Helen McCrory had just died of cancer, aged 52. Your prayers are, I am sure, appreciated by the angels in heaven.
One of the most famous actresses in the UK, and married to an even more famous actor (Damian Lewis), her death is very sudden, in the sense that very few people knew, and the news was kept from the public until the moment of death. Her young age makes this even more worth of a reflection or two.
The first reflection: modern “science” and the “miracles” of medicine do not allow anyone to escape his appointment with his Maker. Not even if a lot of money is available. One day, we will be called, too. That moment has been already set in stone. Every day, we march towards it.
The second reflection: I do not know whether the lady died at peace with the Lord, at least in the sense in which anybody can know, or hope, that anybody died at peace with the Lord. But I notice this: whether she was Christian or not, this does not seem to interest anybody, nor does it seem that she was interested in letting other people know. Religion has just flown out of the conversation. People die, they’re gone, everybody says how “courageous” they were, but they’re… gone.
It’s like saying that Rin Tin Tin was courageous. Look here, pal. The issue here is whether Mrs McCrory had an immortal soul, or not. If she had, forget “courageous” as there are other issues at stake now. If she (absurdly) hadn’t, then everything is absurd and meaningless, even “courage” at the end of an absurd sting of existence allowed to us, in this absurd perspective, to try to perpetuate our DNA.
The third reflection: apart from some Catholics, no one seems interested anymore in knowing in which state one’s soul has likely departed from this vale of tears. I think the milquetoast “Christians” have this bizarre idea that everybody goes to heaven, unless he is Stalin, whilst the Atheists prefer to blather about “courage”; something very strange, by the way, seen that undergoing three years of chemotherapy is seen as “brave”, but refusing to undergo it is “brave”, too. Everybody is so brave, and left the world such a better place. One wonders how the world has not become paradise on earth yet. Oh wait, I know why. But they don’t.
Fourth reflection: the chariteees. It seems that nowadays if you are not involved with a charity you are a selfish bastard. Charity work is the way irreligious people, and certainly a lot of atheists, define their own “goodness”. Even when the charity is serious, and not just a part of the immense, corrupted, charity machinery currently thriving in this Country, it does show a completely earth-bound thinking. Inevitably, not only was McCrory involved with a couple of charities, but this is seen, if you read around, as the other quality defining her (besides being, of course, an actress). “Wife and mother” is purely a factual event, that we don’t talk much about because very much, you know, old school. “Actress and charity worker” (which means: power woman and oh so sensitive) are, today, the defining traits of the deceased.
I do not know what Mrs McCrory thought about her immortal soul. If she believed in God, sin, and the like, it would have been very good not to keep this private as a help to others who might be in the same situation. If she did not believe in anything of that, well, I am sorry to rain on your parade but 400 years of charity work would not save her from hell, and the tributes that will now pour in are but a hollow, horrible theatre enjoyed by Satan alone.
A famous actress dies at 52, and it seems this is no encouragement to some serious reflections anymore.
But hey, famous and oh so good. And so courageous.
It seems to me that, if she had the real courage, it was the courage of looking at eternity in the face and make sure that she enters it reasonably prepared.
Strangely, this type of courage is not considered anymore.
Tomorrow 22nd February is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Whilst St. Peter’s feast day is the 29th June, the feast of the 22nd February is more directly aimed at celebrating the Petrine Office. This feast is, therefore, as Catholic as they come.
This feast day might be an occasion to explain to some non-Catholic in your circle of acquaintances why you are Catholic. When requested, I proceed more or less in this way:
1) And I say to thee: that Thou are Peter…. Jesus doesn’t say to Simon that he is a nice chap; or that he is very perceptive; or that he himself is surprised that among the apostles Simon was the only one to give the right answer to his question “Who do people say that I am?”. No, he changes his name and calls him a rock.
2) and upon this rock I will build my Church…. Jesus doesn’t say “I will build my first church”, nor does he say “I will build my provisional church”. Jesus picks a rock, and builds upon him One (1, Una, Eine, Une) Church.
3) and the gates of Hell shall not previal against it….. It, that is: the very same Church built on Peter, the “rock”. That one, and no other. Jesus doesn’t say “the Gates of hell shall, in around fifteen centuries, prevail against the Church I built on you”, nor does he say “the Gates of Hell shall prevail against the Church built on you but hey, let us be happy with a generic term of “church” so it can work even when yours goes astray”. He is very specific: he builds one Church upon one man and gives his promise of indefectibility to this – and no other – organisation.
4) And I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven….. This is also dumb-proof: keys are a very obvious symbol of power and authority and it is clear here that Jesus is speaking with extreme solemnity. He doesn’t say to Peter: “Peter, you keep the key for the moment” or “look mate, gotta go; keep the keys until I find you or yours unworthy, will ya?”. No, this is a solemn promise evidently made for all times, as his just pronounced promise about indefectibility must make clear to the dumbest intellect.
5) ….and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. For those who should at this point still not have gotten what is going on, Jesus becomes even more explicit: Peter has the keys, and the keys mean authority upon the faithful now and forever; an authority given in the most emphatic terms possible.
The meaning of these phrases; the clear solemnity Jesus gives to his words; the crescendo of emphatic declarations of such a broad and clear scope do not leave room for any possible doubt and as a result, Protestants have nowhere to hide. Whoever reads Jesus’ words with a minimum of intellectual honesty cannot avoid to recognise that the Only Church of Peter’s time (and of the following fifteen centuries) is the Only Church of today and that as a result whatever grievance against the men who run the Church does not change a iota concerning the position of authority of the Church. As to the complaint that some Popes were oh-so-bad (not much worse than many a tv-preacher I’d say, but laissons tomber….), Peter wasn’t immaculate either, but his shortcomings didn’t prevent Jesus from promoting him to rock of His Church.
To believe anything different from the fact that the Only Church founded by Jesus is.. the Only Church means to believe one or more of the following:
1) that Jesus made a mistake in founding His Church on Peter;
2) that Jesus was mistakenly persuaded that Peter’s successors would be good chaps, but had his toy ruined by the baddies who succeeded Peter;
3) that Jesus couldn’t count;
4) that Jesus’ words had a sell-by date, or
5) that Jesus made his promise of indefectibility without taking it seriously.
Or perhaps one could decide to read and understand the only possible meaning of such emphatically worded statements, as Jesus repeatedly made.
There is only One Church, folks. It’s the only one founded by Jesus. Simple, really.
I will leave the duckduckgo-ing to you, but in the last days three news have emerged: the French justice system has rejected the ban on the “burkini”. In Britain, a proposed ban on Friday prayer in jails has been abandoned. Lastly, in Germany it has been pointed out that a ban on full-face cover might trigger a ban on Father Christmas costumes (the extreme ones, which cover all the face behind a very thick fake beard).
The reasons for this are all too obvious: taken in isolation, the Western system of freedoms opens the door very wide to an – ultimately always – aggressive Muslim invasion. Our Western democracies have no legal antibodies protecting them from the infection of Islam. The bacteria are actually invited to enter the body, in the name of freedom.
Mind, I do think that, at some point, the body will react. When the fever breaks out in earnest, the body of Western democracies will, in fact, start to produce the necessary antibodies all right. This must be so because – as we have seen all too clearly in the past in Germany, in Spain, and in Italy with the RAF, the ETA and the Brigate Rosse respectively – European democracies have a successful record of “bending the freedoms” with overt or covert operations meant to – not to put too fine a point on it – “do what you gotta do”. I have read of these “adaptations” concerning Germany (Stammheim anyone?) and Spain (with the covert ETA killings). I have lived them directly, concerning Italy, in many ways.
However, I do not think that this reaction will happen until a point has been reached where the pain is substantial and widespread. A pity, because there is a much simpler way to stop this cancer from exploding.
The way is to recognise the special place owned by Christianity in the West. Nay, the acknowledgment of Christianity as not only religious, but cultural matrix of the West. This special role would, without a doubt, justify a special treatment without this causing the cherished principles of freedom of expression, freedom of religion etc being imperiled.
The realm of applications would be vast: for example, it is allowed to dress as Father Christmas (thus completing covering one’s face in public) but not to wear a burka. It is allowed to wear a catholic veil on one’s head, but not a chador. It is allowed to build monumental churches, but it is not allowed to build purpose-built mosques. It is allowed to have Sunday laws, but it is not allowed to have “Friday laws”. There are Christian public holidays, but no Muslim ones. There is no right to interrupt work for Muslim prayer times. Halal meat is forbidden because of the cruelty to the slaughtered animal.
The list is very, very long.
All this would stem, in a perfectly reasonable way, from a fundamental principle: the West recognises traditional Christian customs as its cultural blueprint, and protects them accordingly. This is what many Countries did in the past both when they had Catholicism as State Religion (Italy) or they hadn’t (the German Halal ban in the Nineties). They did this without anyone questioning their democratic credentials. They did this following one of those thinking principles which might be unspoken, but are deeply felt; that are, in fact, unspoken exactly because they are deeply felt.
There would be no need to kick out anyone per se. But there would be need to enforce these rules whatever the noise – or worse – made by the Muslims. When enough perverts and atheists have been massacred, I think there would be a number of them actually ready to embrace this thinking without hesitation.
Also, the same rules would have to apply to every non-Christian religion: Hindu, Sikh, the whole lot.
The West is Christian. Get on with it, or leave.
Will it happen? Again, at some point the pain will be acute enough to cause something of the sort to happen. The “cultural heritage way” would be the easiest, most peaceful, most efficient way to deal with the cancer of Islam.
The sooner atheists understand this, the better for all of us.
I am the product of a different cultural environment than the one in which I live now. As a result, I may notice some things I do not say more rapidly, but perhaps more strikingly than others.
I seem to notice the de-Christianisation of this country in the way more and more people here simply look. If you are the PC, sensitive kind with the blue-haired daughter you can look away now, or read at your own peril.
Two words in advance: where I come from, the way we look shows our respect for others, and for commonly accepted rules of behaviour. It is not only that we want to look properly: by the way we look, we show others that we took care of appearing in front of them in the proper way, and that we share their same values. You may say that in Italy things are rather intertwined (we do like to look good, anyway) but you get the gist.
Together with this always went common rules of “appearance” which, shared by everyone, made the standard of decency and respect for others. People gladly submitted to these rules, out of a generally shared sense of what is good and proper. In fact, in those times there still was something like that: a generally shared sense of what is good and proper. It was a broadly Catholic society, you know…
When Christianity went out of the window, these rules were subverted like all the rest. Some examples among many:
1) the “drug addict” look. You know, half the head with the “Auschwitz cut”, the other half normal.
2) the “I wish I were a fag” look. This is the “as thin as I can”, “ephebophiles, look at me!” look.
3) the “I will make you look at my hair” look. Purple metallic, ivy green, cobalt blue. Everything goes.
4) the “I work for my tattoo man” look. Entire arms, entire shoulders, or the entire neck covered in tattoos. Grave matter? What’s “grave matter”? There is still some reaction here (cue the word “tramp stamp”: women are always the harshest judges of their sex…) but in general the epidemic is clear to see, and no sign of abatement.
5) the “stuck in 1968” look. Any or several of the above mentioned, but worn from people, generally women, clearly beyond Sixty. This, my friends, is what a life of marijuana does to you. I notice it far less in men, and I attribute this to the need of the old hags to carry on to the bitter and very, very ugly end an “emancipation battle” their marijuana-smoking male counterparts never needed to, ahem, “fight”.
As an addendum, I shall add the “Battleship Potemkin” look: strictly below thirty, 300 pounds or more, a belly protruding from the corners before the rest, and the attitude that says “I look wonderful as I am, and if you disagree you are a chauvinist pig”. This last comes with the small caveat that there is a small possibility that said battleship got to look that way out of sheer frailty and correctly identified rather than, so to speak, ideological gluttony. But all the others are entirely voluntary, and require time and money.
Now let us ask ourselves: how comes that our forefathers were so “judgmental”, and we (I mean: the others) aren’t? Because they were Christians, are we (I mean: the others) aren’t, is the simple answer.
In sane times, the “alternative look” immediately told them one had an alternative lifestyle; and being neither politically correct nor stupid they did not fail to notice, and to say it.
The fag look would have indicated to them one who is either a sodomite or, in case he wasn’t, creepy and outright worthy of mistrust.
The purple metallic hair would have been seen – and rightly so – as an obvious sign of rebellion to all that is good and proper.
The tattoos would have been seen as an obvious sign of godlessness.
Battleship Potemkin would have been seen as an obvious sign of gluttony.
Not anymore in the “time of mercy”. Today, being seen as “judgmental” is the only sin. Everyone is a good boy, or girl, or whatever he feels he is, until proven otherwise. When it’s proven otherwise, it’s “who am I to judge”…
Some of you might say that this is not so anymore, and that today so many good people look like bad ones; but I must disagree. The simple fact is that those very rebellions our forefathers rightly condemned are still there, but now they have become mainstream. Our forefathers saw them because they were smart; we don’t see them because we are stupid, and don’t want to look unkind; but rebellion still was, and still is; it’s just that the rebel does not even feel such anymore, merely up with the times. Nowadays it is mainstream that there is no right and wrong behaviour. It is mainstream that there is no bent or straight, no sacred or profane, no sinfulness or saintliness. It is mainstream that everyone can do whatever he pleases, “if he does, oh, not, oh, harm, oh, otheeers”….
Nowadays, Godlessness is mainstream.
The way people look simply reflects it.
In England you see them, if you pay just a bit of attention, everywhere: former churches.
Big and small, with or without bell tower, monumental or demure. They are transformed in cottages, flats, community spaces. At times the original purpose of the building is evident,mother times it is more or less heavily disguised. But they all tell the same story: here used to gather a Christian community, that has now vanished. Very many of these churches are, from what I can see, Protestant.
Do not delude yourself into thinking that the community has now enlarged, and has moved into bigger premises. They have just vanished as the old generation went to its judgment, and the new did not believe in any judgment not delivered by a television “jury”.
Last time I looked, Sunday church attendance for the so-called Church of England was at 3%. This number alone says it all. The official 25 or more million Anglicans in the country are, officially, a joke, and among the Methodists it’s even worse.
Where the official count says that there should be millions of Christians, there is a huge hole, filled with nothing. Or better said, filled with senseless do-gooders living in a world of easy emotions, and fully persuaded of their own heathenish goodness.
They run “against this”, cycle “against that”, jog “against that others”. They make clown of themselves, as if there were any merit, let alone dignity, in that. They wear red noses or pink bras (as men; yes, they do) and think they are “making a difference”.
They aren’t. Firstly and less importantly, they aren’t because taxpayer-funded (directly or indirectly) or corporate-funded medical research vastly exceeds do-goodism by any standard you would care to find in almost every sector of medical research, and certainly in the basic research. But it’s not even a matter of numbers. It is (secondly, but most importantly) that a human life is infinitely short compared to an eternity in hell. Therefore, to everyone who lands in hell his having died at 72 or 88 is, to all logical and mathematical purposes, infinitely small and therefore infinitesimally irrelevant.
Is, then, not good to spend money on research? Yes, it is. But don’t make of it a religion, because there are things infinitely more important than when one dies, and for which almost no one cares anymore. Like, say, not going to hell. And for heaven’s sake, stop putting yourself at the crossroads with your freaking pink bra, like a Pharisee on cocaine.
The left hand must not know what the right hand does. If you went to church, you would know it. And no. You aren’t needed. Or do you think you can add one cubit unto your stature?
All this is ignored. As churches are transformed into town halls and flats for “modern living”, or in building for a variety of other purposes, “charitable” organisations multiply, and you see all these people – the children and grand-children of those who once would sit in the pews on a Sunday morning – running and cycling, sweating and panting, rowing and skating; all of them with the t-shirt saying to the world how good they are; all of them obsessed with lives ill-spent going on for as long as they can, and uncaring of what must be the eternal destiny of a scary, scary, scary number of people in XXI Heathen England. A country full of people so good, that God to them is a tale, an afterthought, or something for which they have really no time…
As the churches vanish and bells are hears less and less frequently on a Sunday red noses, pink bras and sundry “look at how good I am” t-shirts are everywhere. The old generations were Proddies; but they were Proddies with the fear of the Lord, and an often sincere – if always misguided – intention to live a Christian life, and to die a Christian death. What a difference to today.
Some years ago, the host of the popular UK TV show “Grand Designs”, dealing with the transformation of an old church in a house, said on TV “look, the Lord’s Prayer is on the wall!” as the camera proceeded to zoom on the wall in question.
It was the Creed.
This TV isn’t live. It is carefully edited, and made to a rather high standard. We do not know whether there was, somewhere else, really the Lord’s prayer. But the Creed simply isn’t the Lord’s prayer. Still, No one seems to have noticed.
The basics have gone. Christianity is rapidly fading away even as a mainstream religious flavour. Churches become apartments, or houses, or something else, or are knocked down. Bells are heard less and less frequently.
But look at that clown down the road; yes, the one wearing the pink bra. And another. And another.
Boy, how they feel proud.
A word that I read around more and more often is “healing”.
If I understand correctly, by that is meant that someone was said that “hurt” someone else, and this someone will now need some – or a lot of – time to allow the great wound caused by someone he doesn't know, and wasn't talking to him, has caused him.
Say someone is inverted – or divorced and remarried – and fully ok with it, but still pretending he is a Catholic. He listens to a conference or speech or whatever, where the Catholic speaker says that unrepentant sodomites go to hell, the sin of sodomy cries to Heaven for vengeance, and a couple of other things I knew as a child, before even making my first Communion.
Our “man” is then entirely incensed. As he was told facts of Catholic doctrine that apply to him, he is hurt; as a consequence, he has the right to be offended, and the world must now show solidarity and support to him, and help him in his healing process.
This happens nowadays, at least in some societies, not only in extreme cases – one understands a real trauma would require a real healing, because a real wound has occurred -, but everytime everyone hasn't liked something that can be referred to him. Then, the entire community feels bound to perform the exercise described above and finds it not only normal, but necessary.
If anyone within this very community – say, the local church – where, then, to point out that facts are facts and Truth is Truth, and those who are hurt by facts and can't hear the Truth should take a hard look at themselves rather than whining like wet pussicats would be immediately accused of being even more insensitive, even more hurtful, and causing the need of an even longer “healing”.
One truly wonders what has become not only of humanity, but of manhood.
I get promised hell with beautiful regularity on this blog, for no other reason than the author of the promise not liking some sound piece of Truth. Do you think I even consider being “hurt”, and write blog posts vilifying the commenter who “hurt” me so bad, and looking for “healing”? “Help me, dear blog readers! I am sooo hurt! Unless you show me full support, I will stop blogging, because I am soooo hurt!”
I push a button, the crap is flushed out, and that's that.
I wonder what has happened to a country where even boys and men – those who should be ready to die to defend their Fatherland and loved ones – can't even cope with abstract criticism without throwing a tantrum; and where women abandoning themselves to excesses of bitchiness are constantly encouraged to bitch even more by those – to wit: the men – to whom God has given the task to keep their bitchiness in check.
Nothing of this is to be seen anymore. It's a huge “hurting” and “suffering” and right to “healing”. Personal happiness is the new god. If anyone should cause Christ to disturb it, he should be vilified as the masses of sensitive heart bleeders run to the rescue of the wet pussicats, and feel such good people that Christ should learn from them.
What has happened in Charlotte is not only the result of a minority of bitching people; it is, tragically, the result of a diffused mentality that encourages and rewards bitching instead of taking a sound approach and react with chosen words chiselled by the wisdom of past centuries; like “take a hike”, “who cares” and the immortal, extremely pithy “shut up, bitch”.
Alas, we live in politically correct times.
The bitches run the show.
It's the others who shut up.
The last controversy about Obama choosing to keep God out of his rendition of the Gettysburg Address is another very telling indicator of how the mind (or what takes that name) of this man works.
Who would, believing in the Holy Trinity, do everything possible and impossible to expunge God from every public statement? Nobody, is the easy answer. Lame excuses of wanting to “respect” those who do not believe in God are as stupid as wanting to follow the rules of Ramadan so that the colleague near you is not offended at seeing you having lunch, but then again one like that would obviously leave God in the Gettysburg address so that the Christians are not offended, too.
It is evident to everyone with a brain that for a Christian to want to expunge God from the public sphere is tantamount to be ashamed of his faith; which no Christian could ever, in conscience, be, so that of this man we could only say that he has lost his faith.
We will, therefore, have to conclude that such a man is an enemy of Christianity, bent on sabotaging it from the comfortable spot of his convenient Christian facade.
Obama, the son of an early example of liberal college slut, certainly did not get any religious education from his mother, or from his anyway absent father. He grew up in a Muslim environment, and attended schools – I am informed – reserved to Muslims, which means he either was considered such, or was such, or certainly did not have anything speaking for his being a Christian. When millions in the West were listening to the bells of the local church, he heard – and stated he is still very fond of – the call of the Muezzin. When he went back to the US – after being abandoned by his mother, too; such are liberal parents – he was raised by his grandparents, and particularly his grandmother, whose liberal ideas are well known and, by the way, clearly shown in the daughter they raised.
But did young Barry improve when he went back to the “country under God”, the United States? Not really.
His Christian facade was the one of a rabidly racist preacher, Jeremiah Wright, a man from whom even Obama at some point had to distance himself, and only after repeated controversy. Is this a good Christian credential? Not likely.
Does he attend church now that he has – finally – canned Wright? Very rarely; apparently a couple of times a year, on those TV occasions. Does he defend Christian values? Never. He would have his daughters abort if they were “punished with a baby” (my words, not his: punished. with. a. baby), and what he calls Christian values are without exceptions the flags of the atheists and liberal culture, from de facto socialism to de iure sodomy.
Not a Christian, then, for sure. Certainly not a Muslim. A clearly thoroughly secular man, very probably as atheist as Stalin, with a cultural predilection for the religion in which he grew up (Islam, of course), and just that ridiculously thin varnish of Christianity that is necessary to become President in the USA.
A whitened sepulchre like few others on this planet, Obama incarnates the hypocrisy of the liberal classes, feigning some lip tribute to Christianity in abstract whilst trying to eradicate it from the planet in concrete.
Stalin was, at least, more honest.
George, the baby who is supposed to, one day, open schools and kiss babies as the King of England, will be baptised today.
He is already three months old. But hey, there must have been more urgent things to do these ninety days.
I have no idea how long did it take before former heirs to the throne were baptised. It can be Protestants were as bad as that a long time ago, and I wouldn't be too surprised.
Still, I cannot avoid seeing in a baptism that takes place three months after birth, without anyone seeing anything strange in that, another sign of the decline of Christianity.
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,” the lesson reads. “Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture”.
This is not a joke, but what has happened in a university in Florida. Apart from the fact that the “assignment” reminds one of kindergarten exercises (without the blasphemy) one truly wonders what goes in the twisted minds of certain people.
I will not spare you the very easy, but very true remark that the genius who thought this did not consider using, say, a Mohammed Cartoon as stomping material. I am sure he knows why. A shame, really, because if one wants to “discuss the importance of symbols in culture” I can barely imagine a more fitting starting point.
Still, the problem here is much vaster than stupidity. This episode shows not only a total lack of Christian feeling, but also the complete absence of every regard for Christianity as a religion. In a Christian country like the United States, this is an obvious indication of a degree of Anti-Christian militancy speaking volumes about the degree of “inclusiveness” and “tolerance” of the blaspheming classes.
The University has apologised, after the fact. The question remains what kind of University it is that employs geniuses like the one who thought this. Personally, I also wonder what kind of kindergarten is this, where people cannot start a discussion about “the importance of symbols in culture” without stomping like little children.
If this is the level of higher education in the United States, decline and fall cannot be very far away.
The ongoing controversy about whether openly homosexual boys should be allowed to be members of the Boy Scouts of America is indicative of the confusion reigning in the mind of many people nowadays. I see a lack of elementary reasoning that is simply revealing of the utter failure of modern school systems.
You can read comprehensive articles with a short google research. My comments to what I read around are as follows:
1. Sponsors will withdraw money unless the policy changes.
Come on, this is stupid. If there’s one reason why the Boy Scouts exist, is to let boys grow with a moral spine. The idea that morals should be subordinated to sponsorship is exactly the kind of thinking a Boy Scout should never have.
In addition, the argument is self-contradictory. If it is considered discriminatory that there is a national ban on faggotry, it is only a matter of time before it will be considered discriminatory that some local groups do not allow homosexuals, with the resulting withdrawal of sponsorship. Once again, those making the argument of “sponsorships” simply do not think straight.
There has apparently been a decline in membership in the last ten years or so, which according to some implies a crisis. Now, it depends. Membership is not really an indication of real success, particularly if membership is obtained by losing one’s core values. On the contrary, every process of self-finding will cause such a phenomenon, as the organisation purges itself from elements who should not be there in the first place. A world where even the Boy Scouts constantly measure their “success” in quantitative terms is a very sad one, and I can well imagine this mentality might also be a cause of the decline in membership.
III The Rabbi
A strange Rabbi complains the Boy Scouts would, if the ban persists, continue to privilege one religious view above all others. You don’t say? Last time I looked, the Boy Scouts were clearly inspired by Christian values. The US may well be a very strange Country in many ways, but the idea that Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist value should be included in what would probably be the stupidest experiment on earth is rather new to me. Another sign of the times.
IV The Method
The methods used by the leadership of the organisation remind one of the way David Cameron treats his own party. The grassroots are informed of what the leaders have decided, and they are asked to implement the policy. This is the more shortsighted, as the grassroots in this case are largely constituted by religious organisations having – as they, ahem, often do – a certain way of understanding life.
In conclusion, the impression is generated that a bunch of people either professionally employed by the organisation, or with a vested interest in its membership number and cash flow, have decided that Mammon is going to be the new source of inspiration for the Boy Scouts of America, and were dim-witted enough to say it rather clearly.
If you ask me, this matter should tell the basis organisation of the Boy Scouts of America that they are being led by the wrong people, and the defenestration of all proponents of faggotry at the top of the organisation should be carried out as a matter of course.
I am not joking, this is straight and true from Father Z’s Blog.
It goes to show the extent of the de-Christianisation of the Democrats. I can’t wait they ask God to be removed from the banknotes. I actually wonder why they have not done it already.
In the end, though, the move is at least coherent. It would have been even more hypocritical for them to continue to appeal to Christian values. Now the mask is off at least.
We really need to get this election right. A funny non-Christian belonging to a funny sect is still preferable to an enemy of God.
I grew up in a very simple, well-ordered world. Very rarely – actually, VERY rarely – we got as children those water tattoos, that you apply on your skin with a bit of water and create a design that disappears after a short time. I actually remember we had to ask for permission to use them, even if we had found them in the crisps packet (this might be an Italian thing; I don’t know).
In those times, tattoos were the preserve of pirates and sailors – and jail inmates, I suppose; but this we did not know – and to put a tattoo on your skin was something meant to allow one to innocently “play pirates (or mariner)” for a while. Of course, that one could come to the idea of getting a real tattoo was not of this world, and I remember once feeling “dirty” after applying the water tattoo, with the result that I never had a water tattoo again. Why did I feel dirty? Because in that simple world, to have a (real) tattoo was considered sinful. Even to a child like me, this made a lot of sense, as the idea that one might be allowed to paint and scar oneself for life had a lot to do with savages, but nothing with Christian civilisation. I cannot remember whether I was explicitly told that my body is a gift from God and as such not to be abused in any way, but the fact was so self-evident that to tell a child “tattoos are very bad” already conveyed all the meaning, and I positively remember the little girl who assured us she was told people with tattoos went to hell.
Letting aside hell for a moment, I do not know whether the people who told me tattoos are very bad were theologically correct, but I do not doubt they were right.
Fast Forward to 2012. You only need to look at some of the teams of the European Football Championship (alas, Italy not excluded!) to see in what way some people can disfigure themselves, possibly for life. It is simply shocking, and the vulgarity of those carrying such tattoos is only surpassed by their truly unspeakable stupidity in thus scarring themselves.
The vulgarity and stupidity ruling the football fields is only a reflex of the vulgarity and stupidity now invading increasingly bigger parts of our lives: those taken as examples in our times are illiterate footballers and drug-addicted singers; their fans have long ceased to be the pimple-plagued teenagers one expected in days of yore, and are more and more the ageing generation of Sixty-Eighters, and of their offspring. Teenagers without pimples, and it is not a compliment.
You only need to approach a newsstand, or to rapidly browse the channels available on TV, to see to what point we have come. One can’t be too surprised the Prime Minister can tell his electors that the so-called “gay marriage” is “conservative”. He might have gauged their stupidity better than I.
Encouragingly, this fad seems not to have taken so much ground in Northern/Eastern Europe. I am now looking at Poland-Russia and well, the situation is entirely different from the one experienced looking at, say, Italy-Spain.
One day, this craze will go like many others before and after, and an army of cretins will find themselves scarred for life of their own accord. They can only hope when the moment comes laser technology will have advanced enough to allow them to get rid of their tattoos without looking like a walking scar. In any way, with their tattoos they’ll look very stupid, and deservedly so, because the tattoos are just another example of the absence of proper behaviour, proper rules, common decency and basic Christian feelings we see in so many aspects of today’s West.
Interesting film, this one, and most certainly not only for young adults.
I will not give any spoiler, but what I found striking was the following:
1) The theme (not new) of the omnipotent Central Government, the absolute ruler of its subjects. Rather an actual theme, I would say.
2) The absence of every Christian message, in a desolate world that has – leaving aside the theological implications of this – forgotten Christianity. This is not “The Descendants”, where there is no Christianity because in the mind of the writers and director everyone is too cool to believe in God. This is exactly the contrary, and you rapidly understand this world can only be cruel, because there is no Christianity.
3) The open criticism of the growing kitsch dominating our lives. The hair and general clothes of most of the “leaders” (not, crucially, of the two main and of the “positive” characters) is characterised by a grotesque absence of taste. Interesting, because the way most people dress, their haircut and , in some circles, their tattoos would have been considered disgusting and worse than ridiculous just a couple of decades ago.
4) The dig at the “inclusive” culture. The movie – I have not read the book – sends some unspoken messages: the hair and clothes clearly mean this is a “liberal” dictatorship, where no one is “discriminated” or “made to feel excluded” for his personal taste and at least the ruling class can “express” itself as it pleases. Similarly, there is a clear message that in this fake “liberal” world, in reality extremely cruel and devoid of any ethics, homosexuality is considered normal. I see in this a criticism to the Nazism our liberals are trying to build around us: violently illiberal, but open to every perversion in sexual morals, or simple taste.
5) This is a clean movie. A movie completely centred on adolescents of both sexes, but without sex, actually without even sexual innuendos. Mind, this is not a movie for 12 years old, and I would not bring a 12 years old to see it. Say, 15 to 18 must be the main target, but even as an adult there are no limits to its fruition.
Nowadays, when teenagers are confronted with sexual messages in every aspect of the trash “culture” dished to them, to make an expensive movie of this kind is more than laudable. I couldn’t avoid thinking that if the movie had been co-produced by the BBC, some of the “good characters” would have been most certainly perverts: the BBC does it without exception, with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” being only the last example.
The movie is more than a bit upsetting, because the viewer is plunged in a world of brutal fight for survival for a longish time. Again, I wouldn’t bring there a 12 years old.
Still, I think you wouldn’t waste your time and money, and many of you would agree with me in my interpretation of some of the aspects of this movie. Again, I haven’t read the book – nor do I plan to – so I cannot tell you whether these issues run through it.
Dear reader, you may find the Michael Voris video above of interest to you.
There are several interesting point there: about the first (how many Americans still believe Obama a Muslim, or not a Christian) I notice after many years it can’t be said anymore such answers are in the main influenced by ignorance (= not knowing what Obama says on the matter), but largely on reflection (= not believing what Obama says on the matter). I can’t say Obama cares a lot for that, but I think it can fairly be said the nation listened, and drew its conclusions.
The second is that I envy a country where so many still have the guts of wondering whether their President is a Christian. The German have a Kanzler(in) who grew up in a communist country, from an idiot who had already completely confused belief in God and social justice; this woman has no problem whatever with open homosexuality, but she thought the best way to power was to call herself Christian, so the country at large doesn’t even wonder whether she is one (tip: they don’t do it because if they did, they should wonder how Christian they are themselves, a topic they’d rather set aside).
The third is (and I have touched this issue rather often) the progressive deterioration of the definition of “Christian” in the Western world and even – though in clearly lesser measure than in Europe – in the United States. Voris’ quotes of Obama about Jesus being such a wonderful teacher and “mediator” (a definition, by-the-by, with which every Muslim would enthusiastically agree) and at the same time not raising questions among two-thirds of the electorate.
Still, I am very thankful to the other third. I wish such a vast number existed in Europe. At least as far as Northern Europe is concerned, I can’t say this is the case.
We live in a world where a President of the United States (who is clearly far less intelligent than his supporters believe, but not a moron) expresses his “Christianity” is a view compatible with both Islam and the secular society, and two third of the population allow him to get away with it. And where, I must say with great sadness, many leaders of the Western world are not even requested to prove their Christian identity, or do anything at all to upheld Christian values.
Christianity by hearsay.
Among us Catholics, I blame Vatican II.
“values voters see big government and deficit spending as the result of policies that arise “when the natural family is looked down upon” and thereby foster dependency”.
This very intelligent reflection comes from a speech of Mr Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, about the electoral voters of Us-American Evangelicals.
Evangelical voters, he says, tend to link the economic and the social issues that will – hopefully, for the seconds – dominate the 2012 campaign, and the line above is an example.
As an Italian, I can resonate with the phrase chosen by Mr Perkins, as in those societies where the welfare state is rather weak – in Italy it is very weak if you consider it as “welfare state proper”, that is: entitlement – the family is very strong and conversely, you can afford to have an almost non-existent welfare state and survive as a politician only because the family is so strong.
I do not use the word “natural family” because in Italy the absurdities and perversions of the US have not yet gained a foot in the social and legal framework of the country. Long may it last.
I do agree with the statement, particularly after having lived in Germany and the UK and having seen the result of the mentality prevailing in those countries.
Still, I wonder what resonance it would find among the US Catholic voters, as this would seem to be a more specifically Evangelicals-related phenomenon.
Dio Perdona tante cose per un’opera di Misericordia
“God forgives (so) many things for a work of mercy!”. With these words, the simple but pure peasant girl Lucia addresses her mighty kidnapper, a man so powerful that the Spanish power is a joke to him, and so corrupt as to be willing to have a girl kidnapped and consigned to her raper for a matter of prestige and reputation among his peers. A man, though, not mighty enough to escape the patient, silent work of the Holy Ghost, and whom the sight of such helpless, desperate purity will move to the point of causing the explosion of a looming crisis; a crisis that will see him, after a terrible and liberating night, see the dawn of a new life.
Millions of Italians know these words, who have become – like so many expressions from this wonderful novel – part of the everyday language in Italy. They are particularly fortunate because – like many other expression of the Promessi Sposi, written by a man very fit in Catholic doctrine – they give to the reader beautiful snippets of Catholic wisdom, a wisdom that will, hopefully, came back to them in moments of crisis even after they have – like most of those who know these words – stopped attending Church.
Like millions of other Italians, the one or other phrase from this immortal novel comes back to me from time to time, and makes me think. It seems to me that one of the greatest strenghts of Catholicism is in its attention to the little things, in the quiet knowledge that God doesn’t abandon those who don’t forget him in the little things, and helps them to stay – or to return to – the straight and narrow even when they stray in the bigger ones. The attitude of your typical Italian Catholic of one-two generations ago – before the “everyone’s a saint” era that has, to an extent, polluted Italy as well as the rest of Catholicism – was exactly this idea that when one does his part, and even not such a big one, the Provvidenza – a concept Manzoni comes back to again and again – takes care that the sheep finds his way, in due time, to the fold.
This is in my eyes the reason why the Countries that are more traditionally Catholic are also the ones with, I am sorry to have to say so, the happiest people. Not for us the life-quenching rigidity of old Presbyterians, the tortured morality of old Puritans, the virtue that kills joy. A stream of quiet optimism runs through the veins of Catholics, the idea that salvation doesn’t come without doing anything to deserve it, but that deserving it is well within the reach of sinners like you and I.
God forgives so many things for a work of mercy.
This is the reason why I do not stop boring you with my insistence on the Rosary, as I am fully persuaded that – besides Mass attendance – no other weapon in the Catholic armoury is so powerful in its effects, or so easy in its use.
As, though, God forgives so many things for a work of mercy, I have thought to flank my link to the Rosary with a smaller, less demanding link to a short prayer also linked to by Father Z, the Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This short prayer will take you, literally, twenty-two seconds, but exactly because of its non-demanding nature can become a habit everytime you visit this site.
In case you understand or enjoy Italian – how silly of me: the two are one and the same….. 😉 – below is the scene I was talking about, the beautiful and extremely accurate – with the text used as script; basically, it is the excerpt of an audiobook with images – 1967, Sandro Bolchi rendition of I Promessi Sposi , featuring a beautiful and very moving Paola Pitagora as Lucia and the – as usual – stellar Salvo Randone as the Innominato.
The scene begins at 7:10.
I read this article on Father Z’s blog, and his invitation to echo it. I am all to glad to help.
Whilst this is more specifically American, the issues at hand are relevant for everyone of us.
If you are American , please consider following the link leading you to a letter template for your member of Congress. In the comment box you will find suggestions now collected about wording and sites to collect electronic petitions if you don’t want to write. I doubt that writing to Sebelius will lead to any result but hey, it’s your adrenaline…..
The deadline is the end of September.
If you have a blog, you may want to echo this.
It would appear that the Great Protestant Miracle is not going to happen, and that the Holy Ghost has rather blatantly refused to make the necessary overtime.
As you will remember, the Proddie church had tried to start a massive donor/tv viewer mobilisation, thinking that people as far as Europe and Asia would have massively forked out to allow an impressive, but rather strange-looking building in the Orange County to remain in the hand of the congregation. Let us see how it worked: hmmm, I like to see the building in the opening title of the “hour of impotence”, therefore I will now send a couple of hundreds, or thousand, of dollars to Orange County to continue to see the building every week for a couple of seconds in the outside, and from the inside during the transmission. Yep, makes sense…. 😉
This absolute failure to raise an amount of money remotely sufficient to persuade the judges to hold the sale proceedings (which they duly refused to do) is also a clear warning of the trap of Protestant “you can get whatever you wish”- thinking, something at times resembling Donizetti’s Dulcamara selling his love potion more than sound Christianity. And it is highly indicative – and if you ask me, not without a message from the Holy Ghost Himself – that the prophets of “possibility thinking” be confronted with the impossibility of doing what they so vividly desire, and that the “Hour of Power” have transformed itself in long months of impotence.
Let this be a cautionary tale, and let us remember that we can’t take the Cross away from Christianity, nor can we transform it into a sort of Pollyanna amusement park.
I have written a couple of times about the similarities between Nazism and the modern secular societies.
In the Europe of the thirties, one could have legally aborted only in one country: Nazi Germany. At the same time, euthanasia was practised only in one country: Nazi Germany again. And who was the only country making experiments on humans and so obviously and massively concerned about eugenics? Yep…
Curiously, if we except the Bolsheviks Germany was the only traditionally Christian country in Europe not implicitly accepting Christian values as the basis of society.
It seems that old Adolf has some admirers in Spain, where there are people able and willing to decide that a life is not worthy of being lived anymore and can therefore without any moral scruples – nay, with the feeling of being, actually, good – be terminated. The Nazis called this Lebensunwertes Leben, literally “life not worthy of life”. Basically, there’s one chap (or two, or three) who sit there like minor gods and decide when the moment has come to take the tube away. “Sorry ma’m, we are on a budget”.
I do not know how they say Lebensunwertes Leben in Spanish (something sounding like “Zapatero”, I presume), but it seems to me that both the mentality and the effects are exactly the same.
“When I first heard of their financial difficulties, I was distressed. Crystal Cathedral Ministries has been a valued religious resource for many, many years in Orange County and, through the Hour of Power, around the globe. Like our own Mission San Juan Capistrano, its historic and cultural links are important to Orange County. Under this plan, we hope that that ministry can continue. Dr. Schuller built up this ministry from the humble roof of a drive-in snack stand, and that constant faith in God’s providence, I believe, will sustain their community through these current trials. The Crystal Cathedral underscores the vitality of faith in our modern society and with our offer we will enable this beacon of faith to continue to influence others as an important place of worship,”
Please let us examine these words:
1. a laud of a Protestant ministry
2. the stressing that this Protestant ministry once had a worldwide audience.
3. the stressing on the fact that this creates “historical and cultural links” which are “important to Orange County”.
4. The hope that a Protestant ministry can continue.
5. A strong laud of the humble beginning etc. of a Protestant minister.
6. The stressing that this Protestant’s ministry is driven by Providence.
7. The stressing of the place as an important place of worship.
You would say that here some high-profile Protestant minister is breaking a lance for the Protestant organisation created by Mister Schuller, and seeing the glowing terms with which his Protestant ministry is portrayed and constantly exalted you would think that this chap is a staunch Protestant. He is, therefore, understandably “distressed” at hearing of their financial difficulties and tries to do what he can to allow them to continue their work. I think that you would be perfectly right, as it is undeniable that this chap does have strong Protestant feelings.
The problem here is, though, that the words above do not come from a Protestant minister, but from the bishop of Orange County, Tod Brown.
I knew that these art of liberal bishops could be rather “ecu-maniacal”, but this reaches a new level: this chap thinks that Protestants are helped by Providence! This chap could meet Martin Luther and praise him for quarters of an hour on end!
I have difficulties in thinking of any one period in the history of the Church, where a bishop not only openly praising heretics, but even considering their existence a work of Providence and claiming to help them to continue their work would not have put this bishop in extremely serious trouble. I mean here, obviously, any period in the history of the Church before Vatican II.
The heresy is among us. It is openly proclaimed under the sun, with no shame at all, from Catholic bishops. From this perspective, the bid now ongoing to buy the Crystal cathedral shows another interesting angle: not at attempt to save money, but an attempt to dilute Catholicism by buying a building that is closely identified with protestant worship, and helping a protestant ministry at the same time.
For the record, this bishop is another “enlightened” choice of the late Pope, Blessed John Paul II, the not so great.
Interesting article from the Poughkeepsie Journal, informing us that outside of New York City, so-called same sex “marriages” aren’t popular.
One may only speculate as to how on earth such a hardly fought battle (a battle that will leave several flip-flop politicians dead on the ground in the years to come) for “human rights” doesn’t cause a run to the town and city halls, with the wannabe “brides” (do they throw a coin? Or ….ugh!) happily destroying their mascara under the emotional tsunami of their virginal tears of luuv, on the day they are made Queen and Queen of the household.
One can only make some suppositions, like:
1) for most of these perverts, the relationship with their “partner” is mainly about doing the disgustingly unspeakable, not any kind of bond or mutual obligation. The “partner” is, then, there to minimise the possibility of AIDS, not because of a life plan;
2) homos are the first ones not to believe in the tale of the human right. I can’t imagine many liberated black slaves deciding that there is no great need for liberty after all, or that they will wait before they exercise the human right to become a free man; similarly, I can’t imagine many people opining that the right to free expression, or free association, or free vote are something worth fighting for in theory, but that in practice few will want to exercise;
3) whilst it can be fashionable in a place like New York City to play “trendy fag” showing one’s limp wrist with a ring around one finger (please don’t tell me if they really do: it’s disgusting; and please don’t tell me if they really don’t: wasn’t it supposed to be about “luuuv?”), it is easily conceivable that the matter might be different in smaller places, where people tend to think that marriage is between a man and a woman. Ask the local gentry, and they will say it’s elementary.
This is, I assume, the main reason why perverts gather in the biggest cities: anonymity means both license, and the possibility of creating self-approving communities halfway protected by the ridicule.
What will be most interesting to follow, though, will be the rate of divorce of these so-called “couples”; then these clowns can never create any real expression of “love”, just the mockery of it.
One thinks that, perhaps, they understand it themselves.
Archbishop Gomez has accused Americans of being angry and “judgmental”, unloading on his poor listeners such a load of commonplaces and fashionable words that they must have thought themselves back in the early Seventies.
“Everywhere in our culture, people seem so quick to condemn. It is very hard to find words of mercy or understanding for someone who has done something wrong,” says the oh so understanding bishop; “many good people out there saying things they know they shouldn’t be saying”, he went on in a rather, well, judgmental way.
“People make mistakes. They sin. Some people do evil that causes scandal and grave harm. We can condemn the offense and work for justice — without trying to destroy the person who committed the sin,” says the bishop again and seems to have found some solid ground, but then forgets what he has just said by stating that “We need to reject every temptation to shame or condemn people. Let us never be the cause of turning someone away from seeking God’s forgiveness and redemption.” Yeah, right. Let us not condemn Pelosi, or Cuomo; it might turn them away from redemption. Coffee, Your Grace? Tea? Some spine perhaps?
I read these words in disbelief, and feel that a couple of words must be said:
1) It is very easy to say “do not judge”. In fact, it is the easiest thing to say. No, let me rephrase this: it is the easiest thing to say when you have no intention of doing your job. No, let me say it better: whenever you hear someone senselessly parroting the “do not judge” mantra, you can be sure that he is trying not to do his job (as a parent, a spouse, a friend, a priest). Archbishop Gomez might profit from the sermon of the young Franciscan talking about “judging” about whom I have written some time ago. As one commenter says, “do not judge, lest ye be judged” is “the first cry of the fornicator”.
I don’t judge you, you don’t judge me, everyone does what he pleases, and everyone feels oh so good. Particularly the Archbishop.
2) If there is a society where no one dares to “judge”, this is the modern Anglo-Saxon world. I do not know any other culture where you can eat yourself to death whilst people encourage you to feel what a wonderful person you are, and even entitled to other people’s understanding; where every kind of sexual perversion is covered under a thick layer of “non-judgmental” attitude; where people behave like adolescents well after getting grey hair and are surrounded by the “understanding” and “support” of all those around them; where there is not even a faint hope that suicide might be stigmatised, and the very probable consequences of such a gesture made very clear.
Elsewhere, if one eats to self-destruction people don’t invent strange genetic predispositions strangely unknown to them; they call one ingordo, that is: glutton; if one is a pervert, they call him a pervert (many names for that, but they all mean the same: pervert); if one abandons his wife of thirty years for a pretty young(er) thing who will be gone in a couple of years’ time they don’t show their “understanding and support” but call him a family wrecker, a child, and an idiot; if one commits suicide, they might have the gut to say a couple of unpleasant truths.
How cruel, says the archbishop. Soooo “judgmental”! What the Archbishop doesn’t consider is that in such societies the morbid (and let me repeat this: morbid) obesity I see around me (and in the US) is purely non-existent (genetic predisposition, my aunt: magna de meno!* says a popular Roman dialect phrase); the strong stigma on sexual perversion helps people to develop in a healthy way; the “judgmental”, rather harsh social control about one’s decision helps prevent people of sixty from behaving like pimple-plagued, cretinous adolescents; the (still) rather strong stigma attached to suicide saves lives.
All this, the archbishop is unable to see. His message is a very superficial, very easy, very popular “do not judge”. That people go to hell because of this mentality, he doesn’t seem to care; he has nothing to say; hey, if you say something it might turn the sinner away from redemption, right?
3) Bishops live in a difficult time: Catholicism is under attack, marriage is under attack, the very basis of Christian morality is questioned, even the seal of confession is now targeted. Is it possible that in all this, the bishop thinks it so important to abandon himself to populist waffle? Shouldn’t he be spending his time sending clear messages to his flock about such “judgmental” things as defending marriage, and Christian decency, and solid values? Is it too much to ask?
4) The bishop completely forgets, nay, willingly obliterates, the difference between private weaknesses and public scandal. Of course everyone is a sinner; of course we all fall short of the mark; of course we see in other people’s private failings – when they come up – a reflection of our own sinfulness and looking at ourselves in the mirror are reminded of how much we need the Lord’s mercy ourselves. But this is nothing to do with the open defiance of Christian values, and if the Archbishop thinks that he can eschew the battle by talking of Mary Magdalen whilst some of his colleagues take the sword of Christ, he is sorely mistaken.
Already that a bishop living in that cesspool of anti-Christian, “everything goes” liberalism that is the diocese of Los Angeles has the effrontery of even saying that people are “too judgmental” is beyond belief. I do not know any other place on the planet resembling Sodom so much as the city of West Hollywood, in the very middle of Archbishop Gomez’ diocese. But hey, do not judge, lest you be unpopular….
Archbishop Gomez would be well advised to wake up, smell the coffee, leave the waffle aside, prepare himself for the battles at hand, and be aware that he’ll have a lot to “judge”.
A great deal of excitement about a Michael Voris’ video concerning the beautiful song, “Amazing Grace”.
It seems to me that Voris is being unjustly criticised.
If you listen carefully to the video, Voris is not objecting to the song being sung by a Catholic. What he objects to, is the song being sung in Catholic churches, during Mass. I do not think we can blame him for this. Irrespective of every theological discussion about what is Protestant and what is not, it is a matter of common sense that a song whose theological content is questionable is better not sung during Mass. With two thousand years of musical and liturgical tradition at our disposal, the need is just not there.
In this respect, “Catholic answers” has the following Q & A:
Q: I’ve heard that the Protestant hymn “Amazing Grace” has lyrics that may not be in keeping with Catholic teaching. Which lyrics are ambiguous, and how they can be understood incorrectly?
A: “Amazing Grace” was written by the eighteenth-century Anglican sea-captain John Newton (1725–1807) in response to his conversion by grace from his life as a slave trader. These lyrics express his moment of conversion: “How precious did that grace appear / the hour I first believed.”
While not directly contrary to Catholic teaching, this lyric stands in tension with it because it appears to envision entry into the state of grace following the advent of belief, with no mention of the sacraments (in other words, in a “faith alone” fashion).
This sentiment can be reconciled with Catholic teaching because the grace of conversion indeed can be given at certain hours, causing a person to repent of a previously sinful life and re-embrace faith in Jesus Christ.
So, “Amazing Grace”: a) it can be “reconciled”, but it stays “in tension”, and b) it is clearly inspired by Protestant thinking, but can be accepted – with a different interpretation – from a Catholic one.
Makes sense to me.
Of course, one might say that Voris is inflating the matter, and seeing “ecumenism” where there is possibly only appreciation for a beautiful song; one might also say that, at times, his laudable zeal leads him to be a bit over the top (“dress like Protestants”. What?). I must also say that “wretched sinner” is how I would define myself most days, and how I would most certainly feel if I were to kick the bucket in the next three seconds and to realise the extent of the offense my sins have created. But all in all, it seems to me that the excitement is not justified.
In the end, I’d say that Voris’ video has two messages, which are merely underpinned by the “amazing grace” argument which, as he says, is merely a symbol (or a symptom) of something else:
a) that the older generation of Catholics has been protestantised in greater measure than those coming from traditionally catholic Countries in central America, and a dangerous anti-Catholic theology has taken hold in the consciousness of many of them.
b) that the singing of “Amazing Grace” happens “under the banner of accommodation” to non-Catholics.
One can disagree with these points, but it seems to me that they are the real message of the video, and the example chosen by Voris just a concrete way of explaining the manifestation of the problem.
Michael Voris is a rather trenchant type (I like that); at times, I have the impression that he sets the accent on the wrong matters, or on matters that do not deserve such a heavy foot on the gas pedal; I can’t say that I always follow the logic of what he says (see above, in matters of dressing); but all in all, thank God for Michael Voris and Real Catholic TV.
Brilliant post of Michael Voris about a strange, but probably not so unusual experience in Ireland. In this once most Catholic of countries, a non-baptised non-believer starts to see the light and to have a vague idea that the Church might be right. But in his understandable desire to deepen the matter he is confronted with a solid wall of common places, rather meaningless truisms and desire not to offend anyone (in Italy we call it buonismo, “good-ism”). Even his Catholic friends can’t really help him, because whilst their intention are good, their instruction is bad and they are therefore unable to adequately articulate and explain their faith.
We have here so much of what is going on all over the West: a great desire of spirituality, to which the Church’s shepherds react with such a load of politically correct platitudes that this desire is, to all intents and purposes, negated.
I smile when I hear that the troubles of the Church are due to the fact that society has grown “materialistic”. This utterly ignores the army of people now looking at oriental religions, or at other strange spiritual movements. They do so because the kindergarten, “Dalai Lama-cum-Mandela” Christianity that has been imparted to them was of such self-defeating stupidity that they do not even imagine what beauty and greatness real Christianity has. When your local priest or vicar goes on all day saying the same shallow platitudes you simply lose faith in the ability of the shop to teach anything meaningful to you. When the only value a priest or vicar can impart is the one of “tolerance” and/or “niceness” it is obvious that this person has absolutely nothing to say, and the BBC can easily take his place.
The Church has filled her ranks with inept shepherds unable to transmit the message and meaning of Christianity and, in many cases, probably not even aware of them anymore themselves; the Anglicans and Methodists have done much worse and I doubt whether others, like some Episcopalians, can still be called Christians. As a result, the need for spirituality – which has always been there, and will always be there; even when not properly fostered – has lost itself in a myriad of small creeks rather than finding rest where the Truth lies.
For the last fifty years, the Catholic clergy have done everything possible to blabber the Church out of existence whilst they felt so “hip” and “with it”. The attempt has, predictably, failed, but not without leaving a huge trail of destruction. It is now time to start reconstructing what has been destroyed, and in my eyes the reconstruction must start whence the decadence started: the bishops.
P.s. on a lighter note: the clear attempt of the street cleaner to stop the advancement of Catholicism at 5:00 has been valiantly stopped…
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.
Is there one area, just one area of the faith that the modernist, hippie, liberal, progressive, watered-down-the-faith, bongo-pounding, liturgy-destroying, church-wreckovation modernist crowd has not destroyed?
This asks Michael Voris in this brilliant video and I’m afraid that – if we consider “destroyed” in a sociological rather than sacramental meaning – we know the answer.
This video is not about the travesty in drags proposed by our pervert community, but about the real thing. The dramatic drop in marriages is – as the Catholics in the United States clearly haven’t developed a sudden desire for collective bachelorhood – obviously linked to the downplaying of this sacrament by the liberal clergy . Voris actually puts it stronger than that, defining such shepherds as “liberal or gay* or modernist priests” and pointing out to an issue that should be discussed more often, that is: priests who are liberal because they’re homosexual.
Homosexual or not homosexual, many a priest has a very comfortable “let’s wait” attitude, which is in the best case similar to a “can’t be bothered” attitude, and in the worst to a “I agree with you” attitude. The idea is that, given time, everything adjusts itself and the prodigal (but oh so nice; and with the heart in the right place; and certainly environmentally friendly) sons and daughters will come back to marriage and sacramental life once they are settled.
“Are you mental!? No they do not come back!”,, is Voris’ emphatic answer. And in fact you must ask yourselves how would parents be considered who, seeing their children taking drugs and drifting toward alcoholism, reacts by saying “hey, no big deal; they’ll stop in due time”, and how many of those unfortunate teenagers would grow up to be responsible adults rather than, alas (can I say that without anyone being “hurt”?) junkies and drunkards. There’s a reason why a priest is called “father” instead of, say, “favourite, all-forgiving grand-grandmother”: his duty is to give guidance, to reproach when it is suitable, and to be able of showing some tough love when necessary.
The protestantisation of the liturgy has led us to this, because the protestantisation of the liturgy unavoidably leads to the protestantisation of the theology.
This unless even worse – like a homosexual priest pursuing his own diabolical agenda – is at play. Voris again refers to the problem when he invites his listeners to check that his priest is not a “less than ideal model of masculinity-priest” and he once again makes a connection with this and the “social justice”, “inclusiveness” mania.
The last remark is a rather general one, but valid nonetheless: in a very general sense, liberal priests are sawing off the branch they’re sitting on, as those “modern couples” who never came back are unlikely to fund their retirement.
A brilliant video, and one which in my eyes denotes Voris’ new, rather stronger stance about homosexuality both inside and outside the clergy.
* “gay” means here, strangely enough, “homosexual”.
This is another fruit of the genius of Mitchell & Webb, though not in the way they intended.
This man needs some little re-orientation, and adjustment of coordinates.
He might do with becoming a little more polished, and revising his theology here and there.
After that he’ll make, no doubt, an excellent Catholic priest.
From Fr Ray Blake’s Blog (who in turn has it from another source) we read this interesting piece about the disgraceful “Tablet” censoring readers’ letters when they show that the people at the Tablet… write things insulting to women.
Now, I do understand that the Tablet has all the right to edit the letters it publishes. But in this case it is very interesting to read what has been edited, and why.
The letter is as follows: the part in red is the part that wasn’t published. The issue is the presence of altar “girls” (I only seem to come across old sanctimonious busybodies; it must be me) at the Tridentine Mass.
As a woman who acts as a local representative in Arundel and Brighton of the Latin Mass Society, I find your claim (Leader, 18 June) that not allowing female altar servers at the Extraordinary Form insults me is quite absurd.
I challenge you to provide your readers with evidence for this bizarre claim that the tradition of male altar service has anything to do with “ritual uncleanliness” (sic). On the contrary, this tradition is quite obviously a reflection of the fact that only men can be ordained as priests, and it is because male service at the altar emphasises the different roles of the sexes in relation to the sacrifice of the Mass that it has special value. The Extraordinary Form of the Mass represents the preservation for future generations of this and many other venerable traditions, and it is for this reason described by Pope Benedict as a “treasure” for the whole Church.
Before you reject these traditions as ‘insulting’ you should reflect on the fact that they formed the basis of the liturgical life of women, as well as men, for countless centuries. Is it not more insulting to women to picture us as helpless and passive oppressed victims of a misogynistic Church for nineteen centuries? Give us a little more credit than that.
Eastbourne, East Sussex
The lady poses the (rhetorical) question brilliantly. Now, these are professional journalists. They can’t say, like a blogger could, “I don’t have time to deal with this now”, or “I prefer to do my research to write about my agenda, not about the writers’ one”. It is, I would say, their very job to expand and say some words about such an interesting question. The answer might, then, be more or less brilliant, but at least it would be an answer.
In this case, it is clear that the “Tablet” has no answer.
I have found here an excerpt from an excellent Moral Theology course. The work has both imprimatur and nihil obstat and comes – crucially – from times largely not polluted from false theology and “new times/new men/new rules” illusions, the safest indication of the heresy of Modernism.
If you take the time to read the entire piece – which, if you ask me, you should do as these questions pop up again and again in international relationships, in the media, and even at the pub – you will understand both the reasonableness and orthodoxy of this script, and the scandal that it would cause to the modern generation of wannabe pacifists; many of them, alas, clergymen.
I will proceed to mention some of the points more in conflict with modern “peace worshiping” thinking. Again, I suggest that the piece is read and understood in its entirety.
1. There is just war and unjust war.
2. A just war can be an offensive war, and still be just. It can even be a preventive war, and still be just.
3. Bits and pieces from the Gospel cannot be taken as justification for a pacifist agenda.
4. When the evil of toleration is worse than the evil of war, the evil of war can be chosen (1386).
5. To wage war a country doesn’t have to be entirely on the right side, but its right must be strongly prevalent. It’s not that the Crusades would have been illegitimate just because Christians might have had their faults.
6. War may be waged in defence of a weaker nation, attacked (say: Korea war, Vietnam war) (1390)
7. It is not allowed to wage war just to export Christianity. It is allowed to wage war to defend Christianity and Christians. “No war ever had a more legitimate cause than the Crusades, which were undertaken to defend the Christian religion against the unspeakable atrocities of infidels” (1391)
8. It extreme cases, though, war can be waged to put an end to unspeakable atrocities, like cannibalism or human sacrifice (1391)
9. It is lawful to wage war to bring peace and prosperity to uncivilised populations constantly at war with each other. It is not lawful, though, to attack an organised and peaceful country for the sake of colonial expansion. Note here the laudable use of the politically incorrect word “uncivilised”.
10. It is immoral to fight to obtain a stalemate. The only morally justified war is the war fought to win.
11. Sacred (or neutral, I add) buildings are legitimate military targets, if used for military operation. Points in case: German snipers on French tower bells; Iraqi rebels shooting from the roof of hospitals; Hamas fighters hiding in kindergartens.
12. Collateral damage is explicitly allowed (1406, 1410). “[..] it is lawful to bombard the fortifications, arsenals, munition works, and barracks of a town, to sink passenger liners that are carrying arms or stores to the enemy, to cut off food supplies from a town or country in order to starve out its troops, although these measures will entail the deaths of some civilians as well as of combatants“. However, every effort must be made to minimise these casualties.
13. “According to natural law, it is lawful to kill or wound the enemy in battle, or to starve him by blockade, just as it is lawful in self-defense to kill or wound an unjust aggressor”. This is interesting as a blockade will in practice almost never only affect combatants. The typical sieges of past ages come to mind; or the Napoleonic “Continental blockade”; or the possible (and never put in practice) blockade of Japan in 1945.
14. Reprisal is allowed under certain circumstances. “For example, if the enemy, contrary to agreement, uses poison gas in warfare, it is lawful to use poison gas against him”; but not if this is opposed to natural law: “if the enemy murders the civil population, this does not justify one in murdering enemy citizens who are in one’s power” 1417).
15. Si vis pacem, para bellum. “Reasonable preparedness is not only lawful, but a duty of the state to its own people”. (1426). This must be accompanied by a factual effort to preserve peace (1427).
There is only one article in the extremely clear and well formulated exposition which in my eyes requires further comment: article 1400, which examines the “modern world” and states that in the present circumstances only the need for survival can justify war, and the delegation of sovereign powers to declare war to supra national organisation (say: NATO, UNO) is a step which helps prevent war.
This is clearly said in view of the conditions of the times (1958), when “war” was -wrongly- largely perceived as “nuclear war” or “world war” at the very least, as clearly referenced in the words “enormous destruction of modern war”. It is absolutely clear that a relatively minor controversy (say: Italy’s claims on Istria) does not justify the potential risk of a nuclear holocaust, or of mass bombardments.
Fifty years later, we can safely say that “modern war” is in nothing different from “ancient war”; that, if anything, modern wars are more and more similar to the wars of past centuries; that the typical war scenario of nowadays doesn’t comprise mass bombardments, much less nuclear holocausts, but rather a series of intermittent, small-scale engagements with a diffused enemy either using guerrilla tactics, or operating in small units. Afghanistan, Iraq after the end of the main military operations, Lebanon 2006, Libya 2011 all follow this pattern, and it is now not uncommon for a Western country like the United Kingdom to be employed in one or two conflict stages at the same time, as it was at the time of the British Empire, without anyone fearing world wars or nuclear confrontations.
It is, though, a weakness of the analysis to identify “modern war” with “enormous destruction”. The equation was never true other than in the popular imagination, and in the Fifties many local conflicts were ongoing that didn’t justify the equation at all. To speak to the British readers, only during 1956 the British Army was involved in three military campaigns: in Kenya against the Mau-Mau, in Cyprus against the marxist guerrilla, and in the Suez campaign; mind, I might be forgetting something. War has always been a much more diffuse affair than the pacifist rhetoric wants you to believe.
My suggestion is to read this brilliant piece of moral theology; but at the same time, to always be extremely cautious every time you get the suggestion that “modern times” would require to…… change the rules. If humanity had changed, Christ would be past “best before” date.
Men don’t change, and God’s rules don’t change either.