Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)
'Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.' ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)
Monday, 8 August 2016
Are commercial reasons really justifiable reasons for failing to give ordinary Catholics a voice on the extraordinary upheavals going on in the Catholic Church today? Are they even the reasons?
I would have thought that, in fact, the 'comments on' policy that had until relatively recently been for almost all articles at the Catholic Herald, but which then became a 'blogs only' policy, in fact brought the Catholic Herald a great deal of online traffic, which in turn brought more of an audience to advertisers and potential advertisers.
Comments are still on here - and on blogs in general as far as I can see,
Keep fighting, keep praying and keep blogging until the end.
We bloggers do this service for the Church for free. We're not looking at this from a business model angle.
The Catholic Herald apparently can't afford to pay someone to 'moderate' comments, so its better to deprive Catholics of a voice in the mainstream Catholic press altogether.
Thankfully, bloggers don't follow such a line of thinking. Most of us aren't successful in worldly terms but we think Faith matters and giving Catholics a voice matters. For us it is a priority.
Shame. The Catholic Herald had done so well for so long. It is so sad that it has finally capitulated to various pressures at such a crucial time in the Church's life.
Whatever financial rewards come their way, I'm sure it won't be through their print edition since whenever I go into a Church there are always a good few copies to spare.
Certain people, however, will be happy about this decision. This decision is a slap in the face to their readership. I won't be reading it anymore. What a self-defeating decision. Their writers - talented as some of them are - are not the main attraction of blogs. The main attraction of blogs is that others can contribute to the issue being dealt with. I would have thought that to those interested in gaining an audience in the Catholic world today that this was self-evident.
But you know, what do I know?
Pray for blogs, pray for bloggers and pray for journalists and the Catholic Press. I guess you could say we're all up against it in one way or another.
Thursday, 4 August 2016
Monday, 1 August 2016
Massacres carried out in cold blood - be they intelligence-aided false flag terrorist attacks or genuine terrorist outrages now are becoming so frequent that not only would it become even more difficult to distinguish between the two, but they are occurring with such terrifying frequency that each incident could easily be forgotten by the following month or perhaps week. However, let not the Church of Christ forget Fr Jacques Hamel! Martyr of Christ!
In such an age, when evil runs rampant, unfurling its banner of triumph, do we live. One really does wonder whether we shall have the capacity within another year to be shocked at all. Men and women burned alive in cages. Shorelines draped in the cloak of Coptic blood. The list is endless and there is no end in sight. The barbaric nature of the murders we have seen recently is of such a magnitude that most of us simply cannot begin to fathom it. Quite honestly, what can you say when a man walks into a Church where an 84-year-old is celebrating Mass and slits his throat at the Altar of God, or when a man turns on the ignition of a truck and proceeds to mow down people as if they were grass? This is insanity.
|Fr Jacques Hamel's martyrdom is reminiscent of the Atlas Martyrs|
The slaughtering of a peaceful man for no comprehensible reason whatsoever does not usually polarise debate. In Brighton, it is not unheard of for a drug addict to be found stabbed to death on the street or for a homeless man to be set on fire in his sleeping bag or in London for gang-related violence to claim the life of a teenager. In the face of such destructive evil, most of us give up on trying to understand motives, but few would have trouble at least identifying some discernible root cause that may, in fact, not be the ultimate cause of the evil committed but a strong contributory factor, even if the act of killing is senseless.
When it comes to Islamic violence - and there is plenty of it documented across the world, we have an even greater problem in perceiving the motive because it is alien to what we understand from the point of view of reason. Most reasonable people can even sympathise with Pope Francis's reticence to link Islam with violence because few want to identify a whole religion and people with evil. To do so has implications for a great many, perhaps even to the safety of many. It is widely known that his response to Benedict XVI's famous Regensberg Address was unfavourable to say the least. 'This will set us back 20 years!' are the words attributed to the then Cardinal Bergoglio in Buenos Aires when he heard news of the speech.
|Can't we just all be Masons and get along?|
Islam is de facto opposed to Jesus Christ because it does not propose Him to be both God and Man
The problem is that even a 'correct' interpretation of Islam - a moderated Islam - because of its varied forms - found in one place may never be truly discovered. The most enlightened Islam does not contain the seeds of Eternal Life. Let us imagine that, in time, perhaps, Islam itself might reform itself. Islamic scholars from around the world may join in unison to denounce all forms of terror and warfare, all forms of violent Jihad and adopt a universal blueprint of 'humane' Islam that constitutes what most people would regard as a religion that is entirely peaceful. Let us imagine a scenario, indeed, in which all the major religions combined to form a new humanistic - some might say Masonic - approach to religious divisions, fostering peace and concord around the whole world, in every community, with the extremist elements so neutralised as to be rendered ineffective and harmless to citizens of a new world order. Might this solve some of Islam's problems? Pope Francis might say 'Yes, what a wonderful world that would be'. This Catholic would, however, say 'No'. Why? Let us hear what the assailant said to a nun, speaking of Our Lord Jesus Christ before he was shot dead, a young life wasted at the age of 19...
"Jesus cannot be God and a man. It is you who are wrong."
Yes. As if to mirror Pope Francis's call to dialogue with other religions, before his death at the hands of law enforcement agencies, the young Islamic terrorist provided not just Pope Francis but the whole World with an exemplary exposition of the Muslim religion, formed, as it was, centuries after the first coming in the flesh of Our Lord and Saviour. His actions following this exegesis of Islam and one of its central positions on the nature of God can be interpreted according to as many sociological explanations as is deemed necessary. One thing, however, cannot be ignored, and that is that this man was most definitely in dialogue with a nun on the issues of God and religion, elaborating on the true Islamic position on Christ right up to the point that he committed murder in cold blood.
Indeed, since Her very founding by the Only Begotten Son of God, the Church has sailed in every age persecuted for this very reason. We do indeed believe that Jesus not only can be, but is, God and man. It is the Muslims, but not only the Muslims who are wrong. On this matter, the Jews are also wrong. The Hindus are also wrong. The Buddhists are also wrong. Atheists are wrong. This is what divides those who are Christians - who are for Christ, and those who are do not believe in Him, who St John tells us are Antichrist. And it is certainly this essential premise that even divides the Catholic Church today, informs the liturgical war, divides Catholics on moral issues, categorises those who side with Christ on divorce and remarriage and those who stand vehemently against Him. Yes, it is simply this.
Like the Pope, I too have sympathy with Muslims. They believe in one God. So I too believe in one God. They do believe in brotherhood and helping the poor. So do I. They even believe that after death comes judgement. So do I. They believe God is merciful. So do I. They believe in Paradise. So do I. They believe in Hell. So do I. But, the great error of Islam is the great error of the vast majority of the World and great swathes of even the Catholic Church. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. That singular denial of God Incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the cause of so much pain and suffering in the world. It is Pope Francis's role, not to simply ameliorate tensions between Christians and Muslims, nor simply to dialogue about what is shared between the two Faiths, but also to enlighten Muslims that Christ is for all men and for them and that no man shall see God without Him.
Because they do not believe that Jesus is Lord, that which is good in Islam, just like that which is good in Judaism and Hinduism, that which is good in so many religions, is rendered not null, but incomplete and ultimately, in error. Error leads to death. This denial leads into many other serious errors which have grave consequences for the eternal fate of souls who believe errors and the temporal state, security and safety of the peoples of the world. Can Christians do wrong things? Yes. Can Christians murder? Yes. Can Christians commit these deeds and claim their religion informs that choice? They can, but they, too, are in error.
Who are we to say that behind even religiously motivated killing does not lurk something much more mysterious, something more private, a mysterious love of death, an interior glorifying of evil, or a misguided vision of heroism nurtured and incubated by fanatical preachers, a longing to become famous or infamous, noticed or even celebrated by some?
Yes, the reasons for this man's choice might be much deeper than a selective fidelity to an Islamic text, but let none doubt that a truth, passionately held, can, guided and nurtured by Christ, become a force for such ardent charity that can change men and women's lives so much for the better. We see this in the life - and witness - of Fr Jacques. Let all men know too that an error, passionately held, can bring ruin and carnage to the streets and Churches of Europe, and an error, passionately held, can bring about the ruin, yes of any Catholic layman, any priest, any Bishop and, yes, any Pope. This error, deprived of the light of Christ, leads to spiritual death. Propagated, it takes in many victims. It will, undoubtedly, create many more to come. If every time the Pope is asked to speak of Islamic violence, he feels he must speak of Catholic violence, astonishingly, in the same breath, we are guaranteed that we shall be hearing about Catholic violence a lot from Pope Francis. Perhaps every week.
A life of humble service at the Altar of God, a death and the palm of martyrdom at the same. Would it be too much for the whole Church now to recognise the sacrificial nature of the Mass when a priest has shown it to us so vividly? Will the Church turn away from what Fr Jacques's death really tells us about the Priest and Victim united at the Altar in persona Christi? Perhaps this is a fact of his killing too subtle for some to notice.
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Saturday, 16 July 2016
Hot on the heels of an extraordinary intervention from Cardinal Vincent Nichols - who surprisingly wrote to the entire clergy of the Archdiocese of Westminster urging them to defy the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's recent call for ad orientem worship - the BBC has announced its plans to roll out a new series to start in September entitled 'GIRMwatch'.
Extra-liturgical dancing fun: If its not in the GIRM, what is the problem? Let Dr Bill fill you in...
Noting the Sunday night success of Birdwatch and more recently, Springwatch, the BBC has recruited British Catholic legend and journalist Bill Oddie to follow the fidelity of parishes up and down the country to the rubrics of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The exciting new show will occupy a slot on Sunday evenings at 8pm.
However, Both Birdwatch and Springwatch are said by the BBC ratings polls to be past their best days and it is felt by producers that something new is needed. Interest in Catholic liturgical rubrics is said to have risen sharply in recent times, especially in the light of the recent contradiction of the head of the CDW by the Archbishop of Westminster.
|Liturgical twitcher: Bill Oddie|
The first episode, entitled, 'It's Really Simple! You Put Your Right Knee Down!' will focus on genuflection, a key area of the liturgical 'norms' that is yet to be made visibly universal even in a single Diocese, or even a single Deanery.
Dr Oddie, speaking of his involvement in the flagship programme said...
'In my travels up and down the country, I have found such a great diversity in liturgical customs that it is hard to look at two parishes which are even two miles apart and find a great deal that is the same. So much - perhaps more and more - liturgical rules seem to be made up on the spot. The series really puts the liturgical conflicts made public with Cardinal against Cardinal and Pope against Cardinal in a striking light. Whether it is the liturgical vestments - their style, or whether a Sanctuary has male or female Acolytes, or whether Priest and Acolyte genuflect or bow, or whether a Priest genuflects even at the Consecration, or whether the Chalice is drained by the Priest or by a Server or Extraordinary Minister (if necessary), or whether Gregorian Chant is used, or dismissed as obsolete to be replaced by bongos and guitars, the series makes a bold attempt to show that diversity remains one of the few features of the Catholic Church that unites Her liturgy, short of the Presence of the Sacrifice of the Only-Begotten Son of God at every Catholic Mass. Believe me, in some parishes, the use of even the bell has been entirely abandoned.'
The Archbishop of Westminster's office, when asked about the new programme, was unavailable for comment.
GIRMwatch with Bill Oddie begins in September on BBC2 at 8pm
Monday, 11 July 2016
'Hi, I'm a Lutheran who wants to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. May I do so?'
Pope Francis: 'Basically do what you feel, don't ask me, ask God and move forward. I best say no more, if you catch my drift.'
'Hi, I'm divorced and remarried. May I receive Holy Communion? I hear that the teaching may be relaxed.'
Pope Francis: 'I can say yes, basically, things have changed. Talk to Cardinal Schonborn. He's such a great theologian.'
'Hi, did you alter the Church's law on this by virtue of a single footnote?'
Pope Francis: 'Footnote? What footnote?'
'Hi, what's the situation about how politicians should vote in Italy regarding the same-sex unions? Didn't the CDF say something about that? In a document?'
Pope Francis: 'Well, I heard the something but...I must have missed that. These politicians should just follow their conscience.'
Cardinal Sarah: 'Dear clergy, have you ever considered celebrating Mass facing East, towards the Lord who will come again at the Last Day?'
Pope Francis: 'I'd like to refer you to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, a useful guide to Church law and practise, custom and jurisprudence. I refer you to page...'
Doctors of the law and the GIRM:
So useful when you suddenly need them in a bout of massive control freakery!
Amazing how quickly and efficiently the Vatican clear up confusion at the bidding of the Pope
when the Pope wants confusion cleared up and the message to get through, isn't it?
Saturday, 9 July 2016
Some Catholics might be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief that the demands of the Gospel can now all be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia.
These include (forgive me if I slightly paraphrase some of Our Lord's direct teachings out of sheer laziness in looking them up on Bible website)...
'I say to you that anyone who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery.'
'If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off, it is better to enter into life mutilated, than to have your whole body thrown into hell.'
As above, replacing 'hand' with 'eyes'.
'Anyone who looks at another's wife with lust in his heart commits adultery.'
'It would be better for anyone who causes one of these little ones to stumble to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck.'
'What God has joined together let no man put asunder.'
'Do not give what is holy to the dogs.'
'If any man should come after me let him take up his cross, deny himself and follow me.'
Apparently, these words, these teachings of Jesus must be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia! That would be far more preferable to Cardinal Schonborn, than reading the Exhortation in the light of Christ! I am sure there are many more words of Our Lord and Saviour which would embarrass the theology presented to Catholics in Amoris Laetitia. For charitable reasons, I believe that most bloggers and Catholic commentators - most Cardinals and Bishops and priests who believe the document is riddled with strange doctrines - do not promote the document or highlight it because the light of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ reveals its inadequacies.
Of course, I am sure that there are more words of Our Blessed Lord which can be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that that light will illuminate the message of the Gospel.
The question is, can Amoris Laetitia be read in the Light of the Lord...
..and still be called Catholic?
It might be that with some mental gymnastics and a degree of mental reservation, Amoris Laetitia can be read 'in the light of the Church's tradition', but I don't think the words of Jesus Christ are so easily read 'in the light of Amoris Laetitia.' They oppose Amoris Laetitia. For this reason, Cardinal Schonborn's words this week are, quite frankly, as hilarious as they are ill-judged.
Most would say that Catholic Church began in the Year of Our Lord 33AD at Pentecost. Some theologians would argue that the Catholic Church was born at the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, who was chosen before all time to bear the Son of the Eternal Father. But just what kind of 'theologian' would suggest the Catholic Church was born in 2016?
|'In the dazzling light of Amoris Laetitia, please just forget more or less everything I did, said and taught'|
I've long argued (with several others) that the vanguard have opted for a scorched earth policy. With Cardinal Schonborn, we can see that Year Zero is upon us. May the Lord preserve us from this insanity and restore a sense of the sacred to those who have, in the Catholic Hierarchy, lost it, abandoned it, or rejected it, in favour of something that - in the light of the Gospel and the teachings of Pope Francis's venerable predecessors - is completely incoherent, potentially schismatic and dangerous to souls.
In layman's terms the whole tone of Amoris Laetitia is: 'Follow Jesus Christ? Listen mate, it's not worth it!'
Restoring the sacred to the Liturgy of the Church says: 'Follow Jesus Christ? Yes, He is worth it. For worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive glory, honour, power and worship!
Sunday, 3 July 2016
|Boomtown Rat: The people's protester, Bob Geldof, has finally had enough...|
London, United Kingdom: Another weekend of angry mass protests broke out in the light of a recent vote that has left citizens beleaguered, desperate and literally begging those in authority to overturn the result.
The sudden and unexpected uprising of people, both young and old, demanding the immediate overturning of the voting result and a second ballot to take place brought traffic to a standstill in the cosmopolitan capital.
|Pope Francis maintains that the first ballot stands. There will be no second vote.|
The mass protests have taken the authorities by surprise, with Londoners demanding that the ballot of 13 March 2013 that voted in the heir apparent and chief nominee of the 'St Gallen Mafia', relativist and authoritarian Peronist, Jorge Bergoglio as Pope be overturned.
Protesters, led by a man who continually asks for help in explaining why he doesn't like the first day of the working week, were interviewed by media agencies over the weekend. Reasons for their presence at the protest were varied, but one thing united the protesters in their desire for a second vote. Said one protester...
"I converted to Catholicism from Protestantism, but this new Pope is clearly Protestant in his thinking. I want the Pope to be Catholic, to talk about Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life. Is that too much to ask?" ~ James Hinchthorpe, 20, from Barnet
Some protesters were more fierce in their criticism of the result with their words expressing palpable anger.
"What do I want? I want a real conclave! When do I want it? Three years ago!" ~ Sandra Gillespe, 28, from Putney
"I am sick of this Pope's self-adulation. I am sick of the insults. I am sick of his interviews. I am sick of his manipulation of the Church, his willingness to sacrifice everything and everyone - those in the Church and those outside of it - to his false god. I want a real Pope and that real Pontifex is on his way! God will not be mocked forever! Is there nobody this lunatic would not give Holy Communion to?" ~ Sebastian Whitstable, 15, of Earl's Court
Others, visibly upset and scandalised by three years of mixed messages, confusing signs and the recent exhortation that has been described as a 'dossier even dodgier than that which took us to war in Iraq' spoke of their pain at the decision made by the Cardinals in 2013...
"This result of this vote was made by old people. Basically, these old people have taken us back 40 years. My eternal salvation and that of my friends has now been thrown into jeopardy by these old people. I'd like to say to those people: You've stolen my future! Yes! You've ruined my life! You've ruined Eternal Life for everyone!" ~ Ralph Clarridge, 18, of Crystal Palace
|Cardinals under fire from the young: 'You ruined my life! You stole my future!'|
Some even openly questioned whether people who voted for Bergoglio should be entitled to have a vote.
"This is what happens when you let uneducated people with no brains vote in something as important as a conclave! My 4-year-old daughter can tell you that of all the people to vote for to be Pope, an elderly Latin American Jesuit is THE LAST MAN ON EARTH for whom you should vote!" ~ Gerald Sinister, 32, of Elephant and Castle
The Cardinals of the Church are stung by such criticism. It is true that by an overwhelming margin, the participants in the conclave that voted in, on a 52/48 percentage, the ultra-modernist Jorge Bergoglio were, for the main part, over 60 years of age. Therefore, the charge that the old have robbed the young of an eternal future has some traction in Rome, where the mass protests have been observed with great concern.
Vatican officials are publicly indifferent to the protests, saying that these protests make no difference to the result, which - despite claims of vote canvassing - was, according to the competent authorities, conducted according to the normal rules of the Church. However, privately, some Cardinals are questioning their choice of Successor of St Peter and have sympathy with the crowd. One member of the Sacred Hierarchy, who did not wish to give his name said...
"We would be wise to heed the voice of the younger generation crying out for those in authority to teach the Catholic Faith whole and entire. When it is not, they are justified in their anger that the teachings which will lead them to the Eternal Life - their rightful inheritance - are not being given to them and we must listen to their heartfelt cry. We can apologise to the whole world if we want, but ultimately it is to Jesus Christ Himself, that we Cardinals shall have to give an answer. For these souls, yes, we shall have to answer."
Saturday, 25 June 2016
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, Thy Dowry, and upon all of us who greatly hope and trust in Thee. By Thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given Thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us Thy children whom Thou did receive and accept at the foot of the Cross O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren that in the one true fold we may all be united under the chief shepherd of Christ's flock, and that by faith and fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with Thee in our heavenly home. Amen.
Pray for our country, for the new prospective Government, for healing and unity in our land, for the Queen and for the conversion of our land to the Holy Catholic Faith. The brave decision of the country in the EU Referendum will undoubtedly have serious consequences for the people of the United Kingdom and for Europe. Amid the jubilation many are expressing are very sad and angry people who express their disappointment with disdain and contempt for the country and the decision that has been made. And pray for George Soros. I expect he made another fortune yesterday, but having backed and funded very heavily the Remain campaign, all the money in the world won't make up for losing one of the most 'valuable' member states in the crumbling European project. May God bless and heal our land and restore as a precious and gleaming jewel to the Blessed Virgin Mary, her Dowry, England.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Brexit voters should be aware that there will most likely be some financial backdraft from exiting the EU. It will make a lot of people, very, very angry.
You have to remember that big business, big banks and big financial investors have poured millions, or billions, into the EU project and the UK's incorporation into it.
They don't want too see all that money they spent, all that time they spent, all that energy, all those meetings, all those dinners, all those hours and hours of work going into their empire building dream, to have been a waste of time. Think of all those politicians whose original protestations to the EU were either bought off or dined off, or promoted off.
You have to hand it to The Guardian, though. When they have failed to win an argument about the EU, its ambitions of an 'ever-increasing union', its inherent 'democratic deficit', or even its economic success for the people of Europe, they make one last ditch effort to convince the British by at last telling them the truth - that the argument is futile because their real political masters - to whom even The Guardian bends the knee - reside neither in Brussels, nor in Parliament because their political masters are, in fact, their financial masters, the masters of the stock exchange, who, in a single day, can make a bread-basket out of a nation associated with economic prosperity.
Nobody votes for George Soros. Nobody votes for David Rockefeller. Nobody votes for Lord Rothschild. Nobody votes for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Nobody votes for banks and financial cartels or shadowy megalomaniac tyrants dressed up as 'progressive' philanthropists. Finally, at long last, The Guardian admits that the real Government runs the oil trade, the diamond trade, the gold trade and - in all likelihood - the drugs trade. You defy that Government at your peril. It just so happens that the EU Referendum debate has made it much easier to distinguish between those who are, at least in high ranking positions - the puppets of the financial masters of our age and those who have decided to at least maintain some kind of healthy independence from them. So, it was nice to read yesterday that that bastion of anti-capitalism, The Guardian, gave the arch-capitalist, Hungarian-American business magnate, 1 per-center, billionaire and world renowned 'progressive' philanthropist, George Soros to put the question to the British people: Would you rather be poor and free, or rich and slaves?
Well done, then, to The Guardian, for finding someone well-versed in political discourse, a major player on the world stage, someone in a prime position to counsel the public on the grave consequences of this vote, someone prepared to tell the truth about this Referendum to the British people and to ask them a question far more profound than the one with which we will be presented when we vote tomorrow. I suppose we should not - given the political leanings of this long-standing newspaper - be terribly surprised that the person to put the question is...not even British. Mr Soros: You'll almost certainly never read this.
You might own our derivatives.
You might own our assets.
You might own our stock.
You might own swathes of our land.
You might own our politicians, our press and you might even own our Pope.
You might own swathes of our land.
You might own our politicians, our press and you might even own our Pope.
But you don't own...
Monday, 20 June 2016
As part of a government program to curb extremism and radicalisation, entitled PREVENT, these two YouTube videos have been produced by St Annes Primary School in Royton.
These are promoted, interestingly as 'British Values'.
Children are being taught 'British Values' in an effort to stop radicalisation in every school in the United Kingdom.
Whatever you think about that - how effective it will be - or indeed whether you think it the right approach, the British Government must know they are educating children in 'British Values'.
Not 'Christian' values.
Not 'Islamic' values.
Not 'secular' values.
Not 'religious' values.
Not 'Western' values.
Not 'Enlightenment' values.
Not 'European' values.
Whatever one believes of the Government approach to a shared set of common values, looking back, it seems rather jingoistic and even racist and xenophobic to tie the shared values of those who reside in this country to the concept of the nation state. Isn't that the kind of thing that the BNP, if elected, would do?