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Monthly Archives: November 2016

November 25th, 2016

A thoroughly modern Mod’s favourite things

With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein

This is from the latest Eccles blogpost. He just gets better and better.

Masses with puppets and tambourine jingles,
Long-lasting “kisses of peace”, where one mingles,
Rich German bishops all wrapped up in bling,
These are a few of my favourite things.

 Cardinal Kasper and all his new teaching,
All of Pope Francis’s aeroplane preaching,
Amoris Laetitia, and all that it brings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Wacky professors who’d ordain some females,
People who sit in the Mass reading e-mails,
Paul Inwood’s music, which everyone sings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

traditional Latin Mass

When the priest prays, when the choir sings,
When I meet a “Trad”,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

November 19th, 2016

Pope Francis ‘Boiling with Rage’

Remember Edward Pentin? He’s the reporter who proved conclusively, using his tape recorder,  that Cardinal Walter Kasper was not only a liar but a racist as well. Thanks to Mr Pentin we know that Kasper doesn’t like African prelates: they tend to be far too orthodox.

It now appears that Ed Pentin has got another scoop. His sources within the papal residence Santa Marta have told him the Holy Father is “boiling with rage”  about the questions on Amoris Laetitia  put to him by four Cardinals, including Cardinal Raymond Burke.

After the cardinals went public with their yes-or-no questions, or dubia, Pope Francis seems to have been shamed into giving some kind of evasive non-answer in La Stampa, without mentioning the four cardinals, but criticising “a certain legalism”.  “Some people”, he said,  thought issues were “black and white”, but in  the course of life we were called upon to “discern”. Which reminds me of the pro-aborts during the original Eighth Amendment debate, who kept on telling us that abortion was not “a black and white issue”.

At the consistory this weekend, the Holy Father cancelled a preliminary session, where cardinals are  accustomed to raise issues of concern.  No reason was given, but you won’t be surprised to learn there is speculation that other cardinals besides the Four may have wanted to ask Pope Francis about the dubia.

November 15th, 2016

Pope Snubs Faithful Cardinals

At last! Four faithful cardinals have stuck their necks out and  challenged Pope Francis to explain exactly what he means in Amoris Laetitia. Is he saying it’s sometimes OK to commit adultery or is he not? Yes or No?

They wrote the letter privately on September 19. As it’s now quite clear the Holy Father has no intention of replying, they have gone public.

What can one conclude from the papal silence? There’s only one possible answer: As St Thomas More said at his trial, “Silence gives consent”.  The Pope  doesn’t want to clear up the ambiguities, because he prefers confusion to clarity, darkness to light. Theologians, priests and bishops can go on giving different interpretations. That way, there is a doubt, and some of those living in irregular situations will take advantage of the doubt and receive Holy Communion. But as far as the Holy Father is concerned, it’s a case of the old Irish expression: “Mind you, I’ve said nothing.”

It is contemptible.

The four cardinals are Raymond Burke (of course!), Walter Brandmüller,  Carlo Caffarra, and Joachim Meisner. Cardinal Burke is the only one who is not retired.  Fr John Hunwicke says it must be a matter of grief that other Cardinals and locorum Ordinarii have felt unable to join this initiative because they still have diocesan or curial responsibilities. The Holy Father has several times shown his willingness to sack those who decline to go long with his novel ideas. Maybe we should call him the Merciful Martinet.

The Cardinals’ letter tells the Pope of the “uncertainty, confusion, and disorientation among many of the faithful” stemming from Amoris Laetitia. They explain that they are “compelled in conscience by our pastoral responsibility” to call on Pope Francis “with profound respect” to give answer to the questions posed,  reminding him that as Pope he is “called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith” and to “resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity”.

UPDATE ON NOVEMBER 18th: I am grateful to a reader identifying himself as “James”, who sent me an article from the New Oxford Review, which he submitted as a comment. I quote two short extracts here:

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said it may be necessary to make a “formal act of correction” if Pope Francis doesn’t answer a letter from four cardinals asking him to clarify aspects of Amoris Laetitia. In an interview with Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register, Cardinal Burke said that if the Pope were to teach error or heresy, “It is the duty in such cases, and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and to ask him to correct it.”….

…Such an act of formal correction would be extremely unusual. One example is the challenge to Pope John XXII in the 1330s. He had publicly taught – though only as his personal opinion – that souls in heaven would not actually see God until the Final Judgment, a teaching contrary to Church doctrine.

In response, several theologians challenged Pope John. A few were punished, but the Pope backed down after a joint letter by theologians from the University of Paris, under the leadership of Paludanus, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The letter professed total obedience to John, but affirmed that the teachings being attributed to him were contrary to the Catholic faith. Before his death John withdrew his heretical opinion.

November 9th, 2016

A Burning Question

Recently Ms Christina Odone, former editress of the Catholic Herald , got in quite a tizzy over Rome’s insistence that in the case of cremation, the ashes of the dead must not be kept by relatives at home, or scattered at sea or over the countryside. The decree came not from the Holy Father but from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but Ms Odone blames Pope Francis for allowing it to be promulgated.

Personally, I wish that cremation itself was still forbidden.  As a soldier in Brunswick I can remember seeing dark grey smoke pouring from the chimney of the Krematorium just across the road from our Kaserne (barracks), and being reminded unavoidably of Auschwitz.   A couple of years earlier my school headmaster Dom Wilfrid Passmore OSB, defending the Church’s ban on cremation told us that—at least in the 1950s—the bones of the deceased were crushed between rollers, and that was no way to treat the temple of the Holy Ghost.

Today it’s possible to view the process on line. As I needed to get my facts right before writing this blogpost, I thought I had better do so. So I googled the word “cremation” and after some initial hesitation I opened the site. It’s certainly not pleasant, although there’s no sign of any rollers.  But the reality is almost worse. After cremation the bones are still very much there, so two fellows with what look like garden hoes smash the skull and the other fragments into small pieces.

No, the immemorial Catholic  instinct in favour of burial rather than burning is a sound one. It wouldn’t be so bad if the body were put on a great funeral pyre.  As Chesterton once put it:

If I had been a heathen, I’d have piled my pyre on high

And in a great red whirlwind gone roaring to the sky.

But Higgins is a heathen, and a richer man than I;

And they put him in an oven, just as if he were a pie.

During the Spanish civil war, when the Alcázar  of Toledo was relieved by Nationalist forces after a long siege, it was noticed that much of the available empty ground had been used as a cemetery for the fallen.  When a journalist asked Colonel José Moscardó, commander of the garrison, why they hadn’t burned the bodies  instead of burying them, his reply was: “Sir, we are Catholics.”

November 1st, 2016

The Queer Face of Nazism

At the end of my last post, I noted that some militant sodomites are  now actually  beginning to admit that a large percentage of  Nazi activists liked their vice versa.  “Gay”  propagandists have tended to portray  homosexuals living in the Third Reich as martyrs, despite the fact that one of Hitler’s leading henchmen, Ernst Roehm, was known to be actively, unashamedly queer. In the end Hitler had Roehm  murdered— not for sodomy  but because the Führer believed Roehm was plotting to take over the party. In fact, it seems,  many other Nazi officials were involved in homosexual activity.

Writing in the Huffington Post blog, Johann Hari who describes himself as “a gay left-wing man” admits that although this has been a taboo topic for people like him to touch, there has always been “a weird, disproportionate overlap” between homosexuality and fascism.  Indeed, he goes further:  “With the exception of Jean-Marie Le Pen, all the most high-profile fascists in Europe in the past 30 years have been gay.” (Leaving aside the fact that Le Pen is not a fascist, much less a Nazi, this is quite an admission.)

Hari has an interesting take on Roehm’s involvement with Nazism:

Along with Adolf Hitler, Roehm was the founding father of Nazism. Born to conservative Bavarian civil servants in 1887, Ernst Roehm’s life began – in his view – in the ‘heroic’ trenches of the First World War. Like so many of the generation who formed the Nazi Party, he was nurtured by and obsessed with the homoerotic myth of the trenches – heroic, beautiful boys prepared to die for their brothers and their country.

Image result for ernst roehm

                                                                        Ernst Roehm   

 He emerged from the war with a bullet-scarred face and a reverence for war. As he put it in his autobiography, ‘Since I am an immature and wicked man, war and unrest appeal to me more than the good bourgeois order.’ After being disbanded, he tried half-heartedly to get a foothold in civilian life, but he saw it as alien, bourgeois, boring…

It was Roehm who first spotted the potential of a soap-box ranter called Adolf Hitler. He saw him as the demagogue he needed to mobilize support for his plan to overthrow democracy and establish a ‘soldier’s state’ where the army ruled untrammelled. He introduced the young fascist to local politicians and military leaders; they knew him for many years as ‘Roehm’s boy’. Gay historian Frank Rector notes, ‘Hitler was, to a substantial extent, Roehm’s protégé. Roehm integrated Hitler into his underground movement to overthrow the Weimar Republic…

He talked openly about his fondness for gay bars and Turkish baths, and was known for his virility. He believed that gay people were superior to straights, and saw homosexuality as a key principle of his proposed Brave New Fascist Order. As historian Louis Snyder explains, Rohm ‘projected a social order in which homosexuality would be regarded as a human behaviour pattern of high repute… He flaunted his homosexuality in public and insisted his cronies do the same. He believed straight people weren’t as adept at bullying and aggression as homosexuals, so homosexuality was given a high premium in the SA.’ They promoted an aggressive, hypermasculine form of homosexuality, condemning ‘hysterical women of both sexes’, in reference to feminine gay men.

Most of these facts are confirmed in an anti-homo book called The Pink Swastika, now in its fifth edition. Yet Hari is severely critical of The Pink Swastika, clearly because the authors refuse to buy into the idea that thousands of homosexuals who were sent to concentration camps deserve martyr status like the Jews, the gipsies and other groups.  The Pink Swastika effectively demolishes the idea that despite the proven homosexuality of many of its leading figures Nazism was essentially prejudiced against sodomy. It is true that thousands of homosexuals were sent to the concentration camps, but that was not because of their sexual proclivities but because they were believed – like Roehm – to be plotting to overthrow Hitler.