By The Hermits, Oct 16 2014 9:05PM
I feel that many people commenting on the present Synod in Rome are losing the focus somewhat, and there is a vast amount of talk about what the Church can do for divorced and remarried couples, and contraception, and “gay couples” and the problems faced by the family. I fear that the person of Jesus Christ, unless I am not much mistaken, is being lost sight of. Jesus was God and Man, which makes him on one level completely different from us, for the simple reason that he is God. Jesus came to redeem us and call us into the Kingdom of His Father. He founded the Church, and the early Christians lived in the shadow of persecution and martyrdom. Their life was not like the life of the Orthodox Jew, nor was it like the life of the pagan in the Roman Empire. It was qualitatively different. It was a new way of living.
I think that the Fathers of the Synod are failing to see this, with possibly the exception of the Africans, whose culture would be very close to that of the early Christians. It is a very ancient Culture, albeit a simple one and no bad thing for that. The Fathers of the Synod, who hail from the West, will unwittingly receive the degenerate culture of the West, and will feel most probably that it is not a bad thing. I say feel, because comfort dulls the intellect, and many and clerical intellect will be dulled by the Media dominated Western Civilization, and they will not realize that their otherwise orthodox faith is being compromised by materialism, and sadly seuclarism. I fear that this will be the case of the North American bishops, and the German bishops, and those whose churches are surrounded by a Protestant culture, where subjectivity has won the day, and has ushered in the baleful influences of the modern world, not least the child of the Enlightenment, namely modernism.
Once again poor Cardinal Kasper, a man of considerable intelligence, has missed the point that a five year old child would understand, namely that we cannot play fast and loose with God’s law, and we cannot add insult to injury as he has done with regard to his remarks regarding the African bishops.
I quote here from his interview with Zenit, and there is no need for me to comment on it.
ZENIT: It has been said that [Pope Francis] added five special rapporteurs on Friday to help the general rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdo. Is that because he’s trying to push things through according to his wishes?
Cardinal Kasper: I do not see this going on in the Pope’s head. But I think the majority of these five people are open people who want to go on with this. The problem, as well, is that there are different problems of different continents and different cultures. Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo. For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects.
ZENIT: But are African participants listened to in this regard?
Cardinal Kasper: No, the majority of them [who hold these views won’t speak about them].
ZENIT: They’re not listened to?
Cardinal Kasper: In Africa of course [their views are listened to], where it’s a taboo.
ZENIT: What has changed for you, regarding the methodology of this synod?
Cardinal Kasper: I think in the end there must be a general line in the Church, general criteria, but then the questions of Africa we cannot solve. There must be space also for the local bishops’ conferences to solve their problems but I’d say with Africa it’s impossible [for us to solve]. But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.
We have this from a highly regarded prince of the Church, possibly the most prestigious European Cardinal. Thus we see this Prince of the Church assessing the African Church. The African Church is alive and vibrant. It may have its faults, and it may, as it has been since the conversion of Constantine, a way up the social ladder, and the ambitious cleric’s dream. That is neither here nor there. It is life. There were few great bishops and cardinals when St. John Fisher went to the block. It is salutary to note that St. John Chrysostom, echoed by St. Robert Bellarmine said “Most bishops go to Hell” and both men were great bishops. In the West the Catholic Church presents a sorry state. There are new movements, and impressive ones at that, but several of the most famous have been compromised by their founders dubious behaviour, which would seem to have more to do with the behaviour of cult leaders rather than religious founders.
On to this dreary scene stumbles my fellow hermit, Brother Damon Jonah, and what does he do? Something very simple and straightforward, he states the Gospel, not from the pulpit or in the safety of the plush retreat centre, nor by preaching devout sermons to pilgrims. No! he goes from door to door in the towns and cities of central England distributing pamphlets on the sanctity of marriage and the immorality of all sex outside marriage, especially the secular idolising of homosexuality especially with the new law on “Gay Marriage”. In town and city he has met with hostility and bitterness. In Brighton a woman poured a bucket of water over him. In Market Harborough (Immortalized by G.K. Chesterton, who finding himself on Market Harborough station platform telegraphed his wife and said “Am at Market Harborough, where should I be?) a woman pushed him over (Oddly the women have been more violent than the men). A leading journalist from the slightly Marxist sounding “Gay Star News” wrote that the man’s “Hellish campaign” should be stopped. I think the journalist should meditate on Hieronymous Bosch’s paintings of Hell, where she will find sexual immorality punished in that dark and terrible domain. Brother Damon Jonah was interviewed by Staffordshire Police and obviously charmed them, was then arrested, on behalf of Cheshire Police, and given bail. The C.I.D. were obviously somewhat mystified by his forthright and comprehensive apologia for the teachings of the Church regarding marriage and sex, and the same could be said of Lincolnshire police. He was of course being investigated under the watchful eye of possibly the greatest of all English bishops St. Hugh of Lincoln, who of course was not English at all. Leicestershire police then arrested him and de-arrested him, and found no case against him. Seven Police forces have not been able to find Brother Damon Jonah guilty of “Hate Crime”, and so pressure has been brought to bear on The Association of Senior Police Chiefs to get Brother Damon Jonah charged under “The Malicious communications” Act, which is rather odd as this law is usually deployed against paedophiles trying to groom children on the Internet. The irony is obviously lost on “Gay Star News”. If they are of a severely Left Wing bent then of course it will be; socialism and humour are unhappy bedfellows.
So as leading British media personalities are being imprisoned for sexual immorality, Brother Damon Jonah is in danger of being imprisoned for condemning sexual immorality. Such is the madness of the times. As the clergy are, for the most part dumb, when it comes to preaching Christ’s Law regarding marriage and sexual sin, Brother Damon Jonah, something of a holy fool, goes out like a modern religious Don Quixote to tilt at sexual and secular windmills. Where are the bishops, and where are the priests, and where are the Princes of the Church? It would be interesting if Cardinal Kasper were to meet this blunt Lancashire man, and then listen in on their conversation. For Brother Damon Jonah is a mixture of a Marx brother and an Old Testament prophet, and I fear that the very German andun-intuitive Cardinal would be completely unnerved by an interview with Brother Damon Jonah, who in fairness, highly recommends the Cardinal’s book on the Cross.
I know Brother Damon Jonah well, because he was one of my novices, and when I left the Capuchins in 1999 to found a new Franciscan venture which then turned into something very different and happily much more modest, he joined me, unlike not a few of the other friars who commended me, and did not join me. There were the others, who were furious, and I do not blame them. It is hard when a brother leaves because of conviction, as opposed to anger and bitterness. So the two of us have had a most extraordinary Odyssey (There was a third brother, Brother Andrew who got fed up with the whole thing, and sensibly went off and got married). Our life took us to Pluscarden Abbey in the North of Scotland, then to Galloway, where St. Ninian founded his Church, and thence to the Isle of Mull that lies close to the fabled Iona of St. Columba, and finally before returning to England we found ourselves on the Mull of Kintyre immortalized by Paul McCartney. On this strangest of journeys we were joined by a retired A&E surgeon (In the U.S. it is the Emergency Room), who has become an anchorite and consecrated virgin, Sister Colette. She now is a herbalist and helping the people who come to her. I, Brother Stephen Joseph, am the most work-a-day of the three, because I am simply a hermit priest. However in our different ways we try to restore common sense to the Church. For myself I wrote “The Catmoot”, (It is on this website) a book about our seven cats going to Rome and Moscow to give good advice on how to bring hope to the Church and the World. I believe that the Pope did glance at the book. I know he received it. Whether President Putin received it , or Patriarch Kirill, I do not know. However the charismatic Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, the brilliant composer, did, as did Emeritus Pope Benedict, a cat enthusiast, like ourselves, and for that matter so did Archbishop Georg Ganswein. I did not think that Barak Obama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia would have appreciated the book. Whether this religious novella, and strange fairy tale made much impression I do not know, but looking at the animal kingdom, they seem to have an order and sanity that the human race at present lacks.
And so dear readers pray for our dear brother Damon Jonah, and prophet and somewhat like a hobbit, as are all three of us, and pray for our dear bishop, who, I suspect, finds the whole thing mortifying and embarrassing, but then the Gospel should not only embarrass, it should convict, and that is what Brother Damon Jonah is trying to do, to convict, convert and instruct a godless society, and in doing so give a good example to the Church of what witnessing to the Gospel is all about. Would anyone like to don a black habit and join Brother Damon Jonah in his pamphleteering apostolate. Our Lady Cause of Our Joy, and St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists and no doubt pamphleteers, pray for us. Our email is email@example.com.
By The Hermits, Oct 15 2014 9:31PM
Yesterday the Catholic World was subjected to the most curious document from The Synod On The Family, which has a distinctly “Gay” friendly tone. Rather confusingly, at other times the document has a very traditional tone, though sadly coloured by the vacuous quality that one normally associates with some of the most banal passages in “Gaudium et Spes”. Since Vatican II, and the then leading Catholic theologians’ love affair with the World, which though understandable given the temper of the times, when the Council was called, there has been what can only be described as a real inability to think clearly and write briefly. Vatican documents become intolerably long, encyclicals get even longer than the time of Paul VI, and goodness knows what effect this has on the deified rain forests.
Suddenly yesterday the World woke up to the news of the interim report from the synod, which would be quite hilarious, but for the serious of the topics it deals with.
If that wasn’t bad enough the Pope seems to be saying very little. What does seem to be true is that normally the bishops interventions are publicised, but not so this time. Here is an example of the sheer silliness that, would in an age wiser than our own, which would be satirised by an Ealing Comedy, or a Will Hay film. I am sure that in America such things would be lampooned in something similar to “You can’t take it with you”. The only thing is that they would have thought that Gay marriage to be so unreal as to not even warrant a mention. Such is the road to wickedness that we have travelled over the last 50 or so years. So here is an example of this dangerous nonsense:
50. Homosexual have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony.
It is rather like saying that temperance clubs, if there are such things, should offer a welcome to alcoholics, while not endangering the fundamental essence of the temperance club. Such nonsense would be laughed out of court, but sadly we live in a mad world, and what appears to be a hierarchy going mad, for after all the majority of the Church are the Laity. If the Holy Father puts his trust in such a disastrous co-ordinators of the above mentioned working document, God help the Church, as it looks as if it is falling apart.
With St. Catherine of Siena, I am inclined to say “Well I suppose evil had better work its way right down to the bottom, and then we can start all over again.” I am not sure how accurate that is, but I cannot lay my hand on the quote at the moment. There was however this difference. All the Cardinals, and bishops involved in the Western Schism were orthodox, now we seem to be living in the days of the Arian Heresy when most bishops were Arians and Semi Arians. We look for an Athanasius and there is no one. The Jesuits who seem to be still wrecking the Church have no great saint to lead us out of the chaos, nor do the Dominicans, of the Franciscans, and the Carmelites seem infected with inter religious dialogue when it comes to contemplation as do indeed some of the Cistercians. What are we to do? We are asked to call the Secular Trinity to task, for that is the God that Western Man worships: Science, The State, and The Media. “These are your gods” says some Cardinal or bishop who resembles a modern day version of Aaron. So we pray for a Moses to put us right and destroy this dreadful “Golden Calf”
Who is to blame for this situation arising, and this poppycock document, which Cardinal Muller describes as “Undignified, Shameful”, and “completely wrong”? I will tell you. It is the majority of Western Cardinals and Bishops who for the last 46 years, since the promulgation of Humanae Vitae who have caved into the wisdom of the World, a wisdom which has been accepted and taken in by a middle class Catholic intelligentsia (who hardly are worthy of such a name) who then have served up this poisonous feast to a huge number of clerics and religious who have spiritually died on such a diet, namely there is nothing wrong with contraception, and so the shibboleths of population control and small families have been fostered, encouraged, and idolized so that we could have heaven on earth. Thus, fear of offending the World, which poor dear St. John XXIII thought was so willing to hear the truth reduced the clergy to silence. Did that lovable Pope not know that he was stroking a ravening tiger, and not a sweet little pussy cat? This terrible cowardice, which on one level is understandable, crippled good pastors and teachers. Weakness indeed invaded their bones. So nearly three generations have received the sacraments, and not received the Faith. Hireling shepherds too often have been in high places in the Church, and silence has hidden the Truth. May God have mercy on us priests before it is too late. Tomorrow I will continue my musings.
By The Hermits, Oct 13 2014 9:40PM
In the depressing age of career politicians, as opposed to those spurred on by Noblesse Oblige, as they were in the Victorian era and well on into the 20th century, we now have the grasping politicians, who are veritable rapscallions. What interests so many these days is not simply power which has always been something highly prized by any politician in any era, but perks, pleasure, and prestige, because politicians, at least in England, seem to be coming more and more from upper working class backgrounds and middle class backgrounds, judging by their accents. On one level that is quite attractive, as it means that England is not quite so class ridden as it might seem. Perhaps a meritocracy is taking over from the aristocracy, but the problem with meritocracy is that there is not much room for supernatural grace. A politician, like an actor or any performer must really believe in himself. The problem with the politician today he really is, so often, just an amateur. To think that David Cameron worked for Carlton T.V. would make any of his predecessors groan with despair. The “Old School Tie” is not enough.
The saint who we celebrate today was a man of suffering and acquainted with grief. He was the son of Ethelred the Unready and Emma daughter of Count Richard II of Normandy. By all accounts she was not a very nice woman, and so when his half brother Edmund Ironside died Edward was designated the rightful successor, but his mother had by then married Canute the Danish invader; the famous king who told the sea to go back, and needless to say found that it did not obey him, and so he got his feet wet. With all this dynastic warring, Edward who had been in exile in Normandy since he was aged 10 found himself unexpectedly, at the age of 40, King of England.
It changed him not a iota. He was a man who loved the poor, and they loved him. His marriage to Edith the daughter of the most powerful of the English Earls, the Earl Godwin meant that Harold, the last Anglo Saxon King was his brother-in-law. As this reflection is not about whether Harold was the rightful successor to Edward the Confessor, as opposed to William the Conqueror, whose soubriquet in Normandy was the less dramatic sounding but no less accurate “William the Bastard”, I will leave politics aside.
Edward was devout, and his contemporaries were convinced that his marriage to Edith, not I suspect the happiest of marriages. He was certainly no cardboard cut-out personality. He was tall with ash blond hair, and a ruddy complexion. His favourite pastimes were hunting and hawking. He knew how fractious his nobles were, and he knew how Godwin was far too powerful, but he tried to balance everything for the good of the Kingdom and above all for the good of the people.
He was very compassionate to the poor and in the old breviary he is called “Father of Orphans and Parent of the Poor”. The fact that he and Edith had no children made him a true father to his people. The people were his children, and it was his Christian duty to look after them. As he was unable to fulfil a vow to make a pilgrimage to Rome, as he was needed to keep the peace in England, he built Westminster Abbey. This magnificent building was possibly, if anything, more beautiful than the Abbey built by Henry III. This was, so to speak, his vow in stone, and dedicated to St. Peter. He also helped improve things in the Church, which was somewhat demoralized, and most probably needed a bit of continental efficiency, which Edward would have seen in the Gregorian Reform which was sweeping the Church. This reform was to be accelerated under William the Conqueror, and his Archbishop Lanfranc, the former Abbot of Bec.
Edward wanted the Church to flourish, and the poor and the orphan cared for. He would be horrified to see today what the Americans, French, and British are doing in Syria and Iraq. He would be dumbstruck at what is happening in the Ukraine. Most leaders, whether Kings, Republicans or Communists are interested in power; their power or their countries’ power. Power is the name of the game, its use, and too often its abuse. But the wielding of power unless it is done wisely as in the case of St. Stephen of Hungary, St Vladimir of Kiev, and St. Louis of France, more often than not ends in violence, and social disintegration which you found in Nazi German, Stalinist Russia, and one fears soon to emerge in Obama’s United States.
Edward the Confessor sought first the Kingdom of God, and then peace was the gift that God gave to his reign and to his kingdom. If all these dreadful busybody countries like Britain, France, America, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and various other Arab states, truly wanted peace, they could have it tomorrow, but they do not want peace. They want oil or minerals, cash or gold, access to important sea ports, or prestige, and a thousand and one other things, but peace, the peace of Christ they do not want, and so God will let them have what they want, war, and then when their power is gone, their dreams are shattered, and their countries all but destroyed, let them remember St. Edward the Confessor and his reign of peace. Hopefully then, before it is too late, they may repent.
By The Hermits, Oct 7 2014 8:50PM
In a Church and a World rent apart by factions, it is good to reflect on the Battle of Lepanto, which was fought and won by a Christian navy against the Ottoman Navy on 7th October 1571.
What was important about this victory? It was not the utterly decisive victory that many a traditional Catholic might suggest. It was very important, and none of the later great battles against the Turk were as a great. A possible exception might be the Battle of Khalenberg in 1683 when the flamboyant Jan Sobieski, King of Poland routed the Ottoman army and relieved Vienna which was under siege from the Turk. So began the reclamation of Hungary, then the Balkans, and finally Greece in 19th Century.
Lepanto was the work of St. Pius V, Don John of Austria, and most important of all those thousands upon thousands of Catholics who were saying the rosary for the defence of the Church. St. Pius V was truly a great Pope, and most probably deserves the title of “Great”. It was he more than anyone else who turned the tide for the Catholic Reformation, and in this he was aided by great saints such as Charles Borromeo, Peter Canisius, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Philip Neri and Felix of Cantalice. Pius’ view of the Church which was thoroughly medieval and no bad thing at that . Let us hear from that great French historian of the Church Daniel-Rops:
"In the mind of this Pope, whose outlook was still so largely medieval, the policies of loyalty and Christianity were identical. To him, as the Vicar of Christ and guardian of the deposit of the faith, belonged the right and duty to teach men what Christianity required of them, to dispose of earthly crowns in the interests of the Church and her faith, to direct the necessary struggle everywhere. The climax of this vast activity, in which he seemed truly to be blessed by heaven, was the thrilling victory of Christendom over the Infidel, for which he was ultimately responsible. Profiting by the incompetence of the new sultan, Selim, unworthy son of Solyman the Magnificent, Pius V’s anachronistic genius revived the idea of a crusade. Nuncios were sent to various courts, and, wonderful to relate, obtained more than empty promises. The Pope himself provide money and ships. Commanded by Philip II’s twenty-four-year-old half brother Don Juan of Austria, who was assisted by an experienced Catalan seaman, Luis de Requescens, the international fleet of Christendom set sail against the Moslems. On 7th October 1571 Christ’s warriors, chanting the psalms, gave battle in the Gulf of Lepanto. It was a terrible engagement, full of surprises and anxiety. Don Juan himself stood on the prow of his flagship, holding a crucifix. When evening fell over the glorious bay, the smoke of burning Turkish galleys spread a reek of timber and corpses. The entire enemy fleet had been destroyed or captured, and aboard the Marquesa a wounded soldier named Miguel de Cervantes, whose arm had been shattered in the fight, joined in the Te Deum. When Pius received the news he cried out in reference to the youthful victor: ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John!’ (The Catholic Reformation, Daniel Rops, pp.110-111)"
Pope Francis has his own Lepanto, though he might not realize it. It seems that he is racing against time, and in a different way to Pius V is being misunderstood by some. There is no doubt that he has called The Synod on The Family precisely because marriage and the family are in such distressing disarray. If he really wishes to triumph, then he should call all Catholics, devout, indifferent, and lapsed to say the rosary with him for the salvation of the Family. IS is not the enemy. The real enemy are those who are determined to destroy the Family. Such people are the unwitting tools of the Devil. The Synod unless it is assisted by prayer will be worse than a dead letter.
I will leave the last word to the II Nocturn in the old St.Pius X Breviary:
"The victory at Lepanto by the Christian princes, of the Sultan Turkey, was won on October 7th, 1571, which happened to be the very day whereon the Guildsmen of the Rosary, throughout the whole world, were offering their accustomed prayers and appointed supplications of the well-being of Christendom."
And so St Pius X instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victories, which today we call the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
By The Hermits, Oct 1 2014 4:37AM
“The terrorists will acquire chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons to attack us.” Oh dear, where have I heard that before, I know, it was before the 2nd Iraq war, also something similar before Afghanistan, several times when they (or Israel) have been talking about a potential war against Iran, and even one of the parties in the Ukrainian Government have tried it recently against Russia saying that they used a tactical nuclear missile in Eastern Ukraine (fortunately this was immediately refuted by someone else in the Ukrainian Government who stated that making false claims like that would make the Kiev Government an international laughing stock). Yes, the political war-mongering propaganda machine is at it again. And, unlike last year when the people of Britain managed to prevent ‘the Western Alliance’ from invading Syria by encouraging Westminster to vote against our involvement in another country’s internal war, this time the vote involving us in the Middle East went through with lightning speed. Almost as fast as I.S’s initial advance through Iraq.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not defending the Islamic State. They are a Jihadist group who use terror tactics to install fear and submission. The things that they do are evil, there is no doubt about it, and I am sure that they probably do have supporters in many Western countries who may carry out terrorist acts. And they are more likely to do so if we bomb the Middle East. Also it has been known for over a year that the rebel forces fighting the government in Syria do have chemical weapons, and that they have been responsible for at least some of the chemical attacks in Syria. So I take it, that as the I.S. is one of those forces, they will already have chemical weapons. And they may have found some biological weapons or been given them by one of the Arab or Western Governments who supply their weapons. As for nuclear weapons, well, they may well have depleted uranium weapons – after all, we (as the Western Alliance) probably left some behind in Iraq where we used them and where they are still causing genetic deformities and illness in Iraqi children. We know that I.S. has taken over deserted bases and got weapons left behind by the Americans, maybe depleted uranium weapons were also left behind, or maybe not – I don’t know. But what I do know is that the surest way to get them to attack us is to attack them, to interfere in their war without the specific backing of the United Nations. To ‘sleep-walk’ (to use one of Teresa May’s terms) into an unending war.
If this is to be a World War that is exactly what it must be. A well thought out, discussed and weighed by all the Nations, a truly International War. And as those who are on the ‘other side’ are justifying their fight by a fundamental religious stance, it would have to be a religious war, a Christian Crusade. But does it justify such a response? Hardly. Because the Islamic State does not yet, by a very long way, reflect the whole of the Islamic people. Until recently the best estimate of I.S. fighters numbered in the tens of thousands. Even the NATO ‘war games’ involve hundreds of thousands of troops. In the past week or so, in a direct reaction to the statements of intent by the USA, France and the UK, apparently another 60,000 fighters have joined the I.S. ranks. But a united world military force against an army of that size – that would be rather an over-kill.
And an over-kill is exactly what has already been put in place. Already many more civilians have been killed by the American air attacks in Syria than Islamic militants, I do not have the figures for those killed in the recent RAF attacks in Iraq. Before this spirals even more out of control, let us stop, let us consider, and let us pray! All conflicts are eventually solved by talk and give and take. But how many have to suffer first. We, Britain and America, messed up the natural borders between the peoples of the Middle East by drawing false borders in the 20th century. These are being now being violently redrawn. If only we could be true peacemakers and help right the wrong that we did, rather than add to the death and destruction!
Teresa May, stop trying to be another Margaret Thatcher, she fought a short war when a piece of British land was being invaded against the residents wishes. That is very different to this. It was also two roughly equal forces opposed to one another. Even then wrong and questionable things were done. But you, Teresa, are being a true warmonger. Yes, I.S. use fear as a weapon to get their own way, yet wasn’t that exactly what you were doing yesterday at the Conservative conference? True, there may be terror attacks in the UK by Islamic State supporters, but remember, the IRA also carried out terror attacks in England, but we did not send in the RAF to bomb their areas in Northern Ireland!
On another note, Teresa May, what are these British values that it is becoming illegal to question?
Are they the value that the State gives to unborn children, killed by the million in their mother’s wombs? Are they the value that the NHS gives to the elderly and terminally ill in the ‘death pathways’ now rolling out throughout British hospitals? Or to the belittling of life-giving true families of wedded mothers and fathers by equating the physically sterile union of homosexuals in ‘single sex marriages’ to theirs. Or even the value the State gives to the genetic make-up of people which truly determines whether every cell of the human body is materially male or female – no matter what surgeons do?
Or is it the British values of yore, when the Laws of the Nation were still based on Natural Law and God’s Law? When to kill someone was not only breaking the law but also a sin? When not persecuting people whose views were not one’s own did not have to be threatened by law, but because such behaviour would have been against Christ’s law of even loving one’s enemies? When taking someone’s husband or wife and destroying their children’s family was adultery – not the socially acceptable ‘but they love each other’? When human rights included the right to life!
And now, as you yourself said, you are encroaching on the right to free speech.
Well, those who read this web-site already know our views. And you could describe us as Christian Fundamentalists, in that we hope that all we do or say is founded on and in God, and specifically, in Jesus Christ the Son of God, Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
So Teresa, as you said in your speech, you intend to censure the internet, and make fundamentalist preachers submit their sermons to the police before posting them, well, we are (or try to be) Preachers of the Word of God. We will never be mindlessly publishing what the earthly State tells us to write, they can publish that themselves! We will try to print the truth, we do not wish to lead people astray, and we only hate sin, we do not hate the sinner. To put it bluntly, even if you become the next Prime Minister, it is God not you who is our one true eternal Ruler.
I am fairly sure that in some computer or other we are on a list of internet sites that dares to say things that the liberal state would rather we didn’t say. So, if you wish, or if you have the legal powers yet, you may want to close us down. I am sure you can if you want to!
But before you do, whilst we can still say this to everybody who is reading this, please pray for Teresa May and the other Western Politicians, that they may take time to reflect, to look into their consciences, to realize what their actions may lead to. As the dear Baroness Warsi said when referring to herself and the reason she resigned from the Foreign Office, to see if in the future they could live with the decisions they are taking today.
And Teresa, on a personal note, when you were first coming to prominence in the Conservative Party I liked you, you seemed to have a soft (in the best sense of the word) lovely personality. You now seem hard and brittle. If the first person I saw was the real one then you must be hurting yourself. For your own sake reflect, repent, and then you will be able to be yourself again. May God help you on this journey.
And may God help us all to return to him, and in these violent and dangerous times may he have mercy on us and give us the courage to be witnesses of God’s love and peace in world.
By The Hermits, Sep 28 2014 8:49PM
There is a terrible tendency among lukewarm Christians, and people who think that life is all about improving welfare systems, health, and education to seen goodness in terms of good works. This is really the liberal agenda. However life invariably, at least for the majority of the human race does not work that way. For most people on the face of the earth, life is a struggle to live amidst violence, famine, and disease.
The first reading for the 26th Sunday of the year, cycle c, gives us a totally different view on things. It is worth quoting it in full.
The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows: “Yet you object, ‘What the Lord does is unjust.’ Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:25-28)
So one cannot simply live a somewhat immoral life, and hope that by doing a few good works here, and there, even a lot of good works, that that will get one into Heaven. No! One must above all desire to be a true disciple of Jesus. There are many bad men and women who have been great philanthropists, but they have not done good works because they love God. They may have done it through vainglory, or because of ideology or for any number of reasons. George Soros has done some very good things, but he hates Christians, and presumably hates Christ. I do not think that David Rockefeller, and Bill Gates, at one time the richest individual in the World, and somewhat Spartan in his tastes, though married to a Catholic, have any idea of what the Gospel is all about. It is certainly not about population control, which is what he Soros, and Rockefeller are all about. The Gospel is about giving one’s heart and obedience totally to Christ, and there can be no compromise. Whatever philanthropy is, it is not a passport to Heaven.
When Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked if her work was successful she answered that there was nothing about success in the Gospel. In fact Christ’s life from a purely human point of view is like a Greek tragedy. The Christian life is about obedience to the Father. It is about loving as Christ loved, and living as he lived, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Only if this happens are our good works turned to pure gold. It is something that the majority of Westerners have not grasped. For salvation they must give themselves totally to Christ. Sadly few are prepared to do this, or even try, such is the tepid state of Christianity in these unlovely times, and one shudders when one thinks of the preaching of modern missionaries which has more to do with Utopia than the Gospel. May God bless the young churches with the true spirit of the Gospel rather than the liberal agenda disguised as the Gospel.
By The Hermits, Sep 23 2014 10:01PM
A very dear and old friend of mine, a devout Christian and widow of a vicar, who is a very compassionate person, felt that I go on rather a lot about sexual sin. It does on the surface look as if the Catholic Church is, or rather was until recently, obsessed with sex. It is of course not obsessed with sex. It is the West that is obsessed with sex in one way, especially with immoral sex, but people throughout the world should no more be obsessed with sex than they are with eating, or going to the toilet. All three things are necessary for life, but if we became gluttons then very probably things would go wrong globally, and in the poorer parts of the world the effects of such gluttony would have terrible consequences.
Sexual intercourse is the only thing that is done with another, and homosexual male intercourse is simply a perversion of that. Female homosexual intercourse of course is not really intercourse; it is simply artificial. What then is the reason for my going on about sexual sin? It is very simply a response to those who for at least a century or so, say there is no such thing. The logical conclusion of all this is that any sort of sex with whom, and in whatever manner is alright. For it appears that in the realm of sexual rebellion, we see all the other rebellions against God being distilled into a particular form of evil at this particular time in history. This was also the case in about the 2nd century AD in the Roman Empire. Gone is the noble era of the Roman Republic with its high moral standards and its sobriety. In its place you have the oriental Emperors and imported gods and religions. It was, however, no conscious rebellion that stirred the Romans to sexual immorality and divorce on a grand scale. It was simply the result of wealth and comfort.
With the Christian West, or recently Christian West, we have a different set of circumstances. We have a rebellion first of all against the unity of Christendom with the Reformation. Then we have a rebellion against Christ with the Enlightenment. With the French Revolution we have a rebellion against monarchy, especially as displayed by the French Monarchy, and finally we have, with the carnage of the 20th century and the rise of Communism and Nazism, a rebellion against individual liberty, and the subordination of the person to the state in every aspect of his life. This of course did have its beginnings in the French Revolution. Out of this we get Statism and it is the Western State that has grasped the sexual rebellion with tremendous enthusiasm and proclaimed it as the epitome and crown of happiness. This is rather odd as sexual promiscuity and perversion brings terrible sadness and often life threatening illness. Also too much sexual familiarity with too many partners brings only loneliness, emptiness, and contempt.
Many Christians have been completely taken in by all this, and one wonders why? I think the answer is very simple. The Catholic Church and the other churches of the West (Thankfully the Orthodox have held true in their understanding of the duties of Man towards God) have become mesmerized by the relationship of human beings to each other. Even St. John Paul II seemed far too fascinated by Man. This fascination can be controlled if our duties to God are absolutely understood, and there is no doubt that the saintly Pope who was sound as a theologian was compromise by his modern philosophical way of looking at things. For us lesser mortals such a fascination is dangerous, like poison. The deification of Man has been underway for at least 150 years. Man and Woman become central and we find ourselves yet again with Adam and Eve in Eden. We must know the secret of Man and how he ticks. We must investigate all the wonders of his makeup, and soon, lost in a labyrinth of endless introspection, and self referencing, the sheer stupendous otherness of God is lost. To the Muslims’ credit that is what they have held on to. Man has fallen in love with Man, and what is good for him must be what God wants, and so all the hard sayings in the Bible, and amazingly the hard sayings of Christ, are brushed aside and we are left with a powerless God who does our every bidding, and so fornicators and adulterers will not burn in Hell even though Christ says they will, because our dear scripture scholars will explain everything away by saying that the text is not the original words of Christ, but that of the early Christian community or the biases of the evangelists, which of course make Matthew too Jewish and John too anti-Semitic which of course is all rubbish, when you realize that the Bible is the inspired word of God. If however you do not really believe that, then you cease to be a Christian, and that is the tragic state in which the majority of scripture scholars find themselves today, but no-one in high places has the courage to assert this.
The problem at the end of the day is that Pride and not lust is the problem, because Pride is the captain of the ship and the other deadly sins are only the officers. It is Pride that inverts the Divine Order and says what is right and what is wrong, and so fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, covetousness, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth can never be wrong.
Such is the lunacy of the times that even the elect have been hoodwinked. May the Holy Spirit give us wisdom, counsel, understanding and knowledge for we are in great need of them. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom pray for us.
By The Hermits, Sep 17 2014 9:11PM
Walter Brueggemann said the following in his book “The Prophetic Imagination”
“The prophet engages in futuring fantasy. The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented, for questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing. The same royal consciousness that make it possible to implement anything and everything is the one that shrinks imagination because imagination is a danger. Thus every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep on conjuring and proposing futures alternative to the single one the king wants to urge as the only thinkable one.”
It would behove the Scots and Westminster to consider another way, namely the Swiss Way. Both the Scots and the Swiss are brave people and mountain people. The Swiss, as far as I can see are the only truly democratic country in Europe, perhaps in the World, for so much is done by the dreaded “Referendum” that truly democratic form of government that terrifies so many so called democratic governments like the British Government, the Spanish Government, the French Government, but above all the American Government. The Scots Independent voters may lose the vote and Scotland may not be given Independence. They must not give way to despair, but as Brueggemann that perceptive theologian writes they must use their imaginations. What can they can imagine. They can imagine a truly federal Great Britain along Swiss lines, whereby each Canton in this case, Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (The Swiss have 26 Cantons and four languages.) run themselves with little reference to each other, but working towards the common good, and where England is no longer “top dog”.
If you go to Scotland or Wales, and I have lived in both for a considerable number of years, you realize that they are both homogenous societies, with a strong folk culture, but if you go to England it is rather as if the remnants of the entire British Empire have collapsed onto the English terrain. The beauty of England rather paradoxically is that it is the world in miniature, far more so than America whose very vastness underplays the different races within and who make recent immigrants so defiantly and embarrassingly American. One could hardly say that the Asian inhabitants of Bradford are so English and Patriotic, but you could say they are very Imperial, and like the peoples of the Roman Empire see themselves as Romans, or in this case as Britons, or to be more precise English but within the vision of Victorian colussus.
Scotland the Brave can give a lesson to Perfidious Albion, and make her more English, more humble, and more herself. The totalitarianism of Elizabethan England must give way to the land of Chaucer, chivalry, and a world inhabited by monasteries giving a nation hope, beauty, and charity.
Wales equally as brave as Scotland can give us the beauty of their music and poetry, and hopefully Northern Ireland will rediscover that it is Irish, and not Scots, and where that will quite lead us to do I do not know, but let the politicians heed Walter Brueggemann’s wise words: . Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing. If they do not civil war may come to the United Kingdom and then the future is anybody’s guess.
By The Hermits, Sep 16 2014 7:54PM
These are some of the most extraordinary words uttered in the Bible. Aaron is being prepared for his office of High Priest. Moses has been receiving instructions from God as to how “The Tent of Meeting” shall be designed, and what vestments the high priest will wear. Everything is described to Moses in great detail by God. And then because Moses has stayed too long on the Mount Sinai, the people ask Aaron to make them gods, because they do not know what has happened to Moses. This is truly staggering; the people of Israel have witnessed the Ten Plagues of Israel which reached their climax with the Angel of Death passing over all the houses of the Egyptians killing the first born, and not only the first born of men, but the first born of animals. Out of this terrifying scenario of darkness and death Moses and the people of Israel are led forth from that truly occult nation of Egypt by a pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day, and in the most spectacular fashion the Red Sea opens up before the Israelites, and Moses takes them out of Egypt. As we know Pharaoh and his army is engulfed in the waters of the sea, as the path closes over them with giant waves, while pursuing Moses and his people. After all this you would have thought that the people of Israel would trust that Moses would return. You would at least expect Aaron to use his authority to rebuke the people, but no he caves into them, and does their bidding.
Today we see this continual caving into the demands of the World. The Catholic Church has not been immune to all the gods of the contemporary world such as sexism, racism, human rights, democracy, egalitarianism, and feminism. It has in theory still stood against the other gods, namely contraception, abortion, and homosexuality, though sadly many priests and religious teach otherwise, and one dreads to think what many a liberal bishop thinks, but dares not say. If the Liberal agenda was not enough, we have now the spectacle of nationalism erupting everywhere since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the case of Ukraine is instructive. Many Ukrainians cannot trust the Russians, which is understandable given the horrors of the terrible famine in Ukraine during the 30’s, which was engineered by Stalin. Also we cannot forget how the Baltic countries suffered under Stalin during and after the Second World War, and we must not forget the absolute horror of what happened to the Poles at the hands of the Russians, who alongside Nazi Germany carved up the Poland. Then towards the end of the war the World witnessed the betrayal of Poland by Russia, when She failed to help the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis, who of course were now Russia’s enemies. We also cannot forget the immense sufferings of the Russian people under Stalin, but also to a lesser extent under Khrushchev. The gods of Totalitarianism, which we thought had died with the collapse of Nazism, and Russian Communism, along with the mitigation of Chinese Communism, is sadly not dead. We see it emerging in the increasingly militarized United States, and in the nebulous but very dangerous concept of Globalism, and the bizarre but Satanic philosophy of Transhumanism, which is using technology to prolong life infinitely and to set up a master race, a slave race, and robots.
One wonders how this infinite life would manage if the World was blown up by a meteor or some other cosmic disaster. What would the point of living be? Against such evil absurditites, the desire of Catalonia for Independence, and Scotland to regain its ancient nationhood has a certain charm, but if my memory serves me correctly as far back as King Athelstan, the Scottish King had to do fealty to the English King! So much for nationalism.
One can greatly appreciate why small countries want to have their independence, and not be bullied by larger ones. One’s heart goes out to the peoples of Eastern Europe who are frightened by a return of the Russian Bear, but going over to the American Eagle may be far worse. However can you really trust a nation that systematically subjugated the Native American peoples to the yoke of Capitalistic Imperialism and Manifest Destiny, as manifested at its worst by the genocidal General Sherman? Though the Poles suffered terribly at the hands of the Russians they were quite happy to help in the carve up of Czechoslovakia begun by Hitler in 1938. The Ukrainian massacres of Jews and Poles were appalling, and Sherman’s wanton killing of the Sioux, and the Georgians of the Confederacy rivals Adolf Hitler’s attempted extermination of the Jews.
These terrible gods will in the end devour their devotees. The sexually immoral will become crazed and a prey to every terrible sexually transmitted disease. The man who loves violence will either be killed in this life or, if unrepentant, die an endless death in Hell. The zealous nationalist will no doubt see his new found national identity compromised by a government that he thought his country would not get, the kind of governments that Ukraine has been subjected to since it broke free of the collapsing Soviet Union in the early 90s’. The Gay Movement has no idea as to how it is being used by the Globalists, the geneticists, and other equally dark forces. Those who believe in the American Flag with Idolatrous enthusiasm, and those who, oddly, believe that Britannia still rules the waves will, alongside the French with their Vainglory, and the Poles with their rather worrying motto of Semper Fidelis (They nearly went Calvinist in the 15th century) find their visions of egotism disappear, and they will find themselves along with Satan shouting “I will not serve”. Russians must love their motherland, but not before their love of God.
The Folly of the once Christian West, and the love of the strong ruler in Russia must bow before one little fact. We have here no abiding city. Our true homeland is heaven, as St. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews reminds us.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received what was promised, but having seen it and greeted it from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had the opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore Go is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11: vv.8-16)
Sadly this will mean little, I suspect to the Scots when they vote on Thursday. Even the Christians among them will be so influenced by the materialistic nonsense of the age, that the Heavenly City will seem ridiculous. So too, I cannot imagine that the Catalans are imbued with the spirit of St. Paul, nor do I think was Ferdinand their one time king, when he brought Catalonia into the One Spain, when he married Isabella, who though devout Catholic that she was, would be infected by nationalism.
But then we turn to St. Joan of Arc, and there is a difference. She had nothing against the English, she simply wanted them to leave. My concern for the Scots is that both the “Yes” voters and the “No” voters may be missing the point. Both of their secondary patron saints are not Scottish as we would use the term these days. One is St. Columba, and the other is St. Margaret of Scotland. St. Columba could not have been more Irish, and Margaret though brought up in Hungary could not have been more English, and yet both these saints had a tremendous effect on Scottish culture, and history. Finally that most romantic of Queens, Mary Queen of Scots was culturally utterly French, and perhaps that was part of the problem.
So finally Globalization as conceived by such men as George Soros, Bill Gates, and David Rockefeller is wrong as it is eugenically inspired, and holds the ordinary man in contempt, and nationalism which is anti other races is wrong as it speaks of pride, and also another form of contempt, which can burgeon into racism. All most learn, what they hate to admit or do not believe, that the only country that matters is Heaven, and the only ruler is Christ the King. Hopefully some of the Scots voters will be inspired by the vision of Heaven, for unless we keep this vision ever before our eyes, we will turn this world into a veritable Hell, and looking at the present world situation, such a thing is more than likely.
By The Hermits, Sep 13 2014 8:41PM
In the fluctuations of History, when men are consumed with vainglory, and conquest, when governments are given to a self destructive greed, which we see all around us today, and when terrible wars could at any moment flare up and destroy much of the world’s population there is one thing that remains with a splendour and glory that casts all such human folly, pride, and avarice into the darkest shade, and that is the Cross of Christ.
Trees seem to have a very important part in mythology, no doubt the myths are distortions of the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that we find in the opening chapters of Genesis. Adam and Eve cast out from Paradise, banished from Eden for eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. From that moment onwards Man, and Woman would for a very, very long time view God wrongly, in the main, and each other with varying degrees of suspicion, and rarely with true trust and true respect. The life of the Human race was rooted in pride, and fuelled by destructiveness. As a result for most of the Human race there would be a story of sorrow, and failure that would occasionally be lightened by moments of pure joy, but death had entered the world with sin, and sin is synonymous with selfishness. “My way is the best way.” Is almost the leit motif for unredeemed humanity.
Christ comes to heal that terrible sin of disobedience, and he comes to open the gates of Heaven with the key of the Cross. This ancient implement of torture, cruelty and death, He takes upon himself, and makes it beautiful. This form of death that shocked the Greeks so much that they never mentioned it in their literature so horrifying did they find it, was dignified by Christ into something beautiful. How many magnificent crosses have we seen, the Celtic Cross so often associated with the Irish, the sturdy Maltese Cross, the beautiful Armenian Lily Cross, the Latin Cross, and the Russian Orthodox Cross are but a few of the vast array of crosses that speak of the Divine Sacrifice. And just think of the beautifully gem studded crosses that can be seen in Medieval paintings and then in the great Renaissance paintings. How many of the kings and queens of Europe would wear crowns surmounted by the Cross, and how different were most of them to the King of Kings who bore the Cross on his shoulders in pain for our shame and sin, that we might become his brothers and sisters in glory.
What does this mean for us. It means one thing before all others that there is hope in the seeming most desperate of situations. When our lives appear ruined, and loves are blighted, when we are orphaned or our children are dead, or have been killed, when our spouses have been taken from us, or have betrayed us and left us for someone else, Christ is there with his Cross. If the key to Heaven is the Cross, is not the gate to Heaven the Cross, is not the road to Heaven the Cross? Heaven is not cheap; to open its gates to Man, Christ paid for it in the most precious coin of all, his blood. His mental anguish was so great that he sweated blood, and if we are to be his true brothers and sisters than our blood must be given, if not materially, spiritually. If God suffered death on the Cross, why should not we? This is his gift to us and we shudder. Sacrifice means so little to modern Western men and women, for pleasure and leisure are all, but there is a price to pay and it is this. There is behind all that pleasure and leisure a dull ache, a half admitted anguish, a sense of mental collapse, for the delights of the World cannot never stave off a hunger for God.
So in our lives where there is much suffering, there is the Cross of Christ, not some caricature of the Cross which the superficial parade as being “one of the crosses we have to bear”, as if it was a light thing. It is not light it is huge in its heaviness. It is crushing beyond belief. It seems to crush the blood out of us, and then we begin to see what love is all about. All the suffering of sacrificial love, of that Divine love radiates through our pain and suffering, and Christ reigns from the Cross, no longer from the cross on Calvary, but from a Cross that is both altar and throne. Having borne our griefs, and sufferings and sins, and transmuted them into the pure gold of Charity he gilds not only our sins, but our lives.
For the Christians who suffer truly with Christ there is always the hope of Heaven, which is really all that matters. Men simply want to build Utopias, but these are like cheap toys compared to the real thing, which is abundant life, a life of glory, the life of God. So for the persecuted Christians of Iraq and Syria, for the persecuted Christians in pagan lands, and sadly in such countries of Western Europe, the progeny of Christendom, and in such Deist countries as the United States, Christ comes bearing his Cross, a cross so radiant and beautiful as to defy all description.
Christians who truly believe that the Crucified Christ is with them have nothing to fear. God will protect them, not physically but spiritually, and their reward will be great in Heaven. To a materialist and secular society this must seem insane. For a modern world destined from its own perspective to discover the secret of the universe, and the secret of everlasting life, there is only the prospect of failure. What looks like success in modern western eyes is the prelude to despair, and what looked like a most terrible failure, namely Christ’s death on the Cross there was the most stupendous victory. For what the Cross tells us is that God is truly humble, perfectly obedient and man is proud, and disobedient. The train of charity runs on the sleepers of humility and the tracks of obedience. I can do no better than finish this reflection with St. Paul writing to the wayward Corinthians:
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks wisdom, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Greeks, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians, ch. 1: vv.18-25)
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