John Cornwell Savages Pope St Pius X…

ImageAt my Catholic boarding school in the late 1950s there was a jolly priest who heard my confession in his  room rather than in a vacant confessional box. After I had recited my laundry list of petty sins, he asked if I was ever tempted to ‘commit a sexual sin by myself’.

He suggested that I take out my penis so that he could examine it to see whether I was prone to sudden erections. I left the room immediately. The next year, his proclivities discovered, he was removed by his bishop to another school.

As a child barely out of infancy, I had joined the long queues in our parish church every Saturday to confess my sins. The confessor  sat behind a grille inside a dark box like an upturned coffin, smelling of stale perfume and nasty body odours.

A priest at John Cornwell’s Catholic boarding school asked if he was ever tempted to ‘commit sexual sin’ (picture posed by models)

I did not realise that we child penitents were guinea-pigs in the greatest moral experiment ever perpetrated on children in the history of Catholicism.

When I started my investigation into Catholic confession I was shocked to discover that young children were not allowed to go to confession before the 20th Century – in previous eras children did  not make their first confession  until their teenage years.

It was the anxious and pessimistic Pius X, Pope from 1903-1914, who decreed in 1910 that children must make their first confession at the age of seven. Evidently he had taken to heart the Jesuit maxim: ‘Give me a child at seven and it’s mine for life’. Click on photo of Pope Saint Pius X for the rest of this savage pseudo-journalism.

Comment…

John Cornwell has now been thoroughly discredited for his false allegations about Pope Pius XII in relation to the persecution of the Jews in Germany during the war. Click here to read more

So, having made a fool of himself once, it is incredible that he has now turned his attention to Pope Saint Pius X in an attempt to blame him for the clergy child sexual abuse scandals in our times.  What a numpty.  What is it with Cornwell?  Is he in bad conscience about something and seeks to savage the Church as a result? We can’t tell whether or not he is malicious – that’s not for us to decide. But what we do know, from his ignorance about the way Pope Pius XII helped the Jews, and won the gratitude of the Jewish community as a result, is that he lays no claim to being an objective academic in his writings about the Catholic Church. Far from it. 

Frankly, I think there’s something very wrong with a man who is so muddled in his thinking that he blames Pope Saint Pius X for the sins of bad priests in the latter part of the twentieth century, when the pontiff’s motivation was merely to allow children access to the graces of the Sacrament of Penance at the most likely age when they would know right from wrong. I mean, nobody blames Wimpey for building houses on the grounds that they have make it easy for paedophiles to molest children – do they?  Crackers.

I can’t help thinking that John Cornwell needs help. And lots of it.  And soon.  But then, maybe you disagree?

 

36 responses

  1. Couldn’t believe that such a comprehensively sized script could be built from Pope Pius X’s motivation to secure/save more souls. Obviously a massive chip on his irrelevant shoulders!

  2. Pope Pius X, motivation certainly was to allow children to the graces of the Sacrament of Penance. Adults too I’m sure were reminded of the necessity of frequent use of this Sacrament in order to avoid occasions of sins in the future. After all, are we not all tainted by original sin? Perhaps this man who savages Pope Pius X is not aware of how or why it is necessary to make a good examination of conscience, this link might help.

    http://www.fatima.org/essentials/requests/examconc.asp

  3. Even the modernist Catholic Herald has a recent article debunking the myth about Pius XII. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2014/02/07/another-jewish-historian-concludes-that-the-latest-research-erases-the-image-of-a-pius-xii-indifferent-to-the-fate-of-the-jews/

    It’s utterly disgraceful that Cornwell is now attacking Pope Pius X, a wonderful saint. Cornwell is beneath contempt.

    Priests who abused are priests who should never have been ordained. End of.

  4. Mr Cornwell definitely needs help. Help to haul him up to the top off a cliff and help to lob him into space.

    Are we expected to believe that every child went to confessions unsupervised or unaccompanied by their parents?

    As for the full class of girls: I have never tried it myself but I would assume that these type of activities, including the act of confessing, would take an average of ten minutes to perform, so in a class of 12 girls that would be 2 hours of constant child abuse. Surely someone must have surmised something was going on, especially the ones at the back of the queue.

    • Frankier,

      “Surely someone must have surmised something was going on, especially the ones at the back of the queue.”

      That’s a classic. Absolutely classic. It’s on a par with your comment about the number of kidnapped and abused girls held for years in cellars by men whose wives said they didn’t know about the girls and didn’t even know they had a cellar, yet the Vatican is supposed to know exactly what is going on in every parish in the world.

      I’m now going to say something to you which an awful lot of people have said to me although I’m not always sure how to take it, and it’s this….

      You really do make me laugh ❗ 😀

      • Ed

        Glad I can make someone laugh, I wish I was as successful with my wife.

        I suppose it’s the way I tell ’em.

  5. I READ THIS ARTICLE TODAY, IT’S FROM CORNWELL’S BOOK “THE DARK BOX” YET HE TALKS ABOUT GOING TO CONFESSION IN A PRIESTS BEDROOM! I TRIED TO FIND SAID ArTICLE IN THE DAILY MAIL, WHERE I READ IT, BUT IT APPEARS TO HAVE GONE.
    AS A CHILD OF THE 50’S I WAS FRIGHTENED OF GOING TO CONFESSION BUT NOT BECAUSE OF ABUSE, THE CONFESSIONALS IN OUR PARISH WERE LITTLE ROOMS BUT THE PRIEST WAS BEHIND A CLOSED DOOR. I DO REMBER THE LEGALISTC TEACHING ABOUT BREAKING THE FAST BEFORE COMMUNION. WE WERE 7YEARS OLD! AND BEING TERRIFIED OF MAKING A “BAD” CONFESSION.

    • Mary Stretton,

      The Daily Mail article to which you refer is available if you click on the photo of Pope Saint Pius X in the article at the top of this discussion thread.

      I think, to be fair, your priests and teachers would have been trying to cultivate the habit of examining conscience in preparation for First Communion, using “easy” examples of venial sins, focusing on the commandments of the Church at that early stage, such as missing Mass or not keeping the fast. We learned at an early age, in time for First Confession, that we had to attend Sunday Mass and keep the Friday fast. Isn’t that a good thing? Can you imagine the complaints if priests had been telling pupils to count how many times they’d sworn at their mothers or kicked their fathers. In the 50’s it was still the fashion to have both ❗

      People have now forgotten about the importance of the commandments of the Church (hardly surprising since they think the Ten Commandments from God are nothing more than flexible suggestions!) so I wouldn’t go charging the clergy with being “legalistic”. I’ve lost count of all the homilies I’ve heard on the Sermon on the Mount, which is a great deal more legalistic than anything in the Old Testament, not that you’d think it to listen to priests in parishes today, who quote from it very selectively and out of context. The truth is that, far from loosening up on the law, Christ tightened it up a great deal and extended it to cover thoughts as well as actions. So, there’s a lot of tosh spoken by the Modernists and self-styled “liberals” (a most intolerant bunch) about “the law.”

      On a practical point – I don’t mind at all, but it is the convention online to type in lower case. The use of capitals is considered to be “shouting” for some reason. As I say, it doesn’t bother me at all but someone is sure to tell you and perhaps none too nicely, so just be aware that it’s best to release the caps lock on your keyboard when blogging.

      • Your comment about capital letters appeared after I had written my comment so I didn’t know it would be considered as shouting. i use capitals in all my emails. We had very good priests in my parish. It was the sisters who went on about , “If you put your hand in your pocket on your way to Mass and found a piece of chocolate(fat chance when sweets were rationed) and you ate it and then went to Holy Communion would that be a sin?” That was what I meant about being “legalistic”
        By the way i would have given myself a “pen-name” on this blog if I had known how do it, but old deaf, blind and stupid there I am!

      • WHY DO PEOPLE ASSUME IF YOU TYPE IN BLOCK CAPITALS YOU ARE SHOUTING? I DO IT BECAUSE I FIND IT EASIER WITH MY EYESIGHT. AS TO THE ARTICLE I COULDN’T SEE ANYMORE I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT LAST NIGHT IT WAS NO LONGER ON THE DAILY MAIL WEBSITE. I EVEN SEARCHED ON THEIR WEBSITE AND NOTHING CAME UP. GOSH AREN’T YOU PEOPLE “HOLIER” THAN THOU. THIS WILL BE MY FIRST AND LAST COMMENT ON THIS WEBSITE. OH SORRY THIS IS MY SECOND COMMENT

        • Mary,

          I explicitly said that I, personally, don’t mind the capitals, and only mentioned that it’s a convention of blogging not to use capitals, in case you didn’t know that. If you need to do so due to your eyesight problems, that’s fine. It’s a pity you didn’t explain that in your original post which would have prevented our resident comic, Frankier, for poking some fun, which is all he was doing. He was not being “holier than thou”.

          I’m interested that the Daily Mail article isn’t on their website any more. I wonder why? There were plenty of comments underneath last time I looked – but not mine. Now, there’s another example of our free press at work – NOT!

        • Mary, I really am sorry. As Editor pointed out I was really only joking.

          If you knew me I am anything but holy but I like a bit of banter. I worked most of my days in the construction industry and you needed a bit of banter to get through some very cold days.

          However, sorry once again! I can understand your reason for the capitals. I truly hope your eyesight can improve. I will say a wee prayer for you to make up for my lack of courtesy.

          God Bless

  6. This pathetic, logical fallacy-laced article is clear evidence of a disordered, weak mind and an attention-seeking personality. That is, the ideal tools for the promotion of liberalism.

  7. Our Lady of Good Success said at Quito:- ““Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to insure general corruption. “Unhappy, the children of those times! Seldom will they receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. As for the sacrament of Penance, they will confess only while attending Catholic schools, which the devil will do his utmost to destroy by means of persons in authority.” “The same will occur with Holy Communion. Oh, how it hurts me to tell you that there will be many and enormous public and hidden sacrileges!

  8. As we all know, 7 is the age of reason, and as the comment at the beginning said, it is the earliest age at which we can know right from wrong. I also concur with the other comment that St Pius X desired to extend the graces of this sacrament to children.

    However, whilst St Pius X ultimately had the best of intentions in this, I do agree with Cornwell that he inadvertently put children at risk of abuse from a small number of Priests, both in his time and through to the 1960s. Whilst the Priests in question would have found another way of abusing children, I am reluctantly inclined to think that this measure on the part of St Pius X made it easier.

    As I say, abuse was not the Pope’s intention, in any way shape or form.

    • Prior to Vatican II, I know of no confessional whereby a priest could abuse a penitent, thereafter, face to face facilities came into play. The quote to which you have responded indicates an abuse by different means – if Confession was not the excuse, something else would have been.

      I have never come across a confessional as pictured in The Daily Mail article – even though I am widely travelled.

      • In fact, there used to be ones in Ayr where the penitent’s feet used to stick out below the curtain.

        When you saw the feet moving you knew it was time to get ready to confess,

        If the feet curled up you knew he had been given the fifteen decades as a penance. Cornplaster would say that was a sign of abuse though.

    • I don’t agree that St Pius X put children at risk, inadvertently or otherwise. You might as well say that councils put children at risk by opening a swimming pool or a children’s playground. To be honest, I really don’t believe Crom…, sorry, Cornwells story one little bit. While I am not denying abuse happened, as happened (and still happening) in every profession and every walk of life, I really don’t think that there were raving lunatics ready to abuse every child each time they stepped into a confessional. This is how it is now being portrayed.

      When a child gets bullied at school the parents normally know something is wrong by the child’s behaviour. I can never fathom out how so many priests managed to abuse children without the parents suspecting something was wrong. I don’t even know how priests got access to children without the parents knowing. One or two cases I can, maybe, understand but not thousands.

      As I have stated more than once, if the priest had even touched me lightly when I was an altar boy I wouldn’t have been back near him. I must be the only altar boy in the world that was never abused by a priest.

      I wonder if Mr Corncrake would be interested in my story.

      • The abuse did not take place in a confessional! It took place in his room. Which at the time was highly irregular.

        We should be blaming the abuser, not the sacrament.

        Would Cornwell disapprove of the concilliar practice of face-to-face confessions? That would be more logical.

  9. This sleazy article is a lot more than an attack on Pope St. Pius X: it is also an attack on the Sacrament of Confession.

    • GreatPretender51,

      “This sleazy article is a lot more than an attack on Pope St. Pius X: it is also an attack on the Sacrament of Confession.”

      That is exactly right. I fully agree. Cornwell is a piece of work – he’s obviously got some beef against the Catholic Church and is using the child abuse scandals as a way of getting even.

  10. Confession is intimately linked with Holy Communion. You can’t have one without the other.

    Before Saint Pius X, because of the Jansenists, hardly anybody received Holy Communion. And children didn’t make their first Holy Communion until much later.

    That’s the reason why Saint Pius X changed the practice on Confession.

    We can’t praise a man for being the patron of first Holy Communicants and frequent Communicants, and then condemn him for encouraging confession.

    Or would Cornwell like to go back to the time where Catholics received Holy Communion once a year or less?

    Or perhaps he doesn’t believe being in a state of grace is necessary to receive Holy Communion?

      • Jansenism was/is a heresy. I am not sure of the exact details but I believe it was popular in France after the Reformation, and it was a kind of Catholic Calvinism.

        I do know they discouraged Catholics from receiving Holy Communion, as they believed it was only for the exceptionally holy, and as a result hardly anybody received Holy Communion, ever.

        Long after Jansenism’s heyday, Catholics still harboured an anxiety about approaching the Holy Altar, but Pope Saint Pius X changed this. He encouraged frequent and even daily communion, which is actually a relatively recent thing: for much of Church history rare Communions were the norm, which is a terrible shame really. The attitude now is that one ought to receive Holy Communion at most Masses each attends, if in a state of grace. The proper view of the Eucharist is a medicine for spiritual sickness, not a reward for good work, which would be genuine Pelagiansim.

        When you are received into the Church, try to receive Holy Communion as often as possible. Catholics sometimes forgot that the Bible says we need to eat the Body and Blood of Christ to be saved! Saint Thomas Aquinas said the Eucharist was a ‘token’ – pignus – for heaven,. Each single time we receive It, we merit a higher degree of glory for eternity.

  11. The “liberal Catholic” columnist in the Herald, Colette Douglas Home, is siding with Cornwell in her latest attack on the Church. I’ve just submitted a comment which is unlikely to pass the moderation process, but we really do need to call these idiots to account. She is NOT – by definition – a Catholic since she has dispensed with several dogmas of the Faith and now this latest savage attack on Pius X and the Sacrament of Penance. Click here to read her latest assault on Catholicism, to the undisguised delight of the commentators on the blog below her article. Who needs to bother about Protestant bigots in Scotland with the likes of Colette Douglas Home around?

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