TRIUMPH, TRAGEDY AND STARDUST
~ The Papal Visit in Perspective ~
On 10 June 2010, the former Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith, was installed as the Archbishop of Southwark. "I am delighted at the appointment," cooed Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster. Far from "delightful," of course, it was utterly depressing: the familiar sound of deck chairs being shuffled aboard our sinking ship.
On 8 October 2010, Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool announced the impending closure of Ushaw College, the 400-year-old seminary which serves the dioceses of the Northern Province and Shrewsbury. A difficult decision, he sighed, "because of the excellence of the formation our students are receiving." On the contrary, as one of our (discreet) Ushaw subscribers confirmed, students are often fed "rank heresy."
In-between these workaday red-flags of local dissolution, Christ's Vicar on earth passed four exhilarating days in Britain. From 16-19 September, the undeserving episcopate basked in the reflected glory of Pope Benedict XVI.
And that, in a nutshell, was the real story of the historic and doubtless providential State visit. More of the same interrupted by a brief but triumphant interlude: a tragedy sprinkled with stardust.
This is not to diminish Benedict's whirlwind tour. Simply to keep things in perspective. At diplomatic and pastoral levels it was a runaway success. All the more impressive because by the time the Holy Father arrived carrying the weight of worldwide Liberal opprobrium on his frail shoulders, he must have had that John Major feeling: "I am walking over hot coals suspended over a deep pit, at the bottom of which are a large number of vipers baring their fangs."
Decried and pilloried for everything from global clerical sexual abuse to the cost of the British visit, had the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing commenced its new season before Benedict arrived, his baying critics would have blamed him for convert Anne Widdecombe's criminal damage to the Tango as well! Throughout the course of the year the Holy Father stood firm before one malicious media beat-up after another, insisting in Holy Week that the Church would "not be intimidated by petty gossip" and decrying "the vulgar levels" of discourse. In England, meanwhile, preparations for his visit were occasioning scandals, cock-ups and vulgarity galore.
A diplomatic storm ensued when the memo was leaked, endangering the visit. The Vatican, both astonished and furious, having never encountered such diplomatic behaviour anywhere else in the world, spoke of "dark forces" at work within the government. But it spoke more to the religious vacuum and the uncouth, boorish, sex-obsessed face of Rude Britannia which has taken shape in the three decades since John Paul was graciously received here in 1982; reflecting the general collapse of educational and moral standards that Blair's New Labour project put into overdrive. According to Melanie Phillips, it has left the civil service with "a certain type of young official who is callow, shallow and politically correct to a fault."
"It shows," she went on, "how flippancy and shallowness coexist with a brutalised arrogance. Among those who purport to be the most liberal, educated and enlightened minds are actually closed and display a vicious illiberalism and gross absence of respect for other points of view, particularly mainstream European religious faiths."
For instance, it wasn't just the Anglican Establishment that got all testy when the Pope issued Anglicanorum Coetibus last November. The most unlikely types - Church-friendly media commentators like Glover, one normally sensible (non-religious) sports writer and a variety of religious illiterates - all chipped in with indignant digs at the Pope, suddenly alarmed that he would charitably open his door to Anglicans before they kicked it down in their determination to join his Church. But why would they or anyone else in a nation of 'practical atheists' give two hoots about this seemingly irrelevant papal offer?
On 16 September, as the papal plane winged its way to Edinburgh, the Pope diplomatically told the journalists aboard that the UK had a "great history of anti-Catholicism," but also a "great history of tolerance." As the Vatican quickly gauged from the nasty Foreign Office debacle, however, where Catholicism and the Pope are concerned it is not that simple. Old habits may die hard. But animus towards the true Faith never dies. And the imprint the Reformation stamped indelibly on the socio-political British fabric might well account for its advanced state of decay 500 years on.
Instead of apologising to the Third World for the Heathrow comparison, the liberal-Left and their media lackeys summoned up their best impressions of indignation and disgust at the alleged insult. The Vatican cheekily suggested that His Eminence was only referring to the UK's "multicultural society." While Kasper the unfriendly ghost did a runner, pulling out of the trip ("due to illness").
On the very same day, in America's Newsmax magazine, John Laughland, a British citizen who works in Paris, neatly spelled out why Kasper's hilarious indiscretion barely touched the surface:
This menagerie sent hypocrisy into unchartered stratospheres. As John Laughland noted: "The fact that these attacks come from people who are already discredited has done nothing to stem their resonance. Tatchell attacks the Pope over the child abuse scandal, but he himself defended sexual relations between adults and children as young as 9 …. Robertson, meanwhile, was sacked from his post as president of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2004 because he refused to withdraw as judge in a case whose defendants he had proclaimed guilty in one of his books. But he continues to pose as an authority on the law and due process."
Litany of incompetence
On and on it went as the bumbling multiplied, costs soared (upwards of £10 million or more eventually needing to be found from the faithful and Catholic sponsors) and thousands of places at events like the Hyde Park vigil remained unfilled ("I've jumped through so many hoops and now I have to go all the way down to south London to pick up my tickets in person!" one exasperated working mum told me).
Finally, in early June, the last Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, a distinguished Catholic, was parachuted in as David Cameron's "personal representative" and troubleshooter. "Downing Street feared the visit could turn into farce unless Whitehall took a more active role," wrote Letts. "Sorting the thing out may take all of Lord Patten's diplomatic skills."
So, as time went on, not only the relentless anti-papal attacks orchestrated by the mainstream media in cahoots with the UAPA were causing deep concern, but also this thinly disguised anti-papalism of the episcopate; the accidentally-on-purpose bungling and dampening of expectations. Their feeble appeals for support using hollow soundbites ("This visit spells out 'the future of our past'!" exclaimed Archbishop Nichols in cringing Blair-speak) was congruent with their scaling down of venues to cater for a much lower turnout than 1982 (for fear that 60-80,000 crowds at venues tailored for 200,000 would too starkly expose their depopulation and de-Catholicisation of the local Church in the intervening period).
In the end, Lord Patten's vast experience and professional guidance surely rescued Whitehall, the episcopate and all manner of floundering functionaries from themselves, turning a potential farce into a raging success. And as for the star of the show himself: despite the crushing personal and institutional attacks he faced in the lead up, the 83-year-old pontiff hit the ground running and never looked back; proceeding to carry out his exhausting schedule with the energy, grace and serenity of a man clearly fortified by a deep prayer life and zeal for British souls entrusted to his care as Christ's representative on earth.
Over four (ludicrously) jam-packed days: the UAPA were reduced to a barely visible and irrelevant sideshow; a veritable tidal wave of negative publicity miraculously switched to an unprecedented flood of largely uninterrupted and positive Catholic coverage on BBC and Sky (even extending to several live feeds from Lourdes, where the nature and history of the shrine was reverently explained); and a goodly portion of a populace estranged from its Christian roots was disarmed and won over by the gentle, softly-spoken yet authoritative man in white - who, they quickly discovered, was not the snarling "Rottweiler" of media/UAPA legend.
Moreover, despite the many obstacles placed before them, including tight security affecting travel routes, the faithful turned out in force, whether at the scheduled events or on the street, expressing their solidarity with the Pope over and against the (by now microscopic) UAPA opposition. They also behaved impeccably at the Hyde Park vigil where the total silence during papal Benediction and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament approximated the reverence one finds at similar outdoor gatherings in Poland (there is no higher compliment). Given the rampant irreverence, sacrilege and indifference one observes in parish churches across the country, it showed what might be achieved by a radical cleanout at the top.
There was much else to appreciate about a brief visit which was never going to involve kicking episcopal backsides or reading the riot act to a nation at war with Divine and Natural Law. There was the beatification itself, of course. Although Blessed Newman was almost lost amid the rare heady atmosphere generated by the positive coverage afforded to a Church unaccustomed to fair treatment by the press (even its obsession with sexual abuse was waning near the end). While the Pope's winning manner and the crowds deflated the UAPA bully boys, the media scrutiny of each papal address quietly denouncing their dissolute, fascistic agenda drowned them out and finished them off. Most of the talks were variations on the initial theme spelt out at Holyroodhouse on arrival, where Benedict called on the UK to "always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate." From first till last, the pundits poured over every word.
And, of course, we were privileged to witness the momentous sight of Christ's Vicar in Westminster Hall addressing the dubious denizens of British public life - many of whom, truth be told, would re-condemn Campion and Moore given the same opportunity in the same place! Regardless, it was a moment to savour.
As invigorating as these things were, however, successful statecraft and stirring displays of papal affection by throngs of uncatechised Catholics In Name Only [CINOs] are peripheral to the deeper salvific issues threatening the local Church; systemic problems promoted or tolerated in every sphere of Catholic life by a hierarchy tucked up in bed with the Westminster Hall set: the overseers of England's Moloch State.
What really defined the visit - before, during and after - was the clarification of this dire predicament to a heightened degree: a worldly convergence acted out in public by bishops pursuing an effete dialogue that perverts (doctrine, morals, liturgy, discipline, authority and law) instead of virile dialogue that converts (every ignorant, lukewarm, lapsed and errant soul to the One True Faith).
Delusion and denial
More CEO than Shepherd, Kieran finds the anarchic and dissolute English scene rather appealing. In the lead-up he told the culture-of-death warriors at the Guardian just what they wanted to hear: that Pope Benedict "may well be relieved to be coming to a place where, unlike some of his other recent trips, there are no big problems for him to sort out."
Mercifully (and bravely), a senior adviser to Archbishop Nichols, Edmund Adamus, demurred. Refusing to stay 'on message' and reduce the Church to a laughing stock, he declared that, in point of incontestable fact, Britain is "A selfish, hedonistic wasteland" and "the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death."A neat and perfectly accurate summation that was quickly countered by his boss. A spokesman insisted that Edmund's views "Did not reflect the Archbishop's opinions." Indeed they did not.
Asked by Andrew Marr of BBC on 5 September: "Do you share that sort of vision that Britain is a particularly Godless and indeed sort of death culture society, extremely secular by modern standards?" Nichols restored the fantastical party line: "Well it's not how I would describe our society at all actually. I think our society is characterised as much by generosity and by genuine concern one for another, and I think religious faith is taken quite seriously by probably a majority of people in this country."
Everything we need to know about the bogus faith and self-delusion of Vincent Nichols is encapsulated in that idiotic response. As the Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, John Smeaton, commented:
Southwark blogger Fr Tim Finigan also alluded to the treachery on high, describing how "[T]he London-centred secularist elite in Britain … relentlessly work to draw us into collaboration and compromise until we are unable any longer to speak out for the truth - or more pertinently, for the sanctity of the life of those who are the smallest and weakest of all."
The "us" in question certainly includes untold numbers of worldly clergy and laity, but refers above all to the hierarchy in general (with one or two occasional exceptions) and Archbishop Nichols in particular. Prior to consideration of his shameful conduct in the weeks and months before Benedict's arrival and to put this former head of our Catholic In Name Only Education Service [CINOES] in immediate perspective, consider the following summary of his countless infractions, many of which we've previously reported. A veritable crime sheet, they were dutifully listed by blogger James Preece, who, like John Smeaton and other exasperated souls, is fed up to the gills with the outrageous abuse of episcopal power in this country and drawing blood on a regular basis with hard-hitting commentaries. "Am I being paranoid?" asked Preece, after being accused by Catholic Herald columnist Stuart Reid of getting carried away with his CO-like assessments of Nichols and the local scene. "Or is the situation in England and Wales simply very, very bad? Let's do a quick recap…":
"So," concludes Preece, "the Catholic Bishop's Conference have consistently turned a blind eye. Oona Stannard and Terry Prendegast are bullet-proof and Labour are not to be criticised. Is it paranoia to suggest that there may be pattern here? I don't think so. The pattern is plainly obvious: The Bishops of England and Wales are heavily influenced by modern lefty liberal "progressive" views. They couldn't oppose Prendergast because they are terrified of appearing homophobic (besides which they probably agree with him) and they won't oppose sex education or promotion of contraception in schools because they actually think it's a good idea. Why did Ed Balls go on the radio and say he has 'the support of the Catholic Church and Archbishop Nichols'? Because he has! He just didn't realise he was supposed to keep quiet about it."
CINOism as Catholicism
BBC presenter Mark Dowd quickly revealed what passes for "stable, cohesive and vibrant" in the episcopal lexicon. On 9 September, the homosexual Dowd presented "The Pope's Divisions" on Radio Four, a virtual cook's tour of the CINOism, falsely labelled "Catholicism" by Conry, that was actually going to greet the Pope under cover of infectious youthful enthusiasm and smiles. It was embodied in two of the schoolchildren interviewed, from St Benedict's, Derby, in the Nottingham diocese, who were due to meet the Pope the following week as part of a special delegation of Catholic youth. We can safely assume that the BBC edited out any children espousing 'rigid' orthodox views. Nonetheless, what we heard was normative.
The first child confirmed she was "a practising Catholic" and was asked by Dowd what she would like to say if she meets the Pope. She replied:
The second child referred negatively to "the stuff" in Catholic teaching "that's a bit restricting" such as "chastity," adding that "the best thing about being a Catholic is the fact that you can pick and choose which bits you'd like to believe in, as long as you worship God."
The Director of Youth Services in the Nottingham diocese then spelt out the CINOism being taught by the CINO Education Service that triggered those tragic replies:
A ghastly CINO product of our corrupting CINO seminaries, John Smeaton notes that "Fr Wheat certainly has, let us say, strange ideas. On the Nottingham Diocesan Catholic Youth Service website, he numbers Tony Benn, the anti-life/anti-family retired politician, among the 'living person[s] he most admires'; and says he would invite K.D. Lang, the entertainer and homosexualist activist, to his 'dream dinner party'."
The reader's blood pressure may have rocketed while reading this transcript, but Fr Wheat's CINO superior, Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham, who replaced Archbishop Nichols as head of the CINOES, would doubtless approve of the entire exchange, having declared himself ready to employ homosexual headteachers in sodomitical 'partnerships' ["Catholic Education: A Nail in the English Coffin?", CO, Feb. 2010]. It was under McMahon's chairmanship that the CINOES appointed as its deputy director the aforementioned anti-life, anti-family retired Labour MP, Greg Pope.
Failure as success: shifting the blame
"Catholic parish life is in good heart," he gushed in a Daily Mail interview, depicting a Church "invigorated by people coming here from many different countries." He claimed that this has stopped the precipitous fall in Mass attendance, purportedly raising the figure from 750,000 to a million. Given the Archbishop's problematic relationship with reality and truth (CO passim ad nauseam) we should automatically doubt this latest figure. But even if we accepted it at face value - ignoring the huge numbers of elderly Catholics and 'practising' CINOs, as well as the problematic reliance on (often isolated and transient) foreign parishioners for survival - since when is 20% Mass attendance something to crow about?!
Truly, when it comes to the Bishops of England and Wales, Churchill's words resonate: "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." And to do so, in the episcopal case, with ever more despotic arrogance.
In an interview on Radio 4 which touched on Rome's recently established Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation, Bishop Conry pronounced the initiative superfluous, stating that he was not convinced by the notion that secularisation lies at the heart of the Church's decline in Europe. "My own personal opinion," he decreed, "is that I am not entirely convinced by this secularisation argument. It suggests that the Church's problems are external, in other words society has gone wrong, but the Church is fine."
Firstly, as his own merry assessment of the crumbling local Church testifies, only diabolically disoriented shepherds suggest that the Church is "fine" and that the wolves are outside the gate. Secondly, since we are living through the gravest internal crisis in Catholic history due to widespread apostasy among the hierarchy, the "secularisation argument" applies precisely to himself. To the galloping secularisation of the local Church he embodies: through his civilian dress, dissident views and unseemly behaviour.
Blind to his self-contradiction, he turned disorientation into a tailspin as he went on to complain that "the Church has a problem in its own proclamation of the Gospel… I don't think we're doing very well." The Church, he opined, had become "simply irrelevant" for many people.
Suffice to say that rather than shift the blame to "the Church," perhaps His Lordship should question whether his own non-performance - i.e., his loss of faith and nerve - explains that perceived irrelevance and why 'we're not doing very well'?
He might start the self-examination of conscience with this query: Is the cause of Catholic evangelism aided by mocking papal authority and teaching on national television?
This is precisely what he did during the BBC's Cofton Park coverage of the Newman beatification. Appearing on the Sunday programme (disgracefully attired, as ever, in his civvies), alongside several Tablet soulmates who predicted that the Church would eventually ordain women regardless of the Pope's definitive ruling to the contrary, His Lordship responded with a craven snigger: "Well, according to Pope John Paul II, this was a definitive statement, wasn't it, so… [laughs] I couldn't possibly comment."
For Conry this kneeling before the worldlings, licking their boots and sharing their anti-Catholic jibes is the way forward - precisely the naturalistic mentality fostered by the Masonic Annibale Bugnini which we considered last month. His Lordship assumes that this meeting of secularised minds will make the local Church "relevant" to the Liberal Establishment. And since that unholy union remains the relentless objective and unchanging party line of the episcopal junta established by Derek Worlock and Basil Hume, the bishops never pause to consider the whopping beam in their own eyes. Ideologically and robotically they are following this received policy of compromise and convergence to its fantastic end: syncretic Shangri-La. Hence those fly-in-the-ointment orthodox who resist the Tabletistas and insist on moral and doctrinal fidelity are hugely problematic, as Bishop Conry intimated in his further offerings to Radio 4.
The Church, he said, had "failed to put across its own message in a way that's accessible enough," making it appear too "authoritative," "intolerant," "demanding," and "exclusive." In other words, orthodoxy - Truth - is off-putting and only by abandoning this black-and-white absolutism for Kieran's elastic Counterfeit Church will we solve the problem: by allowing the Church "to become a little more tolerant, accessible, welcoming, compassionate. All the things that, for many people, it is not." (Ah, such a fair and reasonable man, our Kieran.)
In a parting shot, this monument to whited sepulchres declared: "I think the Church has got to re-present itself rather than simply blame everything on the ills of society." Really? How about this instead: Why don't the bishops withdraw from public life to re-discover the Faith so they can "re-present" themselves as Catholic shepherds instead of Anglicanoid sellouts? And having thus returned from the wilderness full of apostolic zeal, why don't they then start preaching the Faith without fear or favour, "rather than simply blame everything on the ills of society" and everyone else except themselves? Just a thought.
For his part, Archbishop Nichols pinned the blame on the Twin Towers! He told the Mail that since 9/11 "there has been a shift in attitudes to religion." Religious faith, he explained, was suddenly "seen as a problem. All religious faith got tarred with the same brush. I hope the Pope might help us to see that faith is not a problem to be solved - but one to be discovered." And yet, as the following example highlights, any reader, listener or viewer who happened upon a media commentary by Kieran Conry or Vincent Nichols before, during or after the papal visit would have simply wondered what the fuss was about; whether there was any demarcation between the secular and sacred or anything at all of value to be discovered in the Catholic faith.
"I don't know": the Faith denied
STEPHEN SACKUR: Catholic bishop of Rustenburg, Kevin Dowling … says that in his particular diocese he has decided that condoms are a crucial part of the healthcare alternative offered to women because he says they save lives and more than anything else he is pro-life and being pro-life has led him to believe that he has to challenge his own Pope on this fundamental issue.
ARCHBISHOP NICHOLS: Well I respect his views. He's been there. I've never been to Africa. That's why I would be cautious in expressing the view precisely on this point in practical terms. [Firstly, the Archbishop should've been prepared for the inevitable condom assault and thus armed with a bullet-point list of all the pertinent scientific facts and case studies (cf. Thailand vs. Philippines, CO, Jan. 2005) which demolish the condomaniacs and support the Catholic position. That he wasn't speaks volumes at many levels. As does the fact that he did not identify Bishop Dowling as a notorious dissenter whose condom-touting has been shot down by the South African Bishops. Instead, he hastened to give him "respect." Secondly, you wouldn't guess that His Grace had already indicated to Sackur, in a roundabout way, that condoms were not the answer to AIDS! A classic Modernist ploy identified by Pius X: switching from orthodoxy in one breath to heterodoxy or ambiguity in the next. Derek Worlock surely knew the slippery qualities of the young Vincent Nichols he was sponsoring up the clerical ladder.]
SS: But I just wonder whether you sometimes feel uncomfortable because on the one hand your Catholic faith and your belief in the Pope [Sackur can be forgiven for such false assumptions] … leads you to a position where … like Bishop Dowling you believe that this Pope or any particular Pope takes a stand that you can't share. How do you wrestle with that personally?
AN: Well I think we start off here by wanting say, and this would be my most fundamental commitment, would be a search for truth …. I think the Church is misunderstood when the Church is represented as saying we possess the truth and from here on we'll give it to you. And Pope Benedict would never say that. He would say and I would try and echo that we are searchers for the truth. We want to be possessed by the truth - not possessive. [Cardinal Manning would weep to hear such doubt, unbelief, confusion and misrepresentation mouthed by his successor; a lost soul still "searching" for the Deposit of Faith possessed by the Church alone, blissfully unaware that he is charged, under God, to shout this absolute Truth from the rooftops. No wonder (as CO was accurately forewarned) that "V. Nichols," originally listed to receive one of the red hats handed out last month, was belatedly struck off the list by Rome when authorities were duly enlightened. At least Manning would be somewhat placated by that rare act of Vatican justice to English Catholics, however temporary.]
SS: But your perception of the truth may be different from [the Pope's]. [Bullseye!] For example in 1986 the famous letter he wrote on homosexuality in which he described homosexual acts as intrinsically and objectively disordered. Do you in your view of truth and searching for truth disagree with that? [Sackur has immediately picked up on his aimless, relativistic posturing.]
AN: Well again you have to understand the language. That's a technical language that draws on scholastic philosophy … [More fudge and evasion. In fact it's very plain language that draws on the Natural Law which is written on the heart of every man on earth and thus easily explained to a moron. The Archbishop lacks either the knowledge and ability or the faith and nerve to provide that explanation.]
SS: (interrupting) But Archbishop, when you say that you're probably losing a large part of the audience. People want to know from a senior churchman like yourself. [Even Sackur is exasperated by the weasel words. How does he think we feel!]
AN: Well let me tell you what it means. It means there is an understanding that human sexuality is to do with procreation and sex between two people of the same sex will never produce a child.
SS: And is therefore unnatural.
AN: … Therefore it is not along the line of the order, the pathway, of sexuality as understood in this tradition. [Was that a "yes"? A "no"? A "maybe"? A "who cares"?]
SS: The Church of England for example in this country is taking a rather different view. They believe there has to be some flexibility. The church has to be a reflection of society's values to a certain extent and therefore we see women priests, women vicars, and there's obviously in some parts of the Anglican Communion, women bishops.
AN: Certainly. [A portentous affirmation, flagging the treachery to come in the next breath…]
SS: Some of their vicars are also prepared to sanction gay unions. That church is showing flexibility. Is the Catholic Church not going to have to do the same eventually?
AN: I don't know. Who knows what's down the road?
SS: Well I'm just asking you. You're rather an important player in the Catholic Church. What do you believe it should be? [Sackur at wits end, trying get a straight answer.]
AN: No no. There's no doubt in my mind that our first call is to faithfulness and not to success. And if faithfulness involves [a smaller Church] so be it. [Is that crystal clear now? Whatever he meant, listening to Vincent Nichols invoke "faithfulness," which he often does, is like listening to Elizabeth Taylor or Zsa Zsa Gabor invoke "fidelity." Just doesn't ring true, does it?]
In a Daily Telegraph interview of 11 September, he was again asked: "Should the Church one day accept the reality of gay partnerships?" Again he replied: "I don't know," proceeding once more to offer no clear and firm explanation of the Church's teaching and the solid reasons for it. Instead, per usual, it was all false-charity wrapped up in rhetorical questions followed by the sort of inoffensive, incomprehensible non-answers that frustrated Stephen Sackur.
"People who are of a homosexual orientation say: 'Well, hang on a minute. How is the Book of Nature written in me?'" he babbled, as if a "homosexual orientation" was not an affliction or addiction but a natural category within the "Book of Nature"! He might have explained that the Natural Law written on their hearts rather obviously does not include the Unnatural - i.e., perversions of that Law. Ergo, because of the knock-on effect of Original Sin, their lower disordered sensual nature is simply at war with their higher natural state (their "heterosexuality"). So the Book of Nature is written in them, and spiritual and professional help is available to restore it to its original default setting.
How difficult could it be to provide such simple instruction? Yet as the Telegraph reported, the very idea is a non-starter: "The old language - of mortal sin, for example - was, he says, a misguided attempt to motivate the faithful. 'Fear is never a good motivation. The whole point of the Catholic journey is that it is a journey…'."
True charity for homosexuals, real compassion for their dreadful plight and genuine concern for their eternal salvation requires that we stop Vincent's endless blather right there! Since what he should have gone on to say, had he possessed the faith and courage to do so, is that for active homosexuals that would be a very short "journey" - to an early grave and instant judgement by the Just Judge! In which case fear would be a huge motivating factor if only the pertinent statistics were laid out: indicating that unnatural homosexual acts which riddle you with debilitating parasitic diseases will, on average, take at least twenty years off your life (if you're lucky).(1) By omitting these dreadful facts from discussion we fail to challenge the monstrous lie peddled as the "gay lifestyle" - the healthy, happy homosexual of media-entertainment fantasy - when the reality is a "gay deathstyle."
Typically, for instance, it was reported in the April 2005 issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections that "A rare venereal disease, a bacterial infection of the anus and genitalia, is now 'a significant' problem in European homosexual men. The disease, Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV), is caused by an invasive strain of chlamydia. Previously known only as a rare disease in poor countries, LGV was first reported in Europe in 2003, when an outbreak was detected among 100 gay men in Rotterdam."
There are a countless horrific examples. After all, how many grey cells do you need to foresee what's likely to happen when a life-giving organ is inserted into the orifice intended for defecation? As the late great American writer Joe Sobran once reflected: "Whose idea of love is that? Normal intercourse produces human life; homosexual intercourse spawns only bacterial life." Unlike our local hierarchy, the plain-speaking Sobran understood that without truth, however discomforting it may be, all that remains is false-love, false-compassion and false-charity.
On the spiritual plane, St. Peter Damian's Book of Gomorrah should also give the homosexual transgressor pause. In his eleventh century treatise on clerical sodomy and pederasty in the Church, the truly charitable Saint explains how the innate malice of the vice of sodomy surpasses the enormity of all other vices:
For her part, St. Catherine of Sienna insists that the act of sodomy is so foul that it even repulses its instigator, the Devil himself. When he is satisfied that the unspeakable act is accomplished, says the great Doctor of the Church, he leaves the room in disgust.
Perhaps some blunt sermons along those lines would sow life-saving and soul-saving fear among the unashamedly practising sodomites and lesbians attending the Archbishop's Soho Masses? But it takes authentic charity and the true heart of a spiritual father, not to say Catholic faith, to confront sinners with such hard truths in these politically correct times. Alas, like the roster of pro-homosexual clergy who celebrate the Soho Masses, the Archbishop repeatedly fails to demonstrate such qualities. He only manages to muddy the moral and doctrinal waters, betray his flock, disgrace his sacred teaching office and abandon the many homosexuals of goodwill looking to the Church for a way out of their sinful addiction to the "gay" deathstyle.
Episcopal tyranny: "Shut the f*** up!"
A foreign priest-scholar of worldwide repute also exclaimed to a private e-mail group: "the head of the British Catholic Church 'doesn't know' basic Catholic and biblical doctrine about marriage and purity! He should have been removed from office immediately - never mind the red hat! - for that one scandalous comment, which will lead thousands - millions? - of Britons to think there can't really be any definite sin in sodomy."
"I don't know." Vincent feigns not to know because Vincent does not want to know. Or as James Preece more accurately put it: "because he doesn't know whether the government is going to pass legislation making it a legal requirement to sanction gay unions. What he does know is that whatever the government does, he will be bound by it. He isn't about to go to prison over it. St John Fisher he isn't."
Precisely. A damning assessment underlined by the contrasting response of Scottish Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley. His Lordship wrote to the Prime Minister after his unprecedented Gay Pride reception of the UAPA at Downing Street in June, to lay down the Catholic law. The Church, he said, will never celebrate same-sex unions - "not now, not in the future, not ever"- even if the law changes to allow religious celebrants to conduct unnatural "marriages." How refreshing - bracing - is that!
The difference between Bishop Tartaglia's reaction and that of Archbishop Nichols is the difference between "Campion's Brag" and the fearful vacillation of the sixteenth century turncoats. Hence the Cranmer-like dander that lurks beneath the hierarchy's artful spin and smiles.
Faithful clergy have long borne the brunt of this tyrannous episcopal temper but bishops are revealing it more and more to the laity, with less and less self-restraint, the louder their righteous critics become. And they - the "very small minority" of orthodox believers decried by Bishop Conry - are becoming more numerous and passionately outspoken, however belatedly, as the extent of the episcopal betrayal accelerates into shameless public view. Indeed, former critics of Christian Order now agree that the alien spirit within the hierarchy we identified, exposed and condemned several decades ago and have hammered ever since, is not only malign but purposeful. As scandal piles upon unspeakable scandal they are venting their spleens. And the hierarchy, used to having things all its own way, is reacting.
A prime example was broadcast by Mark Dowd during his BBC radio report on the Soho Masses, when he asked Archbishop Nichols if he expects "total chastity from everyone who receives Communion at the Mass?" Carefully omitting fundamental notions like "sin," "confession" and "state of grace," a testy Nichols, chafing under his Soho millstone, replied:
A swipe at Soho antagonists, the teeth-grinding anger was palpable. But it was left to one of the Soho organisers, Terence Weldon, to plainly state what the despotic President of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales really meant to say on behalf of his episcopal comrades. An arch-dissident CINO who boasts of being "Catholic, homosexual and 'practising' in both respects," Weldon stated on his blog "Queering the Church" that on the basis of Archbishop Nichols' statement, those who denounce his homosexuality should "shut the f*** up." The fact that this delightful soul distributes the Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at Soho, in his role of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, says all we need to know about the blasphemous and sacrilegious nature of these Masses. Just as it further underlines the rank complicity of the Archbishop and mocks his authority.
For example, ever more explicit sex education evolved under prelates like Cardinal Hume and Bishop Konstant through their CINO Education Service (including homosexual propaganda under cover of AIDS education, supported by Hume). Parental efforts to stop this institutionalized abuse of children and violation of their innocence in the classroom came to naught. Finally, in 1995, Rome's excellent guidelines on The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality were received with joy by the long-suffering faithful. But since they demolished the corrupting English agenda, no sooner had Cardinal Hume received them than he began telling parents who referenced them that 'the guidelines were not meant for this country.' Effectively, they were binned.
Since then, as detailed earlier, the compromise and corruption has descended to new depths of hellishness: even to the CINOES actually cooperating with Britain's most infamous anti-life/anti-family lobbies to help draft the government's anti-life/anti-family sex education guidance which incorporates repeated references to the promotion of homosexuality, contraception and abortion. The government press release accompanying the draft guidance last February even quoted Oona Stannard of the CINOES as saying: "Today's draft guidance for SRE [Sex and Relationships Education] is a positive step forward."
Therefore, when it comes to educating our young people in sexual morality, we can confidently state that whatever wafer-thin distinctions and lines of demarcation still remained between the local Church and the worldlings, they have now been obliterated. Catholic education in how to live virtuously and resist the world, the flesh and the devil has become CINO indoctrination into the culure of death. And when the last feeble discretionary clauses are removed from future government education bills it will become compulsory from the earliest age (i.e. nursery), under threat of punitive legal action against uncooperative parents and schools.
As for sodomy, Labour's Secretary of State, Ed Balls declared that faith schools should be forced to teach that homosexuality is normal and harmless, saying:"They [religious schools] must be absolutely clear about the importance of civil partnerships." But they needn't worry. No government will have to frog-march the current successors of Bishop Iscariot to Westminster Hall for a show trial over this. They signed on the dotted line long ago! Appropriately, it was a 26 May 2004 Guardian headline that flagged the betrayal upon the release of the episcopate's 103-page document Cherishing Life. "English bishops soften Vatican's moral line," announced the champagne-socialist rag with glee:
The hierarchy and its homosexual advisers were careful not to repeat the Vatican's insistence in its 1986 Letter to the Bishops On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons that "an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral." They ignored it because that is precisely the line they take: often referring to the "orientation" as "neutral." Not only the thin edge of the sodomitical wedge, the Church has ever taught the opposite: that both the inclination and the practise are abhorrent (cf. Pius V, Horrendum Illus Scelus).
As we have often reported since the days of Cardinal Hume (the "Godfather to the Gays," as we designated him), the long list of radical sodomites and lesbians who have publicly admired the hierarchy's approach to homosexuality tells its own story of infernal collusion. Even Peter Tatchell, perhaps the most notorious and rabidly anti-Catholic homosexual activist in England, has often praised the bishops' for their "sensitivity." In 2008 he lauded a pamphlet produced by their Marriage and Family Life Project Office, announcing that it "challenges" the "outdated, bigoted attitudes" expressed in "the stern, uncompromising homophobia of most Vatican pronouncements on homosexuality." Calling for "the Vatican to adopt this leaflet for use by Catholic dioceses worldwide," he said the bishops had merely reflected "the growing acceptance of loving, loyal, long-term same-sex relationships by grassroots Catholics." In keeping with Archbishop Nichols' recent public statements and his ardent defence of the Soho Masses, in other words, the propagandising pamphlet simply articulates the ongoing policy of rationalising and accommodating perversion.
Entitled, "What is life like if you or someone in your family is gay or lesbian in their sexual orientation? … and what can your parish family do to make a difference?" it employs the same political language of the radical "gay" lobby now heard at Soho, such as recommending "bidding" or intercessory prayers for use at Mass which thank God for the "gift of [homo]sexuality." It also includes emotive "gay" propaganda quotes from complainants: "The continual message from the church is that homosexuality is so, so dreadful. Our gay son just hasn't stood a chance"; "My brother is gay; the church has been very intolerant of him." Priests are instructed to "check the local school policies on bullying and equality," warned "not to assume that everyone is heterosexual," and urged to "reflect this in language and conversation."
The fact that the pamphlet was produced under the auspices of an episcopal "Marriage and Family Life" office trumpeted the agenda and sounded the alarm. But if few of the faithful were watching and listening, non-Catholics certainly observed the capitulation. A Catholic layman with vast experience of working with churchmen in the political and media world recently noted on the Preece blog: "I was speaking with a very, very prominent Protestant minister who said 'you know there was a time you could always depend on the Catholic Church to uphold Family, Marriage and Defend Life - but no more'."
The report noted that Rome had never pandered to "its detractors" in this way. That's because Rome understands the well-documented, scientifically-measured link between homosexuality and child abuse, and so does not wish to afford its homosexual "detractors" (who often facilitate that abomination) even the slightest credibility by association.
"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia," said the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, last April. Instead, they have found a "relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia. That is the truth, this is the problem." He was immediately backed up by Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist who treats sexually abusive priests. It is a nexus also readily admitted by the "gay" community itself; lauded by some but deplored by others such as Los Angeles homosexual radio personality Al Rantel ["The 3,000-pound Elephant: Predatory Gay Men," CO, Feb. 2006].
And yet, on cue, simply wishing away the numerous studies and stats which confirm the rather obvious link, the Bishops Conference of England and Wales trotted out its General Secretary, the hapless Fr. Marcus Stock, to disavow Bertone's truth-telling and parrot the party line: "To the best of my knowledge," he declared, "there is no empirical data which concludes that sexual orientation is connected to child sexual abuse. The consensus among researchers is that the sexual abuse of children is not a question of sexual 'orientation,' whether heterosexual or homosexual, but of a disordered attraction or 'fixation'."
Presumably the "empirical data" Fr. Stock consulted was the self-serving "gay" variety: produced by homosexual researchers forever seeking to obstruct the truth and rationalize their own disorder. Famously, in 1973, via power politics, threats, and intimidation, not scientific discoveries, they orchestrated the removal of homosexuality from the diagnostic glossary of mental disorders, thereby dismissing not only hundreds of psychiatric and psychoanalytic research papers and reports, but also a number of other serious studies by groups of psychiatrists, psychologists, and educators over the best part of a century. Thus, for the last 37 years, countless men and women have been denied the proper course of treatment, with harmful and lethal consequences, because doctors have been prevented from properly diagnosing homosexuality as an aberrant behaviour ["The Myth of Homosexual Normalcy," CO, Feb. 2006].
Though demonstrably false, Fr Stock's convenient denial unburdens the episcopal conscience and allows it to pow-wow with the likes of Tatchell, whose vileness was further exposed just three days after he met with the Archbishop.
On 11 September, in The Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens recalled that on 26 June 1997 Tatchell wrote to the Guardian newspaper defending an academic book about 'Boy-Love' against what he saw as calls for it to be censored; a book which Tatchell (who now bleats that he "was not in any way condoning paedophilia") said documented "examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal." He concluded his defense with this shocking statement:
This, as Hitchens underlines, from the most strident denunciator of the Pope's handling of clerical sexual abuse! A man recently given an hour on prime time TV, several days after his meeting with Archbishop Smith, to launch yet another dilettantish tirade of abuse at Benedict XVI ["The Trouble with the Pope", Channel 4]. Who claims that John Henry Cardinal Newman was in a "same-sex relationship" with his great friend Fr. Ambrose St John. And who, by the way, is lobbying to lower the age of consent to 14 (what a surprise!). This poster-boy for the Seventh Circle of Dante's Inferno is the creature Peter Smith foolishly thought he should and could do business with: instead of directing him to the nearest Confessional; or daring him to do his worst; or ignoring him altogether, thereby denying him the kudos that feeds his insatiable ego.
In the event, on 8 September at New Scotland Yard, still on all fours after tea and biscuits in a fifth-floor boardroom with Tatchell and a few other members of the UAPA, the episcopal lapdog panted happily: "We had an open and frank discussion on the issues of child abuse, homosexuality and the status of Pope Benedict's visit as a state visit." He then scurried on his hind legs "to report back to my fellow bishops the particular concerns raised."
Of one thing we can be morally certain: that neither the "frank discussion" of "child abuse and homosexuality" at the Yard, nor the episcopal debriefing which followed, raised any "concerns" about Tatchell's depraved views above. Heaven forbid. It would have upset the "gays"! Who would then have shouted, perhaps very loudly, at their mitred poodles - "dumb dogs not able to bark" [Isaias 56:10]!
No sooner had the Pope left our shores than the following day the Archbishop boasted on BBC 2 that the English hierarchy were "very nuanced" in their attitude to civil partnerships. Confronted by an aggressive homosexual academic on the panel who claimed that Catholic bishops "hate gay marriage," Nichols ran for cover, hastily noting that the bishops of England and Wales were not opposed to homosexualist political goals. "We did not oppose gay civil partnerships," he insisted. "We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those." The sodomite immediately made common cause with Nichols, agreeing that the English Church "has rather taken its own line on this, not the Vatican's line." As we have seen, his assessment is not only correct, it also signals the mess Benedict has left behind: de-facto schism.
Archbishop Nichols was fully aware that prior to his visit Pope Benedict had reaffirmed, for the umpteenth time, precisely the opposite of what he was proclaiming on national television. "The Church cannot approve of legislative initiatives that involve a re-evaluation of alternative models of married life and family," taught Benedict. "They contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law and so the relativization of all legislation and also the confusion about values in society." Vincent knows this papal score. But he and his episcopal partners in crime have long separated in thought, word and deed from the Vicar of Christ.
On 27 September LifeSiteNews [LSN] revealed that in 2005 this schismatic cabal had simply ignored Vatican-mandated corrections to the episcopate's scandalous Diversity and Equality guidelines. Published in response to the then-Labour government's proposed Equalities Bill - which ultimately led to the notorious Sexual Orientation Regulations and forced the dissolution of the Church's adoption network - the guidelines told Catholics that they must comply with legislation on equal employment rights of male and female homosexuals, bisexuals and "transsexuals" in Catholic institutions and structures. A source close to the Bishops' Conference informed LSN that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had issued a list of changes to bring the document into conformity with Catholic teaching. This list "was ignored" by the document's author, Archbishop Peter Smith (Tatchell's lapdog).
On several occasions, when referencing the Diversity and Equality guidelines, CO has noted the private observation of a visiting Cardinal who considered them the greatest betrayal since the Reformation. This LSN summary shows that he wasn't exaggerating. It also explains why the Vatcian found the guidelines so objectionable, and indicates the truly frightening extent of the episcopate's break with Rome and loss of Catholic faith:
The episcopate's 2008 "gay" propaganda pamphlet lauded by Peter Tatchell was clearly the perverse fruit of these treacherous provisions. As was Archbishop Malcolm McMahon's public support for actively homosexual teaching staff in his CINO schools. One also discerns an alarming homosexual infiltration and manipulation of the bishops' conference and its bureaucracy.
It was as a result of information on the Diversity and Equality guidelines being delivered to the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, that the Pope exhorted the bishops on their Ad Limina visit this year not to compromise on life and family issues or take a soft approach to aggressive European secularism, but defend the Faith "convincingly" [CO, March 2010]. This, the LSN source revealed, was a direct rebuke.
Perhaps so. But as my March, April and May editorials insisted: papal rebukes are so much wasted breath until such time as the faithless, gutless partisans of the Hume-Worlock agenda are stripped of their sees and replaced with courageous, no-nonsense Catholic bishops: Apostles of the Axe!
Until then, the ecumenical and socio-political convergence will proceed apace and Archbishop Nichols will maintain his great facade of English Catholic life "invigorated" and "in good heart." His deluded comment about Newman's Second Spring suddenly having great "resonance for us today" would .be hilarious if it weren't so utterly tragic. Far from embracing Blessed Newman's faith and vision of the One True Church and the conversion of England, the Archbishop has clearly spurned them. "We are a family. This is not a recruitment drive," he splutters apologetically when queried about Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Pope's soul-saving desire to welcome Anglicans into the Catholic fold. This familial theme is also proclaimed on the website of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales over which he presides. An official recipe for syncretic dissolution of the local Church, it reads:
This is Vincent's "Second Spring" - selling out to the heretical Anglican "branch theory" of Christianity categorically rejected by the Church and Newman! And that is what he meant by "the beginning of a fresh agenda before us," which programme he conveniently discerned in the Holy Father's meeting with "ap Aneurin," Lambeth's honorary Druid (aka Mr Rowan Williams).
St. Robert Bellarmine wrote that "It is granted to few to recognise the true Church amid the darkness of so many schisms and heresies." Fewer still are destined to recognise Her amid the de-facto English schism being widened and deepened by perfidious prelates wielding the devilish "branch theory."
So this is where we are and what Pope Benedict left behind after his spectacular four-day turn. The triumph was diplomatic and fleeting. But the tragedy has worsened and deepened. In the end, the local Church is still in meltdown. Ushaw College is closing down even as Archbishop Nichols basks in the glow of post-visit plaudits and spouts pearls of reflective wisdom on the lessons to be learnt, such as: "we need to be less cynical and less corrosive in our attitudes."
What Olympian hypocrisy from the mouth of one whose cynicism has ground the Faith and communion with Rome to dust. Which is about all that's left for the CINOs. Abandoned by hirelings [Jn 10:13] and stripped of their Catholic birthright by "ravening wolves" [Jn 10:12; Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:29], papal stardust is their last thread of attachment to Rome.
For four days the bi-millennial magic of the papacy was sprinkled upon them, re-uniting them with the ancient Catholic tribe and eliciting emotion, romance, passion and pride. Though largely devoid of intellectual conviction, this response was not without its value and rewards. If nothing else, it revealed a vast reserve of goodwill waiting to be tapped, if only dynamic (and I ever emphasise and repeat) Catholic leadership existed to realise its potential. Benedict himself recognised "how deep is the thirst" for the Good News among the cheering crowds.
But just as Catholics In Name Only are not Catholics, papal stardust is no substitute for the Christian hope they sorely need. This can only be occasioned by decisive papal action to provide a hierarchy willing and able to ensure that the Good News they receive is rooted in the objective truth of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection, and the loving obedience to His teaching Church and His earthly Vicar a profession of faith in that truth demands.
As it stands, the British CINOs - "sheep that have no shepherd" [Matt. 9:36] - cannot make those logical connections: between faith, objective truth, love and obedience. So they are without hope. And without hope how are they to choose light over darkness? Especially the homosexuals?
In a trenchant piece about the Soho Masses in the September 2010 FAITH magazine, former Catholic Herald editor William Oddie wrote: "I predict that when the history of the English Church in this dire period of its fortunes is written, this subject will merit more than a passing footnote." Indeed it will. It is a pivotal affair. Which is why we have closely documented the scandal since its inception. It was inevitable that the infamous Masses would feature heavily in media coverage of the papal visit, exposure which has given their supporters great heart.
Currently, the homosexuals feel so invincible that they taunt Catholics with public boasts of their inexorable advance. Ex-Carmelite priest Martin Pendergast, the architect of the Soho blasphemy, posted this little gloat in June 2008:
With the mark of the priesthood still imprinted on his soul but the holy fear of God's righteous judgement long discarded with his Carmelite habit, Mr Pendergast needs our special prayers. Yes, the heinous fallout of his defiance of the Natural Law and rage against God's holy Church and His Vicar on earth are the cause of deep anguish and sorrow to us all, for our suffering Lord's sake. But since the souls of our homosexual antagonists are always at stake, charity demands that we seek only their good and their salvation, even as we denounce their harmful actions. Left to wallow in his "gay" deathstyle by a faithless, merciless hierarchy, our prayers are the last best hope for Martin, his "partner" and all the intrinsically disordered and disoriented homosexual CINOs. For they will never hear the saving words of Catholic truth from the lips of episcopal hirelings. Neither the sober warnings of St. Peter Damian, St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Pius V, about the "execrable and nefarious crime" of the "vice against nature" in which they indulge, nor comforting counsel like this from St Cyprian, the third century martyr and Bishop of Carthage:
Truly, while we live and breathe there is hope for all of us. Our forbearing God of infinite patience waits to welcome repentant sinners of every magnitude: even bishops who, like Paul of Tarsus, are currently persecuting Him in His Mystical Body; even a sodomite who claims to be a Catholic while denying what it is that makes him one.
Sadly, for all our sakes, "repentance" and "penance" are missing from their List of Things To Do because things are currently going all their way. The hirelings and sodomites are cock-a-hoop. "I believe that UK progressive Catholics generally, and gay Catholics in particular, have good reason to feel their position has been strengthened by the [papal] visit, and especially by some statements of Archbishop Vincent Nichols," crowed one of their supporters, summing up the state of play.
Perhaps that is why I wasn't singing God Bless Our Pope as Shepherd One, the Holy Father's Alitalia jet, rose out of Birmingham airport and headed back whence it came on a dull Sunday eve. Instead, as the Prime Minister waved goodbye, I found myself mouthing the catchy refrain from the recent hit Airplanes. It seemed a better fit: "Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?/ I could really use a wish right now …."
The Vicar of Christ came, saw and conquered, then departed in the night sky like a shooting star: as if dispensing in his wake a farewell shower of holiness, truth and goodness over the nation and the local Church. But he had no sooner disappeared into the silver-grey clouds than the last particle of papal stardust vanished with him, evaporating in the still air. And so the cameras panned back to the departure lounge - to reality - where Vincent Nichols and his entourage remained: smug and schismatic … untouched and untouchable. Deflated, my little 'hymn' petered out in a heavy sigh. Never mind a wish, I thought. Only a bona fide miracle - nothing less - will save us from this wrecking-crew! Oremus.