Saturday, March 30, 2013


Looking at the face of this simple woman, a resident of Palestine, the land upon which walked Jesus Christ, one is struck by the expressions of simplicity and strength in the face of the animal-like savagery that uprooted and destroyed her olive grove.  She is not waving her fists, as she might very well do, nor is she donning a rifle to avenge this attack; she is merely telling us in a poignant way of the everyday life of an Arab living under the Israeli occupation of her historical homeland.  This is an occurrence that is appearing with more regularity in that sad land.  Such injustices are commonplace.  Among some of the inhabitants is a feeling of despair, of hopelessness.  Among others is a thirst for vengeance, to avenge the wrongs that have been done.  Some throw rocks at their occupiers who have treated them so cruelly.  They are replied to by rifle fire from the army of the usurpers.  If one goes to the extreme of killing one of the soldiers who do this dirty work, retaliation is swift, merciless and out of all proportion: for every Israeli soldier killed or wounded a thousand Palestinians will suffer and/or die.

But this woman's face gives this writer hope.  As leaders of the occupation encourage the "settlers" to destroy ancient olive groves, to spit upon Christian clerics as they walk the streets that Christ walked, to desecrate ancient monasteries and churches, we know that the the feigned "outrage" at these injustices expressed by the Israeli government are only words.  No corrective actions ever follow.  Never will there be justice.  Never will there be restitution.  Israelis mock their Christian betters with impunity knowing full well that their "government" will support them.  But when one sees the faces of those like this woman one knows that these horrors will not continue forever.  God will not abandon the Land where His Son walked and taught.  In her expression of an almost matter-of-fact acceptance of her lot, coupled with an inner strength that fairly glows from her, we know that the hour of night is late and that the morning is not far off.  She may not live to see the morning, for the forces that would prevent that seem triumphant just now.  But it will come.

Some details on this latest incident are here:   You will need a strong stomach if you wish to read it.

One can only marvel at the deadened consciences of our fellow Christians who refuse to acknowledge what is being done to our brothers - Christian brothers -  in the Holy Land.  Many of them not only do not speak out but actually cheer on the illegal occupation, excusing every atrocity by either ignoring it or attempting to justify it in the name of their own private interpretations of scripture.

Zionism is bad enough.  Christian Zionism, which now permeates even many Catholic sites, is not only an oxymoron but an insult to the Divine Founder of the one, true, Church.

And more:

"Then they spat in His face, and buffeted Him." 

Saturday, March 23, 2013



It is hard to understand why THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, when it was first released, went unappreciated by the public in 1955.  Filmgoers were more sophisticated in the 1950s than they are today and would have been expected to recognize its qualities right away.  Its initial lacklustre performance can be blamed not on audiences this time, but on the critics who as they are often wont to do get together at a New York bar after a screening and decide to savage a film regardless of its merits.  Their ignorant cavilling prevented the audiences of the 1950s from seeing in great numbers one of the dozen or so most beautiful films ever made in any country.

Critical arrogance has not only destroyed careers and made films fail, it has conversely created reputations that are undeserved and promoted films that are nothing more than the leavings off the bottom of the garbage pail.  A critic can dismiss a masterwork like NIGHT OF THE HUNTER and at the same time praise a lunatic farrago like DJANGO UNCHAINED, and lose all credibility in the bargain.  A movie critic's opinion has as much validity (and importance) as that of a hamburger flipper.

This extraordinary production was the only film ever directed by actor Charles Laughton and it is those 1950s critics we have to thank for strangling in the cradle what could have been one of the most fascinating directorial careers in all cinema.  His heart broken by their condemnations, Laughton never directed another film.  But what he made here is a work of art that is compelling, entertaining and unique, a one of a kind movie the likes of which we will never, ever see again. 

It encompassed a whole way of looking at art and cinema, nurtured from the silent era, which is why it cannot be duplicated - certainly not by anyone in the entertainment business now.  It was born of the great art and craft of pure pictorialism; it was designed.  Lovingly evoking the delicate film techniques of the silent era and then improving on them Laughton created a motion picture that is, in a word, exquisite.  It is like a filmed dream.  It is a near-perfect evocation of childhood and innocence.  It depicts pure evil like you have never seen it depicted, thanks particularly to the astonishing performance of Robert Mitchum as the murderous preacher, and it depicts helpless innocence in the most touching manner, in the person of the two little children terrorized and pursued by a mad man.  Innocence is threatened, as it always is, by the forces of cruelty.  But in this film innocence will not be taken away.

In short, this Depression Era story tells of two children whose father, at his wit's end trying to procure food and clothing for his wife and two children, moved to despair by the economic hardships of the time, commits a robbery, and during the course of that robbery he unwittingly kills someone.  Sentenced to death, he spends his last night in jail with a strange preacher, a fellow prisoner, who is more anxious to know what happened to the stolen money than in saving the condemned man's soul.  The father goes to his death without revealing the whereabouts of the loot.  But soon after the preacher turns up at the town where the man's widow and children are, wooing the wife into marrying him.  The young boy suspects his new step-father's motives right from the start even while his mother is swept off her feet.  But the preacher vows that, come what may, he is going to find that stolen money.  But first, he must deal with the mother.

To tell you any more about the plot of this extraordinary film would be to ruin it for those who have not seen it.  This is one that requires attentive viewing with no distractions.  If you purchase the new blu-ray release , which we very much urge you to do, find a quiet evening away from distractions, lift the phone off the receiver and experience its odd, captivating power.

I have already alluded to the performance of Robert Mitchum as the deranged preacher.  He has done nothing finer in his career.  Laughton'c casting of him in the role was very shrewd.  Used to seeing him as a boozy, languid ne'er-do-well we are unprepared for his nervous, rat-like portrayal of a psychotic killer.  It is truly a sight to behold.  His dogged, tormenting evil is checked in several memorable scenes with Lillian Gish portraying a lonely woman who takes homeless, starved children into her household to save them from the ravages of the Depression. Miss Gish was a fine actress both in silent and sound films, a woman who could portray genuine inner strength. That is not the easiest of acting tasks to pull off believably.  But Gish does.

Laughton's direction of the children is notable for the fact that he never allows it to descend into sentimentality or bathos.  We feel for these children.  The young boy, played by Billy Chapin, was directed into a performance quite remarkable. 

With a lovely thing like this film the mise-en-scene is everything.  The art direction of Hilyard Brown is a masterpiece of scenic design.  Do not look for exact replicas of buildings and locations here.  The forests look real...but not quite.  The rooms in houses seem normal but there is something about them that is askew.  In keeping with the dream-like ambience of the picture Brown's sets are stylized, and brilliantly so.  They are integral part of the story.  It would not have the same effectiveness without those amazing sets.

Nor would it have had the same effectiveness without the striking camera work of Stanley Cortez.  This camera work would be impossible to over-praise.  It is said that we dream in black and white; therefore our nightmares are also in black and white.  Cortez understood this.

How can we have come this far without mentioning one of the movie's greatest strengths, it's music score?  It is excellent and unfailingly right for each scene.  Walter Schumann composed it.  It is his finest screen achievement. 

In the classic good-vs-evil story tradition good wins out in the end (as it will in real life, one day).  In NIGHT OF THE HUNTER good does win out over a malignant evil - but in a most unusual and satisfying way.  The triumph of goodness as depicted in this film is handled with sensitivity, counterbalancing the depths of evil it has hitherto depicted. [I hasten to add that the depiction of evil in this fine film in no way resembles the Junior High-level of gore and sadism found on today's tainted screens.]

This amazing, sad, heart-rending and uplifting movie is one everyone should see.  The cynics may scoff, but great beauty is not something a cynic can readily identify with.

Friday, March 22, 2013


The American Academy of Pediatricians formally endorses homo marriage.  Behold an organization so corrupt that they are willing to do anything, anything at all, to be on the side of the powers that be.  They will wade through excrement merely to get a nod from the enemies of Christendom.

And when they've finished, will they be able to wash the filth off their bodies and souls?

I don't think so.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


The little pink and lavender gnomes have been busy again.  They have convinced yet another Big Corporate Name to contribute to the destruction of civilization: is now airing TV commercials supporting wedded bliss for sexual deviants.

Microsoft, too.  No surprise there.

Isn't it amazing that these people go so happily, so willingly off the rails?  They are so decayed in their thinking that they will throw money and influence into a movement that has in the past brought civilizations to extinction.  Quite astonishing.  Greed and lust and pride, one supposes.

Our response to this is simple:  begone, Amazon; begone, Microsoft; begone any other business that kowtows to this squalor.  We'll spend our money elsewhere.

Just boycott the bastards.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I have nothing particularly new nor profound to say about St Joseph on this, his feast day.

Except this:  that some years ago when my family was in the most harrowing straits, when all seemed hopeless and lost, we turned to him.  And help came swiftly after that from the most unlikely source imaginable.  I needed no more convincing to come to the conclusion that every thing said about him is true.

Turning to him again now, as Protector of Holy Church, seems to be the best thing we might all do today, 19 March 2013.

Monday, March 18, 2013


The last several pontificates have started off, almost immediately, with the newly-elected Pontiff making obsequious gestures to the synagogue, even before more pressing matters in the Church are considered, assuring these men that the pontificate will continue the new orientations in discussion that have emanated from Nostra Aetate.  Twenty-four hours into his position of Vicar of Jesus Christ (a dignity he has not yet publicly acknowledged to be the case, preferring the more generic title, "Bishop of Rome") Pope Francis sends a notice to the chief rabbi of Rome informing him of his eagerness to continue a fruitless dialog, a dialog pursued also by Pope Benedict XVI.  Benedict too made it his first order of business to reassure the rabbis that Vatican Council II's new orientations toward them would continue uninterrupted.

Those new orientations include a ceasing of any efforts to convert the Jews to the only Faith that can save them.  The Church's twenty century history of true charity - teaching all nations to embrace Jesus Christ and the Church He founded while He lived on earth - effectively went by the boards with flawed documents like Nostra Aetate and it has resulted in an almost complete collapse of all missionary effort.  The conversion of the Jews is spoken of only in small circles in hushed tones if it is ever spoken about at all in Rome.  There are prelates who will even speak of the Jews having their own Covenant which they intimate will save them (so much for the life, suffering, death and Resurrection of Christ).  Why has the official Church ceased to have concern for the souls of these people who are living in darkness and Original Sin?

The answer to that question, I maintain, would explain much about the diabolical disorientation that the Catholic Church has been plagued with for a very, very long time.  That disorientation eventually horrified St Pius X who would retaliate by ordering an Oath Against Modernism.  It was a brave gesture, even though it was doomed to failure.  The good Pope Sarto believed that men taking an oath before God would not dare to break it.  He did not reckon with the perfidy of some Bishops and clergy who took that oath and then merely went underground for awhile patiently awaiting Sarto's death.  When St Pius X died they sensed a new freedom under Benedict XV and began again, mole-like, to renew their destructive activities.  Pius XI did not stop them, either out of ignorance or naivete, and Pius XII when he was handed some God-given opportunities to crush them did not act.  Under jolly Pope John XXIII they were fully out in the open, even obnoxiously so, and have continued to go from strength to strength with each succeeding Papacy.  Benedict XVI threw them temporarily into disarray with this Summorum Pontificum but he essentially gave many of them their head, appointing some of the worst offenders to higher ecclesiastical office.  If the early indications are anything to go by the Modernists will seem to have little to be fearful about with the new Pope.

This anxiety not to offend the synagogue has led to two of the most disastrous papal decisions in the entire history of the Church: the recognition by the Vatican of the criminal state of "Israel" (aka Palestine) by Pope John Paul II, and secondly Pope Benedict's shocking revision of the Good Friday prayers for the conversion of the Jews in the ancient liturgy.  With these two acts we see the triumph of forces inimical to the salvific mission of Christ's Church.

The recognition of the "state of Israel" by Rome was, at Jewish demands, to be preceded by a public humiliation of Christ's Church wherein Pope John Paul had to publicly apologize(!) to the Jewish people for the supposed crimes committed against them by the Church over 2,000 years.  It is always the same; the Church makes unwise gestures which are quickly followed by even more demands and impudence.

The Church wisely refused in the past to give formal recognition to a criminal state that has occupied the Holy Land unjustly and has been ethnically cleansing its historic population since 1948.  Indeed the Church in the past condemned it.  But now that voice for justice in the Holy Land has been effectively muted by this Rome-Tel Aviv Agreement (far, far more deadly to the Faith than the famous Rome-Moscow Agreement between Rome and the Communists) with consequences which have only begun to come to light.  This recognition acted as a knife in the back of the Arab populations (Muslim and Christian), and severely hampered the work of the Catholic (and Orthodox) hierarchies in the Middle East.  This recognition was correctly seen by the Arab nations as a disaster.  Incredibly, after such a betrayal, there are many non-Christians in the Holy Land who still revere the Pope.  How long that attitude will remain depends upon the future actions of the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church.  In this respect the new papacy has, so far, been showing signs of even more abandonment of these oppressed peoples.  Nearly the entire world has begun to protest the human rights abuses of the arrogant Israeli "state";  only the USA (not surprisingly) and the Vatican fail to utter the necessary forceful condemnations of this blatant fascism, or demand justice for the Palestinians.  When Rome does bestir herself to utter protests against Jewish misbehavior in Palestine it is usually stated in the most delicate diplomatic niceties.

Benedict XVI's tampering with the Good Friday prayer, despite the glowing reports of many Catholics of a traditionalist bent, signalled yet again that the conversion of the Jews to Catholicism was not going to be too aggressively sought, in fact not even attempted.  The rabbis made it very clear to the Popes that they will not tolerate any attempts to convert them from their Jewish religion.  The Popes have taken that warning to heart and we can witness the results.  In a sort of "trickle down" manner of thinking this fear of offending them has led Bishops and priests to embrace the most outlandish "ecumenical" events which include but are not limited to seder meals among  Catholics, constant self-flagellation when it comes to discussing the anti-Jewish activities of the National Socialists and an ever increasing tendency to avoid mentioning the Holy Name of Jesus in front of them for fear of "insulting" them.  We have now reached the point when mentioning the name of Jesus Christ is looked upon by Catholics as an insult.

The Jewish response to the changing of the Good Friday prayers, predictably, was insolence.  The repellent Abraham Foxman of the Jewish Masonic organization known as the Ant-Defamation League was, also predictably, unsatisfied with the Pope's changes.  As he and his brethren were the ones who pressured Benedict into making the change in the first place one would have thought that the Pope's actions were sufficient.  They were not sufficient.  For the synagogue they are never sufficient.

This tragic road of fear and appeasement is, apparently, one which the new Pope is intending to travel down.  His past relationships with the Jews as Archbishop, as referenced in the article linked above, indicates a man who is, as one reader on this blog well said in a recent comment, "worshiping at the wrong altar."  Only time will tell if this Pope recognizes the folly, the suicidal nature of this relationship.

One wonders how these demeaning gestures made by the Vatican towards those who utterly deny Christ sit with the Orthodox, the only group that historically, morally and religiously we should be having dialog with.  These are our real brothers, tragically separated for far too long, with whom we should be together and at peace, in the manner that Christ demanded of His Church.  How will the new Pope deal with this urgent matter?  I do not know.  But I do know that all other overtures to Protestants, pagans and Jews need to be put on the back burner, and that our wounds with the Orthodox need healing.  That healing must be the only legitimate ecumenical effort; it is the only one worth making, for with the Orthodox we are dealing with Christians who love and revere Christ and His Holy Mother.  With others we are dealing with those who hate Christ and His Holy Mother.  I also believe that our Orthodox brothers are more interested in truth and Liturgical beauty, less so with ostentatious statements about a new, poor Church.

Prayer and sacrifice can bring about wonders.  It can even set Popes on the right course.

St Paul, ora pro nobis.

UPDATE: 20 March 2013: Abe Foxman blesses the Pope

Oh, great.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Practicing what we preach is not something that comes easily to us.  When the necessity of standing firm on crucial issues faces us, we are sometimes left wanting.  And when it comes to personal issues, we sometimes fail miserably.

Some say that the "third rail" issue that no one wishes to touch in Catholicism is contraception.  I would argue that it is more true to say that the real untouchable issue is Natural Family Planning, or NFP. Sensitivity and empathy are requirements if one attempts to engage in a discussion of this delicate topic.  It takes intelligence and courage to speak honestly about this, to face it squarely and to explain why NFP can be and often is a very serious mistake for young couples to make.  After all we are speaking of God and souls.  Dr Jay Boyd, whose excellent blog Philothea on Phire frequently delves into this touchy matter, has written a book which takes that honest look at NFP which is so much needed.  In writing this book Dr Boyd has done noble work.  In writing this book she answers the call of so many children waiting to be born.

Perusing her blog we perceive that Dr Boyd writes with real compassion and real understanding of these things.  It is from these many vital postings on her blog that she has fashioned her book.  She does not condemn.  Her writing style is engaging, often witty and full of warmth.  It is not "preachy" or impatient.  She understands.

She does not attack this method because she, like many of us, realize that a great number of Catholics practice it in all good faith.  Her concerns have more to do with motivations rather than methods.  She invites a charitable discussion of the two sides, no more, no less.  All people of good will owe it to themselves to examine this carefully.  Good will is important for both opposing views.

The two operative words in NFP are "Family Planning". No, it is not a contraceptive act.  Contraception involves two serious problems.  One, it is most often abortifacient and, two, it is telling God Himself that it is we who will decide how many children to accept, not He.  NFP does not involve the first of these two problematical concepts, but it very much involves the second one.

We Catholics are often asked what we can do to help put the brakes on the obscene cultural rot that is gnawing away at every idea and every institution on earth.   There is one simple thing we could do.  We could have more children.

Buy this book.  The much-delayed discussion on "Natural Family Planning" needs to begin. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


A one-day Conclave, and a Conclave that merely voted in the runner up from the last election is causing some understandable concern among anxious Catholics.  When I say "anxious Catholics" I am referring to those Catholics living in fear of what is about to befall the Church next given the tragedies of the last 50 years.  It would be an injustice to judge them too harshly, or to dismiss their concerns as mere trifles.

Something seemed to be up when we learned on the night of March 12th from the BBC that one Cardinal interviewed prior to the Conclave mentioned rather cavalierly that, "We want to get this done by the end of the week."  Even the news reader looked a bit startled.  Only four or five days to mull over, reflect upon and seriously discuss such a worldwide loss of faith?  It would be a monumental task worthy of the greatest Saints and Doctors of the Church to discuss such a crisis in a single week.  Yet they've done it not in one week but in one day.  On Tuesday mid-morning they met to elect a Pope.  On Wednesday afternoon the thing was done.

Those words by the Cardinal have unnerved a few European Catholic journalists who have been exchanging emails with this writer since yesterday (one such respected writer speaks of "trembling" over these developments). Were they the words of a holy Cardinal worried about the vacant See?  Or was the bad fruit of "collegiality" at the bottom of such a remark?  Regardless, the vote was over in an instant.

Amidst the jubilation right now it is natural to express joy and hope, while at the same time praying for this man.  Prayer, yes; hope, always; joy, I cannot say as yet.  The internet is ablaze with stories about the new Pope, some edifying, others troubling.  There are shadows here and there.

In the early 1980s shortly after Pope John Paul II was elected, the Holy Father called for a worldwide meeting of Bishops to discuss the aftermath of Vatican II, to assess the situation forthrightly.  Anxious Catholics then, this writer very much included, were literally burning inside with a great hope.  Hamish Fraser wrote a special article about it in his famous Approaches, entitled "An Inquest on Vatican II?"  Every European intellectual, journalist and Churchman sympathetic to the centuries old traditions of the Church was cautiously optimistic.  Mr Fraser and I shared a correspondence on the matter always hopeful that, at long last, the Church was going to look Vatican II in the eye and put a stop to the abuses, the chicanery, the injustice of what had been plaguing the Church since that fateful Council.

But no.  When reality came all that happened was that all the Bishops traveled to Rome, had a few meetings with the Pope and issued a Pastoral letter stating that Vatican II was a Second Pentecost and that everything in the Church was going swimmingly!  I remember writing to Fraser at the time, telling him that I felt like a prisoner who had just been informed that his sentence was to be extended another thirty years.  The coming weeks should give us an indication if the drastic re-thinking that is so necessary will begin, or if that prison sentence will be extended another thirty years  If it is to be an extension of the sentence my age says that I will die in prison.

In a late February interview with Andrea Tornielli, re-posted yesterday on The Big Pulpit site, the new Pope talks much about the Church's sins.  This is a statement that is unfortunate.  It is unfortunate because the Church does not, indeed cannot sin.  It's members can, and do, sin; the Church, the institution created by Christ, cannot sin.  This is a point that I trust the new Pope will re-think.  The rest of the interview, aside from a few good points about careerism, was, alas, a disappointing re-hashing of the du Lubacian ambiguities which have plagued the Church far too long and have been responsible in one way or another for a downgrading of the very idea of priesthood.  The interview was not enlightening.  These are some of the shadows that have to be evaluated side-by-side with the good.

There is always that tiny hope that we will see a repeat of the Pius IX papacy, a Pope who began as a liberal, and a darling of the Freemasons, who would suddenly wake up and turn on them, and so become one of the great Popes in history.  But we hoped that a few times before in the last forty years.

We can hope that Pope Francis will begin his task by taking the reins firmly in his hands.  This is not the time for him to ask for the blessings of Protestants or to hob-nob with the grinning sociopaths who lord it over their citizens; no more synagogue visits, please, Holy Father, no more attending Hindu rituals.  There is serious work to be done. And there are souls to be saved.  And a Church to heal.  We are hearing much about his concern for the hungry and the homeless.  Catholics are hungry, too.  They hunger for the truth, proclaimed boldly.  And they hunger for a nourishing, beautiful Liturgy unencumbered with stupidities.

If this Papacy turns out to be our continuing punishment let us accept it manfully.  Easy to say, hard to do....I know.  Please God that this Pope will be another Pius IX.  But if Our Father in Heaven wishes us to suffer a little longer for our sins then so be it.  Certainly all of us have our battle scars.

But the lightning-fast Conclave vote should, if nothing else, give us pause.  Let us wait and see and never let go of the beads.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


12 March 2013
Feast of St Gregory the Great

The BBC news service last evening did a short piece on the Conclave which, as of this writing, has already commenced.  Amidst the usual banalities coming from the mouths of the TV talking heads viewers were shown a number of Cardinals, walking toward the Vatican in preparation for the momentous gathering.  All of them were sporting wide smiles and a back-slapping affability.  Many waved happily toward the cameras as they walked by.  None of them had the appearance of a worried doctor visiting the bed of a mortally wounded patient.

That no one in that group of Cardinals seemed to have a sense of the seriousness of the situation, nor any kind of apprehension over the serious danger that the Church and the souls of billions are in, leaves me with a sense of dark foreboding.  None of their public utterances have been anything other than the same upbeat cliches one often hears from corporate executives just prior to the collapse of their corporations.  Their demeanor is one of jollity, completely unwarranted confidence in the health of their "corporation" and a sense of fun (and self-importance) that they are all together enjoying a lovely holiday in Rome where the food is excellent and the wine superb.

Many in the Catholic blogosphere have adopted the same demeanor.  Bloggers speak of "Super Tuesday" or "Be Very Not Afraid" or  some such thing to describe the beginning of the election of a man who will be Christ's Vicar.  No unease among those bloggers.  "The Holy Ghost will handle it", so they assure us.

A Catholic should have Hope.  A Catholic has no grounds for optimism.

There is everything to hope for;  there is nothing to be optimistic about.  A cursory look at many of the movers and shakers now sitting in the Sistine Chapel should be enough to convince the Catholic realist that  we had better be prepared for what may befall us.  Several weeks ago The Eye Witness cautioned its readers that there is no assurance that the Holy Ghost is going to make the final selection of Supreme Pontiff.  The other day the more eminent thinker Mr Robert de Mattei made the same observations much more forcefully.  Brother Andre Marie over at St Benedict Center enlarges on that  with some thoughtful observations pointing out that while the Holy Ghost showers graces upon the electors there is no guarantee that those men will cooperate with those graces.

Consider.  Some of the Cardinals in that Conclave today are sympathetic to the scourge of homosexuality.  I will name three: Timothy Dolan, who allows sexual miscreants to have their own special "masses" in his New York diocese; Roger Mahony, who did his very best to allow to continue the buggering of adolescent boys by some priests in his diocese; Donald Wuerl, who talks piously out of one side of his mouth while encouraging this unspeakable vice to flourish in his diocese even going to the lengths of publicly humiliating a simple priest for refusing to give Holy Communion to a sexually deviant Buddhist (This month marks the one year anniversary of that shocking event - one year in which nothing whatever was done to discipline Wuerl over this outrage).

There are Cardinals voting who never think about the salvation of non-believers.  There are Cardinals who are so terrified by the media that they daren't speak a word about  the mortal sins the world is awash in.  There are Cardinals who promote false ideas like "liberation theology".  There are Cardinals so afraid of the Jews and their considerable influence that they refuse to attempt to lead these tragic people out of the darkness and into the Church.  There are Cardinals whose grasp of Catholic theology is scant at best.  There are some who are Protestants at heart, some who despise the very traditions that have nourished the Faith for twenty centuries.

There are public embarrassments like certain American Cardinals, some of whom have brought with them to Rome a retinue of publicists and sycophants, arranging press conferences and "schmooze" sessions.  The electioneering going on is ludicrous. Yet more proof that not too many ecclesiastics have a grasp of the gravity of the situation if, indeed, they ever did.

If that is insufficient to crush the happy optimism of some Catholics about the conclave I give you characters like balloon Cardinal Christoph von Schonborn.  There is Daneels and O'Malley.  We point this out so that we remain realists not optimists.  Optimists are busy preparing Pope parties to celebrate the election;  Realists are praying.

Then, of course, there are some fine men in that group.  They have their cheering sections among many Catholics.  We join them in their cheering.  But we will remain watchful.

The abdication of Pope Benedict was a shocking event, given all the circumstances.  A father has left his children alone.  No one knows why he renounced the See of Peter.  It is very possible we will never know.  But we do know that this action is going to have long term effects.  For those in the Vatican, used to breaking traditions with grand insouciance, it is a mere bump in the road.  For others the feeling of uneasiness over this is deep.

Yes, we are in imminent danger.  We realize most who are reading this are already doing so, but please pray for the Church, again and without ceasing.  We have heard that the Society of St Pius X has recommended a day-long fast today.  We applaud that.

We are now in the month dedicated to Saint Joseph, terror of demons and Protector of the Holy Church.  Our little blog here asks everyone to take advantage of what this month can mean for the good of the One, True Faith.

[Above clip from the 1951 MGM production of QUO VADIS.  St Peter is portrayed by dear, old Finlay Currie.  The music was by Miklos Rozsa.]

St Gregory the Great, ora pro nobis.

[UPDATE: March 12, evening....Several hours after posting this the invaluable Ars Orandi blog site alerts us to this striking exchange between Robert Moynihan and an unknown Cardinal.  This Cardinal understands, it would seem, the frightening seriousness of what is going on.  Please read this remarkable piece.]

Thursday, March 7, 2013


The Eye Witness offers this as an antidote to the deluge of propaganda emanating from the United States and Israel.  From the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Bechara Rai:

"Both Christians and Muslims in the Middle East venerate the figure of the Pope, no matter who he is. Criticisms against him simply do not exist. The Pope is the Pope and it makes no difference to them whether he is American, Spanish, Italian or other."

Words to ponder.

I wish the Conclave would look to the East this time around (and I don't mean New York).   Mary, Help of Christians, ora pro nobis.

Here's the whole interview, from the Vatican Insider.

(Please don't show the Patriarch's words to Jihad hunters Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and David Horowitz.  The poor dears might have collective heart failure.)


The never ending farce of DST, aka "daylight savings time", is about to descend upon us again this weekend.  It is just impossible to keep a bad idea down.

My father once explained to his children the whole idea behind this World War I relic, all the time shaking his head as to why it has continued so long.  At a young age, therefore, I began to have my doubts as to the wisdom of this yearly ritual.  The doubts continue because none of the supposed benefits of DST have yet to be noticed let alone proven.  It doesn't save energy.  It doesn't help the economy.  It doesn't make plants grow better.  It doesn't do anything other than satisfy the power lusts of the clowns and ignorami who infest Congress.

DST is just one more gift we have been given by our wise and knowing masters, along with fluoridation, genetically modified food, mandatory health insurance, napalm, abortion and sodomy.

Farmers hate it.  And small wonder.

Oh, but it gives us an extra hour of light after work.  I am at a loss to know why this should be considered important to people.

For years I sat depressed thinking I was one of the only few who failed to see why we continue this yearly folly.  But in recent years others have begun, at last, to speak up, trying to bring this to the end it so richly deserves.  Russia (God bless 'em) has eliminated it due to very good reasons.  A number of US states have called it quits.  There is even an online petition to cease this idiocy once and for all.  Are people actually waking up (pun intended) to the detrimental effects of this?  I believe that they are.

Now even the irrepressible Dr Mercola has chimed in on DST, and in a way that should send shivers up and down your spine:  he has some pretty interesting evidence that on top of everything else wrong with this nonsense there are even health risks involved.  After years of wondering why I felt so drained and "off" after this Spring time change Dr Mercola provides some fascinating answers, and those answers should be seriously studied.  I am not one who looks at Mercola as a sort of medical messiah.  But he cannot be dismissed.  Read what he says and compare the risks with that extra hour of daylight after work.

The Benighted States of America stumbles on its merry and self-destructive ways in so many areas that it is getting harder and harder to keep track of it all.  I am not convinced that the USA is not a lost cause.  It very well could be.  But sometimes doctors can take a man with one foot in the grave and make him well again, so there is always hope for this Land of the Misguided.

That hope is based on the fact that the only Thing which can heal such decay is religion.   It is that same religious Thing that gave life to Europe and to all civilization.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Mr John Brennan, pictured above, is our new CIA director, in charge of assassinations, subterfuge, mendacity and spying on innocent people the world over.

Oh, mistake.  Here is his actual photo:

I was confused for a moment 

[Ed: The top photo is taken from one of the most frightening television programs ever aired, "The Incredible Doktor Markesan" from the brilliant 1960s anthology series, Thriller.  The lower photo is of one of the most frightening people ever to wield unlimited and unchecked power in a rogue nation.]


In recent days and weeks all the major news sources have been screaming this and similar headlines: "We need a modern Pope!"

OK, gentlemen of the press, we'll get right on that for you!

(In other words:  yawn.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Sobering words from the catechism of Saint Pius X:

Q.  Who is the Pope?
A.  The Pope, who is also called the Sovereign Pontiff or the Roman Pontiff is the successor of St Peter in the See of Rome, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, and visible Head of the Church.

Q.  Why is the Roman Pontiff the Visible Head of the Church?
A.  The Roman Pontiff is the visible Head of the Church because he visibly governs her with the authority of Jesus Christ Himself, who is her invisible Head.

Q  What is the dignity of the Pope?
A.  The dignity of the Pope is the greatest of all dignities on earth, and gives him supreme and immediate power over all and each of the pastors and the faithful. 

Sobering words indeed.  Those words were for all intents and purposes abandoned in the years 1962-1965.

In the most recent issue of Anthony Fraser's Apropos from Scotland (#30/31, Feast of the Purification) there appears an incisive commentary by French Catholic intellectual and journalist Arnaud de Lassus entitled "Aide-Memoire on Vatican II", being an English translation by Mr Fraser of the article which first appeared in Action Familiale et Scolaire, No 221, June 2012, from which the above quotation from the catechism comes.  It is an important overview of Vatican Council II, the 50th anniversary of its beginning which would be the subject of much discussion in the months that followed.

It was not an altogether encouraging assessment of that gathering.

The author, with much clarity of thought, guides us through firstly the chronology of Vatican II, its history, the status of its documents and their characteristics, its opening to the world (with a concomitant closing to the supernatural) and finally a judgment of the Council itself.  In that overview de Lassus dissects what he calls the Conciliar trilogy: religious liberty, Collegiality and Ecumenism.  I will reflect in this post only on the second part of that "trilogy", Collegiality, but will at the same time encourage my readers to write for a copy of this issue of Apropos.  Put simply, what the author is saying is that Vatican II's teaching on collegiality was a fundamental break with the history and tradition of Christ's Church, changing it from a Divinely instituted Monarchy to nothing more than a mere aristocracy.

The document that formulated this change was, of course, Lumen Gentium.  It intended to give to the Bishops in union with the Pope a singular power that they have never possessed, infallibility.  Using this newly-created phantom power some Bishops have ridden roughshod over the Catholics in their individual dioceses and over nearly every traditional Catholic practice of twenty centuries. By signing on to this notion recent Popes have essentially emasculated themselves when it comes to firm Church government. 

The traditional doctrine of papal infallibility states that the Pope alone enjoys the charism of infallibility when defining a matter of faith and morals to be held by the whole Church.  He does not require the consent of the world's Bishops when exercising this power.  He can include them if he wishes to, but he does not need to for the dogma to be ratified by Heaven.  The First Vatican Council in its constitution Pastor Aeternus states that infallibility is "the prerogative that the Only begotten Son of God deigned to enjoin to the highest pastoral office."  The highest pastoral office is that of the Papacy, and that alone.  "There is in the Church a single supreme authority, that of the Pope", writes de Lassus.

But Lumen Gentium attempts to change all that.  This Conciliar text would have two supreme authorities in the Church: the Pope acting alone, and the Episcopal College acting with its head.  Thus has aristocracy entered into and undermined the most sacred Monarchy upon the earth.  For the Vatican II fathers the Pope is only President of the College of Cardinals, a sort of Queen Elizabeth acting as the figurehead of Parliament.  Says de Lassus:

     "Collegiality thus understood introduced, into the government of the Church, a form of 
     aristocracy to replace the Pontifical monarchy."

Small wonder that Modernists like Yves Congar could say, "The Church has peacefully had its October Revolution". That this revolutionary idea has become the norm we have the recent example of writers and commentators referring to Pope Benedict's recent surprising decision as a "resignation".  In reality it is nothing of the kind; it is an abdication, a renunciation of the See of Peter, and of far more serious portent that that of a CEO or a mere President resigning his office.  Some perceptive writers have pointed out that Benedict's shocking move called into question the sacredness of his Office.  And so it has.  But for those who have drunk deeply of Vatican II thinking this crucial point was not noticed.  Also unnoticed is the misplaced faith in the general run of Bishops that many Catholics now have, thanks to VII's fateful Lumen Gentium.

This is what spurred writers like de Mattei and others recently to implore Benedict not to abdicate.

Did the Holy Father, himself a notable mover and shaker at the Council, fall victim of this new idea of collegiality which brought him to make such a momentous decision?  Was he himself believing that he was no more than a figurehead able to resign whenever he felt he had had enough?

Collegiality has bred a certain arrogance, so it would seem, among many Bishops.  Note their defiance and/or ignoring of Humanae Vitae and more recently Summorum Pontificum.  It has bred a callousness, a hardening of the heart which primes them to ignore the pleadings of the faithful to bring their diocese into order, to put a stop to liturgical abominations, to rein in heretic priests, nuns and Catholic colleges.  It breeds men like Donald Wuerl who believe they have the authority to publicly humiliate a good priest for refusing to give the Sacred Species to a public sinner, and it breeds men like Joesph Bernardin, Rembert Weakland and Roger Mahony.  These men have become their own popes while the only Authentic Pope has often tragically let them get away with murder, sometimes literally.

The primacy of Peter was the object of the attack.  Lumen Gentium provided the means by which that attack proceeded.

Cardinal Siri sums up these issues rather succinctly:

     "There was no doubt that some came to the Council with the intention of directing the
     Church towards Protestantism, without Tradition (e.g. Scripture alone) and without
     the primacy of the Pope.  Regarding their first aim they created no little confusion;
     as for their second aim they tried to advance the argument for collegiality."
     [La Giovinezza della Chiesa, Pisa 1983, page 205.]

The other two prongs of that "trilogy" are well described by de Lassus in this article and I cannot recommend a reading of it highly enough.  But returning to that second prong, how Vatican Council II called into question the very primacy of the Pope with its idea of "collegiality" is something that is of such vital importance to the Church of Christ, outside of which there is no salvation, that it cannot be ignored by either the clergy or the laity without doing even more serious damage to an already bleeding Church.

Arnaud de Lassus sees quite clearly that for the Church to return to any kind of normalcy these three Conciliar concepts, that of religious liberty, collegiality and ecumenism, are going to have to be authoritatively, and infallibly, tackled by a Pope sometime very soon.

Our author, Arnaud de Lassus, closes with this quote:  "Not to resist error is to approve it, and the truth is oppressed when it is defended feebly." (Pope Innocent III)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...