|Catholic? Or Heretical?|
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.