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)

Thursday, 12 May 2016

What Will Replace Tradition in the Catholic Church?

The Catholic Charismatic movement will prove to be a corrosive force in the Catholic Church
Rorate Caeli today documents an important trend in the Church on their blog - the sad sight of young 'Benedict XVI era' habit-wearing nuns 'liturgically' dancing at a Mass in a Brazillian parish. Did they miss the Benedictine memo? Why should this kind of distraction from the organic beauty of the Mass happen?

As we approach the great Feast of Pentecost in which the Church makes the great Novena to the Holy Spirit, it is worth spending a little time examining the phenomenom of what has become known as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal otherwise known as the hybrid movement of 'Catholic Pentecostalism'. We should do this because the Novus Ordo clearly lends itself to abuses that are closed 'doors' within the Sacred Liturgy presented to the Faithful by the Extraordinary Form.

Firstly, it needs to be remembered that the variable success and penetration of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal into the Church owes its entire being - and its very origins - to the Church's cultural and liturgical revolution borne out of the Second Vatican Council. If the Second Vatican Council's ambiguity had not been so enthusiastically exploited, nor its 'Spirit' blown wherever it was blown by whoever was blowing it, then the 'renewal' (note well that due to its novelty within the Catholic Church it could never be called, as it is in Pentecostal circles, 'revival') would not have touched a single parish in the entire world. Without the removal of the fortress of the Latin Mass (fortresses are there to protect the city from an enemy btw) this would never have happened.

Yet the 'floodgates', with the 'windows', were opened and a liturgy that can be abused with great ease is now the norm. The apparent and sudden announcements from Church authorities and its media that the glorious Mass of Ages had been 'dispensed with' must at the time have been hard enough for many Catholics during this time of unprecedented upheaval, but most could never have entertained that what would eventually come to replace it in many parts could be so in complete conflict with the perennial Catholic 'sense' of worship and liturgy as a variety of Evangelical Protestantism that attached itself to the Mass, attached itself to the Bride of Christ. Thus it is important when we examine the Charismatic contribution to the Catholic Church to recall that it did not emerge so much as from a vacuum, as establish its own sense of order in various regions out of liturgical chaos, confusion and ambiguity in the post-Vatican II years.

Secondly, it should be noted that what is seen now at events, such as, Flame 2, which was held in London at the SSE Wembley Arena in 2015 would horrify most, if not every single canonized Saint recognised by the Catholic Church, with perhaps the modern exception of St John Paul II, who suggested that the fruits of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal may represent a manifestation of the New Pentecost for our time. On the issue of the Sacred Liturgy, however, I hope readers will not mind me saying that St John Paul II was not as intellectually well-equipped as his Successor. His strengths lay in other vital areas.

There are good reasons why the Church has preserved this liturgy for hundreds of years

I have heard it said that in regions of the World - especially in Europe, a small number of Bishops are friendly both to the Traditional Latin Mass - and promote it - and also to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal - and promote that too - but for the reasons given below I really wonder how intellectually coherent or logical, or sustainable that position really is. Those places, it is said, are producing vocations, notably in France. Not that this 'dual' promotion is a huge probem, mind, because it is very unusual for Bishops to promote the Mass of Ages anywhere.

However, where the traditional liturgy is not promoted - but the Charismatic renewal is promoted, we should by now be able to make some kind of assessment of whether the Charismatic movement incorporated into the Catholic Church has produced the kind of fruit hoped for by even its most conservative of admirers and it should be noted that while St John Paul II made statements that publicly lauded the movement in its various forms, primarily for the enthusiasm which the movement has generated, his Successor Benedict XVI withheld such statements of praise. I expect - though I do not know - that those small parts of the World in which traditional liturgy and 'contemporary' charismatic liturgy are promoted and in which vocations arise, this may well be despite of, not because of the contribution of the Charismatic movement.

We might ask ourselves why this may be the case. I would suggest that there are inherent problems within the Charismatic movement not because of the individual personalities involved in the movement - nor, let me stress this - their obvious good will towards the Church - but because the movement itself is borne out of a theology of rupture and severance with the traditional understanding of Catholic worship which has survived two millennia. This can be seen quite clearly on the CCR website which lamentably fails to communicate 'Catholic' because traditional sign and symbol have been erased. All is 'new'.

That doesn't mean that the Catholic Charismatic movement in its variety of manifestations cannot and does not display great faith and belief in the Church's teachings, the supernatural, or that its enthusiasts would disregard the Catechism and throw it on the pyre, nor that there is no Eucharistic Faith within the movement, nor that devotion to Our Lady is obviously lacking within it, though some will argue that these are all possibly problems within the movement in parts. No, the obvious problem with the movement is that at a time when events like 'Flame 2' are aimed well and truly at the 'youth' of today and as its liturgical celebrations celebrate 'youth' and 'young, vibrant Catholicism' the Archdiocese of Westminster that collaborates in such mega-events for youth is unable send a single man to the seminary this year.  Read that again. Not a single man. That speaks of a huge crisis. Why cannot young men be inspired to lay down their lives to become for God, for men, Alter Christus in the Mass? At some point, if it wants priests, every Diocese in the UK and beyond is going to have to ask serious questions as to why we aren't producing them.

The crisis of faith and the crisis of the priesthood has emerged because there is such little authentic love for the Most August Sacrifice of the Mass

That's only my opinion but its not only my own. A widely circulated quote of Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger is as follows...

'What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of the liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries and replaced it, as in a manufacturing process, with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.'

My take on the Charismatic Renewal is that its endemic weakness is precisely in its attempt to generate faith. It fails because, in my understanding the Charismatic Renewal within the Church represents fabricated liturgy on steroids. Fabricated liturgy and fabricated worship cannot bring us closer to Christ but to a fabricated Christ even if the liturgy works directly on feelings because liturgy is not fabricated or invented by man for man. It has been handed down, preserved intact for the Glory of God and the Salvation of mankind. The only concession to man that the Latin Mass grants is the Gift Himself, the Priest, the Offering, the Sacrifice. It is God-centric. For feelings, after all, like inspiration, come and go. Love for Christ and His Church comes through devotion and reverence in particular for the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the source and summit of the Church's life and prayer. With the Charismatic movement, no matter how 'in touch with the Holy Spirit' its enthusiasts claim the movement is, fabricated liturgy is given a new prominence within the Church, because we're no longer talking about a quiet 'Low Mass' for the Novus Ordo, but instead a 'Charismatic Service' in the Novus Ordo which may or may not involve Mass. The 'Charismatic Catholic Mass' has, in fact, become, in various parts of the World, what a Sung High Mass is for the traditionalist.

Unfortunately, the 'Charismatic Mass', while perfectly able to generate lay enthusiasm and to support Faith in those who attend, cannot possibly give adequate glory to God in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and is therefore deprived on essential ingredients that bring man closer to Christ. This is because the work of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is entirely the work of God condescending to us and making that extraordinary condescension, the sublime Gift of the Sacrifice visible and tangible through the Priest, not through the laity, through action, sign and symbol. During the Mass, the Priest himself is not in the Mass an ordinary man even 'beckoning God down' but rather the Priest is acting totally in Persona Christi, standing in Christ's place, obediently allowing himself to be united to Christ's self-offering at Calvary to the Eternal Father.

Said Pope Pius XII, and affirmed by his Successors...

“It is one and the same victim; the same person now offers it by the ministry of His priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different.” The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ's very person.

The Catholic Charismatic movement misses the essential ingredient that the traditional liturgy is able to supply in abundance and that is, quite simply, the sublime glory of the Priesthood. Pope Benedict XVI saw that the new liturgy and the fabricated, banal liturgy that so often comes with it, is a corrosive element within the Church for the priesthood -- not just for those who may be attracted to it, but to those who are already priests and who celebrate liturgy that is unable to communicate the ineffable Mystery of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And, quite frankly, he should know, since he saw the collapse in faith in the clergy, was witness to it all with his own eyes, as well as to the deformation of sound theology, the clericalisation of the laity and its attending secularisation of the clergy. In terms of communicating what the Church really believes, even if the Catholic Charismatic movements have Eucharistic Faith, devotion to Our Lady and the Saints and a great deal else that is Catholic, without the Latin Mass handed down to us, the reason to become a Priest is entirely lacking and a malformed Faith is - though you're of course free to disagree - entirely likely.

Presenting a Catholicism fit for 'your personal taste'

Now it so happens that from your average parish priest to the Pope, the Catholic Charismatic Movement is very much promoted while it is obvious that the small number of Bishops who promote the Traditional Latin Mass are regarded as maverick. So therefore, it is not likely that the 10,000 young people exposed to Flame 2 last year will be exposed to the Traditional Latin Mass. Nor will they be encouraged to be. The reason is of course that with the Traditional Latin Mass comes Traditional Catholicism. With traditional Catholicism comes an inevitable rejection of 'modern Catholicism' when it is embraced because it is discovered that we cannot invent new truth and we cannot invent worship, that God is always the first mover, that we discover God in silence, that holy prayer requires reverence, that we cannot innovate God into Being, He simply is. In time, we shall have to see whether Catholic Bishops begin to see sense and to look at the Fraternity of St Peter and the success in gaining vocations to the Priesthood and religious life that traditional orders are having, including within the SSPX and think of literally 'turning around'.

However, mark this. There are those within the Catholic Church who know very well that the Traditional Latin Mass is greatly loved and know too that this liturgy is entirely inflexible. They know it doesn't bend to your age, or your country, or your region, or your status. God stoops down from His Throne in Heaven to you. Even if they know it attracts men to the priests, they would rather have no men than those men as priests simply because they think differently to them.The Traditional Latin Mass teaches and forms men and women in the Faith. It schools them in prayer. It cannot be blended with other beliefs or other religions or other contemporary issues. It cannot be 'ecumenical'. It cannot act as a unifying force among those of other belief systems. It is not 'open to interpretation'.

The same cannot be said of the Charismatic movement, which could be brought to blend so very easily with other denominations in the spirit of ecumenism and brotherly love. It is my personal opinion that a great many 'reformers' in the Catholic Church like the Charismatic movement because it would make a useful vehicle for the transformation of the Catholic Church. Not because it produces fruit. Largely it is undoctrinal, it is stimulated and sustained by fabricated liturgy, the Priesthood is undermined by it and it cannot - of itself - produce vocations to either the contemplative life or the secular priesthood. For these same reasons the Traditional Latin Mass is feared by reformers and for these same reasons, are those devoted to the Sacred Liturgy - be they lay or clergy, are similarly feared.

Finally, there are a lot of very good people often with great faith and with love for Christ in the Charismatic movement in the Church. This blogpost is not aimed at denigrating their Faith, or their Hope, or their Love. This blogpost is concerned with the Glory of God made visible and tangible in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, how the Church can begin to address the crisis in the priesthood (and the laity) and asks serious questions as to whether the fruits of the Charismatic movement are as positive as they have often been presented to the Faithful. I do not think that the 'Charismatic' Mass and the Traditional Liturgy can exist side-by-side, or enrich each other or present to the Faithful authentic, cohesive Catholicism with integrity because quite simply the Charismatic movement, even when it contains Catholic elements is not Catholic in a traditional understanding of the term. It is today what it in essense has always been - Protestant in root, and unCatholic therefore in flower - and as yet I have not even mentioned the movement's distorted understanding of the holy influence of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in Christian worship.

A House divided will fall. It does not assist the Church to have a 'traditional' theology and liturgy and a 'charismatic' theology and liturgy. Nor can the Church with integrity present 'a choice' of liturgical styles that are 'diverse' and radically different. These two understandings cannot hold together because they are divergent and the well-supported 'charismatic' movement and the less well-supported traditional movement together will always give the impression that we can choose a form of Catholicism that is in harmony with our 'personal taste'. In the end, one of them will be chosen. Which one will it be? The one that produces fruit, or the one that produces 'the desired effect'?

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Ascension of the Lord

After 40 days,
And not a day more
Asked they who were come together with the Lord

‘Wilt thou at this time restore again
The kingdom to your people, Israel?’

He said ‘It is not for you
To know moments or hours
Which the Father hath put in His power

But you’ll receive the power
Of the Holy Ghost
To be my witnesses around the globe'

Then He was lifted up into the sky
And a cloud received Him from their sight

As they beheld Him
Going up to heaven,
Behold two men stood by them

Stood there two men!
Stood there two men!

Dressed in white garments!
Spreading their gaze over
The Catholic Church!

‘Why then, O men, why, then O men
Stare thee up above to Heaven?
The same Lord as He hath left
Shall in like manner return'

Do not forget
That He hath said,
‘I am with you always’
Be His witnesses
Stay faithful to the Name

For under the guise
Of wine and bread
Hail, His True Presence
Upon His Blood, His Flesh
Shalt thy souls be fed

The glorious Head
He Hath gone ahead
To where the Body is sure to follow
When the Bridegroom’s voice
Echoes through the Universe

Dominus est!
Dominus est!
Ecce Panis Angelorum!
Vivat Christus Rex!

Dominus est!
Dominus est!
Rex Angelorum!
Vivat Christus Rex!

Dominus est!
Dominus est!
Rex Angelorum!
‘Consummatum est’

To be Filed Under 'Dictatorship of Relativism'

Shall we dance?

Greetings readers and welcome a slightly new look blog. Indeed, welcome back to the 'twilight zone' that was well and truly entered by the Catholic Church on 13/3/13. In the vortex of diabolical mayhem known simply as the 'post-Benedict XVI era', Catholic bloggers are tasked with the mission of encouraging Catholics to stay faithful to the Faith passed down to us while it is further polluted, corrupted and overthrown centrally by men who have overseen its decline locally for the past 30-40 years, while lauding the wisdom of the 'new direction'. Yes, vocations can plummet, Churches can empty and close and the souls of millions can - through deliberate, wilful ambiguity on the part of prelates - be placed in graver jeopardy that ever before, but the esotericist can still claim the 'new direction' to be a success even when objective statistics suggest anything but success. I guess that's just part of what makes the new Catholic gnosticism so much fun.

Pope Francis spots a modern gnostic?

Thankfully, there are now quite a number of Catholic bloggers very much alive to to the grave threats posed by the Dictatorship of Relativism (TM) that Benedict XVI warned the Church of through his writings, homilies and interviews and we can see this dictatorship emerge in his conspicuous absence from the Chair of Peter. We should be more grateful that the Lord has provided Shepherds who are willing to warn the Faithful of the dangers posed by an elite band within the Sacred Hierarchy who seem intent to do all they can to dismantle the Church's most fundamental tenets through separating Church doctrine (which they do not wish to speak of) and 'pastoral care' (which they do want to speak of). We should note, too, that these figures do not wish to hold a 'debate' on fundamental issues to do with life, marriage and the family. No, no 'dialogue' is this, but the 'new guard' which in fact represents rather the 'old guard' wish to 'monologue' the Faithful into spiritual death with their deceitful mantras and overly simplistic 'new language'.

Shall we not, rather, bless?
Catholic bloggers and websites such as the erstwhile One Peter Five have been covering the fallout from the nuclear reactor leak that is Amoris Laetitia, otherwise known as 'the single most embarrassing and spiritually dangerous papal document in Church history'. While Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have been doing their level best to make their fidelity to Christ and His Teachings palpably clear at the 'Rome Life Forum', Archbishop Bruno Forte has been doing his level best to put distance between faithful Prelates such as these and the Pope, whose principal duties include the mission of encouraging Catholics to stay faithful to the Faith passed down to us. Unfortunately, the Pope has other priorities and so the Church needs Prelates who think that is rather important. It is helpful to their mission of teaching that Catholic commentators, journalists, writers, bloggers and communicators who can support them in that mission dedicate themselves to doing so.

But back to Archbishop Bruno Forte. It has been noted by several blogs that the Archbishop has related publicly a private conversation he held with Pope Francis concerning the Pope's desire to exploit in the manner of an opportunistic and cunning politician, ambiguities in text or speech during official Church discussions and through official texts. Personally, I have reached that stage in observing this pontificate that I simply don't take at face value (or even believe) that what prelates such as Archbishop Forte say of the Pope is even true, because part of being in the twilight zone is the realisation that we are led by members of the Sacred Hierarchy for whom truth or even honesty means very little. Simply put, it doesn't matter whether the Pope said it or not, for one simple reason which is as follows.

If the Pope said the following to Archbishop Forte...

“If we speak explicitly of Communion for the Divorced-and-Remarried, we don’t know what a mess will result. So let’s not mention it directly. Make sure the premises are there, and I will draw the conclusions”!

...then yes, that's a terrible thing. It means that deception (which is always diabolical) is at the very heart of the workings of this Papacy.

If the Pope didn't say...

“If we speak explicitly of Communion for the Divorced-and-Remarried, we don’t know what a mess will result. So let’s not mention it directly. Make sure the premises are there, and I will draw the conclusions”! Archbishop Forte, then Archbishop Forte has said a terrible thing, but more, it is objectively still a terrible thing because Pope Francis will (most likely) not publicly correct him on the matter or rebuke him for maligning his character and misleading the Faithful.

The strength of the 'dictatorship of relativism' is that it doesn't matter anymore whether it was actually said because, you know, you could always say you said it, or get someone else to say you said it, or by not correcting the offending Archbishop who has said you said it even without telling him he could say it, give the impression you said it, even if you didn't actually say it. Quite simply, the Chief Shepherd, the Chief, the Supreme Teacher and defender of Faith and Morals has gone AWOL and has another agenda entirely. Truth isn't a part - much less the bedrock - of that agenda. So why should we be surprised if even members of the Hierarchy working closely with him to deceive the Faithful in a cunning 'five year plan' to unashamedly install the official Microsoft update for the Catholic Church for the next 100 years, basically suggest openly that Pope Francis is a manipulative imposter bordering on evil genius who plots to 'draw the conclusions' from 'official' ambiguity to do those things which his Sacred Office forbids him from doing?

Of course, most of us have told lies and deceived at some point in our lives, but the Catholic Church demands - at least educates us that such deception is wrong. Do these members of the Hierarchy think such brazen clericalism and dishonesty about your true intentions is in any way from God? Is deception through ambiguity what the 'God of surprises' is for? Is the Holy Spirit behind a papacy which dispenses with integrity?

Of course, it can also be said that the strength of the dictatorship of relativism is also its greatest weakness. At some point, people will work out that even if you are giving people what they think they want in terms of ambiguous teachings concerning Faith and Morals, people still believe that - generally - lying, dishonesty, deception and fraud are moral evils, even if the Chief Shepherd has stopped teaching about objective moral evils that endanger the souls of those in the Church's care.

At some point in the future, people will realise that even if the 'new direction' promises an easier Christian life - or even a life that is no longer Christian - that it is essentially built on sand, a house of cards that will come crumbling down because truth is not part of the building, that Christ Himself, the chief cornerstone, the Rock Himself upon whom the Church is built, has been rejected. While many people like or would like the opportunity to commit adultery, nobody actually likes adultery being committed against them. Lying, fraud and deception are the essential ingredients in any act of adultery and all spouses, innocent or guilty of it, know that.

No wonder, then, small surprise it is, that this pontificate is so very concerned with defending adultery and covering up for those who commit it, wilfully attempting to convince the Church and the world that perpetual adultery can be healed simply through false appeals to 'mercy'. The other essential ingredient of adultery - as well as the immediate loss of integrity and honesty, is betrayal. This pontificate is good for one thing. It teaches all Catholics faithful to Christ and His Teachings just how terrible it feels to be a victim of adultery and infidelity and to know that a sizable percentage of those who commit it - yes, on a serial, prolific basis - are not sorry and are not repentant about any of it at all. That's why it was strange all those months ago when Pope Francis apologised in public for certain scandals that had recently taken place, conveniently neglecting to mention for which of the near weekly scandals emanating from his pontificate he was apologising.

The sad and depressing truth is that those now in key positions of power and authority in the Bride of Christ will use whatever strategic moves are at their disposal - be they good or evil - to implement the reforms they wish to take hold of the Catholic Church. If the Pope said what Archbishop Forte says he said, that's a terrible indictment on this pontificate. If he didn't say it, its a terrible indictment of this pontificate because the Pope (though I hope I am proved wrong) does not love Christ's Flock enough to correct, rebuke, or contradict what Archbishop Forte has said. Welcome to the twilight zone...

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

LMS One Day Conference on the Family

Do consider going to the Latin Mass Society's excellent looking One-Day Conference on the Family, to be held at Regent Hall in London on Saturday 14h May. You can fill in a register form for the conference here.

The speakers will, I am sure, be very inspirational and interesting to hear, especially in the wake of Amoris Laetitia, the new document from Pope Francis that is so controversial that a different Catholic lay organisation wish to organise a conference to condemn it.

UPDATE: The LMS One Day Conference has unfortunately been cancelled.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Sympathy for Ken

'You're suspended!'

I've really no great admiration for Ken Livingstone but suddenly I do have a little sympathy for him. Before British entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar or anyone else lining up in the politically correct and outraged queue formed in a sudden media storm condemns the Labour politician for 'antisemitism', he and they may want to examine at least some historical research and evidence from the Shoah Resource Centre, that is The International School for Holocaust Studies, which, in its paper on 'The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement' asserts in its introduction:

In the summer of 1933, the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the German Zionist Federation, and the German Economics Ministry drafted a plan meant to allow German Jews emigrating to Palestine to retain some of the value of their property in Germany by purchasing German goods for the Yishuv, which would redeem them in Palestine local currency. This scheme, known as the Transfer Agreement or Ha’avarah, met the needs of all interested parties: German Jews, the German economy, and the Mandatory Government and the Yishuv in Palestine. The Transfer Agreement has been the subject of ramified research literature.

Many Jews were critical of the Agreement from the very outset. The negotiations between the Zionist movement and official representatives of Nazi Germany evoked much wrath. In retrospect, and in view of what we know about the annihilation of European Jewry, these relations between the Zionist movement and Nazi Germany seem especially problematic. Even then, however, the negotiations and the agreement they spawnedwere profoundly controversial in broad Jewish circles. For this reason, until 1935 the Jewish Agency masked its role in the Agreement and attempted to pass it off as an economic agreement between private parties.

And which concludes...

The Jewish boycott against Nazi Germany waned over the years and slipped off the public agenda as Nazi Germany consolidated its economic and international status. The German-Polish non-aggression treaty vitiated anti-German initiatives in Poland, and in the economic treaty between the two countries in November 1935, Germany obtained a Polish commitment to take action against the anti-German boycott committees in Poland.

The Transfer Agreement remained in effect throughout these years, although difficulties in implementing it emerged. The root of these difficulties was the inability of the fledgling economy of Palestine to absorb Jewish capital in the form of goods. Consequently, an attempt was made to expand the sphere of trade from Palestine to the entire Middle East. This gambit ran up against many obstacles, including the anti-Jewish boycott in the relevant countries. Despite efforts to expand the scale of the boycott, many German Jews did not succeed in making use of the capital that they had freed under the Transfer Agreement. An accord similar to the Transfer Agreement, known as the Clearing Agreement, was worked out between the Jewish Agency and the Polish Government in the second half of 1936 and signed in March 1937.

Its purpose was to enable Jewish emigrants from Poland to transfer their assets to Palestine despite Polish currency laws by purchasing Polish goods. Unlike the Transfer Agreement, the “clearing” was supposed to be reciprocal, i.e., to create the possibility of transfers of capital and goods from Poland to Palestine and vice versa. The path to this agreement was complicated, because the Jewish Agency had to protect itself against Polish demands to dictate policy, through the agreement, in the distribution of immigration certificates. Additional difficulties stemmed from internal struggles on the Jewish side. The Revisionists, after having formed a broad front in opposition to the Transfer Agreement when it was being drafted, evinced great interest in the Clearing Agreement and attempted to conclude separate arrangements that would circumvent the Jewish Agency, from which they had seceded by this time. The Clearing Agreement began to coalesce as the condition of Polish Jewry deteriorated and debates on “evacuation” became more frequent. Gruenbaum led the negotiations on behalf of the Jewish Agency, thereby implementing his gloomy prophecy concerning “flight and organized exodus.” These subsequent developments in Poland thus proved the sorrowful impotence of the boycott movement in contrast to the practicality of Zionist formula. 

Translated by Naftali Greenwood
Source: Yad Vashem Studies
Vol. XXVI, Jerusalem 1998, pp 129-172
The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement:
A Jewish Dilemma on the Eve of the Holocaust
Yf’aat Weiss 

Thoroughly interesting and moving, thought-provoking and now clearly...


Is the Holocaust Remembrance Center an 'apologist for Hitler' as well Ken Livingstone then?

Is this Jewish Historian, Edwin Black, who wrote a book entitled 'The Transfer Agreement' also wrote a book entitled 'IBM and the Holocaust' on that prominent company's role in the genocide of Jews, also an 'apologist for Hitler'?

Or is the historical truth just 'antisemitic' and offensive?

The idea that 'Hitler founded Israel' is plain wrong. The idea that - for reasons quite different to the Zionist movement - he tried to establish a homeland for the Jews in  the place then known as Palestine is the subject of much historical enquiry, from which some incontrovertible facts have emerged. 

I'll let the 'antisemitic' Jewish historian fill you in.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

On Michael Voris and His Mother

May I too add my voice to the many who are standing in support of the heroic Michael Voris, who was brought back to the Holy Faith from a ruinous path, through the holy prayer and example of his heroic Catholic mother. May I join with those who are praying for him and for his often excellent apostolate, with those who are doing so in Heaven and those who are doing so on Earth.

Through the intercession of the Most Blessed and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of St Augustine of Hippo, St Monica, St Michael and St George, whose love for Christ and His Church you strive valiantly to emulate, may God grant you renewed strength and peace in your current trials and bring to shame and repentance those who by their envy and malice seek the destruction of your work for Our Lord and God.

As a viewer and a more loyal and dedicated one than I was a week ago, thank you for the work you do for the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May our God love you, protect you, guide you and defend you. Whatever you do, don't give up, take a breather if you need to recover your strength, but keep fighting the good fight, dear brother in Christ, until the end. May Our Lord Jesus Christ grant you victory over your enemies on Earth and the crown of life everlasting as your eternal reward!

Now that the Catholic world knows 'the real Michael Voris', may the Catholic world acknowledge that the 'real Michael Voris' appears to us more beautiful and resplendent in grace and glory today than he appeared to us before the Catholic world knew of his humble and brave confession of his past crimes, for in this revelation we see more brilliantly and more splendidly the grace and glory and the great power and the great mercy of our glorious and risen Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ. So, too, do we glimpse the wonderful work of his Saints, those who tirelessly intercede for us poor sinners, those in Heaven and those do such while living in exile on Earth.

With biographies such as his, in our scandalous times when so many tread the path of crime and fly into sexual promiscuity and the many snares of the evil one, may the wonderful conversion of Michael Voris serve to win many souls to the love of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church! It's only my opinion, but if there was any justice in this World - and were there more justice within the Church - you would be brought in and commended on your work for Christ by the Pope himself for your apostolate, for it is a marvel in our eyes!

Warrior for Christ and His Church

Michael Voris, lift up your head and be radiant, let your face not be abashed, for the Lord our God has redeemed you! May the good Lord give you grace to persevere in His truth and in His love, to the end!

Readers may have noticed that this blog's design has become predominantly 'pinker' than before.

 Well, let me tell you, it's not 'pink', its 'rose' and I am a Catholic man.

I am comfortable in my colour scheme!


Monday, 18 April 2016

The Spirit of Amoris Laetitia and the Denial of God

In attempting to distill in one central armchair criticism, my main concern with Amoris Laetitia is not simply the notorious footnote that has become a black mark on the papacy, nor just the manipulation of important Catholic teaching by the employment of subtle changes in language used. The worst thing about the document is its spirit. The spirit of the document - the spirit in which it is written - is most telling of all, because its spirit will poison even those points in it which are Catholic and are easily reconcilable with the Catechism. This spirit, sadly, can be traced right through this pontificate like a stick of Brighton rock.

It is a cruel document. Cruel upon man and cruel upon woman. Cruel upon priests, cruel upon spiritual directors. Cruel upon husbands, cruel upon wives. It is a document of abhorrent cruelty. In terms of 'pastoral guidance' for the clergy who are faced with the man and the woman in a second (therefore, adulterous) union after a first marriage or for those in irregular situations of cohabitation or in same-sex relationships it is a disaster. It is a disaster not only because there is, quite incredibly, for a matter so sensitive, no guidance whatsoever, nor only because it presents to the impenitent a tempting 'conscience clause', but it falls into that now bulging papal category of 'teaching opportunity missed' which, however controversial they are, I always feel is a label that can be attached to all four (so far) Pope 'intentions' videos.

The reason I suggest this document is chillingly cruel is because it suggests to the sinner that there is no hope for him and for her. It is not chilling merely because it expects so little of man, for in many ways, much is expected, but because - and here is the spirit of Amoris Laetitia - it expects nothing of God. God is not expected to act. It hopes for nothing from God. It is, in fact, taken in its totality, a denial of God. It is almost as if God does not exist and that if He does exist, He is cruelly distant from man, from woman, aloof, wishing to have little to do with him, with her, when the very opposite is the case. It fails to convey God's closeness to man, the incredible intimacy that God seeks in His relationship with man.

What refuge a man can find in the Sacred Heart of Jesus! What help! What consolation, but what healing and aid! What manner of Divine Help, what sublime graces, the Most loveable Heart of Jesus wishes to pour into the souls of men. With what tenderness and love does Mary look upon her children. How much she yearns to gather her children into the furnace of the Heart of her Son! What graces come through her hands! Yet, Amoris Laetitia expects nothing from either Jesus or Mary. Expects nothing from the Saints! What strength and fortification can a man find in the Most Blessed Sacrament and in the Sacrament of Penance! Yet this document seems very much to envision a Church thoroughly pre-Pentecost.

The 'listening Church', having listened to the 'sad stories' and real tragedies of men and women who have given up on Faith in the Triune God, has listened so intently and so adamantly that the Church has forgotten that God is perfectly able and willing to help every sinner in every situation to escape the clutches of evil, to reject its false glamour and to serve the Lord with joy, even in suffering and in sacrifice of those things that charm him the most. Nothing is impossible for God. No situation can overcome God's grace if we wish to receive God's mercy - and His grace!

It is not just presumption that riddles the most controversial passages of this document, Present, also, is that other great sin against the Holy Spirit, the sin of Judas Iscariot in his end, the sin of despair! The Church portrayed by this document presumes God's mercy and despairs of His help! There is no help for the man and the woman caught up in the enemies' snares! There is only us and our sin. There is only us and our wretchedness, or worse, a concession to our difficult entanglements that denies that our situation is an unhappy one, but God's help has disappeared. We cannot - no not even with God's help - change! Divine aid has ceased! Heaven is shut up! In such a portrayal, yes, I suppose Henry VIII had little choice. He was only human! We can't expect anything from God - or man in co-operation with God or obedience in Faith to God. We are helpless! In that case, poor, poor Judas, indeed!

The devotional life and the age of Divine Love in the Church has, in the authors' minds, ended! It is, ultimately, a faithless vision. In this vision, we are orphans, strangers to God, enemies clothed in the garments of friendship with God, but incapable of being His friends. Look for the Heart of Jesus in this document and you won't find it. Look for the Heart of Mary in this document. You won't find it. Instead of Peter turning to the Lord to exclaim, 'Lord, to whom can we turn, You have the message of eternal life' you could be forgiven for thinking that this life - with its sadnesses, tragedies, follies and joys, is all there is and St Peter's Successor is now saying it. It is, unbelievably, as it was released in Eastertide, as if the Resurrection of Christ our Lord, never happened at all. It is as if the steering wheel of the Church has been wrestled from the hands of the devoted and believing and is now in the hands of cleverly disguised atheists.

Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God did not come, suffer, die and rise again to grant concessions to our weakness and sinfulness but to strengthen the weak, heal the sick, raise the dead to life, to endow sonship and daughtership on those far from God, to crown us, to make us holy, to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him. Amoris Laetitia, written as it is, by 'many hands' gives the impression that it is written by men who do not simply doubt God's promises, but even His existence and as St Paul says, its words, if Christ is not risen, are in vain. But Christ is risen, He has risen as He said and the power of the Resurrection fills all of creation and renews it.

We can be renewed. Jesus wants to make men into the New Man, women into the New Woman. We can do nothing without Jesus, but with Jesus we can do things we know we cannot do by ourselves. We can be holy, we can be made holy, we can love, we can love God in return. We were made for nothing less. The great sadness of this document - worse than any footnote - is that it fails, lamentably, to communicate our glorious, hope-filled, life-changing, earth-shatteringly, mind-blowingly incredible Faith! The Gospels make it very clear that Jesus Christ changes everything. The question that remains is do the authors of Amoris Laetitia believe that, or have they abandoned not just the flock, but the Faith as well! Jesus Christ has asked us to follow Him, not to follow the World. He would not ask us to follow Him, along the straight and narrow path, if, with Him, it were impossible, or were it not for His Eternal Glory, and both for our temporal and our Eternal good. The spirit of Amoris Laetitia suggests that the straight and the narrow way is a way that only an evil God - if 'the God of the Catholics' exists - would ask us to choose. The spirit of Amoris Laetitia is the denial of God, our Supreme, our only Good. It lays out before the reader a horizon without Eternity, a future without hope, a city of man and leaves the reader with the distinct impression that Baptism makes no difference, the Eucharist makes no difference, Confession makes no difference and that there is no point, no good reason at all in being or in becoming a Catholic!

"Heroism is not for the average Christian." ~ Cardinal Walter Kasper

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Celebrate Reformation Day in a Catholic Spirit

Entrance wounds and exit wounds: Reformation tin cans are being sold in preparation for the celebrations of 2017
As various senior Churchmen call upon the Catholic Faithful to prepare to 'celebrate' the 500th anniversary Reformation of 1517, when Martin Luther penned his 95 Theses and nailed it to a Church door, one small team of Catholic entrepeneurs based in New Jersey, USA are selling a range of empty beer cans carrying images of those famous faces of the Reformation for the shooting practise of Catholics worldwide.

Much like the widely anticipated but schizophrenically, schismatically divisive 'Amoris Laetitia' is set to do, Luther's work set a carving knife to Christendom. And while the Pope's new Exhortation hasn't been nailed to a Church door yet, rather like the tin cans peppered with holes from air rifle pellets above, Amoris Laetitia is said to be more metaphorically riddled with holes than a block of Swiss cheese and its rumoured that if criticism of the document continues at its current frequency, the Exhortation could itself become ideal target practise in Catholic homes, gardens and apartment balconies soon. Let's hope collatoral damage is kept to a minimum.

To be greeted with exclamations of "Viva Christo Rey!"

The two Catholics came up with the idea while enjoying some target practise at their friend's ranch, after calls for celebrations of the most destructive event to have occurred in Christianity since the Great Schism began coming from senior bishops and cardinals in the Catholic Church.

"We realised," says co-founder, Des Troy Hairazee, "that a shooting game for the Reformation would serve to mark the Reformation in a suitably Catholic way. We can't quite bring ourselves to celebrate the 500th anniversary with balloons and street parties and ticker-tape, unless we're going to have fun, retain our Catholic identity and make a clear distinction about the nature of our celebration. What is the nature of our celebration? Why, because these events led to the glorious counter-Reformation, of course!"

"The Reformation tin can shooting game's strength is that it can be literally played anywhere..."
"At first," says Des Troy, "we started off with King Henry VIII, the adulterous and murderous English King who put away his decent, virtuous Catholic wife and married his less principled Protestant fluesy Anne Boleyn. Unfortunately for him, the Catholic Pope of the time  - I say 'Catholic Pope' because just recently, we've realised that maybe Pope's don't have to be Catholic to be Popes -  was unable to distinguish between the need for discernment and pastoral accompaniment in an irrregular situation and the evil actions of a notorious and unrepentant public sinner who got himself excommunicated from the Church."

Hairazee continues, "After that, we started developing ideas of tin cans for other favourite Reformation characters, like Archbishop Cranmer and 'Mister Big' himself, the infamous German apostate and Bible-slicing heretic, Martin Luther. Ultimately, we don't want to upset the Waldensians - we know Pope Francis has apologised to them as well recently - but they didn't accept the apology and - after a period of self-examination, our conscience is okay with the idea of 'Where's Waldo?' tin can shooting game - a crack squad of elite cans that can be situated in discreet, hidden locations, and the family can then have fun finding Peter Waldo - and blowing his tin brains out. It really is fun for all the family.

A lay Catholic takes a break from playing the Reformation shooting game

"Naturally, at this time of confusion and while Catholics are led into serious error by the likes of Archbishop Blaise Cupich and others, we were considering a range of Cardinal Kasper cans, but we're putting that idea on ice for the moment. It would be inappropriate. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that the blue touch paper may have been lit on another grotesquely schismatic event within the Church on a hitherto unseen scale so we may in future bring out a new range including some of our own modern malefactors prayed for in the Canon of every Mass. We're hoping the events of the past couple of weeks will just be a footnote in Catholic history. We're naturally hoping things don't escalate quickly out of control..."

There's always one: A Nevada-based army chaplain gets 'carried away' amid the Reformation preparations...

The range of Reformation tin cans can be bought for just £4.99/$6/9Euro each and are available at the website

"Did I get him?":  Polish army employs a tactical nuclear warhead during some atomically exciting Reformation tin can target practise. The team were said to be 'zealous for the defense of the teaching of Familiaris Consortio.'

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

St John the Pastoral

A Wise and Prudent Father

On social media and even some blogs, there are some quite wild and fantastical things being said of Cardinal Raymond Burke's 'intervention' including talk of 'betrayal'. What madness. Nobody's asked me for my thoughts, so I thought I'd give them to you anyway...

Precisely because faithful Catholics - especially in the blogosphere, yep, me too -are engaged in the painful realisation that their worst fears have largely been confirmed by the tone and noted passages within Amoris Laetitia, and because we are either involved in or are witnessing something akin to a mass public meltdown, it is probably a very good thing that Cardinal Burke has stepped forward with a calm and measured response to the document. Indeed, precisely because unfaithful Catholics - especially in the blogosphere - are engaged in the jubilant realisation that their dreams are made true by this document, is it important that Cardinal Burke has said what he has said. He has said, 'You are still living in dreamland.'

We can easily get into a frame of mind in which because we are angry at the injustice that we have seen, that we are entirely justified, in every sense, in how we respond to that wrong. Cardinal Burke's approach to the document is distinctly different to the lay, angry Catholic blogger. He is being criticised, may I suggest, because his response is humble, measured, deferential, meek, legal, proportioned, Christian and, for a man in his particular rank, very prudent. He is not pouring petrol onto the fire. He is pouring water.

Nowhere in the article he has penned for the National Catholic Register can it be inferred, that Cardinal Burke believes Amoris Laetitia to have added anything of great value or weight to the Church's proclamation of the Gospel. It can almost certainly be inferred that it adds nothing to the Church's teachings. Cardinal Burke is looking at Amoris Laetitia from a legal perspective. He is, after all, the former Apostolic Signatura. He knows his canon law. His assessment is that the Pope's exhortation is, as a leading Prelate, important and worthy of note. His assessment is that, 'There is nothing to see here.' Cardinal Burke is saying that, in terms of the Church's teachings and in terms of the Church's pastoral practise, Amoris Laetitia is 260 pages of irrelevant.

For full post click here.

Monday, 11 April 2016

The Ambiguity of the Amoris Laetitia Reveals Far More than it Conceals

'Pray for me, that I may not flee, for fear of the wolves.' ~ Pope Benedict XVI, 24 April 2005

Can it possibly be accidental? It seems incredibly unlikely. The ambiguity, the obfuscation, the confusing selection of language served up in Amoris Laetitia is deliberate, planned and carefully constructed. Great thought has gone into it. The deceit is hidden in its employment of intricate language rather than honestly stating what is intended. How can its openness to interpretation be anything other than wilful? This, rather than making the inconsistencies and errors within it more tolerable, makes the authors more blameworthy than excusable, since such effort has been expended on deceiving the Faithful that it is orthodox, when it is anything but.

This is made even more sinister by the fact that this has been the intended outcome of the document despite Bishops voting out those aspects which were poisonous - and yet they were ignored. They might have thought that being invited to the Synod would entail their views being taken into consideration when they were instead arrogantly ignored.

Wolves at play
More sinister and - given its far-reaching audience - criminal is it yet, because this has been the intended outcome for three years, if not more. Their presence at the Synod, then, was to lend legitimacy to the deception, orchestrated, as it was, from the very summit of the Church. Rather than synodality being respected and strengthened, power over the issues at stake and decision-making has been abrogated to a central source with Politburo-esque efficiency. The sheer dishonesty involved in the Synod on the Family, of which Amoris Laetitia is the rotten fruit, is astounding. Now, the mask has finally been removed.

But it is more than astounding. It is chilling because cleverly disguising your true intentions through deceptive means isn't just what politicians do, it is what liars do, what thieves do, what con-men do. It is, in fact, what the Devil himself does. Jesus called him a liar and a murderer, a murder from the beginning. He is not, in fact, a murderer of men's bodies. He is a murderer of men's souls.

The Church is an infallible guide to faith and morals and one of the Successor of St Peter's roles is to speak and teach in such a way that clarity is given to the Faithful regarding both faith and morals, so that none may be led astray. This document fails to do that and I cannot see how - whatever else one may say of this exhortation - this can be interpreted as anything else but a dereliction of papal duty to teach, instruct and guide the Faithful in such a way as to lead the flock in the way of life eternal.

Cdl Brandmuller: Amoris Laetitia must be interpreted in light of tradition
Of course, there will be many who say that those who criticise this document are the real wolves, because they damage the unity of the Church. Most who read this document, however, are genuinely in search of the truth of what it really means. It's ambiguity permits both heterodox and orthodox to claim victory. Today - and until clarification is given - this battle over the document will be fought because it is so very important to the life of the Church.

Only the Pope himself can bring clarification to those passages which have caused confusion and scandal. A relatively short document could be produced that would bring this much needed clarification to the attention of the Church's cardinals, bishops, clergy and laity. With a word - not with 260 pages - the Pope could do this. If he does not, Catholics surely can only assume that the ambiguity itself and the continuation of the confusion that exists among the Faithful over it, is serving some kind of intention within the corridors of the Vatican. Such confusion can only serve the Enemy of God and man. It cannot serve the Lord's purposes. The Lord's precepts are crystal clear. It is only what now flows into the Tiber that is murky.


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