In the press release of the National Organisation for Marriage, NOM’s president Brian Brown said:
“The crowd in Manhattan was so large the NYPD asked us to begin our march early so that we could relieve overcrowding at the gathering site. By the time we reached the United Nation’s plaza, nearly 10,000 people were present. This shows that a new era in the debate about same-sex marriage has begun. It’s not about what politicians think is best, it’s about demanding that the People be given their right to be heard.”
I think that this admirably sums up what I wanted to say with this blog post:
1) the rally was a great success, not only above expectations but (as you could read yesterday for the first NOM press releases) with people spontaneously joining the march;
2) the Christian side is now officially on the offensive, and my impression is that the politicians who prostituted themselves will be able to run, but not to hide;
3) the cry for a vote in NY is not going to go away, and when it is given the population’s awareness will be high enough to ensure victory.
More in general, it is an illusion for a politician to think that he can politically survive (particularly after having betrayed and sold his
backside vote) by espousing the cause of around 1% of the population. It can work only until the common man wakes up; but when this happens, said politician is utterly done for.
Similarly, he who thinks that this movement is now going to quietly die after the first emotional wave following the vote is clearly in denial. This is going to stay and organisations like NOM, the religious organisations like the Only Church and the Protestant communities and the many people who aren’t particularly religious, but are conservative enough to care for the basic instruments of a functioning society will care for it. Against them, a small minority of (how is the word again? “Gay”? No, it can’t be. Oh yes, now I remember…) perverts and their lapdogs, the liberals. When the country wakes up they haven’t the shadow of a chance, as social “liberalism” is clearly in the minority.
In the meantime, the legal challenge to the law goes on. Whilst I wouldn’t bet my pint on its success, this is another sign that this is a fight not going to disappear from the radar screen.
We live, as you all know, in “strange and disturbing times”. Christianity is challenged all over the West and whilst in the United States the fight to take back our Christian values already rages, in old and tired Europe the attitude is rather one of resignation, ignorance, and apathy. This has in part to do with the demographics (every European travelling to a big city in the United States would, I think, soon notice the difference; it is like being in a small European university city like Cambridge, or Tuebingen), but in greater measure with the fact that whilst in the United States the religious feeling has continued to play a big part in people’s daily lives, in Europe it has been allowed (not least, by the Catholic clergy) to be considered like a beautiful piece of art you put on a shelf and look at, with mild satisfaction, every now and then.
Moreover, at times it seems that everything is going from bad to worse. With the abortion industry now surpassing Hitler’s wildest dreams of extermination and Nazi thinking now spreading all over Europe in other matters – you know how the 1939 German Euthanasia law called it? Gnadentod, which means “merciful death” or “death out of mercy”. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…. – we are now confronted with repeated calls for euthanasia laws (out of mercy, of course; like old Adolf did…) and, it goes without saying, with a delirious fashion for the toleration of everything that is sexually deviant, provided that the “no rules rule” is applied to everyone else.
My comment box – and not only mine – is, as a result, at times used to post comments reflecting this atmosphere; comments in which resignation, desperation, expectation of the worse, or even a clear “end of the world” mood is reflected. This is not only bad for the individual concerned – provided the individual concerned doesn’t draw a strange pleasure from being a prophet of misfortune; which I sometimes suspect – but, more relevantly, it is bad for the cause. Therefore, your humble correspondent wants to try to give a different – nay, the opposite – perspective.
1. If you think that we live in exceptionally difficult times, think again. Only in the last century, Nazism and Communism have done their worst to obliterate Christianity. Not only entire countries, but half the European continent have contracted a cancerous disease which took decades to eradicate. Countless priests and laymen have been persecuted, thrown in re-education camps, died tormented by their torturers and forgotten by the world. More than 2500 priests landed only in Dachau, the concentration camp in Germany, and more than 1000 never returned.
Do you want an “end of the world”-feeling? Try France during the Terror.
Mind, those times could come back sooner than you think if we allow the liberal terror regime to set foot in Christian countries. But we are not there. By far not.
2. Empires have crushed. The Church has remained. The Church has a promise of indefectibility. It will never, ever go down. Yes, Christianity might be completely wiped out in your country, but no one will ever succeed in wiping out Christianity. No Country, no Empire, no army can say the same. The alleged thousand-years Reich literally went down in flames in twelve years, and even Communism’s great moment in history was no longer than the Kingdom of Jerusalem’s. Nothing that is made by man escapes this rule of rise and fall; not the extremely mighty (but rather short-lived) Assyrian empire, not the British Raj, not even the greatest of all political wonders ever devised, the Roman Empire. The Church, and only the Church, will always stand, in the middle of crushing worlds, seeing Empires become dust. Therefore, don’t be upset when the friends of abortion, euthanasia or sexual deviancy squeak their little slogans. The rat trap awaits them already. They are like little hamsters thinking that by desperately running in their little stupid wheel they will change human nature, or defeat Christianity. Fools.
3. There was no age without fight. A golden age in which Christianity wasn’t challenged has, in fact, never existed. Even in times which seem now to us dominated by an iron Christian orthodoxy, challenges were everywhere; the only difference is that in past times the defence of Christian values was taken seriously, whereas today there are people, even among the clergy, ashamed of what once was considered “sacred” (yes: the Inquisition!). From the Cathars to the Hussites, from the Lollards to the Waldensians, heresies were present – and were a real threat – even in those most Christian of times. There’s no age without fight, or without dangers. Christ came with a sword, not with a cocktail. Similarly, there has been almost no age without its own prophets of misfortune, and its own army of people thinking that the end must be near because things are oh so very bad…… Call me cynic, but to me “the end is near” is on the same plane as “we are soon going to run out of oil” and “the weather ain’t what it used to be”.
4. Things do change for the better. It is a legend that once something has been corrupted, there is no way back. In fact, the pendulum always swings, given time, the other way. The French Revolution wanted to wipe out Catholicism from France, but after just a few years Napoleon was allowing her to rebuild her structures again. The once ferociously persecuted Catholic Church has now millions of followers in the United Kingdom. Poland and Hungary, once prey of the communist beast, are now so Christian that they can be of example for every other country on the planet. The very worldy eighteen century was followed by the beautifully spiritual nineteen century, the corruption of the Church during the early Sixteen century was the starting point for the beautiful, energetic Counter-Reformation. The examples are endless. Things do get reversed.
5. It is our duty to fight the good fight. Instead of moaning for the last initiative of the cretins most recently blinded by Satan, reflect that this is one of the ways our generation – like every generation before us – has been given to escape Hell and, one day, merit Heaven. Be a brave soldier. Know that in the end your side will be victorious; not in your lifetime perhaps, not in your country perhaps; but victorious nevertheless. No soldier, no Communist party officer, no Pol Pot follower ever had such a solid reassurance of this as you do. Bask in this feeling, and draw energy by it. By all the anger that the enemies of Christianity cause to you – I know something of that, being of unhealthily emotional nature even for the Italian standard myself – never lose sight of the big picture. We must get rid of this effeminate mentality by which we get persecuted and react by showing how very meek we are, all the while basking in our cowardice and calling our submission to the pagans and infidels “Christian”. Submission, my aunt. Take the sword that Christ offers you, and fight the good fight. With your relatives, with your friends, with your colleagues, don’t be tired of defending our values; is this not what perverts, post-nazis and now even atheists do all the time? Be prudent, but be clear. Carry your faith written in your forehead, and show it with visible signs of devotion. Even little things count; no sign of the cross made when you walk past a church goes unnoticed; seldom by passers-by, and never by the Blessed Virgin. Look at how great saints like St Francis and Padre Pio were extremely meek in their interior attitude, but at all times tireless warriors of the faith.
et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam
And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Don’t be a pussycat. Be a brave Christian.
Read here on CNA about the heavy damage suffered by a Nigerian Cathedral by the hand of the usual group of supporters of the, erm, “religion of peace”.
The group’s name translates in the local dialect as “Western education is a sin” and I hope their sons and sons’ sons never learn anything else than their stupid, blasphemous Coran, thus adequately preparing themselves for a life as toilet cleaners; unless of course they get themselves killed beforehand, which is clearly in the cards.
The group has been carrying on these attacks on what appears to be an almost daily basis, probably to fight the boredom of modern office life or perhaps, who knows, because they are simply people who understand the message of Islam and put it in practice.
You’ll be pleased to know that they don’t seem to exclusively target Christians, though, as in the same day two police stations have been targeted, too. Busy people.
In such circumstances, one is reminded of the nice Andrew Klavan’s video about “sensitivity training”.
Truly, for certain countries decolonisation seems to have been rather a self-inflicted punishment.
You’d have thought even Protestants would, at some point, open their eyes as to the utter madness of their own guides. But in fact, if you look at things more carefully, you easily discover that this simply can’t be.
What is Protestantism? In its essence, it is the desire to sit in front of a Bible and make one’s own theology. No more Only Church, no more immutable rules, no more unpleasant obligations. Granted, there are a lot of Protestant who are very sincere Christians, but the initial planning mistake is forcibly present in their own edifice, too.
Protestants will, then, basically decide what they want to believe and then look for a congregation more or less in line with what they have already decided is the Only Truth. Until, of course, they change their mind (because inspired by the Holy Spirit to a New And Better Truth, one assumes) and move somewhere else, or their own congregation changes the “policy” but they themselves don’t agree with that so their line with the Holy Ghost must be disturbed.
You want divorce? Hey presto, let us have one and who cares what Luther & Co. would have said of that. You want several wives? Easy, just find a suitable quotation in the Bible and found your own church on it and failing that, let us recur to …… the Holy Ghost inspiring us. You want priestesses? Same. You want lesbian priestesses? Ditto. The list is very long.
But what happens if you want…. rapture? Will you find people so clearly disturbed as to agree with you? Yes of course you will! Hey, in Protestant lala-land common sense is only an option, just make some calculation and come up with something you wanted to think in the first place! Isn’t it just what every other Protestant “church” is doing?
This is, you see, the perverse beauty of Protestantism. Even nutcases tired of living but clearly not allowed to think of suicide, frustrated losers dreaming of some “revenge” against the world considering them nuts and idiots, and people who simply enjoy scaring others and being scared themselves can find their own church. How wonderfully inclusive. The only think the rapture nutcases must do is to find a deranged (or clever and greedy) individual whom they can accept as a guide; then, they have everything: the “church”, the “pastor”, the infallible “prophecy” and the excitement whilst waiting for the great event to happen. Wouldn’t want to be one of their relatives, though.
The event will, obviously, not happen as predicted. Never, ever. Why is that? Simply because – as every Catholic knows – we know neither the day nor the hour. But this being simple logic based on a coherent, rational interpretation of Scripture it has the great defect of not saying to the nutcases what they want the Bible to say. No problem, let’s find (or found) a church.
But what happens when the event does not happen? Do you think they’ll open their eyes? Nonsense! If they had had eyes to see, they would have opened them long ago! What they will do is simply… continue to do what they have always done! A mistake in the calculation, say. Or Jesus having really come back in 1941 as foreseen, but no one having noticing it* (I think he was seen drinking a coffee, though). Failing everything you can even say that the Holy Ghost has given you extra time. The possibilities are endless…..
Therefore, the amused world is now informed that the rapture is going to happen not on the 21st of May, but on the 21st October.
Slight mistake in the calculation, apparently. Apologies. Regular millenarianism to be resumed shortly.
I can’t wait for the 21st october, I would almost say. But no, really, what will happen on that day is the same that has happened this time. Sorry mate, calculation had a slight glitch. Keep believing.
* That will be the Jehova’s witnesses, I believe.
Shocking affirmation of the newly appointed chaplain of the United States Congress; unsurprisingly, a Jesuit.
Rev. Patrick Conroy is on record saying:
I never pray in the name of Jesus — except when I’m doing something Catholic — saying Mass, for example.
This would look like a serious case of schizophrenia, if it wasn’t just a normal case of being a Jesuit. A Jesuit like the chap tolerating homo masses in Manhattan, or like the chaps leading universities with links to Planned Parenthood, or like the chap denying the existence of Hell.
Interviewed for the liberal Huffington Post and – being a Jesuit – wanting to accommodate everyone and the devil, our hero of the day basically says that he prays in the name of Jesus only when he really must because of his profession but otherwise, hey, he is far too inclusive for narrow-minded acts like……… praying in the name of Jesus.
Someone of his confreres should explain to him the origin of his order’s name. If anyone still remembers it, or was taught it in the first place.
So we have a Jesuit appointed to a prestigious and exposed position, saying that Jesus for him is confined to the realm of strict professional duty. When he prays alone, or when he talks to others, he will simply ignore Jesus and pray – who knows – some other non specified, politically correct, inclusive, huffington-post-approved deity instead.
What this Jesuit (who might or might not be a Christian, but I doubt it) is basically doing, is:
1) denying Jesus in a way which, he thinks, wouldn’t automatically cost him his habit; he might be, unfortunately, right on his assumption, though if the Jesuits were still Christians I think the matter would look entirely different.
2) making of Jesus an embarrassment that he is ready to push out of the way whenever halfway practicable; and
3) making a clear statement of Assisi-I-style religious syncretism, in which Jesus is nothing more than a badge to wear on certain occasions, a particular aspect of one way to pray; basically, an option.
Of course, one must hope that the usual clarification will now hit the computer screens, explaining to us what a horrible misunderstanding this is and how “white” has clearly being misunderstood as “white” when it is clear that it means “black” instead. Only, no one – not even one who has probably long begun to forget what Christianity is, as I bet most Jesuit are doing – could have possibly conceived such an utterance without having a very clear idea of what the implications are and without asking for the text to be modified or, failing that, issuing a clarification together with the interview.
This has not happened; which means that Rev. Conroy is either blissfully unaware of what he has said, or doesn’t care a straw.
Yep, he must be a Jesuit.
The strange almost human-looking chap above is, very probably, what will give the Pro-Life Army final victory in the battle against abortion. It is an ultra-sound machine, and it allows to see a baby in the womb with a clearness never experienced before by the vast public.
In societies like the Western ones, where technological innovations are massively applied to the field of medicine and rapidly spread to everyday life, it is unavoidable that this machine will, in time, make more and more mothers truly, emotionally aware of what happens when they abort.
Every blathering of “reproduction rights” must surely pale, when a small human being is visible on a screen not three feet away from you. Every argument of “right to choose” must surely be exposed as cruelly selfish, when it is clear that this supposed right is to choose to kill a human life clearly, indisputably existent.
This is why, says here, even Gallup recognises the rapid shift in American public opinion; a shift that, in time and much more slowly, will certainly pave its way on the other side of the Pond too; not because of a newly acquired Christian sensitivity, but because of the sheer force of the ultrasound images.
It would be a delicious paradox if the gravest controversy of the last decades were to be decided through technology coming to the help of the Conservative side, and reinforcing religious ideas previously seen as the epitome of backward thinking.
Besides, technology won’t stop. In five years’ time the images obtained by ultrasound machines will be even better than the ones visible today; in ten years’ time, resistance to abortion ban on some strangely construed “moral ground” will be futile.
Better days ahead.
Listening around to the various radio and video comments (with the usual pattern: European broadcasters cowardly fearing reprisals, American ones proudly extolling the military prowess of the operation) one element has attracted my attention: the subdued, almost shameful satisfaction of the European mood against the open rejoicing – in the street, or even with a marching band on the studio of a famous conservative commenter – experienced the other side of the pond.
Let me first point out to the fact that from a religious point of view you don’t wish death to anyone, let alone hell. You wish their repentance and conversion instead. But this is merely, so to speak, the starting position. From a practical point of view, we must deal with people who do not wish to repent, much less convert and that are in total military opposition to us.
Now I can pray for the conversion of the mad Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri, the new number one of Al Qaeda, as much as I wish, but as long as this doesn’t happen (and frankly: don’t hold your breath, either) the chap is an enemy and a military objective and must be treated accordingly.
This is nothing irreligious, let alone un-Catholic. Catholics don’t “do” pacifism, nor are they ready to treat their enemies as if they were friends. When you are an enemy I can pray for you if I can, but I’ll treat you as such.
We are at war with terrorists. War means that military operations will be put in place, which are aimed at having the enemy either surrender or die. Osama was no exception. This being undoubtedly the case, it is not clear to me why the achieving of such a momentous military objective as the elimination of the commander-in-chief of the enemy camp should be welcomed with less than strong and vocal rejoicing.
On the 7th october 1571, the Christian Armies inflicted an utter defeat to the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto. The rejoicing and public celebrations were, notwithstanding the heavy tribute of blood on both sides, immense. This is right so.
What has happened in the early hours of Monday morning in a residential compound in Pakistan does, admittedly, not reach the scale of the victory in Lepanto, but still has the same character: a clear military success over the main enemy of the time. In addition, the complete success of the operation – with no casualties to be lamented on the American side – makes the event even more worth rejoicing.
Is there not rejoicing when, in war-time, the sinking of a prestigious enemy ship is announced, or when the conquest of an important military post is achieved? In both cases blood has flown, but in both cases the accent is not on a kind of sadistic joy for sufferance inflicted, but rather a patriotic joy for a victory obtained. It is not unChristian in the least; on the contrary, it is the way a Christian lives the battle and supports his side.
Osama Bin Laden’s elimination is – I do not think anyone can doubt this – an extremely important symbolic victory for the West. It’s the enemy flag now symbolically planted in front of the Western military camp, and a loud and clear reminder of what happens to the enemies of the West. There’s nothing wrong or irreligious in that, nothing whatever.
It is right to rejoice. Of course it is. I envy the spontaneousness and youthful energy of a country able to get on the streets, some of them in the night and in their pyjamas, to celebrate such a momentous event.
Of course in Europe there wasn’t so much to celebrate. It being clear to everyone that Europe has cowardly chosen to depend on the US military effort in order to have more money to waste in bureaucracy and unChristian socialist policies, there was no way we could see this feat as, in some way, belonging to us too. Still, I can’t avoid thinking that old and weary Europe was more absorbed with the worry about possible future attacks, whilst the youthful and enthusiastic US citizens were bravely defying every enemy, ready for combat and certain of victory.
Ask yourself now which continent is undoubtedly the more Christian, and you’ll have all the answers you need.
A very nice blogger priest, who calls himself Reverend Know-it-all, has posted a long series of semi-serious but rather perceptive and very pertinent observations about modern marriage in his own experience (hat tip to Father Z).
This long blog post has reminded me of two things: the sad scene at the beginning of the film “Gran Torino” – that has been haunting me since – and the less haunting, but cynically pleasant song “makin’ whoopee”, though as we are talking about Catholic marriage (and as we are at the vigil of, oh, that marriage) I should obviously not mention the point at all.
Without depriving you of the joy of reading the post, I would add some considerations:
1) the sense of the Catholic marriage as a sacrament has been profoundly damaged in the last decades. If one feels the need of having a DJ for the party after the marriage, then something is clearly seriously wrong. Again, one is reminded of the “Gran Torino” funeral scene.
2) I never cease to be amazed at why marriage be still so idolised by non religiously minded women, when the very same women are the ones who will file the vast majority of the subsequent divorces. With the exception of the minority of people who continue to feel the marriage as sacred and indissoluble (alas, not very many even among Catholics: Catholic Cologne has the same rate of divorce than neighbouring, Protestant Dusseldorf!) marriage is not a definitive choice anymore, but the indication of a serious attempt at most. The fire exit is, though, always there and firmly in the mind of both the component of the oh so smiling and beautiful couple (wanna be sure? Ask them if they are against divorce, or if they would be ready to solemnly and legally shut the fire exit….). It is therefore difficult to understand why – with the exception of the minority above mentioned – the female excitement should be so high, and this with regard to both marriage in general and, well, that marriage in particular.
3) Father know-it-all is suavely ironic, but we can’t forget that part of the guilt resides by the very priest, that in most cases goes along with pretty much everything he describes in his blog post without so much as a grunt, much less a stern reproach.
4) In many countries, like Italy, you can’t be married in the church (a holy cow of many women even in these “liberated” times) unless you subject yourself to a long (six month, I believe) pre-matrimonial course and I even know of several cases where the priest has been inflexible on this (which meant, nowadays, that the bride wasn’t pregnant). Such exercises go a long way to ensure that the couple really dedicate a lot of time preparing for their married life rather than merely for the marriage ceremony.
5) I often hear that it would be “better” for a couple to undergo a phase of concubinage before the marriage, “to see if things work”, but no one has ever proved to me with numbers that this is really the case, and the countries were such habit is common are those with the highest frequency of divorce.
Rather, it seems to me that people who are serious about their marriage as to not choose a phase of (gravely sinful, scandalous, and which even excludes from communion) concubinage are ipso facto those who bring the best ingredients for a successful marriage. Marriage doesn’t work because there was no serious breakdown during the warranty time, but because there is a serious intention not to have the breakdown in the first place.
6) Tomorrow there will be a historic marriage in this country. All the best to the couple, but he who whistled “makin’ whoopee” by the last royal marriage was rather the more perceptive, realistic chap; it there being not only a legal basis, but even a precedent for divorce, we all know what will happen tomorrow is a hope at best.
This is what happens when you take the sacrament out of the ceremony.
I already admired Hungary for many things: their composers like Liszt and Lehar, their inventors like Rubik and of course the well-known, astonishing beauty of their women (though in that respect I think that they cheat, and put something in the water). I even like their probably most famous liquor, called Unicum and very popular in Germany.
I do not know Magyar, but if the linked translation of a draft (which I assume approved with little modification, as a comfortable majority was available) is anything to go by, this is a fine work indeed. So good in fact, that is has already attracted criticism for being (and I quote) overtly Christian, from which we gather that being overtly Christians is, nowadays, supposed to be bad.
Let us see the salient parts:
1) The subtitle of the constitution is ‘O Lord, blessed be the Hungarian nation’. Can’t imagine a better start.
2) There is a preamble, called “National Avowal of Faith”. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is a modern nation, giving itself a constitution in 2011 and considering the most important trait of the nation… its faith.
3) “We are proud that one thousand years ago our king, Saint Stephen, based the Hungarian State on solid foundations, and made our country a part of Christian Europe”. Proud. Saint Stephen. Christian Europe.
4) “We acknowledge the role Christianity has played in preserving our nation. We respect all our country’s religious traditions”. The Nation is indissolubly linked to Christianity. For the record, Hungary is mixed, but with Catholics the strongest religious group.
5) “We proclaim that the family and the nation provide the fundamental framework for community, in which the pre-eminent values are loyalty, faith and love”. The country itself is based on…. the family. No ethical space for “alternative lifestyles” here.
After some strong tobacco about not recognising the former Communist constitutions, a series of fundamentals follows. I assume that this “fundamentals” will be the key for the interpretation of the text proper.
Feast your eyes with this:
(1) Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage, understood to be the conjugal union of a
man and a woman based on their independent consent; Hungary shall also protect the
institution of the family, which it recognises as the basis for survival of the nation.
(2) Hungary shall promote the commitment to have and raise children.
(3) The protection of families shall be regulated by a cardinal Act of Parliament.
Family is the basis for the survival of the nation. And “family” is, of course, the proper one. Its protection is given at the highest legislative level.
This is a very strong statement. This is one of the most Christian constitution I have personally ever read or heard of. If I compare with the Italian constitution, I would say that before the revision of the Concordate the Italian constitution was even stronger, but after the revision of the Concordate the Hungarian one is much stronger than the Italian one in its defence of Christian values as the pillar of society. The defence of the family, originally very strong in the Italian constitution, has been partly negated by subsequent judicial activity (or activism, as the case may be).
This constitution is also a slap in the face of Brussels’ bullying of Christian values and a clear message that Europe is, and must remain, Christian.
This new constitution is very good news. I wish the Hungarians all the best.
Dear reader, I would expect that you are, like most of human beings, endowed with elementary logic. This elementary logic is the one that lets you understand that, say, water can’t be hot and cold at the same time, or that one cannot believe in the Christian God and not believe in Him at the same time. This is called, I believe, the principle of non-contradiction.
The Church of England is,though, exempt from such elementary principles of logic, or at least they would like us to believe so.
Let us take the matter of education. In the simple world in which I live (ordered according to some simple rules, like the one explained above) you either believe in the existence of the Trinity and in the Divinity of Christ, or you don’t.
If you do, you will unavoidably (because of the principle of non-contradiction) strive to help other people to reach the same conclusion and be raised with the same principle; this is not only the result of the most elementary logic, but also of a clear, explicit command of the One you claim to believe in.
If, on the other hand, you don’t believe in God and do not think that it is your duty to help pargulos venire ad Eum, Christianity will become a mere option, the customary and traditional embellishment of a Weltanschauung that can perfectly well do without it. This new religion will then be based on surrogate gods like social justice, environ-mentalism, veneration of niceness, cult of “non judging”, and the like. Within this framework, a symbolic, misunderstood, nay, long forgotten lip service Christianity will be nothing more than a nice shop window decoration.
Exactly this is the position of the so-called bishop of Oxford of the so-called church* of England. Mister Pritchard (whom you might excuse for looking like an idiot in the photo you can see in the link, photo which I cannot reproduce because copyrighted) is of the opinion that:
1) reserved places for members of the so-called church of England should be limited to ten percent. Yes, ten percent!. No, really, I am not joking!
2) This should be done even accepting a deterioration in the schools’ exam results.
One really doesn’t know what people like Mr Pritchard drink in the morning; or whether they have believed in God at one time, before losing the faith in such an obvious manner; or what drives them to give scandal in such an astonishing way during Holy Week.
What one knows, though, is that a so-called bishop of the so-called church of England is proposing to kick people of his own faith out of admission in his own faith schools. To him, Christianity – let alone the membership of the same shop which, heretic as it is, is the one that runs the show – is merely an option. More gravely, he can’t see Christianity as the unavoidable backbone of education in a Christian school. Most gravely, he can’t see the need of helping as many Christians as he can in being raised in a Christian way!
It is very clear that Mister Pritchard does not believe in the Christian God. He doesn’t care a straw for as many children as possible to come to Jesus. His God is political correctness, His credo is social engineering.
This religion of him is so strongly felt, that to its altar he is even ready to sacrifice the school results and the long-term competitiveness of the coE school system. This is one who obviously has chosen not to believe in Christian education and to dismantle it, whatever the price.
You will now think, dear reader, that this chap must be an obscure third-rank bishops seeking some notoriety during Holy Week. Wrong. This chap is the chairman of the so-called cofE’s board of education.
The so-called church of England appoints their goats as gardeners, and then their people are surprised that things go south. Perhaps they are not even officially surprised, because it wouldn’t be nice to notice it.
Please click the link as I cannot post the photo. Look attentively at the man.
His face will give you all the answers you need.
*note the small case.
I have already pointed out in my last blog post about Assisi III that it would be high time to start talking a bit of the Catholic doctrine of war instead of indulging in the usual easy rhetoric of peace. It would appear that there is a good example at hand.
Above is the trailer of Cristiada, a film about the armed insurgence of mexican Christians (and obviously mainly: Catholics) between 1926 and 1929 in reaction to the strongly anti-Christian stance of the Mexican government of the time. When the persecution became open (closing of monasteries, religious schools and convents in the province of Chihuahua, for example; or possibility for the government to regulate the number of priests; or prohibition for priests to wear the clerical garb outside of the church) the rebellion became armed. Somehow, I feel that the movie will not be distributed in the United Kingdom…..
I do not doubt that even today – as, of course, then – there would be those among the Catholics happy to – if put in a similar situation – choose the easy and, most of all, safe role of the prayerful oppressed instead of realising that there is a time for war. Thankfully, in Mexico people who thought differently were enough to carry their fight to victory in the end.
We are, admittedly, not in such a dire situation here in Blighty or in the rest of Europe. But we are certainly nearer to the point of armed conflict now than we were ten or twenty years ago. In fact, a situation might well emerge in the next decades where a Catholic is obliged to choose, like Thomas More, between God and King.
Now don’t get me wrong, democracy is a beautiful thing and one appreciates its ability to achieve long periods of peace and prosperity. One of the most distinctive traits of western democracies is that they don’t go at war with each other; still,they might well go at war against Christianity.
A country in which a supremely stupid Prime Minister says that Christians must be “tolerant” and the Judiciary is right in imposing to them an anti-Christian behaviour is not very far away from the Mexican government of 1926. A country in which laws are proposed – though not passed – by which the selling of Bibles can be seen as “discriminatory” against all the pervert therein condemned is not far away from forfeiting its right to existence. A country unable to distinguish between a man and a woman and two perverts shows that it has squarely put itself in a position of conflict with Christianity a long time ago.
Democracy is, of course, a good thing. But democracy is not our religion. I believe in God, The Father Almighty, not in democracy. When the two come into frontal conflict , I know which side I’m on.
Don’t make of democracy an idol. Democracy is good – and justified in its existence – only as long as it doesn’t explicitly marches against a higher Order.
The Queen’s good servant, and all that……
I have often noticed in the past that when Christians hurry to help Muslims, the latter are generally appreciative of the matter only for as long as the emergency goes on; but as soon as Christians have taken them out of the shite, the help received is soon forgotten.
Take Bosnia, where a coalition of – in his absolutely vast majority – Christian countries risks lives and material to save muslims from indiscriminate carnage, without this having any long-lasting effect on the prejudice of too many Muslims towards Christianity.
Or take Iraq, when (again) the armies of Christian countries free a 28-million people from an extremely cruel dictator, from whose heel the Iraqi themselves had never had the gut to free themselves. Here too, within 48 hours the jubilations had left place to complaints because, hey, electricity has not come back yet. After six months, complaining about the Americans had become more fashionable than a drug addicted poof stylist. The simple fact that just a handful of months before everyone would have died just for complaining had already been conveniently forgotten.
In the last days, we are assisting to a new episode of this new, three-tongued, arab-muslim little game. The intervention is good in principle, but of course the way it is being made has already been criticised by a very high ranking arab official with, oh what a coincidence, political ambitions in Egypt. Chap obviously says, one day after when the news has gone through the entire Arab world, that he has been misinterpreted, so he now has both sides hedged. Inevitably, he and the Arab countries in general will end up saying that no, they were certainly not for doing things as they have been done; it will be, as always, us being very bad, imperialists, & Co.; not before the backside of the inhabitants of Bengasi has been saved by the intervention of Christian countries, of course.
And now please raise his hand who believes that Muslim countries would have risked their men and material in a military operation meant to avoid Christians massacring each others.
As you can read here, there was a notable victory for the Christian front in maryland, where a legilsative initative supposed to allow so-called homosexual marriages has been unexpectedly defeated.
If you read the article and look at the video, you’ll notice the many elements that make one rather hopeful for the future: the prevalence of young people (this is a student organisation after all), the great quantity of people honking in support of the Christians, the very use of the word “crusade” (when have you heard that last time in Europe?), and the fact that the homos’ defeat was unexpected.
If you look at the video you’ll also see an interesting episode: a man (evidently a doctor) stating that at medical school everyone knew homosexuality is a pathology. One listens and wonder to what extent facts always considered obvious have now been abandoned in favour of a politically correct “nuMedicine”.
Anyway, let us enjoy this victory and let us hope that many others will follow.
You would think that the Anglicans, even if progressively forgetting what Christianity is, would still retain a minimum of decency and at least defend a very simple concept, that one first is accepted into the Christian community through his baptism and then receives communion.
Well, you would be wrong. Apparently, somewhere in the world (a very “liberal” place, no doubt; Canada comes to mind) someone has decided that to require one to be baptised before giving him communion is not “inclusive” enough.
If you don’t believe me (and I don’t blame you if you don’t) read here.
The argument brought against the hineous discrimination of non-Christians is that Jesus “did not discriminate” (note the magic word) about whom he invited. The fact that Jesus insisted on being baptised Himself is elegantly avoided, because obviously not “inclusive”.
Similarly, the fact that the twelve were, to all intents and purposes, bishops and as such full members of the nascent Church already founded on Peter when He instituted the Eucharist is also conveniently ignored.
Thirdly, two thousand years of Christianity is utterly ignored.
Instead, we are informed that Christianity – Catholics as well as the wrong versions – has been discriminating against non-Christians these last 2011 years, which poses the interesting question as to why would Jesus allow this to happen and why would he wait for some Canadian nutcase 2011 years after the fact to correct this – we are informed – clearly un-Christian practice.
The state of utter oblivion of everything Christian within the Canadian Anglicans is clearly visible in the use of the words, with some of their so-called priests feeling strongly about this, that is: thinking that Christianity had done such fundamental, absolutely basic things since inception in a seriously wrong way and that this must stop now. No doubt, these individuals dream of “common tables” when Hindus, Muslims, Sikh and, why not, atheists with a liking for bread (we want to be “inclusive”, remember?) participate to such an “inclusive communion” and this would be called by them, possibly, Christianity. Or perhaps not, as it is clear that in this case to want to impose a label on such a ceremony would be clearly a discrimination towards non-Christians and therefore also to be felt strongly about.
It is no surprise than this should come from the same community (the Canadian Anglicans) already well-known for giving communion to a dog. These people just haven’t a clue of what communion is, and of what Christanity is. Political correcteness and inclusiveness is all they know and all they preach.
You really couldn’t make this up. I have known Muslims far more Christian than these people, and they weren’t Christian at all.
Two aspiring foster parents are denied the possibility because they are Christians.
The simple fact that they said to the officials that they would teach their children that homosexuality is sinful disqualifies them, says the judge, from adoption. This is a country with officially more than 30 million Christians.
The Prime Minister agrees with the decision.
I have already pointed out many times to the hypocrisy of the Prime Minister, an atheist cretin trying to disguise himself as a Christian when convenient.
Cameron has now officially thrown away the mask, and this will do him no good. No doubt, in the next days he’ll come out with some slogan invented by some of his sleek, probably homosexual PR-“cuties” to try to repair the damage. The other hypothesis is that the man is so ignorant of Christianity that he doesn’t even understand what he is saying.
Cameron is an enemy of Christianity. He is an enemy of everyone of us. To support him in any way, shape or form is to help the enemies of Christ.
And so there is this chauffeur having to drive me home from the airport. The chap has serious problems with the language of Shakespeare (and no, I may be a foreigner but I have no big problems with it) and therefore the conversation is very, very restrained.
Still, once in his car several objects attract the passenger’s attention:
a) a strange Hindu deity in the form of an elephant (have heard of him; forgive me but I can’t be bothered to look for the name now);
b) what seems to be a small medal of the Blessed Virgin, and
c) a cross hangling from the rear view mirror that at closer inspection appears to be, in fact, a small crucifix.
Under normal circumstances I’d have politely enquired as to the religious persuasion of the man and, if the opportunity had arisen, I’d have started with my little “sales pitch”. The circumstances being what they were I – exceptionally – decided to just shut up.
This forced me to think, and there were only two possibilities coming to mind:
1) chap is a bit of a “belt and braces” type and, whilst still superstitious, decides to enlarge his small pantheon to Christian characters, in order to hedge his bets.
2) chap is slowly coming to see the truth of Christianity and whilst he can’t still get rid of cherished figures that have accompanied him all his life, he has got the Christian message all right.
As I have said, I’ll probably never know the truth. Still, it was very interesting for me to remark that the brand of Christianity either embraced or “hedged” by the chap was very clearly Catholicism (this in a country with at least six Anglicans for every Catholic). Be it as it may, I couldn’t avoid playing with the idea that, in that chauffeur car, the Holy Ghost was silently but constantly at work.
A Hail Mary for the chap is certainly in order and let us hope that one day he will – if he hasn’t done it already – come to see the strange elephant only as a souvenir of his childhood.
I have already written a blog post about Bishop Fellay’s intervention in favour of Summorum Pontificum.
In the same interview, he deals with Assisi III and this is probably worth of separate consideration.
Bishop Fellay points out to the following problems:
1) That Pope Benedict heavily criticises relativism in religious matters (and rightly so, of course) but indirectly promotes the same relativism by starting the Assisi 2011 initiative.
2) That Pope Benedict is now celebrating an initiative which he himself clearly boycotted in 1986.
3) That in his idea that it be impossible for Catholic and non-Catholics to pray together, but that it be possible for them to gather together as members of different religious affiliations he is “splitting hairs”.
I find his criticism perfectly right on all points and whilst we will have to wait to see how Pope Benedict organises and shapes this meeting (that is: how he limits the damage that he has already done, the bomb of “interreligious gathering” being one which always causes a powerful explosion however orthodox your intentions), it is interesting to note that Bishop Fellay makes a supreme effort of explicate the inexplicable and theorises a desire to counteract the recent spate of persecutions as the real motive of this initiative.
Personally, I cannot see this as a real motive. Christians have always been persecuted and they always will; to water down the Christian message and to try to appease the persecutors will in my eyes only have the effect of increasing their aggressiveness. You just don’t fight religious intolerance by watering down the Christian message.
If you ask me, I can only see one – or all – of these three motives:
1) Pope Benedict wants to re-make in the right way what Pope John Paul once made in the wrong way, thus erasing as far as possible the bad memory of Assisi I and II with a theologically impeccable Assisi III. This seems to me a bit like trying to make dung smell good but one can – with a stretch of the imagination – understand the logic.
2) Pope Benedict thinks that conservative Catholics are becoming too cocky (utter and complete dominance on the Internet; vast support among young clergy; resurgence of the popularity of old, once forgotten or ignored heroes like Pius XII and Fulton Sheen) and wants to help the “other side” a bit. The beatification of JP II before the beatification of Pius XII, the oh-so-liberal sounding convocation of Assisi III and, perhaps, a restrictive interpretation of the scope of Summorum Pontificum would all be parts of the same thinking.
3) Pope Benedict is simply trying (in the wrong way, if you ask me) to promote the JP II brand as he sees in it a powerful instrument of evangelisation. Again, one understands the logic. I just wonder why he would allow himself to be persuaded to pick the most controversial of JPII’s many controversial inititatives to do so. It seems to me a bit like promoting Bill Clinton’s presidency by remembering the Lewinsky affair.
We’ll have to wait and see how all this pans out. In the meantime, I allow myself the comment that Pope Pius XII would have never dreamt of an initiative like Assisi (whatever numeral you may put to it); that Fulton Sheen would have never dreamt of encouraging interreligious gatherings of any sort, but exclusively Catholic gatherings of every sort; and that Padre Pio would have never dreamt of the necessity of a Novus Ordo mass, however “reformed after the reform” it may be.
In recent months, Pope Benedict seems to have been skating on rather thin ice. More the reason to pray for him.
I have already written about Msgr. Charles Pope (the “Monsignor with no uncertain trumpet” and the Monsignor dealing with “the lock and the key”). He has the rare gift of expressing himself in a highly imaginative and entertaining manner and is always a pleasure to read.
This time, Monsignor Pope (what a name, by the way…) deals with, so to speak, medical issues. In his experience (and in that of many of us, I am afraid), the spiritual development of many Catholics stops at age seven or eight and doesn’t progress much further as he goes through life; on the contrary, the risk of regression to first spiritual infancy and utter Catholic illiteracy is rather big and frequently observed.
Still, Monsignor Pope doesn’t fail to notice that whilst arrested development in every other aspect of life would not fail to greatly worry the parents, in the case of spiritual formation to remain at the level of a seven-year-old is considered nothing worrying at all. His example is in my eyes a bit extreme for a churchgoer, but it applies wonderfully to the army of lapsed Catholics out there whose theology is restricted to easy and convenient platitudes a’ la “God is Love” and “do not judge”; platitudes taken out of every context, uttered whenever convenient and generally very apt to persuade the spiritual child that there is no need to make any homework, let alone any penance, let alone any effort to be a better child.
I would give the main responsibility of this disastrous state of things to the Catholic clergy (yes, I do “judge” when I see a scandal, but he who criticises me is “judging” me too) who are, even more than the parents, those primarily in charge of the propagation of the Catholic message.
If here in the West we had courageous priests ready to risk their popularity instead of cuddling their audience with easy slogans and insipid common places, the message would get outside and reach, more or less indirectly, those who do not attend. You’d have an army of churchgoers properly instructed and ready to go out and spread the message with reasonable accuracy. Most of all, you’d have the end of the simplistic “celebration” mentality – utterly devoid of any obligation and only concerned with its own shallowness – now slowly infecting Catholic life. I was well in my Forties when I first heard people talking of “celebrating” instead of “mourning”, or before the astonishing meaning given to the words “do not judge” by the ignorants and the liberals became clear to me. I assure you these things didn’t happen in the Countries where I had been living up to then and I started to wonder what strange of Christianity this is, where people call themselves Christian but know more of Ghandi than Christ. Also here in Blighty was my first case of a person candidly reporting of being sure of being Christian, but not being sure of having ever been baptised. “I assume I was”, she said, “though my mother never mentioned it”. Church of England apparently, so a baptism should definitively have occurred. Words fail me.
Here in the West we have a massive epidemy of spiritual arrested developments and the problem continues to spread because many priests are (nothwithstanding the long years of theology studies, by which one wonders whether anything sensible has been learned at all) either astonishingly untrained or, more probably, predictably cowardly.
Proper Catholic instruction starts from the priest and the pulpit. If the priest does his job, more and more parents will send their children to be properly instructed; more and more adults will have intelligent answers to give to their friends; more and more of Catholic patrimony will start spreading around and become again, in time, part of the cultural patrimony of the country.
It must all start by the priest and the pulpit.
It is beautiful (particularly in these turbulent days) to be proud to be Italian. This letter is written by Catholics concerned about the possible effects of the next Assisi gathering; as a result, they beg the Holy father not to travel to Assisi.
The wording is absolutely beautiful. Instead of only reporting or commenting some passages, I will report the parts of the letter published on CITI in their entirety.
Most Holy Father,
(…)We take the liberty of writing you after having learned, precisely during the massacre of the Coptic Christians (Ed. in Egypt, December 31, 2010), your intention of convening in Assisi, in October, a large inter-religious assembly, 25 years after “Assisi 1986”.
We all remember this event that took place so long ago. An event like few others in the media, that, independently of the intentions and declarations of he (those) who convened it, had an undeniable repercussion, relaunching in the Catholic world indifference and religious relativism.
It is this event that caused to take effect among the Christian people the idea that the secular teaching of the Church, “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic”, concerning the unique character of the Savior, was in some way to be banished to the archives.
We all remember the representatives of all the religions in a Catholic sanctuary, the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, lined up with olive branches in hand: as if to signify that peace does not come through Christ but, indistinctly, through all the founders of any credo whatsoever (Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Kali, Christ…)
We remember the prayer of the Muslims in Assisi, the city of a saint who had made the conversion of the Muslims one of his objectives. We remember the prayer of the animists, their invocation to the spirits of the elements, and of other believers or representatives of atheistic religions, such as Jainism.
The effect of this “praying together”, whatever its goal may be, like it or not, is to make many believe that all were praying to “the same God”, only with different names.
On the contrary, the Scriptures are clear: “Thou shalt not have false gods before me” (First Commandment), “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh to the Father but by me” (John 14:6)
Those who write here in no way contest a dialogue with each and every person, whatever his religion may be.
We live in the world, and every day we speak, discuss, love, even those who are not Christian, because they are atheists, indifferent, or of other religions. But that does not keep us from believing that God came down to earth, and let Himself be killed to teach us, precisely, the Way, the Truth, and not just one of many possible ways and truths. Christ is, for us Christians, the Savior; the only Savior of the world.
We recall with consternation, going back 25 years, the chickens beheaded on the altar of St. Claire according to tribal rituals and a statue of Buddha placed on the altar in the church of St. Peter, above the relics of the martyr Vittorino, killed in 400 AD to bear witness to his faith.
We remember the Catholic priests at the initiation rites of other religions: a horrible scene, for, if it is “ridiculous” to baptize into the Catholic faith an adult who does not believe, just as absurd is it for a priest to undergo a ritual of which he recognizes neither the validity nor the utility. By doing this, one ends up just spreading one idea: that rites, all rites, are nothing but empty human gestures. That all the conceptions of the divine are of equal value. That all moralities, that emanate from all religions, are interchangeable. That is the “spirit of Assisi”, upon which the media and the most relativist milieus of the Church have elaborated, sowing confusion. It seemed to us foreign to the Gospel and to the Church of Christ that had never, in two thousand years, chosen to do such a thing. We would have liked to rewrite these ironic observations of a French journalist: “In the presence of so many gods, one will believe more easily that they are all equal than that there is only one that is true. The scornful Parisian will imitate that skeptical collector, whose friend had just made an idol fall from a table: ‘Ah, unhappy one, that may have been the true God’.”
We therefore find comfort for our perplexities in the many declarations of the Popes who have always condemned such a “dialogue”. Indeed, a congress of all religions has already been organized in Chicago in 1893 and in Paris in 1900. But Pope Leo XIII intervened to forbid all Catholics to participate.
The same attitude was that of Pius XI, the Pope who condemned Nazi atheism and Communist atheism, but deplored at the same time the attempt to unite people in the name of a vague and indistinct sentiment, without religion, without Christ.
Pius XI wrote thus in Mortalium Animos (Epiphany 1928) concerning ecumenical encounters: “We see some men, convinced that it is very rare to meet men deprived of all religious sense, nourish the hope that it might be possible to lead peoples without difficulty, in spite of their religious differences, to a fraternal agreement on the profession of certain doctrines considered as a common foundation of spiritual life. That is why they begin to hold congresses, reunions, conferences, frequented by an appreciably large audience, and, to their discussions, they invite all men indistinctly, infidels of all kinds along with the faithful of Christ and even those who, unfortunately, have separated themselves from Christ or who, with bitterness and obstinacy, deny the divinity of His nature and of His mission.
“Such undertakings cannot, in any way, be approved by Catholics, since they are based on the erroneous opinion that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, in the sense that all equally, although in different ways, manifest and signify the natural and innate sentiment that carries us towards God and pushes us to recognize with respect His power. In truth, the partisans of this theory fall into a complete error, but what is more, in perverting the notion of the true religion, they repudiate it, and they fall step by step into naturalism and atheism.”
In retrospect, we can say that Pope Pius XI was right, even on the level of the simple opportunity: in reality, what has been the effect of “Assisi 1986”, in spite of the just declarations of Pope John Paul II, aimed at forestalling such an interpretation?
What is the message relaunched by the organizers, the media, and even the many modernist clerics desirous of overturning the tradition of the Church? What came across to many Christians, through the images, which are always the most evocative, and through the newspapers and television, is very clear: religious relativism, which is the equivalent of atheism.
If all pray “together”, many have concluded, then all religions are “equal”, but if this is the case, that means that none of them is true. At this time, you, cardinal and prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, with Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, and several others, were among those who expressed serious doubts. For this reason, in the following years, you have never participated in the replicas proposed each year by the Community of Sant’Egidio. (…)
These past years you have taught, without always being understood, even by Catholics, that dialogue has its place, and can take place, not between different theologies, but between different cultures, and not between different religions, but between men, in the light of that which distinguishes us all: human reason.
Without recreating the ancient pagan Pantheon; without the integrity of the faith being compromised by a love for theological compromise; without Revelation, that is not our own, being modified by men and theologians in the aim of reconciling the irreconcilable; without placing Christ, “sign of contradiction”, on the same level as Buddha or Confucius, who, besides, never said that they were God.
This is why we are here to expose to you our fears. We fear that, whatever you may say, television, the newspapers, and many Catholics will interpret it in the light of this past and of the present indifferentism; we fear that, whatever you may claim, the event will be read as a continuation of the manipulation of the figure of St. Francis, transformed by today’s ecumenists into an pacifist, a syncretist without faith. It is already the case…
We are afraid that whatever you may say to clarify things more, the simple faithful, of whose number we are, everywhere in the world will see but one fact (and that is all that will be shown, for example, on television): the Vicar of Christ not only speaking, debating, dialoguing with the representatives of other religions, but also praying with them. As if the manner and the end of prayer were indifferent.
And many will think mistakenly that the Church has henceforth capitulated, and recognized, in the line of the New Age way of thinking, that to pray to Christ, Allah, Buddha, or Manitou is the same thing. That animist and islamic polygamy, hindu castes or the polytheistic animist spiritualism, can go hand-in-hand with Christian monogamy, the law of love and pardon of the One and Triune God. (…)
Most Holy Father, we believe that with a new “Assisi 1986”, no Christian in the Orient will be saved: nor in Communist China, nor in North Korea or Pakistan or Iraq… on the contrary, many faithful will not understand why in these countries, people still die martyrs for not renouncing their encounter not with just any religion, but with Christ. Just as the Apostles died.
In the face of persecution, there exist political, diplomatic means, personal dialogues between States: may they all take place, and as well as possible. With Your love and Your desire for peace for all men.
But without giving those who wish to sow confusion and to augment religious relativism – antechamber of all relativisms –, an opportunity, for the media included, as appetizing as a second edition of “Assisi 1986”.
With our filial devotion,
Francis Agnoli, Lorenzo Bertocchi, Roberto de Mattei, Corrado Gnerre, Alessandro Gnocchi, Camillo Langone, Mario Palmaro
There is truly nothing to add.
I hope that the Holy Father will give this letter careful consideration.
Egypt has recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after Egypt found itself in the exclusive lists of the countries singles out by the Holy Father for not doing enough to protect Christians (he forgot India and Pakistan, I would say; but perhaps he thought these last two go sans dire).
The Egyptians complain that the security of Christians in Egypt is an internal matter of the Egyptian government. This might well be, but the Pope hasn’t said that he wants to run the Egyptian security policy; he has merely said that they are not doing enough.
I think, though, that a great embarrassment hides behind this uncomfortable reaction. It is not advisable for any government (particularly if relying on massive transfers from the US to stay halfway afloat and last time I looked only Israel received more transfer from the US than Egypt) to be in the black list of the Vatican and to be branded as a country not doing enough to protect Christians. I doubt that even Iran would look without worry to a similar situation but whilst Iran doesn’t have to be worried about the effect on their purse of 70 millions US Catholics, Egypt does.
Let us, then, register this little diplomatic scuffle as a sure sign that the Pope’s move will force the Egyptian government to deal with the matter rather than limiting itself to the usual whining of third world (please substitute this with the politically correct expression) fake democracies (please do it again).
Absolutely beautiful contribution from Tim Drake for the National Catholic Register.
The points of interest and comparisons are too many to mention here. The sources are numerous, authoritative and – most importantly – intelligent. The parallel between the priesthood and the army is not only very reasonable, but it is beautiful in its own right.
Mr. Drake is very alarmed for the future of the US Army. He rightly points out to the fact that whilst the Church is indefectible, the US Army isn’t. He is spot on.
In my eyes, a very notable point is that the astonishing technological superiority of the West and the absence of wars from our own soil for such a long time have created such a complacency that the army has become just another field for liberal and pervert propaganda instead of being seen as an instrument meant to guarantee one’s own (and one’s nation) survival. I wonder how many of the above mentioned liberals and perverts would favour such measures if the risk of being raped and killed by an invading army was a concrete possibility. As things stand, the army is something liberals and feminist only notice when they criticise it, or when they criticise the government of the day for using it.
But the most important element to be noticed is in my eyes a different one: the de-Christianisation of the West that makes such abominations (and such utterly ridiculous measures) thinkable in the first place. What until not many years ago (with remembrances of war a concrete experience for most, a more solid Christian thinking and a keen perception of what an army is there for) would have been the subject of low-grade comedies is now supposed to become not only the norm, but be celebrated as an achievement to boot.
Mala tempora currunt. I do hope that the new composition of the Congress and Senate in the US will make it possible to repeal this abomination in the years to come but I do not doubt that, should not be the case, the problems will be enough as to force the US Army to backpedaling in just a few decades, as the Church did.
This is a very interesting Michael Voris video about the way Catholic shepherds lead their sheep when there are important decisions to be made.
As in the United States it is now election time (and a particularly important election this one is, whose repercussions could be felt for decades to come) it is very important that the message is given very clearly that in a democracy to be a Catholic is to vote as a Catholic should.
This would seem utterly redundant if we lived in a sane world, mindful of Christian values; but we live in a mad world where socialism and anti-Christian values are allowed to be smuggled as Christianity; therefore, there is a word or two to be said.
A society which allows abortion is a society which legalises genocide. The public opinion of every Western Country thought exactly the same until not many decades ago and abortions were only performed in Nazi Germany or in Communist countries. Only when Christian values started to be confused with “social” issues – and the clergy started to compromise with the growing anti-Christian values in order not to become unpopular – we witnessed abortion creeping within Western legislation as an exceptional remedy and – once the Trojan Horse that abortion is justified in certain cases had entered the walls – rapidly became de facto abortion on demand pretty much everywhere.
Similarly, a society which accept homosexuality as a lifestyle is a society that rebels to God and decides that new golden calves (nowadays called “diversity”, or with other very stupid names) should take the place of the old religion; all the while continuing to abuse of Christ by masking the worst abominations and exterminations behind a veil of Christ seen as “social man”; an expression which means pretty much nothing and can be used to justify pretty much everything.
You’d think that Catholic Bishops in the US would take the sword and finally start to tell Catholics to wake up, smell the coffee and vote with the first priorities of Catholicism in mind. You’d be wrong. Whilst there are a number of excellent bishops doing their job admirably (Chaput and Bruskewitz to mention just two), many others continue with the old inane, vague rhetoric of the “do not kick the cat and be friendly to everyone”-type.
Let us examine this nonsense:
“Go to the polls on election day and, through your choices at the ballot, act on your vision of a better society”
This pearl of wisdom comes from the bishop of Massachusetts, Cardinal Sean O’Malley. I think that Michael Voris is far too generous in saying that the message is inane. It is worse than that. It confuses Catholics and is totally heterodox.
Cardinal O’Malley thinks and speaks like a secularist liberal of the first water. There are no absolute truths he feels he must defend. There is no binding guidance, directly derived from the Catholic teaching, that he feels he must impart to the faithful. Not even the most obvious Christian values, like the defence of life, are strongly called to the attention of the voters.
We have, instead, a typical example of moral relativism exalted and taken as a worthy guide of the individual’s choice. “Act on your vision of a better society”, says the Cardinal. Good Lord, Che Guevara did it too, when executing prisoners by the dozen! Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot all did exactly the same! The statement is entirely a-Christian in its absence of Christian values, and entirely Anti-Christian in its clear implication that whatever “vision of a better society” one has, it’s fine.
Cardinal O’Malley is confused. He should be told the difference between Catholic values and man-made systems of values. He should be reminded why he is a Cardinal. He should be asked why he became a cleric in the first place. Every Stalin or Pol-Pot could have subscribed to the statement above, without any problem.
This is not what a Catholic needs to hear, let alone what a Catholic shepherd has the duty to say. Catholics need to be reminded of their values, and encouraged to give them the proper rank. They must be constantly reminded of their duties toward their faith and of the fact that there will always be a price to pay for them. They must be constantly warned from the danger of moral relativism, of easy pick and choose mentality, of being seduced by the Law of Man. This message must be sent clear and loud. Vague defences of human life interspersed with phrases like the one above will have only one consequence: that the misinformed or utterly deluded Catholics will continue to think that they can pick and choose with the consent of their shepherd. I will not insult the intelligence of the Cardinal by saying that this result is not foreseen and positively intended.
Messages like the Cardinal’s one positively encourage Catholics to go the wrong way and feel justified in doing it. A Catholic abortionist (an oxymoron I know, but he will probably not want to see it that way) will feel encouraged to think that he can vote for a clown like Nancy Pelosi and say that he is fully in line with the exhortations of the Cardinal! I wonder who would deny the validity of his assumption……
I so much hope that this is the last major election in the US by which Catholic shepherds are allowed to confuse the faithful and lure them in the false sense that they are right to have ideals and convictions, no matter what they are. They are right if their convictions are the right ones, and if they’re Catholics they can’t choose which convictions to have.
The Church is in a very sad state if even Cardinals do not live these simple fundamentals of the faith and haven’t the guts to act accordingly.
If you ask me, only one of the two can be true:
1) some people live on the moon.
2) some people find it convenient to talk as if they did.
The latest example is the utter lack of realism in the Christian-Muslim “dialogue”. The naivety of his most ardent proponents it even surpasses the “ecumenical” process a’ la ARCIC.
A beautiful example of this delirious mentality is the (thankfully) retired nuncio of the Vatican for several Muslim countries, El-Hacheb. The chap seems to live in that beautiful world in which children start to march all together for world peace and behold, it becomes a reality. Among the measures our chap would like to see more seriously implemented are schools filled with Catholics and Muslims. Let us mix all together, ponders the man. That in this way a serious Catholic teaching becomes impossible (because it makes the occasion of conflicts even nearer) doesn’t seem to worry him as his implied solution seem to be to dilute Catholicism to make place for “diversity”. Catholics will become a little more Muslim, and Muslim will become not one bit more Catholic but hey, it sounds so good.
This ecu-maniacal thinking is deluded because it starts from the assumption that if Christian and Muslim would only know each other better, they would avoid being in conflict. This is more than naive, this is outright moronic and the fruit of total disregard of the simple reality under the sun.
Christians and Muslims have been living together in several countries for many centuries now; the idea that conflicts be caused by not knowing what the other thinks is more than outlandish and the fruit of the same delusion which has caused the creation of that other child dream made expensive reality, the United Nations; namely, the thinking that just because people talk, wars stop happening.
Christians and Muslims fight each other because they know each other good enough, not because they don’t. The real facts the ecu-maniacal sissies do not want to understand (or conveniently pretend not to understand) is that Christianity will never be compatible with Islam, and Islam will never be compatible with Christianity.
Besides being theologically incompatible, an even bigger obstacle is that they are both expansive: both want to convert the world, an exercise in which – say – Jews and Buddhists are not interested in the least. The reasons of conflicts between Christianity and Islam is built-in in the way both religion work, and no amount of daydreaming and wishful thinking will ever change an iota in that. Christianity and Islam can, at best, avoid actual war and they actually do it most of the time. But even that might not be possible, or not be expedient and this is another reality conveniently forgotten nowadays.
But then again, the former nuncio also wishes for summer camps where the young of both religion meet and spend some day together, which gives you the measure of his detachment from reality. Muslim parents sending their daughters in a holiday camp with Christian boys? “That will be the day”, I hear the Duke saying…..
The simple fact is that for too long the pretension of childish dreams of “peace” has been conveniently used to mask cowardice; that ecu-maniacal efforts and fantasies of “dialogue” have been used to disguise the unwillingness to become vocal and aggressive in defending Christians in predominantly Muslims countries; that the fundamental nature of the conflict between Christianity and Islam makes the end of such a conflict utterly unrealistic; that only a moron can give any credibility to a “dialogue” with members of a religion which allows them to lie to further its interests.
It is high time that we stop burying our head in the sand, abandon the convenient blindness of political correctness – what is political correctness if not the demand that one be blind, lest he be offended by what is plain to see? – and start to hammer into the heads of the Christians that Islam and Christianity are fundamentally incompatible and there is no place for any coexistence of the two. Not from a theological point of view (because we must work to convert the whole world, not to convert the non-Muslim one) and not from a practical one (because Islam has the same ideas we have, and there’s only one planet to convert).
This conflict is here to stay. It is inherent in the way the two religion work. Nothing short of the eventual defeat of Islam will change it.
We need to wake up to this elementary truth.
I will blog today about the extremely grave episode that has happened in one of the cradles of Western civilisation, Florence and has since dominated world news.
As in the meantime everyone who doesn’t live on the Moon knows, an extremist Christian has succeeded in entering a Mosque in Florence and has violated and desecrated a place of worship. The entire action was filmed and has been on youtube & Co. for some days now. This caused widespread outrage among the Muslim community the world over, repeated threats from the Iranian government, calls to Jihad in all major Muslim capitals, great burning of Western flags, the killing of several priests and Christian laymen and in general frightful tensions between the Christian community and the Muslim one.
I am sure that every reader of mine will agree with me that such acts are extremely shameful and and that sincere Christians feel ashamed at what their co-religionist has done.
For this reason, it is also not surprising that the NY Times, CNN, BBC, the “Guardian” and in general the world media have condemned the action as one man, echoing the world wide outrage this senseless act has caused. This has been going on for days now so if you haven’t noticed, you must have been sleeping all the time or more probably, you are dead already.
This was to be expected, I hear you say. You can’t violate a place of worship of a religion with a worldwide following and around a billion faithful without the entire media world making a huge uproar about that, can you?………………………
Oh well apparently (and to use a phrase very much en vogue, at least until the beginning of November) yes, you can!
The only thing you must do is avoid targeting Islam. Best thing to do is to target Christianity. This way, you will be sure that you will be able to dance on the high altar of the Florence cathedral without the world media noticing the episode in the least!
Now if you had proposed to, say, burn a Koran, this would have been different of course. One just doesn’t do such things unless he is a racist Nazi Ku Klux Klan fundamentalist bastard deserving of death by stoning and subsequent frying in camel’s urine.
But if you desecrate an altar to the point that it will possibly have to be reconsecrated, then it is very fine and no world wide outrage will erupt.
Similarly, there will be no calls to a Crusade, no danger for the life of Islamic clerics in European countries, no world wide self-flagellation from soi-disant intellectuals and no global media coverage to the point of nausea.
Which probably explains why nothing has happened in this case.
I stumbled on Twitter on this site,Abortion Facts, which must be the most complete source of information about abortion around.
The amount of information imparted by this site is very extensive. I found particularly impressive the pages about the back-alley abortions and the Christian view of abortion, but will no doubt discover other pages in the next days.
The arguments I have read up to now are very rigorous but not overtly confrontational and they seem well researched. This is a work that can be consulted again and again as the occasion requires and even if the text is far too little for my liking (I seriously hate these things; if it were for me to decide there would be only books in large print) it is nothing that can’t be endured for the few minutes necessary to read the relevant page.
I recommend the saving of this page under your favourites and perhaps its forwarding to those among your friends or acquaintances who might receive it well or forward it.
I started reading this booklet, How to avoid Purgatory, with not a little measure of scepticism. Grown in an environment where the non practising Catholics were rather indifferent (my parents) and the practising Catholics were rather stern (most notably: my rather steely grandmother) I grew up believing that Purgatory is something you grow to expect, hoping that it will be as little unpleasant as possible; that it is difficult enough to avoid Hell to have the presumption of thinking of even planning to avoid Purgatory; that this idea of asking for oneself something reserved for the most saintly Christians smells of arrogance or, as I would have put it in my childhood, of being a spoiled child.
Add to this that this booklet is clearly dated. The measuring of purgatory in terms of earthly days (so and so many days of indulgence for such and such prayers, or measuring purgatory in “years”) would have been considered extremely questionable even in 1936 and acceptable only as a way of explanation for the uneducated, and of encouragement for the very young.
Still: when one has read the entire booklet, has absorbed its meaning and has pondered a bit over the general tone and message of this little but very intelligent work (and, most importantly, has noticed the continuous effort of the author to explain that the desired behaviour will, in many cases, not be enough to avoid purgatory altogether, to which even my grandmother would have gravely nodded), one understands what blessings this little booklet can bring to the faithful.
If I were allowed to make a politically incorrect comparison, I’d say that the leitmotiv of the booklet reminds one of the typical behaviour of one of the two sexes. What it boils down to is: ruthless nagging of God, The Blessed Virgin and the Saints for what we desire; a countless number of little efforts and little prayers; an unceasing pushing made in little things, but repeated a huge numbers of time. The following of the practices suggested in the booklet (there are several of them; no one of them unpleasant; all of them rather easy; almost all repeatable at will; some rather daring and not frequently heard) is most fitting for those not strong enough for the heroic effort, but clever enough to recognise a deal on very favourable terms when they see one.
Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi, sed saepe cadendo. The drop hollows out the stone; not by force, but by frequent dropping. In our case, the stone is so willing to be hollowed out by our drops! And yes, without heroic virtue one will probably not attain avoidance of Purgatory anyway and not many are those who bring to the deal the necessary strenght. But very many of us can – if they but apply themselves to the acquiring of a limited number of not very uncomfortable, but very good habits – obtain such favours as to avoid that Purgatory – so it is not spared to us – is at least devoid of its harshest sting.
Come on, boys’ n girls….. Let’s start nagging!
One never ceases to learn. Also, one never ceases to see how the faithful’s money are squandered and responsibility avoided by the Bishops.
The first bad news: believe it or not, there is a Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community. I kid you not. It exists and it has the obligatory abbreviation (COMECE). It “organises” things. One foresees all too easily further delegations of responsibility from our bishops (“abortion legislation is a COMECE competence as it is a european phenomenon”) to this new conference-organising organ.
The second bad news: Christians are the most persecuted in the world, both in absolute and percentage terms. Roughly one-third of the planet’s inhabitants, but roughly three-quarters of the planet’s religiously persecuted are Christians. I’m sure that a detailed study about where the persecutions come from would also reveal some surprising facts. Or perhaps some unsurprising ones…
The good news: at least this new european absurdity organises something to try to put the problem at the attention of the West. But hey, wait a minute: without COMECE it would be the responsibility of the single Bishops’ Conference to move and actually it is responsibility of every single Bishop to tackle these issues out loud. Do they do it? No, they leave it to the COMECE (please forgive me: can’t be bothered to copy and paste the entire name again) to organise a conference. Gives one a beautiful excuse to shut up before and after – and even during – the conference.
So it’s three bad news after all…..
We have examined in the past two posts (here and here) the most common ways to understand reincarnation and their fundamental incompatibility with the existence and work of Christ. Let us now conclude by examining the utter failure of such new age “Christianity-cum-reincarnation” perspectives from a more practical point of view.
In order to do so, one must decide whether Indians are a people intrinsically or even genetically prone to violence and cruelty, or not. If one decides that they are, one subscribes to a racist vision of the world which is the contrary of what modern followers of reincarnation tend to (at least consciously) believe. If one doesn’t, he has a problem.
It is in fact clear from the most superficial exam of the Indian society that a high level of cruelty and ruthlessness, unknown to Christian societies, has dominated its social structures for a long time. The suttee, the habit of burning the widow at or around the death of her husband, is in my eyes a clear evidence of the consequences of reincarnation. I am not interested here in the details of the practice (how consistent it was with Hindu spirituality; whether it was more often voluntary or forced; whether it was common or rare, etc.); rather with the fact that such practices never existed in the Christian culture. And really, whilst one does not necessarily need to believe in reincarnation to commit suicide or being killed (a lot of atheists commit suicide or kill even by us), it is difficult to imagine that such practices would have been even imagined without a belief in reincarnation spread through the veins of the Indian society. The problem here is not whether Suttee is compatible with Hindu spirituality, but whether it is compatible with the belief in reincarnation…..
Similar considerations can be made for other aspects of the Indian society, less evident now but still not eradicated: the existence and toleration of castes by otherwise decent people can only be explained with the belief in reincarnation.
Never in Christian countries have people died of starvation in the middle of the road among the general indifference; not even in times of pestilence. Never in Christian countries have people been considered unworthy of being touched, or even their shadow being considered defiling. Never in Christian countries has the gap between starving poor and shamelessly rich reached the scale of the Indian subcontinent found by the British colonisation. I could give further examples of cruelty and utter disregard for the dignity of the human being.
Still, no sensible person could deny that in that same country one could find a multitude of excellent people; compassionate in their own way, lovers of family and friends, sometimes extremely spiritual as clearly showed by an impressive spiritual tradition. It is therefore fair to say that it is the belief in reincarnation which made the cruelty, the suttee, the starving of people under one’s eyes & Co. acceptable in the eyes of decent people. I do not want to say that an individual who believes in reincarnation must perforce accepts these things; rather that a nation that believes in reincarnation will end up accepting them.
The problem of today’s society is that too many people are ready to see as “cool” and “spiritually advanced” everything that comes from the East, but do not think to the end about the consequences of the beliefs they are trying to import. They consider a “cruelty” that a priest (a man who has made an adult and free choice) is not allowed to marry, but never consider that a child brought to a Buddhist monastery to be raised as a monk never had a chance to choose, or to protest. They never ask themselves how would they feel if Catholic priests or friars were selected in the same way. They are so vocal in the defence of animals and will love to tell you how nice Indian people are to cows, but will readily forget how less nice they are to the starving and to the widows. (Yes, many widows die in India today of strange domestic accidents. Doesn’t happen by us, strangely enough).
This doesn’t want to be a generalised condemnation of Indian society. I am sure many excellent people (Hindu, Muslim etc.) live and have always lived there. But you can’t take Sodom out of Lot, and you can’t avoid the belief in reincarnation causing an amount of indifference and acceptance of starvation and violence just inconceivable by us.
And so it happens that whilst Western countries nowadays provide up to one fifth of the GDP of countries thousands of miles away, out of sheer compassion for people they’ll never see, Sri Lanka drowns in a sea of corruption even after a disastrous tsunami, with entire categories of citizens enriching themselves out of the money meant to save their own people from tragic death and utter destitution.
Christian societies work. They are far more compassionate than any other. They have never allowed mass starvation, not even in the darkest hours of hunger and misery and plague. They have never burned widows like the Indians, or exposed sickly children like the Greek. Not even in the hardest circumstances.
Reincarnation is not only wrong but when applied to entire populations for generations, sooner or later it will create the conditions for the toleration of every aberration.
Beautiful post on Ann Coulter’s site comparing Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was launched on the national political scene during Goldwater’s presidential campaign, with the “time for choosing” speech, but Coulter makes a good job of explaining why Reagan surpassed Goldwater and went to triumphal victories not only as Governor but as President, too.
Ann Coulter is witty, vitriolic and highly entertaining. She is also spot on in remembering Ronald Reagan in a time of abortionist Presidents of very dubious Christian beliefs, picking lesbian activists as Supreme Court judge candidates.
Once again, we see the difference ideals make.
First casualty and first headlines ahead of the visit. Cardinal Kasper, a man well-known for not being very liked (ecumenism Taliban, no friend of the Ordinariates and in general: far too left) makes some very politically incorrect observations and as a result either gets gout, or “is advised” by the doctor not to travel (must be a capricious thing, gout) or is excluded from the visit to avoid worse trouble.
Let us see his affirmations to see what is there in them:
1) The UK is “marked by a new and aggressive atheism”.
Very true. Can’t see how anyone could deny this. I hope the Holy Father will say pretty much the same thing in the next days. Unfortunately, I ‘m afraid he’ll say that in a way that does not offend anyone, that is: that does not get at the heart of the matter. Kudos to the Cardinal for having said what must be said out loud.
2) “when you land at Heathrow you think at times you have landed in a Third World country”
I don’t know about that. This is one of the biggest and busiest airports of the planet. Logistics and security must be a nightmare. Still, on the many occasions I have been there I must say that I never felt in danger, nor has anything ever been stolen, nor have I had to endure any particular discomfort not due to the exaggerated security mania of our times. Yes, I have seen cleaner airports perhaps (and more beautiful, modern ones without the “perhaps”); but “third world” seems to me vastly exaggerated.
If he compares with Fiumicino in Rome, he knows Heathrow has nothing to be ashamed of and if he compares with Frankfurt in Germany, well you should never compare with Germany…
3) BA discriminates against you when you wear a cross.
Absolutely true. BA allow their Muslim employees to wear a head scarf, but suspend their Christian ones if they wear a visible cross. Anti-Christian fanatics, period.
I am not a friend of the man. It seems to me that he incarnates if not the worst, certainly much of the bad come out of Vatican II. But I must say, this time I can’t avoid siding with him. To 66% at least.