Saturday, 31 December 2011

St Paul and Our Lady: Redemption for the New Year

Just read a wonderful piece on Catholicism Pure and Simple, which finished:

"So if [St] Paul shows how low God can reach to save us, Mary shows how high He can elevate us."

What a perfect meditation for the end of one year and the beginning of another.

Happy New Year one and all!

Famous Welsh Catholic #3: Dr Saunders Lewis

Saunders Lewis
There is an oft-used saying that Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Some people take this to mean that being patriotic (or being a patriot) typifies a man as a scoundrel. I do not believe this is the case in either respect, in fact or in regards to the meaning of the saying. Patriots as a whole tend to be decent enough types within the confines of their human nature (as patriotism tends to butter no parsnips) and the aforementioned non-patriotic scoundrels tend to run for cover in patriotic ranks when the proverbial hits the fan.

You will rarely find, for example, in the ranks of day-to-day patriots, the like of the London City banker or the Marxist provocateur. For the former, patriotism restricts profits and if he can make more money by sacking English workers and using sweat-shop labour, he will. Money is his god, and wherever he can make a profit is (temporarily!) his homeland -- to be defecated upon when he can make better profits elswehere. It is only when his operating base in the City of London faces a new tax, that he may become an uber-patriot, defending his "rights" to use tax-havens etc.

For the latter, the Marxian commissar, patriotism is, like God, to be attacked at every opportunity, both being "opiates of the people" - until they feel pressurised and under assault, then they will use the cloaks of patriotism (and even Christianity): as they did in WW2-era USSR. Marxists can seldom be trusted, again to give WW2 as an example, prior to 1941 it was a "capitalist war" and some Trade Unionists even organised go-slows or work to rules (so were seen as "anti-patriotic"). After 1941, of course, it became a 'war against fascism' and they urged an all-out effort (and so became "uber-patriots"). All this was exposed by the former high-ranking Marxist, Douglas Hyde, who converted to Catholicism and exposed Marxist hypocrisy in is autobiography entitled I Believed.

The Church herself teaches that patriotism is normal, we are creatures of our soil, via nature and nurture, and the Just War theory demands that should our homeland be invaded, for example, we are justified in defending it from the oppressor (a Catholic tenet that gives rights to the Afghan tribesman that the US GI in Afghanistan does not seemingly enjoy).

In Wales, Nationalism came of age through the teachings of Dr Saunders Lewis, one of the co-founders of Plaid Cymru, whose February 1962 radio talk entitled the Fate of the Language gave rise to the Welsh Language Society, which in turn made Welsh a growing rather than a dying language by 2011.

In a recent sermon in our own humble parish, Bishop emeritus Daniel Mullins gave the example of Dr Saunders Lewis as one of the greatest post-WW2 European Catholic thinkers. Saunders Lewis taught Bishop Mullins to read and speak Welsh when he was his parishioner in Penarth, a beautiful church I had reason to visit quite recently for a relative's wedding.

In his booklet The Principles of Nationalism, Dr Saunders Lewis outlines nationalism as a Catholic would understand it. He salutes the nationalism of nations like Wales within the (Holy?) Roman Empire, and outlines how nationalism isn't about borders, barbed wire, invasions or xenophobia. he extols what is, in essence, a Catholic vision of nationalism: to celebrate one's nation,one's culture, one's heritage, one's history etc. within the bedrock of Christendom.

I have few of the qualities of Saunders Lewis (apart from our shared Faith and nationality) and so I doubt I can do his writings justice, but this is what patriotism should be. A perfectly natural celebration of shared values, heritage and culture within a wider shared history and culture that is Christian. Within a truly Catholic Europe the various nationalities would be free to celebrate their nationhood, within a shared common value system, one far above and beyond the false, sterile, death-culture, control-freakery of the current European Union.

Patriotism is as natural as wanting to own one's home, seeking to protect one's family, and wanting to live in a crime-free and safe society (all perfectly Catholic values). What worries me is when the scoundrels out there who normally pooh-pooh patriotism (and Catholicism!) as something "backwards" or "medieval" scramble to wave their little plastic flags and pound the jingoistic flag.

Sometimes this is to drum up support for a highly questionable war (which we've seen more than enough of lately); sometimes it is to defend greed and profits by the few (e.g. defending the "rights" of the City of London), and sometimes it is even to defend the liberal anti-family relativistic (anti-) values of the UK when they are questioned (for example by the Pope).

So patriotism, when it becomes the lifeblood of the people, as a means to celebrate culture, values, language and the Common Good is perfectly natural, perfectly Catholic and should be seen as normal and healthy for the national body as breathing is for the actual body.

But beware when you see scoundrels running to grab a flag and embrace patriotism - because then you know they are up to no good.

Nationalism when it is natural, normal and respectful is thoroughly Catholic, as long as it acts within the laws of Holy Mother Church (no unjust wars, not against the Common Good, not acting against the state in society of the working classes etc. etc.).

It is when "nationalism" becomes jingoistic, aggressive and anti-Catholic in nature that it is to be avoided at all costs. Sadly for all too long in the UK we have been drip-fed a worship of the state, the monarchy and the state religion (with the monarch at the top) as the be all and end all, and this 'religion of the state' goes against the universal nature of Catholicism, for it is not under the umbrella of Christ's Church, hence its chaotic, greedy, relativist nature as it votes for what is right - from abortion to women vicaresses - without the fatherly guidance of the Popes and Tradition)

It is in being part of the universality of Holy Mother Church, with the care of souls within ones boundaries and in neighbouring nations too, that nations truly come into the fulfilment of their God-given right of being.

As for those who pooh-pooh the idea of nationhood, what else do they envision? A 'brotherhood of man' like the limp-wristed John Lennon tune 'Imagine'? Well sad for them (and Lennon) Heaven and Hell do exist, and so do nations. Besides which, we all know that the ideal of universal suffrage and the brotherhood of man all too often end in universal suffering and the brotherhood of the gulag.

At Fatima the three children were visited by the Guardian Angel of Portugal. Here we ourselves have our very own Patron Saint - Dewi Sant. Holy Mother Church has given our nation a patron Saint, surely Heaven itself has given us a Guardian Angel? Who are we, in our venal pride, to say that we know better than Heaven and its Church to pooh-pooh the very idea of nationhood?

Rather it is our duty in this life to ensure that nationhood is subservient to Catholicism, so that patriotism can flourish as something beautiful and natural, within the bedrock of Christendom (a dream that Saunders Lewis clung to).

Enthroning Christ the King as the ruler of a Welsh nation would surely bring us enhanced recognition throughout the world, and bring many Graces to a land that (if current political events in Scotland progress) could see itself with more national powers than it has enjoyed since its Medieval Princes asked the Popes for recognition of its parliament and universities.

So may I humbly ask the Welsh Bishops to think ahead and enthrone Christ the King - perhaps at some carefully chosen site - as the supernatural and social King of Wales?

What an example to set all the nations of Europe and the world! What Graces for our small nation! What recognition for us, and imagine those who would clamour for the same beautiful ceremony to be made in Spain, Poland, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, France, Croatia, Ireland, Argentina, The Gabon, The Philippines... and so on!
Saunders Lewis

So your Lordships - over to you.

In memory of the greatest Welsh Catholic theorist, writer and activist in the 20th Century, Dr Saunders Lewis. To give a path for a resurgent Wales to follow. To remind our countrymen of the rights of Christ the King in an age of moral relativism, chaos and lawlessness as seen in the riots last Summer just across the border.

Let us embrace a Catholic future for Wales, so that patriotism can again be as natural and normal as breathing, set in the universal bedrock that Holy Mother Church provides to all nations.

Monday, 26 December 2011

God's Beauty in a Snowflake

Does a snowflake prove the existence of God?

I have often thought the human eye does exactly that. How could a lump of mud "evolve" into a single celled organism? Let alone something as intricate and complicated as the human eye.

Never mind the missing link - how could an eyeball come into existence out of the blue? It just makes no sense at all. The optical nerve and the brain receptors, and the eye itself, all just "came about" hmmm? Or did the eye exist and only later get linked up to the brain?

The atheists like to think that Creation is some sort of cartoon sketch. Well, I can take an all-powerful God creating the intricacies of the human body and the world over the cartoon sketch of a lump of mud "miraculously" coming alive, then growing lungs, legs, a brain, eyes, ears and everything else.

Think about it logically. It just makes no sense.

Now onto the snowflake. if each and every snowflake is as individual as a finger print, does that prove the existence of God? Or surely nature on its own would have no need for such an extravagant gesture? Then again, why would humans have "evolved" individual finger-prints, which serve no "evolutionary" purpose, unless "millions of years ago" the missing links (which have never existed) knew Inspector Morse might need that final clincher in some episodes?

I do not believe in evolution. I believe species can change, whether it's people getting taller, or animals changing slightly (e.g. not growing a third eye etc.) this is commonly known as mutation. There is a world of difference in breeding dogs (for example) to create new breeds, or Moorish influence in Spain meaning modern Spaniards tend to be darker skinned, than the idea that lifeless ooze sprung into life on its own, became fish, mammals, monkeys then men.

I don't believe evolution can account for the finger-print or the human eyeball. As for the snow-flakes, well perhaps I'm just an old romantic, but I see the hand of God in everything in nature that is so beautiful!

Happy St Stephen's Day!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Nadolig Llawen: Christ the Child, Christ the King

A very Merry and Holy Christmas to all readers. Nadolig Llawen pawb.

I hope you have all had a wonderful time. With Mass, Christmas dinner and yes even pressies today has been wonderful. I do love Christmas, and the amazing fact of the Incarnation.

Today I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful present, a Pieta statue (pictured here) which came from Walsingham. It might seem strange at Christmas, but it is prescient indeed to recall, whilst we marvel at the birth of the Christ child and the all-consuming joy his Blessed Mother must have felt, that Our Lord was born to go through His Passion and His Mother would witness these awful events.

Our Lord's Incarnation brought joy to the world for those "men of goodwill" (who enjoy God's favour), but this would soon be followed by the massacre of the Holy Innocents, just as the entry into Jerusalem would be followed by the Crucifixion.

God's works of mercy are so often undermined by the machinations of evil men. Just as in this very day and age we have been given the means to peace and wellbeing via Holy Mother Church's guidance on Just War, the Common Good, Social Teaching, Morality and the Family -- yet evil men deliberately undermine all these means to establish peace on earth (under the Social Kingship of Christ) for their own greed.

We Catholics should pray - and act - to establish the Kingship of Christ in our own countries. Our Lord should not be shut up in our churches, nor reduced to visiting hours on Sundays.

I used to say that Hark the Herald Angels Sing was my favourite carol, but I've recently 'fallen head over heels' for O Holy Night. I think it encapsulates everything about Christmas, not least how we should adore, worship, glorify, love and get lost in the majesty and humility of the Christ child.

"Fall on your knees!" Indeed.

So here is a clip of the Scottish Catholic singer, Susan Boyle, singing this most wonderful carol:

Friday, 23 December 2011

Priest - Where is Thy Clerical Garb?

A fantastic post on Catholicism Pure and Simple:

One day a gentleman dressed smartly in a jacket, tie and pants was in the sacristy waiting for Padre Pio. When Padre Pio clapped eyes on this sophisticated man he said, ‘Father, you came in disguise, but you don’t have to be ashamed, next time come dressed as a priest.’
If our people saw priests, as priests, more often, it might jog their conscience and get them to make Confessions and return to Mass.

Btw - the above quote contains an Americanism. Pants means trousers. Not that the alternative would surprise me too much, especially in Soho...

Personally speaking I agree with CPandS (read the blog entry linked above), that men have as much of a duty as women - and I speak as a workingman and father who regularly wears working clothes, has a two-day stubble and regularly throws on jeans, a shirt and my DMs and think "that'll do".

All too often we see "men" in children's clothes and I especially detest clothing plastered in writing, especially if it includes barely disguised foul words.

It doesn't take much to polish one's shoes, but on a decent shirt and get to Mass.

I remember speaking to a priest many years ago when I was a little more than a bairn myself concerning a female friend (girlfriend of a best friend) who we were trying to get to "return" to Mass (her nan was a Catholic but there was little Faith in the family as far as I could tell).

I asked the priest if it would be OK to bring her to Mass because at the time she had a 'mohican' haircut, which would raise eyebrows on a man, let alone on a young lady, amidst mantilla wearing trad ladies. The priest replied "bring her to Mass, God will take care of the rest."

Why Does the Media Pander to the 20% Over the 70%?

In today's Daily Mail they say that roughly 70% of the UK's population are "Christian" and roughly 20% are "agnostic/atheist." I quote:
The Citizenship Survey showed that Christianity remains the faith of the great majority of the population. But its share dropped from 77 per cent to 70 per cent between 2005 and 2010. Over the same period the numbers who say they have no religion went up from 15 per cent to 21 per cent.

If this is the case may I ask why the atheists are always putting Christianity down, stopping Christian events, pumping out a huge proportion of anti-Christian programmes, holding sway on news and current affair programmes such as Newsnight, and so forth?

In essence we have a very vocal minority putting down the beliefs of the majority. Now when people do that against a minority, even in a sober, controlled way - e.g. against Judaism or Islam - there is uproar, often led by some of the secularist contingent who insist on defending "multi-culturalism.".

Yet Christianity is often attacked in the most shrill, blasphemous and obscene ways, discussions are often one-sided, and yet we are seen as "fair game."

It's high time the 70% asserted their rights (and the right of their Lord and God) over the minority who seem to think the media is at their beck and call.

It is the same people who try and undermine marriage at every twist and turn when every set of figures reveal that marriage is far better for society, children and couples (Melanie Philips made this point and wiped the floor with her feminist opponent, who had to affirm the figures detailed that marriage is best, on the Jeremy Vine Show earlier this week).

No doubt some atheist will pick holes in my argument. They are free to do so of course. I will counter that atheist states usually lead to organised mass murder (via gulags or abortuaries) and so it is my duty to stand up against their obscene hatred of God and man.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Moral Relativism: Have We All Gone Gaga?

In the latest issue of Private Eye there is a review of a new "book" (I use the term lightly) "by" (ditto) "Lady" (thrice ditto) Gaga. It can come across as a form of snobbishness, but I do often wonder who watches Eastenders, and on reading that Lady Gaga has brought out a book, I found myself wondering who would hand over ready cash for such turgid offerings?

Is this the generation that has no idea of history? That misspells its way to 'better than ever before' exam results only to take Media Studies at University, only to fail to get employment thereafter? I have dealt with people in my working life whose grasp of grammar and spelling leaves one wondering how they ever got the job in the first place. Teachers' assistants who cannot spell. History-related employees who know nothing of St Thomas More, Cromwell, Bonnie Prince Charlie, William of Orange or even Montgomery and Rommel's duel in the desert (or should that be dessert? A mere trifle!)

But let's return (like a dog to his vomit) to the servant of public decency, Lady Gaga. The reviewer of the book makes it plain that as with her public shows, her stage act and her music videos, the book is full of gratuitous semi-nudity. He says that the reader (with, one suspects more than a couple of brain cells) quickly gets bored of what he terms "Bum here, bum there, bum everywhere." The very gratuitous nature of the supposedly erotic photographs becomes tedious.

As ever I was drawn to the wise insight of GK Chesterton, for he wrote that in the topsy turvey world it is the traditionalist that is revolutionary. So proved Lady Gaga's book.

In an age when nudity, sex, promiscuity, etc. etc. are the staple fare of prime time TV and the daily newspapers, this stuff simply fails to shock anymore. The question is, where will society head. It seems to me we have three choices:
  1. More of the same.
  2. Return to sane values.
  3. Extreme nudity, pornography etc.
The first choice isn't an option really as society rarely stands still in this age of 24 hour rolling news and the constant need for something "new."

The second option is the truly revolutionary one and the one that will help heal society's wounds. Sink estates of single parent families where amorality reigns supreme are just one example of where sensible values could help (but where endless sums of money poured in by governments will achieve relatively little in comparison - as it deals with the symptoms, not the cause).

Worryingly we might say that option three is the more likely, as the modern media is run by people (including pink and rabidly atheist mafias) to whom the idea of morality, Christianity and the family are poison. And so we start to see ever more questionable and X-rated material appear on TV, from the plot-lines in (the soap opera) Eastenders, to the writhing soft-porn of the X Factor (singing competition) and I dread to think what Channels 4 and 5 are spewing out.

Chesterton, as ever, was right. Traditionalism is revolutionary because the porn, violence and swearing that litters the airwaves does fail to shock. It becomes boring. Why do the talking heads heap praise on TV shows that "push boundaries" (media-talk for promote homosexuality, drug taking and the like) yet when a popular grass-roots movement that promotes chastity until marriage comes along the usual suspects are lined up to heap bile and hatred on it, as if these people fighting the modern world are somehow assaulting them and their drug-addled "rights."

A friend of mine told me his theory on the reformation the other week. He said that Catholics who want to be more liberal, who want to "run their own lives" or who want to be free of the "restrictions" of marriage and so on, give succour to the 'reformers' and so undermine the Church and her dogmas. In his words, the first Protestants were bad Catholics. Maybe like Henry VIII they too wanted easier divorces.

Now I'm sure there were also those people who are just anti-Church, anti-Christ, anti-sanity who jump on any bandwagon too, but one only has to look at the modern world to see that as sexual norms crumble, as divorce grows, as re-married, step-children families and all the rest of it grow, the media (urged on by the pink and atheist mafias) urges these people to see the Church as "out-dated"

And so we have two realistic choices as a society. We can reject the chaos of moral relativism, of the post-family age, of the "do what thou wilt" generation, of the drugs, promiscuity and non-marriage media-led types. Or we can go further down that road which will lead to yet more crime and rioting, more rootless and "worthless" generations.

Some think David Cameron is playing to the stalls in calling for "British" Christianity and against moral relativism. Maybe he is. But it reminds me of the words of Pope Benedict in his recent visit to these isles. perhaps some of that has sunk in? Perhaps the recent riots acted us a 'wake-up call' to the Tory leader?

Lady Gaga has, like the singer Madonna before her, an Italian name, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. She studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart.

This goes to show that this kind of degenerate anti-culture can infect our own families, our own communities, and that we can still churn out 'bad Catholics' today - who will go on to fuel the enemies of the Church and provide the cultural strike force of moral relativism.

Will there be a backlash against the amorality that rules the TV screen, the music charts, and infects our cities and towns on weekend evenings? Or will we all - Catholics included - churn out yet more fodder to erode away our Christian heritage and advance the cause of those intent on creating moral chaos?

It could be a time of great hope. It could also be a time of great fear.

Our Hope is in the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth.

Friday, 9 December 2011

From Shakespeare to Blogging: Catholicism's the Key

I know, it's a bard cartoon! Groan.

As Shakespeare was a Catholic and had such an impact on the English language, not to mention culture and literature - it's time for us Catholics to (re)claim him as one of our own.

He lived in the time of recusant priests, torture, fines, property confiscations, and brutal judicial murder for Catholics, for remaining loyal to the Faith of our Fathers - the same Faith that Elizabeth I swore to uphold before walking at of her Coronation Mass as the Host was elevated.

Our lands, England, Wales Scotland and Ireland were nourished on Catholicism and "grew up" as Catholic nations. Shakespeare's Catholicism is a reminder of that basic fact and a link for all schoolchildren, actors and writers (even single-finger tappity-tapper occasional bloggers like me!) that our heritage is Catholicism and our strength, like the strength of our forefathers, is in the Sacraments, especially in the Real Presence of Our Lord on the Altars of these lands.

I suppose it's like the Parable of the Talents: Shakespeare used his many talents, and I hope I'm using my one and a half: which doesn't include grammar, erudition or soliloquies! ;-)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Stephen Fry and the Creator of Mankind

Asimo robot on QI with Stephen Fry
I was listening to an episode of QI today, when Stephen Fry ("bless") gushed over the achievements of the computerised robot, Asimo.

Fry, a rabid atheist who seems to think that science is above God (because God doesn't exist of course), was close to tears in his lavish praise for the team who created Asimo. The great achievement of Asimo is that it can understand a few dozen greetings and instructions, that it can walk down steps, it can run and it can dance.

Funnily enough, as a (far from perfect) human being, I can do all those things and more. Even on a bad day (and it is a bad day if I'm dancing!) Yet I do not hear the secular saint Fry lavishing praise on my Creator. Nor even on the Creator of the creators of Asimo!

Isn't human pride a terrible thing?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Feast Day of St Andrew

A very happy and holy St Andrew's Day to one and all.

Let us especially pray for the conversion of that ancient country, Scotland, that it may come back to the Faith of its fathers.

St Andrew - Pray for Us
St Margaret of Scotland - Pray for Us
St Ninian - Pray for Us
St Columba - Pray for Us

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Power of the Media in Modern Britain

Er no thanks... but something is wrong.
As Catholics we all know about the "power of the media" because, sadly, it all too often follows an anti-Catholic line. Strike that. 95% of the time it is anti-Catholic (by omission or commission).

Today the landlord in the Bristol, Joanna Yeates murder case, Christopher Jeffries said he had to move from safehouse to safehouse after the media painted him as guilty of an awful murder. As The Telegraph put it:

Mr Jefferies told the inquiry how he had been forced to move between friends like a "recusant priest at the time of the Reformation."
This cannot be right. The media have overturned the age-old right of being 'innocent until proven guilty.' Indeed, it is often the case that the innocent are hounded to an awful degree, with salacious and often made-up material spread across the papers, whereas the guilty are treated with kid gloves and so we see people of the most heinous crimes (such as child abuse) let out after a few years to repeat offend.

I don't know how other Catholics feel, but I get the feeling that GK Chesterton would rip apart the topsy-turvey nature of a system that brutalises the innocent yet soft-soaps the guilty.

I just hope that in the shadow of some awful behaviour by the tabloids, real press freedoms aren't curtailed: the kind that expose the wrongdoings of the MPs, bankers and... newspapers.

In a country where the guilty have the right to Playstations but the innocents are ripped apart in the womb, it is little wonder that, as a society, we have lost all idea of what we are, of what is right and what is wrong.

And the answer, short of mass conversion and the Social Reign of Christ the King? I think we should look for the break-up of media empires, a regulatory body with some teeth, and a return to the kind of media in which the small publisher can publish and flourish - allowing some decent Catholic voices to be raised in answer to the material and spiritual concerns of a people crying out for answers.

Telegraph story and video

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Why Do So Many Think They Know Better Than God Himself?

I should start this blog entry with an apology to any theologians or priests looking in, for I am neither, just a bog standard Welsh Catholic with a Comprehensive education, so if I mix my metaphors or fumble the ball a little, please do bear with me.

I love Advent. I love this time, with the approaching of Christmas, the preparation, the hymns, carols, the excitement - almost as much (sometimes more than) the great Feast itself!

The thought of the Nativity story, the Incarnation of the Word, God made man, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ... it can make one dizzy in anticipation.

When one analyses this simple fact of the Incarnation of God one realises that far from being the simple matter of a baby in a crib, we are dealing with a fathomless mystery and equally amazing example of the fathomless nature of God's Grace.

As we Catholics say the Hail Mary we repeat those wondrous words pronounced to the Mother of God:

Hail Mary the Lord is with Thee,
Blessed art Thou amongst women and Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb.

After Her total submission to the Will of God, something each of us strives towards in our lives (often failing dismally), she was made the Ark of the Covenant. The Incarnation of God was made possible by the total submission of Our Lady to the Will of God. The Handmaiden of the Lord became our Co-Redemptrix, surely one of the reasons for Satan's prideful rebellion, that a mortal woman by raised higher in Heaven than the Hosts of Angels, as their (and our) Queen.

And this brings me to an issue that came up in conversation with our local priest on the issue of the Church, Confession etc. "Why do we need the church?" so many ask in the modern age. They could ask why do we need coffee, why do we need pavements, why do we need collars on shirts - for none of these has done even a tiny fraction towards advancing civilisation as Mother Church has -- yet we get this modernist, 60s, socialist, materialist (label it as you will) mantra repeated all the time in all forms of media but especially in modern fiction:

Why do we need the Church.

The modernists who would rewrite history and paint the Church as the greatest evil known to man (forgetting all the evils it replaced and all the evils it negated and strove to 'fix' - I am reminded of GK Chesterton's quote on Christianity as not found wanting, but found, and untried), forget that Our Lord Jesus Christ left us His Church.

If we did not need a Church, if we did not need the Sacraments of the Church, then Our Lord would not have created it, with St Peter as the first Pope, with the Apostles and others as the first Bishops, with the Mass and -- "This is My Body" -- the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity left in the Eucharist to strengthen the Christians. Our Lord also explicitly gave the priests the power for the forgiveness of sins, to enable us as e struggle on in our daily lives.

The modernist rebellion against the need for the Church (which reached its ideological zenith circa the French Revolution - but has reached its technological zenith today via the reach of Hollywood and the media) is flying in the face of the wishes and precise instructions left by Jesus Christ whose birthday most people in Europe are about to celebrate.

As for those Protestants of 1001 varieties of the modernist 'catholics' who say they do not need the Catholic Church, i.e. that any church will do... well they are as bad as those charlatans who say "I can confess my sins to God at home" -- because we all know that they seldom do, nor (without they guidance of Holy Church) would they know what constitutes sins in many respects.

Jesus Christ did not start the Protestant churches - men did. The Son of God did not start all the other religions men did (yes - even modern Judaism was started by the Pharisees). Are we really so proud, so insincere, so devious as men to think that we know better than Jesus Christ - the Son of God, God made man, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word Incarnate?

He left us the Church with the Pope at its head; he left us the Sacrifice of the Mass, he left us Confession to help us overcome our sins... and yet we, modern men, think that we do not need all this! We can do without His Church, we can do without His Sacrifice of the Mass, we can do without His Confessional!

How proud and sinful is modern man, that so many of us think we can pay lip service to the Son of God, yet ignore the very things He left us, in order that we may be worthy of Heaven, the gates of which He opened for us.

We are all of us sinners, we are all of us weak, we are all of us human. We All fall, many times, on our own Via Dolorosa. That is why we need the institutions left to us by Jesus Christ - especially His Sacraments.

If we think we can do without them we are sorely mistaken! We should submit ourselves to the Will of God, and that begins by availing ourselves of His Sacraments through the auspices of His Church.

To do otherwise is to join the Devil in his terrible revolt against God Himself.

Be on the side of the Angels! Go to Mass, get to Confession, partake of Communion. The Sanctifying nature of the Eucharist will give you many Graces, and in this modern(ist) world we, each and every one of us no matter our status, need all the Graces we can get!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Give GKC This Christmas

Give the Gift of Chesterton this Christmas.

GKC is the perfect gift for a non-Catholic friend. He is perhaps one of the writers most responsible for a great number of converts to the Faith (and common sense!) in 20th Century Britain (and long may that continue).

Thursday, 17 November 2011

G.K. Chesterton on Sola Scriptura

He could be a little more 'rotund' and the sound is a bit computerised.... but this is glorious nonetheless.


Mel Gibson: Forgive Our Trespasses

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fatima, WW2 and New Age White-Washed Satanism

The inventor of modern witchcraft
I was listening to an old podcast from the BBC History magazine (an Irish Catholic friend dismissed it as "Whig history" when he caught me reading a copy previously) when the subject of the "Wicca religion" came up.

I am no expert in these things, other than what common sense and sound Catholicism informs me is a great evil and wrong. Yet what I found of interest in this feature was that the gent being interviewed -- clearly someone with a softness for paganism -- had to admit that the vast majority of historians interested in Wicca (which has to be a quite specific pool to draw from) admit that the 'religion' as we know it was invented by one Gerald Gardner.

Gardner himself claims he was initiated into Wicca by a New Forest coven in 1939 (a significant date) but the historians in question generally dismiss this and think that he invented the Wicca religion himself, in 1946. Funnily enough, like Aleister Crowley, Gardner claimed to use witchcraft to defend Britain from Nazi Germany. Make of that what you will!

Gardner knew Crowley (the Satanist) and in 1947 joined his Ordo Templi Orientis. After Crowley's death Gardner became the highest ranking member of the OTO.

There are a number of interesting points here for Catholics:

  • Our Lady at Fatima said WW2 would happen because of the sins of men, and here we have a degenerate man who founded modern witchcraft right after WW2, in 1946. Mankind has learnt nothing, as the Wicca movement has grown in Europe and America since then.
  • The movement embraced by extreme feminism for all sorts of political, sexual and social reasons, was founded by a man who joined Aleister Crowley's highly dubious OTO in which "sexual magick" (sic) was considered important.
  • Wicca is linked in with Satanism from its very beginning, despite the protestations against such links by those trying to be its public face or trying to whitewash it.
  • Those Catholic feminists - even nuns in America - who flirt with Wicca need to seriously sort themselves out!
  • Wicca has no roots in "ancient religions" or "pre-Christian faiths" - it was invented by a weirdo who liked nudism and sex, in 1946.
  • Catholics from every nation and of every "rank" must ensure that our Shepherds do not see Wicca/Witchcraft as a "fellow religion" in this age of ecumenism and post-Assissi ecumaniacal shindigs (e.g. the Peace Mala group promoted on the front page of the Menevia News diocesan newspaper promotes Wiccan groups on its website as I previously detailed on this blog).

Wicca was invented in 1946 by Gerald Gardner, close associate of Satanist Aleister "The Beast" Crowley and leader of his Satanist group after Crowley's death.

It's modern propaganda that it is "white" witchcraft, and a feminist old religion dating back centuries, is like so much else in this day and age, just hogwash.

Catholics: arm yourselves with the Truth. Only then can we seek to expose the Wiccan lies and protect our Faith from those who think we can 'learn' from these freakish cults or who think such cults are on a par with our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Olympic Posters Point to Dead Society

Spodges, twirls, blocks and funny colours.

The LOndon 2012 official posters were unveiled today and what a cacopohony.

The con that is "modern art" is there for all to see. The Empreror is stark, staring naked.

The "art" is as shoddy, shocking and vacuous as those post-60s roller discos that double-up as Catholic Churches.

Art, like Churches, used to stir the soul. Now in this kind of vomit-inducing form it just stirs the stomach.

Oh The Guardian love them with words like "the most effective posters" and "a winner" or what about "touching idealism" and "self-conscious sentimentality."

But these are the same brand of people who loved Vatican 2 and predicted the modernisation of the Church would fill the pews (just like they promise the same with "gay marriage" or married priests).

All modernism, in art and religion, does is wreck. It ruins what it touches because its soul is basically against Truth and Beauty, it is relativism writ large.

I am not English, hence the blog name, but if I were I would love to think someone would promote something inspirational and English, traditional and English, making England and her culture and history part of the Olympic ideal (how about a Celt, Viking, Saxon and Norman reaching out for the Olympic torch, or King Alfred's statue on a stadium backdrop, or the Olympic rings floating on a 'nice cup of tea'... They could be traditional, fun, self-effacing, proud or thought-provoking.

But please someone tell me what the squiggles, lines, blocks and swirls of modern art are supposed to tell me about England in 2012 other than it is a mess.

If they wish to stop drug-taking in the athletes, was it wise to use these images, many of which I imagine drug usage had a role in!

Monday, 24 October 2011

BBC Reports on Young Women Becoming Nuns

Sister Jacinta
There's an interesting story on the BBC website on how more young women are turning to a religious vocation in a world that is giving them many problems, pressures and false hopes which quickly fade and die.

We can only hope Holy Mother Church recognises that there is a terrible spiritual vacuum in many peoples' lives. If Catholicism isn't forthright enough to offer itself, with 'the Truth that sets you free' at its core, then many youngsters will turn to any number of evils and errors which will plunge all too many souls into damnation.

There are many false worldly choices offered to the young, which is why I think Catholicism needs to stand apart from the "modern world" with its relativism, decadence and hostility to the family. By being apart from the mess of the modern world it can attract those who have seen through the half-truths and miasmas of the modern world or who have witnessed its empty promises, whatever their age.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

When is a Priest Not a Priest? - in the Catholic Times Letters Pages

Fr Paul Kramer
It appears that the Catholic Times has published some letters attacking a priest and a lay Catholic, partly on charges of "anti-Semitism" (always a hot potato). Whilst reading through the Christian Order website I found a link to this site Christian Truth Scotland, which I used to read when I was north of the border.

It seems that whilst the Catholic Times have seen fit to publish letters with false accusations, the letters detailing the truth and putting forward a defence of the pair have not been printed. As one of the allegations is that a priest (Fr Paul Kramer) is somehow not an actual priest -- surely one of the most scandalous of assertions if untrue, as it appears to be -- I would like to think the Catholic Times would be duty bound to publish letters from those who seem to be attacked merely for defending Catholic Tradition and Truth.

After all, if some people (within and without the Church) do not like Fr Kramer and Mr. Sungenis (of both of whom I know very little) and what they have written - they can blame the authors themselves who, so they can say, will have condemned themselves by their writing. The Catholic Times surely has nothing to fear in publishing their letters, whereas at the moment certainly in regards to the slur against Fr Kramer, they would seem to have given credence to a most erroneous and dangerous lie (after all, if Fr Kramer were lying in this regard it could easily be disproved by accessing Church records).

The background to this furore can be read in another Catholic Truth Scotland issue. It seems the Faith of our Fathers conference organised by Daphne Mcleod of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (PEEP) had some speakers and its central London venue spiked by similar lies spread about it. I do not know all the ins and outs of PEEP, but I went to one of their Faith of our Fathers conferences some years ago and found it to be thoroughly Catholic and not "controversial" in any way, just very sound, and very traditional. From memory I recall going home with a wealth of Pro-Life, Latin Mass and similar materials, with a smile on my face and a spring in my step (yes, it really was that long ago!).

And not a "gay Mass" apologist in sight! ;-)

It may be that I am unaware of some sort of "office politics" going on in Catholic circles in London/England, but I do wonder why the Catholic Times would not publish a clarification from Fr Kramer (whatever they may think of his personal views), nor why anyone would wish to stop a Cardinal from addressing those seeking to uphold and defend Catholic traditions. Maybe I'm just naive.

Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice

Pope Pius XII - Empty Tabernacles?

Suppose, dear friend, that Communism was only the most visible of the instruments of subversion to be used against the Church and the traditions of Divine Revelation ... I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul. ... A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God ... In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “where have they taken Him?”

Pope Pius XII, quoted in the book Pius XII Devant L'Histoire, pp. 52-53

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Communion in Both Kinds - two Bishops Speak Out

Good intentions? Paths? A Mass in Chicago
A super post by Fr. Z on WDTPRS. A timely reminder that Communion in both kinds gives rise to far too many abuses, and (I would argue) causes scandal to some Catholics (including me!)

I pray that Catholic Bishops would defend Our Lord, present on the Altars of our land, from abuses. I know it can seem a tad hypersensitive, but the idea that Our Lord might be dishonoured, even once, should have all Catholics very, very concerned - if not outright angry.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Reluctant Sinner on Gay Marriage

The cartoon characters Calvin & Hobbes deal with moral relativism
That wonderful, wonderful blog - A Reluctant Sinner - hands us clear, pristine and Catholic guidance, yet again! Please take the time to read his thoughtful, insightful posts on this matter.

In these times of moral upheaval -- the moral relativism that the Pope warned us about last September, to which the Archbishop of Westminster and the Prime Minister nodded like those little nodding dogs one sees in the back of cars -- it is uplifting that so many sound, sincere and brave Catholic voices are raised in dissent to the moral anarchy that is gripping the upper echelons of politics and religion.

Would that the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, as a body, gave clear and precise leadership to every Catholic to be proactive against this push by a Prime Minister who has his priorities all wrong.

In the meantime it is vital that Catholic Truth is proclaimed by as many Catholics as possible, so that the clear leadership of Pope Benedict can be matched by pressure-from-below. Then perhaps, just perhaps, the leadership of we Catholics born, by the Grace of God in Wales and England, can find the courage to espouse Catholic Truth.

We should expect no less from our Catholic leaders. Sad to say the moral relativism of this world, the weasel words and the modernism and newspeak of an anarchic, pagan age seems to have seeped into the palaces of too many Bishops. Is this perhaps a small part of the "smoke of Satan" entering the Catholic Church that Paul VI warned of as he witnessed Bugnini's liturgical changes? Time will tell.

Friday, 7 October 2011

John Smeaton on Gay Marriage

An excellent post by John Smeaton of the SPUC on the Tories and Homosexual marriage (sic).

Time for the Catholic Bishops to lead the way. Please.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Haf Bach Mihangel - Our Welsh Catholic Heritage

St Michael's 14th Century Church, Betws-y-Coed
Haf Bach Mihangel

It's St Michael's Little Summer in Welsh.

Today is Michaelmas - St Michael's Day and when it is hot at this time of year (as it very often is, as my family are sick of me telling them) it is known as Haf Bach Mihangel in Wales.

Yet further evidence of the folk-memory of those happy times when Wales was Catholic and Welsh; when the Saints spread the Faith to Ireland and we Welsh enjoyed the Sacraments and honoured the Real Presence of Our Lord on the Altars of our land, a Presence that had been adored since some of the earliest years of the Roman presence.

Our Catholic Faith was nurtured even when the Celtic lands to the East were lost to the pagan English.

So celebrate Michaelmas today and if you sit outside this evening, perchance with a wee sip of ale, wish each other a Dydd Mihangel Hapus and enjoy the beautiful sunshine as we enjoy this Haf Bach Mihangel.

Yes, the sun shines in Wales. As some Arab chappies might intone, God is Great. Indeed He is.

Monday, 26 September 2011

GKC Warns on Treating Trade as an Absolute

As usual, across the decades, GKC speaks to us with so much Catholic good sense.

Even after the collapse, the bail-out and the billions poured in to a black whole of debt, the leaders of nations are still treating banks and "the markets" as something sacrosanct.

Money, a means to facilitate trade and commerce has become an end in and of itself, and we all know what the love of money results in, as our Faith warns us:

For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Vatican 2, Archbishop Lefebvre, the Consecrations - and More

I found this moving book review on the web.

I wll leave you to read it.

It needs little commentry from me, save deep sighs at what the Church has suffered.

Many thanks to Cor Jesu Sacratissimum blog for such a moving and thoughtful review.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Conservative Priest Visits Syria

A friend sent me this. His knowledge of the internet and associated thingymajigs is minimal. He didn't send me a link to this and for him to try and get one in retrospect would be asking the impossible. In deference to his years I'll save him the stress and run it sans link:

September 19, 2011
Twenty-fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Father Pat's Pastoral Ponderings

Having returned home, last evening, from a five-day trip to Syria, I am sending this first message to the friends who have been praying for me this past week. Many of these, prior to the trip, expressed concerns for my safety, so let my first words serve to reassure them.
I begin by remarking that at only one point on this trip did I feel the slightest fear for my physical wellbeing. It happened this way: Our little group was conducted into a large room full of scary-looking people, where a security force of more than twenty policemen met us, all of them carrying side arms, and several holding assault rifles. As we walked through their midst, this security force gave our group a careful once-over.
For the benefit of those concerned for my safety this past week, let mention that the room was the gate boarding area of an airport. It was the first day of our trip. The city was Chicago.

From the time we boarded our plane, however, and during the remainder of the trip---in Jordan and Syria---I did not see a single side arm on anyone at all, and I saw only two rifles: one held by a guard in front of the Defense Ministry in Damascus, and the other by the man who opened the front gate for us at the Presidential Palace.

During our entire time in Syria, I saw not a single armed policeman nor---except for that guard at the Defense Ministry---a single soldier. I saw only one military vehicle, and that was near the Defense Ministry.

The only other weapons I saw in Syria were the 10-inch batons used by the local police to direct the flow of traffic in Damascus. Indeed, the only moments of real apprehension I felt in Syria were occasioned by certain extraordinary displays of spontaneity and boldness on the part of its cab drivers.

In Syria our group---together and singly---was permitted to go wherever we wished and to ask any questions of anybody we wanted. There was only one restriction: our tourist agency mentioned two smaller cities where, out of concern for our safety, they could not take responsibility for us. This concern, they said, was prompted by patterns of violence among some of the "criminal elements" active in those cities---not the Syrian government.

Even then, however, we were not forbidden to travel to those two cities; the tourist agency simply refused to take us. (For the sake of candor, I confess that I was the visitor who ardently pressed them on the point, assuring them that we Chicagoans are impervious to fear. They ignored me.)

Prior to traveling to Syria, I checked out the web page of our State Department, where I was warned that travel in Syria is currently very dangerous. Normally I take such warnings seriously.

Over many years, however, I have done a bit of foreign travel, so I also trust my instincts with respect to safety. Long I walked the dark streets of Athens during a period when there were riots and insurrections throughout Greece. That same year---just after the civil war in Cyprus---I roamed all over that island, as U.N. peacekeepers policed the place.

In Kosovo a few years ago, again at night, I strolled from the south (Albanian) side of Mitrovica to the north (Serbian) side---and back again---without incident. I have walked around, after dark, in the neighborhoods of numerous foreign cities, such as London, Paris, Milan, Istanbul, and Tel-Aviv. In 1973 I was in the Athens airport when terrorists stormed the El-Al customer desk with grenades and machine guns. I think I can recognize danger.

I also know what it feels like to move around in the dangerous atmosphere of a police state. Last year, for instance, I spent a week in Guatemala, where I saw guns galore on nearly every street. At the time, the murder statistics in Guatemala City were staggering. (Father Timothy Ferguson, who spent a year there, followed the murder reports in the newspaper; he told me that 87 women were murdered in his immediate neighborhood during that year, but not a single person was ever arrested for those murders.) Within five minutes of entering Guatemala City, I was aware of danger. Indeed, if I were not a Chicagoan, I might have feared for my life.

So, let me sum up my impression of the danger factor in Syria. On a security scale of 1-to-10, I would give Syria a 9.7. Using that same scale, I would give Detroit a 4, Philadelphia a 6, and Disney World an 8.5.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

BBC Response to My Newsnight/Dawkins Complaint

Here's the BBC's response to my complaint. My comments are in red:

Thank you for your comments with regard to ‘Newsnight’ broadcast on BBC Two on 13 September.

I understand you were offended by the treatment of religion on the programme.

We acknowledge some viewers were unhappy with the programme’s discussion with Professor Richard Dawkins. We also appreciate some viewers found presenter Jeremy Paxman’s comments offensive. However, we do not agree that it showed anti-Christian bias.

Well, it did. rather than question his thesis, Paxman lauded it. And called Christians bigoted and ignorant.

This discussion centred on Professor Dawkins’ new book, which seeks to counter myths, legends and religious teachings commonly taught to children by replacing them with strict scientific rebuttals. The interview was not about the merits of religion or science as a whole; instead it sought to explore the methods of disseminating knowledge to children, with particular reference to complex subject matter which can be difficult to understand even for the most mature readers.

Yes, the interview (i.e. the BBC) posited that a theory (the big bang) on top of another theory (evolution) are fact. These are not scientific facts. They are theories. They were presented as facts, whereas religion (e.g. Creation) is a myth to be scoffed at.

Jeremy countered Professor Dawkins’ assertions on a number of occasions, stressing that stories and myths are often more interesting than bare scientific explanation. Yes but he did not question the assertion that the Biblical account of Creation is a myth, whereas he blindly accepted prof Dawkins beliefs (including all the 'leaps of faith' needed to accept the Big Bang and Evolution). Jeremy added that such stories and religious interpretations offer comfort and inspire imagination. Jeremy then asked Professor Dawkins why he was concerned that such teachings take place, his comments did not intend to cause offence and instead sought to initiate a variety of responses from the interviewee. Jeremy's interviewing style is well known. He was being provocative by playing devil's advocate. It is a really important element of what makes ‘Newsnight’ what it is. The matter in question was not the validity of Genesis, but the reasoning behind Professor Dawkins’ vehement opposition to such teachings. ‘Newsnight’ or the BBC does not have opinion on either matter. We believe the interview was conducted in an impartial and appropriate manner.

It was certainly not impartial and anyone who saw the interview and read my initial complaint would recognise that. It was a love-in, a hug-fest, in which two people on the "same side" poked fun at religion and stated that Mr Dawkins' beliefs (based on his beliefs - not on what he has seen, for he was not at the Big bang nor has he presented the missing link) were absolute facts, whereas all religious statements are myths and stories, in which Genesis is mixed in with Aboriginal tales. This is like disproving the Big Bang by showing a documentary on a professor who says the earth has a Malteser at its centre and started as a second tier treat in a giant cosmological chocolate assortment box..

I do understand you feel very strongly about this, so I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your concerns on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers.

Yadda yadda. Where is the apology for a BBC employee calling Christians "idiots" and espousing an atheist belief-system as fact, despite the lack of evidence.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions on future BBC programmes and content.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

Mark Madden
BBC Complaints

My response was:

I am sorry but Mr. Paxman did not interview in his usual style - for which he is well renowned. This was akin to a love-in, with two people casting aspersions on the Christian faith.

You have not apologised for Mr. Paxman's derogatory description of Christians and anyone else who does not toe Mr. Dawkin's line on the THEORIES of the Big Bang and Evolution.

If he interviewed someone questioning the moral, personal, societal values of homosexuality and joined that person in make derogatory remarks about homosexuals I feel he would be chastised by the BBC -- and a complainant would see some sort of redress.

As a Christian, of course, I can expect none of this, which shows just how slanted and biased the BBC has become.

It is easy for Dawkins and Paxman to sneer, but most people in this country still describe themselves as Christian, and as tax-payers and licence fee-payers I believe that we should not be the object of such open bias on the BBC.

I feel that my complaint has been all but ignored.

Here's my original article and letter of complaint

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Prayer Before a Crucifix

Prayer before a Crucifix

Behold, O good and sweetest Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul
I pray and beseech Thee
to impress upon my heart
lively sentiments of faith,
hope and charity,
with true repentance for my sins
and a most firm desire of amendment.

Whilst with deep affection and grief of soul
I consider within myself
and mentally contemplate
Thy five most precious wounds,
having before mine eyes that which David,
the prophet, long ago spoke concerning Thee,
“They have pierced My hands and My feet,
they have numbered all My bones.”

I say this prayer after every Mass I attend. If you say it, plus an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the Pope you get an indulgence (Confession and Communion being necessary of course).

A most efficacious prayer.

Tip of the jauntily-angled trilby to: Abbot Cuthbert Johnson

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

BBC's Newsnight Attacks Christians as Idiots and Ignorant

Go see a Paxman-Dawkins Love-In
On tonight's Newsnight the presenter, Jeremy Paxman described Creation and Genesis as a myth. Christians who believe in the Bible were variously called idiots and ignorant. BY THE PRESENTER.

The modern deity of the atheists prof Richard Dawkins got a free ride.

I would ask all Catholics to watch the programme (it will be on BBC i-player soon) and then to complain to the BBC: BBC Complaints Page.

Our Faith is attacked on national TV by the BBC, its presenter and sole guest.

Please forward this message via blogs, forums and sites so that other Catholics and men of good will can complain to the BBC at the blatant propaganda.

I am not ignorant enough to believe Darwinian tosh (presented by Dawkins as fact) and yet to see proof of the missing link.

The BBC is supposed to be unbiased! We know it isn't and always pushes an anti-Christian, liberal atheist agenda. But that does not mean that we should put up with this rubbish.

Please complain.


My Complaint:

In the interview with Richard Dawkins PAXMAN [the bbc presenter] called Creation "a Myth". He would never do this about the THEORY of evolution, which was in turn presented as fact.

Christians were called idiots and ignorant. As a Catholic that belives in the Holy Word of God I was deeply affronted and upset. Not just by a totally uncritical presentation of dawkins, his theories and his advert for his book; but also that a BBC employee was allowed to poke fun at me, my beliefs and the Catholic Faith (as the oldest Christian Church and the largest Christian religion, to think otherwise is implausable or simplistic at best).

It was my belief that the BBC is meant to be impartial. yet this mutual love-in between Paxman and Dawkins was so uncritical, biased and warped as to be quite sickening.

Will the BBC do something similar next week with a Catholic theologian defending the Word of God, while the presenter joins in on their side, pouring bile at those who think we used to be monkeys?

No? Why not?

That is what you just did to millions of Christians.

The BBC is supposed to be unbiased. Increasingly I am finding that this is not the case.

I pay my license fee. I am a Christian. I believe the Bible.

If I were disabled, coloured, Jewish, Muslim, homosexual etc. etc. I would have "rights" and the BBC would never dare to "have a pop" at me in which the presenter joined a guest in ridiculing me or my worldview.

Yet because I happen to be a Catholic who believes in Catholic truth, I am allowed to be ridiculed and have my 'belief system' trampled upon by the BBC, its presenter and its guest.

Please next week can we have someone opposed to "homosexual equality" where the BBC presenter joins in on their side and ridicules those who believe that homosexuality is on a par with heterosexuality and/or married life?

I look forward to that now that I have seen the new way Newsnight is being presented.

The Curé D'Ars, Patron Saint of Parish Priests

I found this image online and I hope you'll forgive me for re-posting it.

What a great and holy priest the Curé D'Ars was! If you get the chance read Abbé Trochu's biography of the saint (published by TAN books). I read it many years ago (oi - not that many) and it still sticks in my mind as a wonderful, wonderful book.

As the Patron Saint of parish priests surely this is a saint whose intercession is needed like never before.

St Jean Marie Vianney, Ora Pro Nobis.

Lord grant us priests.
Lord grant us many priests.
Lord grant us many holy priests.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Victory for Decency: Phones 4 U Clobbered

Phones 4 U have had one of their adverts mocking Our Lord banned.

It seems there is some decency left in the modern world.

Here's this blog's original story on this:

Phones 4 U

And here's the ASA ruling on the blasphemous advert:


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine, Florida

Sorry for the lack of posts these last couple of weeks. I've been on "vacation" snippets from which will, I'm sure, enter my posts in the weeks ahead.

Suffice it to say we had the honour of visiting the national shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe, which as with much of the region of Florida lends itself to the Spanish style of building.

We were overwhelmed with the building with its external murals above the main doors of the chapel, the gift shop was amazing - so much for the eager Catholic. I was like a kid in a sweetie shop. The museum was very interesting, with "old" vestments from 1950s Belfast, some great paintings such as The Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Bartolome Murillo. Quite breathtaking and as I explained to our youngest, 'that was painted at the time of Charles I'.

Externally there is a lovely Rosary Garden, with many of the bricks in the path sponsored by families and individuals. At the centre of it is a breath-taking statue of Our Lady with the Christ Child, all a delight to see in the glorious Florida sun-shine.

Of course, as with the gift shop, there were a very few items that one skipped across because they detracted from the overall feel of the place (Eucharistic monster items in the former, modern art in the latter), but so far the signs were promising. 

On entering the chapel for Mass I was encouraged. In the foyer there were statues, a large Holy Water font, a Papal flag and more. Then we went into the chapel itself. The altar was a table in the modern style. A modern art crucified Christ hung above it on a see-through "cross."

My heart sank. If it weren't for the Stations of the Cross, beautiful paintings along the walls in-between some gorgeous stain glass windows, there would have been little to raise my heart and soul to Heaven. 

The choir was very professional, but far too "American" for me, the readings were in some awful modern version of the Bible with really, really dreadful modern usage one of which totally destroyed the meaning of the passage, the 'what should it profit a main to gain the world and lose his soul' had the word soul changed to 'life' which, to my mind, naturalises the supernatural.

International Standard Version (©2008)
What profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?
The Chapel at the National Shrine

And the less said about the Eucharistic Monsters the better. As someone who finds Communion in the hand upsetting, the site of Tracy from accounts 'dishing out' the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has me on the verge of despair.

This, I feel, is what the Bishops have done in some countries. Is it too much to have altars, not tables? Is it too much to have consecrated hands distributing Communion, not Jo from the supermarket? Is it too much to have Communion placed on the tongue, not in the hand?

As with so many other Catholic churches I visit, this beautiful place reminds me what we have lost, and what we could have. With a high altar and a beautiful Crucifix, and a choir singing Gregorian Chant -- oh, we would be one step away from Heaven! 

One day... God willing.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Homosexual Lobby, Christian Rights & Liberalising Paedophilia

Here's a great post from A Reluctant Sinner, with some worrying news about the homosexual lobby, the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the moves to make paedophilia "acceptable."

I do find it annoyingly frustrating that the same people who wish to get active homosexuals into the Church, and make the Church accept homosexuality, are the same people who then point the finger at the resultant outbreak of paeophilia. It is telling that these same forces are now pushing for liberalisation in regards to this most sick of mental illnesses.

Thye phrase "wanting to have your cake and eat it" springs to mind.

Do these forces really think Christian rights must be trampled upon, whilst paedophiles' "rights" be exalted? So it would seem.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Go Vote For Your Favourite Catholic Sites

The Catholic New Media Awards are now open for voting.

Sorry I didn't know they were on - maybe this little blog will feature next year.

Anyway, go vote for something traditional and uplifting, thought provoking and insightful.

I can recommend The Distributist Review - and there are others that I'm sure will catch your eye.

Please feel free to list your preferences, tips, votes or hints in the comments on this blog.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Prince or Pauper: the King of Creation is Yours

I found this image online and it immediately made me think "this is what it is all about."

Sorry to sound like a football pundit, but this image encompasses what Catholicism is for me.

  • Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
  • The Faithful kneel in reverence to the King of all Creation.
  • All mankind is called, prince and pauper, to receive Our Lord.
  • The Mass as the centre of Catholic life and Communion at the centre of the Mass.
  • A great mystery of Christian theology and history, something so sublime and beautiful.
  • Yet even the "worst offender" can Confess sincerely and receive Our Lord.
  • Christ the King is available, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, to the most lowly.
I hope all that doesn't sound trite, I certainly don't want it to. Just sometimes an image like this, in all its simplicity, can reveal great truths.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Miraculous Holy Water Coma Cure

Story on Radio 2 (Jeremy Vine Show) right now about a young girl in a coma - no hope, so the parents had her baptised by a Catholic priest.

When the Holy Water touched her, she raised her arm and gradually got better. She hadn't moved at all for a week previously.

Incredible. Nurses calling it a miracle.

Girl in Holy Water Miracle

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Baroness Scotland Blames Paedophilia on "Loneliness"

Catholic? Or Heretical?
I find The Universe pretty hit and miss, more miss than hit, I'm sad to say.

This is really sad as a thoroughly Catholic paper could be such a great source of Grace, of promoting Catholicism, of educating Catholics - of strengthening our Faith in so many ways.

The rare occasion when I've picked up a copy and  thought "wow" has invariably been when there has been a "retro" article on Chesterton or Belloc. They also produced some 'from the archives' photo magazines which had some beautifully moving images, which to be honest made my heart leap and sink, the former because it reminded me how beautiful Catholicism can be, the latter because it reminded me how much we have lost.

Put it this way, altar rails, the Kyrie Eleison, Communion on the tongue, the high altar with Tabernacle - none of this can be replaced by Kum By Ya, "Jesus 'hearts' U" tapestries, happy clappiness.

I am only a pew Catholic. I am no great theologian, thinker or great Defendant (like GKC), but I am convinced that there is a vacuum in 'modern' Catholicism, there is a gap and it could be argued that it has been caused by the modern world, or that the modern world has flooded in to fill the gap caused when so much our forefathers held dear for generation after generation, was ripped away.

Now I know much of it was window dressing, but as I've said before the Church historically was not idiotic. Outside of the supernaturally inspired things which moved men's hearts and helped them to worship and try to understand the great mysteries of the church, there were man-made things of great beauty, inspired by men of great Faith: popes, saints and others known and unknown, all codified and made Catholic (universal) by Holy Mother Church.

Despite the chaos and turmoil in this 'Vale of Tears,' a Catholic could enter a Church in London or Timbuktu, in Rome or Alice Springs, in India or Spain, and follow the Mass in all its beauty, having his eyes, mind, heart and soul filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the Mass, celebrated as it was hundreds of years before.

Now one can walk into a church in the same country, even in the same diocese, and have a different language, a different style, a different manner of distributing Communion, a very traditional Mass with great reverence, or a happy clappy Mass with guitars, a running commentary from the MC, Tabernacle hidden to one side, and so on.

Catholicism is not Catholic (universal) anymore. A kind of liturgical chaos reins, from nation to nation. If one is holidaying in Spain, what chance does one have of following the Mass in Spanish? Or in Portugal? France? Germany?

Or what of those of us who feel that Communion in both kinds should be reserved for religious? Who feel the Eucharistic monsters take over Mass in some parishes and don't wish to receive Communion from lay hands or a nun? Let's not mention the 'liturgy of the word' aka the priestless Mass. If travelling we play Russian roulette when we enter a church.

What has all this to do with The Universe? Well, I get the same Russian roulette feeling when I turn a page of The Universe. Will it raise my spirits, reinvigorate my Faith, or will it sap my morale and make me think Catholicism equates some effeminate mush?

I used to buy The Universe regularly in an old parish, but eventually gave up on it because the glimpses of Truth, tradition, genius and sound Catholicism just were washed away in a sea of Kum By Ya, wishy washy, afraid of its own shadow, happy clappy, social worker yuck.

One such piece brought up a serious issue, the loneliness and exclusion of priests in communities and using some awful logic supplied by Baroness Scotland, suggested that such loneliness could lead to paedophilia.

Excuse me? I see that not only as a pathetic way of excusing the very worst crimes in society, but it also airbrushes out the very real role viz the promotion of homosexuality and the spread of paedophilia, a role pushed not least by New Labour which went out of its way to promote homosexuality in schools, to close down Catholic adoption agencies and worse. Baroness Scotland was a New Labour appointee.

I well recall the horror of Catholics when New Labour repealed Section 28, which meant that homosexuality could be promoted in schools. Many Catholics were appalled and fought to keep the law, and felt betrayed by Catholic politicians who closed their eyes to Catholic teaching on morality and used bluff, half-truths, smoke and mirrors to justify their stance.

Not only does Baroness Scotland ignore the central role of (New Labour promoted) homosexuality in the growth of paedophilia, which is well documented in society at large, and should be seriously looked into re.clerical abuse, but to my mind this is a serious assault on faithful priests and the lonely in society.

Priests, Catholics and people in general could be lonely from now until doomsday and would never, ever even contemplate paedophilia. It is a great evil. Of the cases I know of from towns near and including my own, the paedophiles that have been in the media over recent years have been married, in the police, in the Sea Cadets, and similar. All have had families around them whether parents and siblings or spouses.

To state that loneliness can lead to paedophilia is equating paedophilia with drinking, long-term unemployment, playing computer games, or reading trash novels.

It is high time that we all stopped thinking of paedophilia as an aberration,a crime or a bad thing: it is much worse than that. It is an absolute evil. It is a sexual evil, which can only grow out of other sexual proclivities that are evil.

A person does not wake up one morning, make a cup of tea, have no social activities in their diary and so turn to paedophilia. I think we are in danger of both soft soaping the grade of sheer evil that is paedophilia to equate it with loneliness; and to disparage our priests that a lack of dinner invites, football matches or cream teas will make them turn into deranged monsters.

To put this story on the cover of The Universe shows that Catholics (or certain "experts") have lost the plot. These kind of stories paint all our priests as potential monsters (so playing into atheists' hands), whilst simultaneously whitewashing paedophilia to equate it with online gaming, drinking beer or sleeping-in till midday.

I want to pick up a Catholic newspaper to read articles on Catholic current affairs, liturgy, politics, morality, history, the Saints, and similar. The potential loneliness of priests - no problem. The evil and solution to paedophilia - no problem.

What I don't want to read is this kind of New Labour spin which seeks to separate true cause and effect of paedophilia from the people who let the homosexual genie out of the bottle.

Just yesterday I listened to the BBC Radio programme on exorcism. It mirrored what I had read in books on the subject, that one of the main causes of demonic possession (which Our Lord spoke of and commanded the first Bishops to expel) is homosexual activity.

If we accept the evidence of exorcists, who deal with this phenomenon, then there is little wonder that an act that is of such evil results can result in increased paedophilia - surely the most evil and debased act possible?

It may not be fashionable to treat such themes honestly. It may not be trendy. It may not be popular. It may not seem cool and cuddly. But it would ultimately be Charitable. We owe it to our own children. We owe it to society at large. We owe it to homosexuals and those teetering on the edge of a great evil and the innocents they will corrupt and whose lives they will destroy.

If Baroness Scotland wishes to do so from a Catholic viewpoint she might start by condemning homosexual activity and promotion; at least then those engaged in this dangerous activity would have no misconceptions about where their evil choices may lead.