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Monthly Archives: October 2017

October 31st, 2017

The Great Reformer and Anti-Semite

I shall give you my sincere advice. First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever see a stone or cinder of them…Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed…Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them…Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely  for the Jews…..

If I had not experience with my papists, it would have seemed incredible to me that the earth should harbour such base people [as the Jews] who knowingly fly in the face of open and manifest truth, that is, God himself. For I never expected to encounter such hardened minds in any human breast, but only in that of the devil. However, I am no longer amazed by either the Turks’ or the Jews’ blindness, obduracy and malice, since I have to witness the same thing in the most holy fathers of the church, in pope, cardinals and bishops.

On the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, which is being commemorated with enthusiasm not just by Protestants, but by Pope Francis and many Cardinals and bishops, it is worth recording that the two passages I quote above were written by  the great heresiarch himself, in his treatise On the Jews and Their Lies. 

When Julius Streicher, editor of the anti-Semitic Der Sturmer was on trial at Nuremberg, he  defended himself thus: “Dr. Martin Luther would very probably sit in my place in the defendants’ dock today, if this book had been taken into consideration by the prosecution. In the book, The Jews and Their Lies, Dr. Martin Luther writes that the Jews are a serpent’s brood and one should burn down their synagogues and destroy them…”





October 30th, 2017

Pulling Down Statues

My favourite “Neo Catholic” (orthodox but not Traditionalist) magazine is the American New Oxford Review which comes out 10 times a year. It’s always challenging. October’s issue contains a rather crass unsigned piece welcoming the removal of Confederate monuments in the American South. What particularly got up my nose was the way the writer drew a parallel between Robert E. Lee and Saddam Hussein—and he drags in not just Saddam,  but even the Nuremberg trials.

The American civil war was about far more than slavery: the struggle was concerned primarily with the preservation of the United States. President Abraham Lincoln himself asserted as much: In his letter to Horace Greeley he wrote:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it…  What I do about slavery or the coloured race I do because I believe it helps save the union.

General Lee, a man with a strong sense of honour and duty, seems to have been somewhat ambivalent about slavery. He agonised about whether to support his own state of Virginia or the United States, but when Virginia joined the Confederacy, he decided he must choose Virginia, and was put at the head of the Southern army. The NOR writer believes Lee’s statue should come down because he was “the leader of an enemy force that killed Americans”. That’s overly simplistic. William Tecumsheh Sherman, the Union general who took the Confederate surrender, was also the leader of an enemy force that killed Americans—in the view of  the southerners. He also quite deliberately made war on civilians, particularly in his march through Georgia.

Perhaps the most balanced comment came from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who fought on the Federal side:

We believed that it was most desirable that the North should win, we believed in the principle that the Union is indissoluble, we, or many of us at least, also believed that the conflict was inevitable, and that slavery had lasted long enough. But we equally believed that those who stood against us held just as sacred convictions that were the opposite of ours, and we respected them as every man with a heart must respect those who give all for their belief.


October 27th, 2017

Sodomistic Pseudogamy

This sermon by Fr John Lankeit of Phoenix, Arizona is the best I’ve yet heard on the bogus topic of “Gay Marriage”. It lasts about 15 minutes, and shouldn’t be missed.


October 21st, 2017

Don’t Give up the Ghost

I’ve said before that I greatly prefer “Holy Ghost” to “Holy Spirit” even if the former is a bit old-fashioned. I’m glad to say that Fr Zed is of the same opinion, but he’s able to explain it far more cogently than I. His blog says:

As far as I’m concerned we can use both, interchangeably.

Well… maybe not…

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;…


Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;

Nope.  Ghost, hands down.

I’m pretty sure that we English speakers have traditionally used Holy Ghost because of early translations of Holy Writ, namely the King James Bible and the Douay Rheims, even though both those Bibles use both Ghost and Spirit (fewer times).  The KJV capitalized “Ghost” when it was certain that the Third Person of the Trinity was involved.

Ghost, related to German Geist (which is used today for the Holy Spirit), in its roots is any sort of spirit.  “Ghost” often translated Bible Greek pneuma and Latin spiritus.

It became a matter of common parlance. People memorized traditional prayers with Ghost.  We sang hymns with Ghost.

I think we should also use archaic words in our prayers, private and congregational.  Prayer should be from and of the heart, but we can use the richness of our language to express ourselves, even in solidarity with our forebears.

Also, over time it seems that translators had a strong feeling for “ghost” as a personal being, though not in the sense of a phantasm that needed “busters”.  I wonder if, today, with the way “spirit” has become so diluted in meaning, “ghost” might not make a profitable comeback.

Any way, I don’t like the idea that we have to surrender to contemporary fashion in language.  Old language is also good, so long as it communicates what it is intended to communicate.  I don’t think all the old words are about to give up the ghost quite yet.





October 20th, 2017

The Poisonous Fruits of Silence

Our Holy Father having declined  to clear up the confusion caused by Amoris Laetitia, one can only assume that this confusion is deliberate. He seems quite happy some bishops are teaching  that it’s OK to give Holy Communion to unrepentant adulterers.

The Catholic Church hasn’t been in such a mess since around the time of the Council of Nicaea in the fourth century. Here’s how Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman described the situation that obtained then:

 …the body of the episcopate was unfaithful to its commission  … at one time the pope, at other times a patriarchal, metropolitan, or other great see, at other times general councils, said what they should not have said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed truth … I say, that there was a temporary suspense of the functions of the Ecclesia docens. The body of bishops failed in their confession of the faith. They spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, after Nicaea, of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, for nearly sixty years …

Faced with the appalling thought that, barring the Second Coming, the present chaotic situation may continue for half a century or more, what are the faithful laity to do? Knowing that the Church will return to sanity eventually, even if most of us don’t live to see it, I suppose we just have to keep praying, praising—and protesting as well. To put it in a purely secular context, remember the words of  Winston Churchill, and “just keep buggering on”.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, at a recent conference on Fatima in Buckfast Abbey, excoriated the failure of the Church’s leaders to live up to their calling:

The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests. For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually. The poisonous fruits of the failure of the Church’s pastors is seen in a manner of worship, of teaching and of moral discipline which is not in accord with Divine Law.

Fr  John Hunwicke  has told readers of his blog he is sure there is a providential purpose in all this, “and I pray that I may be enabled ever more profoundly to embrace the humiliations permitted by the Divine Will”. He suspects that the  Buckfast Conference, and not least Cardinal Burke’s powerful address,  may go down in history as one of the significant moments in the recovery, the “fight-back”, of orthodoxy.









October 6th, 2017

Absolute Monarchy and Unthinking Papolatry

The blog Ignatius His Conclave predicts that there will be no answer from Pope Francis to the recent “Filial Correction”, and explains why.


The ‘Filial Correction’, by 62 clergy and scholars, which has recently been launched detailing accusations of heresy against Pope Francis has already been dismissed by Francis’s supporters.

One described it as a ‘flea-bite to an elephant’, alluding to the fact that few names of international repute (and no members of the hierarchy) have signed the letter…..

No matter.

The ‘Correctio’ is significant for two reasons: the first is that it is virtually unprecedented; the second that it is the only way remaining to express what is an increasing body of dissent in Europe’s only surviving Absolute Monarchy – bolstered as it is by an unthinking Papolatry, which is itself inimical to the Church’s well-being.

The Filial Correction and its signatories, along with a summary statement and press release, can be viewed at www.correctiofilialis.org.

In the more febrile sections of the Church media there has already been speculation about how Pope Francis will react to the ‘Filial Correction’.  Such speculation only goes to show how little the current Vatican policy is understood in such circles.

Buoyed up by popularity in the secular press, Francis does not need to pay heed (as his silence over the dubia has shown) to the opinion of Catholics. He can go over their heads and appeal to the post-Christian majority, who share his opinions.

Expect no response, therefore.  The dignity of absolute monarchy is best maintained by silence.