Catholic MPs & (lack of) Conscience…

Update – 15th July, 2013

My reply to Rob Flello MP

Original Report – 13th July, 2013

Yesterday I received a phone call from Robert Watts, Deputy Political Editor on the London Telegraph, asking if we are the Scottish group responsible for demanding the excommunication of Catholic MPs who voted in favour of same sex marriage. Apparently, there is a leaflet circulating to that effect which is causing quite a stir south of the border. Eventually, we concluded that word must have gotten around about our online petition calling on the Vatican to act to ensure that Canon Law (#915)  is enforced, since parish priests and bishops in Scotland are permitting MPs who have voted to legislate for same-sex marriage to continue to receive Holy Communion. Someone, presumably, printed off our petition statement and put the photocopiers to work.  I hung up the phone and thought no more about it.

Then today I received the most incredible letter from an MP I’ve yet seen – Rob Flello MP to be precise.  Click here to see if you agree

Now, there’s plenty I could say in response to the contents of that outrageous letter, but I keep being told that blog articles ought to be short and to the point.

Suffice to say that Mr Flello’s views on Catholic conscience fall very far wide of the mark, and I’ll be replying to his letter as soon as I can get down to it, to tell him so. In the meantime, I’ve emailed him the link to this discussion thread.

So, what do you think – should I comply with Mr Flello’s wishes and retract the petition statement describing Catholic MPs who voted for same-sex marriage as “dissenters”?

And do I – thinkest thou – owe Mr Flello and his colleague Catholic MPs an apology?

Here’s what I think – “retraction”?  “apology”?  Yeah right!

General Discussion (2) …

The General Discussion thread will always remain at the top of the page.  Links to previous discussion thread appended.   New articles, newest first, will appear below…

If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.


To read previous General Discussion topics click here

Irish Abortion Bill Passed…

 Update – article submitted by blogger Leo…

For He must reign, until He hath put all His enemies under His feet – 1 Corinthians 15:25

“With God and Jesus Christ excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall.” – Pope Pius XI, Quas Primus, 1925

July 12 2013 will surely enter Irish history as a day of unsurpassed treachery and shame. On that day, one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the western world to protect the inalienable right to life of the unborn was breeched by the battering rams of the kingdom of satan. The cackles from hell can almost be heard. On that day, the democratically elected Irish parliament voted to permit the direct, intentional killing of unborn children up to birth; children created by God to know, love and serve Him, and, by means of His sanctifying grace, one day enjoy the Beatific Vision. This descent into the barbarism which permits the unspeakably reality of abortion, a crime which cries out to Heaven, can only be described as demonic.

Indeed, the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking who he may devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

The term, “banality of evil” springs readily to mind, given the public discourse that has taken place in recent months. Out of 158 members of parliament to vote, just 25 were prepared to stand in front of the abortionists’ tanks.

Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil: neither shalt thou yield in judgement to the opinion of the most part (majority) to stray from the truth. – Exodus 23:2

The forces of the international abortion industry have certainly been screeching through the keyhole for decades. That does nothing to lessen the shame and bitterness at this time. A generation ago, the prospect of unborn children being butchered in Irish hospitals would have been considered unthinkable by the vast majority of the populace. It would most certainly have been considered unthinkable by our ancestors would rose in the middle of the night to attend the Holy Sacrifice offered by a hunted priest at a Mass rock in woods and glens, and on windswept hillsides.

The sixteenth century chieftain Shane O’Neill proclaimed that the Irish people bow to no one but God. Well, the Fine Gael Party, by far the largest partner in the governing coalition, have certainly bowed to lucifer’s minions in the abortion industry. This is a party that made assiduous efforts to court the pro-life before the last election, efforts that included a formal assurance not to legislate for abortion.

Within months, there were grounds for suspecting deception, when the State’s health service funded a so-called “masterclass” entitled “Termination of a pregnancy: A lawful choice”. The deceit and obfuscation has accompanied the carefully orchestrated assault against the rights of the unborn ever since. Amidst an actively campaigning media, the voices of those standing up for the unborn in the public square have been almost drowned out. Over the last year, law of God that is written in men’s hearts has been battered on an almost daily basis by the servants of the father of lies. The assault against truth culminated in the naming of the legislation, the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill; surely an outrageous distortion of language of which Joseph Goebbels would have been proud.

Lies and totalitarianism make comfortable companions of course. Those Fine Gael members of parliament who stood for the unborn, are, at the time of writing being threatened with de-selection at the next election, for doing exactly what they undertook before the electorate to do.

The plotters’ attention to detail and the totalitarian nature of this legislation is demonstrated in a very significant provision that has received very little public attention, namely the fact that Catholic hospitals will now be compelled to kill unborn children under threat of losing their public funding. This is how “liberated” and “tolerant”, and hostile to divine law 21st century Ireland has become.

None of this should come as surprise in view of this government’s kulturkampf agenda. Two years ago Enda Kenny infamously misled parliament and the whole country in an unsubstantiated tirade against the Church and a truly scurrilous attack against Pope Benedict in particular. Since then his government has closed Ireland’s embassy to the Vatican, has carried a children’s rights referendum, which provides for the state’s supplanting of the place of parents, and is attempting to gradually push the Church out of education. Further attack on the family in the form of so-called same sex “marriage” is very likely to be on agenda before long.

In May,Enda Kenny, who claims to be a practising Catholic, reportedly gave us the following example of the endemic confusion and aversion to reason found amongst post Vatican II Catholics:

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion here but as explained to the Cardinal and members of the church my book is the constitution and the constitution is determined by the people. That’s the people’s book. We live in a Republic and I have a duty and responsibility as head of Government to legislate in respect of what the people’s wishes are.”

Kenny and his supporters need to read the Irish Constitution. It opens with the following lines:

“In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred.

We, the people of Eire,

Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial.”

The writings of Father Denis Fahey, an Irish Holy Ghost priest who died sixty years ago tell us much about the Church’s traditional teaching on the Social Kingship of Christ. In his foreword to Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked, by Monsignor George Dillon, Father Fahey summarized the French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man (“a Masonic production”) as a formal renunciation of allegiance to Christ the King, of the supernatural life, and of membership in Christ’s Mystical Body:

“The French State thereby officially declared that it no longer acknowledged any duty to God through Our Lord Jesus Christ, and no longer recognized the dignity of membership of Christ in its citizens. It thus inaugurated the attack on the organization of society under Christ the King which has continued down to the present day.”

Father Fahey must be turning in his grave to see how the dark workshops have set about his own land, a land where in 1936 Mullingar cathedral was the first one in the world dedicated to Christ the King, following Pope Pius XI’s 1925 encyclical, Quas Primas. The current rulers of Ireland, whether or not they are taking instruction from unseen forces, are openly rebelling reign of Christ over Society. Church teaching leaves no doubt on the matter.

“For since God is the source of all goodness and justice, it is absolutely ridiculous that the State should pay no attention to these laws or render them abortive by contrary enactments.”- Pope Leo XIII, in Libertas Praestantissimum, #18

“…Civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority. Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless…” ibid, #21

“That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error…” – Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, #3

“Once the authority of God and the sway of His law are denied in this way, the civil authority as an inevitable result tends to attribute to itself that absolute autonomy which belongs exclusively to the Supreme Maker. It puts itself in the place of the Almighty and elevates the State or group into the last end of life, the supreme criterion of the moral and juridical order, and therefore forbids every appeal to the principles of natural reason and of the Christian conscience.” – Pope Pius XII, Summi Pontificatus, #53

And yet can we really be surprised by the imposition of the demonic killing of unborn children on Ireland? Over the course of a middle aged lifetime the ever increasing apostasy has become less and less silent. Who would argue about the withdrawal of graces in the face of the dwindling practice of saying the family rosary, or the fact that the number of times that the Mass which Saint Patrick brought to Ireland was offered, was but a tiny fraction of that in times of vicious persecution?

Who can deny the role that the Vatican II innovations of ecumenism, religious liberty and collegiality have played?

Ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue has surely inculcated the mindset that everyone has their own version of the truth, with no such thing as one, God-given truth that is not up for discussion. The mantra about respecting the great god child of moral relativism, “choice” is given a constant hearing in the abortion debate.

Since the Conciliar novelty of religious liberty, we no longer hear Prelates talk about the State’s duty to promote and protect the one true religion and enact laws in accordance with the law of God. Again, the bitter fruits of a “neutral” state in matters of morality, the exultation of individual conscience, and the accordance of rights to error are obvious to everyone when it comes to the horrors of abortion.

“…the city cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be set up unless the Church lay the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilisation is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is the Christian civilisation, it the Catholic city.” – Pope Saint Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate, #11

Vatican II’s program of collegiality and its undermining of the hierarchical structure of Christ’s Church appears to have played a very significant part in the Church in Ireland failing to mount a vigorous, effective battle against the forces of satan and the supreme example of child abuse, abortion.

Constant talk of the merits of anti-clericalism and democratization, and the Church as the “people of God” can’t but lead Catholics into the temptation of believing that doctrine is not immutable, and is almost a matter of public opinion. A passing familiarity with the outpourings of the press, both Catholic and secular, is sufficient to understand the grave dangers.

The Church in Ireland now appears to have the combative strength of the French Army in early June 1940. Instead of the Church Militant and Catholic Action we now have the Church discussing and proposing a point of view. Instead of proclaiming the law of God we hear talk of persuasion and freedom of conscience.

Without being privy to episcopal discussions on the matter, there are grounds for very serious concerns on the matter of collegiality and refusing Holy Communion to politicians described by Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin on 10 July as being guilty of “co-operation in evil”.

In May, Archbishop Martin, who succeeds Cardinal Sean Brady next year, said that legislators who supported abortion were excommunicating themselves.

“You cannot regard yourself as a person of faith and support abortion,” he told the ‘Sunday Times’. “If a legislator comes to me and says, ‘Can I be a faithful Catholic and support abortion?’ I would say no. Your communion is ruptured if you support abortion.

“You are excommunicating yourself. Any legislator who clearly and publicly states this should not approach looking for communion.”

Well, collegiality appears to have scuppered any intentions by the Irish bishops to issue a united, unequivocal warning to politicians on this issue. Before the vote there was no such “collegial” warning. Truly lamentable, but not exactly surprising, given that earlier in May, Cardinal Brady stated publicly that amongst the bishops, “there would be a great reluctance to politicize the Eucharist.”  Click here to read this report in full 

Ignorance or lack of instruction can’t be offered as an excuse for this gross dereliction. In March, Pope Francis gave written support to the Argentine Bishops’ instruction that legislators, heads of government, and health professionals “cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged.” Cardinal Ratzinger spelt everything out to the US bishops in 2004, and earlier this year Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest legal tribunal, came to the aid of any bishops whom might be suffering from amnesia.

Are Saint Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:27 to mean anything at all in Ireland? Is human respect to outweigh concern to avert sacrilege? Say a prayer for those good and faithful priests who will be faced with the outstretched hands of pro-abortion politicians who approach them for Holy Communion.

How many Irish politicians would have had their consciences awoken to oppose this legislation if the bishops had been willing to speak the words of one of the Church’s great champions in the battle against hostile secular powers?

“He who asserts that he cannot be bound by the Church’s bonds, confesses that he cannot be loosed by her authority. And he who makes such an assertion, separates himself wholly from Christ.” – Pope Saint Gregory VII, Letter to Bishop Hermann of Metz, 1076 AD

Anyone still inclined to illusion about the “New Springtime” ought to come and see the devastation wrought in Ireland by the modernist frenzy of self-destruction otherwise known as Conciliar kenosis. Cromwell was a total failure in comparison. Come and look in the eye the broken hearted and despairing parents and grandparents of apostates and tell them this is all the work of the Holy Ghost.

So, what now for the “freedom and exultation of the Church” in Ireland? Will we be faced with a hitherto unthinkable prospect of some kind of Erastian, national Church as in Tudor England? Will there some sort of Constitutional clergy, loyal to the revolt of man against God, as in France little more than two centuries ago?

The words of Pope Pius XI in his 1937 condemnation of Nazism in Mit Brennender Sorge bear repetition at this time of temptation to despair:

“…the enemies of the Church, who think that their time has come, will see that their joy was premature, and that they may close the grave they had dug.”- #42

The battle to protect the mothers and children of Ireland from the scourge of abortion will go on for as long as necessary, as will the task of restoring the Social Kingship of Christ. The Catholic remnant in Ireland now look to our ancestors who clung to the Faith through dungeon, fire and sword, and who through the Penal Laws and starvation refused to consider apostasy. We look to our martyrs for the faith, in the coming times of white persecution; those martyrs such as Saint Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh, Bishop Dermot O’Hurley of Cashel, and Margaret Ball protector of hunted priests. We call on the help of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all our evangelizing saints.

But if doing well you suffer patiently; this is thankworthy before God.  1 Peter 2:21

The furnace trieth the potter’s vessels, and the trial of affliction just men. Ecclesiasticus 27:6

In the face of the “spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Ephesians 6:12) all those who hold to the faith handed down to us must implore the intercession of Saint Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family: “Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness.”

Amidst the dark clouds overshadowing the island of Ireland, we cling to our rosaries, as did the dead generations, and pray with absolute confidence in Mary, Mother of God and Mediatrix of all graces. We pray with certain knowledge that in the end Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

Our Lady of Knock, ora pro nobis.

Original Report…

Lawmakers in the Republic of Ireland have voted to allow abortion under certain conditions for the first time, following a marathon debate.

In a 127-31 vote, they backed allowing a termination when doctors deemed that a woman was at risk of taking her life.

The debate revealed deep splits over the issue in the predominantly Catholic country, with a government minister resigning earlier.

Anti-abortion activists say the measure could lead to more widespread abortion..  Read more

Laughably, one report described Kenny as “privately a devout Catholic” – yeah right.

Will Canon Law # 915 be applied to this scoundrel?  A man now personally responsible, on the passing of this evil law, for the murder of countless innocent lives?  Or is it more “charitable” not to “pass judgment” on him at the moment of receiving Holy Communion?  Of course… why not just ignore those terrifying words in Scripture about the damning (literally) consequences of eating and drinking the Lord’s Body and Blood unworthily? 

Tell us your thoughts on this unbelievable legislation being passed by  “Catholic” politicians in a once great and truly Catholic country. I look forward to reading your comments – mine are unprintable.

Pope Francis: First Encyclical

Pope Francis’s first encyclical is now published…

The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.[1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.[2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets. Read entire encyclical here

Your thoughts welcome…

Pius XII – First Encyclical…

According to news reports this week, Pope Francis’ first encyclical is to be published on 5 July. It occurred to me that it might be interesting to prepare for his first encyclical with a look back at the first encyclical of at least one of his predecessors. Pope Pius XII, as the immediate pre-Vatican II pontiff, seems to me to be the obvious choice.


Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Pius XII
On the Unity of Human Society
October 20, 1939

Venerable Brethren; Health and Apostolic Benediction.

In the very year which marks the fortieth anniversary of the consecration of  mankind to our Redeemer’s Most Sacred Heart, the inscrutable counsel of the  Lord, for no merit of Ours, has laid upon Us the exalted dignity and grave care  of the Supreme Pontificate; for that consecration was proclaimed by Our immortal  predecessor, Leo XIII, at the beginning of the Holy Year which closed the last  century.

2. And We, as a newly ordained priest, then just empowered to recite “I will  go in to the altar of God” (Psalm xlii. 4), hailed the Encyclical Annum Sacrum  with genuine approval, enthusiasm and delight as a message from heaven. We  associated Ourselves in fervent admiration with the motives and aims which  inspired and directed the truly providential action of a Pontiff so sure in his  diagnosis of the open and hidden needs and sores of his day. It is only natural,  then, that We should today feel profoundly grateful to Providence for having  designed that the first year of Our Pontificate should be associated with a  memory so precious and so dear of Our first year of priesthood, and that We  should take the opportunity of paying homage to the King of kings and Lord of  lords (I Timothy vi. 15; Apocalypse xix. 6) as a kind of Introit prayer to Our  Pontificate, in the spirit of Our renowned predecessor and in the faithful  accomplishment of his designs, and that, in fine, We should make of it the alpha  and omega of Our aims, of Our hopes, of Our teaching, of Our activity, of Our  patience and of Our sufferings, by consecrating them all to the spread of the  Kingdom of Christ.

3. As We review from the standpoint of eternity the past forty years in their  exterior events and interior developments, balancing achievements against  deficiencies, We see ever more clearly the sacred significance of that  consecration of mankind to Christ the King; We see its inspiring symbolism We  see its power to refine and to elevate, to strengthen and to fortify souls. We  see, besides, in that consecration a penetrating wisdom which sets itself to  restore and to ennoble all human society and to promote its true welfare. It  unfolds itself to Us ever more clearly as a message of comfort and a grace from  God not only to His Church, but also to a world in all too dire need of help and  guidance: to a world which, preoccupied with the worship of the ephemeral, has  lost its way and spent its forces in a vain search after earthly ideals. It is a  message to men who, in ever increasing numbers, have cut themselves off from  faith in Christ and, even more, from the recognition and observance of His law;  a message opposed to that philosophy of life for which the doctrine of love and  renunciation preached in the Sermon on the Mount and the Divine act of love on  the Cross seem to be a stumbling block and foolishness.

4. Even as the precursor of the Lord proclaimed one day to those who sought  and questioned him: “Behold the lamb of God” (Saint John i. 29), in order to  warn them that the desired of the nations (cf. Aggeus ii. 8), dwelt, though as  yet unrecognized, in their midst, so, too, the representative of Christ  addressed his mighty cry of entreaty: “Behold your King” (Saint John xix. 14) to  the renegades, to the doubters, to the wavering, to the hesitant, who either  refused to follow the glorious Redeemer, living ever and working in His Church,  or followed Him with carelessness and sloth.

5. From the widening and deepening of devotion to the Divine Heart of the  Redeemer, which had its splendid culmination in the consecration of humanity at  the end of the last century, and further in the introduction, by Our immediate  predecessor of happy memory, of the Feast of Christ the King, there have sprung  up benefits beyond description for numberless souls — as the stream of the  river which maketh the City of God joyful (Psalm xlv. 5). What age had greater  need than ours of these benefits? What age has been, for all its technical and  purely civic progress, more tormented than ours by spiritual emptiness and  deep-felt interior poverty? May we not, perhaps, apply to it the prophetic words  of the Apocalypse: “Thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of  nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and  blind, and naked.” (Apocalypse iii. 17.)

6. Can there be, Venerable Brethren, a greater or more urgent duty than to  preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians iii. 8) to the men of our  time? Can there be anything nobler than to unfurl the “Ensign of the King”  before those who have followed and still follow a false standard, and to win  back to the victorious banner of the Cross those who have abandoned it? What  heart is not inflamed, is not swept forward to help at the sight of so many  brothers and sisters who, misled by error, passion, temptation and prejudice,  have strayed away from faith in the true God and have lost contact with the  joyful and life-giving message of Christ?

….. Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the  year of Our Lord, 1939, the first of Our Pontificate.   

Read entire encyclical here