ROME, July 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Italian pharmaceutical regulator is expected shortly to approve the sale of the deadly abortion drug, popularly known as RU 486, under the brand name Mifegyne, according to the Italian daily La Repubblica. The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) announced the impending approval on Wednesday.
The move by the AIFA comes despite restrictions in Italian law allowing only surgical abortion, as well as warnings of the danger of maternal deaths recorded in association with RU 486 around the world.
During a 2006 Rome conference of the International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates (FIAPAC), the drug was touted as a "safe" alternative to surgical abortion. The manufacturer of RU 486 was among the sponsors of the conference. The health minister of the time, Livia Turco, reportedly sent greetings to the conference through Maura Cossutta, a Deputy of the Italian Parliament and a member of the Party of Italian Communists.
However, the decision to approve the drug comes despite extensive scientific literature showing its dangers. In 2007, the bimonthly magazine of AIFA reported on 9 deaths of women that have been associated with the drug, but recommended its approval nonetheless. A 2008 study was also forwarded to AIFA, published in the Italian Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, that reported 16 maternal deaths associated with RU 486, a mortality rate significantly higher than the surgical method. This report also cited the higher rates of complications associated with chemical abortions.
Shortly after the publication of this study, in February 2008, the Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) of AIFA gave a positive opinion about the drug, a step toward official approval for sale.
The approval is expected despite a warning by the STC that AIFA has "deemed it necessary to ask a series of measures to minimize risk, which include the use of the product in strict accordance with the approved indications and dosage, in full compliance with the provisions of Law 194 [that legalises abortion in Italy]," and "with use restricted to hospitals with an intensive monitoring of the use and adverse events."
Friday, 31 July 2009
(ASCA) - Roma, 30 lug - Nel caso la RU486 ricevesse il via libera dall'Aifa ''Forza Nuova preparera' una intensa campagna informativa sulle conseguenze del prodotto''. Ad annunciarlo Roberto Fiore, Segretario di Forza Nuova.
''Mentre il dibattito sulla pillola abortiva si fa sempre piu' intenso - prosegue Fiore - e aumentano di giorno in giorno i contrari, che ormai sono la maggioranza degli italiani, le grandi multinazionali farmaceutiche si compattano per far valere i loro immensi interessi economici sulla pelle delle donne e di tutti i cittadini. Tale pillola e' pericolosissima per la salute delle donne, oltre a inaugurare una nuova frontiera dell'assassinio disinvolto. Mi auguro che il Cda dell'Agenzia italiana del farmaco (Aifa) non approvi la legalizzazione della vendita della Ru486, anche se temo cedra' alle fortissime pressioni delle case produttrici''.
The Gauntlet, subtitled "A Challenge to the Myth of Progress," includes selections from Old Worlds for New (1917), Post-Industrialism (1922), Towards a Christian Sociology (1923), and Means and Ends (1932). This first-ever anthology of Penty’s works presents a compelling vision both of what’s wrong with the world and of what kind of socio-economic order would help to make it right. The writings in this volume provide a sampling of Penty’s thorough and persuasive critique of the myths that dominate modern economic and social thought. They also outline his intellectual and practical program for the restoration of such essentials in economic life as the dignity of labor, justice in pricing, equity in property distribution, quality in craftsmanship, preservation of rural culture, and, above all, the recognition of spiritual Truth as the foundation of all real economic order.
IHS Press is pleased to present an Introduction to this anthology by Dr. Peter Chojnowski
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Could you not watch one hour with Me?
Holy Hour of Reparation
A classic since 1945 -- now completely re-typeset and printed in full color.
This collection of prayers may be used for public or private devotion. Excellent for making a "Holy Hour" at home or at church. Contains a thorough one-hour program of litanies, acts of consecration, and other prayers to carefully guide you along the way.
Our attractive reprint is simply stunning. Each prayer from the original has been retypeset for larger, clearer print. Colorful pictures have been added throughout.
Every church — and every family — needs this book. Once you see it, you’ll be convinced. Bookstore owners, be the first to stock your church pews with the classic reprint of the famous devotion which Jesus Himself asked us to do.
64pp. Softcover. Full color throughout on smooth, tan paper-stock.
John Henry Newman:
Parochial & Plain Sermons
Huge. Deep. Inspiring. These are just a few of the words which could describe this definitive edition of the sermons of John Henry Newman.
All eight volumes of his famous sermons are brought together in this new hardcover edition which is beautifully printed on Bible paper and fixed with a red ribbon. Newman's sermons are as powerful, fresh and challenging today as when he first gave them.
The topics that Newman covers are ones central to Christianity and salvation. Newman once again demonstrates his profound understanding of human psychology, and the temptations and trials we encounter as Christians in the world.
This deluxe edition is a magnificent work of timeless inspiration and illumination for every generation of Christian readers.
1781 pp. Hardcover.
The Outdoor Book for Adventurous Boys:
Essential Skills & Activities for Boys of All Ages
Remember when children didn't spend sunny days indoors with their eyes glued to a screen?
Perfect for children everywhere, The Outdoor Book for Adventurous Boys has more than 70 entries on the great outdoors, survival techniques, games, and cunning inventions. With its mixture of useful outdoor skills, fun activities, and hidden knowledge, this is the perfect guide for teaching kids about the world away from Facebook, text messaging, and reality television.
Learn how to: escape a bear attack, make a rope swing, build an igloo with your bare hands, track wild animals, start a fire without matches and escape from quicksand!
* Make a fire
* Read cloud formations
* Find fossils
* Skim stones
* Build a raft...or an igloo
* Identify birds
* Play capture the flag
* Construct a go-cart
* Make a paper airplane that will actually fly
Featuring two-color illustrations, this is a fun and fact-filled treat to be enjoyed by boys and girls and by parents and grandparents who want to pass on their love of the outdoors!
224 pp. Softcover, flexbind.
"My seven-year-old son just received this and he cannot get enough of it. He and his father went through every page, and loved every minute. At the moment I have exploding popsicle-stick frisbies flying around my house, accompanied by much merriment. Great book for adventurous ones!"
"This is a must have book. It is one of the first books that the neighbor kids wanted to see! The projects are interesting and most can be done by themselves. Most use simple to find household or outdoor objects and and an imagination. Great book!"
Many Catholics from Ireland go to this place of Satanic deception. Let us hope now that people wise up and realise that such a place is deceptive.
Vatican City, Jul 27, 2009 / 12:17 pm (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI has approved the laicization of Fr. Tomislav Vladic, a priest leading the claims that the Virgin Mary has been appearing in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje. The priest has reportedly decided to leave the priesthood and his religious order.
The action follows an investigation into concerns surrounding the alleged apparitions, the Mail Online reports.
When the apparitions allegedly began in 1981, Fr. Vlasic was named as the "creator" of the phenomenon by the local Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, Pavao Zanic.
During a dispute with the bishop and the Vatican, the priest had predicted that the Virgin Mary would appear in Bosnia.
Months later, six local children said they had seen the Virgin on a nearby hillside. Fr. Vlasic soon announced he had become "spiritual advisor" to the alleged visionaries. The children now claim that the Virgin Mary has visited them 40,000 times over the last 28 years.
The priest was suspended last year by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. An inquiry was made into his conduct after three commissions failed to find evidence to support the visionaries’ claims. He was also investigated for sexual immorality after he reportedly made a nun pregnant, the Daily Mail says.
The priest refused to cooperate with the investigation from the beginning. He was banished to a monastery in L’Aquila, Italy and was forbidden to communicate with anyone without the permission of his superior.
On Sunday it emerged that Fr. Vlasic has chosen to leave the priesthood and his religious order.
Pope Benedict secretly approved his defrocking in March, stripping him of his priestly status.
According to the Daily Mail, several of the alleged Medjugorje seers now live in wealthy conditions and own expensive cars. One seer, Ivan Dragicevic, has married a former American beauty pageant queen.
The shrine at Medjugorje has attracted an estimated 30 million pilgrims. Millions of Catholics had hoped the Vatican would one day legitimize the alleged apparitions.
Monday, 27 July 2009
All the Way to Heaven is Heaven
by Dorothy Day
About a month ago, Douglas Hyde, one of the editors of the London Daily Worker, became a Catholic. In an article in the Catholic Herald of England, he wrote:
"In 1943, I libelled, in the course of my work on The Daily Worker, a Catholic paper, the Weekly Review, and a number of its contributors. In preparation for an anticipated court case, which in fact, was never heard, I read through the paper's files for the preceding year and studied each issue as it appeared.
"I had accused it of providing a platform for Fascists at a moment when Fascist bombs were raining down on Britain. I came in time to realize that not only had I libeled it in law but also in fact.
"For years my cultural interests had been in the middle ages. My favorite music was also pre-Purcell, in architecture my interest was in Norman and Gothic, in literature my favorites were Chaucer and Langland. We had a family joke which we made each year when holidays were discussed. "Let's go on a trip to the thirteenth century."
"And these were the interests of the people behind the Weekly Review. I came to look forward to the days when it appeared on my desk. A natural development was that I became increasingly interested in the writings of Chesterton and Belloc....
"A good Communist must never permit himself to think outside his Communism. I had done so and the consequences were bound to be fatal to my Communism.
"That, as it were, is the mechanics of my introduction to Catholicism."
Not long ago at a mass meeting of the workers in a Finnish factory when the question was asked which they would prefer, Communism or Capitalism, they shouted, "Neither."
Fr. Parsons in his letter in our anniversary issue said that he loved us best when we were fighting for something, so let us begin this new series of articles, similar to THE CHURCH AND WORK. We will probably slash out now and again in the fray of battle, at Fr. Higgins, for instance, who makes fun of the Distributists, and at the ACTU, the members of which are our very good friends. (We are just trying to improve their vision.) And at those who say that it is too late for anything but love, and on the one hand, just read St. John of the Cross and seek for perfection; or on the other hand just make your Easter duty and be ordinary good Catholics. The Pope and the Bishops say that secularism is the curse of our time. We cannot separate soul and body. We cannot separate the week from Sunday. A man's work, whereby he eats, is important.
In other words, it is never too late to begin. It is never too late to turn over a new leaf. In spite of the atom bomb, the jet plane, the conflict with Russia, ten just men may still save the city.
Maybe if we keep on writing and talking, there will be other conversions like Mr. Hyde's. It was reading an article that got Fr. Damien his leper at Molokai. It was reading that converted St. Augustine. So we will keep on writing.
And talking, too. They always said in England that the Distributists did nothing but talk. But one needs to talk to convey ideas. St. Paul talked so much and so long that in the crowded room one young lad, sitting on the window sill, fell out of the window and was killed, like a woman down the street from us, last week. Only she was not listening to the word of God, but washing windows on a Sunday morning. And it was sad that there was no St. Paul to bring her to life. Her life finished there. But we are still alive, though we live in a city of ten million and one can scarcely call it life, and the papers every day carry news of new weapons of death.
However, we are still here. We are still marrying and having children, and having to feed them and house them and clothe them. We don't want them to grow up and say, "This city is such hell, that perhaps war will be preferable. This working in a laundry, a brass factory, the kitchen of a restaurant, is hell on earth. At least, war will teach me new trades, which the public school system has failed to do. This coming home at night to a four-room, or a two room tenement flat and a wife and three children with whooping cough (there are usually not more than three children in the city ) is also hell. And what can be done about it? We are taught to suffer, to embrace the cross. On the other hand, St. Catherine said, "All the way to heaven is heaven, because He said I am the Way." And He was a carpenter and wandered the roadsides of Palestine and lived in the fields and plucked the grain to eat on a Sunday as he wandered with His disciples.
This morning as I went to Mass my eyes stung from the fumes of the cars on Canal street. I crossed a vacant lot, a parking lot filled with cinders and broken glass and longed for an ailanthus tree to break the prison-gray walls and ground all around. Last night all of us from Mott street were at a meeting at Friendship House to hear Leslie Green, Distributist, and the talk was good and stimulating so that in spite of the noise, the fumes, the apathy which the city brings, I was impelled this morning to begin this series. My son-in-law, David Hennessy, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, who has a toehold on the land, has also been deluging me with pamphlets. He has one of the best libraries in the country on the subject, and deals with the books and pamphlets which discuss Distributism. He will help with this series, and send literature to those who ask for it. The address is given in an ad in this issue.
He has one of many toeholds on the land. We could list perhaps fifty among our friends and if we went through our files, we could find many more. These toeholds have meant, however, that the young, married couples had a little stake to start with. They had, or could borrow a bit of money to make a down payment on a farm. Their families could give them a start if it was only a few hundred dollars. (There was an ad in the New York Times yesterday of a farm for sale for $1,200, three hundred down and $25 a month.) Even with the bit of money, however, faith, vision, some knowledge of farming or a craft, are needed. People need to prepare themselves. Parents need to prepare their children.
On the one hand there are already some toeholds on the land; there are those farmers already there who have the right philosophy; there is still time, since we have not yet a socialist government or nationalization of the land. We have some government control, but not much yet. Not compared to what there may be soon.
On the other hand, there are such stories as that in the last issue of Commonweal about the de Gorgio strike in the long central valley of California, of 58,000 acres owned by one family, of 2,000 employees, of horrible living conditions, poor wages, forced idleness "times of repose" between crops, when machines are cared for but not men, women and children. "The Grapes of Wrath" pattern is here, is becoming an accepted pattern. Assembly line production in the factory, and mass production on the land are part of a social order accepted by the great mass of our Catholics, priests and people. Even when they admit it is bad, they say, "What can we do?" And the result is palliatives, taking care of the wrecks of the social order, rather than changing it so that there would not be quite so many broken homes, orphaned children, delinquents, industrial accidents, so much destitution in general.
Palliatives, when what we need is a revolution, beginning now. Each one of us can help start it. It is no use talking about how bored we are with the word. Let us not be escapists but admit that it is upon us. We are going to have it imposed upon us, or we're going to make our own.
If we don't do something about it, the world may well say, "Why bring children into the world, the world being what it is?" We bring them into it and start giving them a vision of an integrated life so that they too can start fighting.
This fighting for a cause is part of the zest of life. Fr. Damasus said once at one of our retreats, that people seemed to have lost that zest for life, that appreciation of the value of life, the gift of life. It is a fundamental thing. Helene Isvolsky in a lecture on Dostoevsky at the Catholic Worker house, last month, said that he was marked by that love for life. He had almost been shot once. He had been lined up with other prisoners and all but lost his life. From then on he had such a love for life that it glowed forth in all his writings. It is what marks the writings of Thomas Wolfe, whose life was torrential, whose writing was a Niagara.
But how can one have a zest for life under such conditions as those we live in at 115Mott street? How can that laundry worker down the street, working in his steamy hell of a basement all day, wake each morning to a zest for life?
In the city very often one lives in one's writing. Writing is not an overflow of life, a result of living intensely. To live in Newburgh, on the farm, to be arranging retreats, to be making bread and butter, taking care of and feeding some children there, washing and carding wool, gathering herbs and salads and flowers--all these things are so good and beautiful that one does not want to take time to write except that one has to share them, and not just the knowledge of them, but how to start to achieve them.
The whole retreat movement is to teach people to "meditate in their hearts," to start to think of these things, to make a beginning, to go out and start to love God in all the little things of every day, to so make one's life and one's children's life a sample of heaven, a beginning of heaven
The retreats are to build up a desire, a knowledge of what to desire. "Make me desire to walk in the way of Thy commandments." Daniel was a man of "desires." Our Lord is called "the desire of the everlasting hills."
Yes, we must write of these things, of the love of God and the love of His creatures, man and beast, and plant and stone.
"You make it sound too nice," my daughter once said to me, "when I was writing of life on the land, and voluntary and involuntary poverty which means in specific instances the doing without water, heat, washing machines, cars, electricity and many other things, even for a time the company of our fellows, in order to make a start.
And others have said the same thing, who are making a start on the land. And I know well what they mean. One must keep on trying to do it oneself, and one must keep on trying to help others to get these ideas respected.
At Grailville, Ohio, there is not only the big school where there is electricity, modern plumbing, a certain amount of machinery that makes the work go easier and gives time for studies; but there is also a sample farm, twelve acres, with no electricity, no modern plumbing, no hot water, where the washing is done outside over tubs and an open fire, and yet there, too, the life is most beautiful, and a foretaste of heaven. There one can see how all things show forth the glory of God, and how "All the way to heaven is heaven,"
Artists and writers, as I have often said, go in for voluntary poverty in order to "live their own lives and do the work they want to do." I know many a Hollywood writer who thought they were going out there to earn enough to leave to buy a little farm and settle down and do some really good writing. But the fleshpots of Egypt held them. And I knew many a Communist who had his little place in the country, private ownership too, and not just a rented place, a vacation place.
Property is proper to man. Man is born to work by the sweat of his brow, and he needs the tools, the land to work with.
This article is but an introduction to a series of articles on what has been written and thought about Distributism.
The principles of Distributism have been more or less implicit in much that we have written for a long time. We have advised our readers to begin with four books, Chesterton's What's Wrong With the World, The Outline of Sanity, and Belloc's The Servile State and The Restoration of Property.
These are the books which Douglas Hyde must have read which gave him the third point of view, neither industrial capitalist or communist.
In a brief pamphlet by S. Sagar, made up of a collection of articles which ran in The Weekly Review, distributism is described as follows:
To live, man needs land (on which to have shelter, to cultivate food, to have a shop for his tools) and capital, which may be those tools, or seeds, or materials.
"Further, he must have some arrangement about the control of these two things. Some arrangement there must obviously be, and to make such an arrangement is one of the reasons why man forms communities." -- Men being what they are, every society must make laws to govern the control of land and capital.
The principle from which the law can start is "that all its subjects should exercise control of Land and Capital by means of direct family ownership of these things. This, of course, is the principle from which, until yesterday, our own law started. It was the theory of capitalism under which all were free to own, none compelled by law to labor." (Popular magazines like Time and the Saturday Evening Post are filled with illustrations of these principles, which all men admit are good, but unfortunately the stories told are not true. It is the reason why great trusts like the Standard Oil and General Motors have public relations men, why there is a propaganda machine for big business, to convert the public to the belief that capitalism really is based on good principles, distributists' principles, really is working out for the benefit of all, so that men have homes and farms and tools and pride in the job.) "Unfortunately, in practice, under capitalism the many had not opportunity of obtaining land and capital in any useful amount and were compelled by physical necessity to labor for the fortunate few who possessed these things. But the theory was all right. Distributists want to save the theory by bringing the practice in conformity with it....
"Distributists want to distribute control as widely as possible by means of a direct family ownership of Land and Capital. This, of course, means cooperation among these personal owners and involves modifications, complexities and compromises which will be taken up later.
"THE AIM OF DISTRIBUTISM IS FAMILY OWNERSHIP OF LAND, WORKSHOPS, STORES, TRANSPORT, TRADES, PROFESSIONS, AND SO ON.
"Family ownership in the means of production so widely distributed as to be the mark of the economic life of the community--this is the Distributist's desire. It is also the world's desire.... The vast majority of men who argue against Distributism do so not on the grounds that it is undesirable but on the grounds that it is impossible. We say that it must be attempted, and we must continue to emphasize the results of not attempting it."
In the next issue of the paper we will continue with a number of articles dealing with these problems.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
It is worth noting on the eve of the 2nd birthday of this weblog of the influence that the writings of Chesterton had on Michael Collins. I was reading again the preface of the book mentioned below last night. A small nation cut from spiritual roots risks ruin. The Napoleon of Notting Hill teaches a lesson. This book was a favourite of Michael Collins. A free nation can be itself. Distributism is the economic creed of the 21st century.
Here at this blog, we are very much in favour of the small man and the large family. The Irish nation and happiness of our people over economic greed and slavery. Economic greed and slavery will be lashed by the whip of truth and justice.
Let us recall the writings of Collins:
The development of industry in the New Ireland should be on lines that exclude monopoly profits. The products of industry would thus be left sufficiently free to supply good wages to those employed in it. The system should be on co-operative lines rather than old commercial capitalist lines of huge joint companies. At the same time, I think we shall avoid State Socialism which has nothing to commend it in a country like Ireland, and in any case, is a monopoly of another kind. (The Path to Freedom)
Chesterton's visit to Ireland in early 1918 resulted in this unique, readable, and thought-provoking book on Ireland and the Irish situation of the early 20th-century from one of England's greatest essayists. In Irish Impressions, familiar Chestertonian themes — distribution of property, industrialism, the Faith and Christian society — are discussed in the context of Ireland's struggle for national and cultural independence from the Britain of the early 1900s. Not mincing words, Chesterton points out both the strengths and weakness of the English and Irish positions during that crucial period, always with wit and wisdom — and an appreciation of religious, cultural, and economic essentials, which is characteristic of Chesterton's work. Originally published: London, 1919.
IHS Press is extremely pleased to be able to offer with this newly edited, extensively footnoted edition, a new Preface by Dr. Dermot Quinn.
Just before “Eleison Comments” become a little more discreet (make sure to register with firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be sure of continuing to receive them in private), let someone else write the last public words for me. I quote word for word from a reader to whom I had recommended praying, if at all reasonably possible, all fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary each day.
“…Sometimes it is difficult to fit in, but… it has already made an enormous difference in my life. Certainly my faith and hope have been noticeably strengthened; they’d become weak from constant attack from every direction and no real sacramental defences (my emphasis)… Besides contributing to my personal sanctification I can see many other benefits… It is an act of reparation. It is a participation in Bishop Fellay’s Rosary Crusade… It frees up graces for Our Lady to use, and will help save souls (I often feel anguish thinking of how many souls, including some quite close to me, seem to be on the road to perdition, and I’ve felt utterly impotent about it – but now I feel as if I’m doing something to help).
And finally I can see that the Rosary is a tremendously powerful weapon against Lucifer and his New World Order. I’ve known for ages that something was very wrong with the world, and within the past ten years or so, particularly since 9/11, I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about what’s really going on. When the scales dropped from my eyes I felt absolutely devastated, and close to despair. But now I feel like I’ve got my hands on some heavy artillery, and am doing some real damage to the enemy” (My emphasis).
Readers, do believe it! The Lord God is only allowing this dreadful crisis of Church and world in order to wake us out of our deadly slumbers and bring us back to Him, so that we can be happy with Him instead of wretched without Him for all eternity. Faced with the seemingly imminent global triumph of His enemies, we can feel there is nothing we can do. Wrong! Our friend has got it right. Fifteen Mysteries a day is “heavy artillery” in all senses! As he suggests, one can prefer not to know what is going on, it is so horrid. But far better than dreaming on in the wetland of the “Sound of Music” is to re-enter reality and do what one can do about it. The bombs fall soon.
In the same vein our friend writes, “Since beginning to pray at least fifteen decades of Our Lady’s Rosary every day… I haven’t the stomach to step into a Novus Ordo church…” He says he found it a bit scary not going to Mass on Sunday, but I told him that the Third Commandment is to “keep the sabbath holy”, and not to keep it on a slide into apostasy, and I gave him the advice Archbishop Lefebvre used to give in such cases, namely to get rather to the true Mass whenever he can. God bless him. The Cross lies ahead of him, but he has the Rosary in hand. Kyrie eleison.
Friday, 24 July 2009
Today, we recall St. Christina, Virgin, Martyr who suffered under the Emperor Diocletian, at the beginning of the fourth century.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
And many of them that believed, came confessing and declaring their deeds. And many of them who had followed curious arts, brought together their books, and burnt them before all… (Acts 19:18-19)
The burning of heretical books goes back to Apostolic Times as we see above in the Acts of the Apostles. In our era, when the ecumenical apostasy has swept through the Catholic Church, it might seem inappropriate to burn Protestant Bibles. Protestantism is not a form of Christianity, but a heresy and the Bibles of heretics are altered or include text or footnotes odious to true Christians.
A Christian to whom a Bible has been offered by a Protestant or an agent of the Protestants should reject it with disgust, because it is forbidden by the Church. If it was accepted by inadvertence, it must be burnt as soon as possible or handed in to the Parish Priest. (Catechism of Pius X)
Minister for Health, Mary Harney has attacked pro-life counsellors who seek to help women in a crisis pregnancy. She was commenting on the announcement of a new campaign from the Crisis Pregnancy Agency (CPA) highlighting such agencies and giving information to women to avoid them.
The CPA which is tax-payer funded and continues to be so, in a time of savage cutbacks on families, children and the elderly, launched a nasty attack on counselling agencies who do not receive any funding through the CPA channels.
The CPA claims that the numbers of women travelling to the UK for an abortion has decreased but that the numbers travelling to other countries has increased. Net effect - no change. Still it receives praise from Minister Harney and other politicians and continued massive funding from the public purse. This week they have launched emotive outdoor advertisements which don't address abortion or try to help abortion-bound women, but instead is a propaganda exercise fuelled by their own idealogocial stand.
The CPA should be held accountable to its employees, the taxpayer, and be given their P60 for thoroughly failing their remit and responsibility. Cut all its funding now.
Monday, 20 July 2009
A group of freemasons have had to spend a night in jail in Fiji, after local villagers complained they were practising witchcraft.
The 14 men, including eight Australians and a New Zealander, had been holding a night-time meeting on Denerau island.
The New Zealand man told reporters he had spent a "wretched" time in jail, and blamed the mix-up on the actions of "dopey village people".
Police also seized wands, compasses and a skull from the freemasons' lodge.
Freemasonry is a centuries-old club that practises secret rituals and has more than five million members worldwide.
The New Zealander, who did not want to give his name, told the New Zealand Herald that Tuesday night's meeting was "interrupted by a banging on the door, and there were these village people and the police demanding to be let in".
Nothing sinister was going on, he claimed, but "such is the nature of life in Fiji" they were taken to a nearby police station.
The freemasons insist they had a permit for the meeting and were released after spending an uncomfortable night there.
Police director of operations Waisea Tabakau told Legend FM News in Fiji that the group was being investigated for "allegedly practising sorcery", the Fiji Village website reported.
The New Zealand man said that when they were freed the following morning, they were told their release was on the orders of the prime minister's office.
Emergency regulations imposed by Fiji's military regime allow police to detain people for up to 48 hours without charge.
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Whereas "Eleison Comments" ten weeks ago said that the split between Catholic Authority and Catholic Truth was responsible for today's incomparable ruination of the Church, a recent objector said that such a split was unthinkable because Catholic Truth comes through Catholic Authority. The brief answer is: normally, yes; today, no. Let us see that the objection is mistaken, and then why.
That Truth and Authority are split is proved by the fruits (cf. Mt.VII, 15-20). Catholic Truth bears good fruit, but the Conciliarism that Catholic Authority has been pushing ever since Vatican II has borne only bad fruit -- on all fronts the Conciliar Church is collapsing, unless one re-defines the word "collapse". This collapse can be recognized by the laity more easily than by the clergy, partly because the laity do not usually undergo that heavy Conciliar indoctrination now normal for the clergy, partly because the laity have not usually staked their lives and reputations on the success of the Council, as by and large today's Church authorities have done.
One way of describing the greatness of Archbishop Lefebvre is to say that he was one of the very few Church authorities who in the aftermath of the Council not only saw how Catholic Truth had been abandoned by Catholic Authority, but also at great personal cost stood by what he saw. How often we heard him say, in the 1970's, "C'est inconcevable, c'est inimaginable", meaning that the disaster going on in the Church was -- "unthinkable".
But that never stopped him from recognizing that it was the reality.
Why it had become the reality he used to explain by the preceding 500 years of Church history: Protestantism rose up against Catholicism, and once it had established itself in the face of Catholicism it gave rise to Liberalism, whereby all "truths" are as good as one another. For a time such nonsense was resisted by what remained still of men's common sense and Faith, and especially by the Catholic churchmen -- Authority still clung to Truth -- but eventually, at the Council, these churchmen too gave up resisting. If the sun goes on sinking, eventually it sets. If you go on drinking, eventually you get drunk. If the tide goes on and on rising, eventually it goes over the top of all dikes built to hold it back.
St. Pius X's great Encyclical on Modernism, "Pascendi", portrays that final corruption of the mind which by spilling over all dikes spells the end of times, if not the end of the world. That corruption swamped the Catholic churchmen at Vatican II, and they abandoned the Catholic Truth. Has then Almighty God abandoned His Catholic Church ? By no means (Mt.XXVIII, 20). But He never promised that His Church could not shrink to a tiny remnant, whether now or at the end of the world (Lk.XVIII,8). Kyrie eleison.
Friday, 17 July 2009
"El Pericote", from a village called Llanes, in Asturias region
In Leon, Extremadura, Aragon, Castilla and Asturias another typical dance is la Jota
Spanish bagpipers in Galicia
Carlos Nunez, Spanish from Galicia, musician of tradicional local music of his region in Spain, plays with the Chieftains one of the most traditional songs of Spain
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Mater Dei Summer 2009
69 years ago The Tablet, at that time a solidly Catholic publication and the leading Catholic newspaper of this country, could acknowledge the resistance offered by Catholic laymen against various errors of the modern age to be “largely, if not entirely due to Hilaire Belloc.” An article published on July 27th, 1940, in honour of Belloc's 70th birthday, entitled Hilaire Belloc and the Counter-Revolution, likened him to "Joseph de Maistre and his successors in France.”
Belloc was born in France, but raised in England. Educated at the Oratory School in Edgbaston he became, at that time, only the second student to pass its London Matriculation Examination with honours. After leaving school he was privileged to be granted somewhat of a personal formation by Cardinal Manning who received the young Belloc's visits on numerous occasions during the year 1889. After having undergone military service with a French artillery regiment Belloc returned to England to study history at Oxford.
Belloc was the young man whom, after graduating with a First Class honours degree in history from Balliol College, famously put his trust in Heaven rather than with Fallen Man and placed a statue of Our Lady on the table at his interview for a greatly sought after History Fellowship at the prestigious, but anti-Catholic, university. He was promptly turned down! Undeterred, and still trusting in Heaven rather than Fallen Man, he later drew out his rosary beads in front of a hostile crowd whipped up by the opposition Tory slogan "Don't Vote for a Frenchman and a Catholic," during an election campaign in Salford, and found himself promptly elected to Parliament! Belloc was the man to whom the English hierarchy turned and chose as their emissary to Pope Saint Pius X in order to advise His Holiness regarding the political situation in relation to the fight for Catholic education in England. He later addressed a 60,000 strong crowd upon the matter in Hyde Park.
In 1934 his voluminous writing and myriad action in defence of the Faith and Catholic Civilisation was recognised with the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great, Knight Commander with Star.
With credentials like that it should be unnecessary to have to present a defence of Belloc in terms of his Catholic orthodoxy but there exists one aspect of Belloc's historical and social analysis that has been severely neglected by his biographers. Unfortunately such neglect has led to Belloc's good name being brought into disrepute in recent times. It has been neglected simply because his biographers do not see with the clear Catholic mind that Belloc, and orthodox Catholics of his generation, possessed. Hence they misinterpret what Belloc wrote in regard to the French Revolution. Quite incredibly Belloc is perceived, by modern-minded liberals and conservatives alike, to have held the false ideas of the Revolution as his own!
Belloc's liberal biographers consider his analysis of the subject as being of little consequence and, hence, tend to pass by it with superficial reference. His conservative biographers tend to hold a received antipathy towards the French Revolution and either fall over themselves to ignore, in embarrassed silence, what they perceive to be an unfortunate and unfathomable contradiction in Belloc's worldview, or they blindly react against his good name with vitriolic and calumnious condemnations.
The Modern Mind holds that the better known royalist Jacobite-orientated Belloc was at the same time a socialist Jacobin-orientated Belloc. It holds that the better known religiously orthodox Belloc was at the same time a religiously liberal and progressive Belloc. Whilst that may in itself be an accurate illustration of the intellectual somersaults that the Modern Mind is capable of exhibiting, it most certainly does not apply to Hilaire Belloc.
The perception is false, and the alleged contradiction is raised upon that falseness. The truth is simple, and it is simply this: Belloc was thoroughly Catholic and saw with a clarity that comes from the mind of a Catholic formed to think from first principles. As he wrote himself in Survivals and New Arrivals in regard to the Modern Mind: "What are you to do with a man who does not recognize his own first principles?"
As well as his numerous works defending Catholic monarchy Belloc wrote a number of historical studies of the French Revolution including character studies of some of its better known protagonists. His works on the subject are not texts of Catholic apologetics or polemics in the manner of many of his other books. They are secular historical studies that acknowledge, but do not analyse or make rhetorical appeal to, the underlying philosphies of the combatants. In his book entitled The French Revolution he clarifies that the book is of such a nature and asserts that although philosophical and theological conflict "is certainly explanatory of all human quarrels... it is evident that history, properly so called, cannot deal with it" and that "... you may say that the Revolution was the work of antichrist;- but with that kind of reply, I repeat, history cannot deal."
In 1892, the year that Belloc finished his military service in France and returned to England, Pope Leo XIII had issued the encyclical Au Milieu des Sollicitudes calling on French Catholics to make peace with the Republic in terms of it being a legitimate form of government whilst distinguishing between good and evil legislation and calling upon them to continue fighting the latter. His Holiness wrote that: "These regrettable differences would have been avoided if the very considerable distinction between constituted power and legislation had been carefully kept in view. In so much does legislation differ from political power and its form, that under a system of government most excellent in form legislation could be detestable; while quite the opposite under a regime most imperfect in form, might be found excellent legislation."
In 1898, aged 28, Belloc joined the resurrected La Ligue des Patriotes which was led by a family friend, Paul Déroulède. From an association of intellectuals belonging to La Ligue des Patriotes, known as La Ligue de la Patrie Francaise, came the foundation of the royalist l'Action Francaise of whose newspaper Belloc regularly read. La Ligue was set up in response to the catalyst of the Dreyfus Affair but its primary objective was to oppose the work of the liberal La Ligue des Droits de l'Homme which campaigned for greater implementation of erroneous ideas stemming from the Revolution.
In 1899 Belloc published his first character study, Danton, concerned with the subject of the French Revolution, and several more historical studies of the subject appeared over the years including The French Revolution in 1911.
Perhaps one minor fault of these historical studies is that Belloc neglects to record with any detail the fact of the organised conspiratorial role of secret societies in planning and executing the Revolution. He only mentions in passing that Freemasonry was the most strongly organised of the anti-clerical forces at work. The reason for that omission appears to be due to a general reaction that Belloc maintained against a plethora of works of the time that in his view over-emphasised the importance of the role of conspiratorial planning and action.
Belloc would no doubt have argued that, in general, no matter how carefully something is planned it very rarely works out in exactly the way that the planners intend. He appears to have believed that history is determined just as much by the chaotic element of chance, due to the frailty of fallen human nature and particular circumstance, as it is by general planning. He writes in The French Revolution that "the folly of this statesman, the ill drafting of that law, the misconception of such and such an institution, the coincidence of war breaking out at such and such a moment and affecting men in such and such a fashion - all these material accidents bred a misunderstanding between the two great forces, led into conflict the human officers and the human organizations which directed them; and conflict once established feeds upon, and grows from, its own substance” One of his biographers, Robert Speight, records that Belloc wrote in personal correspondence to a friend that "... there is a type of unstable mind which cannot rest without morbid imaginings, and the conception of a single cause simplifies thought. With this good woman it is the Jews, with some people it is the Jesuits, with others Freemasons and so on. The world is more complex than that."
Political Theory: Republic and Democracy
In his preface to The French Revolution Belloc makes clear that "If a personal point may be noted, the fact that the writer of these pages is himself a Catholic and in political sympathy strongly attached to the political theory of the Revolution, should not be hidden from the reader.”
That and similar statements found throughout the book such as “There was no quarrel between the theology of the Catholic Church and the political theory of the Revolution", or "Historically and logically, theologically also, those who affirm a necessary antagonism between the Republic and the Church are in error", or again, "They cannot call the [political doctrine of the] Revolution a necessary enemy of the Church, nor the Church of democracy" are enough for the Modern Mind to condemn Belloc as being a disciple of Rousseau, and that it "qualifies him as a liberal." In order to complete Belloc's defamation one of his modern-minded critics even provides a definition: "Liberal is a term that comes from the acceptation of that revolutionary liberty. By extension, the liberal accepted other consequences of the French Revolution, such as the separation of Church and State, secular education for children and youth, civil marriages, and mainly, the idea that equal status should be given to all religions before the civil law."
Belloc's defence begins with him defining, on the very first page of the first chapter of The French Revolution, what constitutes the political theory of the French Revolution to which he is "in political sympathy strongly attached". It is "...that a political community pretending to sovereignty, that is, pretending to a moral right of defending its existence against all other communities, derives the civil and temporal authority of its laws not from its actual rulers, nor even from its magistracy, but from itself." He continues: "Those words 'civil' and 'temporal' must lead the reader to the next consideration; which is, that the last authority of all does not reside even in the community. It must be admitted by all those who have considered their own nature and that of their fellow beings that the ultimate authority in any act is God. Or if the name of God sound unusual in an English publication today, then what now takes the place of it for many (an imperfect phrase), the 'moral sense.'"
He comes back to the subject later in the book: "... only those Democrats who know little of the Catholic Church can say that of its nature it forbids democracy; and only those Catholics who have a confused or imperfect conception of democracy can say that of its nature it is antagonistic to the Catholic Church... Thus, though there be no conflict demonstrable between the theology of the Catholic Church and the political theory of the Revolution, yet there may be necessary and fundamental conflict between the Persons we call the Revolution and the Church, and between the vivifying principles by which either lives."
Thus Belloc makes it abundantly clear that it is first principles that he is concerned with defending and not the "political blunders" and "intellectual accidents", as he describes them elsewhere, that separated the philosophical and theological thought of the French Revolution from Catholicism. In other words Belloc correctly contends that the Republic, as a form of government, and democracy, as a form of social organisation, cannot be condemned per se but only per accidens. They cannot be condemned in themselves, for they are something legitimate, but only by those external things that attach to them and give them erroneous expression. In the same manner he contends correctly that liberty, equality and fraternity are not things condemnable per se, but only per accidens. The principle of each is legitimate. The erronous expression is condemnable.
Archbishop Lefebvre instructs us about the Church's teaching on the subject of democracy in Chapter VII of They Have Uncrowned Him. Clearly there is no conflict between that type of democracy which Belloc favoured and that which the Archbishop describes below:
"I admit that a non-liberal democracy is a rare species, vanished today; but it is still not at all an idle fancy, as shown by by the Republic of Christ the King, that of Ecuador of Garcia Moreno in the last century.
Here are the characteristic traits of a non-liberal democracy:
1. First Principle. The Principle of Popular Sovereignty: first it limits itself to the democratic regime, and respects the legitimacy of a monarchy. Then it is radically different from that of the Rousseauist democracy: the power resides in the people, well and good, but neither originally nor finally. Thus it is from God that power comes to the people, from God as the author and from the social nature of man, and not from the individual-kings. And once those in power are elected by the people, these last do not keep the exercise of the authority.
First consequence: it is not a shapeless multitude of individuals that governs, but the people in established bodies: its heads of families (who will be able to legislate directly in some very small States, like that of Appenzell in Switzerland), its peasants and merchants, industrialists and workers, big and small property owners, military men and magistrates, religious, priests and bishops; that is, says Mgr. de Segur, 'the nation with all its living forces, established in a genuine representative manner, and capable of expressing its wishes through its true representatives, of freely exercising its rights' ....
Second consequence: elected governments, even if they are called, as by St. Thomas, 'vicars of the multitude,' are such only in the sense that they do for it what it cannot do itself, that is, govern. But power comes to them from God, 'from Whom all paternity in heaven and on earth draws its name' (Eph. 3:15). The people in power are therefore responsible for their acts first of all before God, whose ministers they are, and only after that before the people, for whose common good they govern.
2. Second Principle: The Rights of God (and those of His Church, in a Catholic nation) are set down as the base of the constitution. The decalogue is therefore the inspirer of all legislation.
First consequence: the 'general will' is null if it goes against God's rights. The majority does not 'make' the truth; it has to keep itself in the truth, under penalty of a perversion of democracy. With reason Pius XII underlines the danger, inherent in the democratic regime, against which the constitution must react: the danger of depersonalisation, of massification, and of manipulation of the multitude by pressure groups and artificial majorities.
Second consequence: democracy is not secular, but openly Christian and Catholic. It conforms to the social doctrine of the Church, concerning private property, the principle of subsidiarity, education left to the care of the Church and of the parents, etc...
To sum up: democracy, no less than any other governmental form, must bring about the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Democracy must, all the same, have a King: Jesus Christ."
St. Thomas Aquinas further explains in the Summa Theologica (Ia IIae, 105,1) that no dilemma exists between the principles of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy but, on the contrary, a commonwealth that expresses a harmonious balance of these principles is the best form of government:
"I answer that, Two points are to be observed concerning the right ordering of rulers in a state or nation. One is that all should take some share in the government: for this form of constitution ensures peace among the people, commends itself to all, and is most enduring, as stated in Polit. ii, 6. The other point is to be observed in respect of the kinds of government, or the different ways in which the constitutions are established. For whereas these differ in kind, as the Philosopher states (Polit. iii, 5), nevertheless the first place is held by the 'kingdom,' where the power of government is vested in one; and 'aristocracy,' which signifies government by the best, where the power of government is vested in a few. Accordingly, the best form of government is in a state or kingdom, where one is given the power to preside over all; while under him are others having governing powers: and yet a government of this kind is shared by all, both because all are eligible to govern, and because the rules are chosen by all. For this is the best form of polity, being partly kingdom, since there is one at the head of all; partly aristocracy, in so far as a number of persons are set in authority; partly democracy, i.e. government by the people, in so far as the rulers can be chosen from the people, and the people have the right to choose their rulers."
Thus, again, it can clearly be seen that Belloc, whose historic sympathy for the old kingdoms and kingships is well enough known, and whose sympathy for monarchical leadership in modern Republics such as France, Italy and Spain during his own lifetime is also well enough known, was faithfully following the social doctrine of the Church.
Rousseau's Social Contract
The attack of the Modern Mind upon Belloc is further extended by the claim that by identifying Rousseau's The Social Contract as "the formula of the Revolutionary Creed", and by stating that "no man, perhaps, has put the prime truth of political morals so well", and that "it is not too much to say that never in the history of political theory has a political theory been put forward so lucidly, so convincingly, so tersely or so accurately as in this short and wonderful book”, Belloc "pretends that the French Revolution is praiseworthy and should be supported by Catholics", and that "Far from being a model for Catholics... [he] appears to be a fifth column assigned to introduce the poison of the French Revolution and admiration for its Deist founder among well-intentioned Catholics."
Notwithstanding the fact, a fact completely ignored by the Modern Mind, that Belloc makes perfectly clear in the same pages of The French Revolution that in treating of religion Rousseau possessed a "confused" and "insufficient" comprehension of religious truth, the quotations used in order to libel Belloc only appear shocking when utterly torn from the context in which Belloc placed them.
The Modern Mind appears, first of all, to be unable to make the simple distinction between a treatment of political theory as such, and insists upon equating and confusing a treatment of political theory in itself, with a treatment upon philosophy and theology. Secondly, the Modern Mind appears incapable of comprehending the context presented by Belloc in The French Revolution and from which he presents his historical study.
The historical context from which Belloc treats of both Rousseau and the French Revolution is one where, he writes, "... the country squire, the noble, the lawyer, the university professor of the generation immediately preceeding the Revolution had, as a rule, no conception of the Catholic Church. With them the Faith was dead...".
Just as, in our own time, major upheavals do not spontaneously arise out of the blue but are the result of cause and effect, so it was that the French Revolution could only have happened because of an enabling cause. Belloc describes at some length the state of affairs that made the Revolution possible: French society had become thoroughly corrupt and stale; it had largely lost the practice of the Catholic religion and with it that general sense and application of unity and supernatural bond expressed between Lord and Commoner in the Middle Ages. The landed and mercantile class in France had become almost completely infected with either Rationalism or the Determinism of the Calvinist Huguenots and, to compound the problem, the Monarchy and much of the Hierarchy in France had, from the time of Louis XIV, neglected the universal nature of the Catholic Church in favour of a tendency towards, for all practical purposes, a National Church wed to the apparatus of the State.
Belloc begins to explain thus: "It did not shock the hierarchy that one of its Apostolic members should be a witty atheist; that another should go hunting upon Corpus Christi, nearly upset the Blessed Sacrament in his gallop, and forget what day it was when the accident occurred. The bishops found nothing remarkable in seeing a large proportion of their body to be loose livers, or in some of them openly presenting their friends to their mistresses as might be done by any great lay noble round them... Unquestioned also by the bishops were the poverty, the neglect, and the uninstruction of the parish clergy; nay - and this is by far the principal feature - the abandonment of religion by all but a very few of the French millions, no more affected the ecclesiastical officials of the time than does the starvation of our poor affect, let us say, one of our professional politicians. It was a thing simply taken for granted.
The reader must seize that moribund condition of the religious life of France upon the eve of the Revolution, for it is at once imperfectly grasped by the general run of historians, and is also the only fact which thoroughly explains what followed. The swoon of the Faith in the eighteenth century is the negative foundation upon which the strange religious experience of the French was about to rise. France, in the generation before the Revolution, was passing through a phase in which the Catholic Faith was at a lower ebb than it had ever been since the preaching and establishment of it in Gaul."
He eventually concludes that "Such, then, was the position when the Revolution was preparing. Within memory of all men living, the Church had become more and more official [i.e. National, and part of "executive Government" ], the masses of the great towns had wholly lost touch with it; the intelligence of the country was in the main drawn to the Deist or even to the purely sceptical propaganda, the powerful Huguenot body was ready prepared for an alliance with any foe of Catholicism, and in the eyes of the impoverished town populace - notably in Paris, which had long abandoned the practice of religion - the human organisation of the Church, the hierarchy, the priesthood, and the few but very wealthy religious orders which still lingered on in dwindling numbers, were but a portion of the privileged world which the populace hated and was prepared to destroy.
It is upon such a spirit and in such conditions of the national religious life that the Revolution begins to work."
Such was the historic situation of France at the time, and such was the endemic loss of Faith and the powerful influence held over French society by an even worse atheistic Rationalism, that Belloc writes that "in a time when the problem represented by religion was least comprehended, when the practice of religion was at its lowest, and when the meaning, almost, of religion had left men's minds" it was "remarkable" that Rousseau "should have allowed as he did for religious sentiment" and to "attempt to define that minimum or substratum of religion".
Clearly, Belloc's analysis that the Deistic religious sentiment expressed within the pages of The Social Contract was preferable to its alternative, that of French society being subjected to an atheistic State, is perfectly legitimate when taken in the context that he provides and Belloc himself is very far, indeed, from being, as the Modern Mind accuses, "a strong promoter of one of the worst representatives of the Deist ideal of a pan-religion submitted to the State." How could he be when he plainly asserts that "Rousseau's view of religion in the State" was "insufficient" and laments that Rousseau's Deist pluralism "unfortunately became the commonplace of the politicians" ?
Belloc is finally accused by the Modern Mind of supporting the great injustices of The Terror simply because he records it historically as being an act of martial law established by the revolutionary government's Committee of Public Safety in order to prevent further anarchy.
"Those months, which may be roughly called the months of the Terror, were, as we shall see later in this book, months of martial law; and the Terror was simply martial law in action – a method of enforcing the military defense of the country and of punishing all those who interfered with it or were supposed by the Committee to interfere with it”, he writes. Of its victims he is criticised for writing that "most were men or women who had broken some specific part of the martial code which the Government had laid down."
Belloc is further castigated for the use of occasional adjectives to describe some particular actions or traits of revolutionary characters as being "honest", "sincere", "well-intentioned", "patriotic" and so on, whilst "On the contrary, those who defended the Church and Christian Civilization – such as the counter-revolutionaries of the Vendée and Brittany - are referred to as 'rebels.' On this point, Belloc, who presents himself as a genuine Catholic author, appears more like a man without a conscience. He displays a cold indifference, with a drop of ridicule, when it comes to the struggle of those simple people of the Vendée and Brittany who rose in arms to defend the King and restore Monarchy fighting under the banner of the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
Suffice it to say that once again the Modern Mind excels in the use of the selective quotation, taken out of context, in order to present a propaganda designed to defame rather than to present an honest summary or historical critique of anything that Belloc wrote. The Modern Mind concludes with such inanity as: "Now then, this frequent praise of the French Revolution and the egalitarianism it promoted, as well as the violence of the Terror, was made by Belloc in books written just prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917. I ask: Wouldn’t these works help prepare the ideas and the environment for the victory of Communism?... I am a little uncertain as to whether I should keep the title of this series as Hillaire [sic] Belloc: the Liberal, or change it to Hillaire [sic] Belloc: the Socialist, or perhaps even to Hillaire [sic] Belloc: the pre-Communist."
Completely ignored are those passages in which Belloc gives lie to such an accusation; his recording of the piety and religious devotion of the murdered King, the cruelty and terror of the anti-Catholic persecution with its vast number of martyrdoms, and his affirmation to the enemies of Catholicism that the Church and the Faith is strengthened by persecution and the blood of the martyrs. In such circumstances it is only fitting to make appeal to Hilaire Belloc, himself, to provide the final words of this essay and to witness for his own defence and that of the truth.
Of the personal character of the King, he writes:
"It was, indeed, a singular thing for a man of his position at such a time to hold intimately to religion, but Louis held to it. He confessed, he communicated, he attended Mass, he performed his ordinary devotions - not by way of tradition or political duty, or State function, to which religious performance was now reduced in the vast majority of his wealthy contemporaries, but as an individual for whom these things had a personal value."
Of the Terror:
"With the crash of the 10th August the persecution began: the true persecution, which was to the growing bitterness of the previous two years what a blow is to the opening words of a quarrel... From this date to the end of the Terror, twenty-three months later, the story of the relations between the Revolution and the Church, though wild and terrible, is simple: it is a story of mere persecution culminating in extremes of cruelty and in the supposed uprooting of Christianity in France.
The orthodox clergy were everywhere regarded by this time as the typical enemies of the revolutionary movement; they themselves regarded the revolutionary movement, by this time, as being principally an attempt to destroy the Catholic Church.
Within seven months of the fall of the monarchy, from the 18th March, 1793, the priests, whether non-juring or schismatic, might, on the denunciation of any six citizens, be subjected to transportation.
There followed immediately a general attack upon religion. The attempted closing of all churches was, of course, a failure, but it was firmly believed that such attachment as yet remained to the Catholic Church was due only to the ignorance of the provincial districts which displayed it, or to the self-seeking of those who fostered it. The attempt at mere 'de-christianisation', as it was called, failed, but the months of terror and cruelty, the vast number of martyrdoms (for they were no less) and the incredible sufferings and indignities to which the priests who attempted to remain in the country were subjected, burnt itself, as it were, into the very fibre of the Catholic organisation in France, and remained, in spite of political theory one way or the other, and in spite of the national sympathies of the priesthood, the one great active memory of the time."
And of the Church:
"The Catholic Church was not dead, and was not even dying. It was exhibiting many of the symptoms which in other organisms and institutions correspond to the approach of death, but the Catholic Church is an organism and an institution quite unlike any other. It fructifies and expands immediately under the touch of a lethal weapon..."
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Beginning on August 1st, Dinoscopus will switch to a subscriber-only format. If you'd like to receive access, simply send an email with your email address (nothing else required) to email@example.com. This is the third of five reminders. Please note that this is not H.E.'s actual email, which is private, but we are always happy to pass on any email, hate-filled or otherwise, to him that is directed here.
A continued reminder, True Restoration Press is offering a $100/$130 (US/International) package of all four volumes of Letters from the Rector, as well as the Liberal Illusion and We Call Thee Blessed. Get them while they last! - S.H
The expression “Conciliar Church” gives rise to much confusion. For instance, how can the Catholic Church, the spotless Bride of Christ (Eph. V, 27), be stained with the new man-centered religion of Vatican II, i.e. Conciliarism? Yet Our Lord founded only one Church, so if the “Conciliar Church” is not Catholic, there must be two Churches, a Conciliar Church and a Catholic Church? Impossible.
Indeed there are not two Churches. There is only the one Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is the Catholic Church. But this Catholic Church is embodied in human beings who are necessarily imperfect. Our Lord instituted it to save not angels or animals, but exclusively us poor human beings who tend by ourselves, because of original sin, only to fall further and further away from Heaven and from God.
So the Catholic Church always has two aspects: divine by its origin or beginning (Jesus Christ) and by its end (bringing souls to Heaven), it is, in between, also necessarily human, by its involvement in amongst the human beings it came to save. Therefore as there must be human beings inside the Church, so too there will always be imperfections inside the Church, sometimes very visible, but these imperfections will still be incapable of staining the Bride of Christ, spotless in herself.
Now Conciliarism, as the new religion of Vatican II putting man in the place of God, is error and imperfection, purely human, in no way divine. So the expression “Conciliar Church” means the Catholic Church in its purely human and imperfect aspect, the Church as disfigured by modern man organising Vatican II to put himself in the place of God. Yet the divine Church remains stainless beneath all the disfigurement, as if it were a kingfisher swooping down on a lake to pick up a fish and fly again heavenward, flicking off as it flies any water it momentarily picked up.
Then there are two Churches? No way. There is only the one immaculate Bride of Christ. Then does the expression “Conciliar Church” have no real meaning? Alas, it names an all too real reality. It names all those members and structures of the one true Church as caught up in the toils of the subtle errors of Vatican II, and as tending all the time to be taken out of the true Church by those errors. This is the “Conciliar Church” from which Archbishop Lefebvre did not mind being “excommunicated”, because, as he said, he never belonged to it in the first place.
Friday, 10 July 2009
Bishop Richard Williamson
November 1, 2001
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Today’s anti-Christendom has so untaught history and literature that even Catholics who have the Faith can think that engineering and chemistry are more important. But let such readers allow a recent book from Germany claiming Shakespeare was an underground Catholic to give them a keen insight into many troubled souls of today.
The life of William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, is a major crossroads of literature, history and religion. He towers over English literature, as no other poet or writer in the English language comes near him for the varied and rich use that he makes of our mother tongue. He is a giant of world literature, as hardly another dramatist in the world can rival the breadth and depth of his stage dramas. History explains the depth. He wrote for the stage of Elizabethan England, poised between the Middle Ages and the modern world, when Elizabeth I and James I were finally wrenching England away from Rome, with enormous consequences for world history. And at the heart of that disastrous wrench was of course the question of religion: England was apostatizing. The Reformation so-called had wrought an earthquake in English souls. Faithful Catholics were in real pain, and many were being martyred for their pains. It makes sense that Shakespeare was wrestling in depth with the meaning of life. It makes particular sense of the turmoil of “Hamlet”.
However, if Shakespeare was shaken, he did not go as far as the martyrdom of a number of his canonized contemporaries. From 1592 when he began his brilliant career on the London stage, until 1612 (or 1613) when he retired to his home-town of Stratford-upon-Avon, in all his 37 or 38 plays one can find the traces of Catholicism only if one knows what one is looking for. They are there, but so well concealed that if the Protestant government knew Shakespeare was a Catholic, as they most likely did, they must have felt no need to make a martyr of him. He was a superb propagandist for the Tudors, a most popular entertainer of Court and people, and as a Catholic he was keeping a sufficiently low profile…
In fact Shakespeare in his plays and in his life so cleverly disguised his Catholic Faith that it needs to be proved that he had it at all. Scraps of evidence have for a long time pointed in that direction, for instance the known Catholicism of his parents, wife and daughter; the Catholicism of fellow-actors; his purchase of an important Blackfriars building as a haven for Catholic recusants just before he finally left London. However, not only did Shakespeare so paint himself out of the picture that he has been absurdly identified with a variety of more famous Elizabethans by modern critics unable to accept that such significant works could have come from such an apparently insignificant personage, but also all England since Shakespeare’s time, proud of its greatest writer but repudiating his religion, has not sought to tear away the disguise. And the plays let them get away with it…
But research is being done today, a Shakespeare scholar tells me, by which the truth is coming out. That much is certainly indicated by the book which appeared earlier this year in Germany, “The Hidden Existence of William Shakespeare”, by Mrs. Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel. She has assembled all known pointers towards Shakespeare’s Catholicism, studied them with a Germanic thoroughness, added the fruits of her own research, and succeeded by the concordance of all this circumstantial evidence in making what looks (at least to a non-Shakespeare scholar) like a conclusive case that he was a “rebel in the Catholic underground” of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Not all the details need concern us here, because we are more interested in her conclusion for the light which it throws on “Hamlet” in particular, and on the ways of God in the modern world in general. So two examples of the kind of evidence she adduces will have to suffice.
She begins with the previously known fact that a 1966 X-ray of the 1608 Flower-Portrait of Shakespeare showed that it had been painted over a picture of the Madonna with Child and St. John. She speculates that the over-painting was not from a shortage of canvas but from a desire to hide from anti-Catholic authorities a possession they made so dangerous. She concludes with her own discovery of three entries in the guest register of the English College (England’s priestly semi-nary) in Rome: from April 1585, “Arthurus Stratfordus Wigorniensis”; from 1587, “Shfordus Cestriensis”; and from 1589, “Gulielmus Clerkue Stratfordiensis”. The three entries are easily decipherable as pseudonyms of Shakespeare: (King) Arthur's (compatriot) from Stratford (in the diocese) of Worcester, Shakespeare from Stratford (in the diocese) of Chester (where he spent two years), and William clerk-secretary from Stratford, respectively. All three entries fall within the - for Shakespeare biographers - “missing years” between early 1585 when he is known to have left Stratford, and 1592 when he began his career as playwright in London. From a close knowledge of Italy shown especially in Shakespeare’s early come-dies, Mrs. Hammerschmidt-Hummel speculates that he spent in Italy these years, which were among the fiercest of the anti-Catholic persecution in England. For some 60 mentions of London in the 37 or 38 plays, she says there are 290 mentions of Rome!
But let us assume, from her wealth of detail not to be quoted here, that Mrs. Hammerschmidt-Hummel has made her case. What follows for a Catholic today? Almost final light, I would venture to say, on Shakespeare’s fascinating but puzzling presentation in “Hamlet” of the predicament of many a modern soul. The “medieval solution” presented in one of these Letters four years ago to Hamlet’s famous riddle (“To be or not to be”), by the highlighting of the clash between the Catholic and modern elements in the play, was good as far as it went, but to suppose that Shakespeare was driven to be an under-ground Catholic takes the solution further. Let us see the Prince of Denmark’s story by numbers, to make clear the parallel both with Shakespeare’s own case as a consciously disguised Catholic, and with many a spiritual young man’s case ever since, as an unconsciously smothered Catholic. Here goes: -
1 Hamlet is Prince of Denmark and rightful heir to Denmark’s throne. 2 But his villainous uncle murdered his father, the king, incestuously married his mother, usurped the throne and is corrupting and rotting Denmark. 3 Hamlet is an exile at home. His world has crumbled about him. He is virtually isolated. He is all but overcome by his death-wish. 4 Finally, he lashes out. Of course his uncle resists. Hence a blood-bath. 5 He was right to resist, because Denmark was rotten, but he was wrong to resist, because of the blood-bath. “To be or not to be?”
Next, the parallel with Shakespeare’s own case, as illuminated by the assumption that he was an underground Catholic: - 1 Shakespeare is Catholic, and rightful heir to a Catholic England. 2 But Protestant heretics have virtually murdered the Catholic Church in England, turning it incestuously into the Church of England. They have hi-jacked England in the process, and are spiritually ruining it in depth. 3 Shakespeare has been made a stranger in his own land. Catholic England has collapsed. Nearly all people around him are going along with Protestantism. Shakespeare is tempted to despair (in “Hamlet” as in no other of his plays). 4 A handful of fellow-Catholics (some relatives and possibly friends of Shakespeare) lash out, for instance in the Gunpowder Plot (1605). The Protestants trap, torture and execute all the plotters. 5 Shakespeare was right to dream of killing off the Protestants (they were rotten heretics), but he was wrong to do so (his friends merely got killed). “To be or not to be?”
And now the application to the case of any young man with no Catholic Faith but with any spiritual awareness that something is deep down wrong in the dazzling modern world: - 1 As a human being, he is, since the Incarnation, rightful heir to Christendom (“Going, teach all nations” said Our Lord). 2 But the modern world has virtually extinguished Christendom, and is replacing it incestuously with secular humanism. Mankind has been taken over and is being deeply corrupted, from some, to him, unknown cause. 3 But the young man well knows that he is surrounded by hollow men, and he feels very much alone. His world is unlivable, yet everybody seems to be going along with it. He is all but overcome - or he is overcome - by rock, drugs, immorality, etc.. 4 Or he takes whatever arms are at hand against his sea of troubles and lashes out. Of course the world around him resists, so he too is physically - or psychiatrically - crushed. 5 He was right to resist (he was affirming some divine spark). But he was wrong to resist (it all turned out to be pointless). “To be or not to be?”
According to this reading of “Hamlet” as the conscious but disguised cry of agony of a Catholic seeing his country drive itself into a tunnel of darkness, Shakespeare has caught the unconscious and undisguised cry of agony of numberless souls who would follow him at all stages further down the tunnel, where they would be buried in a world of spiritual dark-ness. Shakespeare could only have such a clear view down the centuries because he was Catholic, but was it because he was a disguised Catholic that he lost at least for a moment the clearness of his Catholic sight and lashed out in “Hamlet”? Let us blame Shakespeare if we wish, but let us admire the ways of God.
As for blaming Shakespeare for hiding his Faith and perhaps for that very reason momentarily wavering in it, let him who has never in any way disguised his Faith in public cast the first stone. Late Elizabethan England persecuted unto blood, by torture, hanging, drawing and quartering. Today’s “Western civilization” may be strongly anti-Catholic, but it is not yet persecuting unto blood. Let us pray now for the strength of martyrs if - or when - the blood does flow.
As for the ways of Providence, let us admire how it works with the weakness of men. Let us suppose that Shakespeare was not as brave as he could have been. Let us suppose that he was not a full hero like St. Edmund Campion, whom he may easily have met in Lancashire in 1580 when he was 16 years old. Let us suppose he was only a half-hero who wrote only implicitly Catholic plays. Do not two things follow? Firstly, that we have any Shakespeare plays at all. Had he run straight into the martyr’s death when he came back to London, perhaps from Italy, in 1592, we would have none of them. Common sense says that that would be an enormous loss to the human race. Because secondly, even if the plays are not explicitly Catholic, they are implicitly Catholic, by for instance the accusation of spiritual darkness in “Hamlet”. Now if “Ham-let” were explicitly Catholic, could it have got through to numberless young men in the darkness since? No, because a large part of that darkness consists, precisely, in the automatic rejection of anything that is explicitly Catholic. And so Providence, knowing from eternity into what a tunnel mankind was plunging itself at the time of the Reformation, arranged for this dark sign-post to point towards the light. Modern moles cannot bear sign-posts that are too bright…
Thank you, Shakespeare! Thank you, Providence! “O the depths of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments and how unsearchable His ways!” (Rom XI, 33).