Home > Tag Archives: Irish Times

Tag Archives: Irish Times

March 27th, 2017

Those Nasty Homophobic Russkis

Guess where this  piece of Political Correctness comes from.

 A troubling alliance of religion and nationalism is uncovered by Marcel Theroux in Russia, where state-sponsored TV and the Orthodox church promote an agenda of homophobia, anti-abortion and barely concealed misogyny in the guise of faith and ‘family values’.

My old alma mater The Guardian? The New Statesman? The RTÉ Guide, perhaps?  Or maybe our own lovely Irish Times, which we used to call the D’Olier Street Pravda (ironic, that, when you come to think of it).

None of the above. It’s from the television page of what used to be sneeringly called the “Torygraph” —the Daily Telegraph, which now allows its young officer class to defy what was, until recently that paper’s  policy of defending what remains of Christian civilisation in Britain. Week after week editor Charles Moore, a Catholic convert, still writes witty and very readable articles advancing the case for conservatism with a small c, but his features staff and some of his columnists are allowed a free hand in expressing their progressive prejudices.

Somewhat masochistically, I decided to watch the Theroux programme, and it was far more balanced than you would have expected from the above quotation.

It began with an Epiphany  ceremony on an ice-bound lake. A priest chanted prayers while men, women and children in swimming attire crossed themselves from right to left and then one by one jumped into a hole in the ice. This penance would probably have killed me, and it was impossible not to admire the penitential spirit of all concerned. Theroux interviewed one layman who recalled that as recently as the 1960s the Communist authorities would have banned such a display of faith. You don’t have to be a fan of Putin to think the Russians may be on to something these days.

Theroux gave the impression (possibly correct) that Orthodoxy has experienced an astonishing revival in recent years. It certainly  has no truck with the kind of modernism now undermining the Catholic Church throughout the western world.  One broadcaster was questioned about the Orthodox lack of tolerance for homosexuality which Theroux  regarded as reprehensible (the lack of tolerance, not homosexuality). Well,  replied the broadcaster, the Bible condemns sodomy, so we do too.

One inspiring sequence which clearly impressed Theroux concerned a middle-aged woman who had taken over the care of a few dozen children who’d been abandoned by their alcoholic mothers. She housed and fed them, and accompanied them to school. All this was done out of love, although she did receive a small state allowance for each child, some of whom had quite severe psychological problems.

What impressed me above all about the Orthodox, as portrayed here, is that they have no time at  all for aggiornamento. They see no reason at all to update their liturgy or to encourage any of the progressive prejudices acquired by so many Catholics in Ireland. At the present rate, Orthodox Christianity will be thriving in Russia when Catholicism is near to vanishing point with us.

March 6th, 2017

Carry On Fornicating

I would never buy the Irish Times, so it’s hardly surprising that I never read it, except in the doctor’s or dentist’s waiting room. A few days ago, while waiting for some physiotherapy for a nasty attack of arthritis in the knee (something I’ll probably have to endure more frequently as  I advance into my 80s) I   glanced over the Times as there was nothing much else on offer. My eye was caught by a psychotherapist’s agony column offering comfort to a man who found himself impotent after years of indulging in self-abuse, aided by pornography. This fellow was greatly distressed because he couldn’t perform with a real flesh and blood woman, and his every attempt to do so was a flop. Help! What could he do?

Serve you right, you dirty little bastard, I thought. An  act of contrition, and then a good Confession with a firm purpose of amendment is what you need, my lad. And even if you fail (as you probably will) you’ll be forgiven seventy times seven and eventually you may obtain peace and freedom from your nasty habits.  You may even achieve a happy marriage, and be the father of a family.  But screwing around will just make you miserable, make it impossible for you to form a healthy, exclusive relationship, and may even eventually send you to hell.

That’s the sort of advice an old-fashioned Redemptorist would have given.

This psychotherapist had other ideas. Sex, she told this unfortunate man, was meant to be fun! So relax when you are attempting to have it off with a floozie. Don’t worry! Just enjoy it! You’ll make it in the end!

What a disaster! How much human misery has been caused by the wrong use of this, one of God’s greatest gifts. No wonder so many marriages end in divorce, and consequent unhappiness, particularly to children.

The Catholic Church, which used to have a great deal to say on this topic, now stays completely mum, out of craven fear.  When did you last hear a sermon on the Sixth Commandment?  I’m not suggesting priests should keep banging on about fornication or contraception every other week, but once every year or two would be fair enough.

I see the British government has decreed that sex education must become compulsory in schools from the age of four. You may be sure it will be based on ideas similar to those expressed  by that Irish psychotherapist.





March 25th, 2015

Hell Fire and Generative Living

Here’s another set of Straws for the Camels’s Back, this time from 1999…

In a Kilkenny city church in the first quarter of the 20th century, the Redemptorist missioner leaned forward in the pulpit and gestured as though removing a rabbit from a hat. “If I were to take the lid off hell fire and reach down my hand,” he bellowed, “the first person I would pull up by the hair would be a Kilkenny man!” Afterwards, in the sacristy, he noticed that one of the servers, Jimmy Weekes, aged about 10, was looking preoccupied, and asked what the matter was.

Well, Father,” said Jimmy, “I didn’t like what you said about the Kilkenny man being in hell.”

Ah, son, you must understand that there are lots of people who don’t live the kind of lives they should be living, and they need shaking up, spiritually. That’s my job as a missioner. When I go to Cork, I say it’s a Cork man.”

Around 40 years later the same James Weekes was my parish priest at Bovey Tracey in the Plymouth diocese.

Now that we actually need a bit of old-fashioned Redemptorist brimstone, see what they  have on offer instead. This it what goes on at Marianella (“A World of Difference”) their Centre for Study and Renewal in Dublin 6:

“HUMAN SEXUALITY: ENERGY FOR RELATIONSHIPS AND SERVICE. 13-18 June 1999. Fran Ferder fspa and John Heagle. The course explores our psychosexual journey toward relational maturity and personal wholeness. With biblical spirituality and contemporary psychology as a background, the course will address issues of sexual healing, authentic intimacy, reverence in relationships and the call to generative living. Cost IR£200 (including a deposit of IR£50)”


Celebrating the Inner Child

That nugget came from Intercom, the magazine which I understand is sent free to priests. There’s lots more ads like that, and the compilers would all appear to have advanced diplomas in Applied Paraclerical and Pseudospiritual Jargonics. “Celebrating the Inner Child”, says one. “Exploring in a faith context the wisdom and power available through contact with the child within.” Another one, on NEW INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES, seeks help in setting up a new Christian support/community group “in the process of coming to birth”. Then there’s a Six-Day Creative Retreat, given by Sr Pauline McGrath OP and Fr Paddy Greene SJ: “A journey of creative spirituality using colour, clay, movement & dream work, and a time for silence and savouring the gifts of nature. Please bring casual clothing.”

Among the features is Clio’s Diary, “the Jottings of One Road-Weary Irish Traveller”. After praising the reordering of the church at Newtownshandrum in Co. Cork, it describes the timber cross which has “an unusual multi-coloured cloth hanging from its arms”. A nearby notice reported a Holy Week liturgy of healing where pieces of cloth brought by parishioners to represent their unexpressed pain were stitched together. “ The resulting 22 foot long cloth was draped from the cross on Good Friday and remained there till Pentecost, I discovered. A beautiful idea from the local Liturgy Group. Simple yet expressive. (Clio will find out the whole story for a future Intercom).”

I can’t wait.


Our Brown Shirt Award

Katholiken raus! Anti-Catholicism in the media plumbs new depths of bigotry all the time. But this passage from the Irish edition of the Sunday Times makes columnist Liam Fay the clear winner of our Julius Streicher Brown Shirt Award for 1999:

“For sheer throat-clenching nausea, nothing you will ever encounter in any gin palace, speak-easy or ale-house can equal the inherently repulsive sight of a chummy gathering of the scrubbed-faced, the cow’s licked and the devoutly pious attempting to whoop it up in a wholesome manner…They are intoxicated with their own piety and are, therefore, a danger to both themselves and others.”

He is talking about the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, which has been celebrating its centenary with a rally in Croke Park. (As the Irish Family pointed out, Fay’s piece was written before the event.) To find anything to equal such frenzied loathing of ordinary Catholics you would have to dredge the files of the Volkische Beobachter. But Streicher would not have regarded himself as a liberal and a pluralist, which Mr Fay presumably would.

I would have thought that this kind of hate-mongering was now against the law. Don’t laugh, but it is also probably in breach of some section of the National Union of Journalists’ Code of Conduct. The only ones who could take action on that front are Mr Fay’s fellow NUJ members. How about it, my gallant Catholic hacks?

The PTAA in fact deserves the gratitude of thousands of Irish families for rescuing them from alcoholism. I really admire those who have struggled to throw off their addiction, many of whom would have been at that rally in Croke Park. Then there are those who have decided to make the sacrifice of abstaining for life from one of God’s gifts, purely out of love for Him and for their neighbour. They are better men than I am.


Doing the Paradigm Shift

I only read The Tablet, house journal of liberal British Catholic establishment airheads, in the line of duty. The temptations against faith to which it gives rise are fairly easily resisted, as its brand of neo-modernism could only impress those already in its toils.

The temptations against charity are more serious. In a column with the twee new-agey title “Lay Lines”, Mr Clifford Longley rubbishes the Council of Trent: he has to, really, because as he himself admits, its impossible to reconcile Trent with the views of his ecumaniac friends on the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.

Mr Longley make use of a contrivance called the Paradigm Shift (sounds like a 1930s dance, as someone once said). It enables one to ditch the Counter-Reformation entirely by describing it as “one particular historically conditioned cultural expression of Catholicism”. The weakness of this device is that you can use it equally well to rubbish the whole of Revelation. More advanced modernists than Mr Longley actually do.

Mr Longley argues that the Mass regularised by St Pius V was “new and strange” to 16th century British Catholics, and that the state-imposed Anglican Communion Service was closer to their old Sarum Rite. Tell that to the Cornishmen who described the new English service as gwary Nadelek (a Christmas game) and gave their lives to defend the Holy Sacrifice in the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549. There was, in fact, not that much difference between the two Latin rites—certainly not from the perspective of the laity. Anyway, Pius V allowed for the continuation of any rite more than 200 years old, which would have ensured the survival of the Sarum Rite if the Counter-Reformation had succeeded in England. The Dominican Rite—which is older than that of Trent—is still in use in some places.


Tridentine Schmidentine

That word “Tridentine” will really have to go. I wanted to ignore the whole grotesque Sineád O’Connor “ordination” affair, although this unfortunate young woman certainly deserves great sympathy for being exploited in so many ways in the course of her short life.

But when otherwise intelligent people think that those of us who prefer the old Latin Mass are somehow involved with Ms O’Connor one’s patience becomes strained. They must be forgiven, however, because the media have been giving this impression by referring sloppily to something called the “Tridentine Church”. There’s not much one can do about that. But when the Irish Times actually said that the “rituals” used by Ms O’Connor’s mentors had been banned by Vatican II I hoped to persuade them to correct the error, as most readers would have got the impression that the Latin Mass had been officially abolished.

I was put in touch with a lady bearing the encouraging title “Readers’ Representative”. It quickly became evident that the title was Orwellian; she considered her function was to fend off cranks, of which she clearly thought I was one. She admitted she knew nothing about the subject at issue, and thought this ignorance made for impartiality. When I told her Vatican II did not ban any “rituals” and that therefore a correction was needed she refused to check independently to discover whether I was right, and told me I could write a letter to the editor if I liked. So much for the boast of the Irish Times that it corrects mistakes when these are pointed out.


That Irish Catholic ad

It was inexcusable that an Irish Catholic advertisement was banned from the airways, and the editor David Quinn, who has done so much to liven up the paper in very difficult circumstances, deserves every support. Yet I experienced a little unworthy frisson of schadenfreude over the incident. You see, quite a few years ago I myself received similar treatment—only at the hands of the Irish Catholic.

I hasten to add that this was well before the days of Mr Quinn. I placed an ad for a Latin Mass to take place in Knock, which was duly accepted. Then, a few days later, I received a message by telephone that the editor would not accept the ad after all. No reason was given, and the editor was not contactable. I wrote the editor a polite letter asking why the change of mind and received a rude note which said merely: “I do not give reasons.”

I saw red, and spoke to a friendly barrister who told me the editor’s conduct probably amounted to breach of contract, as the ad had been accepted. So I wrote what I admit was a nasty letter pointing this out. (The barrister had also said I wouldn’t get damages unless I could prove financial loss, but I didn’t mention that.)

Within a few days I received a furious letter not from the editor, but from the Managing Director—no less—of the British Catholic Herald (who controls the Irish Catholic). He began by telling me my conduct was quite outrageous, and defying me to do my worst. He ended by telling me I could have the ad—provided I altered the format to fit in with the usual style. This of course I did.

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.