Irish clergy is not only opposed to the introduction of the improved translation of the Mass – which would be bad news in itself, but one would be able to dismiss it as the result of mediocre lirutgical formation -, but that the arguments they bring against the new translation are so ideologically biased, so obviously un-Catholic as to let one fear for the sheep who have to attend Mass every week with these wolves in sheeps’ clothes.
I never thought I’d see the day when not one, but hundreds of clergy consider a translation from the Latin sexist. This is the kind of verbal flak you expect from the BBC, from a fashionable unrepentant pervert a’ la Stephen fry, or from a die-hard (but hey: dying they are) feminist group.
The arguments of these people sound to me as if I’d asked a left-wing Italian teacher to celebrate Mass. Still, I dare to say that the criticism moved by many of such left-wing teachers would not go as far as to express a “grave concern” because the new translation “demonstrates a lack of awareness of the insights gained from linguistics and anthropology during the past 100 years”.
What these bad shepherds say is that the translation from the Latin is wrong, because the old liturgy is naturally politically incorrect and we can’t talk that way anymore. But we are talking about liturgy here, not about stupid linguistical conventions for afternoon teas. We are dealing with the Truth and its proper expression here, not about politically correct linguistic usages. We are dealing with the way the Church has, for countless generations, deemed fit to express what is most central in Her entire existence, nay, what alone justifies Her existence in the first place!
These priests simply think they can re-write Truth, because Truth doesn’t conform to their anthropological views anymore. This is not even biased dissent but, in its essence, Modernism.
It gets – if possible – worse than this. Obscure threats of…(what, really?) are also made, “chaos” painted on the wall, open revolt hinted at. A chap called Father Gerard Alwill expresses himself in this way:
We are saying very clearly that this new translation of the Missal is not acceptable… We are deeply concerned that if these new texts are imposed, they could create chaos in our church. Our Church doesn’t need chaos at this time.
The new translation is not acceptable to you, Father Gerard? Well don’t accept it! Ask to be defrocked! Get out!
This is not the Anglican so-called church, where every Dick and Harry can decide what is “acceptable” to him. Particularly so, when we are talking of words as they have always been, liturgy as it has always been intended. These people think that the Church should follow their own “anthropological views”! And they call themselves Catholic priests! Astonishing!
That with the “chaos” is also funny. The good chap seems to dream of a schism, or of some great revolt. “PC Priests Against Chauvinist Liturgy”. Where’s the rainbow flag……
Again, it is staggering how little these people know (or pretend to know) the Church. This is Anglican talk and Anglican thinking and frankly, Anglicanism is the right place for these sorry excuses of Catholic priests.
Chaos? Keep dreaming, old boy.
Assisi Now And Then
The SSPX has criticised in a rather harsh way the Pontiff’s decision to hold a new Assisi meeting.
“We are deeply indignant, we vehemently protest against this repetition of the days at Assisi”, declared Bishop Fellay and one can only wonder what Bishop Williamson would say if he were allowed to do so freely without being confined in some remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
I have already written about the matter and it seems to me that whilst I agree with Bishop Fellay on the fact that this is not a brilliant decision, the choice of words is not a particularly happy one. In my eyes, Bishop Fellay talks and speaks as if Pope Benedict were another John Paul II. I do not think this is the case. Besides the fact that even Pope John Paul II had to see that things had gone far too far in 1986 and took care that the worst excesses were not repeated during the second Assisi gathering in 2002, it is very clear after almost six years of pontificate that Pope Ratzinger has nothing of the “let’s be hip”-mania, of the desire to be perceived as modern and in synchrony with the times that made so much damage during his predecessor’s pontificate.
During these years we had no Koran kissing, no kissing of the ground, no rock concerts and no search for easy ways to please the crowds. Nothing in Benedict XVI’s demeanour says “I will accommodate your need to be entertained or to feel good in the cheapest possible way”. The Assisi-mentality is clearly not his and this (in my eyes, ill-advised) renewed Assisi-gathering a tribute to the good intentions of his predecessor, whose beatification is clearly imminent and who is still a powerful weapon in the Church’s evangelisation effort.
At the same time I must disagree with the generally excellent William Oddie, who in his reaction to the SSPX’s utterances exaggerates in the other direction and calls the SSPX on their way to the funny farm.
What happened in 1986 must never, ever happen again. It was a damned shame and a show of breathtaking TV-fuelled ecu-maniac orgy of the worst kind. That excellent defenders of Catholic orthodoxy like the SSPX be concerned is certainly understandable, though the way of expressing these concerns might be (and in my eyes, certainly is) open to criticism.
Let us also say that “when the mills were white” Catholics were not allowed to pray with non-Catholics and this for the simple reason that such an exercise generates confusion among Catholics and can easily lead to the perception that what faith one subscribes to is of no great importance. By all talking of peaaace and looove, we should never forget that whoever isn’t Catholic is in the wrong shop , however saintly he may be.
I also disagree with Oddie that an orthodox Catholic should not think that he is more orthodox than the Pope. Of course he should, and he should every time that this is the case. The Holy Ghost guarantees infallibility to the Pope only when he speaks ex cathedra; it doesn’t guarantee at all that the Pope may, in his behaviour, frontally go against Catholic teaching. Pope Benedict IX sold his Papacy, and no one says he is not a Pope for that. The same goes, of course, for the kissing of Korans. A Pope is infallible but nor impeccable. Sometimes, Popes make a mess of things and sometimes they make a huge mess of things (Paul VI comes to mind). To say this is not un-Catholic in the least and doesn’t call for any farm, funny or not.
Assisi 2011 will, I am rather sure, be nothing similar to the catastrophe of 1986. But this doesn’t seem to me sufficient reason to go back there anyway. The risk of awakening ghosts from a shameful past is too big.
On Friday Penance again
Father Z has a post over a sort of debate published in the Catholic Herald and originated by the fact that (even!) the Bishops of E and W are now thinking about reinstating the practice.
I have written about the penance some time ago and will not repeat the argument. What I would like to stress here are the elements emerging from the discussion:
1) It is a very good sign that the Bishops of E and W (people who have a problem even with traditional days of obligation) are now thinking of reinstating Catholic traditions.
2) Personally I think that what they should do first is to a) reinstate the days of obligations and b) start to severely stress the Sunday Mass obligation.
3) I say this because if our hierarchy is not even able to request observance of Catholic rules when it is most important (Mass attendance), the request to reinstate traditional practices might – even if commendable in itself – sound hollow or, worse, fake. Particularly if it is accompanied by the usual self-flagellation meant to make one oh so accepted by the anti-Catholic public, as in “make penance on Friday to save the world from globaluormin“, or the like.
I am also against the argument that such a penance would be a small thing, or that in modern times it would have lost part of his meaning.
Catholicism is made, to a not little extent, of small things. They are what, brick by brick, builds the edifice of our salvation. To cross oneself when passing a church is a small thing, but it has been known to save souls. To say an Hail Mary or three is not a big sacrifice, but it causes joy in Heaven. A small act of contrition in the middle of the cares of our day is not a big thing in itself, but it is part of a habit and, as every Catholic should know, habits are very important in the economy of salvation.
As to the welfare argument, it might be argued that abstinence from meat on a Friday is more relevant today (when many people eat meat every day, so that to abstain from meat on a Friday requires a change of habit and the offering of a small sacrifice) than it was in days past (when the fewest people could afford to eat meat every day and therefore Friday abstinence was more a matter of planning than of sacrificing an otherwise affordable meat meal).
In general, it is very positive to see that old traditional Catholic practices are being, one by one, rediscovered. Personally, I think that the Bishops of E and W are not at the head of the movement, but merely following it.
Still, as long as they start to deliver I’ll not be the one to complain.
The Holy Father And The Betrayal Of Democracy
Interesting article of the Catholic Herald about the Pope’s message to Brasilian bishops, who are now visiting him for their ad limina.
The Pope’s message is very interesting for a number of reasons:
1) It comes in the immediate vigil of an important election day in Brasil. It doesn’t happen very often that a Pope has the not very diplomatic, but welcome courage to remind Catholics of their duties as voters just before an election. This will probably cause criticism by the anti-Catholic faction but hey, this can only be a good sign. By the way, next week is the US’s turn. I can easily imagine that the Holy Father was – as they say in Italy – “talking to the wife so that the mother-in-law may understand”.
2) Once again, the Pope profits to remind the Bishops and priests of their duties. In a world where all too often the clergy merely panders to the prejudices of the secular mob (see our ineffable Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, explaining that no, the Church in England doesn’t oppose so-called “civil partnerships”; may he repent before Satan takes him) it is good to see that the Pope continues to send a clear a message that not only they can, but they must fight the good fight. One merely notices that if the Holy Father were as clear-cut in his bishops’ appointments as he is in talking to them, we would be far more advanced on this worthy road.
3) The third message is very important, and must not be undervalued. Un-Christian values are a betrayal of democracy. When a democracy is used to de-christianise a Country, its scope has been perverted and its legitimacy starts to vanish.
Too often, democracy is considered an absolute value, a received truth, a golden calf. For a Christian, this must simply not be the case. Democracy is fine (is, actually, very fine as a political system and I do not know of any other which brings peace and prosperity in the same measure) when it is informed by Christian values and meant to respect and protect them. But for a Christian democracy is not the ultimate end, salvation is. Our civil and political institutions derive their values from the fact that they are not in contrast with the Christian message, or positively help to further it. This is – for a Christian – always the case irrespective of what his constitution says, as it is inconceivable that a Christian may put anything at all before his duties to God.
Democracies are there not only so that Christian countries may progress in peace and prosperity, but may do so in a Christian way. This has been so everywhere until the Sixties and all Western democracies used to be very much pervaded by Christian values in the way their societies were organised. When, though, a democracy starts to de-Christianise itself (eg embracing values typical of Nazism and Communism like abortion, or widely approved during Nazism like euthanasia), this democracy progressively loses its legitimacy before God and as such, in front of every Christian.
Democracies are not eternal, nor are they an absolute good. They can perish out of their people’s cowardice and indifference, or can deserve to be dissolved because they have turned against God. General Franco’s decision was not the delirious outburst of a Christian nutcase, but a lucid setting of the right priorities. What many lukewarm Christians do not understand (not because of rebellion to God, I think; rather because they don’t think this matter to its end) is that for a Christian every Nation is under God, whether it says so or not. There is no way one who calls himself a Christian can, once he reflects on this, reach any other conclusion.
Democracies are betraying their own scope and reason of existence. The separation of church and state is more and more interpreted as the elimination of the religious phenomenon from every aspect of public life and the creation of a society which is completely disconnected from Christian values. How absurd this is, how an utter perversion of what our ancestors would have thought the most elementary common sense, is showed by the fact that the first great nation who sanctioned the separation between church and state found it natural to write its allegiance to God even on its banknotes!
We are now rapidly reaching the point where Christian values can’t be even written in elementary school books, let alone banknotes. We are reaching the point where sacraments are seen as pure human conventions and agreements. We are reaching the point where even the sanctity of life is seen merely as a mean to an end and is seen as disposable whenever a society more or less democratically (through election or referendum or even judicial activism) decides that it is fitting so to do.
These behaviours hollow democracy from the inside; they eat it like a cancer; and like a cancer they will lead, unless stopped, to its own demise.
God is not fooled by secular slogans. The price for rebellion is corruption, the consequence of corruption is decline and the end result of decline is the death of political systems. It is the duty of every Christian to start thinking more like Thomas More and to say to himself: “my democracy’s good servant, but God’s first”.
Undermining Pope Benedict’s Work
The impression caused by the Papal visit is still hovering over Catholic things here in the United Kingdom, as can be seen in the stream of press articles it continues to generate. Still – and as it is only natural – the impact of the visit will soon disappear from the media radar screen. When this happens, the attention will be once again monopolised from the usual actors of the British Catholic arena.
In this contribution on the Catholic Herald, William Oddie points out to an interesting (if foreseeable) phenomenon: the warping of Pope Benedict’s message to suit the agenda of those who don’t like him and work against him.
The dynamic is interesting: the online version of the magazine (more short-lives and news like, so to speak, as it is in the nature of the medium) takes an openly anti-Papal stance; the paper version corrects this, but still makes of Pope Benedict the paladin of the distortions the Tablet also pursues: socialism, environmentalism, third-worldism.
This is, I am afraid, the destiny of everyone who is popular: even his covert enemies will be forced to say that they like them and will try to pursue their own agenda by saying that, hey, what they say is exactly what the popular guy thinks.
We have already seen a particularly shameless example in our disgraceful Archbishop of Westminster implying that Pope Benedict has suddenly decided to re-align himself with his own (Nichols’) position on sexual perversions. Oddie’s article gives just another example of what might become a big fashion.
No doubt, before long the Pope who has criticised environmentalism – seen as a new and false religion – will be praised sky-high as an environmentalist icon by the very same people whom he has criticised, whilst the Pope who has bravely said that it is perfectly legitimate for Catholics to have different opinions about the Iraq War will no doubt be elected to Prince Of Pacifists by all those interested in propagating such a lie.
Everyone wants to align behind Pope Benedict. Even those who want to stab him.
Massive Support For Tridentine Mass Among Churchgoers, Poll Says
According to Anna Arco at the Catholic Herald, a poll conducted among Catholic churchgoers in several European countries reveals that 43% of them think they would attend the Latin Mass every week if it were available to them, and 66% once a month.
As those who attend to two masses every Sunday are rather rare and those who attend several times a week are also not terribly frequent, what emerges is that without even having access to the TLM, almost half of the interviewed say that if the Latin mass was available, they would ditch the Novus Ordo and proceed to excusively attend the Tridentine Mass.
This calls, I think, for the following considerations:
1) all those “trendy” bishops who do whatever they can to boycott the Tridentine in their diocese very well know why they do it. They may claim that there is no interest but they perfectly well know that the interest would be huge;
2) the survey was made among generic churchgoers; there’s no reason to assume a disproportionate amount of them has had any significant exposure to the Tridentine Mass. It is the tradition that moves them to say that they would attend the TLM, the clear conscience that this is what their forefathers did. This tells a lot about the attraction of the TLM even on those unaware of its intrinsic beauty and reverence.
3) If someone would inform a Coca-Cola drinker about a new type of Coca-Cola, would he say that if introduced he’d automatically switch to the new type? Though not. Why? Well, because he likes Coca-Cola as it is and would therefore not switch to something else just because it is different. What does this say to us about the popularity of the Novus Ordo?
I think that vast part of the churchgoers find the Novus Ordo rather childish, not reverent enough and, in general, superficial. They instinctively know, even without having assisted to a TLM, that the Church has much better to offer. Therefore when someone prospects to them a Mass they don’t know in a language they don’t know, almost half of those asked say they’d prefer the unknown product they wouldn’t be able to immediately understand to the known one whose shortcomings they understand all too well.
As things are, the TLM would sweep away the Novus ordo in no time, were it to be rolled in in every parish and celebrated reverently.
Unfortunately, it appear we’ll have to wait and do the Sixty-Eighters the favour of waiting that they die. A favour they didn’t grant to old people in the Sixties.
The Papal Visit, the New Mass and the Scones.
William Oddie of the Catholic Herald has another interesting contribution about the fact that whilst the US Bishops already have their new text of the NO online, the E&W bishops haven’t posted anything yet.
One could obviously argue that now that the Holy Father is coming everyone is busy preparing sandwiches and brewing tea, so that there is no time to say “we are improving the Mass and here we explain to you how and why”; not even the time to simply post the text and say “this is the new text starting from Advent 2011; enjoy the reading and we’ll explain the modifications in the coming months”.
Why is that, is the rather rhetorical question of the author. The answer is obviously that it is very difficult to make a halfway serious effort to explain the changes introduced by the new version without exposing all the deficiencies of the old one, in which our old Sixty-Eighters had such an emotional (and political) investment. In the US, where by all the problems there are still bishops ready to fight the good fight, the Bishops’ conference naturally reflects this different, mixed attitude but in the UK, where the Magic Circle still dominates the appointments and feels rather strong, this does not happen.
I do not know whether this is supposed to be an additional slap in the face of the Holy Father and I want to assume that before his visit at least the bare text will be available online as an obvious tribute to the man who was the driving force behind it. Still, by the actual crop of bishops one can never know. They’ll blame the scones, I suppose.
On the madness of modern times
William Oddie of the “Catholic Herald” has a very interesting article about the parallel stories of the USA (where a judge has overturned the popular decision on Proposition 8, as repeatedly reported here) and the UK (where the Charity Commission has decided against the right of the last Catholic adoption agency to only serve heterosexual couples).
Mr. Oddie poses some interesting questions:
what, precisely, is the authority of the Charity Commission to pronounce that same-sex couples can be successful adoptive parents? What does this dire quango actually KNOW about this or anything else?
The sad reality is that this dire quango (for you non-British: QUasi-Autonomous Non-GOvernmental organisation, that is: a sort of agency fed with taxpayer money but not part of the proper government activity) is the ideal screen to allow the British Government of the day (the fake conservative one actually in power not excepted) to have potentially controversial, highly political decisions taken by some organ not residing within the Government, thus letting it appear a “technical” decision. Bollocks of course, as the extreme political content of this last decision abundantly proves.
The author further asks:
And how can it be in the “interests” of children to be adopted, not by a stably married couple, but by a gay couple instead (apart from anything else, gay relationships are notoriously unstable), “through other channels”?
and here an interesting question is posed: the instability of homo couples cannot be overlooked. It is extremely clear here that the interest of the child is the pawn of an ideological orientation.
On the contrary, common sense tells us that, as the US bishops have declared:
same-sex union […] contradicts the nature of marriage: it is not based on the natural complementarity of male and female; it cannot co-operate with God to create new life; and the natural purpose of sexual union cannot be achieved by a same-sex union.
and that as a consequence of that
it is not unjust to deny legal status to same-sex unions because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities.
The astonishing thing is that not more than a couple of decades ago this would have been considered purest common sense by believers and atheists alike. It would have been considered common sense, because it is. And in fact the author points out that
it surely requires the most extreme credulousness to believe [….] that marriage and same-sex unions are essentially THE SAME reality and that a gay couple can therefore give adoptive children the same benefits as a man and wife
Mr. Oddie observes that
Our descendants will look back in amazement at the gullibility of our age
and how can we disagree with him on both arguments (that we are in a phase of institutionalised madness and that the next generation will see the madness of our ways).
The author concludes with this words:
“Oh Liberty,” in the famous words of Madame Roland as she mounted the scaffold, “what crimes are committed in thy name.” It was, I fear, ever thus.
The fight against the madness of the “right to perversion” continues. It will be victorious in the end, but it might be after our time. Not a reason to avoid the fight anyway.
Dangers and Opportunities of the Papal Visit
The Catholic Herald reports of the alertness of the Police in the preparation of the Papal visit, now less than two months away. Not only there are (as Anna Arco reports) Muslim fringe organisations aiming at disrupting the visit, but an aggressive welcome to the Pope is also planned from other sides as well – from Peter Tatchell pink desperadoes to Orangist groupings to aggressive Atheists -. It seems as if the papal visit could become a showdown between radically different mentalities.
This has led many commenters on Catholics blogs to wish that the visit may be postponed, or that it should not take place at all. I disagree with this thinking for the following reasons:
1) The United Kingdom is not a tin-pot African country. They’ll be able to provide for the Holy Father’s security quietly and efficiently. It is not as if the Holy Father were visiting the Gaza Strip wearing a Moshe Dayan t-shirt.
2) This is a State Visit. The Holy Father has been invited by the Queen. To postpone or cancel it would be tantamount to saying to the British Government “you can’t provide for my security”. Perhaps not the diplomatic equivalent of accusing them of being a tin-pot African country, but not far.
3) We must be pleased that the Pope is controversial. I am glad when the Church is controversial, I am worried when she isn’t! JP II was perceived as a largely harmless mediatic Glastonbury Festival, but B XVI is perceived as a real threat to secular society. This is why the secular press smiled on the former and hates the latter.
4) Once reassured (as I think we all should) about the personal security of the Holy Father and his entourage, we should look at disturbances and assorted provocations not only without worries, but with a shade of anticipation. Provocations and disruptions are going to come from fanatical nutcases and assorted fringe groups. There’s nothing to fear from them. On the contrary, the average man and woman in this country will instinctively symphatise with the old man having the gut to visit the wolf’s den and to be insulted and slandered for our sake.
The Pope on one side, loonies and leftist journalists on the other: who do you think is going to make the better impression on Middle England?
There will certainly be a lot of dirt being thrown around and the press will not have any scruple in gigantically amplifying every hint of new scandal or revelation – founded or not – in the days preceding the visit. But the perception of the press – that they mould the conscience and opinion of the country – is just an illusion. Decades of proto-marxist BBC have certainly not given us a country even remotely similar to the one they’d wish, the Guardian has supported the Yellows for the first time and as a result….. they have lost seats, and the “Sun” is best known for supporting the candidate they think is going to win.
There is not much of a downside in this visit, but there are tremendous opportunities for a strong message fearlessly delivered in the middle of the most secularised and aggressively anti-Catholic country in Europe.
If the message is loud and clear people will listen to the Pope, not to the fringe groups’ static noise.
the “Catholic Herald” on the EF: a useful contribution.
Excellent contribution from the “Catholic Herald” (also reported from Father Z) regarding the Extraordinary Form in the imminence of the completion of the three years assessment period. The author is Father Gary Dickson, parish priest, Sacred Heart and English Martyrs, Thornley, County Durham.
The article contains many interesting points of discussion. Personally I would choose the following as particularly worthy of mention:
1) The “full, active and conscious” participation is “first and foremost internal”. No need to make a circus of everything. This is in line with V II documents on the matter.
2) On the opposition to the EF, the author says:
“Some say the obstruction comes from bishops, but this is unfair. The problem seems to lie within the Church as a whole, being an aversion to formal, God-directed worship in favour of a liturgy that entertains with cheerful hymns, is undemanding to follow and casual in celebration. This aversion harbours resistance not only to Summorum Pontificum but even to the new translation of the New Form”.
Not sure that the bishops are so innocent, but they certainly are not the only ones to be guilty of wilful neglect of the EF.
3) On the “readers”, please note this observation:
“Undoubtedly the lay ministry of Lector (Reader) was built into the New Form so as to facilitate lay activity in the rite itself (Extraordinary ministry is not built-in; it was established for use only in exceptional circumstances), but this seems to have created a sense that unless one has a ministry one does not participate”.
4) On the future of the EF, the author also has some impressive statements to make (emphases mine):
“I believe we can no longer refuse the Extraordinary Form and for two main reasons. First, because the Church declared it to be sacred, and while the Church has all authority to forbid what is evil she has no authority to forbid what is sacred; her authority is “to build up rather than destroy” (1 Cor 13:10). Second, this Form is the rightful heritage of future generations; one to which we have no moral right to deny them access. Use of the Extraordinary Form is then a matter of recognising and promoting the holy, and an act of justice towards future generations”.
Could one say it more beautifully than this, I wonder.
Several other interesting issues are discussed in this impressive article but I will stop here. I wish we had more priests as committed, perceptive and ready to defend Catholic tradition as Father Gary Dickson.
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