Friday, 29 May 2009
People in Ireland are not going to fall for the anti-Catholic and anti- Irish sentiment either.
UNITED KINGDOM, May 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Fr. John Owen, a UK aide to the Archbishop of Cardiff, has come under fire from pro-homosexual groups for stating that most sexual abuse cases committed by clergy are “committed by homosexuals” on BBC1's Big Questions. The priest said that the majority of sexual abuse by clergy affected teenage boys, drawing criticism from other panelists on the show that he is “ill-informed, ignorant, corrupt and dishonest.”
The topic of Big Questions was the 2,565 page tome that recently came out describing abuses committed in Irish schools, known as the Ryan Report.
The Ryan Report stated that 791 boys and girls were abused (physically, sexually, or both) in Ireland between 1936 and 1970. Of those 791 people, 413 were male and 378 were female. Fr. Owen drew a link between the extreme prevelance of male clergy sexually abusing male students, as opposed to the significantly smaller number of male clergy who sexually abused female students.
The Ryan Report, in its conclusion, states that “Sexual abuse was endemic in boys’ institutions. The situation in girls’ institutions was different. Although girls were subjected to predatory sexual abuse by male employees or visitors or in outside placements, sexual abuse was not systemic in girls’ schools.”
The Archdiocese of Cardiff has distanced itself from Fr. Owen's comments, saying that they his views do not reflect the “consistent view” of the diocese.
In the United States, studies of the clergy sex abuse scandal have revealed a similar pattern as that discovered in Ireland – namely that the majority of the clerical sexual abuse was committed against adolescent boys, and therefore homosexual in nature.
In a move that was perceived as being partly in response to the sex abuse scandal, in November 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education released the "Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders." In that document the Vatican clearly stated that individuals with deep-seated homosexual tendencies must not be permitted to enter seminaries and be ordained priests.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Abortion is evil because it offends God. The accidental aspects are totally separate (the death of the child, injury to the mother and to society) They are side effects of a terrible sin. 'God forgives but nature punishes' These are natural consequences of the act but not the primary reason why abortion is evil.
The primary reason is the 5th commandment, 'thou shalt not kill'. This evil lies in disobedience to God. Abortion is a grave sin.
We must realise and educate others as to why abortion is evil. It offends God. A secular or ecumenical pro-life approach is flawed and will bring about downfall.
It is all well and good getting thrown in jail for opposing abortion but praying the Rosary and having a large family will defeat the grave evil that is baby killing.
Monday, 25 May 2009
Baby Faith died on Saturday.
were spent with my daughter. Faith went to Heaven today. We spent the entire morning and some of the afternoon snuggling together in my warm bed. I told her that I loved her many times. I was holding her in my arms when she passed away. It was around 4:40 in the afternoon. I had just finished changing her diaper and I decided to pick her up and wrap a blanket around her. She made a very sweet smiling face and held it for several seconds... I thought it was very cute. I waited for her to take her next breath, but she didn't. She looked up at me and opened her beautiful eyes, and I realized what was happening. I told her to go with Jesus. I told her that I loved her and that it was ok, that I would meet her in Heaven. I held her close and cried tears on her face. I felt her chest and there was no longer a heartbeat. But she still looked so beautiful. And even now, she is still so amazingly beautiful... as I hold her here she is looking like a porcelain doll. Her tube feed is gone. Her lips are still pink and her facial expression looks so happy and peaceful. God is good.
Thank you all for your prayers
Bishop, you are one of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on June 30, 1988. Newly appointed Visitor of the Seminary of La Reja in place of Bishop Williamson. Before talking about his current role, we would like to ask you some questions regarding the events of recent weeks. On January 21, 2009 the Vatican sanctioned a lifting of a decree of excommunication from 1 July 1988 after the consecrations of bishops by Archbishop Lefebvre. In an interview with "News of Chrétienté" (No. 115, January / February 2009), Bishop Fellay said, referring to the excommunication of 1988: "This decree was void because there was no excommunication." In your sermon of March 15, 2009, you also said: "We have always said and have always maintained that these censures were absolutely void in law and fact." Why argue the invalidity of the excommunication by Pope John Paul II declared in 1988?
Whenever we have written to Rome, we had the pains to make clear that what was called a declaration of invalidity of the excommunication, or in a slightly more acceptable for them to withdraw the decree of excommunication, because these do not exist. The act of the consecrations of bishops by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 an act was absolutely necessary for the continuity of the Catholic priesthood, Tradition of the Catholic Faith and the Church itself. It was an act of survival, to safeguard the Catholic Faith, and therefore is not required to receive a lack of any condemnation or censure. He was a virtuous act and to my mind supremely virtuous for the sake of souls and of the Holy Church.
- If there was no excommunication, he seems contradictory to have called to Rome to do something about the ordinance?
Not really. Because one thing is the validity or otherwise of the excommunication, and otherwise has the impression that the rest of the Church and the general public. It is clear that we bore a stigma in the eyes of the whole Church , which was like a condemnation of what they represent: the Catholic Tradition. They are two different ways. The point is that there was no excommunication. The other aspect is the subjective, in the spirit of the people, and was ordered him to be asked to withdraw the decree.
- In response, Rome issued the decree of January 21, 2009 that does not recognize the invalidity of the excommunication, but that erases the penalty. It is not what it had requested the Fraternity. But Bishop Fellay was singing a "Magnificat" to celebrate the fact. Yourself said in his sermon on March 15 that "we are delighted and grateful that decree." Why happy, if not complied with the order?
Undoubtedly, as the decree did not answer or the truth or justice therefore remains a rehabilitation of the bishops, including Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer, and ultimately, a rehabilitation of all members of the Tradition. We demand the withdrawal of the decree as an effective sign of good will and change of attitude regarding the Roma tradition and to us. So we are glad. While the decree is not what it should be, because this is not persecution and breakage. It also removes a major obstacle to souls can bring a wealth of tradition and the true Faith.
- Bishop, you said in his sermon that he had raised the number of faithful in the world after the decree of January 21.
Yes, indeed, after the Motu Proprio, several thousands of priests who asked us the DVD that teaches how to pray the traditional Mass. Even after this decree has been a lot of new people we are contacting our priories and seminaries.
- Many wonder why the pope issued the decree of January 21. Some speak of a willingness to absorb Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X and silenced. Others speak of a simple act of benevolence of the Pope. What is your opinion on the subject?
It is difficult to know the intentions, but by what one can infer from the facts, there are probably several different reasons. It seems to me indisputable that there is some part of the Pope will return to justice and benevolence.
But it is clear that they expect that these actions and contacts with Rome allowed to sit inside the "dynamic church," we Limarí edge which they have, for example, be as rigid and uncompromising, as they say, on doctrine. So expect "moderate" a bit, incorporating some of our things.
O tro important aspect is the desire of Benedict XVI to demonstrate the continuity of Vatican II with Tradition: If you want to prove that there is continuity, we must be allowed to exist and live within the confines of the Church. Certainly this view of things and of ourselves is the greatest danger of contacts to come.
- Can we speak of a traditionalist pope?
No. Unfortunately not. Benedict XVI has taken on explicitly deny this. He is full and theologically identified with the Second Vatican Council. Teaching and government of the Church fall squarely within the spirit of the Council. The proof is that wants to join the official Church, but within an ecumenical conception. Ecumenism is doing to us.
However, while there is a change of attitude to the tradition: it is not over but persecution, to some extent, acceptance. This change in attitude, more candid, more open about tradition, it serves as a basis to address the talks with Rome. The good, the new Pope, it is this change in attitude and acceptance that the Council and the teaching post must be in continuity with the Tradition. That's one point of agreement and line that allows us to discuss.
- In his letter to the bishops of the world March 12, Pope said that "the problems to be addressed now are essentially doctrinal in nature, and relate primarily to the acceptance of Vatican II and the post of teacher Popes." What are the doctrinal problems of which Benedict XVI spoke?
It is inspired by the new liberal principles, neomodernistas, such as religious freedom, freedom of conscience, ecumenism, Democrat who entered the Church with the vision of the Church communion, "Church people of God " through collegiality, which limits the authority of the Pope and the bishops. In sum, it is the turn anthropocentric, humanism and personalism that have entered the Church, and have operated a Copernican revolution. We went from a Christocentric conception, teocéntrica, to a sort of worship of man, as claimed by the Pope Paul VI.
- According to the decree of January 21, would start talks between the doctrinal Priestly Fraternity Saint Pius X and the Vatican. In the Fraternity of St. Pius X repeatedly stated that he wanted to "look at Vatican II in light of Tradition." How to understand this expression?
This expression requires some precision. This means clear to us that the criterion for an explanation of any doctrine in the Church is its conformity to tradition. Therefore the council to consider in light of Tradition means rejecting everything that is in contradiction to the teaching and traditional teaching, and accepting what is consistent and harmonious with what is believed always, everywhere and by all, which is the definition of tradition.
- So we can say that these talks is "to convert Rome"? Maybe it seems like not a manifestation of arrogance? An illusion?
The term "to convert Rome" is not correct. It is rather a return to a conversion. Moreover, it is God who can enlighten the minds and move hearts to be able to return to this tradition of Church. Arrogance would be if we, based on ideas, new us erigiésemos judges in the teaching of the Church. But it is rather the opposite: to judge a series of developments in the light of what was thought and always lived in the Church. So there's no loyalty and pride. Arrogance is precisely the attitude of those who despised the teaching of two thousand years of the Church based on personal judgments and completely contrary to the Faith. Illusion? No. Because we are not going with false expectations, i.e. they do not have a fixed expectation. We believe it is our duty to bear witness to the Catholic Faith, to defend and condemn the contrary errors, but do not know how much further the result of these discussions.
We do not know if little or nothing much. We do not know whether the talks were just beginning to be sorry, or if we can continue. We have an obligation to do so, it is our duty, but it is God who gives the fruit ... nothing, thirty percent, sixty, one hundred percent? God only knows and will provide, but for God nothing is impossible.
- At the time the Archbishop consecrated four bishops invoking a state of necessity. Spoke in his homily of an "operation survival" of the Church. After the Motu Proprio of July 7, 2007 authorizing the Tridentine Mass and the decree of January 21, 2009 concerning the excommunication is there still such a state of necessity?
Yes, the state of necessity is not caused by a wrongful conviction or even just for the disappearance of the traditional liturgy. Our struggle has not ended with the Motu Proprio. The rule change comes from the necessity of Faith, the introduction of radically different doctrines of Catholic Faith and tradition. In this sense, the problem remains exactly the same and has not changed. If there has been some improvement in the attitude of the Church regarding the traditional liturgy, there was no way of solving the problem of doctrinal Mass. The state of necessity follows exactly the same because the question of Faith remains.
- What prospects do you see for the Fraternity of St. Pius X in the future? An agreement with Rome? A canonical recognition?
Not at all, either mediate or immediate future. Precisely we exclude this possibility. We know that until there is a return to Tradition of Rome, any practical or canonical agreement is inconsistent with the confession and public defense of the Faith, and would mean our death. In the best case, humanly speaking, we have several years of discussions.
- Bishop, you had just been appointed Visitor of a seminary that has 42 seminarians and six teachers. What is the difference between the Visitor and the role of Director? What will be your concern, your goal as a visitor of the seminary?
In reality my specific role is to ensure a quiet and peaceful transition. I have served as interim director, while fulfilling the duties I have, in some periods interspersed with travel to seminaries, to administer the ordinations and confirmations. This transition period can be six or nine months in principle, though you never know ... Fifteen years ago I'm in Spain and had been appointed temporarily for a year ... Thank God this seminary is very well established, with an experienced teacher corps and excellent. So my task is to continue the excellent work that my predecessor made at the seminary, simply go and solve things that occur in these months, contributing in this case a few things themselves.
- What is the training of a seminarian?
Are three main pillars: first the formation of faith, doctrinal, theological, that is through the studies of philosophy, theology and Scripture, essentially the study of St. Thomas Aquinas, the great light of the Catholic studies. The second part is the training, we could say to godliness, especially through the liturgy of the traditional and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It also includes training for a personal prayer, deep, true. Thirdly, the seminar is a school of perfection of holiness. This is essential. Seek spiritual growth and practice of virtue, fighting against the defects that we needed. This doctrine, piety and the virtues that lead to holiness and union with God.
"Undoubtedly it is an ideal attraction to devote his life to God, the soul, through all the riches of the traditional Catholic priesthood"
- Bishop, there is a crisis of vocations. The seminaries have few seminarians official, contrary to this seminary. How to explain the amount of talent here?
I think that attracts the traditional Catholic priesthood: the priest for sacrifice of the Mass, a preacher of truth, sanctifying of souls devoted to establishing the first and the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, while the built Church. Is undoubtedly an ideal attraction to devote his life to God, the soul, through all the riches of the traditional Catholic priesthood.
- Do you mean that God calls both men prior to their service?
It's a difficult question to answer! I do not know. Perhaps it may be from God, the abandonment of God, apostasy, there are fewer calls, as punishment. I also think that there are still many young people who have a vocation, but for lack of a true ideal, and especially the care of the world, these hopes drown. Sometimes life has led to certain experiences that impede vocation, I think that the problem is that sometimes parents do not care enough souls of their children, especially adolescents. Lack of care to remain in them the desire and skills to the priesthood, and to develop the virtues necessary to pursue a vocation, generosity, sacrifice, strength, vigor, decision.
- In addition to the six years Seminar is the "Year of the Humanities." What is this year? A pre-seminary, a year of discernment?
Actually it's a bit both at once. It is a year that is given to those who do not enter the seminary after a solid base of humanistic studies, which complement the tremendous gaps in education today. Furthermore, for many of these young people a year in which, against the best, they can discern their vocation and what path they will follow in life. It is precisely excellent idea of Bishop Williamson have set this year, because that challenge to discover and pursue a vocation in which he spoke, and perseverance in life as a layman, is largely alleviated by this year's humanities. For those who will follow the seminary is an excellent base. And for that then decides to continue his life in the world, gives him a strength that will ensure the perseverance for life.
- For several years, implemented the "Days of humanity" during the July holidays. What is the purpose of these workshops? Will this year? On what topic?
The purpose of this conference is, in a short period, considering some key themes of the modern world which is confronted Catholic, give training and also an encouragement to persevere in this struggle. This year is going to do in July on the subject of evolutionism. Will be the science of the matter, but also the impact of evolutionism on other fields: philosophy, theology, current situation of the Church. This is supplemented with other topics: music, art, literature ... all of course to the level of young people.
- One last question. In this terrible crisis that rocked the Church, what advice would you give to our loyal?
The advice that I would most strongly bear in mind is that loyalty and perseverance in this tremendous crisis do not happen only by faith but also to maintain hope and charity. Surely our duty is fidelity to the truth, the Faith, but as important as believing this truth, to profess and defend it, is to have trust, hope in our Lord, who is God, belief in the omnipotence of Our Lord told us: "Do not be afraid, I have overcome the world" and "there is nothing impossible for God."
Furthermore, if the Lord is the Truth, is also charity. Christian revelation is the great love that God has toward men. The motto of our founder was: Credidimus Caritati. We have believed in God's love toward us, and that means we should stay in love for God and also to maintain the love between us. The commandment of our Lord par excellence is charity. The new commandment is that we love as He loved us.
Always remember with pleasure the words of St. Augustine who asked God to dulcificara his heart for the love of the truth you do not lose the truth of love. I think that is a great temptation for those who remain faithful in the midst of the aggression of the world and sometimes the same members of the Church to fall into despair and bitterness.
To remain faithful, we must keep the full truth, but making sure that this love of truth is not just the truth of the hope God will triumph, nor just the truth of love: that we love each other for mutual support.
An extract of the book review below. Traditional Catholics have been mocked, scorned, smeared. It is not Traditional Catholics who have deviated from the truth, departed from the Catholic Mass or embraced a new theology and a false religion. They have stayed faithful to the truth, the Catholic Mass and the entire doctrine and Tradition.
A Review of Father Paul Kramer’s
The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy
By David Allen White, Ph.D.
“But soft, but soft awhile! Here comes the King,
The Queen, the courtiers. Who is this they follow?
And with such maimèd rites? This doth betoken
The corse they follow did with desperate hand
Fordo its own life. 'Twas of some estate.
Couch we awhile and mark.
- Hamlet (5.1.217-222.)
Anyone who has followed the sad path of the Roman Catholic Church since the catastrophe of the Second Vatican Council can understand this scene. Mother Church herself, the bastion of tradition and truth that had carried forth the Catholic faith for centuries, suddenly decided in a moment of Ophelia-like madness to commit suicide. The consequence has been, of course, “maimèd rites,” the corruption of all the sacraments and ceremonies of the Church, as well as the confusion of thought, the repudiation of the past and the suppression of tradition. We are indeed close to witnessing the burial service for poor Mother Church; the Mystical Body of Our Lord will have to endure the tomb just as His physical body did. Those with strong faith and the memory of His promise that the “gates of hell shall not prevail” against her will have some consolation. But now we must weep as did His Blessed Mother, St. John and the holy women who stood on Good Friday at the foot of the cross.
Pope Pius XII had a vision of such a calamity. He is quoted as saying:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul. ...
“I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.
“A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, 'Where have they taken Him?'” (Quoted in Msgr. Georges Roche's Pius XII Devant L'Histoire, pp. 52-53)
Father Paul Kramer quotes these prophetic words at the beginning of his superb new study The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy, the title of which comes from the same remarks.
Not only do the modern faithful weep before the empty tomb “like Mary Magdalene,” but they feel the same sense of confusion and complete disorientation as the unthinkable seems to have happened; all the apostles (with one exception) seem to have run away, an action Cardinal Ottaviani, speaking of the scene in Gethsemane when the Apostles fled, called the first collegial act of the Catholic hierarchy carried out in union with the Pope. The very Church that once stood as a bastion of truth is now covered in clouds and fog, obscure, hidden, indefinable; the voice of Rome which once rang out with clarity has become garbled, contradictory, harsh.
There is thus a great need for books such as Father Kramer's which is old-fashioned and very Catholic in its clarity and forthrightness. The book is an excellent piece of work for Father Kramer uses clear definitions, sound reasoning, the traditional teaching of the Popes and Sacred Scripture (as well as common sense) to bring clarity to the muddled confusion in which we now find ourselves. The book is a brilliant beam of light that cuts through the fog and murk that shroud modern Rome to reveal the eternal glory of our Catholic Faith. In his precise presentation of basic and fundamental Church teachings concerning Liturgy, Tradition and Magisterium, Father Kramer gives battling Catholics razor-sharp swords with which to cut through their opponents' paper armor.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Please consider joining the Pentecost Novena for the Catholic Volunteer Movement. See below.
The only official public novena of the Church is coming up. From the day after Ascension Thursday (22nd May) till the vigil of Pentecost (30th May), the Church imitates the Apostle in expectant joy at the coming of the Paraclete. Theirs was the first novena and its remembrance is very potent since it is the prayer of the Catholic Church herself.
What I am proposing is everyone participates in this novena for the following intention: That the CVM finds a religious order that will be the spiritual “power house” behind our apostolate; that will dedicate (in part) their prayers, works and sacrifices for this work.
Everyone must strive for an interior life with Christ. Well an organisation like the CVM needs its own interior life to bear fruit. That can ideally be fulfilled by religious, ideally contemplatives, to bolster our apostolate.
The prayer often recited for the novena is the Veni Creator which I have reproduced below, but any novena to the Holy Ghost will suffice.
Veni Creátor Spíritus,
Méntes tuórum vísita:
Imple supérna grátia,
Quæ tu creásti péctora.
Qui díceris Paráclitus,
Altíssimi dónum Déi,
Fons vivus, ignis, cáritas,
Et spiritális únctio.
Tu septifórmis múnere,
Dígitus Patérnæ déxteræ,
Tu rite promíssum Pátris,
Sermóne ditans gúttura.
Accénde lúmen sénsibus,
Infúnde amórem córdibus,
Infírma nóstri córporis
Virtúte fírmans pérpeti.
Hóstem repéllas lóngius,
Pacémque dónes prótinus:
Ductóre sic te prævio,
Vitémus ómne nóxium.
Per te sciámus da Pátrem,
Noscámus atque Fílium,
Téque utriúsque Spíritum
Credámus ómni témpore.
Déo Pátri sit glória,
Et Fílio, qui a mórtuis
Surréxit, ac Paráclito,
In sæculórum sæcula.
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator come,
From Thy bright heavenly throne!
Come, take possession of our souls,
And make them all Thine own!
Thou who art called the Paraclete,
Best Gift of God above,
The Living Spring, the Living Fire,
Sweet Unction, and True Love!
Thou who art seven-fold in Thy grace,
Finger of God's right Hand,
His promise, teaching little ones
To speak and understand!
O guide our minds with Thy blest light,
With love our hearts inflame,
And with Thy strength which ne'er decays
Confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our hellish foe,
True peace unto us bring,
And through all perils guide us safe
Beneath Thy sacred wing.
Through Thee may we the Father know,
Through Thee the Eternal Son,
And Thee the Spirit of them Both
Thrice-blessed Three in One.
All glory to the Father be,
And to the risen Son;
The same to Thee, O Paraclete,
While endless ages run.
Sing it if you know the tune. As they say, a prayer sung is prayed twice (or words to that effect).
This will be our Novena intention. I hope you will all zealously make it yours.
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
This stop-off is not something a true Irish man or woman should welcome. Again the illegal invasion and terrorism by the American and British in Iraq must be condemned. Biden also is in support of abortion.
THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs says it had no information about a stop-off by US vice-president Joe Biden at Shannon airport on Monday night.
A spokesman for the department said it was “conceivable” Mr Biden had visited the airport without informing them as he was scheduled to visit eastern Europe this week. Senior sources at Shannon airport said there was tight security when Air Force Two, the official aircraft of the vice-president, touched down on a refuelling stop shortly after 11pm.
Mr Biden was en route to Sarajevo for the first leg of a tour of the Balkan states. During the one-hour stop, Mr Biden got off the aircraft and visited the airport lounge where he met members of the army national guard from the US State of Georgia. Their aircraft had coincidentally landed at the mid-west airport some 10 minutes before Mr Biden’s aircraft.
Security was said to be tight at Shannon during the stopover with gardaí, armed detectives and the Garda dog unit at the airport from early evening. Over a dozen US secret service agents arrived at Shannon on a C17 Globemaster transporter plane on Sunday to carry out security sweeps.
Former US secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld was accused of “rallying the troops in a neutral country” when he was photographed meeting army personnel at Shannon in 2004. Dr Edward Horgan, of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, said a neutral country “should not be facilitating such political grandstanding by US political leaders”. Mr Biden is due to visit Belgrade today to meet Serbian president Boris Tadic, and Kosovo, tomorrow, to meet president Fatmir Sejdiu.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
That used to be as redundant as asking if the Pope was Catholic. Unfortunately, over the past 40 years since the Vatican II Revolution, many faithful Catholics have been asking themselves precisely those two questions. Of course, being Catholic and being pro-life used to be redundant. At the risk of enraging those Catholics who think the Pope can do no wrong, the Holy Father’s actions (or lack thereof) with regard to Notre Dame and Gaza leave many wondering just how pro-life Pope Benedict XVI really is.
It’s bad enough that His Holiness just gave a papal imprimatur to Israeli war criminals flush from dropping white phosphorus on Palestinian children; but the silence coming from Rome over the controversy at Notre Dame is truly deafening. I’m sorry papalolotors, but the buck stops at the top. The president of the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame means “Our Lady”) serves at the Pope’s pleasure, as do all the bishops around the world. One stroke of the pen and they’re removed from their posts and off to a monastery. So the fact that Father John Jenkins is gloatingly snubbing his nose at Rome and pro-lifers across the country by inviting the King of Abortion, President Barack Obama, to Notre Dame must meet with the Pope’s tacit approval. The Pope has near absolute power in the Church. So if he doesn’t use it, it must be because he doesn’t want to. If there’s another way of looking at it, please enlighten me.
When even the liberal Washington Post and Time Magazine criticize the Pope for his contradictory behavior in allowing pro-abortion policiticans to receive communion, you know we’ve got a problem. He did the same thing last year when he came to the United States and allowed pro-abortion “Catholic” politicans to receive communion at his papal Masses. I’m sure we all remember that great photo-op he gave the hideous Nancy Pelosi when she was snapped kissing his ring, as he beamed at her. She recently had a private audience with the Pope (no photos allowed – at least he learned that lesson), and lo and behold, she remains un-excommunicated. Then His Holiness failed to mention abortion in his speech to the United Nations (that purveyer of third world abortion) which even John Paul II did not fail to do. I never thought I’d find myself longing for the days of John Paul II, who despite his hostility to Tradition, was at least staunchly and vociferously pro-life.
Of course, those same liberal rags mentioned above, along with the rest of the anti-Catholic media, just had a field day picking apart the Pope’s words and actions in Israel. He apparently didn’t bow low enough before his Zionist masters. He used the word “killed” instead of “murdered.” And worst of all, the Pope didn’t impute collective blame to the German people as a whole or on the Catholic Church for the Holocaust. And last but not least, we were reminded ad nauseum that he was in the dreaded “Hitler Youth” as a child. [It's interesting that Jews (rightly) reject collective blame for the Crucifixion, yet every German man, woman, and child, even those born after World War II, is somehow collectively responsible for the Holocaust.] That old photo of the young Joseph Ratzinger in his Hilter Youth uniform was dusted off and rubbed in all our faces over the past week; but to me, that photo just makes them look weak and vindictive. The Pope looked like he was about 8 years old in that photo, and the expression on his face shows that he wasn’t exactly thrilled. But anyway, how many of these liberal hacks (or their parents) were card-carrying Commies whose first pair of diapers were red? Did I mention that Communists were responsible for the Holocaust of tens of millions of Christians in the Soviet Union? Ah, but some Holocausts are more equal than others. Hypocritically, the Holocaust of unborn babies isn’t a crime to them.
What a kick in the teeth Pope Benedict’s silence is to the many pro-lifers who are right now being arrested at Notre Dame and will now have criminal records. Including an 80 year old priest who was arrested, roughed up, and dragged away by police like a sack of potatoes. They walk the walk, while the Pope talks the talk. Actually, he barely even does that. I’m sure my fellow Catholics want to crucify me right now for daring to criticize the Pope, but ask yourselves: am I lying? You know I’m not. St. Paul loved the Pope (St. Peter) and the Truth enough to admonish him for the sake of souls. I love the Pope enough to demand that he protect his flock. Who really cares more about the Pope: Those who insist that he do his job and punish those who promote what the Church considers an instrinic evil? Or those who enable him to shirk his responsibility? The Holy Father will be judged more harshly than any of the rest of us when he meets his maker. To whom more is given, more is expected. And as it stands now, he’ll have a lot to answer for in terms of sins of omission.
While in Israel the Pope dutifully mentioned the Shoah at every turn, and lamented Jewish suffering under Hitler’s regime. Fine. It is a valid point. Jews were singled out and died in massive numbers and that was a crime against humanity. Regardless of the controversy over how many Jews actually died during World War II, there is no doubt that the insanity of Hitler’s pagan (not Catholic) ideology of racial supremacism really was an atrocity and no decent person denies that. Granted. But what about the Shoah the Israelis have been perpetrating against the Palestinians for the past 60 years? How does the fact that they were victims of the Nazis justify them turning Nazi on the Palestinians? Does the Pope not notice this double standard? It’s not enough that the Pope visited a Palestinian refugee camp and stated that they deserved their own homeland, if he doesn’t mention how they came to be refuguees in the first place. They had their own homeland. It was called Palestine. It’s now called Israel. How did that come to be? The fact that the Pope also failed to mention the recent Israeli excursion into Gaza which killed at least 1,400 civilians, mostly women and children, does make one question his pro-life bona fides. What would Jesus say?
If the Pope really is pro-life, and I’m sure in his heart of hearts he is, it’s time for him to speak out unequivocally. It’s time for him to use his unlimited power to restore order in the Church, and he can begin by sacking Father Jenkins. If it costs him his life for speaking out against abortion and Israeli atrocities, then so be it. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. But so far, he’s been allowing his most vulnerable sheep to be slaughtered, and giving a free pass to their butchers. That doesn’t bode well for him on Judgment Day. In fact, taking a bullet for his sheep may be the only way he earns a ticket to heaven if he continues at this rate.
I love the Holy Father. I appreciate his gestures toward Tradition, and I believe that he means well and loves his Church.
But I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough. The souls of aborted babies and incinerated Palestinian children cry out to heaven for justice. And they will be heard.
Monday, 18 May 2009
The Outline of Sanity
reviewed by S.A. Phelan
Graham Searjeant is the Financial Editor of the prestigious London Times. In his column printed on April 26th 2002, he brought to light several very interesting facts. He wrote: "American economists are alarmed that ordinary people do not understand how their economy works. . . . .A survey taken at the height of the long economic boom asked the same questions of economics PhDs and a cross section of the public. They agreed on hardly anything. . . . .The American public was convinced that the economy was suffering from high taxes, excess public spending, too much foreign aid, too many immigrants, and having too many people drawing welfare benefits. Economists did not rate any of those much of a problem."
Read that paragraph again to get the full force of the meaning, and then read this. Searjeant continued: "The public saw high business profits, executives paying themselves too much, technology displacing people and companies restructuring as detrimental to the economy. To the economists, none of these were bad and some were good."
Read that paragraph again to get the full force of the meaning, and then read this final quotation: "Ominously, the public said that freer trade costs American jobs whilst economists are convinced that it creates more. Worst of all, ordinary people were convinced that they had become worse off over the previous two decades while the income and output statistics relied on by the economists showed precisely the opposite."
These quotations prove two things beyond any shadow of a doubt. The first is that ordinary people are still remarkably alert on the economic realities of life, despite the best efforts of newspaper, television and radio pundits to confuse them with partial explanations, partisan explanations, and virtual "facts." The second is that economists - the people who are supposed to be in charge of directing, guiding and informing the economy of the nation - are quite simply mad. There is no other word for it, for who could see high taxation, excess public spending (debt to you and me, and paid for by you and me), unemployment and machinery that causes further unemployment as either neutral or good, other than a mad man? Corporate profits on paper are soaring, chief executives are earning more in a year than most people earn in a lifetime and economists think this normal, positive. Ordinary people - perversely so, according to economists - see unemployment, high taxation, the moving of jobs to Third World countries where the natives can be exploited even more extensively, and the constantly rising cost of paying the rent/mortgage and putting food on the table as bad things. It is a sign of the times that good has been transformed into bad, and vice versa. It is a sign of the times that ordinary people, who live with the harsh realities of life, are regarded as crazy, whilst the economists, who live in a virtual bubble of stocks, hedges and futures, are regarded as sane. It is a further sign of the craziness of the modern world that the "proof" put forward by economists to "refute" what ordinary people know by personal experience is statistics. What did normal people used to say about statistics a generation ago? "There are Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics."
The trouble with this kind of madness in the economic field is that it spreads, inexorably, to other fields until we arrive at the point where the world, as a whole, appears to be saturated in unreality of every kind. Thus, we find that homosexuals want to marry and have children - sacramental and biological unreality. Those who advocate child slaughter - politely termed "pregnancy termination" - call it rather a "right" and a "good" - mental, moral and legal unreality. Thus, we have "experts" and "leading showbiz personalities" (what a surprise!) calling for monkeys to be granted "a legal right to bring court cases against human beings" on a number of counts. This is no joke. This is something being seriously advocated in the USA on the grounds that since children have rights, it makes no sense that monkeys do not have legal rights given that they can be said to have a mental age of 3 or 4 years - what kind of unreality this is, I leave to the reader.
There cannot be many who have not asked themselves at one time or another whether or not they thought they were going crazy. They see things on television - one of the truly real unrealities of our time - or read something in newspapers and they question if it is they or the world which has lost the capacity for rational thinking, for commonsense. For a Catholic the answer is - or should be - simple. It is the world that is going mad, and it is going mad because it is giving itself over more and more to the domination of the Prince of Lies: and there is nothing more unreal than a Lie.
We see this air of unreality most clearly in the Church. It once possessed the certitude of all Truth, but now this is an "hypothesis" - and it is "good" because we are now "searching for" something that we used to have. Work that out if you can. The Second Vatican Council was supposed to be "a Second Pentecost" but it has become a Second Crucifixion - but it is "good" because it is "purifying the Church" through declining Mass attendances, plummeting numbers of vocations, fewer baptisms and marriages, second-questioning of every doctrine of the Faith, growing irrelevance in society at large, and increasingly little influence of any kind in the halls of power. Presumably the "purification" process will only be a complete "success" when it has seen the last Catholic laid to rest in an almost wholly abandoned cemetery.
Of course, this all-pervading madness did not erupt overnight. Rather it has been a process that has developed over centuries, with society moving from being wholly sane - within the limits of human nature - by graduated steps to our present near lunacy.
This gradual development has not passed without comment, in all times and in all places. Some have approached the problem from a philosophical or theological perspective, others from the perspective of culture, education, history and so on.
One of the great commentators - from a social, economic and technological perspective - was the outstanding English writer and polemicist, G.K. Chesterton. The hallmark of his thinking was Catholic, even in the period before he officially converted to Catholicism. He denied and ridiculed with astonishing precision all of the great shibboleths of the day, most of which are still being used in our day: that big is always better; that the "experts" always know best; that the direction of the world represents Progress, and this movement forward is unstoppable; that the real aims in life can be summed up in the mantra: money, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.
Of course, for many people, Chesterton's name is synonymous with Father Brown - the character of the detective priest, which he created; and it is sad to relate that many people, even Catholics, are not aware that G.K. wrote far more weighty things, things that are every bit as relevant to us today as they were to the Catholics and citizens of his day. Thus, the IHS Press is to be congratulated for bringing back into print one of his most forceful works of social commentary, The Outline of Sanity, which was first published in 1926, and which to our knowledge only saw a second economical reprint in the early Seventies.
The theme of the book is very simple. It is that the direction of contemporary society is crazy. Crowding people by the millions into sprawling, crime-ridden, ugly cities is crazy. Driving people off the land and handing it over to agri-managers is crazy. Paying huge numbers of people welfare to do nothing is crazy. Allowing a handful of men and companies to so dominate a market, service or commodity that they effectively possess an irresistible monopoly is crazy. Permitting machinery to be developed, refined and diffused which makes men obsolete is crazy. Burning up the world's material resources to produce an ever-expanding stream of products which are designed to break, are often wholly useless luxuries, and which cannot be bought by huge masses of people because their wage packets are so slim, is crazy.
The solution to madness, according to Chesterton, and to any person with a functioning brain, is to seek sanity. The basis of the return to sanity, says GK, is to act upon the Catholic principle of subsidiarity: where a smaller, less complex mechanism or structure can do the job effectively use it, avoiding that which is over-complex. Thus, if agriculture was more diverse, more productive, less costly in terms of the economy and in terms of the environment in days gone by - and history shows that this was so, despite statistics! - then it is vital to return to that sane structure of Agriculture which rejoiced in large numbers of large families living on the land, owning the land and caring for the land. To follow that simple principle - a principle that is to be found at work in all the "Golden Ages" of the great civilizations - is to transform our society. Why? Because if large numbers return to the land, the cities empty. If the cities empty, much of the crime, ugliness and social alienation goes with it. If the cities empty in the return to the land, the numbers of unemployed, and consequently of welfare payments, drops dramatically. If the numbers employed, and employed usefully, grows, then there is more money in circulation to buy goods - but people living in a nice environment with a reasonable standard of living are not going to buy poor quality goods, they are going to seek things of real and lasting value. The search for things of real and lasting value leads to the return of craftsmanship, for who is going to buy a set of tables and chairs, mass produced in some sweatshop either here or in Asia, when he can buy for almost the same price, a set of tables and chairs that are hand-made, individual, and carry the imprint of beauty that all craftsmen seek to put into their work. The return of the craftsman, however, means that the demand for mass produced goods - the alleged benefit of the Industrial Revolution that has blighted the landscape of countless countries, and blighted the lives and souls of countless millions - will decline rapidly over a period of time, with the result that the mania for machines making more machines that displace men, or dehumanize men, will fade away. And once people are in touch with the realities of life - owning land and a house, eating food produced by the sweat of their brow, living amidst a countryside of trees, fields, rivers, animals and fresh air, enjoying the beauty of craftsmanship in all aspects of life, from hand-made shoes, individually turned knives and forks, and quality furniture that can be passed from father to son and even to grandson - they will be in touch with nature, that nature created by God for man in order that he might seek his salvation, not in a prison of smoking chimneys, choked motorways and artificially lit buildings, but in a Garden - of fallen nature it is true - where our First Parents started out. Once this has been achieved, it is inevitable that people by the tens of millions will return to God, to His Holy Catholic Church, for it is the Social Teaching of the Church that Chesterton articulates in this book, even if the word "Catholicism" does not appear once. It is the substance, not the label, which counts in the final analysis.
IHS Press is to be congratulated for publishing this beautiful edition of The Outline of Sanity. It is not merely that they have brought back an important text to our time, but that they have done so with style. The typeface, the layout, the mass of line drawing artwork and the copious and highly informative footnotes that graces the 180 odd pages of this book is wholly in line with the arguments of Chesterton: if a thing be worth doing, do it well and do it as a labor of love. Clearly the Directors have taken great pains to ensure that this book, from the impressive front cover through to the succinct back page notes, exudes style and positively invites the reader to submerge himself in the brilliance of Chesterton's writing.
This book deals with deep issues, vital issues, but it does so in a manner that even the ordinary citizen will have no trouble in understanding. Chesterton keeps it simple since he maintains, rightly, that simplicity brings sanity. If you are worried about the future, about the morrow and what it will bring, you could do no better than begin with this book. It is not merely polemics at its best, but philosophy at its most inspirational, theology at its most profound and answers at their most practical.
If you want a way out of the rat race, of the helter-skelter craziness of modern society, and a way back to Catholic sanity, then you absolutely must read The Outline of Sanity. You have little to lose and everything to gain.
The Outline of Sanity by G.K. Chesterton is available direct from IHS Press for $14.95 plus $2.50 shipping and handling.
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With our country in a deep political and economic crisis thinkers are once again turning to the Church for answers
GK Chesterton once said: "The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."
Chesterton implies what we all know: that the social and cultural order that Conservatives once existed to protect has long since been dismantled - and not just by New Labour. But Catholic social teaching offers an alternative to both Conservatives and Progressives. And the time may have arrived for it to come into its own. A lot depends on the long-awaited and much-delayed social encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, to be published soon. If the Pope succeeds with his usual clarity in consolidating the tradition in a way that speaks to modern people, we might well see an impact well beyond the Catholic Church.
Catholic social teaching is a coherent body of thinking - neither Left-wing not Right-wing - that has been evolving ever since Pope Leo XIII issued his critique of unfettered economic liberalism, Rerum Novarum, in 1891. That document, promoted and interpreted here by England's Cardinal Manning and dubbed "The Worker's Charter" for supporting trades unions, was a landmark in the Church's engagement with the modern world. The Industrial Revolution had created a whole new set of social problems, and these had become the seed bed for Communist revolution. Pope Leo responded intelligently both to Communism and to the excesses of capitalism, and in so doing he inspired Christian social movements all over Europe. In today's terms, he had created a "new paradigm".
In Britain, two of those movements are still remembered. The Catholic Social Guild, led by Fr Charles Plater SJ, held meetings up and down the country, and eventually founded Plater College in Oxford. The Distributist League, led by Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, promoted its ideas through the newspaper G K's Weekly. (The best short introduction to Chesterton's ideas is Aidan Mackey's booklet, G K Chesterton: A Prophet for the 21st Century, published by the American Chesterton Society.)
Both movements faded out after the War and the rise of the welfare state, not to mention the social changes and cultural confusion of the Sixties, but Distributism in particular can be seen as the ancestor of today's radical movements in defence of ecology, the family, agriculture, small shops and small communities. Prince Charles is a Distributist of sorts, though he would never use the term.
The original Distributists believed that the free householder is the foundation of a truly democratic civil society; but to be free you have to be able to stand on your own land, or at least your own feet. Simply being employed in a big firm is not enough. Hilaire Belloc identified the problem of "wage-slavery" in his book The Servile State and his analysis was echoed by Chesterton, who also noted the threat to humanity from an emerging consumerism. At a speech in Toronto in 1930 he said: "People are inundated, blinded, deafened, and mentally paralysed by a flood of vulgar and tasteless externals, leaving them no time for leisure, thought, or creation from within themselves."
These popular social movements resonate today, when political thinkers across the board are searching for new ideas, and the public is losing faith in the political ideologies (and politicians) that have dominated the scene recently. They appeal particularly to Phillip Blond, the Anglo-Catholic author of Red Tory and director of the Progressive Conservative Project, a project sponsored by the Demos think tank and influential within the Conservative Party.
I ask Blond what strikes him as the most urgent challenge for an economic policy-maker today. What are the ideas he wants David Cameron to latch on to? He replies: "For me the greatest challenge is how we solve the conflict between capital and labour so that everybody has a chance - through wider share ownership, decentralisation, mutual funds, guilds, co-operatives, for example - to own a little of something."
He adds: "There is more concentration of wealth in fewer hands than at any time in recent history. At the same time, real wages have declined and many people are worse off in real terms than 30 years ago. People have been offered credit, instead of increases in salary."
And credit is the crunch-point of the modern economy. We have been living in castles in the air, constructed of abstract derivatives that few understand, and debts traded as though they were equivalent to real wealth. No wonder it all came unstuck last year. The Distributists saw it coming, at least in general terms. They knew that bubbles always burst. That is why one of their main points was the importance of living with your feet on the ground.
But if Blond is a Distributist in this sense, he is also critical of what he calls the cultural "nostalgia" and the "fetishisation of the small" that many Distributists went in for.
"Sometimes business really does need to be big," he says. The key to this is a fundamental principle of Catholic social teaching that, he thinks, the Distributists made too little of: subsidiarity, the idea that power and responsibility needs to be exercised at the lowest possible level, but never at the expense of the common good. So while Blond speaks of localism, decentralisation, guilds, sustainability and microfinance, he doesn't believe that small is always beautiful. He simply wants to "broaden and pluralise our concepts of ownership, capital and exchange".
Blond is speaking at a couple of important conferences this summer. "Christian Social Teaching and the Politics of Money", at the University of Nottingham on July 9-10, will examine the market, capitalism and economics with a varied range of impressive speakers, including John Milbank and others from his Radical Orthodoxy movement, with which Blond is also associated. Immediately following this, on July 11 in Oxford, the G K Chesterton Institute is running an international one-day conference on responses to the economic crisis. Links to both conferences can be found on a new website devoted to Catholic social teaching (www.secondspring.co.uk/economy).
Pope John Paul II summarised the century of Catholic social teaching after Leo XIII in Centesimus Annus just after the fall of Communism (which he helped to bring about).
He wrote: "A person who is deprived of something he can call 'his own', and of the possibility of earning a living through his own initiative, comes to depend on the social machine and on those who control it." But man was not made for the machine, as the Terminator movies and The Matrix illustrate. There is a universal need to build a home and a family, and this implies the right to own property. But this also implies that a way has to be found to distribute productive property and wealth widely throughout society, and to give people more control over their own lives.
The Church's wisdom seems more attractive to people today than ever before. This may be a genuinely "Catholic moment" for our society, when the economic and environmental crisis, combined with the enormous strains caused by demographic shifts and immigration, have already convinced many of us that the status quo is doomed. The world is changing, and the Church is fast emerging as the most credible source of alternative political and economic ideas. To reflect this growing popular interest the Catholic Truth Society has launched a new series of booklets on Catholic social teaching (beginning with Edward Hadas on the credit crunch and Thomas Rourke on democracy and tyranny) and when the new encyclical appears there will no doubt be a flood of publications to help people understand and apply it in their own lives.
There is only one problem. Catholic social teaching - sensible as it is (and it is a lot more sensible than anything else on offer) - doesn't work. Or rather, it won't work unless we buy the rest of the package. We can't save ourselves, as St Paul reminds the Romans: "The evil I do not want is what I do" (Rm 7:19). Politicians may raid the Vatican website for new ideas, but if they apply them in the same old way, in the same old worldly spirit, they will have gone on making the same old mistakes, and failing to correct them.
In the pamphlet Usury, Belloc shows that usury, debt is strangling people and making people insecure and slaves to a rotting system. It is certainly a pamphlet one ought to read and study.
Last Wednesday morning, the dole queue on High Road in Letterkenny extended for about half a mile, out past the social welfare office, up past the Mace supermarket and on up towards the roundabout and De Valera Road. Up to the right is the ghost estate of empty houses which will never sell and will be used to house welfare recipients - locals and immigrants.
This is Letterkenny, or ‘‘Letterkenya’’ as one person described it tome, formerly the commercial hub of north Donegal; now, judging from the traffic, the gateway to Strabane.
Walking through ‘Little Britain’ - the retail park in the town which is home to M&S, Top Shop, Tesco, River Island, B&Q, Currys and Oasis - I wondered what the Long Fella, Eamon de Valera himself, would make of this ‘big box’ imitation of Middle England, populated by lads in Celtic jerseys, located at the bottom of Padraic Pearse Road.
The background noise is the roaring rev of pimped-up, third-hand Honda Civics bought in the North. The boy racers - fondly referred to locally as ‘shams’ - cruise with their ‘shamettes’ up and down Main Street. They proudly display their latest spoilers.
Initially, you think there’s no one driving the car, until you see the reflection of the white Diadora hoodie and the gelled hair brushed furiously forward, peering out just over the steering wheel.
This is the way they like to drive, sunk low into the customised driver’s seat, accelerator revving, Jay-Z blasting out of the boot’s massive sub-woofer, which makes the vehicle look like a cross between a Provo car bomb and the 2FM roadcaster. The Tango’d shamette in her ‘going out’ pyjamas is oblivious to the racket as she focuses on her quick-dry French manicure.
At the overwhelmed dole office, the staff stare out of the cubicles like petrified sentries. People in the queue look lost. They examine the countless forms, puzzled. These folk have never been here before; they are shell-shocked. These are Ireland’s ‘welfare virgins’. Like all first timers, they are a bit flummoxed by the experience. Young men and women who, up until Christmas, had good jobs, good prospects and good lives, are now faced with losing their homes - and, possibly, losing their hope.
Across from the dole office, the local credit union- the only financial institution to come out of this mess with any credibility - is self-consciously open for business.
This is our country. This is Ireland: a fragile nation of unemployed young people, clinging on to existence in ghost estates, driving cars bought in the North for half the price and competing with immigrants in British retail colonies, which are positioned like garrisons on the outskirts of our provincial towns.
Unlike the banks, these people are not being bailed out. They are fending for themselves. There is no Nama that is going to ask the taxpayer to pay for their mistakes. Their businesses were not considered systemically important. They are the ‘outsiders’ and, unlike the ‘insiders’, they will not be rescued.
This brings me to the question of the banks. I listened to Michael Somers’s frank and honest account of the situation last Thursday. If he doesn’t know how the bank bailout will work, who does?
Let’s pose the big question: why are we bailing out insolvent banks? What economic model tells us that we should tax people who are struggling to pay for the mistakes of bankers who are now prevaricating? Could we not just let the banks go - guarantee the depositors and let the rest of the banks’ creditors experience the market? After all, these investors were very happy to take profits in the good times. This is what they did in South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan in the late 1990s.
This market-based approach was also the logic of the guarantee. Last September, the idea was that these banks would raise capital from the market. But they can’t do that because they are insolvent. If they are insolvent, they will recover only if we taxpayers pay for their mistakes. But why should we?
Banking, after all, is a simple business. If these are not good banks, then we will put our deposits in the new banks which will emerge. When you think about it, the issue with our banks is an institutional problem, not a systemic one. No institution, no problem.
Allowing the banks to go would mean limiting the scope of the state guarantee.
This is not only possible but advisable because, despite the guarantee and the state’s injection of capital, the banks are still broken. There is no convincing reason why we should keep insolvent banks afloat. But that’s not to say there would be no problems in re-ordering our financial system.
The bondholders of the banks would have to take a haircut. They might have to settle for 15 cent in the euro, or wherever the defaulted bonds fall to. But if they hold on, the price of this debt is likely to rise as the economy turns around in the next five years. Equity holders would be wiped out, but here again, a debt/equity swap might give them some hope.
I realise that this sounds radical, but think about the alternative. The alternative is to turn the nation into a large ‘debt servicing machine’ in order to bail out banks that we don’t need and which made basic commercial mistakes. The market will solve the problem, and the banks could work through their debts themselves. They lent the money, after all.
Unless you think that a new bank with a clean balance sheet would not emerge, then there is no reason to believe that a new Bank of Dublin, Bank of Cork or Bank of Galway will not replace the old banks in double-quick time. Credit would begin to flow through these banks with their clean balance sheets and new depositors.
The upshot of the Nama approach will be huge bank fees for years as the banks try to raise the money to pay for their bad loans. This alone will hamper the recovery. And government injection of capital means higher taxes. Madness.
At the moment, all political opinion believes that we should breastfeed the banks in some shape or form Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael believe that the weak child should be fed from one breast, half private, half public. The Labour Party believes that both breasts should nourish the child through full nationalisation.
So the right wing believe that the market’s not up to the job and should be supplanted by the state, and the left wing believe that it is right that the poor should subsidise the rich. Either way, we have the same outcome.
Confused? I’m not surprised. But when you see Sinn Féin voters in Celtic shirts with ‘Saor Eire’ tattoos, feeding the British exchequer by popping over the border to evade Irish taxes by shopping in Asda, Strabane, you know we live in a confusing world.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
A great tragedy that a man be killed on the day his son received his First Holy Communion. These days in Ireland we lose count of the murders or violent attacks taking place on a daily basis. A generation or two ago a murder was rare. Offer a prayer for the repose of the soul of this man and for an end to needless violence and crime. Let us seek to restore order in our society through the restoration of the Social Reign of Our Lord. Through the heart of Jesus and Mary.
Man charged over Kerry assault
A 28-year-old man has appeared before a special district court sitting in Tralee, Co Kerry, charged with assaulting a 32-year-old man who died after he was stabbed during a row yesterday evening.
Michal Kurowski with an address at Old Gallows Field, in Tralee, was remanded in custody.
Mr Kurowski, a Polish national, was arrested at 11.30am, and later charged with assault causing serious harm to Michal Skotak at Racecourse Lawn in Tralee last evening.
Mr Skotak, a father-of-four, died at Kerry General Hospital this morning.
He had been stabbed a number of times during a row outside his home last evening.
Mr Skotak had been at a party in his home for his son who had earlier received his First Holy Communion.
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Friday, 15 May 2009
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Monday, 11 May 2009
Action is a manual for the modern Catholic Crusader by one of the late 20th century's most respected and knowledgeable Catholic laymen.
Jean Ousset, one of France's foremost scholars of the Revolution, and a leader of the European anti-Marxist movement, founded La Cité Catholique in France in 1946 to spread the Social Reign of Christ. Action is one of his thorough and engaging -- yet practical -- manuals designed to inspire, motivate, and guide the modern Catholic layman in the understanding and performance of his duty to fight, with every available and lawful means, for the implementation of Catholic principles in society.
Of particular interest is Ousset's thorough, well-documented, and balanced treatment of the relationship between the clergy and the laity in the struggle for the triumph of Catholic principles in the temporal order. Additionally, he makes a clear and commonsense case for when it is not only lawful but also imperative to collaborate with non-Catholics of good will for the implementation of the Church's Social Doctrine for the salvation of temporal society.
No man of good will concerned about the state of modern society -- Catholic or otherwise -- who proposes to take some action in defense of what remains of Christendom can afford to be without this book. May God grant that it become a truly useful tool in the re-fashioning of a fervently and solidly Christian society.
The IHS Press edition of Action is pleased to offer a short Preface by Mr. Anthony Fraser, and a comprehensive introduction by the Directors.
ftp://www.ihspress.com/ihspress.com/assets/images/author_pics/penty.jpg Arthur J. Penty
Arthur Joseph Penty was born in York, in England, in 1875. His first practical and professional experience was in his father’s drawing office, and by 1902 his skill as an architect was rather widely acknowledged; his work received public commendation and was the subject of at least one work published in Germany. Intellectually Penty’s development was marked initially by association with the Fabian Society in London, whose members, including Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Philip Snowden and George Bernard Shaw, advocated a moderate form of State Socialism. Though routinely referring to himself as a Socialist, he was a vigorous opponent of bureaucracy, centralization, and collectivism; as Fr. Kiernan noted in his 1941 thesis on Penty for the Catholic University, “in those days [‘Socialism’] had a rather loose significance, and anyone who was not in agreement with the prevailing social and economic philosophy was liable to term himself or be called a Socialist.”
Penty’s association with the Fabians broke in 1916, by which time his vision had been further formed by thinkers such as John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, and William Morris, who looked to the Middle Ages as the quintessential example of a period in which sound principles governed society, and which principles could be applied to remedy modern social ills. As a result of his acquaintance with A. R. Orage, a onetime fellow Fabian, and part owner of the weekly newspaper The New Age, Penty became involved with various thinkers like Orage who were questioning — from various perspectives — the industrial and wage-earning nature of the modern economy; these included the Distributist thinkers Chesterton and Belloc, who were also working out their own theory in the pages of The New Age, among other places. Penty’s thought developed greatly during the period of his association with the paper, and he began to concentrate upon two problems which he thought fundamental to the economic ills of society: the unrestricted use of machinery, and the unrestricted use of money. Both problems, he believed, could be addressed by the formation of Guilds modeled — but in updated form — upon their medieval predecessors. From then on Penty was the champion and chief spokesman of the Guild System, and became the most profound thinker of the Distributist and related Guild movements. Penty’s thought was also significant in that it reacted upon other thinkers such as A. R. Orage, G. D. H. Cole, M. B. Reckitt, and S. G. Hobson to produce the movement known as Guild Socialism. This latter was, again according to Fr. Kiernan (paraphrasing H. G. Wells), “the result of the impact of guilds and Mr. Penty on the uneasy conscience of Mr. Orage.”
Penty expressed and defended his vision in numerous different forums. His published works on the economic question include The Restoration of the Guild System, Old Worlds for New, Guilds and the Social Crisis, A Guildsman’s Interpretation of History, Guilds, Trade and Agriculture, Post Industrialism, Towards a Christian Sociology, Agriculture and the Unemployed, Protection and the Social Problem, Means and Ends, Communism and the Alternative, Tradition and Modernism in Politics, and Distributism: A Manifesto. Of these titles several were translated variously into German, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. His works received considerable attention in his day, being reviewed by organs of the Catholic, Anglican, and secular press with remarkable regularity. His articles appeared in various journals such as The New Age, The New Witness, New Standards, G. K.’s Weekly, The American Review, The Criterion, The Daily News, the Daily Herald, A Journal of Workers’ Control, The Church Socialist, The Crusader, The Guildsman, The Guild Socialist, the Architect’s Journal, and the Journal of the American Institute of Architects. He was a member of various organizations advocating the Guild System and/or a moral and spiritual solution to the economic problem, such as (for a time) the Fabian Society, the Church Socialist League, the Crusader League, and the Rural Reconstruction Association (which he helped to found); he also served as President of the Architects’ and Surveyors’ Assistants’ Professional Union.