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October 31, 2014

Multiculturalism is inhuman

[T]o belong to a given community,  to be connected with its members by indissoluble and impalpable ties of common language, historical memory, habit, tradition and feeling,  is a basic human need, no less natural than that for food or drink or security or procreation…Cosmopolitanism is the shedding of all that makes one most human, most oneself.

–Sir Isaiah Berlin, Against the Current.

Even though it was afterwards denied, there is strong evidence that in the 1990s the triumphant Labour  Party under Tony Blair decided to transform Britain by mass immigration and impose multiculturalism. One of Blair’s speechwriters, Andrew Neather wrote in 2009 that it had been  deliberate policy to open up the United Kingdom to mass immigration, and “to rub the Right’s nose in diversity”.  (This had the added advantage, of course, that the immigrants would tend overwhelmingly to vote Labour.) The result was that the population rose by three million, which led to a housing shortage and high prices for housing.

After the London bombings by Moslem terrorists in 2005 the Labour government had second thoughts about multiculturalism and commissioned an educationalist, Sir Keith Ajegbo to report on diversity within the school curriculum. His reported stated:

Many indigenous white pupils have negative perceptions of their own identity. In the case of white working-class boys, their sense of linkage with a tangible history is often absent. We spoke to one white British pupil in Year 3 who said after hearing in a class discussion how the rest of the class came from the Congo, Portugal, Trinidad and Poland, that she came from nowhere.

Another girl they spoke to said she felt sometimes that there was no white history. “There’s black history month or they do Moslems or Sikhs. We learn about that, but we don’t learn about white people, so we feel a bit left out. ”

The Ajegbo report concluded:

White children in areas where the ethnic composition is mixed, suffer labelling and discrimination that is severely compromising their idea of being British. They can feel beleaguered and marginalised, finding their own identities under threat…It makes no sense to focus on ethnic minority pupils without trying to address and understand the issues for white pupils…white pupils are left feeling disenfranchised and resentful.

Fewer than half of white British boys from the poorest homes started secondary education with a decent grounding in the basics, so they are being turned into an educational underclass. Therefore it’s not  really so surprising that eventually an articulate indigenous white working-class writer like David Abbott should redress the balance by writing a book like Dark Albion. What is puzzling is that it took so long for something like it to appear. In view of  the fact that any strong criticism of  racial or cultural minorities can result in prosecution for “hate crime” it’s also rather amazing that Mr Abbott appears to have got  away with writing something like this, about what happened on the bus journey he began to describe earlier :

The only passengers speaking any sort of English are the loudly jabbering black children lapsing every now and then into their patois, and a standing black youth  in baggy trousers managing to  clutch three mobile phones, making and receiving calls on all three in loud Anglo-Lewisham  pidgin as he hangs on.  He has incredible lips like tyres.  One of the conversations is about a forthcoming court case  in which he is the defendant, from which we are to gather he is a petty criminal. From the manner and volume of the conversation I get the feeling that he is wants us to know this, that he is proud of it.

Prominent among the foreign languages are those of the Nigerian diaspora. This is a new phenomenon.  One of the Nigerians speaking in one of these tongues into a mobile  is a gross woman dressed in gaudy African finery partly covered by an overcoat, who has an enormous arse. Although many passengers are having to stand, she is unashamedly taking up two seats. The seats of London buses are not made for Nigerian arses. To emphasise her point (if she is making a point rather than being simply selfish) she has placed her shopping bag on the sliver of aisle not covered by her arse. In the bag she has a loaf of bread from which, with fingers adorned with rings, she scoops up crumbs and jams them into her mouth.  Crumbs are everywhere and she is also spitting them into her mobile  as she speaks loudly in Yoruba (or Igbo, Hausa or Swahili, or whatever). It is so unbelievably grotesque that the other passengers remain silent, unable to stop and interfere in this outrage against public decency–in fear, perhaps of being  regarded as racist, disrespectful  to some peculiar way of life, even  though they are all themselves ethnics.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if  Dublin were  inundated by hundreds of thousands of  “settlers”–to use Mr Abbott’s expression. I don’t think the inhabitants of  Darndale or Ballyfermot  or Sallynoggin  would be more tolerant than those of Greenwich or Brixton–or David Abbott. Do you?

In my final post on Dark Albion I hope to deal with Mr Abbott’s trenchant views on Islam, and on religion in general.

 

 

 

October 30, 2014

A Requiem for the English

David Abbott is an old-fashioned newspaper reporter, and so he notices things and can describe them in entertaining detail.  There are not many of his sort left,  although there were plenty of working-class reporters around when I first entered journalism.   Most journalists these days have been to good schools and university and feel that mere reportage is beneath them; it gets in the way of their own important opinions. Too many of them have implicitly inverted the famous dictum of C.P. Scott  of the Manchester Guardian to read “Facts are free, but comment is sacred.”

Mr Abbott is a Cockney, and a very angry one. He is infuriated, frustrated and saddened by the way his country, particularly his native Greenwich, has  been transformed–swamped by vast numbers of immigrants who have no intention of adapting themselves to the ways of the indigenous population, and are well on the way to turning it into a dysfunctional, multicultural babel.  And politicians of all three of the main parties don’t care; this  isn’t a serious problem for them, or for most of the comfortable middle class. They like dining in  exotic ethnic restaurants, and it’s good to be able to pick and choose from so many nannies.

David Abbott wrote Dark Albion: A Requiem for the English as a result of an encounter with an old man called Frank, a friend of his late father,  in Greenwich.

Though the pavement is packed with people waiting for a bus, we are the only ones speaking English. Where in the past there would have been an orderly queue of Cockneys is now a haphazard crowd of settlers…On this freezing day with snowflakes hovering in the air  and dusting shoulders, several are wearing tropical clothes… No one has any concern for who was there before them. This is the new way of waiting for a bus. The likes of Frank and me, heirs to a different custom, find it disturbing.

Suddenly there is a commotion by the Green. Several groups of children going home from school have seen their bus coming and have merged to break into a stampede across the Royal Standard junction, ignoring vehicles and causing drivers to brake sharply. The children all come from a local Church of England secondary school which was founded in 1700. Its website says it `values diversity and is sensitive to the range of traditions and cultures represented in the community it serves`. In reality the diversity of the community is not represented. All of the school’s pupils are black…Recently while going home from school one of the children stabbed another with a knife…In the past, four policemen at a scene signified a serious crime, while mounted bobbies were only seen at big football matches. Now they signal obnoxious children going home from school.  The stampede is an incongruous as a herd of wildebeest streaming across an English road.

When the bus arrives, all the seats are taken, a brown face framed in every window. Inter-ethnic squabbles break out among those trying to get on, and a policeman has to sort out the unpleasantness.

Although Frank and I have lived in this area all our lives, we feel out of place. Our existence does not register with the pushy newcomers who surround us. We have a strange, unpleasant feeling of irrelevance. We are invisible.

Frank becomes angry. He mutters: `What are they all doing ‘ere?`

I put a finger to my lips. Such talk could get him jailed.

He nods. `I’ll walk dahn the ‘ill,` he says.

`Be careful of the ice,` I say.

As he turns away he asks in a whisper, `Can you describe this in one of yer books?`

`I can,` I say, and he smiles fleetingly.

And that’s how Dark Albion came to be written.  More about this book anon.

October 29, 2014

Peace Be Upon the Irish Catholic…

A few days ago, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.”

A friend of mine was so incensed by a silly article in the Irish Catholic on  dialogue with Islam, written  by a Columban missionary nun, that he wrote a letter to the editor and was given to understand that the paper was going to carry it the following week.   (This nun must be a brave woman; she has spent a long time in Pakistan, presumably at considerable risk to herself. But she really should have known better.)

Here’s the letter:

Dear Editor,

Sr Rebecca Conlon is naive in the extreme when she writes about dialogue with Islam in Pakistan (Notebook, 16/10/14).

She talks about “reaching out to marginalised women”. Has she not read Sura 4:34 in the Islamic holy book, the Koran? My copy translates the Arabic as saying that, if a man fears “disloyalty or ill conduct” from women, he should admonish them, refuse to share their beds and beat them”. Not much room for “reaching out” there, I should have thought.

The man whom Sr Rebecca describes as a prophet, Mohammed, even took a six year old girl (Aisha) as one of his wives. Oh, but he didn’t  consummate the relationship with her until she was 10 (and he was 53). Sr Rebecca even ventures to dignify him with the Moslem phrase “Peace Be Upon Him”!

And, as Sr Rebecca knows full well, Islam teaches that the penalty for a Moslem becoming a Christian is death. The Catholic she cites, Shahbaz Bhatti, paid the ultimate  price, with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claiming responsibility for his killing as “a blasphemer of Mohammed”. Others, particularly in areas of Syria and Iraq controlled by Islamic State, have suffered a more gruesome fate.

Islam is now the greatest danger faced by Catholics, both outside and in Europe. The sooner people like Sr Rebecca realise that, the better.

Please don’t print my full address; I don’t want to get my head sawn off.

Yours etc.

In the end the Irish Catholic decided not to print the letter after all. Presumably a case of discretion being the better part of valour?

*************************

Alive Sees No Evil

Ì picked up  the Catholic freesheet Alive this morning with considerable anticipation, hoping to find something helpful on that Synod on the Family.  But the only relevant item came on page 5.  It was a quotation from the American theologian Fr Robert Barron, taking the line: “Nothing to see here, people, move along now.”

Fr Barron told worried Catholics not to be upset about the “hysteria and distorted media reports”, insisting that that–as in general councils of the Church–consensus would evolve after lengthy and often acrimonious debate.

It’s not good enough. You can’t just brush under the carpet a determined and almost successful attempt to subvert the constant teaching of the Church on marriage and  the Eucharist–an attempt, moreover, which is certain to be renewed before long.

Sometimes I think the problem with “conservative” Catholics is that they are just too nice. Unlike us curmudgeonly trads, they  can’t accept  that there is a rottenness in the Church reaching  to the very highest levels. The fact that they can’t see it does them credit, in a way…

 

 

 

 

October 28, 2014

Snobbish Liberals and `Racism`

This “racism” business is difficult, isn’t it? Obviously  a Catholic, or any other Christian, is obliged to love their neighbour as themselves, and that includes immigrants.  But does that mean we have to rejoice when a hallal slaughterhouse opens for business in our street? Or when we lose our job because someone from abroad is willing to do it more cheaply than we are?  Or when the West Indians in the flat above insist on blasting out hip-hop music 24 hours a day?  Or when the street we have lived in since childhood comes to resemble a slum in downtown Lagos?

To those of a left-wing bent,  even to pose such questions is evidence of racism.  But people in England are becoming increasingly reluctant to accept the transformation of their country into something they never envisaged, and about which they were never consulted. And I’m quite sure that the same will apply in Ireland,   if ever the rate of immigration rises to cross-channel levels.

The truth is that mass immigration impinges far more harshly on working-class people than on the bourgeoisie. This is a point well understood  by Sunday Telegraph columnist  Janet Daley who notes that “liberal” figures in all the major political parties in Britain are arguing that expressions of anger and concern about immigration should be ruled out of public discourse altogether:

Not just criticised or disputed, mind you–but derided and regarded as beneath contempt…The hysterical opprobrium that has been dumped not only on Ukip, but on anyone who suggests that anxiety about unlimited migration and loss of Britain’s control of its borders might have any legitimate (which is to say, non-racist) justification has been a startling phenomenon. What  is most shocking is the level of personal animus–which goes way beyond the bounds of rational argument–towards anyone who defies what are now clearly taken to be  the limits of acceptable debate. And contrary to what the exponents  presumably believe about themselves, the imposition of these limits is peculiarly snobbish, socially divisive  and self-serving. You would think, given the venom with which the anathematised opinions were being smeared that they were positively murderous in their intention: that, at the very least, lynching or armed vendetta was being urged against immigrant neighbours rather than simply a rejection of the political arrangement that appears to be disadvantaging some of the indigenous population.  In fact, there has been more denunciation directed at what is an entirely law-abiding challenge to a policy that has serious consequences for vulnerable communities, than to more obviously dangerous kinds of antisocial behaviour  such as the recruitment of Islamist terrorists.

So the question needs to be asked: how is it that the worries of –let’s not mince words–working (and lower-middle) class people can be treated with such open disgust?

It may be, as Janet Daley says, that such worries are not shared by the majority.  They are certainly not shared by the most influential or the most powerful.  But that doesn’t make such worries contemptible. “Trampling over the interests of non-conforming minorities is not democracy, it is mob rule.”

I had meant, in this post, to discuss David Abbott’s book Dark Albion: A Requiem for the English, but the above will have to serve as an appetiser for it. I hope to examine Dark Albion tomorrow or the next day, but in the meantime some of Mr Abbott’s chapter titles will give you a flavour of it.  “Demonic Demography Eurabian nights“. “Out of Africa Macabre customs, barbaric superstitions, HIV, crime, dangerous driving“.  “You Are Welcome to Bristol One coconut and some Somalians.”  “Bangladosh Currying favour in the East End“. “Ken Livingstone A nightmayor“. “Flying the Union Mohammed Jack’s not all right“. “William the Conquered 2066“. And finally (forgive me) “What a Load of Ol’ Shiite Islam speaks“.  I don’t necessarily agree with his general tone, but he’s a brave and patriotic man–an old-fashioned Labour supporter.

 

October 27, 2014

The NUJ: Enemy of Free Speech

“Why do you have to keep banging on about the National Union of Journalists? ” Irish colleagues used to ask me. I always responded by instancing the NUJ’s vicious pro-abortion policy, which compelled its members, through their subscriptions, to support the British National Abortion Campaign which  was pressing for abortion on demand, for any reason, right up to birth. Very few of them took any notice, some saying they were personally pro-life, as though that absolved them from all responsibility.

Anyway, a trade union  should surely refrain from pressurising its members to take one particular side on a subject as controversial as abortion. Particularly when these members are journalists, and therefore in a position to influence public opinion.

I have just read a book which confirms my opinion of  the NUJ.  But  the work is not not about abortion at all; for all I know, the author Dave Abbott, a retired sports journalist, may be quite anti-life. He’s certainly anti-religion. It’s called Dark Albion: A Requiem for the English (Sparrow Books, 2013) and it’s a howl of protest against  the things Abbott thinks have gone wrong with his country. Leftists would call  it as a “racist” book, but  it’s much too  profound and well argued to be dismissed like that.

I intend  to do at least one more post on Abbott’s book, as I think it’s important, but for now I want to concentrate on his ferocious attack on the NUJ and its “Guidelines on Race Reporting” issued in the 1970s. He describes it as “an influential document in the suppression of free speech in this country”. As he says, the guidelines state clearly that parties opposed to mass immigration must be reported only in negative terms, that journalists must promote immigration,  and that whenever settlers (by which he means immigrants) commit a crime their ethnicity should ideally not be revealed.  As he says, the document resembles a Communist Party directive in the Soviet Union, rigid instructions rather than guidelines:

It stridently champions diversity and multi-culturalism, banning NUJ members from even the slightest criticism of ethnic settlers…For decades journalists have used their influence to manipulate public opinion and the main reason for that are these strict guidelines which all journalists must respect and which dictate what can or cannot be written or broadcast. These guidelines imposed by the NUJ have had a baneful effect on British democracy by establishing systematic censorship.

Three weeks after two Moslems hacked to death soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, and tried to decapitate him,  just down the road in Thamesmead a man named Daha Mohammed slit the throat of a disabled man in a wheelchair named Colin Greenway. Journalists could not cope with this murder. It came too soon after the Rigby killing, was too nearby and had a similar element of Moslem butchery. And so there was a news blackout.

(There was indeed; but it  transpired that the killer was mentally ill and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.)

These guidelines had been created by one Denis MacShane, who was sacked by the BBC after using a fake name to call a radio phone-in  programme he was working on at the time. During this call he accused the leading Conservative politician Reginald Maudling of being a crook, for which Maudling threatened to sue the BBC. Despite being discredited as a journalist, MacShane remained an NUJ official, even becoming its president.  The distinguished London Times columnist Bernard Levin wrote:

I do not much care to be told how to do my job as a journalist by a journalist who was sacked for professional misconduct, has been unable to find regular employment ever since, and at present lives on a payment which comes out of the  union subscriptions paid by me and my fellow members of the NUJ.

Perhaps the crowning irony is that the BBC sticks rigidly  to the  “Guidelines on Race Reporting”.  So the organisation  obeys the rules of  the man it fired for misconduct.

MacShane then entered politics, becoming Labour MP for  Rotherham in Yorkshire. In this capacity he stole thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money by filing fraudulent expenses claims. In 2012 he had to resign after the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee suspended him for a year for the “gravest” abuse of expenses they had ever seen. He admitted faking 19 invoices totalling £12, 900. He escaped going to prison for fraud only because he insisted the evidence against him was protected by parliamentary privilege and could not be used in court, and the  Commons agreed that this was indeed the case.  MacShane had already trousered  £125,000 over seven years in expenses by claiming his shabby garage was his constituency office.

 

 

October 25, 2014

Sex, Sensibility and the Ordinariate

Sorry to be so derivative recently, but there’s been so much good stuff on the blogosphere, and I felt I just had to share some of it with you. Before I try to compose something original in the coming days,  here’s another bit from Fr John Hunwicke, one of the greatest masters of irony I have ever come across.

When the first wave of Anglican priests was in preparation to be admitted to the presbyterate of the Ordinariate, we all had to go, one by one, to a Church-run centre in Manchester for ‘psychometric’ evaluation.

During one of my interviews, the clergyman interviewing me asked whether there was any part of the Church’s teaching that I had difficulty with. Bishop Newton had very strongly advised us all to be totally honest, so I said `Well, there is something. I have no trouble accepting it theoretically, but I do have problems internalising it, feeling it. To tell you the truth, I feel a little embarrassed mentioning this … ”

`Out with it,` he invited, looking interested. So I explained.

`Particularly when I’m in a big, bustling crowd, I look at all those faces, all apparently with their own preoccupations, everybody pushing everybody else, and I get Big Doubts. I wonder if it really can be true that God has an individual and salvific and interlocking plan for each and every one of them. I know, intellectually, that He does … but …. well ….. particularly in the London rush hour …..`

`No no no,` he replied, perhaps a trifle impatiently. All interest had now faded from his face. `I meant Sex.`

It became clear that the process of ‘evaluation’ had little interest in grilling us to check that we were not closet Monothelites, or a bit dodgy on the question of Usury, but a great concern about our complete conformity to the Church’s official teaching on all matters sexual.

I entirely applaud this. How different things would probably have been in, say, 1974.

But I have been puzzling, during the last fortnight or so, as to why it was deemed so important to check that Ordinariate clergy are 101% orthodox on all questions sexual, while, apparently, Out There some bishops and even cardinals may not be quite so sound. (Do you think they gave Kieran Conry a Psychometrical? Keith O’Brien? Have all the Synod Fathers had one?)

I never did get an answer to my problem about the London rush hour. It is still with me.

October 24, 2014

Knavish imbecility

Yet more on the Synod. The Hermeneutic of Continuity blog  sums the thing up beautifully:

Well that wasn’t a very edifying spectacle was it, the Synod? An outrageously dishonest attempt at procedural manipulation at the highest level, publicly shoved into the turf nose-first by decent men who just couldn’t stomach any more of it. Thanks be to God for Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Burke: at least we have heroes to sing of after the debacle.

I suppose in advance of the follow-up Synod, we now have to face another year of false hopes and unnecessary confusion over Christ’s teaching on marriage and the family while the wrong targets are routinely chosen for praise and blame, promotion and demotion.

Sorry – I have been very busy with pastoral work, haven’t much time to post, wanted to say something, and find it hard to be patient with what has gone on. I was glad to be able to quote Belloc recently to a concerned young man who had not heard his famous words: `The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine; but for unbelievers, here is proof of its divinity, that no merely human institution run with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.`

 

October 23, 2014

The Enigma of Pope Francis

Another wise take on the Synod–and Pope Francis. It’s from Fr Ray Blake’s blog.  It’s obviously been written in a bit of a hurry, so I’ve taken the liberty of straightening out some of the word order and  and punctuation a bit. I hope Father won’t mind.

I must admit I still don’t understand Francis. Is he the greatest thing since unsliced bread, a cunning old Jesuit, a conservative, a trad, a prophet, a fool or even the anti-Christ; a breath of fresh air or the stench from the tomb of those rather detestable men who surrounded the Blessed Paul VI and added to his suffering?

I have never done the Benedict through Francis thing at least, but neither am I entirely convinced of the Francis against Benedict thing. I am still perplexed and confused by him. Perhaps  in Francis, rather than having an Emperor who is wearing no clothes we actually have clothes with no Emperor. I mean those morning homilies that come out of the marble halls of  Santa Martha that are full of barbs but actually teach nothing. Perhaps we should expect nothing!

It is worth remembering that what many of the Cardinals were calling for before the Conclave was a de-centralised Church and greater Collegiality. The BBC, foolish people, have been talking about progressive Francis against the conservative Synod and how he failed to move the Church forward, as if the Synod was solely about the divorced and remarried, or practicing homosexuals. What seems to go under the radar is that for the first time in modern times Cardinals and Bishops have stood up to the Pope and very publicly defied him; some, like the Lion of the Synod Raymond Burke have even dared to demand he do his job and defend the faith, like Paul rebuking Peter.

What has happened in the Synod is that  those of us who would hope that the successor of the Apostle Peter should defend the faith from other Bishops, have turned our gaze from the successor of Peter to the successors of the other Apostles. This I think was the defining action of the Synod: for the first time most Catholics looked to Bishops, not the Pope, to defend the Faith.

October 20, 2014

Jawohl , Mein Kardenal!

Why have the liberal Catholic media made so little fuss about Cardinal Walter Kasper’s patronising and demeaning attitude towards the African bishops participating in the Synod on the family?

This is what he said, in the course of an interview with several journalists, including one from the American National Catholic Register:

The problem…is that there are different problems of different continents and different cultures. Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Moslem countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Moslem countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo. For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects….In Africa of course [their views are listened to], where it’s a taboo…I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa we cannot solve. There must be space also for the local bishops’ conferences to solve their problems but I’d say with Africa it’s impossible [for us to solve]. But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.

Now, in any other context such remarks would have  provoked howls of “racism!” At best, the German Cardinal  has been astonishingly insensitive.  He later tried  to deny that he had given such an interview, but fortunately the reporter from the National Catholic Register, Edward Pentin,  had recorded his words.  It’s not the first time Cardinal Kasper  has put his foot in it like this. He once described landing at London’s Heathrow airport as  similar to arriving in a third world country.

I am not particularly keen on the Rorate Coeli website, but their comment on this episode is but really quite apt:

Master Kasper likes only one kind of African:
muzzled, submissive, and silent,

and who knows his own place

It’s strange how our decadent western  civilisation, like that of ancient Rome, is so favourable towards sodomy, whereas most present-day Africans, like the Germans and Celts of the early centuries A.D. find the very idea quite revolting. Earlier this year the Nigerian hierarchy gave a standing ovation to John Smeaton, founder of Voice of the Family, when he told them: “Bishops around the world should follow the Nigerian bishops’ lead and speak out for strong policies against the subversion  of the truth and meaning of human sexuality.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 18, 2014

The Mods Defeated–at Least for Now

It is at least partly reassuring to learn  from Australian Cardinal George Pell that  the attempted  putsch by modernist bishops at the synod on  the family has been thwarted–at least for the present.  According to the Catholic  News Service, the Cardinal has said  that working-group reports have finally given a true picture of the assembly’s  misleading mid-term report.  

We wanted the Catholic people around the world to know actually what was going on in talking about marriage and the family and, by and large, I think people will be immensely reassured, We’re not giving in to the secular agenda; we’re not collapsing in a heap. We’ve got no intention of following those radical elements in all the Christian Churches and going out of business.

He described  the synod’s mid-term report as tendentious and skewed, and said it didn’t represent accurately the feelings of the synod fathers:

 In the immediate reaction to it, when there was an hour, an hour-and-a-half of discussion, three-quarters of those who spoke had some problems with the document.
A major absence was Scriptural teaching. A major absence was a treatment of the church tradition. The secret for all Catholic vitality is fidelity to the teachings of Christ and to the tradition of the church.


Cardinal Pell said only three of the synod’s 10 small groups had supported the proposal by German Cardinal Walter Kasper to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages.

Communion for the divorced and remarried is for some–very few, certainly not the majority of synod fathers–it’s only the tip of the iceberg, it’s a stalking horse. They want wider changes, recognition of civil unions, recognition of homosexual unions. The church cannot go in that direction. It would be a capitulation from the beauties and strengths of the Catholic tradition, where people sacrificed themselves for hundreds, for thousands of years to do this. If people are heading in the wrong direction, there’s no virtue in the church saying ‘that’s good.’ A lot of people outside won’t accept our views, won’t welcome them, but certainly not the people in the pews, the good people. Our task now is to ask people to pause, to pray, to catch their breath, to realise there’s going to be no abandonment of Catholic doctrine, and to work to diminish the divisions and to prevent any radicalisation of different factions or points of view.

That’s Cardinal Pell’s take on it all. My own view is that we’ve won a battle, but not the war; this modernistic shower will soon return with more knavish tricks. I’m  confirmed  in this belief by the fact that Fr John Hunwicke says much the same (at the end of this quotation):

That Relatio [the mid-term report] was in no sense magisterial but simply an unsubtle attempt by a tiny faction to promote an extreme agenda; unsubtle because they attempted to land their paratroops at least one bridge too far … far further than they could have realistically hoped to get away with. It is very good that they made such a bad mistake.

It is clear that the panic which followed the publication of the Relatio was right over the top…The fathers themselves were determined not to let their Synod be kidnapped in the way that the First Session of the Council was…[R]opy moments have often happened before, and that Black Monday was by no means the ropiest of them. In fact, it was really quite low in the Richter Scale of Ropiness. Ask St Athanasius, when you get a chance.

As Newman found, it helps to keep one’s nerve, having a bit of knowledge of the messiness of Church History.  Joseph Ratzinger, also, showed that an examination of the messiness of earlier Councils enabled one to see Vatican II in a balanced way, and to avoid hysteria.

But it seems to me that… manoeuvring the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [Cardinal Mueller] into the position of being a rebel against the system just has to be one very serious piece of bad politics. The wise general selects a modest and attainable objective and then organises a broad coalition in support before he advances, keeping a prudent eye all the time on his lines of supply to make sure that the enemy doesn’t snip them off with a pincer movement, as happened  when poor  Bruno Forte was hung out to dry  [by Cardinal Peter  Erdo]  .

If I have a fear, it is that their next attempt (because, as somebody once said about a different gang of terrorists, `They haven’t gone away`) will show that they have learned elementary tactics from this particular dismal failure.

A word of explanation for those who haven’t been following events too closely. Archbishop Forte, who appears to have sneaked in his own heterodox views on homosexuality into the Relatio, is the special secretary to the synod  rapporteur Cardinal Erdo, who blew his cover.