Pope’s Visit To Sri Lanka – Dearie Me…

And don’t miss the video record of the visit of the Pope to a Buddhist temple

Comment

“Dearie me” is one of the (more polite) terms which we Scots use to express shock, dismay etc.  That’s how I’ve been reacting to the bits of news reports that I’ve seen on this latest papal excursion.  What’s been your reaction?   Comments invited… 

146 responses

  1. My reaction to both these videos is “shocked but not surprised.” I think someone said on the General Discussion that the Pope cancelled his visit with the Sri Lankan bishops (thought to be quite traditional) yet he found time to visit a Buddhist temple?

    • “Shocked but not surprised” is my default position for just about everything that I see and hear happening in the current crisis. This latest debacle is no exception.

  2. How many times have we seen all this ‘inter-faith dialogue’ sham? Smiles, handshakes, hugs, joining together in ‘prayer’, exchanging of gifts and ‘blessings’ on the world stage. All this is supposed to ‘achieve better understanding’, with the underlying message…..’well, we all worship the same God after all’……’there is more that unites us than divides us’….(‘we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns’, to coin a Scottish expression) and all the time-worn heresies under the sun.

    There is no point in having ‘dialogue’ with infidels unless the intention is to convert them to the One, True, Faith that is Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, as Christ Himself commanded. There is dialogue that CONverts – and dialogue that PERverts.

  3. No mention of the Catholic faith,Insult Islam at your peril.The Pope is not exactly an expert on tact or diplomacy and should have kept his views to himself

  4. This Daily Telegraph photo gallery is from the Popes visit to the Philippines (part of the same tour):

    In picture two, both Pope Francis and Cardinal Tagle are pictured making a hand gesture resembling that called “The Sign of the Horns”, which is heavily associated with both Satan and paganism. It can also be an offensive gesture in some places (including both Argentina and Italy) and is common in ‘Heavy Metal’ music culture, where its known as “Devil Horns”.

    However, the article caption says they are making the “I love you” sign, which originates from American sign language.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/11348137/Pope-Francis-visits-the-Philippines-in-pictures.html?frame=3167327

    I expect “I love you” is indeed what the Pope and Cardinal are trying to express, but it would be unclear why they would be using American sign language gestures to greet a crowd in the Philippines, most of whom (I assume) are not deaf and so can understand speech.

    In any case, given the other associations of the gesture, I think this shows questionable judgement and the picture could be easily be misused by someone with an agenda.

    See these links (the second has a picture of Satan making the gesture, from a medieval Arabic manuscript).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ILY_sign

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_of_the_horns

    • Gabriel Syme,

      You are so right about the pope’s questionable judgment being used by people with their own agenda. Today’s headline in The Times is “Mock Islam and expect a punch, says Pope”.
      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/faith/article4324953.ece

      I know we are supposed to show respect for the pope but I am afraid I don’t respect the man at all. Sorry, I will obey him where I have to do so but as far as I’m concerned he is damaging the Church and I just cannot respect that.

      • That’s another good example you give Margaret Mary.

        I saw coverage of the Popes comments in other newspapers and the comments from readers were very negative.

        I think the Pope was trying to make a point about the responsible use of free speech, but it has been spun or misunderstood as him justifying violence.

        • Gabriel Syme,

          I was stunned that he said anyone would punch someone who insulted their mother. I know you are right that he was trying to make the point about responsibility in free speech rights but he chose a very bad example, as no Christian should resort to violence. I was once in a situation where someone did insult my mother, quite intentionally, too, but it never crossed my mind to punch that person. In fact I was so shocked that I couldn’t think what to say or do and walked away but I know that I’d never have thought of violence. We were once taught to offer up insults.

          • Lily, Nicky & Vianney,

            If someone insulted me then I would try by the grace of God to turn the other cheek. If, however, anyone insulted my mother I would most certainly smack them one in the mouth and make no apologies for it. Sorry if that shocks.

            It is recorded by the saints that while Our Lord will bear patiently all insults offered to Himself, He will never tolerate insults against His Blessed Mother. I don’t know where this modern idea came from that charity demands that Catholics make themselves door mats to all and sundry on the basis of turning the other cheek, which is not borne out by Church history, such as with the Crusades. There are times for bearing all with patience and there are times for action. Insults to one’s mother is a time for action for any loving son.

            • Must admit Athanasius when Pope Francis depicted Our Blessed Mother standing at the foot of the cross calling God a liar, I’d love t have given him a fat lip!

            • Athanasius,

              You surprise me a lot with your remarks about “this modern idea that charity demands that Catholics make themselves door mats to all and sundry on the basis of turning the other cheek, which is not borne out by Church history, such as the Crusades.”

              For one thing, I don’t think there is any comparison between the Crusades and a thuggish punch by an angry individual.

              I also don’t think “turning the other cheek” is easy at all. It’s much easier to give in to our temper and lash out at the person annoying us, whether by insulting our mothers or doing something else to annoy.

              How can punching someone ever help the situation? I am incredulous that you have said what you said, unless you are saying it tongue in cheek.

              You say that Our Lord will never tolerate insults to his mother, but you give no examples of him thumping anyone for any reason at all, in fact the recorded response of Jesus to violence in the gospels is when he told off Peter and healed the soldier’s ear which Peter had cut off.

              You also ask where did this “idea” come from that Catholics make themselves door mats… again this is apples and oranges. Just because I am shocked at the very idea of punching someone in response to their words of insult even to my much loved mother, doesn’t mean I say or do nothing, or let myself be a “door mat”. I would say plenty and not in the more polite way either. I hope I would say something to make that person think again about what he’d said and ask if he would like me to insult his mother in the same way.

              Turning the other cheek is not a modern idea – it comes from Christ himself and there are loads of sayings from the saints about offering up our sufferings as a way of winning grace from God for ourselves and others, including the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

              If you can tell me how punching someone would help the situation I’ll think about that but I can’t see how it would do anything but worsen things. Murders have resulted after a punch.

              • Danielle,

                There are times when moderate violence is required for correction, such as when Our Lord Himself took up a cord of whips and drove the money changers from the temple. Granted, it was His Father’s honour rather than His Mother’s that He was zealously defending on that occasion. Nevertheless, it taught the offenders a valuable and doubtless salutary lesson. Or are you saying He should just have turned the other cheek while the avaricious went about their business of mockery?

                Is it not true that God punishes us, sometimes in a corporal way, when we offend Him? He does so out of love, for our own good, but it still hurts at the time. The Sacred Scriptures are replete with such examples. Purgatory is another pertinent example. There is real pain in that place, permitted by God for purification, for the greater good.

                No, sometimes a bloody nose can make people re-evaluate their situation, or at least make them more respectful in future. It all really depends on circumstances.

                If God permits just crusades and wars, in which thousands, sometimes millions, die in defence of truth and honour, are you so sure He will be offended by someone defending their mother’s honour with a bunch of fives? Doesn’t the Commandment enjoin us to honour both father and mother, which I take to mean also defending their honour against offenders?

                The honour of parents must be pretty high up on the list of priorities with the Almighty when He saw fit to make a Commandment about it.

                I stick by what I said in my original comment. By the grace of God I will tolerate all manner of personal insults, but woe betide the one who insults my mother.

                At any rate, we have a much greater violence to worry about today in this liberal culture than a bit of corporal correction. In a world that has never been so violent and brutal, we are told that it’s wrong and unbecoming of the Christian to inflict a mere punch on the nose of someone who insults his mother, yet a great silence reigns when it comes to speaking out about the horrors of abortion and the even greater evil of liberal assassination of countless millions of innocent Christian souls. I think priorities have gone awry somewhere. Our Lord’s enemies have twisted His admonition to “turn the other cheek” to maximum effect.

                Finally, I seem to recall from the life of Padre Pio that he smacked a particular man about a bit on one occasion, a man who was something of a rogue but who later converted and confessed his sinful life. I have also read in a book that he once told a man that he had lost his sight as a result of raising his hand against his father. Maybe someone with more knowledge on Padre Pio will comment on the truth or otherwise of these stories.

                • Athanasius,

                  I’m sorry but we will have to agree to disagree about this. People always use the whipping of the money changers in the temple to argue for violence, but I think there is a difference between Jesus’s show of righteous anger at people insulting his father’s temple and human beings losing their temper. It’s never attractive, IMHO. Honouring our father and mother shouldn’t mean breaking the commandment not to kill which is the commandment which forbids loss of temper as well.

                  I am also not convinced by the stories of Padre Pio. For one thing, saints were human beings and didn’t always say and do the right things. They were not divine, and to be perfectly frank, I’ve heard and read so many things the Padre Pio supposedly said and did (most of them very unkind and rude) that he is not a saint I pay much attention to.

                  You didn’t answer my question about how punching someone who insulted your mother would help, but I don’t think we’re going to agree on this so might as well let it go. The only additional thing I would say is that I was always taught to avoid the possibility of causing scandal at all costs, and so for a Catholic to react to something someone says, no matter how insulting, by punching him or her, could cause a lot of scandal. I know I would be very scandalised if a Catholic I knew punched someone because they objected to something said. I think I’m right in saying that self-defence is the only reason we are allowed to be violent, and the Crusades (your original example) were defensive wars to protect the Faith.

                  I remember reading on this blog at some point, ages ago but it stuck in my mind, that Cardinal Newman hadn’t been convinced of the Catholic Church until he met Dominic Barberi because he could only see three of the four marks of the Church, he couldn’t see holiness. Then he witnessed Dominic Barberi being pelted with things in the street, spat on and so forth, and not reacting badly, just accepting it. That was the turning point for Cardinal Newman and it was actually Dominic Barberi who brought him into the Church in the end.

                  Anyway, I mostly admire your posts and learn a lot from them. I just can’t agree with you on this, but hope there’s no hard feelings.

                  • Danielle,

                    Thank you for your frank and kind response. Of course there are no hard feelings. It would be a boring old world if we all agreed on everything at all times.

                    You’re probably right when you say that we won’t agree on this one. However, I do come back to the point I raised about Our Lord and the money changers. It is a very significant point of reference for the topic under discussion.

                    We are all mainly agreed that violence is justifiable under certain circumstances, as, for example, in defending one’s country from invasion. Well, Our Lord’s actions at the temple were prompted by an even nobler sentiment, that of defending the honour of His Father’s House, which is exactly the same as defending the honour of His Father.

                    With this in mind, I think it would give more scandal to people to see a Christian son stand by and watch his mother being insulted than to see him react with righteous indignation in his mother’s defence. Few people with any sense of honour would be impressed by the coward who tried to justify his inaction with the “turn the other cheek” argument.

                    Besides that, it could be that a son who allowed his mother to be insulted under that pretext could well be guilty before God of breaking the Commandment that obliges him to honour his father and mother.

                    This brings me to wondering how differently Dominic Barberi may have reacted had his persecutors turned to insult his mother, and if Cardinal Newman would have felt the same admiration for him had he permitted his mother to be insulted in the name of turning the other cheek. Alas, we shall never know the answer to that speculative question.

                    On that note, I’ll let the matter rest. I think we’ve probably thrashed it to death!

              • Danielle,

                I responded earlier to your post of 4.09pm at length, but it seems to have vanished off the blog.

                I’m not going to write it all out again, except to ask if you think Our Lord should have turned the other cheek instead of driving the money changers from the temple?

                Granted, it was His Father rather than His Mother who was being insulted by these avaricious men. Still, Our Lord was zealous for the honour of His Father and He demonstrated that admirably by using a certain violence against the offenders in question.

                I think the fact that God instituted honour of parents as one of the Ten Commandments, He would fully expect all decent children to defend the honour of their mother and father, even to the point of using a moderate, hopefully corrective, amount of violence on those who would viciously insult them.

                I could go on and on about this, but there is no need. I would simply refer you to Sacred Scripture wherein are recorded numberless accounts of violent divine chastisements upon the ungodly, and indeed salutary punishments for His own when they erred. What I’m saying is that moderate violence, such as in corporal punishment or a punch on the snout for the insulter of one’s mother, can have a very beneficial effect. If nothing else, it helps to maintain order and respect.

                Well, that’s my opinion at least.

              • Danielle

                What about the time Jesus showed who was boss when He stormed the temple? Was He just having a laugh?

                You say murders have resulted after a punch and you are correct but a lot of murders have been prevented after a punch also.

                I think too much has been made of the Pope`s remarks. What else was he expected to say?

                You also say that you would say plenty in a less than polite way if someone insulted your mother. Maybe you would say something that would be remembered longer than a black eye that would do more damage.

                • Frankier,

                  I’m really surprised to read what I am reading about punching people on this thread.

                  I’ve never interpreted the whipping in the temple as Jesus was giving permission for violence. If it’s OK to punch someone for insulting our mother, where do we draw the line?

                  • Margaret Mary,

                    I would like to know what you think Our Lord’s whipping of the money changers in the temple was meant to signify, if not moderate and justified violence in response to the dishonouring of God the Father.

                    Now, you ask: “where do we draw the line”?

                    Well, I think my comments on this have made it perfectly clear where the line is drawn. It is drawn at upholding and defending the honour of our parents, as we are bound to do by Divine Command, even if that means using, as Our Lord did, a certain moderate violence to make those who would insult them think twice about being disrespectful in future.

                    The Church has never been opposed to the use of justified force where the common good is concerned. Hence, she never opposed corporal punishment in schools as a means of disciplining young people when they crossed the line. There are many such examples.

                    As I said right at the beginning, there is a vast difference between the Catholic turning of the other cheek and the liberal door mat mentality. The latter is a modern error.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I agree with you that the Church has allowed reasonable corporal punishment and that military action is sometimes justified in order to defend a country from invasion.

                      However, I believe it is a false dichotomy to equate this with punching someone who insults our parents. If France, let’s say, insults the UK by expelling our ambassador, do we have the moral right to bomb Paris? No. If France invades Jersey, do we have the right to launch military action? Yes. If someone attacks our parents do we have a moral obligation to defend them using force? Absolutely. However, I cannot for one minute see any justification for punching someone in the face for insulting parents. The gospel passage that you have quoted several times does not give us the justification to punch others. Yes, Our Lord used force, however nothing in that passage indicates that we have the right to do likewise. Indeed, St Paul states, in his letter to the Romans, that revenge belongs to Our Lord.

                      “Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.”

                      I think we must remember that we should act within the rule of law. We cannot go around throwing punches. I’m not sure police would drop assault charges on the grounds that the perpetrator’s mother had been insulted.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I have always understood that the expulsion of the money changers from the temple was something of a hint to us that to treat the House of God lightly or blasphemously is very serious indeed. The lesson is that there are some things – including our treatment of God’s house and the things of God – which require our righteous anger. That’s the key teaching of Christ’s expulsion of the money changers from the temple. If it were, as you suggest, to exhort us to do likewise to defend the honour of God the Father, then we should all arrange to meet and do the rounds of our local diocesan parish churches where all sorts of liturgical abuses are undoubtedly causing offence to God because His house is being made a den of thieves all over the place in our times. Think Vatican II; think altar girls; think extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion; think pop priests; think heretical sermons – and the rest…

                      I’m still up to my eyes so only paying speedy and spasmodic visits to the blog, but I had intended to come in a bit earlier anyway on this subject to recount a conversation I had only this morning with a visitor to my home.

                      I told her about a friend who had said he would punch anyone who insulted his mother and said that he was very definite that it was a moral action. What did she think? (She’d just been telling me about a neighbour who had tried to incite her to fight in the street and our visitor said she wouldn’t dream of brawling like that – which is what prompted me to ask her “what if your mother were insulted”…)

                      She shook her head and replied immediately that someone HAD insulted her mother not that long ago, saying that her mother was “whoring in Blackpool”. Her response was immediate. She said “You are a dirty, vulgar old man and I will never again set foot in this house.” And she never did. She added that she wouldn’t demean herself by brawling but “nobody will insult my mother and get away with it.” She’s a lapsed Catholic.

                      I do have to express my surprise that you would think it OK to punch someone (for any reason – I run a mile at the first sign of bad temper that may result in active violence) but since this arose out of Pope Francis’ remark about provoking Islamists, I would add only that I doubt very much that if the Pope were pressed to clarify, that he would repeat his remark. I suspect it comes under the heading of “hyperbole” – an exaggeration to make a point, his point being that if Muslims believe their religion is being insulted, they will terrorise. I think he used a highly unfortunate analogy, but, hey, what’s new about that !

                    • Petrus,

                      I disagree with you entirely, except where you correctly juxtapose examples highlighting the difference between just and unjust war.

                      If you accept that the Church was correct to permit corporal punishment, a form of moderate violence for the good of the offender, then you must accept that moderate violence is also applicable in other cases, such as in defending the honour of one’s parents.

                      I think the mistake you make, which your quote from St. Paul indicates, is that you equate what I suggest with vengeance. At no time did I state that I would punch someone in the nose for revenge purposes. I would do so to teach them respect for my parents, if the occasion arose. Obviously I do not countenance or encourage the free and regular use of violence against others; only in the case of defending the honour of parents, which I consider to be a duty incumbent upon all who love and respect their parents as they should.

                      In this regard, it just so happens that St. Paul also said “Do not let the sun go down on your anger,” by which statement he well understood human nature, as Pope Francis did when he made his “punch in the nose” remark, even if it was a bit of a crude example for a Pope.

                      These were speaking of the realities of life in this valley of tears rather than of life amongst the Blessed in Heaven. Much as I would love to be a sainted martyr of the latter’s company, I’m afraid I am more likely to manage only the minimum requirement of not letting the sun go down on my anger.

                      And it’s more honest! My experience of life has been that he who is outspoken and who may well punch the man who insults his parents is far less likely to harbor feelings of resentment in his heart towards others, which can, and often does, lead to much worse sins against charity, such as calumny, detraction, etc.

                      I’m speaking generally here, not personally against you or anyone else, so please do not get the wrong end of the stick. All I’m saying is that it in the case in hand it could be more honest and less sinful to land a punch and move on than to harbor a grudge and grow bitter.

                      Anyway, that’s the view I take and the view I’m sticking with unless and until, please God, I finally achieve a state of heroic virtue!

                    • Editor,

                      Several points you make require some clarification.

                      The first is that the difference between the sexes means that men will react differently to insults against their parents than women. It would hardly be becoming for two women to be seen exchanging blows, now would it? So I’m not really surprised that this female friend you discussed the matter with answered as she did.

                      I would, however, generally caution against relying on the advice of lapsed Catholics, if only because it is more likely to be emotional rather than supernatural. By the sounds of things, this poor lady has not been particularly vigilant in respect to the company she keeps, which makes her advice even more suspect, and I’m not so sure, by the sounds of things, that she has forgiven the man who made the nasty remark against her mother.

                      Putting that to one side, the example of Our Lord with the money changers is, as you say, and as others have noted, a clear teaching that the House of God and all things pertaining to the divine worship of God are to be treated with the utmost reverence and respect. But there is also the honour of God the Father, which Our Lord was clearly defending. He took many insults offered to Himself, as the Gospels demonstrate, but would not tolerate insults to His Father. There is a double lesson in the Gospel story.

                      As regards the abuses you list in the modern parishes. Well, if a majority of older Catholics had remained true to the Faith of their Fathers then perhaps we would have witnessed many violent responses to the wanton disrespect and irreverence introduced into the House of God by the liberal reformers. As it is, that majority just went along turning the other cheek to what their conscience surely told them was an outrage. I rest my case!

                    • Athanasius,

                      I have never come across anything in Holy Scripture, the teaching of the Church or the writings of Church Fathers that says we are permitted to use moderate violence in order to defend the honour of our parents. Since you speak so confidently on this, could you provide some form of evidence for your claims? Perhaps I have missed something, so if there’s something from Scripture or Tradition I would love to know. Are you sure this isn’t just your own opinion? If it is an opinion, perhaps you should say so to avoid any confusion.

                      I don’t think you can compare moderate corporal punishment with punching a man in the face. Corporal punishment was inflicted by an authority figure, for example a parent, teacher or the State. So, I guess my question now is similar to my question above – from where does one obtain the authority to lash out at someone who insults parents?

                    • Athanasius,

                      I note your comment about the differences between the sexes, but the evidence from Scripture is that God gives His grace freely to all, that “in Christ there is no male and female” and, therefore, with the help of God’s grace we are all able to rise above the temptations of our fallen human nature whether that temptation is to steal from or punch our neighbour.

                      And “the female friend” to whom you refer is no such thing. I described her as a visitor to my home because she was here in a professional capacity.

                      Nor is your cautioning me against “relying on the advice of lapsed Catholics, if only because it is more likely to be emotional rather than supernatural” appropriate. As I’m sure you know, God has implanted in the human heart knowledge of the natural moral law, so that we can come to knowledge of God and what is right and wrong through the use of our reason, so there was nothing “supernatural” about our conversation. Indeed, I wasn’t seeking any advice from her at all.

                      We had a few words about the importance of good neighbours and she had recounted a couple of stories when she happened to mention her one very unsavoury neighbour who – over some nonsense – invited her to a fist-fight.

                      When I heard her say that she would never demean herself by brawling in the street, I mentioned that, coincidentally, I had been in discussion with some friends about our reactions if someone insulted our mother and that one friend had said he would punch anyone who insulted his mother but I didn’t even get to ask her opinion because she jumped in to tell me that she had already been in that situation; faced with a man who insulted her mother, she chose harsh words, not fisticuffs, to put him in his place. She made no comment whatsoever about “my friend” who had insisted he would punch anyone who insulted his mother. We did not return to the conversation.

                      It strikes me, therefore, that your argument about the “advice of a lapsed Catholic” being more likely to be “emotional” falls at the first hurdle. It is surely the man or woman who lashes out to hit someone who is being “emotional” – big time! She responded in a calm manner, nothing emotional about it.

                      I must say the following comment by you puzzles me a great deal. You wrote:

                      “By the sounds of things, this poor lady has not been particularly vigilant in respect to the company she keeps, which makes her advice even more suspect, and I’m not so sure, by the sounds of things, that she has forgiven the man who made the nasty remark against her mother.”

                      I do not know – nor do you, obviously – who insulted her mother. It could have been a former neighbour or someone in her circle who had previously been a good friend – who knows. Nor did she offer me any “advice”, not least because I’d not asked for any. Since the point I’d made was that I had a friend who said he would react violently if someone insulted his mother, that is what she spoke about – her own reaction in that situation. It is rather unchristian, frankly, to try to turn the tables and blame her for the insult to her mother! Talk about turning things around! Are we to assume, then, that if anyone does, in fact, insult your mother, Lord forbid, it will be because you, “poor lad have not been particularly vigilant in respect to the company YOU keep?”

                      Turning now to your remarks about forgiveness… Our conversation on this matter was very brief. I did not mention this blog – and this person knows nothing about Catholic Truth, certainly not from me as there has been no context to speak of it, and I only know that she is a lapsed Catholic because of a remark she made in passing, which I will not repeat here as it’s nobody’s business and is entirely irrelevant to this discussion. Even lapsed Catholics are allowed to have an opinion, are they not? We were discussing a moral issue, not a specifically religious issue, and, as already noted, knowledge of the natural moral order is written in the human heart, so her opinion on this matter is as legitimate as anyone else’s opinion. As it happens, from one of the stories she recounted about a former neighbour before the “punch” question arose, it was clear that she is, in fact, a forgiving soul. She is, in fact,, a very kindly person and I have no doubt that if that nasty man were to ask for her forgiveness for insulting her mother, she would give it. Nobody, remember, not even God, can forgive someone who is unrepentant and who doesn’t ask for forgiveness. That’s why we have Hell. We must not harbour grudges, of course, that is true, but she didn’t tell her story with any bitterness so – since I cannot read her soul – I’ll pass on making a negative judgement on that score. I rather think that you have judged this woman very rashly on all counts, Athanasius, and that is disappointing. Perhaps you would offer a wee prayer for her return to the Faith; her one remark about being lapsed was made very humbly so we ought to pray for all the graces necessary for her to return to the fold. To that end, when the right time comes, she will, indeed, learn all about Catholic Truth!

                      Penultimate point: you insist that the account of Jesus expelling the money changers from the temple is evidence that it is acceptable for us to punch anyone who insults our mother. Yet, there is absolutely no Catholic source for this interpretation. This is your own private interpretation, without any foundation at all, except in your own imaginative deduction from the event, in that, just as Our Lord defended His Father’s honour by driving out the money changers from the temple, so any Christian may thump or punch any person who insults his mother. That is certainly a novel, and entirely private interpretation and – as you must know – private interpretation of Sacred Scriptures is a hallmark of Protestantism, not Catholicism. No Church Father, no Catholic Scripture Scholar (OR Protestant scholar, as far as I know) has ever interpreted that passage as giving Christians a mandate or even justification to react with violence against another individual, for reason of personal anger or to “teach that person a lesson” of some kind. The Church emphasises that the use of violence must always be of proportionate self-defence – we must never go on the offensive.

                      Final point: wrecking the local churches… once again, you turn the tables. Instead of agreeing that, logically, if we are applying the behaviour of Jesus in the temple literally, we really ought to get ourselves organised to cause havoc in the local diocesan churches where every imaginable offence against God in liturgical terms may be witnessed; instead of acknowledging that this is, indeed, the logical conclusion of your belief that the Gospel report about Jesus driving out the money changers from the temple is to be taken literally, you turn the tables (no pun intended!) to go off at a tangent and argue that “Well, if a majority of older Catholics had remained true to the Faith of their Fathers then perhaps we would have witnessed many violent responses to the wanton disrespect and irreverence introduced into the House of God by the liberal reformers. As it is, that majority just went along turning the other cheek to what their conscience surely told them was an outrage. I rest my case!”

                      Many times, Athanasius, you have (rightly) reminded bloggers here that we must never seek to read the consciences of others. Maybe some people did have uneasy consciences at the onset of the V2 “reforms” but the majority, I have no doubt, myself included, simply put their trust in their priests, bishops and popes and the rest, as they say, is history. The key point here, however, is that, although we are unable to read the minds and consciences of others, WE now know that God is being offended in the local churches – so, surely, anyone who believes that the account of Jesus in the temple is to be interpreted literally, should be down at his local parish church wrecking the place. I hasten to add that I’m not suggesting it, merely making the academic point. What with all the talk about governments snooping on our emails and internet use, a gal can’t be too careful these days.

                      Anyway, Pope Francis wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to see the Church in a mess. Mission accomplished!

                      PS – I have just seen your response to Margaret Mary re “door mat” mentality. Would you say that the Little Flower, St Therese of Lisieux was a “door mat” since her autobiography is full of examples of her suffering everything from irritations (caused by other nuns) to humiliations (caused by Superiors and Sisters) – similar, in fact, to the spiritual records passed on to us by other saints. Have you read St Therese’s “Story of a Soul?” If not, I urge you to do so, because turning the other cheek and offering up suffering takes a strong soul, not a door mat, and is very far from being a modern phenomenon. It’s as old as the Gospels!

                    • Petrus,

                      In a world full of violent atrocities of all kinds, I do think this protracted debate on the finer points of punching someone on the nose for insulting one’s parent(s) is slightly ridiculous. However, since you ask a few further questions I’ll do my best to answer.

                      I suppose in the absence of clear Church teaching either way, it is left to us, as in many other matters, to infer from Sacred Scripture, just war doctrine and a few other examples as to how we should conduct ourselves in the unlikely event that a parent is insulted in our presence.

                      From Sacred Scripture, I have presented Our Lord’s response to the money changers in the temple. I have also cited the Commandment to honour parents as relevant in this regard.

                      In addition, I have cited the Church’s approval of corporal punishment as indicative of her belief that not all moderate violence is sinful, provided it’s not vengeful violence.

                      Ultimately though, what I present is my personal opinion, albeit with the weight of the aforesaid examples. Those who take a different view are, like me, positing their personal opinion, though less convincingly in my estimation.

                      Whatever the truth of the matter, the original comment by the Pope that started this fruitless exchange, though perhaps clumsy on his part, was just an observation of human nature. I very much doubt that a majority of sons in the heat of the moment would enter into a mental theological weighing of the pros and cons of pugilistic correction before decking the guy who had just insulted his mother.

                      I know how I would probably react, rightly or wrongly in such a situation. And, by the way, I would react the same way with someone who insulted my heavenly mother in my presence! Call me old fashioned, call me impulsive, call me a sinner, if you will. That’s just the way I am in this matter of parental honour.

                      Now, without meaning to be offensive to my fellow bloggers, I hope we can move away from this sideshow and on to a more serious and relevant subject, such as the crisis in the Church and the universal apostasy from God. I include myself in that request!

                    • Editor,

                      Your response of 11.56pm is way too long for me to attempt answer. You may read a certain response to it in the comments I made to Petrus.

                      Perhaps if your earlier comment about your “visitor” had been as clear and concise as the one of 11.56pm I would not have been as likely to conclude as I did. In light of what you now tell me re that conversation and the person in question, I accept that I was a bit rash concerning her. For that I apologise.

                      As for the rest, I truly think it’s time we moved on to a more pertinent subject.

                    • Athanasius

                      I have to say that I don’t think this is a ridiculous debate at all. Every single day I deal with incidents involving someone punching someone else. Indeed, I’ve lost of the amount of punches thrown because “he slagged off my family”.

                      I’m sorry but I cannot see how you can use the Commandment to honour parents, the Just War Doctrine and the use of corporal punishment to justify punching someone in the face. It’s a huge leap, which I find quite bizarre.

                      Two points you didn’t address. Corporal punishment was inflicted by an authority figure, within the rule of law. As an individual you have no such authority and your action would certainly be illegal.

                      Thank you for confirming that your position is your own opinion. I agree with you entirely that what I have expressed is my own opinion. However, I think we should always make that clear to avoid any misunderstanding. For example, using phrases like “liberal error” to describe an opposing opinion gives the impression that what YOU are saying is authoritative.

                  • Margaret Mary

                    I would draw the line if it was someone else`s mother who was being insulted.

                    I think at the end of the day the Pope was only trying to tell us in a quiet sort of way that Charlie Hebdo, or whatever they are called, went just a wee bit too far.

                    Tell me MM, is there any sort of scenario in which you could actually find a wee slap to be justified?

                    • Frankier,

                      In theory I would say that I’ve always believed it’s the parents’ right to smack their small children if they need to do so and I still hold that view. Any adult should be able to manage an older child without smacking IMHO.

                      Saying that, I notice that when people do smack small children the result is that the child gets worse, shouts and screams all the more, and kicks and has to be removed from the room anyway. So, although I believe it’s the parents’ right to smack if they decide it’s the thing to do, I have to be honest and say that the most effective and skilled parents in my own circle are able to discipline without smacking or only very occasionally giving a light tap and a wagged finger. That doesn’t upset the child but gets the message across just the same.

                      I suppose I’ll be written off as a red hot liberal now, and editor will put me right to the bottom of the pay scale, but that’s my view.

                    • Margaret Mary

                      I have to say I agree with you entirely. I defend a parent’s right to smack their child, but in my experience it’s sometimes counter productive. My middle son used to be very naughty and the more you hit him the worse he got. I started doing other things like stopping him going out for the day, taking games from him etc. He’s now a joy.

                      There are certain circumstances in which I think smacking is effective. When young children do something very dangerous I find smacking teaches them a lesson. However, i dislike it and think it should be a last resort.

                    • Petrus

                      When we move from the sole issue under discussion, which is the use of moderate violence in defence of parental honour, to include people punching each other all the time, which is clearly unacceptable, then I do think it proves my point that the debate has become rather ridiculous.

                      Anyway, to take up the point about personal opinion. It should have been quite clear to all at the outset that in matters not formally defined by the Church the arguments on both sides of a debate naturally fall under the umbrella of personal opinion. This should not have to be stipulated. Nor should my use of the term “liberal error” be automatically assumed to refer to magisterial teaching. There are many things I find today to be liberal errors, but that doesn’t mean the Church has defined them as such. It is not an exclusively theological term!

                      So, to come back to the question itself, whether it is right or wrong to use moderate violence (a punch) in defence of parental honour. This is clearly a matter of opinion.

                      In support of my opinion I have drawn inferences from Our Lord with the money changers, the Commandment to honour parents, the Church’s approval of moderate corporal punishment and, I might add, her non-condemnatory position on the boxing profession, within which men knock lumps out of each other for financial reward, sometimes very brutally so. The point being that a punch on the nose for the right reason is not as big a deal as the modern liberal would have us believe.

                      Personally, I would prefer someone to punch me on the nose and move on rather than assassinate my character by a resentful spite that opens the floodgates to those many grave sins of the tongue spoken of by St. James.

                      In this liberal society we live in today, while everyone is appalled by the thought of even moderate corrective violence, there has never been so widespread a cancer as this alternative method of “getting even” condemned by St. James. “The tongue,” said he, “is the smallest organ in the body, yet it catches fire straight from Hell”.

                      Human nature being what it is, and I think this was the original meaning behind the comment, insulting a sons mother is quite likely to result in a punch on the nose. It would be a very strange son indeed who would hear his mother insulted, say nothing and just move on with no hard feelings. That’s not normal!

                      As I say, better a punch on the nose than the much greater violence of detraction and calumny that emanates from the tongues of frustrated cowards. A sharp and nasty tongue does more damage to people than any number of punches on the nose.

                      One final consideration. I don’t think there is a single saint in heaven who would have stood idly by and let his mother be insulted. Nor, I suspect, would God have expected him to.

                    • Athanasius

                      “Personally, I would prefer someone to punch me on the nose.”

                      You bring the gloves on Sunday and I will bring the gum shields.

                      “Put em up! Put em up!”

                    • Petrus,

                      I forgot to say that a bit of financial compensation is even more preferable to a punch on the nose. So you bring the £50 and I’ll bring the back pocket! It’s much more gentlemanly.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I’m afraid I think the real coward is the bully who resorts to violence. The woman who editor quoted spoke her mind to the man and left him in no doubt about her disgust. She’s much more likely to get an apology and a fresh start in that relationship, whatever it was, than someone who lashes out to punch.

                      I think it’s so obviously wrong to punch someone that I’m not going to comment on this again. It’s illegal, for starters, and anyone who would risk being arrested for assault rather than express his anger in a civilised way, causes me pause for thought. That, I’m afraid, is not normal. You might lose your job all because of your temper in defence of your mother.

                      I would be interested to know if your mother agrees with you on this – would she want her sons brawling in the street with someone who had insulted her? I know my mother definitely wouldn’t want that. I asked her and she said “oh no.” She said should would prefer my brother/her son to say that they were sorry that person thought that and say something about her to show that they were wrong. She definitely wouldn’t want them fighting. That, IMHO, is a normal reaction of a good mother. I’m sure your mother would say the same, although I obviously don’t know her.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I also forgot to ask why you think a punch is moderate violence. I know one young man in America who was attacked by a thug on the street, and killed by a single punch because he fell backwards onto the kerb and died as a result. If you have sons yourself, I think you ought to be very careful speaking about “moderate violence” and raising them to think a punch is harmless. It’s not. It would always be painful and sometimes deadly. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, St Paul taught, so we shouldn’t deliberately cause pain or harm to anyone, especially not to punish them for saying something we object to.

      • I saw that headline in the newsagents this morning. Pope Francis just hands the enemy victory after victory. I was incredulous when the Pope said to the journalists and it was played out on TV all over the world, that if someone insults your mother you punch them… What a stupid thing to say especially from a pope who should be teaching “turn the other cheek.” I really do wonder about his intelligence quotient, I really do.

        • There’s a letter in tonight’s Edinburgh Evening News from someone at the Secularist Society asking “whatever happened to turning the other cheek ?”

          • Vianney,

            That is very interesting. The secularists can see the contradiction of this pope in his “punch” comment without any trouble at all.

            • Danielle,

              The secularists can only see contradiction, full stop! Whatever the Pope said, and however he said it, they would have been ready to twist the meaning.

              I’m not saying the Pope was right to comment as he did, but it was part of a much longer speech condemning the killing of the staff at Charlie Hebdo while at the same time condemning the false notion that freedom of expression gives all and sundry a right to mock what others hold sacred. I’m quite sure it was on the Pope’s mind that the same magazine had several times mocked the Catholic religion in a particularly nasty way, the most recent occasion being December, 2014, when Our Lady was depicted in the magazine in a very indecent manner. Of course, the media took his comments out of context, as usual.

      • MM,

        The minute I saw him on the TV news making that ridiculous “punch” comment, I could see the potential headlines among the stars as my head spun. Unbelievable that he appears to have no sense of propriety at all, let alone a sense of what is appropriate for a pope to say to a bunch of journalists. I feel apprehensive the minute he appears on screen. “What” I think “is he going to say and/or do now?”

      • I’m pretty certain, if someone insulted my mother in my presence I would find it difficult to control myself.

        At the same time, the Pope should never use such an example in a million years.

        Another clanger.

        • Summa,

          Agreed. It’s one thing for a hot-headed Glaswegian to thump any idiot who insulted his mother (!) but quite another for the Pope to suggest it! For the record, I know Athanasius’s mother and it would be a brave man who would insult her. I have no doubt that SHE would be the one throwing the punches. C’mon girl … 😀

          What’s the bet that, when (groan, it’s bound to happen) Papa Francis comes to Scotland to visit, he’ll head for one of the several areas where the Rottweillers go around in pairs, and maybe even arrange for lunch with a couple of gang leaders.

          Nothing, but nothing would surprise me…

  5. I am simply disgusted! Sadly, neither shocked, nor disappointed, for the Pope appears to be doing what he has done since he was elected pope, drag the Church down to the level of being just another religion, taking care to denigrate tradition wherever he finds it.

    • Jobstears,

      Well said. I couldn’t agree more. It’s heart-breaking. And yet there are still people – and priests – who’ll say “Oh, I haven’t made up my mind about him yet…”

      To which I invariably reply: gerragrip.

  6. Appalling video of the Holy Father in the Buddhist Temple. The sins of relativism and indifferentism, as condemned in Mortalium Animos in 1928. The ecumenical movement is obviously a movement instituted by Satan to propagate the evils of Naturalism, to spread the belief that those in false religions cannot rise out of this state, and arrive at a supernatural faith, the Catholic Church. Sad to see Cardinal Ranjith there. Whilst I do not agree with praying and worshipping with followers with other religions, I do support faith leaders having friendly relations with other religions, insofar as it does not lead to the above sins and dilute the faith- so no Assisi gatherings, but yes to the Pope defending freedom of belief where Catholicism and other religions are persecuted such as in Muslim countries. I for one am a staunch supporter of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the freedom of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Turkey. I have supported a campaign to get the Halki Seminary reopened after its closure in 1971 and to prevent the Hagia Sophia from being turned back into a Mosque from a Museum, which it has been since 1935. I also support the Dalai Lama and a free Tibet against the Chinese.

    I take issue with Gabriel’s comments regarding the Pope and the Cardinal making a ‘Satanic gesture’. I genuinely do not think this is what the Pope was intending. There are enough problems and issues with the faith instead of looking for imaginary problems.

    • CC,

      Gabriel Syme did not say that was what the Pope was intending, he said the opposite but made the point that people with their own agenda could use such gestures against him. As Gabriel also said, could the pilgrims in the Philippines not understand speech? So why use questionable sign language?

    • CC,

      Above I said accepted they were making an “I love you sign”, as per the photo caption, but that I felt it was a questionable thing to do, given the other associations the sign carries.

      The photo could easily be misunderstood, or exploited – that was the point I was making, it ws about judgement.

      (Certainly, I was shocked by the photo at first, because I am not familiar with American sign language, but I knew about the different, negative associations of the sign.)

      I wasn’t trying to invent problems – I agree there are enough already!

      It is likely the case that both men were unaware of the other associations of the sign, but the question remains as to why they are “making signs” at the faithful at all – in the manner of a rock star or celebrity – as opposed to simply greeting them with speech.

  7. Also, it’s not that different from what John Paul II did with the Assisi gatherings, praying in Mosques, kissing Korans, praying in Synagogues, praying with Protestants, even voodoo witch doctors. It just seems worse given the Pope’s previous comments. At least John Paul II was not a true modernist, and possessed a shred of orthodoxy.

  8. I have long had the same thoughts as Nicky about this Pope’s IQ, but after all the recent stunts, and especially the incredible photo of him making that ridiculous gesture I have to admit that I am increasingly seeing him as a clown, and seeing the Pope as a clown is something to seriously trouble a Catholic’s conscience.

    • Christina, Gabriel et al,

      I have just taken a look at the photo posted by Gabriel of the Pope “signing” and I think I’m correct in saying that it’s something youngsters do a lot – one of the many daft (think “high five”) signs that young people seem to prefer to the time honoured custom of speaking in sentences.

      That the Pope is pictured making these same gestures, reminds me of a crack made by Petrus once, about the embarrassment young people feel when their “with it” dads drop in to the local disco and take to the dance floor. The Pope has placed himself in the category of “embarrassing fathers”, desperately trying to be “with it” – and it really does not photograph well.

      Somebody close to him should have a word – or think up an appropriate “sign” (I’m carefully avoiding the word “gesture” as it may be misinterpreted – say nothing, and that’s an order, Frankier…) to try to make him see sense. A few words along the lines of “you’re about 65 years too late for this sort of thing, Holy Father…” might do the trick. 😀

      PS LOVE your new avatar, Christina. Beautiful.

      • I completely agree about the childish signing. This pope just keeps on demeaning the papal office. I find myself wondering what embarrassing things he’ll say and do next. He looked so silly in the Hindu shawl. All these gimmicks must stop before the papacy is made a complete laughing stock of.

      • Ed

        You stopped me in the nick of time, just as I was filling the paraffin into my computer.

        I have to say though that I don`t agree with a lot of the comments here about the Pope`s remarks. If there is such a thing as a Just War surely there is nothing wrong with a Just Left Hook to the solar plexus of someone who has just insulted you mother.

        After all, it is just a left hook.

  9. Editor, many thanks. I decided that because I was called Christina, not after the saint of that ilk, but because I was born on Corpus Christi, an avatar reflecting this is more appropriate.

    • Christina,

      I agree – your avatar is well chosen. Really beautiful – and stands out on the sidebar, where I trust we’ll be seeing it more and more and more in the days to come 😀

  10. Lionel (Paris) our some-time blogger from France, emails me links to interesting articles and videos from time to time and he has just sent me this scandalous display of post-Vatican II “liturgy”. It is a MUST-watch. Remember to click the “translate” button.

    I’m posting it on this thread (although was tempted to launch a fresh thread on the topic of papal indulgence of liturgical abuse Vs his intolerance of the beautiful traditional Mass) because I think the question of Pope Francis’ readiness to indulge pagans, Protestants and liturgical abusers of every type, has already been illustrated on this thread. Think Lily’s mention of him wearing the Hindu shawl. I wonder if “Holy Father Francis Fan” Mgr Loftus will publish one of the photos of THAT little example of “dressing up” in “costume” in the Catholic Times and mock the Pope as he mocks (on-going activity as far as I can see) Cardinal Burke, most recently under a massive photo of the Cardinal wearing a cappa magna.

    Watch the video clip to the very end. You won’t believe your eyes. Correction: you WILL believe your eyes because, as one old English priest said to me a number of years ago, “it’s only the unbelievable that IS believable these days.”

    • I can’t help thinking that Fr Bliquy has scored an own goal here. If anything were designed to put young people off serving at the altar surely that naff video is it.

      Apparently the V2 barrel doesn’t actually have a bottom to be scraped!

    • That video, priests and servers, is a total disgrace. How demeaning – the priest has made a complete fool of himself.

      However, Pope Francis has told young people to make a “mess” in their parishes, so who can really complain about this sort of thing any more?

    • One can become too serious. Nowhere does the Church forbid us to have any fun. The Last Supper was a boys night out. Nothing in the video suggests disrespect. If you look at how the servers lay the items on the altar, you should note that it is done with care. The priest looks a little foolish, but many men do in the presence of children.
      This is a recruiting video for altar servers, “Word Misdienaar”, so how might you have done it?
      We need to make a distinction, if we can, between silly and wrong. I have attended house Mass in the vernacular to the music of “Hair” and (subsequent to that) served Mass in a Carthusian monastery. Both valid, and very different.
      Your correspondent also takes issue with some Polish monks for dancing to the music of Lady Gaga.
      If the problem is dancing monks. that is one thing. If the problem is the music of Lady Gaga we are veering towards barminess. We listen to music for its own sake. The life and morals of the composer are not considered. Very few of the classical composers would pass a morality test.
      Should there be limits to the recreations available to priests? When I played rugby – and I use the term in the loosest possible way – our team included wine merchants, restaurateurs, lawyers, policemen, doctors and at least one priest on a regular basis. We were prepared for every eventuality apart from rugby.

      • Antoine Bisset,

        Having agreed with your comments on another thread, I now take issue with your shockingly banal attempt to justify that horrific and blasphemous video as “fun”.

        Don’t you know that it is the teaching of the Church that mockery of holy persons or things, things pertaining to the worship of God, is a mortal sin. That teaching is nowhere qualified with a note saying “but it’s ok if one is just having a bit of fun”. Fun is for times of recreation, it has no place in the solemn worship of God. No one had “fun” on Calvary, least of all Our Blessed Lord and His Holy Mother!

        Besides that, altar girls are a liturgical abuse. They were not ordered by any Council or Pope, but rather introduced illicitly by rogue bishops. And if that is not enough, the vessels laid out on the table in that video would invalidate any Mass in which they were used. The Church has very specific rules about the sacred vessels to be used in the Mass. Those horrendous implements definitely do not meet the spec!

        Now, as to monks dancing to Lady Gaga. I’m afraid that any consecrated priest or religious who swings his hips to modern pop music has a very serious issue with his spirituality. It is so contrary to the supernatural life that monks vow before God to live. Just ask yourself if a Padre Pio, for example, would have countenanced such gross worldly and unbecoming behaviour among religious souls. I think not. Make no mistake, dancing monks are no monks at all!

        • Thanks for your response

          The video did not represent “the solemn worship of God”, although it might be said to represent the solemn service of God. As for mockery, I don’t think so. The hokey-cokey is a popular and fun dance at parties. It is certainly blasphemous.
          I do not disagree as regards altar girls although we must now take them as given, I suppose. I most certainly agree regarding the horrible sacred vessels being used (assuming that these are not just substitutes used only for this film), especially as the real thing can so easily be bought on eBay.
          Maybe the fact that Missals are offered for sale for big bucks on eBay with the Rite of Exorcism as the main selling point is more worryiing. Maybe, that chalices can be bought on eBay is more worrying.
          Do you really think that monks do not tell jokes? Do you not think that the capacity to tell jokes, see the funny side, to dance and sing are not gifts from the Almighty? The Almighty being the creator of the duck-billed platypus, the giraffe, the dancing stoat as well as us, can you say He has not got a rollicking sense of humour?
          Reading the works of Chesterton might be in order.

          The video might well be a mistake, a misuse of the facilities that technology now gives us, but I doubt that the intention was blasphemous.
          And if the intention is not to mock it is just a mistake. Mistakes have always happened, only now the technology pipes all the mistakes around the world.
          If our chums in SSPX had gone round to the parish at Ypres and punched Fr Igor Bliquy on the nose, in a loving, caring and fraternal manner, it might have been an entirely more Christian and more sensible than republishing the offending video. That is more in the style of the Sun newspaper

          As for the dancing monks, Dominicans are a preaching order so going about in the world connecting with people is obligatory. I have little doubt that these monks may also participate in serious discussions of the faith and how we live, with many different sections of society, as that is their calling.

          How do you recruit altar servers?

          • Antoine Bisset,

            It matters very little if the video in question was related to the service of God or the worship of God, the Church is clear that making fun of sacred things is mockery and is mortally sinful.

            Now, I agree with you in general about fun. Fun is great, having a laugh is great. The Gospels don’t tell us that Our Lord laughed with His Apostles, but I think we can take it for granted that He shared many an innocent chuckle with them. Wherever He went, Our Blessed Saviour drew thousands to Himself. This is what we would expect of our good God, who is a kind and merciful saviour.

            There is none so dreaded and avoided as the wet blanket, so clearly Our Lord was no wet blanket. Still, there is a place for fun and a place for solemnity. The service and worship of God, as well as all people and things pertaining to that end, are not matters for levity. Those who introduce levity into them do great harm to religion and the respect due to the Almighty.

            I also agree with you that monks are entitled to share a private innocent joke or have a laugh during recreation, it’s good for the soul. But again, and in a particular way, this must always be kept separate from the serious business of liturgical worship and the salvation of souls. Dancing should never be entertained by consecrated religious, especially dancing of a sensual nature, which accounts for most if not all of today’s routines. Read the Cure of Ars on dancing, that should alter your opinion a little!

            Again, you’re right about the hokey-cokey being blasphemous. The words and movements are a mockery of the priest celebrating Mass, “hokey-cokey” being a parody of the words of consecration “Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum” (This Is My Body).

            Now, as to the video in question. It was no mistake, as you imagine. It was blasphemy, pure and simple. The mistake is in believing that people who make such mockery videos are even remotely Catholics in their beliefs. Tragic but true. “By their fruits…etc.” I doubt even a loving, caring SSPX punch on the nose, as you put it, could help that poor parish priest recover any form of priestly reverence or graciousness. That would require a miracle from God Himself.

            As to your question: “how do you recruit altar servers.

            In the same way that the Church has always recruited them, by attracting boys and young men to the sacredness of the true worship of God. There has been no advertising campaign by the Church in this regard throughout history, no need for banal video mockeries. Our Lord has always drawn souls to the service of the altar by His grace, and He always will whenever and wherever love and reverence for the sacred liturgy are present.

            By the way, altar girls are illicit and always will be, regardless of how many prelates and priests hop on the feminist bandwagon. There is no record of such an aberration in 2000 years of Church history and teaching. Nor indeed will you find female servers in the Jewish religion before Christianity.

            Paganism alone stands out as the only example in history of deity worship in which women played a formal, often primary, role. So, what we’re seeing by altar girls is yet another indication that senior Churchmen are losing the true faith and are adopting pagan practices in order to stay popular with an increasingly pagan world.

            • Sorry to jump in here but I researched the origins of “The Hokey Cokey” and I’m sure it’s an urban myth that it is a mockery of the Mass. I read interview with the son of the guy who wrote it and he said it was utter garbage and his father would never intend to mock religion. He said it was written as a simply party song for kids. This is what he said:

              “The idea that the Hokey Cokey song was inspired by any hocus pocus (hoc est enim corpus meum), is a lot of bigoted bunkum (News, December 21). The man who wrote the Hokey Cokey was my grandfather – Al Tabor, a well-known bandleader of the 1930s and 1940s, and neither a Latin scholar nor a bigot.”

              Indeed, the “knees bend arms stretched” is often described as mocking Catholics receiving Holy Communion. In the 30s and 40s no Catholic would be stretching their arms at the Communion rail.

              • Petrus,

                It seems there is more than one claimant to the song and that controversy still rages today as to its true origin and meaning. Indeed, there are a number of similar lyrics in songs dating back to the 16th century.

                On those grounds, I wouldn’t be too quick to take as Gospel the words you quoted as coming from the author’s son (actually, it was his grandson, Alan Balfour).

                Anyway, as I say, it’s not at all certain that Al Tabor was the author of the song, nor indeed is it clear what was intended by the words. I should say that the “knees bent arms stretched” could relate to the priest at the consecration.

                • Athanasius

                  You are right, it was his grandson.

                  I agree there’s been several different stories about the songs origin ( God bless Wikipedia, eh?). I quite like the song and have always enjoyed singing it (it’s the only dance I can do with injuring myself or others). I think given the dubiety over its origin , it would be far fetched to read too much into it today.

                  Now, everyone…..”you put your left leg in..”

                    • Petrus,

                      Yes, Wikipedia definitely has its uses!

                      For me, there are still too many similarities with the Mass in the lyrics and moves of the hokey-cokey to ever feel comfortable with it.

                      Besides, there’s always Cossack dancing for people who want to throw their legs in and out with their arms outstretched. That would prove a bit of a challenge, eh!!

                    • Does that mean the Hokey Cokey is off the agenda for the next Catholic Truth Conference? I will need to practise a new party piece.

                    • Petrus,

                      Yes, we thought we might introduce limbo dancing instead because it sounds more theological. We’ll bend over backwards to make it happen!

      • Antoine Bisset,

        You are right, there is a distinction between silly and wrong, To me,this video is both! It is a recruiting video, yes, but for altar servers,
        not for cheer leaders. I could see very easily how the children recruited to serve might get the wrong impression of what the Mass really is. The Mass is a Sacrifice. The servers ought to know that and be prepared/trained to comport themselves accordingly.

        “We listen to music for its own sake” and “Very few of the classical composers would pass a morality test”, agreed. But then, the classical composers didn’t exactly thrust their immorality in our faces, nor did they mock the Church or her teaching in their work.

        The Polish monks dancing to the music of Lady Gaga, leaves me speechless! I, as a lay person, am opposed to her music on the grounds that she is blasphemous. She has gone out of her way to mock the Catholic Church, here is just one example: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/06/11/hollywoods-war-religion-lady-gaga-latest-celeb-sexualize-abuse-catholic-symbols/ I

  11. The Pope’s legendary ‘charity’ only extends to those who oppose the Church…
    Is the next update in the works going to be a mandated addition of voodoo to spice up what vestiges of ceremonies the mainstream church has left?

    • McDuff,

      I wouldn’t be surprised on little bit if voodoo was added to the liturgy. I really wouldn’t.

    • McDuff,

      Your new avatar… er… interesting choice!

      Great to hear from you and yes, you are so right about Pope Francis’s very selective charity. About as selective as his mercy!

  12. I just can’t believe the half of what this pope does and says but I agree with Fidelis about that priest and his dancing servers. The pope would love it, so there’s no point in us complaining, that’s just being “rigid” .

  13. Watching some of the video of the papal Mass in Sri Lanka I did relish the pope sitting through the Reading from Acts 20. Was it especially selected for his ‘holiness’s’ ears? Iand is Msg Marini meaningfully nodding at some of the most salient lines? http://youtu.be/HL8y_NltsWk

    • I was troubled by the popes visit to Sri lanka, in particular, his hypocritical direction towards the Sri Lankans to acknowledge their past! Why doesn’t the pope tidy up his own backyard before lecturing to others, a good place to start would be to get priests out of silly dresses and funny hats,we are allowed to mock any political we like, yet no newspaper would publish my feelings about our hypocritical pope, the sinhalesebuddhists can teach us all the true meaning of the words ‘forgiveness’ and ‘humanity’

  14. As the Holy Father has recently visited a mosque and joined in prayer (apparently), nothing he does should surprise and shock. Not even when he comes out with the self-evident tripe that we should respect the religion of others. There are plenty of religions, such as Scientology and religious practices such as yogic flying, that are delusional and risible. But the Pope tells us that they should be respected. He presumably means that we should respect Islam, an idealogy/religion whose holy book demands war on others and the death of Christians.
    One may respect individual Mohammedans because they possess strong characters,or are faithful to their beliefs, or are carrying Kalashnikovs, but certainly not their repellent religion.
    As for there being limits to free speech, there can be none imposed from without. We should be free to speak when it seems necessary, and should have the sense to keep quiet when approriate.
    One thing that is clear is that our legislators will impose a gag on anyone defending Christianity, moral values, and those lost commmunity values that formed part of the fabric of our society until recently.
    I’ll take lessons in social awareness from bishops just as soon as they get sent to prison for defending our beliefs.

  15. Antoine Bisset,

    You are absolutely correct about this pathetic false respect for false religions, a modern phenomenon that is completely alien to the perennial Magisterial teaching of the Church. As Archbishop Lefebvre so wisely observed in relation to Vatican II’s ‘Religious Freedom’: “The martyrs sacrificed their lives for the truth. Now they sacrifice the truth”.

    Catholics who indulge in post-conciliar ecumenical and inter-religious activities sin against both faith and charity, since, as St. Paul testifies in relation to Our Lord, “there is no other name given to men by which they can be saved”. Consequently, to pretend that salvation is possible by other religions is a demonic lie that does great harm to revealed truth and kills holy zeal (the missionary spirit) for the salvation of souls.

    As regards the bishops and their social awareness agenda. Sad to say this is the scandal of our times; bishops acting like politically correct social workers. There are hardly a few amongst their number who are not entirely saturated in the things of this world to the great detriment of things eternal.

    And now we are informed that Pope Francis will be issuing an Encyclical on the environment. Souls are perishing by the millions and the Pope writes a Letter on caring for the environment. Such utter blindness and folly!

    • Athanasius

      Thanks for your response.
      Of course my comment was kind of general, as I do get a bit miffed when people mock the fact that I am a member of the Silver Bird 3 Cargo Cult.

      • Antoine Bisset,

        Now I am confused! Your previous comment was very Catholic and sound, so what is this Silver Bird 3 Cargo Cult you mention?

        • A joke. Don’t you wish that a big silver bird would bring you a new washing machine instead of having to buy one from John Lewis?
          Don’t you think that the rules of a cargo cult are pretty relaxed (i.e. none) and the rewards highly desirable?

          • Antoine Bisset,

            Having experienced a few times on my napper the surprise cargo that drops from flying birds, I think I’ll stick with John Lewis!

  16. Antoine Bisset,

    Belay answering my question, I have just done some cursory reading on your cult and it told me everything I need to know. I wonder sometimes at the depths of lunacy human beings can plumb. Pardon the forthright exclamation, but I thought I had heard it all until today. I’m truly shocked!

    • I did reply before I noticed your “belay”. You seem to me to be entirely too serious, whereas I doubtless strike you as entirely too frivolous. I may be wrong and you may be right.

      • Antoine Bisset,

        Unless I can clearly see that you are having a bit of a laugh, which is not immediately obvious from your comment, especially as I don’t know you well, then clearly you have the advantage. I took your words to mean literally what they said because there were no indicators suggesting that I should do otherwise.

        You will see from the “joke” thread on this blog that we all have a pretty healthy sense of humour here. Perhaps it was your comment, then, which was out of context and therefore slightly confusing. Or, maybe I’m just a bit slow on the uptake.

        Either way, I’m sorry I missed the initial joke but now I can happily say LOL!

  17. Lots to debate on here, but for me, there are a couple of things that are inexcusable.

    1) A Pope who uses such verbiage. I’m sorry, but we need Holy Popes. Forget you people’s Pope.

    2) Ypres: that Priest is an utter fool who should be kicked out of the clergy. What a stupid buffoon of a man. Another idiot who is trying to change the Church to worship the Cult of Man.

    3) Altar girls are complete no no.

  18. I’ve just been talking to a friend who is married to a Filipino. Both have been following all the recent TV footage of the Manila mega-Mass, and my friend has told me that people were standing in long queues at the altar rails and the consecrated hosts were being passed down the queues from the front to the back. Apparently this happened spontaneously, but (fortunately) many of those present were scandalised.

    • Christina

      When I saw it I thought it was a new game of Pass the Host.

      Totally unbelievable, especially with a Pope looking on.

  19. PS ‘Fortunately’ in that at least some among the millions attending one of these huge open-air Masses retain a Catholic sense.

    • Christina,

      Now why am I not surprised at this latest, though greatly magnified, irreverence towards Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Our poor Lord!

      Still, as you say, we have to be thankful that some upright souls were scandalised by this event.

  20. I wasn’t sure whether to post this on the General Discussion thread or here but I’ll post it here because the visit to the Philippines was alongside Sri Lanka.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-30890989

    I am totally horrified at this pope saying Catholics don’t need to “breed like rabbits.” What a horrible thing to say, as it says on the website, it is just exactly what bigoted Protestants used to say about Catholics in the days before “family planning” became respectable.

    How long are we going to have to suffer this pope? As soon as I heard him say this on the news late last night my heart went out to family members of my own who have more than the two children considered enough these days. I dread what my sister will say about this because she’s been accusing of “breeding like a rabbit” more than once but since it came from Protestant, she didn’t pay any attention. Goodness knows what she will think and say about it coming from the pope. The man’s an idiot. Please don’t tell me I must show respect for this awful man because I haven’t got any and I refuse to believe that I am displeasing God by saying what a disgrace he is.

    Also please, nobody come on to say he’s not actually changing the teaching of the Church by allowing contraception. The BBC religious correspondent said last night that he’s not changing the teaching of the Church. However, his language gives the clear impression that large families are a bad thing.

    • Fidelis,

      Yes, I am shocked by the crudity of this Pope’s words. But never mind his low-life way of expressing himself, see the link I posted earlier on the back of Christina’s comment about sacrileges committed against the Blessed Sacrament during the Papal Masses in the Philippines. Now this is the real horror under Francis that we should be particularly outraged by and commenting on.

      • It’s not just his low life way of expressing himself. It’s the way he is condoning the “responsible parenthood” mentality which is really the contraceptive mentality and IMHO he is paving the way for what is to come at the next Synod.

        My parents would be stunned to know that a pope has said they shouldn’t “breed like rabbits.”

        Did anyone notice that he didn’t mention that couples could abstain from sexual intercourse if they really worried about affording children? Just to make that contraceptive-type statement without explaining himself fully to show Catholic teaching will be used by all the enemies of the Church.

        On the CT website the poll is about the things the Pope should have said if he was going to speak about this. Trusting in God’s divine providence and praising the self-sacrifice of Catholic parents who have large families. That’s what he should have been talking about, not “breeding like rabbits.”

        Like Fidelis, I’m utterly shocked at this pope’s every word, just about.

        Frankly, I hope we do not have to suffer him for long. I hope, one way or the other, God removes him from office.

        • Margaret Mary

          Spot on. You are so right to point out that the pope didn’t mention abstention; if people cannot afford to have more children than they can care for then that is the option open to them. His failure to mention this highly unpopular self-discipline will give even more support to the contraceptive-minded “Catholics”.

          I’m afraid his descriptive language has something of the gutter about it. Shameful indeed.

          • MM, Therese,

            I just read the new Francisism, it is undignified and crude. I agree with both of you in everything you’ve said. I am not surprised this pope failed to mention abstention “this highly unpopular self-discipline”, after all, why should the Church impose such a heavy burden on her children? If the pope believes Our Lady appeared to 3 little children in Fatima, and if he trusts that Our Lady does not lie, wouldn’t he take Her warning that more souls go to hell for the sins of the flesh, a little more seriously?

            Editor,

            I don’t see how anyone can excuse this latest asinine comment from the pope. And I agree with you completely, by talking about ‘acceptable solutions’ he has given the green light to population planners, in addition he has encouraged contraceptive-minded ‘Catholics’ to stay on the path of responsible parenting, and just to remove any doubt, he has mocked and humiliated Catholics who may have been much needed examples of unselfish parenting and of a love that is synonymous with sacrifice.

      • We frequently comment on outrages against the Blessed Sacrament on this blog. This is the first time any pope has talked about Catholics “breeding like rabbits” and telling them not to do it, so I think it would be strange if we didn’t comment on it. I was surprised that the link on the website let to a BBC report and not a blog thread. This is very serious indeed.

        Also, frankly, I always expect demonic abuse of the Blessed Sacrament at these public Masses. That’s happening all the time now so I am not at all surprised.

  21. I agree 100% Fidelis, with every word you have said. On top of all that has been discussed here, the idea that a successor of St. Peter should, in this particular day and age, quote ‘population experts’ beggars belief. As I’ve said before, my inability to see him as anything other than a clown, as he opens his mouth in outragaeous statements and actively courts and basks in the adulation of the crowds, seriously worries me.

    • Christina,

      I completely agree with you – completely. Instead of quoting “population experts” he should be educated enough to know that whole nations (like ours) are ageing and we need more, not less, young people. You call him a “clown” – I admire your charity.

  22. Fidelis

    As someone who can claim to be the youngest rabbit of a warren of ten I take great exception to what this Pope has said, despite having the same name as him.

    If the churches keep emptying at the present alarming rate he might have to start encouraging the breeding again or he could be out of a job.

    Anyway, when people were having large families even my family was outnumbered by our next door neighbours who were protestant. There were around 14 of them and they, like us, were never short or needed state benefits and were all healthy and good people. The world (and the Catholic Church) could be doing with a lot more like them nowadays.

    • Frankier,

      I was worried when I read that he was going to write an encyclical on the environment because that whole environmental movement is about population control. I don’t think for a second that he is making these statements accidentally (breed like rabbits) – he knows fine well what he is saying. I don’t trust him an inch. I think Benedict is going to have a lot to answer for because he’d no business resigning and leaving the gate open for this hireling.

      • “I was worried when I read that he was going to write an encyclical on the environment because that whole environmental movement is about population control”

        My own thoughts exactly. We need divine intervention soon, to get the Church and society back on track. Our Lady of Fatima will come to our aid.

  23. I had an email today from a gentleman in Ireland who has occasionally blogged here but couldn’t find a thread on the “rabbits” topic, so he emailed his comment to me. I think his username was “Bradders” (or maybe that was my short form! He won’t mind, I’m sure). Bradders wrote:

    “I was very glad to see that you have reported quickly on Francis’ despicable remarks on large families. As you say it smacks of the Protestant bigotry aimed at Catholics with large families, like my own. This is a warning shot across the bows of traditional thinking on the family and contraception, in other words, it should be plain as a pikestaff now that here we have a prime example of doctrine, ie,, Humanae Vitae, and praxis, i.e., a wink and a nod to contraception from Francis. Doctrine and Praxis are now officially separate in advance of the October Synod. Je suis lapin/nullard! “ END.

  24. I found these two comments about Pope Francis’ statement about breeding like rabbits on Damian Thompson’s blog:

    “My heart can only go out to the beautiful young families who chose the standards of the One, True, Church and had 10 or eleven ( or more) children; as many as our good Lord intended them to have, and which they graciously conceded His Will to Him and obliged in kind. it might have been easier to have two salaries, and a larger home; but the treasure of their home after God Himself, was the beautiful loving faces and eyes reflective of love that can only be gifted by the creator. Pope Francis makes these loving True Catholic couples seem like they are as animalistic as rutting stags rather than perfectly obedient, co-creators of those formed in His image and likeness. The image of God Himself.
    Of all ( and there have been many) sad comments and days we have had to shuffle through to try and glean a speck of Catholicism from crude and superficial “off the cuff” remarks, this one has got to be the absolute worse, and worthy of never reading another Bergoglio comment again.This man cannot possibly be Catholic.

    And this reply:

    You are so right. Also Pope Francis appears to contradict himself. Only last week he said he would punch someone if they insulted his mother, now as one of five children it would appear that he is calling his mother a rabbit.

    LOL !

    • Further to the pope’s ridiculous comment that he would punch someone if they insulted his mother, he has now spoken of wanting to kick money launderers “where the sun never shines.” What he charming way for a pope to speak. Truly he is a penance for all right minded Catholics.

  25. On the rabbits comments…

    We should be extremely wary of this new buffoonery from the Pontiff.
    In case you missed it, look with horror on the fall out from his idiotic “Who am I to judge?” gaff.

    As Carol Robinson put it in “My Life with Thomas Aquinas”…

    Scientific Population Planning

    Otherwise here is what will probably happen, for indeed it is already happening. Birth control will be superseded by “The Scientific Palling of population on a large scale.” This is the new era. … No longer will a person be able to decide whether he wants children or not, or how many. All that nice arbitrary liberal stuff will be replaced by compulsion on the part of the state. Men and women will breed when they are told to, and use contraceptives when they are told to. It will still be a matter of expediency rather than morality, but not of personal expediency.

    Don’t be fooled. Be alarmed. This is exactly the kind of comment that some are waiting for to underpin their social engineering.

    The nod to sodomites by the Pope was chickenfeed compared to this.

  26. Thank you for mentioning that book. I’d looked it up on Amazon before you sent the above details and read the excellent reviews. I’m sending off for it pronto.The essays seem amazingly prophetic given that they were written in the 50s.

  27. If, as the song goes, he knew the history, he would know that some of our greatest saints would be missing today if their parents hadn`t “bred like rabbits”.

    Not only is he insulting loyal Catholics he is also insulting rabbits. Maybe if he knew anything about the bible he would have used the biblical word for the ones he felt unable to judge.

    I am, and will always be, proud to have had six brothers and three sisters, they never abandoned their faith, God Rest those who have now gone.

    I never ever thought I would live to see the day when a Pope could be as crude.

    • Well, here’s something we all seem to have missed and I only found out about it through a letter from a reader received this morning. I immediately checked it online and, sure enough, Pope Francis actually put a number to the “right” size of family, when he decried “breeding like rabbits”: three – click here to read more

      This pope just gets worse and worse. Please don’t anybody try to excuse him on grounds that he allegedly spoke about “methods” of birth control acceptable to Catholics. For one thing, the damage has been done and the green light given to the population planners. If they’re right about the need to limit the population, why not right about the “methods”? Also, nobody should advocate NFP without explaining its clear restrictions. I’ve yet to meet anyone who does. Those who use it, in my experience (and certainly those who speak about its effectiveness and advocate it) think it is an acceptable alternative to contraception and merely substitute it, so without the Pope explaining that this is a grave sin, his passing reference to “natural methods” only adds to the problem.

  28. The European population has continued to shrink dramatically in recent decades, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Some believe that we are at the point of no return. It looks as if we may have contracepted and aborted our way into oblivion. It’s beyond ironic that the richest nations have bought into the lie that people are pollution, whilst the poorest nations, with the least resources available to them, have continued to flourish, and this, despite Planned Parenthood and its ilk targeting them for annihilation. Who says money doesn’t corrupt?

  29. Further to his “rabbits” comments, Francis seems to have tried to clarify what he meant:

    It gives comfort and hope to see many families that welcome children as a true gift of God. They know that every child is a blessing. I’ve heard – some people say – that families with many children and the birth of so many children are among the causes of poverty. I think this is a rather simplistic opinion. I can say, all we can say, that the main cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from its center

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/01/cleareronce-again.html

    • Gabriel
      Francis is so weak in his Pastoral charge that not only does he confuse but embolden the wicked, as you know. Weasel words.

      Contrast with the Holy Pope Pius XIII

      “To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good.”

      Think of Pope Francis in the context of this excerpt from SAPIENTIAE CHRISTIANAE.

  30. Typical Modernist double speak. Say one thing and then say the opposite. Take your pick on what you want to believe.

    • I agree Therese, particularly when you say “take your pick”, I think that sums up Francis perfectly.

  31. Yes, first he says what he really thinks, then (when all Hell breaks loose and his aides tell him some damage limitation is required to shut up all those “rigid traditionalists”), then he trots out the “clarification” – i.e. what he (is told by his aides) should have said in the first place.

    Charity never was my strong suit.

      • Jobstears

        I couldn’t agree more. It is not uncharitable to tell the truth! I notice eileenanne has been quiet recently. I wonder what she thinks of these outrageous statements from the pope!

    • Ed. Concerning your charity comment, which I know was tongue in cheek, but nonetheless…

      “Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged . . . Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them.” – Pope St. Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate, August 25, 1910.

      • Thanks Summa for that great quote from St Pius X. I knew I couldn’t be right to accuse myself of being uncharitable. I mean, moi? Me? But in my great humility, I thought I ought to consider the possibility… 😀

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