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December 9, 2014

Gall, woodworm and the ‘gay lifestyle’

Here’s a repeat of the Straws for the Camel’s Back column from Issue 41 in 1999.

It was Pope Pius XI, I believe, who remarked “I have-a to shake hands with Say Ten a hundred times a day!” He was referring to many of the international statesmen he was obliged to receive in audience, some of whom were working for the overthrow of the Church; others of whom were living notoriously immoral lives.

None of this, of course, applies to our President. But I think if Pope John Paul had been well briefed about Mary McAleese before she visited him earlier  this month, he might have asked whether she intended bringing a can of Cuprinol. You may recall how she once suggested that the Holy Father was suffering from woodworm because he had reiterated the Church’s constant teaching on an all-male priesthood. Not long after that, constantly billed by the media as a “fervent” or “devout” Catholic, she was elected President of Ireland.

It is a strange, selective variety of Catholicism. In spite of her promotion of priestesses, she appears to be entirely orthodox on many issues, including contraception, although she has dropped her once-vehement opposition to divorce. She sees nothing wrong with very publicly receiving a Protestant eucharist in Christ Church Cathedral, even though a learned Oxford Dominican has pointed out that this action amounts to at least formal apostasy.

Oddest of all, she has given her blessing to a leaflet aimed at parents, promoting acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. And the most recent Gay Community News says:

President Mary McAleese is to visit outhouse, Dublin’s centre for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community on April 16. She will be shown round the building and meet some of the groups and other users of the centre. “Her visit will help highlight the work of outhouse and show the community in a positive light,” said outhouse Co-ordinator Terry Canavan.


Good Liturgy’ Guide

A giant stride towards the Mickey Mouse Mass: a distraught parishioner of St Peter’s, Phibsboro, in Dublin (“Serving the Community in the Spirit of St Vincent de Paul”) has sent us their Newsletter, in which we learn that the Sunday “missalettes” are to be replaced, in the interests of “active liturgy”. I always thought that was why those scrappy little pamphlets were forced upon us in the first place.

A piece by one Helen Walsh, Liturgist, points out that :“Missalettes drain our parish resources.” She continues:

They limit the choice of eucharistic prayer to that which has been provided

on the missalette. They limit the hymns which can be sung by making somewhat inappropriate or downright boring musical suggestions

St Peter’s is a parish committed to good liturgy and for this reason the liturgical council in collaboration with Fr Sean and Jean Martin [Ms Jean Martin is described on the back of the newsletter as “Administrator”] have decided to replace the Sunday missalettes with a more appropriate form…

And what form will this more appropriate form take? Ms Walsh, Liturgist, enlightens us:

Musical decisions will be unlimited and the scope for presiders to choose their own eucharistic prayer will be widened, since none will be on the new missalette.

In omitting the main body of the liturgy of the Eucharist, the new missalette will encourage us all to active liturgy; not simply a manual-read-along approach encouraged by the former.

Presumably this means that if the congregation don’t think the “presider” is making the Mass exciting enough, they can jizz things up by joining in extempore whenever they feel like it.


The Quality of Mercy…

I wonder what kind of liturgical star-rating Ms Walsh, Ms Martin and Fr Sean would award the following, from a leaflet produced by a Mercy Convent for their Leaving Certificate Mass.


If God had a name what would it be?

and would you call it to his face.

If you were faced with him and all his glory

what would you ask if you had just one question?

And yeah yeah God is great,

Yeah, yeah God is good,

Yeah, yeah, yeah what if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger

on the bus, tryin’ to make his way home.

If God had a face, what would it look like?

And would you wanna see? If seeing meant

that you would have to believe, in things like

heaven and in Jesus and the saints, and all the


And yeah…

Tryin’ to make his way home, back up to

heaven all alone,

Nobody calling on the phone, ‘cept for the

Pope maybe in Rome.


Beware of Tridophobia

Tridophobia: Trid’* o*pho ‘bi*a. n.[fr.L Tridentum, Trent + Gk phobos, fear, flight]: An exaggerated fear and loathing of traditional Catholic dogma and ritual, commonly afflicting inhabitants of chanceries and seminaries in North America and Western Europe. Typically associated with dissent from the magisterium, liturgical renewal, feminism, ecumania, paradigm-shifting and tree-hugging. Victims report acute seizures provoked by sightings of soutanes, tabernacles, maniples, monstrances, statuary, reredos, pious devotions and Roman Missals [editio typica 1962 or before].

Full cardiac arrest has resulted from accidental exposure to such stimuli as smoking thuribles and Latin chants. Indications include amnesia; those stricken often recall no ecclesiastical events that occurred prior to October 11, 1962. No cure exists, although literature reports that a quasi-tridophobic population in Albi, France, was once remediated by a process known as a crusade.

(With acknowledgments to Una Voce Rochester and the Newsletter of the English and Welsh Latin Mass Society.)


Mayo Man of Letters

Can one of our many Co. Mayo readers explain why EC Commissioner P. Flynn—who last year celebrated the feast of St Valentine, patron saint of romantic love, by sending out 300,000 condoms—is still so highly respected in the county? I cannot believe that most Co. Mayo people would share the the opinion of columnist Fintan O’Toole (darling of The Rut,the Religious Press Association and the National Union of Priests) that Mr Flynn’s action was a “decent and proper gesture”.

I fear the only answer I shall receive will be the one President Clinton gave to his critics: “It’s the economy, stupid!”


Painful Pleasures

From the British Medical Journal I learn that more than 68 million Americans now have an incurable sexually transmitted disease such as herpes, human papilloma virus infection, hepatitis B, or HIV infection. One American in five over the age of 12 has genital herpes. By the age of 24, one in three “sexually active” people in the US has had an STD.

How you seen any outcry in the media about these appalling statistics? No, nor have I. The reason is because the only way to be sure of avoiding these diseases is not to fornicate or engage in sodomy. And lifelong faithfulness to one person is “unacceptable” to our opinion-formers.

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