Home > Straws For The Camel's Back > Issue 1: May 22, 2014

Issue 1: May 22, 2014

Blubbie Mickens and ‘The Rat’


How careless of the Tablet’s Rome correspondent Robert Mickens to have so clearly demonstrated his hatred and contempt for Pope Benedict XVI! But how gratifying—and surprising when you come to think of it—that the top brass at Britain’s flagship modernist Catholic magazine decided Mickens’ offence was damaging enough to merit his suspension..

Many Brandsma readers may be unaware of this episode, so here is a brief resumé:

At the beginning of March, Pope Francis made the 98­ year ­old former secretary to Blessed John Paul II, Loris Francisco Capovilla, a cardinal. A thoughtful and appropriate gesture.

Then in a Facebook exchange, Mickens asked : “Do you think he’ll make it to the Rat’s funeral?”

To which one Chris Grady replied that he hoped the aged cardinal would be well enough to celebrate Pope John’s canonisation—“plus one other”. (The “one other” is Blessed Pope John Paul II.) “The Rat’s funeral the next day would be a bonus,” added Mr Grady..

As it happens, I know a certain Chris Grady, but of course it can’t be the same one. This acquaintance, based in England, has several times ordered books from Francis Book Sales— including missals, etc—and once called to our house. We have been in e­mail correspondence several times, and he seems a reasonable fellow. Religiously, he seems modernistically inclined but not viciously so.

The Chris Grady involved in the Facebook exchange with Mickens and others is very different.  Gratuitous abuse of Benedict XVI and what one can only describe as a pathological detestation of traditional and conservative Catholics.  And evidence of a grotesquely dirty mind. God knows, my own imagination is hardly as pure as the West Virginia snow. But it took me some time to work out what Grady meant when attacking one of the leaders of the Society of St Pius X. He used an expression incorporating this prelate’s name to signify a deviant sexual practice. I will not elucidate.

As for Bobbie Mickens—or Blubbie as he was dubbed after weeping in public after the election of Pope Benedict—well, don’t expect him to remain suspended for very long. Let’s wait and see. As Fr Ray Blake, a most perceptive blogger, has pointed out, you can tell a lot about a man, (or even a magazine) by the friends he (or it) keeps.

Mr Mickens’s supporters have denied—quite absurdly—that there was anything hateful in his use of the term “the Rat”. Of course it was full of bile; both Mickens and Grady would apparently like to see Benedict dead, or why refer to the Pope Emeritus’ funeral in such a way?

In another context, of course, the nickname might be used with affection, and even admiration.

When Pope Benedict freed up the old Latin Mass, many of us cheered “Good old Ratty!”




How’s This for ‘Compassion’?


Yes, the internet can perform a very useful service by revealing the true state of mind of cynical anti-­life journalists .

Here in Ireland Kitty Holland, the Irish Times reporter who “broke ” the story of Savita Halappanavar with a pro­abortion slant has revealed what a truly nasty piece of goods she really is.

It happened like this: Someone calling him or herself “@prolifestuff” tweeted a link to a very moving story of a father dying of pancreatic cancer. As he obviously wouldn’t be able to attend his little daughter’s wedding when she eventually gets married, her father surprised her on her birthday by walking down the aisle in a mock wedding to give her a nice memory to look back on when she is older. (It’s not the kind of thing I would do myself in similar circumstances, but that’s not the point.)

The repellent Ms Holland replied to this tweet as follows:

“@prolifestuff walks 11­year­old daughter down the aisle!! The anti­choice crowd into child brides now! !??”

Keep this in mind the next time Kitty Holland or the Irish Times lectures pro­lifers for a lack of compassion.

My acknowledgments to Hibernicus for drawing my attention to this revealing episode.




No Royal Male Queens


It has been drawn to my attention that the introduction of homosexual pseudogamy in Britain is having unforeseen and rather hilarious consequences. If a future king “marries” another man, the new law solemnly states that such a partner will not be entitled to call himself “Queen”. And if the monarch’s heir marries a man, that man will not become Princess of Wales. Similarly, to ensure that these exciting legal changes are smoothly integrated into British society, if a Duke or an Earl “marries” a male, that male will not get the title Duchess, Countess or Lady.

Rather more ominously, the terms Husband and Wife are to be removed from all legislation and replaced by “male spouse” and “female spouse”. The word “widow” will no longer be recognised, being replaced by “female spouse of a deceased partner”. Can you imagine anything like this happening, say, 20 years ago?

Apparently, in his rush to placate the militant homosexual lobby, David Cameron did not realise that over two thousand legislative changes would be needed. Hundreds of Civil Servants were diverted from projects such as flood relief to take care of this huge and worthy task.

Acts of Parliament dating back over 700 years have had to be amended. These include even the Treason Act of 1351, which makes it high treason to “violate the King’s companion” or that of the heir. A government spokeswoman explained that it would still be high treason to have intercourse with a king’s wife—but not his husband. Other changes will affect long­standing legislation covering inheritance, taxation, social security and children.

The British Conservatives are so anxious to be considered nice, compassionate, and politically correct, so keen finally to slough off the “Nasty Party” label, that Tory media spokespersons frequently raise this subject of “gay marriage” as evidence of how truly progressive they have become. Whether this will improve their electoral prospects is most doubtful. I suspect that if the United Kingdom Independence Party were to proclaim that they would repeal this ridiculous Act in the unlikely event of their achieving power at Westminster, they would gain considerable support. (I don’t know if the UKIP leader Nigel Farage is a very estimable individual, but I always enjoy his knockabout media appearances. His crushing defeat of the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in their EU debates on BBC television was a real tour de force.)




Friggin’ Eunuchs and Man­Grabbers


Having cast off the shackles of royalty and aristocracy, we in Ireland will avoid some of these problems when we too introduce marriage rights for “gay” citizens. But never fear: there will still be plenty of extra work for Gaeilgeori civil servants when it comes to drafting legislation in the First Official Language. In previous legal reforms, Irish language experts sometimes had to invent new words from scratch—or so I was informed by former colleagues in the RTÉ Newsroom.

I know only a few phrases of Irish, but I recall that during the push for “family planning” in the 1970s, the late John Healy of the Irish Times pointed out that the Irish for “contraceptive” sounds like “friggin’ eunuch”. Seems appropriate. A learned Irish scholar informs me that the word referred to by Healy is frithghiniúnach, based on the verbal noun frithghiniúint. It’s a twentieth-century neologism.

The Welsh have had some problems finding a politically­correct expression for “homosexual”. There have been complaints from the expected quarters that the commonly­used Welsh dictionary entry for homosexual translates literally as “man­grabber”.




Thirsty Majesty


While we still more or less are on the subject of Queens, the late Queen Elizabeth the British Queen Mother, who died some years ago aged over 100, was a lady of fixed habits. In common with Michael Collins, she always smoked Three Castles, but she also liked to be served with a gin and tonic at a fixed time before dinner. In one of the royal palaces, there was a preponderance of homosexuals among the staff. After waiting over half an hour, Her Majesty is reported to have picked up the telephone and announced: “I don’t know what you old queens are up to down there, but there’s an Old Queen up here who’s dying of thirst.”




Homofascism on the March


No movement, except communism and fascism, has practised censorship more rigidly than those who bellow for the abolition of all controls.

—Mary Whitehouse


It is already socially infra dig. to refer to active homosexuality in tones other than those of total acceptance and respect, or to point out that sodomy is not only dangerous and insanitary but also, objectively, a deadly sin. I’d like to make a prediction. In the not too distant future, probably within 10 years, it will be a punishable offence at law (probably a “hate crime”) to state the perennial Catholic and biblical teaching on the subject.

This will be the case in most of the Americas, in the whole of Western Europe including Ireland, and in many other countries. The Moslem world and much of Africa will be exceptions. But most proper Catholics and genuine evangelicals will fall victim to what churchmilitant.tv has described as “homofascism”. Here’s how that term is defined:

…a way of organising a society in which homosexualists impose their agenda with which no one is to disagree or to have any appeal to the contrary without being subjected to severe consequences of ridicule, slander, libel, fines, public demonstrations, distortions, denial of free speech rights, loss of employment, and of having he word “hate” attached to you in some form.

Let’s take a look at how we have already come down this road. In Ireland, we have had the dreadful and well­documented hounding of the exceptional journalist John Waters who expressed some moderate and well­argued opinions on the undesirability of homosexual practices.

Elsewhere, the following episodes were reported in the space of just over seven days:

A Church of Scotland minister lost his job as a chaplain because he criticised, on Facebook, the legalisation of same­sex “marriage” in Scotland; a Catholic school in Massachusetts is undergoing a state investigation for withdrawing a job offer to a man when it discovered he was “married” to another man; the municipal authorities in Rome are proposing a ban on Father’s Day activities in schools where children might come from lesbian “same­sex parent” homes; a Canadian man has filed a human rights complaint against his former Catholic schoolfor “a pattern of homophobia”; also in Canada, homosexual activists are threatening demonstrations and gathering petition signatures to prevent a pro­family American from speaking to a pro­life conference.; homosexualists are boycotting an Oregon natural foods store before it even opens its doors because the owner supports traditional marriage. They are also lining up boycotts of store suppliers; homosexualists have successfully organised an annual “Day of Silence” in public schools across the United States to “eradicate conservative moral beliefs”; Disney is threatening to withdraw funding to the Boy Scouts unless they allow homosexual scoutmasters; an American Catholic teacher is suing his former Catholic school employer after being fired for “marrying” his homosexual partner; a New Mexico husband and wife wedding photography team lost their bid in the US Supreme Court challenging a state “sexual orientation” law for refusing to photograph a lesbian same­sex union. They had to pay $6,000.

And perhaps scariest of all: qualified theologian Sister Jane Dominic of Aquinas College has been forced to take leave of absence and cancel her speaking engagements after her reiteration of Catholic teaching on homosexuality gave offence to some parents and pupils at a Catholic school in North Carolina.

One week’s work by the homofascist lobby.




OK, I’m Homophobic


It is customary for anyone putting his or her head over the parapet by criticising homofascism to preface their remarks by insisting that of course they are in no way homophobic. Well, as “homophobia”, if it has any real meaning at all, must mean fear of aggressive homosexualism, I have to put my hands up. You bet I’m scared of the “gay lobby”! I’m scared of any group that is campaigning, with ever-­increasing success, to suppress my right to disagree with it.

Having said which, I have the greatest sympathy for those struggling, with more or less success, to resist temptation to serious sin in this area, or indeed any other. (As someone important said: “Who am I to judge?”)

But that will make the homofascists even crosser…




Robbo the Warmo­Fascist


It’s not only the militant homos who are guilty of neo­fascism, but I was a bit surprised to hear the establishment arch­liberal Mary Robinson (remember her as “the President with a Purpose”? being so dictatorial on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about climate change.

Because it is now official group­think that man­made global warning is an established fact, Mrs Robinson says the media should stop giving the anti­warmists equal air time and column inches. (I hadn’t noticed that they ever did so.)




Greenpeace Rules in Schools


And in Britain, I see that one youngster, who got straight A-­levels in all his science papers, and had acquired extensive knowledge of climate science, failed an exam in general studies when he pointed out that “source materials” on climate change.were riddled with basic errors. When his mother paid to have his paper independently assessed, the new examiner conceded that the boy’s answer was well informed and well structured. But he was still failed: he hadn’t parrotted the warmist party line.

As Christopher Booker pointed out in the Sunday Telegraph, generations of schoolchildren have been taught to accept as gospel nothing but a propagandist, Greenpeace-­type view of the global warming scare. Yet the British Education Act of 1996 requires that pupils should be taught in a balanced way and allowed to form their own view of the evidence.

And the lefty neo­fascists accuse the Catholic Church of brainwashing…




Passion Play Banned


I can hardly believe this, but Oxford city council banned a public Passion Play scheduled for Good Friday because, they said, officials “thought it was a sex show” Either they are telling the truth, in which case public ignorance of Christian tradition has plumbed new depths; or else they are not— which would indicate a remarkable degree of anti-­religious malice. In previous years the play has been performed in the streets of Cowley without incident.

Have these people really never heard of Mel Gibson’s film?




Now That’s a Relief


Proof that Pope Francis is not about to concede one of the top items on the liberal wish­list by getting a new, “liturgically ­correct” Master of Ceremonies: L’Osservatore Romano reported in mid ­March that the Holy Father has confirmed Don Guido Marini in the post for a further five years. That should mean that papal liturgical ceremonies will be reverent and orthodox, as they were under Benedict XVI.

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