Jiggery-Pokery At The SCO…

ScottishcatholicobserverlogoIn June 2013, we re-published a letter written by Martin Blackshaw, aka Athanasius, to the Scottish Catholic Observer, correcting certain errors proposed by Dr Harry Schnitker in a series of articles published in the SCO, on the history of the papacy. Click here to read that letter and blog discussion.  We were more than a little surprised that the letter was published, but hey, if that sounds like a complaint, scrub it. Credit where it’s due.  

Now, today, however, Martin writes in an email to my unworthy self: In the March 18th edition, Dr. Schnitker began another of his back page serialisations, this time on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si. Upon reading his first instalment, it became evident that he was up to his old tricks of trying to make Catholic that which is not Catholic. He has set himself up as an apologist for Pope Francis’ environmentalist screed, attempting to bend it to Church teaching by any and all means. 

It’s more than a little disappointing, therefore, not to say shocking, that  the editor, Liz Leydon, is now refusing to publish Martin’s latest corrections to Dr Schnitker’s misleading musings.  At Catholic Truth, however,  we share Mr Blackshaw’s concern that Catholic newspapers must not be permitted to publish uncorrected error, so we’re happy to allow publication of his articles here… 

Reiterating unseasonable truths

By Martin Blackshaw

I have followed with interest these past months the various articles of Dr. Harry Schnitker in the SCO. The experience, sad to say, has been neither educational nor uplifting.

The reason for this is that Dr. Schnitker is more of a revisionist than an historian. In other words, he is an apologist for the modernist/liberal mindset of these tragic times and he moulds history in this image rather than in the true image in which it was framed.

Hence it was, for example, that in his series treating of contemporary Church Councils up to and including Vatican II, he made it appear that there exists doctrinal consistency in teaching on such as ecumenism and religious liberty when in fact no such consistency exists. These two doctrines are entirely innovative, unique to Vatican II and contradictory of past magisterial teaching.

Pope Francis was more honest in this regard when he wrote of these novelties in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Nowhere in that lengthy Papal document is there a single supportive reference to pre-Vatican II magisterial teaching, because none exists.

I could provide other examples of this jiggery pokery in Dr. Schnitker’s past writings but space is short and so I must come to the point, which is that Dr. Schnitker has now begun a new series of articles examining Pope Francis’ latest Encyclical Laudato Si, and he seems to have got off to a very bad start.

First, credit where it is due. Dr. Schnitker rightly points out that this Encyclical of Pope Francis has left many Catholics bewildered and many others angry. Why? Because the mission of the Church on earth is to save souls, not the planet.

We are witnessing in our time a crisis of faith in the Church and in the world that is unprecedented in 2000 years of Christian history. God is either rejected completely today or is paid lip service for His mercy while His justice is conveniently omitted from the conversation.

The result is that people are now generally comfortable with sin, and in particular with sins that were once unmentionable. And so, while increasing numbers of souls are merrily winding their way to Hell in a handcart, the Pope writes about saving the planet.

Let us make no mistake about this, Pope Francis did not restrict himself to ecological teaching in his Encyclical, as Dr. Schnitker declares. On the contrary, the vision expressed by the Pontiff went way beyond ecology to encompass the environmentalist agenda.

And it is replete with errors. For example, the earth is not, as Pope Francis declares and Dr. Schnitker re-echoes, “our common home”. Heaven is our common home. Earth is our exile. Hence the petition we make in the prayer to Our Lady “…and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb…”

Nor is the earth our “Mother”. This turn of phrase properly belongs to the worshippers of Gaia, a pagan cult. We Catholics supernaturally have the Church and Our Lady for our Mother, not the earth. God created the earth and He sustains it by His Divine Power. Perhaps a little more trust in Him and a little less of the humanistic hand wringing over today’s extremely controversial, not to mention tax lucrative Gospel of man-made climate change would re-introduce some sanity back into this liberal world gone mad. God made the world for man, not man for the world.

I mean, does anyone actually care any longer about the salvation of immortal souls through membership of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, as the infallible dogma declares, or is it now all about happiness in this world?

Whatever happened to the Traditional Catholic teaching that we live in the world but are not of the world? Our Lord declared that He is not of this world. Consequently, if the conciliar reformers assert that the Church must embrace the world, then what becomes of its embrace of the crucified Christ?

I’ll tell you by observation what becomes of it, it weakens until there is nothing of the Cross left in the lives of Catholics. The dignity of God gives place to the dignity of the human person, divine charity grows cold and is replaced with philanthropy, religious truth gets muddled with error, zeal for souls becomes a crusade for social justice and divine mercy is preached in presumptive isolation from a necessary repentance for sin and firm purpose of amendment.

Our Lord said to His Disciples: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me first”. This is the real truth about the world, it is a fallen world in need of Redemption yet hostile to the light of Christ. It is therefore in perpetual need of missionary evangelisation, not modernist embracing.

In other words, what the Church is crying out for right now is proper supernatural leadership from its shepherds, as of old. Embracers of the world, of false religions, of trees or of anything else that is not Christ we can live without, as also their apologists.

Surely fifty years of utter devastation in the Church is evidence enough that something has gone seriously wrong since Vatican II. We need only review the unparalleled global decline in priestly and religious vocations in the decades since that reformation to realise that it has been less a “New Pentecost” than a new Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ.

The universal loss of countless tens of thousands of seminaries, religious houses, parish churches and priests is hardly consistent with the influence of the Holy Spirit, now is it? Nor is the apostasy of millions of Catholics from the faith since the Council, or of a younger generation so deprived of Catechetical formation that it can barely recount the Decalogue, consistent with an outpouring of divine grace on this new conciliar entity.

Well did Cardinal Suenens, no friend of Tradition, publicly assert that Vatican II reform is the French Revolution in the Church. This is the real apocalyptic climate change that Catholics should be beating their breasts over, a seismic shift in teaching from Divine Revelation to doctrinal relativism and moral reductionism.

In respect to the latter, Our Lord says “if you love me you will keep my Commandments”. There is no muddying of the waters about access to Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, co-habiting couples, practicing homosexuals, etc., in that clear declaration of what constitutes true charity! His teaching was firm and unambiguous, “you are either with me or against me”. The house divided is a house of desolation.

This is the teaching Catholics need to hear again, and quickly. Sending out confused messages to those estranged from the Sacraments is not the answer to this crisis, nor is a fast track marriage annulment service.

It should be remembered that Pope John Paul II tightened the rules of annulment in response to the great U.S. scandal that saw annual annulments rise from around 700 in 1969 to more than 50,000 by the late 1980s.

Neither is there a recovery of lost grace and virtue to be had from Papal Encyclicals endorsing unqualified scientific declarations of an impending ecological or environmental apocalypse.

To quote Our Divine Saviour again: “Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat; nor for your body, what you shall put on. The life is more than the meat, and the body is more than the raiment. Consider the ravens, for they sow not, neither do they reap, neither have they storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them. How much are you more valuable than they? And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit?

If then ye be not able to do so much as the least thing, why are you solicitous for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. Now if God clothe in this manner the grass that is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more you, O ye of little faith? And seek not what you shall eat, or what you shall drink: and be not lifted up on high. For all these things do the nations of the world seek. Your Father knows that you have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Pope Francis has declared that he is open to respectful correction by  subordinates at all levels in the Church. Well I am respectfully correcting His Holiness, not by my own opinion but by the constant teaching of the Church up to the fateful Vatican II.

To this end I leave the final word to his predecessor Pope Gregory XVI, who prophetically warned thus in his Encyclical Mirari Vos of 1832: “To use the words of the Fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human Church…

And now to Martin’s second reply – this time to Dr. Schnitker’s second SCO article in the Laudato Si series (March 25). Here he expresses his admiration for one Dorothy Day, a U.S. “Catholic” Socialist activist whose cause for beatification has begun. Pope Francis likewise praised Dorothy Day along with Martin Luther King and Thomas Merton during his recent visit to America. As Martin notes, what follows will surely make a few jaws drop in shock…

[Dear Editor, SCO]

“I see that Dr. Schnitker is up to his old tricks again this week. His article begins by pulling out a one-liner about sin and fallen nature from the Pope’s Encyclical to demonstrate that it is not fundamentally about climate change and environmentalism.

The problem with this is that almost everyone else on the planet has focussed their attention on the several hundreds of other lines that are clearly environmentalist. This makes Pope Francis’ document more naturalist than supernatural, which is not what we Catholics are used to in the writings of our Popes.

The atheistic media and environmentalist anarchist groups are far more at home with Pope Francis’ doctrine than the faithful, and that is extremely worrying.

But apart from the first couple of paragraphs of Dr. Schnitker’s latest offering, what he effectively proposes to us again is his own theological interpretations and presumptions. There is very little in that lengthy piece that actually comes out of Laudato Si. This is not the correct way for Catholics to interpret Papal documents.

There is only one way to commentate on Papal writings and that is in accordance with the constant teaching of the Magisterium throughout the centuries. In the case of Laudato Si, the inconsistencies are far more numerous than the consistencies, rendering impossible any positive Catholic spin on it. So why is Dr. Schnitker attempting the impossible?

And why his introduction and adulation of Dorothy Day, the renowned American Socialist activist? This only confirms in my mind that Dr. Schnitker has a particular take on Catholicism that is not only not Traditional but is dangerous to unwary souls.

Dorothy Day fits very well with today’s Modernist liberal Catholicism, which is more interested in this world than the next. The reality about Dorothy Day is that despite her “conversion” to the faith, she remained until death committed to the Communist ideal.

I urge you to study her life a little more closely, whereupon you will discover that she consistently aired her public admiration for, and empathy with, the most brutal Communist dictators, including Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro. If her loyalty was somewhat tempered by a certain regret over the methods employed by these butchers, she nevertheless applauded their revolutionary spirit and their demonic anarchies. She also consistently praised the ideas of Karl Marx.
Indeed, at a time when Pope Pius XII was formally declaring that one cannot be at the same time Communist and Catholic, Dorothy Day was living precisely that very contradiction. Her publication, The Catholic Worker, took a decided pacifist stance on the Spanish Revolution, lamenting on the one hand the “martyrdom” of the priests and nuns at the hands of the Communist revolutionaries, while on the other recognising the legitimacy of the revolutionary uprising.

And if that is not enough to put any Catholic on their guard against this Socialist anarchist wrapped in Catholic tinsel, her opposition to the American government’s entry into the fight against the evil Hitler should clinch the case.

How anyone could believe, much less advocate, that pacifism in the face of such evil as the Nazi regime is the duty of all Catholics in accordance with the teaching of the Church is just perverse. But then she already held perverse views on the teachings of the Popes on Social Justice, going so far as to defend civil disobedience against legitimate authority in matters not pertaining to faith and morals.

In this regard the Jesuit priest Fr. Daniel Lyons S. J. called Day “an apostle of pious oversimplification.” He said that The Catholic Worker “often distorted beyond recognition the position of the Popes”. I suggest that Fr. Lyons’ critique was itself an oversimplification of Day’s erroneous position, though it could be satisfactorily applied to Dr. Schnitker’s.

Researching contributing columnists to her publication we find such names as Fr. Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk whose suspect relationship with a young nurse cast a dark shadow over his priestly celibacy. He more notoriously attempted to marry Catholicism with Eastern pagan mysticism. Then there was Fr. Daniel Berrigan S. J., who, together with other anarchists, broke into a U.S. nuclear facility damaging warheads and destroying files. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison, a sentence he evaded by going into hiding until eventually tracked down and arrested by the FBI. Then there was Ammon Hennacy, another Socialist anarchist who “converted” to Catholicism in 1952 but abandoned the faith in 1965 claiming that St. Paul had spoiled the message of Christ. He subsequently divorced his wife and remarried. For the remainder of his life he called himself “a non-church Christian”.

These are only a handful of the people Dorothy Day surrounded herself with; all Socialist political activists known to each other who demonstrated against all forms of war, refused to pay their taxes, vandalised government property and generally agitated against the established order, including the order in the Church. One of the magazines Day wrote for – Commonweal – was a dissident liberal publication that opposed Paul VI’ Humane Vitae. She later founded her own Left Wing dissenting magazine called Liberation.

You really need to read about Dorothy Day, whose only daughter described in adult life how her mother’s activism had deprived her of her presence and love in childhood. Need I point out that a mother’s first duty before God is to love and care for her children.

It is a great shame on the Church that such a person as this is being considered for beatification, and that names such as Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King, a non-Catholic advocate of contraceptive population control, are also exalted by our Popes in these confusing days. This kind of scandal was unheard of prior to Vatican II, which proves yet again that a major shift in belief has taken place in our Churchmen since that Council. They are now more Left Wing Socialist than Catholic, obsessed with that new doctrine called “integral humanism” which suppresses the supernatural mission of the Church in favour of a crusade for earthly social justice. The Communists preached that doctrine long before it was adopted by our post-Vatican II visionaries, and for very good reason. It destroys the supernatural spiritual life of Catholics, turning them into humanist activists and revolutionaries. That’s why the Popes pre-Council forbid any collaboration whatsoever between Catholics and Communists.

As a senior prelate once observed in this regard: “the martyrs sacrificed their lives for the faith. Now they sacrifice the faith”. It’s painful to admit, I know, but it is a reality, as Pope Francis’ Maundy Thursday washing of the feet of non-Catholics, non-Christians and women, against Our Lord’s own example, amply demonstrates.

This change is now being noticed by some senior prelates in Rome and elsewhere, who have very publicly expressed their fears over Pope Francis’s methods, his repeated dangerous statements to the press, his praise of the most suspect of theologians and activists, and his Encyclical on the environment. Popes are not impeccable, they make mistakes and we have a duty as subordinates to respectfully correct them, as did St. Paul with St. Peter. Only dead fish flow with the current! You have my permission to pass that line on to Dr. Schnitker.

Permit me one final observation in summation of this lengthy message. When Our Lady was appearing in Fatima in 1917, imparting a divine warning to the three children of impending world chastisement by means of “the errors of Russia,” Dorothy Day was celebrating the overthrow of the Tsarist government by Bolshevik forces in Moscow. Some 50 years later she visited Moscow and was “moved” to see the names of former Communist activist colleagues, C. E . Ruthenberg, founder of the Communist Party USA, Bill Haywood, key figure in the United States IWW labour movement, and Jack Reed, American Communist journalist and author of Ten Days That Shook The World, an eyewitness account of the Bolshevik uprising, inscribed gloriously on the Kremlin wall. All three betrayed their country and sought refuge in Moscow, where, upon death, they received burials with Communist honours. Does any of this make us think of the life of a Catholic saint in waiting?”

Comments invited…  

144 responses

  1. Well said! And bravely said. Following the passing of Mother Angelica, a true defender of the faith, there are men in the higher ranks of the Church who should hang their heads in shame. I am grateful to Athanasius to speak for us in a such factual and eloquent response.

      • Olaf,

        The news about the death of Mother Angelica was posted on the Happy Easter thread by Damsel of the Faith at about the same time I posted it on the GD thread – I deleted mine but if you visit the Happy Easter thread, you’ll find a link to the news there.

  2. Jimislander and Editor,

    My thanks to you both, especially to editor for giving me the opportunity to publish important corrections of error that would otherwise never see the light of day.

    And talking of Day, you will read below my second reply to Dr. Schnitker’s second SCO article in the Laudato Si series (March 25). This time he spouses his admiration for one Dorothy Day, a U.S. “Catholic” Socialist activist whose cause for beatification has begun. Pope Francis likewise praised Dorothy Day along with Martin Luther King and Thomas Merton during his recent visit to America. What follows will surely make a few jaws drop in shock.

    “I see that Dr. Schnitker is up to his old tricks again this week. His article begins by pulling out a one-liner about sin and fallen nature from the Pope’s Encyclical to demonstrate that it is not fundamentally about climate change and environmentalism.

    The problem with this is that almost everyone else on the planet has focussed their attention on the several hundreds of other lines that are clearly environmentalist. This makes Pope Francis’ document more naturalist than supernatural, which is not what we Catholics are used to in the writings of our Popes.

    The atheistic media and environmentalist anarchist groups are far more at home with Pope Francis’ doctrine than the faithful, and that is extremely worrying.

    But apart from the first couple of paragraphs of Dr. Schnitker’s latest offering, what he effectively proposes to us again is his own theological interpretations and presumptions. There is very little in that lengthy piece that actually comes out of Laudato Si. This is not the correct way for Catholics to interpret Papal documents.

    There is only one way to commentate on Papal writings and that is in accordance with the constant teaching of the Magisterium throughout the centuries. In the case of Laudato Si, the inconsistencies are far more numerous than the consistencies, rendering impossible any positive Catholic spin on it. So why is Dr. Schnitker attempting the impossible?

    And why his introduction and adulation of Dorothy Day, the renowned American Socialist activist? This only confirms in my mind that Dr. Schnitker has a particular take on Catholicism that is not only not Traditional but is dangerous to unwary souls.

    Dorothy Day fits very well with today’s Modernist liberal Catholicism, which is more interested in this world than the next. The reality about Dorothy Day is that despite her “conversion” to the faith, she remained until death committed to the Communist ideal.

    I urge you to study her life a little more closely, whereupon you will discover that she consistently aired her public admiration for, and empathy with, the most brutal Communist dictators, including Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro. If her loyalty was somewhat tempered by a certain regret over the methods employed by these butchers, she nevertheless applauded their revolutionary spirit and their demonic anarchies. She also consistently praised the ideas of Karl Marx.
    Indeed, at a time when Pope Pius XII was formally declaring that one cannot be at the same time Communist and Catholic, Dorothy Day was living precisely that very contradiction. Her publication, The Catholic Worker, took a decided pacifist stance on the Spanish Revolution, lamenting on the one hand the “martyrdom” of the priests and nuns at the hands of the Communist revolutionaries, while on the other recognising the legitimacy of the revolutionary uprising.

    And if that is not enough to put any Catholic on their guard against this Socialist anarchist wrapped in Catholic tinsel, her opposition to the American government’s entry into the fight against the evil Hitler should clinch the case.

    How anyone could believe, much less advocate, that pacifism in the face of such evil as the Nazi regime is the duty of all Catholics in accordance with the teaching of the Church is just perverse. But then she already held perverse views on the teachings of the Popes on Social Justice, going so far as to defend civil disobedience against legitimate authority in matters not pertaining to faith and morals.

    In this regard the Jesuit priest Fr. Daniel Lyons S. J. called Day “an apostle of pious oversimplification.” He said that The Catholic Worker “often distorted beyond recognition the position of the Popes”. I suggest that Fr. Lyons’ critique was itself an oversimplification of Day’s erroneous position, though it could be satisfactorily applied to Dr. Schnitker’s.

    Researching contributing columnists to her publication we find such names as Fr. Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk whose suspect relationship with a young nurse cast a dark shadow over his priestly celibacy. He more notoriously attempted to marry Catholicism with Eastern pagan mysticism. Then there was Fr. Daniel Berrigan S. J., who, together with other anarchists, broke into a U.S. nuclear facility damaging warheads and destroying files. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison, a sentence he evaded by going into hiding until eventually tracked down and arrested by the FBI. Then there was Ammon Hennacy, another Socialist anarchist who “converted” to Catholicism in 1952 but abandoned the faith in 1965 claiming that St. Paul had spoiled the message of Christ. He subsequently divorced his wife and remarried. For the remainder of his life he called himself “a non-church Christian”.

    These are only a handful of the people Dorothy Day surrounded herself with; all Socialist political activists known to each other who demonstrated against all forms of war, refused to pay their taxes, vandalised government property and generally agitated against the established order, including the order in the Church. One of the magazines Day wrote for – Commonweal – was a dissident liberal publication that opposed Paul VI’ Humane Vitae. She later founded her own Left Wing dissenting magazine called Liberation.

    You really need to read about Dorothy Day, whose only daughter described in adult life how her mother’s activism had deprived her of her presence and love in childhood. Need I point out that a mother’s first duty before God is to love and care for her children.

    It is a great shame on the Church that such a person as this is being considered for beatification, and that names such as Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King, a non-Catholic advocate of contraceptive population control, are also exalted by our Popes in these confusing days. This kind of scandal was unheard of prior to Vatican II, which proves yet again that a major shift in belief has taken place in our Churchmen since that Council. They are now more Left Wing Socialist than Catholic, obsessed with that new doctrine called “integral humanism” which suppresses the supernatural mission of the Church in favour of a crusade for earthly social justice. The Communists preached that doctrine long before it was adopted by our post-Vatican II visionaries, and for very good reason. It destroys the supernatural spiritual life of Catholics, turning them into humanist activists and revolutionaries. That’s why the Popes pre-Council forbid any collaboration whatsoever between Catholics and Communists.

    As a senior prelate once observed in this regard: “the martyrs sacrificed their lives for the faith. Now they sacrifice the faith”. It’s painful to admit, I know, but it is a reality, as Pope Francis’ Maundy Thursday washing of the feet of non-Catholics, non-Christians and women, against Our Lord’s own example, amply demonstrates.

    This change is now being noticed by some senior prelates in Rome and elsewhere, who have very publicly expressed their fears over Pope Francis’s methods, his repeated dangerous statements to the press, his praise of the most suspect of theologians and activists, and his Encyclical on the environment. Popes are not impeccable, they make mistakes and we have a duty as subordinates to respectfully correct them, as did St. Paul with St. Peter. Only dead fish flow with the current! You have my permission to pass that line on to Dr. Schnitker.

    Permit me one final observation in summation of this lengthy message. When Our Lady was appearing in Fatima in 1917, imparting a divine warning to the three children of impending world chastisement by means of “the errors of Russia,” Dorothy Day was celebrating the overthrow of the Tsarist government by Bolshevik forces in Moscow. Some 50 years later she visited Moscow and was “moved” to see the names of former Communist activist colleagues, C. E . Ruthenberg, founder of the Communist Party USA, Bill Haywood, key figure in the United States IWW labour movement, and Jack Reed, American Communist journalist and author of Ten Days That Shook The World, an eyewitness account of the Bolshevik uprising, inscribed gloriously on the Kremlin wall. All three betrayed their country and sought refuge in Moscow, where, upon death, they received burials with Communist honours. Does any of this make us think of the life of a Catholic saint in waiting?”

    • Athanasius,

      I fear that article may have been included in your email and I’ve overlooked it for publication. Let me know if you wish me to add it to the introduction – that’s easily and willingly done.

      • Editor,

        That’s quite alright. I’m aware that I overwhelmed you with correspondence and that the second response got lost as a result. I don’t think there’s any need to add it to the introductory article. It does, however, add hugely to the seriousness of the SCO’s failure to recognise, much less correct, Dr. Schnitker’s errors.

        Gerontius

        Thank you for your kind comments re this blog. It is just so tragic that the mainstream “Catholic” newspapers force us to take these steps today to uphold and defend the truths that they themselves have become indifferent to. Mainstream Catholic editors and writers are no longer the bastions of orthodoxy they once were.

  3. Catholic Truth
    Keeping the Faith. Telling the Truth.

    Thanks be to God in these dark times for this website. It has certainly become a bulwark against the modernist heresy.

    As for the SCO, I refuse to purchase it, since I regard some of it’s contents as worthy of the most profound indifference. I would though, consider it useful for wrapping fish suppers…….no, wait…..

      • Frankier,

        “Cut into squares and hung on a hook” ARF, ARF, ARF,

        Frankier, you are a real star mate, you bring sunshine to the website with your excellent brand of humour. Keep up the good work !

  4. The SCO would do well to carry articles by Martin Blackshaw because his output consistently beats the pants off the writers who feature routinely in that paper.

    The Editorial direction and decision-making at the SCO can ultimately be judged quite clearly against the reality of the paper having recently been put up for sale by its parent group, following years of decline. It is owned by the same English neo-cons who publish the Catholic Herald, and it has been increasingly obviously that these owners and the SCO have been strange bedfellows.

    The secular media recently commented on the possible demise of Scotland’s only Catholic paper. I believe there is a place for a unambiguously orthodox publication in Scotland, but seemingly Bishops only want modernist tripe for sale in the Churches.

    Personally, I believe the SCO is not long for this world and I am struggling to become upset over it.

    If any SCO readers are wondering what will fill the gap in their reading, I recommend Catholic Truth and The Remnant (both of which can be obtained in hard-copy, or downloaded in electronic format which can also be printed out).

  5. Athanasius, what a scholarly article. Thank you.

    Indeed, I wouldn’t defile my home by the presence of the SCO. I notice in our church that the several copies of same newspaper on sale are never purchased.

  6. Schnitker

    For those who like anagrams it would have been fun if he had been called Ian instead of Harry.

  7. In her 1936 Christmas Message Dorothy Day wrote:

    “Catholic Worker joins in appeal for democracy and peace, therefore asks you to join protest against all dictatorships, fascist and Bolshevist, against all suppression of civil liberties, fascist and Bolshevist, including freedom of religious propaganda, education, and organization, against all war, whether imperialist, civil, or class. Merry Christmas.”

    She did, of course, have friends who were Communist but she was never a Communist herself. Mrs Thatcher worked closely with Mr Gorbachev, and she was hardly a communist, and history has proved her, Mrs Thatcher, wrong about Nelson Mandela. It is sheer folly to judge people by their friends. Judas and Jesus were on more than speaking terms, and all his chosen disciples failed him.

    To quote Dorothy again:

    “My whole life so far, my whole experience has been that our failure has been not to love enough. This conviction brought me to a rejection of the radical movement after my early membership in the Socialist Party, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the Communist affiliates I worked with.” On Pilgrimage (1948), p. 126

    • Not quite good enough.

      I think what Athanasius quotes in his article would require direct refutation in order to defend her status as a candidate for canonization. Would a saint really pack off her child to boarding school to leave her free to get on with social activism?

      I have to confess to not knowing much about Dorothy Day but that one fact alone would have been sufficient in the “bad old days” to remove her from the list of candidates for the beatification process.

      • How many who write here have sent their children to boarding school? Why does the Church run Boarding Schools? I personally think, with the exception of providing for the children of service men and women, they should not exist. However, they do. And many ladies who lunch, and have attended Charity functions galore, have sent their children to them. It is hardly a capital crime, but ladies who lunch have more to answer for surely?

        It surely could only be a bar to Canonisation if many saints, and their orders, had not established them, and profited from them. This with the support of The Church.

        I seem to recall that in Church teaching a “living wage” is one to support a family. In a family with two parents that presupposes the other is the full time carer of the children. Many rich two parent families are the foundation block of boarding schools.

        • I meant to say that it would be one thing to send children to boarding school for the sake of learning the Faith thoroughly – I have friends who have done that – but not to leave myself free to engage in social activism. There is a difference.

          For the record, I’m personally not in favour of boarding schools no matter who runs them, including Church, Religious Orders etc. I think the home and nurtured relationship with parents, especially mother, is much more important than a boarding school education.

          • Dorothy Day felt called to live a life of simplicity, and poverty, and in the service of others. She judged that was her calling, and didn’t want her daughter to suffer the hardships she freely chose. She set her free, in a sense, so she could live.

            Her daughter, Tamar, had nothing but admiration for her, and wrote: “She [Dorothy Day] was traveling alot , and I was left to be taken care of by various people, and I got very ill. It was hard for both of us. She had her work, and yet at the same time she had me. She was very devoted. She was very torn,” Hennessy told a reporter in 2003.

            Still in the same interview, Ms. Hennessy expressed no regrets, “I loved the Catholic Worker. It was so exciting. I wouldn’t have missed a moment of it,” and her admiration for her mother was unwavering, “She loved her family so much, and in so many, many ways she kept me going. She missed understanding the material side of it. She expected alot of going without. At the same time she supported me alot, and I can’t say enough good about that.”

            • And you are trying to twist those words of Tamar into something they were never meant to express? She clearly states by these words that her mother neglected her in favour of her work. There can be no happy families reading of those words of Tamar, she was a poor wee neglected waif, a second thought after mummy’s anarchist duties.

            • Fr. Arthur

              “Dorothy Day felt called to live a life of simplicity, and poverty, and in the service of others. She judged that was her calling, and didn’t want her daughter to suffer the hardships she freely chose. She set her free, in a sense, so she could live.”

              It never ceases to amaze me the lengths you will go to in your perversion of truth. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, that’s just how the truth is sometimes.

            • Fr Arthur,

              “Dorothy Day felt called to live a life of simplicity, and poverty, and in the service of others. She judged that was her calling, and didn’t want her daughter to suffer the hardships she freely chose. She set her free, in a sense, so she could live.”

              Eh? And you think that’s OK? Gerrourahere! That’s sheer neglect – absolutely. Selfish. “she felt called to do x” so she simply shed her responsibility to raise her daughter – your interpretation is just ridiculous and are the quotes from the daughter, clearly trying to convince everyone, herself included, that what her mother did was really virtue and not utterly selfish.

              Tell me this; if someone came to you and said she felt called to live a life of simplicity, but had this problem of having had children, would it be OK to just send them off to boarding school or entrust them to others, relatives, friends, what would you advise?

              PS, for the record, the Buddha did the same thing.

      • Btw I have no where commented on whether she should be canonised. However, I am not writing articles falsely claiming she was a Communist!

        • So far you have failed to discredit anything written by Athanasius.

          Now, today is distribution day so I am tied up helping to organise the distribution of the April newsletter. I only check for urgent emails now and then so be patient folks, if I take my time responding to comments.

        • Fr. Arthur

          “Let it be remembered that I speak as an ex-Communist and one who has not testified before Congressional Committees, nor written works on the Communist conspiracy. I can say with warmth that I loved the [communist] people I worked with and learned much from them…” (Dorothy Day, November 1949, “Beyond Politics”).

          It is clear from the other evidence that I have provided, especially her being “moved” late in life when she visited Moscow and discovered that her former Communist comrades in exile had been buried there with Communist honours, should be sufficient to demonstrate that Dorothy Day never abandoned her Communist spirit.

    • Fr. Arthur

      “We are on the side of the revolution. We believe there must be new concepts of property, which is proper to man, and that the new concept is not so new. There is a Christian communism and a Christian capitalism…. We believe in farming communes and cooperatives and will be happy to see how they work out in Cuba…. God bless Castro and all those who are seeing Christ in the poor. God bless all those who are seeking the brotherhood of man because in loving their brothers they love God even though they deny Him.” (July 1961, “About Cuba”. Dorothy Day Collection).

      In the Catholic Worker in May 1951, Day wrote that Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tse-Tung “were animated by the love of brother and this we must believe though their ends meant the seizure of power, and the building of mighty armies, the compulsion of concentration camps, the forced labor and torture and killing of tens of thousands, even millions.” (May 1951, “The Incompatibility of Love and Violence”).

      “Fortunately, the Papal States were wrested from the Church in the last century, but there is still the problem of investment of papal funds. It is always a cheering thought to me that if we have good will and are still unable to find remedies for the economic abuses of our time, in our family, our parish, and the mighty church as a whole, God will take matters in hand and do the job for us. When I saw the Garibaldi mountains in British Columbia . . . I said a prayer for his soul and blessed him for being the instrument of so mighty a work of God. May God use us!” (“Hutterite Communities,” Catholic Worker, July–August 1969).

      Of course you will be aware that Garibaldi was a Mason.

      Now, let’s have no more of your sidetracking, Fr. Arthur.

  8. I will re-enter the fray a little later tonight. It has been a very busy day at work, on the roads for 8 hours, so I have to go eat now and catch up on some other things. But as the Terminator says: “I’ll be back”!

  9. I find it odd that anyone can quote Dorothy Day from 1949, in which he has her saying ““Let it be remembered that I speak as an ex-Communist”, and then claim, on the basis his own muddled thinking that she remained a Communist!

    Likewise, her daughter, Tamar, when interviewed says her relationship with her Mother was outstanding, and the said person says it isn’t what Tamar meant.

    I await an exact quote from Tamar, properly sourced, which contradicts her own statement on the record.

    • Your dishonesty again – you cite one quote from 1949 and ignore the later damning quotes. Interesting.

      If you read Tamara’s words, you will see that they are not given in the complete context. You quote:

      “Still in the same interview, Ms. Hennessy expressed no regrets, “I loved the Catholic Worker. It was so exciting. I wouldn’t have missed a moment of it,” and her admiration for her mother was unwavering, “She loved her family so much, and in so many, many ways she kept me going. She missed understanding the material side of it. She expected a lot of going without. At the same time she supported me a lot, and I can’t say enough good about that.”

      Sounds like there’s plenty been missed out. If I said “in so many ways she kept me going” I would have to explain what about the ways in which she DIDN’T keep me going… And if I said that I couldn’t say enough good about my mother in “that” regard, it implies there is other stuff that I can’t say good about…

      See, Fr Arthur, what I mean about context?

      In any event, maybe Tamara was fine with being farmed off to boarding school so mum could live her life of simplicity. Could be.. Just not sure it would look good in her “Life of Saint Dorothy Day” entry…

      • Editor

        Exactly what point you are trying to make by highlighting some of the quote in bold I am not sure.

        Tamar was, I know, emphasising her Mothers lack of appreciation of material things, and, at times, perhaps Tamar missed those MATERIAL things, but she also says she “At the same time she supported me a lot, and I can’t say enough good about that.” If you have a damning quote from Tamar please cite it. Justice demands it.

        I have countless biographies, and writings of Dorothy, and I think it is sad if on a blog entitled “Catholic Truth” one writer contradicts the very evidence he cites, and another embellishes or twists what the daughter of that same person has said on the record.

        Dorothy said, in 1949, ““Let it be remembered that I speak as an ex-Communist “, and someone dishonestly maintains she died a Communist decades later.

        Tamar says “At the same time she supported me a lot, and I can’t say enough good about that.”, and another says her Mother failed to love her!

        • Give the full context please, of Tamara’s words. Context, you constantly tell us, is crucial. You have all the books – I’m not interested in a woman who tells us, in effect, that she thinks it’s OK to deny God as long as you do good works – quote:

          “God bless all those who are seeking the brotherhood of man because in loving their brothers they love God even though they deny Him.” (July 1961, “About Cuba”. Dorothy Day Collection).”

          • I am not in my house and so I can’t access my books.

            However, Dorothy anticipated The Dogmatic Constitution of The Church, Chapter 16 “Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20”.

            Clearly she was attentive to Jesus and His Church!

        • Fr. Arthur

          She said that she spoke as an ex-Communist. The point I drew everyone’s attention to is that her actions throughout life, her contradictions of Pope Pius XII, her praise of Castro, her joy at the Moscow honours burial of her former Communist comrades, men who betrayed their country, etc., all demonstrates that Dorothy Day was no ex-Communist. She was a fully paid up member until death, at least in spirit and action. You surely have not missed that obvious fact, so please stop playing games with this thread subject.

          • Athanasius

            I couldn’t agree more. The facts speak for themselves. I think we see this sort of thing today – you will never find a Modernist admitting he is a Modernist!

            • Petrus

              Precisely right. They are always something else, innovative Catholics with special gifts of insight that the Church was blind to for two thousand years. Now that must be the ultimate in pride, even if they do think themselves to be genuine.

              To paraphrase St. Paul: “Lucifer often appears disguised as an angel of light”. Well, Conciliar liberalism is without doubt one manifestation of that Scriptural truth. And the tragedy of it all is that they think themselves Apostles of a “New Pentecost”. The Church is on her knees in crisis and they call for more Conciliar innovation. That’s blindness for you.

  10. I find it odd that at least two recent Popes, a number of Cardinals, countless Bishops,and millions of Catholics are convinced Dorothy Day should be considered for canonisation, and armchair critics, who twist words, and even deny what is on the record, say they know better than the aforesaid witnesses, and accuse Dorothy of lying.

    • I think once again we see Father’s liberal clericalism setting in. He himself is permitted to promote her cause but when the laity question it, they are nothing more than “armchair critics”! Despite their protestations, liberal priests tend to be the most vehement supporters of clericalism. We’ve seen this a few times from this priest.

      • I am not promoting the cause of anyone. But The Cause of Truth. If a person says on the record “I am an ex-communist”, and others attest to their integrity, it is a tad unchristian for a “Traditional” Catholic to seek to engage in a public act of calumny against a dead person.

        • Fr. Arthur,

          It has been clear to me for sometime that you are a stranger to truth. But I think you know that already. No servant of truth could defend the things you defend. I think you just enjoy being a contrary voice and that’s why you consistently ignore glaring truths that are presented to you for comment.

        • Fr Arthur,

          I don’t know much at all about Dorothy Day but this much I know – Communists who infiltrate organisations, generally don’t admit to being Communists!

          • Dorothy underwent a conversion and became a Catholic. She radically embraced poverty and works of service. Daily Mass, Rosary etc were central to her life.If you think concern for the poor and disadvantaged is communism then we do have problems!

            • Fr. Arthur

              The Communists who have infiltrated the Vatican, you may recall the newspaper headlines during the reign of Pope John Paul II, for axample, that two prelates close to the Pope had been unmasked as Communist agents, and then there’s the testimony of Bella Dodd, also went to daily Mass and recited the rosary. That was the essential part of their remit, to make themselves appear the most pious of Catholics while they worked their way into positions to undermine the faith and the Church. So please, don’t lecture us about Dorothy Day’s piety.

              The tree is known by its fruit and the fruit of Dorothy Day’s activism is not Catholic fruit. On the contrary, it is largely pro-Communist. But then, today’s hierarchy is saturated in the same Socialist humanism, the supernatural all bu t silenced by them in their crusade to establish a heaven on earth, the classic Communist dream that always ends up being a Hell on earth for everyone who subscribes to it.

              The re-establishment of the reign of Christ the King by all nations is the only way to peace. The Catholic Worker movement is just a Socialist sham..

              And besides this, Dorothy Day’s greatest mistake was in trying to enforce penitential holiness on others. The Church simply does not dictate in so wicked a fashion the lives of individuals, who are all different with diverse talents, virtues and vocations. Your Dorothy was way off the Catholic mark in so many ways.

              • So members of Religious Orders do not take vows of poverty?

                The Catholic Worker Movement is a voluntary organisation. People choose to enter its houses, and when to leave.

                Dorothy embraced poverty as did Fr Francis and Blessed Mother Theresa. Just where did these people go wrong?

                • Religious living in community make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Lay people do not make those vows, although a lay person who wishes to make these vows – assuming they are free to do so, without responsibilities such as children in their care – may enter… Religious Life!

                  • It is possible to commit to a life of simplicity and poverty without vows. The Church says people should and can. Strangely. it may seem to you, Jesus says so too.

                    • Listen, Fr Arthur, you seem to have no end of things to say on this and other threads – except the homosexuality thread where your absence has been noted by more than one blogger.

                      Have you nothing to say on the expenditure of tax-payers’ money on a unit of police dedicated to hunting out anyone guilty of a “hate crime” against LGBT people? If so, let’s hear it over on the Thought Police thread.

                      After all, if Jesus is keen on us living a life of simplicity and poverty, methinks He’d be even MORE keen on us doing all we can to voice our Christian opposition to the money of poor people being used to fund a police task force empowered to act against anyone who seeks to uphold His commandments.

                      Surely, a priest would have something to say on that topic? If so click here If not, say nothing, since we do not want to mix topics on this thread. This one of mine is an alert to you that your opinion would be valued on the issues discussed as a result of the news of the special Police Scotland task force, not to seek your opinion here. Thank you for your co-operation.

                    • Editor

                      Of the posts showing as “recent” posts:

                      Two are to extend greetings to others. 1. A general one for Easter to greet all readers.
                      2. One for RCA on his birthday.

                      Of the other 4 I have commented on two. That means of general posts I comment on 50% or less of them. Therefore it is odd to single out one of them. Further, to do so on no obvious basis.

                      It is also true I watched The Bishop Fellay interview on the day Rorate Caeli posted it. On it, I have much to say but I have not done so as it would be precisely to challenge the thinking of some.

      • Petrus

        Please note what I wrote hours ago: Fr Arthur says:
        March 29, 2016 at 10:13 am
        Btw I have no where commented on whether she should be canonised. However, I am not writing articles falsely claiming she was a Communist!

        Now which humble lay person spoke of his top billing at a Conference recently?

        • Fr. Arthur

          And I responded:

          “We are on the side of the revolution. We believe there must be new concepts of property, which is proper to man, and that the new concept is not so new. There is a Christian communism and a Christian capitalism…. We believe in farming communes and cooperatives and will be happy to see how they work out in Cuba…. God bless Castro and all those who are seeing Christ in the poor. God bless all those who are seeking the brotherhood of man because in loving their brothers they love God even though they deny Him.” (July 1961, “About Cuba”. Dorothy Day Collection).

          In the Catholic Worker in May 1951, Day wrote that Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tse-Tung “were animated by the love of brother and this we must believe though their ends meant the seizure of power, and the building of mighty armies, the compulsion of concentration camps, the forced labor and torture and killing of tens of thousands, even millions.” (May 1951, “The Incompatibility of Love and Violence”).

          “Fortunately, the Papal States were wrested from the Church in the last century, but there is still the problem of investment of papal funds. It is always a cheering thought to me that if we have good will and are still unable to find remedies for the economic abuses of our time, in our family, our parish, and the mighty church as a whole, God will take matters in hand and do the job for us. When I saw the Garibaldi mountains in British Columbia . . . I said a prayer for his soul and blessed him for being the instrument of so mighty a work of God. May God use us!” (“Hutterite Communities,” Catholic Worker, July–August 1969).

          Of course you will be aware that Garibaldi was a Mason”.

          Of course you did not reply to this, but it has destroyed your argument that Dorothy Day was not a Communist, at least in mindset and action.

        • Fr Arthur,

          Your jibe at Petrus is outrageous. He was patently joking about “top billing”.. Now you really have crossed a line and I’m going to have to think about your sincerity, or possible lack of it, judging by your performance on this blog.

        • Now, now, Father. Play nice. You would do well to look up “joke” in the dictionary and meditate upon it.

          Again, we know the argument has been well and truly lost when we resort to insults. Very sad.

    • Fr. Arthur

      Nice try, but your words do not stand up against the scrutiny of Tradition and the Canonisation process. From her own mouth and by her own pen, Dorothy Day opposed Church teaching on Communism, worked with Communists against Pius XII’s express orders to the contrary, celebrated the loss of wealth from the Church, praised Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution, upheld the right of Spanish Communists to rise in revolution, refused to pay her taxes when America entered the war against Hitler, lamented the ban of Karl Marx’ writings in McCarthy America, etc., etc.

      You just make a fool of yourself and a mockery of the Church.

  11. I’ve just been reading the interview with Tamar that you have raised all the fuss about and it’s more horrific than I first believed. These families of The Catholic Worker enforced poverty on their children like some kind of sect. They believed in living off the land like the Amish, often in dire need, and they inculcated a form of religion that has little to do with Catholicism. Some of those who speak in that interview speak of feeling isolated from other youngsters of their age at school because they were made to carry a Bible and the Papal Encyclicals on Social Justice in their schoolbags. This made them stick together like a little sect.

    Tamar speaks of marrying in early adulthood, having nine children and trying hard to please her mother by raising them off the land in great poverty. Needless to say it failed and she ended up, at the time of the interview a lapsed Catholic. No wonder she lapsed if that was the kind of lunacy that was put into her as Catholicism. These people were nuts! You can’t force your children to become saints by imposing poverty and a penitantial life on them. That is more likely to lead them out of the Church in resentment. There is no defence for these Dorothy Day types.

    • The interview says nothing of the sort.

      Tamar says some people try to suggst there was a rift between and my mother and there wasn’t. To quote the article “Hennessy said people sometimes try to invent a rift between her and her mother that doesn’t exist. “I admired her overwhelmingly,” Hennessy said of Dorothy Day.”

      Tamar married young but to a man of her choosing, and in a place of her choosing. Her husband died long before her. They did not live as members of The Catholic Workers as adults. Two of her children, and two grandchildren predeceased Tamar. She suffered greatly. Martha Henessey said “my mother had trouble with Catholic doctrine, having nine kids and no husband to help her out.”

      It is strange that if Tamar had been anyone but Dorothy’s daughter this blog would probably honour Tamar and not twist her words.

      Tamar’s daughter said such personal struggles challenged her mothers faith. And of herself and Dorothy, her grandmother, she said ” ‘She did not proselytize at all, but she was very religious’ Ms. Hennessy said. ‘As a child I was comfortable with saying the rosary at bedtime with her. As a teenager, I became more uncomfortable with her religiosity and my mother had trouble with Catholic doctrine, having nine kids and no husband to help her out.’

      Ms. Day ‘was always handing me books to read,’ she said, ‘and now in my middle age, looking back I see she left me a lot of crumbs to follow along the path.’ ”

      Martha is an active Catholic.

      • Fr. Arthur

        Strange that you carefully omit from your post the testimonies of the other interviewees in that report, who shed a completely different light on The Catholic Worker movement to the one you’re trying to portray. That movement was, and remains, a Socialist Sect using the name of Catholic to promote a revolutionary spirit that is not Catholic. I have provided ample evidence to demonstrate the truth of this, all of which you conveniently ignore. I am not going to travel around in circles with you on points of your fixation, as with other threads on this blog.

        Some of us here wanted editor to put your comments into moderation believing you to be a less than honest contributor to our discussions. Editor resisted that idea, giving you the benefit of the doubt and hoping that some of the Traditional Catholic doctrine published here may cause you to reflect on your own position.

        I think editor is mistaken in her belief that you are fundamentally a priest of good will. Nothing in your comments thus far has dissuaded me from my conviction that you are a hardened Modernist, not remotely interested in the Traditional teaching of the Church and her divine mission on earth, which is to save immortal souls.

        However, I do now agree that you should be permitted to continue posting here. The reason for my change of heart is that I think you say so much more about the crisis in the Church, a crisis of the priesthood, than any amount of writing about it by lay people. Example is always the best teacher, and you are teaching our non-contributing viewers of genuine good will more than any number of intellectual articles ever could. Keep up the good work!

        • On this one point I will answer you.

          My comments have been about Tamar and Dorothy.

          Tamar says repeatedly that people try to create a non existent rift between them. She says they loved each other. Further, she herself says others may have experienced life in a CW House differently to her, but she enjoyed it. She also specifically said “I think you’ll hear a lot of contradictory stories. A lot of other children did have a difficult time being in the Worker,” Hennessy said. “I think Dorothy was very aware of the fact that you can’t do both well, and she was right.”

          You are twisting my words, and hers, because I have only discussed her worldview, and that of her Mother and daughter. (Her daughter was not raised in a CW House).

          So, firstly I didn’t discuss the experiences of other CW Members.

          Secondly, Tamar contradicts every thing you try to claim about her experience of life with her Mother.

          Thirdly, Dorothy, and countless witnesses, and official documents contradict the claim she was a lifelong communist.

          You may be aware that in The USA President Obama is seen as a Communist, and yet he is at least as rightwing as Tony Blair. So your thesis based on the writings of certain USA priests, and certain “Traditional” USA writings is nonsense.

          Rant and distort as much as you want.

        • Athanasius,

          As it happens, I’ve just had an email from a reader who is really frustrated with the behaviour of Fr Arthur. His, is only one of several emails over the time this priest has been blogging here.

          I’m appreciative of your forbearance with my position to date, but be assured, I am having to re-think the issue of whether or not I ought to block this priest. His dishonest jibe in the direction of Petrus is effectively the straw that broke the camel’s back.

          And to be clear, I am re-thinking my position, not only after emails of complaint from laity, and the frustration voiced by bloggers here, such as your good self, but following advice from [diocesan] priest-readers in Scotland who are as fed up with Fr Arthur’s behaviour as the rest of us. One of them assured me (over Holy Week) that I have given him every chance and that priest or not, he ought to be sent packing.

          As you know, I’m always reluctant to do that, especially in the case of a priest, but since there is no sign of any improvement, as I’d hoped there would be following the Easter break, I may have to block his comments. No way am I going to spend time reading posts for moderation – life’s too short.

          So, Fr Arthur, either you engage properly in the discussions, or be prepared to “disappear”.

          • Editor

            I do understand your reluctance to ban anyone from the blog, that’s not what we’re about. However, you will agree, I’m sure, that even blog editors with the very best of intentions and the greatest forebearance are sometimes forced to take action against disruptive individuals, such is the darker side of the Internet.

            We always recognise genuines bloggers who occasionally contribute here with opposing views, but are nevertheless open to honest exchange and willingness to retract if shown to be in error. There have been numerous examples of this over the years.

            Sadly though, there are many more who come here for some sport. They fill the threads with inane comments that take everyone off track from the central point under discussion. These consistently ignore overwhelming evidence presented to them, fixating instead on one point where they think the argument is weakest and hammering it to the exclusion of all else. For me, it’s the cunning of Lucifer himself and I make no apology for stating the fact.

            I think you have given Fr. Arthur every opportunity to engage with bloggers with objectivity, respect and honesty in debating all the facts. He has consistently refused to do that, and I doubt that he ever will. That was never his purpose.

            Anyway, as you intimate, we will wait and see over the next day or two if things change.

            • Perhaps Editor ought to have a poll about it on her website. “Should Fr Arthur be moderated / banned from the blog”. I could just imagine him sitting at home clicking the ‘No’ button all day. LOL !!

        • I agree, Athanasius. If ever we needed a poster boy for the Modernist movement then Fr Arthur is that boy! If he isn’t enough to drive Catholics of good will out of parishes and into the SSPX then nothing will.

  12. “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”
    Archbishop Camara – whose cause for beatification is progressing.

    • Fr. Arthur,

      And what about food for the soul? I don’t suppose that’s in the shopping basket?

      • Jesus frequently fed people food. I think most would agree that some of his most talked about miracles are those involving feeding many. After his resurrection he eat ordinary food with his disciples. Did Jesus miss the point of his own teaching?

        • I despise this notion that Our Lord was some sort of humanitarian social worker. I’ve always believed that Our Lord used food to teach His followers a divine Truth.

            • Fr Arthur,

              I don’t think anyone disagrees that we must feed the bodies of the physically hungry, but it is not instead of feeding their souls. When Jesus spoke about the manna from heaven, he made the point that the Bread that he would give would be different and much more important. That does get forgotten today in the homilies where we hear endlessly about poverty of material goods but not of spiritual goods, truth etc.

            • Fr. Arthur,

              Yes, it was. But the greater meaning behind the miracle was always there to be discerned, which, in the case of the feeding of the thousands, was the revelation of Our Lord’s Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament.

    • Catholic Man of the Year,

      Thank you for that – I didn’t know much about Helder Camara before, but that is more than a little bit educational.

  13. Having just read the lead article and the comments so far in their entirety I was very sad indeed to see that the ugly spirit lamented by Editor before Easter is still here and is, if anything, uglier and more destructive than before. Note how soon the main thread topic was ignored and bloggers followed the path chosen by this priest who consistently ignores the main topic and introduces his own diversionary one. I used to love this blog, not least for the support to my faith provided by Athanasius’s unfailingly Catholic corrections of diabolically modernist errors. Now, I fear it has turned very sour indeed for me.

    Athanasius, I disagree strongly with your view that this priest should be allowed to stay and for the reason you proposed. Some may see him and his words for what they are, but others will only become frustrated and bewildered by the derailing of literally every topic. Count his posts. He is being allowed, with the greatest goodwill of Editor, to dominate this blog and twist every topic to his own ends. No troll before him has had anyrhing like such a destructive effect.

    • Although I understand frustrations, I’m of the opinion that the administrator is competent enough to decide if a blogger has crossed the line.

      But then I am very simple!

      • Petrus,

        Initially, when I read your post, I smiled and was about to post a comical response . However, I am now rather fed up having read a string of comments about Fr Arthur instead of the topic.

        So, allow me to ask you –

        1) what did you think of the articles by Athanasius?

        2) in your opinion, should Liz Leydon have published them in their entirety?

        • Editor,

          I loved Athanasius’ articles. They are crystal clear and irrefutable. I particularly liked this extract,

          “And it is replete with errors. For example, the earth is not, as Pope Francis declares and Dr. Schnitker re-echoes, “our common home”. Heaven is our common home. Earth is our exile. Hence the petition we make in the prayer to Our Lady “…and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb…””

          Doesn’t this highlight the pope’s worldly and natural outlook rather than the supernatural?

    • Christina,

      I’m glad you’ve read the lead articles in their entirety but surprised that you have not commented on either of them.

      The following extract, taken from the first article, strikes me forcibly so I would be interesting in your thoughts:

      Dr. Schnitker rightly points out that this Encyclical of Pope Francis has left many Catholics bewildered and many others angry. Why? Because the mission of the Church on earth is to save souls, not the planet.

      We are witnessing in our time a crisis of faith in the Church and in the world that is unprecedented in 2000 years of Christian history. God is either rejected completely today or is paid lip service for His mercy while His justice is conveniently omitted from the conversation.

      The result is that people are now generally comfortable with sin, and in particular with sins that were once unmentionable. And so, while increasing numbers of souls are merrily winding their way to Hell in a handcart, the Pope writes about saving the planet.

      Instead of bothering about distractions, let’s focus on discussing the issues – I’ve had people disagree with ME that this crisis is the worst ever. Athanasius says the same in the above extract.

      Your thoughts would be of much interest – are you of the opinion that the Arian crisis is a competitor or is a Pope bent on saving the planet instead of souls, of more concern?

      • Editor, just an immediate reply, to remove possible misunderstandings. I am, as you assumed on another thread, away from home and computer, under cramped, difficult and very distracting circumstances, and cannot easily take part in a discussion requiring serious thought and input as this most certainly does. I have only a tiny tablet, which is very difficult to type on, the wifi reception is sporadic – I could go on! If I can copy down your very serious questions on paper and have a think, I promise I’ll try to answer them, but for starters I think this crisis has no competitors.

        • What! You’re reading The Tablet? It’s worse than I thought!

          Enjoy your break – I take it you’ve seen that you really did get to Fr Rowe – clever girl!

  14. Spot on, Christina. There is no point in “debating” with someone who refuses to address the points made to him and merely follows his own liberal agenda.

    • Christina and Therese,

      Maybe my idea was not such a good one after all. I agree that Fr. Arthur is a very disruptive influence and should go.

      • Athanasius,

        ” I agree that Fr. Arthur is a very disruptive influence and should go.”

        So do I, and Jimislander, as well as Christina and Therese. May I please be so bold as to ask everyone to completly ignore
        anything he posts. Darkness seems to descend on the blog whenever he’s there. I have full confidence in Editor as i’m sure we all do.

        Christina,

        Please do not under ANY circumstances leave the Blog. You are a much valued contributer who is both well liked and respected. Hope these few words are an encouragement to you. Stand fast dear sister, we are with you – when one of us suffer, we ALL SUFFER WITH YOU.

        • Gerontius, those ‘few words’ are kind and very, very moving, but I don’t feel worthy of them for nothing that I have or could ever put into this blog would amount to more than a tiny fraction of what I have been privileged to draw from the spiritual insight, wisdom and learning of its regular contributors.

          ‘…when one of us suffer, we ALL SUFFER WITH YOU’, or as they say in this village “When you kick one, they all limp”😁

          • Christina

            Don’t underestimate the good you do here. We all contribute equally according to our knowledge of the different thread subjects. Now I’m going to limp off for a cup of tea and some chocolate!

    • Therese,

      Why not just ignore him? I am watching closely and paying attention to critics. However, I’m afraid that – as I think I made clear in the T & C section of this blog, it’s not a good idea to try to force the administrator to block anyone. I will do so when I am ready.

      Now, just ignore anyone who irritates you. That is much more helpful to me that persistently telling me – in essence – that I’m weakly allowing a troll to run the show.

      I’ve already made clear that I will act – but not before I’m ready to do so. Either, then, ignore the person who is annoying you and try to comment on the key issues, OR take a holiday until I have decided – in my own good time – to remove him.

      • Editor

        I have never told you – let alone told you “persistently” – how to run this blog. I have the greatest respect for the way you run it. I am utterly flabbergasted and profoundly hurt by your comments. I will take your advice and take a long, and permanent, holiday from this blog, and leave you all with my prayers for success in the future to promote the truth of the Catholic faith.

        • Therese,

          I don’t think editor was being hurtful but in her shoes, I’d be fed up with people only writing about a troll and ignoring the topic.

            • Therese,

              I did not remotely mean to offend you. Please accept my apologies for doing so. I see that my comment was addressed to you but, in truth, it was meant for all those who are focusing on Fr Arthur’s comments, rather than beating him at his own game and focusing on the topic. What am I saying! Now they’ll all resign!

              Seriously, I will jump off the Erskine Bridge, not once, but twice, if you keep your threat to permanently leave us. We can’t live without you. Your resignation is NOT accepted. No way!

              Pals again? 😀

              • Oh, all right. II”ll try my best to still my hysterical sobbing, but my pillow is already SOAKED and you’re getting the bill…. Hurt? You don’t know the meaning

      • Editor, I am really sorry if you have thought I was criticising you in a remark I made above. It was only when Petrus made a comment on it that I realised that it could be taken in a way I never remotely thought of or intended.

    • Therese,

      Did you have a favourite snippet from Athanasius’s two excellent articles at the top of this thread?

      I’d love to learn if you were struck by any of the information he provided – for example, the following from the first article struck me:

      “Hence it was, for example, that in his series treating of contemporary Church Councils up to and including Vatican II, [Dr S] made it appear that there exists doctrinal consistency in teaching on such as ecumenism and religious liberty when in fact no such consistency exists. These two doctrines are entirely innovative, unique to Vatican II and contradictory of past magisterial teaching.

      It seems incredible that someone writing as an historian in any newspaper, let alone a Catholic newspaper, would try to argue that patently obviously novel teachings were part of the deposit of faith.

      Did anything in particular strike YOU in that first article?

      • Editor,

        That is just pure nonsense. Nobody can claim that ecumenism and religious liberty are consistent with traditional Catholic teaching. The man’s either ignorant or malicious.

        • Michaela,

          I agree with you that it is just pure nonsense. In fact.

          Cardinal Suenens said that religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality was the “French Revolution” in the Catholic Church. We have and are witnessing the devastation since Vatican II.

          “Malicious or ignorant?” I cannot make up my mind on that just yet.

          How many Shepherds of the Catholic Church have abandoned and scattered the sheep, without a care for the salvation of souls?

          Nowadays mealy mouthed “Shepherds of the flock” do not want to preach about Hell, in case it frightens people. And that is a sure fire way to ensure that many souls go there.

          What we need is a Saint Leonard of Port Maurice to preach about the fewness of souls who go to Heaven.

          http://www.olrl.org/snt_docs/fewness.shtml

          • Theresa Rose,

            That is one terrifying sermon of St Leonard – we published it in the newsletter some time ago. Thank you (I think!) for the reminder!

            • Editor,

              “That is one terrifying sermon of St Leonard”

              Having read St. Leonard’s sermon many years ago and reflecting on the effect it had on me, this seems to be an opportune moment to pass on any bloggers who are not aware, the benefits of the Medal of St.Benedict in obtaining both protection and help. The following URL gives all necessary information.

              http://www.romancatholicman.com/st-benedict-medal-with-exorcism-blessing/

              I wear mine pinned to my brown scapular and consider it my primary part of “The full armour of God”.

              Since we are all in a war with Satan and his seed, may I respectfully ask Editor, if you have considered putting your Blog under St. Benedict’s protection? – concern for you and the Blog prompts me to ask this.

  15. Fr. Arthur is a tiresome, devious Modernist troll who attempts to hijack discussions with straw man arguments – such as, on this thread, defending the reputation of Dorothy Day against being called a Communist – when, in fact, no one here has called her a Communist, but merely pointed out her well-documented sympathies for Communists, Communism, Socialists and Socialism. Sympathies, that is, which not only directly violate the teachings of the Catholic Church and which have been repeatedly condemned by faithful Popes, but which also openly support the Church’s enemies!

    On the foot-washing topic, he attempted, Jimmy Akin-like, to downplay the importance of the Maundy itself (the old “nothing to see here” ploy), and then attempted to portray criticism of Pope Francis as an attack. So perhaps, if I go out and commit a crime against some poor hobo, I should find a sleazy lawyer who will try to convince the judge that it wasn’t really a crime, because the hobo wasn’t a very important person?

    And as I posted on another thread, you have to wonder how a parish priest, if indeed that is what he is, has so much time on his hands with which to play his malicious little games.

    This has gone on long enough, in my opinion.

  16. I agree. I cannot understand why he bothers or has the time to come on this blog when useful discussion seems to grind to a halt when he contributes. It all goes round in circles and achieves nothing.

  17. I agree with you all, but it’s my opinion that if Editor did decide to ban him, know that he’ll be back under another troll name using a different ISP and email address within days (or even hours – I think he is that obsessed!) Anyone with any basic internet nous can get access to many different free email addresses etc. ISP addresses can be changed within seconds, so it’s not always easy for blog owners to discern where traffic is coming from. It’s my personal belief that – priest or not – ‘Fr Arthur’ has trolled on this blog using other identities before. Think about it. Since ‘Fr Arthur’ came along, all the tiresome nit-picking, distracting, troll posts under various names of the previous months (remember them?) using a highly similar modus operandi, have stopped. And I will bet your last dollar that if ‘Fr Arthur’ is shown the door, the posts will start again, perhaps after a brief interlude, under another name. But that’s life and that’s the internet, I’m afraid. If – and I say IF – Editor has perhaps appeared over-indulgent in the case of ‘Fr Arthur’, I think it is because of her love of truth and her desire to convey the truth to those in manifest error, especially priests, and that is laudable. Why on earth would anyone else run a website, blog and newsletter, and put up with all this nonsense!!! I wouldn’t . . .

    • Trollfinder General,

      What did you think of the two articles by Athanasius?

      Are you surprised that the editor of the SCO refused to publish them?

      • I think both articles are very incisive, so congratulations to Athanasius. Proof, if ever it were needed, that this blog should remain up and running in spite of whatever difficulties are thrown at it, because you’ll seldom – if ever – get a fair hearing in the “Catholic” press, as we all know only too well. And although, being south of the border, I don’t have access to the SCO so can’t really comment on its contents (is it online?) if it’s anything like the “Catholic” press in England, or the rags that pass as diocesan newspapers, I’m not in the least surprised. I haven’t read “Catholic” newspapers for many years now. All of them stay afloat through advertising and they massage the circulation figures, i.e. what amount of papers went out to the parish churches, as opposed to what was actually sold – also based on the fact that one copy could potentially reach at least a few family members in each household. Yeah, right. How many Catholic families do any of us know where all members diligently peruse such papers each week? It’s to let potential advertisers think they’re getting a good deal. The sooner they go under, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

        • Trollfinder General,

          I completely agree – we need this blog, and if people would only ignore trolls there wouldn’t be a problem. With respect, too, I think the nagging at editor about them only serves their purpose.

          The SCO is awful. It had an interview with the CEO of Stonewall last week, quite shocking. Here’s the link but they don’t publish everything online, just some stuff and their blogs hardly ever have comments http://www.sconews.co.uk/

          • Margaret Mary,

            The SCO is only good for wrapping fish and chips, with apologies to the fish!

          • Margaret Mary,

            I have actually had first hand experience of advertising in the “Catholic press” , so to anyone with a product to sell or an event to promote, I would strongly urge against using them. The advertising costs are exorbitant and the response is minimal. In one instance I remember an advert costing around £280 generating an income of around £30. Money down the drain. I successfully persuaded my employers to stop using them a few years ago, thus saving themselves heaps of money, but unfortunately a regime change in the organisation has meant that they’ve started advertising with them again. I’ve made my case but it fell on deaf ears, so they’ll have to learn the hard way.

            The only way to stop the dissident “Catholic press” is to cut off their life-line. Dissuade advertisers and they’ll soon come to a grinding halt. Websites / blogs like CT and the Remnant and Fatima Network are the way forward.

            • Trollfinder General,

              Agreed. Even when instructed by their bosses at the Catholic Herald some years ago, the SCO refused to accept our advertisement for our then conference. Point blank. Thing is, we were approached by the Catholic Herald with a deal, because they had seen our advert in the newsletter, and the deal included ads in the Herald and SCO – we hadn’t approached them. In fact, the ad in the Herald brought us only one person to the conference and she turned out to be a committed (hardened?) Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion from whom we have never heard a peep since. If they were to offer us advertising space for our forthcoming conference, I’d tell them to shove it on the next plane taking a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. They advertise those regularly as well as publishing a full page interview recently with the head of Stonewall, and not so long ago, handed a page over to the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge to promote his religion.

              So, yes, Catholics should not offer a lifeline to these awful papers. Even when my mother died last February I chose not to use their obituary column and never will. If anyone should even think of publishing my passing in that rag, I’ll be back to haunt them!

  18. I have just re read Athanasius fine articles and one of the things he comments on is the lack of knowledge of the faith among Catholics today. That got me wondering about what exactly is taught to catechumens during the RICA. There were six baptisms/confirmations in a local parish at the Easter Vigil this year. Have they I wonder had a traditional catechesis or a liberal one?

    • Elizabeth,

      I very much think it will be a liberal “pick and mix” catechesis modern converts receive.

      I know someone who assists at an RCIA class and I couldnt name a Church teaching which she accepts. Most teaching are usually filed into one of three categories:

      – not my opinion
      – load of rubbish
      – old fashioned / outmoded

      I have personally heard her rubbish Church teaching on sex before marriage, contraception, homosexuality and the male priesthood. And thats just the examples I can recall offhand.

      And so if these are the people helping at the RCIA classes, I dont hold out much hope for anyone learning very much at them – even despite the well meaning nature of the helpers. The problem is that the helpers themselves have had no formation to speak of and so there is a “blind leading the blind” scenario.

      On the positive side, I recently became aware of a husband and wife who converted to the faith and, being unimpressed by the typical offerings of the Diocese, quickly found their way to the SSPX and the traditional mass.

    • Elizabeth,

      I can tell you from personal experience that catechesis for adult converts is not good. I had one-to-one ‘instruction’ – after a fashion – and was received into the Church in 1985 and knew very little by the time I’d made my first Confession and Holy Communion, and I mean VERY little. In fact, I think I would have left by now as I was finding it all a bit aimless, and was in a notoriously liberal parish – although I didn’t realise that at the time.

      However, a friend had given me a rosary, which I persevered with, and one day I went to Holy Cross Bookshop in Catford (anyone remember that old bastion of orthodoxy?) to get a book on Our Lady, where I met an old-school Jesuit priest who had a chat with me (and realised he’d encountered another post-conciliar catechesis disaster) who took me under his wing and gave me proper instruction – including A Tour of the Summa Theologica – over a few years. He became my confessor/spiritual director. They don’t make Jesuits like that any more, I can tell you.

      I had a later experience of RCIA when someone I know was being received into the Church and I went along to one of the group sessions. It was appalling. As far as I can tell they don’t use standard materials, so they are as good as the priest who is overseeing them.

      Also, when lay catechists are involved in the process there is always an added danger, in so far as they may not be well-instructed themselves or have certain agendas that they want to try and introduce. There was a woman at the group RCIA session I referred to before who was harping on about women priests until I reminded the priest of his duty and the ‘debate’ was stopped. But this is what it’s like, I’m afraid. A minefield.

      I actually trained to be a catechist myself – outside the parish environs as I wouldn’t have submitted to that agenda – and have occasionally had the privilege to instruct adult converts from scratch, or re-educate ill-instructed Catholic school leavers.

      • Brother and Sisters, My apologies for commenting on an older thread but I’d like to ask you all a few questions? On what night of the week does this Catholic Truth Scotland group come together and pray the rosary? How often do you all attend Eucharistic adoration together? Are there any Benedictine oblate among you? Where do you all go to week day Mass, St Andrew’s SSPX is only open on Sundays, right? How often do you all go to Pluscarden on retreat? What night of the week are you all out on the street feeding the homeless and hungry? How many converts have you brought into the Church through your evangelism?

        I’m asking all this because Glasgow Catholic Worker brings at least one or two sous into the Church every single year I’ve been involved. Like Dorothy Day, more than a few in our group are Benedictines oblates in Glasgow Catholic Worker. We go on retreat for a week of prayer with the Monks at Pluscarden every year.

        If you take a wander down Cadogan st late any Friday night you’ll find us feeding the homeless and destitute (and later, praying for them) On Saturdays you’ll find the same people out on the streets early in the morning again giving out tea and blankets and also in the basement of Garnet hill community centre praying and also feeding refugees and asylum seekers with a hot meal. Giving them clothes and a warm dry place of hospitality for few hours.

        Yes, we then go down to Faslane later in the afternoon and hold peaceful prayer vigils for peace on Saturday afternoons. Yes, we are against Trident and War just as we are against Abortion and Euthanasia and also protest it with equal vigour. Then on Tuesdays we go to Mass together at St Aloysius at 6pm then we all go into the Ogilvie centre for the Rosary together.

        I’m telling you all this so you understand the reality of life for Catholic Workers right on your doorstep. We are not liberal hippies. We are devout, faithful and sincere Catholics who are quietly and gently going about our works of mercy without any fuss or noise. And yes we are for peace but we are not communists or more interested in politics or life on this earth than we are in our prayer life or the saving of souls. You are in our prays and I hope we too are in yours.

        Yours in Christ
        Ross

        • Ross,

          Welcome!

          Brother and Sisters, My apologies for commenting on an older thread but I’d like to ask you all a few questions? On what night of the week does this Catholic Truth Scotland group come together and pray the rosary? How often do you all attend Eucharistic adoration together? Are there any Benedictine oblate among you? Where do you all go to week day Mass, St Andrew’s SSPX is only open on Sundays, right? How often do you all go to Pluscarden on retreat? What night of the week are you all out on the street feeding the homeless and hungry? How many converts have you brought into the Church through your evangelism?

          There’s a fine line between not hiding one’s light under a bushel and parading our good works for all the world to see, contradicting Our Lord’s command not to let our right hand know what our left hand is doing in terms of alms-giving, and not to go about the place boasting of our prayer life (did you know that in monasteries and convents it’s a serious fault to even mention one’s spiritual “progress” or lack of it, except to Superiors?) However, that said, I will do my best to answer your questions…

          1) Rosary….

          Since the Catholic Truth team is made up of people from all over the place – we even have team members in the USA – it’s kinda difficult to get together to say the Rosary at any time, let alone on a regular week-night. Some are married with families, others are single with various commitments – some are members of the Legion of Mary, so have their evenings tied up with various meetings and good works. Each of us, however, I can safely say, prays our Rosary, either with our families or on our own, in compliance with Our Lady’s Fatima request for the daily Rosary.

          2) Eucharistic Adoration

          Again, we are not a religious community and there is no rule about this. Just as the Church only obligates us to attend Sunday Mass, so no-one on the Catholic Truth team is in a position of authority to command anyone to attend any additional liturgy. When possible, you may rest assured, we all spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. You mention St Aloysius in your comment – I’ve popped into that church many times with the intention of praying my rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament and given up due to various people marching around the sanctuary or tourists taking photos etc . So, when the opportunity arises, rest assured, I/we will spend time in Eucharistic adoration – there’s no question about it.

          3) Benedictine Oblates…

          I’m not aware of any Benedictine Oblates within our group or among our readers – I wouldn’t dream of asking anyone about their personal spiritual devotions. I was once similarly quizzed by a Medjugorje fanatic who was appalled that I had to respond “no” to each of his questions about my spiritual life: he prayed the entire fifteen decades of the Rosary every day, did I? (no) he fasted twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, did I? (no) he went on pilgrimages to Medjugorje, did I? (no) … and so it went on. I’m a disgrace. I couldn’t look him in the eye after that barracking. I’ll never be as holy as that man. That was very obvious at the time, and I assured him that the message had been well and truly driven home. That seemed to provide some comfort for him.

          4) Weekday Masses

          Some Catholic Truth readers and team members attend the Balornock Masses (Traditional Latin Masses) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The SSPX chapel also has Masses on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Not a lot we can do about Mondays unless the Jesuits in Garnethill cancel some of their body massage classes and provide, instead, a TLM. Maybe you could ask them for us?

          5) Pluscarden Retreats

          Personally, I haven’t been to Pluscarden for a number of years, partly because I was nursing my sick mother, who died last year, aged 92. Not sure about the others. Again, I wouldn’t ask them since Holy Mother Church lays no obligation on us to go on retreats. There is the problem of the crisis in the Church, you see, which makes it necessary to discern, very carefully, where it would be wise to attend a retreat (not a lot of options) and where it would be a duty of conscience to avoid. I haven’t checked about Pluscarden for some time, to see how it is faring in the crisis (I was once in correspondence with, and met Father Maurus, the Guest Master up there but he disappeared mysteriously, and I have never heard whether or not he was ever found…) but I note that Pluscarden remains popular with the Bishop of Aberdeen (and no doubt the rest of the hierarchy in Scotland) so that tells me that anyone wishing to book a thoroughly orthodox (let alone traditional) retreat would be better looking elsewhere, just to be on the safe side.There is a traditional priest on the island of Stronsay who offers one-on-one retreats so if anyone asked me for a recommendation, that’s the direction in which I would point them. However, I am not in any position of authority to insist that anyone take time off work or use their holidays – or finances, since I’m not in any position to know about their financial commitments – for the purposes of a personal retreat. I hope you understand.

          6) Homeless and Hungry

          In the spirit of not letting our right hand know what the left hand is doing, I can’t recall any of our team or readers boasting about their works of charity. Personally, I certainly don’t belong to any formal group which takes care of the homeless and hungry (I did, in my youth, help out at the Wayside Club) but I am aware, of course, that I do have a duty to dispense the corporal works of mercy, as well as the spiritual works of mercy, whether formally through an organisation or privately – and since I really don’t want to hear those chilling words: “I was hungry and you did not give me to eat…” you can rest assured that I do whatever little I can to fulfil my obligation towards those in need.

          7) How many converts have I/we brought to the Church…

          Well, none. God brings converts to the Church. If, by the great grace of God, any of us are instrumental in helping someone on the road to the Faith, then that is wonderful. But, until eternity, we will never know the fruits, or otherwise, of our apostolic enterprises. I once had the great joy of meeting a young mother of two girls, who was 26 years of age and had always been attracted to the Church. Through circumstances, it fell to my unworthy self to put her in touch with a local priest and he, in turn, asked me to help with her instruction. In due course, she, her husband and their two daughters were received – into the modernist diocesan church, which she eventually abandoned. It was before my return to the traditional Mass, so my conscience pricks me at times, as my joy at being instrumental in bringing her into the Church, has turned to my deep concern that I wasn’t alert enough, knowledgeable enough, to realise that she was “converting” to a crisis-ridden Catholic Church and so could not experience the real thing. She moved to Australia, and we lost touch, so I can’t even help her to see the problem and start over, so to speak, in the traditional Faith and Mass. So, you see, Ross, it’s a mistake to count our chickens – or our spiritual treasures – before our Judgment, because only God actually knows the good we are doing – or not doing.

          Now, a question for YOU Ross. You must be aware of the apostasy – that is, the loss of belief in God – which has afflicted the Church; you must know that many Catholics (not just Catholic Truth “types”) are very concerned about the way churchmen, even at the highest levels in the Vatican, are exercising their leadership in a way that is actually damaging the Faith. So, while it is all well and good, and essential, to practise the corporal works of mercy, it is of the utmost urgency that we practise, too, the spiritual works of mercy. Nobody ever went to hell because they were homeless or hungry, but even the new (isn’t everything?) Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that God wills that we be saved through knowledge of the truth (CCC # 74)

          With that in mind, please note that…

          There is no other group in Scotland that is organising a meeting on the scale of the Catholic Truth Conference scheduled for 18 June, at Celtic Park, 1.pm – 6.30 pm – £10 (optional meal at 7pm, add £20)

          Have you bought your ticket yet? I ask because although I receive the ticket orders by post, I don’t know everyone on the list, so if you have booked under your own name, that’s great, but if not…

          Will you?

          PS I should have mentioned that those who don’t want to divulge their addresses have paid by bank transfer and I have emailed them an e-ticket with directions sheet. So… I’m waiting, Ross!

        • Ross

          I switched off when I got to the part about Dorothy Day, I’m afraid. Surely you are aware of her life-long Communist sympathies? If not, read on and learn:

          Book Review: “The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis” by Dr. Carol Byrne

          *Review by Fr. Paul Kimball

          In March of 2000, John Cardinal O’Connor announced the approval of the Holy See for the Archdiocese of New York to open the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Dorothy Day. With this approval, Dorothy Day was given the title of Servant of God. Back in 1933 Dorothy Day together with Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker Movement which developed into a series of integrated communes for drifters and homeless persons. By some Dorothy Day is described as “a women of the Gospel, prayer, the Church, works of mercy, along with justice and peace.”[1] By many others however she has long been suspected of being a Communist sympathizer. Day converted to the Catholic faith in December 1927, yet in 1950 she wrote, “…after many years in the Catholic Church there are those who do not believe that I am a Catholic, but rather an enemy boring from within.” [2] Who is this modern candidate for sainthood and what is to be thought of this movement, about which the periodical, The Herald of Freedom & Metropolitan Review, warned back in 1963, “If the Catholic Worker Movement is not Communistic, it is certainly anarchistic”?[3] Could the Catholic Church actually canonize someone who thought that Gandhi was a candidate for Christian sainthood? Day wrote in February 1948 that Gandhi had “an aura of divinized humanity” and that there was “no public figure whose life was more conformed to the life of Jesus Christ” and in Gandhi “we have a new intercessor with Christ; a modern Francis, a pacifist martyr.”[4]

          Dr. Carol Byrne in her new book, The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis, gives an excellent analysis of this movement which had a major impact upon the Catholic Church by substituting a false mission to the modernized Church of social justice, inciting rebellion against the Church and the State, and disassociating Catholic Action from the guidance of the Church in teaching and practice. As Pope Leo XIII instructed the clergy to “tear away the mask from Freemasonry”[5] which hides behind humanitarian works, so Dr. Byrne has succeeded in exposing the contradictions and false pretenses of the Marxist inspired, “Christian Communism” promoted by the Catholic Worker Movement.

          As proof of the above thesis, Dr. Byrne cites among other first hand sources, the 581-page FBI dossier on the CWM. FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover called Dorothy Day, “a very erratic and somewhat irresponsible person” who is “consciously or unconsciously being used by Communist groups.” Though Day repeatedly denied being a Communist, she constantly supported Communist teachings and activities. She associated with active Communists such as Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and Anna Louise Strong, promoted Communist writings such as the biography of Lenin written by his wife, and was allowed to attend conferences indirectly organized by Communist authorities in the Soviet Union. For example, in 1957 Day was part of the group of “observers,” who attended the 16th annual Communist Party Convention headed by Abraham Muste. Muste was a Protestant minister and radical labor activist who founded the American Forum for Socialist Education which aimed to achieve “a democratic Socialist movement in the United States.” J. Edgar Hoover commented before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee that “most of these so-called impartial observers were hand picked before the convention started.”[6] More incriminating still is the fact that her name was among the forty prominent Communist supporters submitted by Muste to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee in 1957.

          Day promoted the writings of authors who were Communist propagandists and were writing under the direct guidance of the Soviet Union. For example she highly recommended the writings of Michael Gold “who was one of the delegates attending the 2nd Conference of the International Union of Revolutionary Writers held in Kharkov, then capital of the Soviet Ukraine. The purpose of the Conference, which was sponsored by the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, was to mobilize writers to produce ‘proletarian literature’ and become the voice of the working class in their respective countries… this organization was superseded by the Soviet Writers’ Union, formed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1932 with Stalin’s approval.”[7]

          In 1961 Gold visited Moscow and sent a postcard to Day which she published in full. In this postcard, “Gold explained that he had been invited by the Writers’ Union and he and his wife were being treated to the best medical care on offer, including a stay at a Black Sea resort. The postcard brims with fulsome praise of the corrupt health care system of Soviet socialized medicine.”[8] This was actually Soviet propaganda which presented Soviet socialized health care as an ideal and functional system, whereas Gold was among those privileged few, of top party and government officials, who were permitted to enjoy a luxurious stay at a Black Sea resort and have the best Russian medical care while the majority of the “proletariat” suffered shortages of medicine or were often not able to find a room in the underfunded hospital system. How could Day not see the contradiction of praising someone who “was champion of egalitarianism, yet the Soviet masses were suffering untold hardships while he was luxuriating on Black Sea beaches and his colleagues were summering in their dachas”?[9]
          Day also supported and praised Communist warfare, though she claimed to be an absolute pacifist, even to the point that self defense against an aggressing nation was immoral. Hence she wrote, “it is better that the United States be liquidated than that she survive by war.”[10] So it was that Day took the position of “neutrality” during the Spanish Civil War in which Catholics were obliged to defend themselves from being literally slaughtered by the Communists. In the December issue of her magazine, The Catholic Worker, she boldly claimed that both sides, the Communists and the Catholics, were as bad as each other. “Here it is pertinent to include the insight of George Orwell who actually fought in the Spanish Civil War, witnessed its horrors and lifted the veil on Soviet intentions towards the West. In his Notes on Nationalism (1945), he pointed out that Pacifists were not impartial and identified their motivation as ‘hatred of Western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism.’”[11] Day was not neutral in her justification of the use of violence by the poor against bourgeoisie “to take by force that which is denied them by justice.”

          Nor were Communists and Freemasons to be blamed for their use of violence. When Day visited Rome she saluted the statue of Garibaldi, the Grand Master of Italian Masonry. Garibaldi had invaded the Papal States by violence, yet Day called this revolution “a mighty work of God.” Likewise, she had no criticism of Castro’s Cuban revolution and brutal repression when she visited Cuba in 1962. Rather she said, “God bless Castro” because she believed he was “seeking Christ in the poor.” Pope John XXIII however thought differently about Castro’s revolution and excommunicated him. Similarly, she praised Ho Chi Minh, the founder of Vietnamese Communism as “a visionary, a patriot and a rebel against foreign invaders.” She did not blame the Communists for taking over Vietnam by armed force, but only accused the Americans for being “motivated by the desire to exploit the Vietnamese workers by taking advantage of a cheap source of rubber.”[12] Again she indoctrinated Fr. Donald Hessler in Liberation Theology in 1938 when he was a seminarian at Maryknoll. Fr. Hessler supported the use of violence in Guatemala as the only means of obtaining “Social Justice.” “As a young seminarian, Hessler revealed in a letter of 29 May 1938 to Catholic Worker, Ade Bethune, that he had learned much of his radical Gospel thinking from Bethune and Day, and that both women had often lectured to the seminarians of Maryknoll and led challenging discussions.”[13]
          Day attempted to justify her actions by the Gospels and papal encyclicals, but she merely interpreted them to fit her actions. Instead of accepting guidance from the Church in matters of faith and morals, she preferred to follow her private conscience as her guide, based on her philosophy of “Personalism.” But because she was publicly dealing with matters of faith and morals in writing, she was required to have ecclesiastical authorization. Hence she was involved in protracted controversies with the Archdiocese of New York, and was finally told by the Archdiocese to remove the word “Catholic” from her newspaper. “Day simply shrugged off the order as irrelevant.”[14]

          This revolutionary spirit of independence from ecclesiastical authority was shared by the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, Peter Maurin. Maurin had previously been a member of the Sillon Movement condemned by Pope St. Pius X. He withdrew his membership only when it became known that Rome was about to denounce it, but kept the ideas of the Sillon as a basis of Catholic Worker Movement, such as religious pluralism, to build a “new synthesis” by “finding authorities from all faiths and races.”[15] Maurin called for an “abolition of the wage system but Pope Pius XI wrote in Quadragesimo anno, “those who declare that a contract of hiring and being hired is unjust of its own nature, and hence a partnership-contract must take its place, are certainly in error and gravely misrepresent Our Predecessor [Leo XIII], whose Encyclical not only accepts working for wages or salaries but deals at some length with its regulation in accordance with the rules of justice.”[16]

          Instead of the free enterprise system as practiced by Christendom for centuries, Maurin advocated “Christian Communism” which he derived from French radical thinking as proposed by such authors as Emmanuel Mounier. Maurin not only recommended his book, The Personalist Manifesto, but had it published by the Benedictines at St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota. In this book Mounier recommends the use of violence and class warfare to achieve joint ownership of property. Mounier admitted that his philosophy had “a great deal to learn from Marxism.” Accordingly, Maurin held that private property was theft, inherently illegitimate and harmful to society. Instead of private property, he advocated “communal ownership, which is the ideal.”[17] Consequently he favored Christian-Marxist dialogue to achieve a humanitarian and naturalistic society. But Pope St. Pius X condemned the basis of this illusory goal of the Sillon, namely to establish a naturalistic society based on merely “a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues.”[18]

          Maurin attempted unsuccessfully to demonstrate the practicality of a communal society with no private ownership. Following the model of the Israeli Kibbutz system he and Day set up a communal, Catholic Worker farm in Easton, Pennsylvania which they hoped would be self-sustaining by living off the land. Instead the workers often needed to find outside jobs or government aid to survive. They had hoped that this model society would have no conflicts, since it was free from the source of all conflicts, namely private property. But when Maurin’s “green revolution” was put into practice, the workers frequently had disputes, and in one instance came to blows over merely an egg. Day lamented that “the more people that were around, the less they got done.” How could there be peace in a non-hierarchical society without any authority of government? Clearly, to advocate a society without any ruling authority is to advocate anarchy.

          Day and Maurin drew their views from such authors as the Russian anarchist, Peter Kropotkin who was an open Communist. Maurin claims that he came to be Day’s mentor “with Kropotkin in one pocket and St. Francis [of Assisi] in the other.” Yet Kropotkin openly advocated anarchism. “No ruling authorities, no government of man by man.” Civil disobedience however is contrary to the faith. For St. Peter wrote, “Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God’s sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good.” (I Pet. ii, 13-14). Such a futile attempt could have been avoided had they heeded St. Pius X’s prohibition of the Sillon’s social reform that “seeks to build its City on a theory contrary to Catholic truth, and that falsifies the basis and essential notions which regulate social relations in any human society.” (Our Apostolic Mandate, 1910).

          Day’s civil disloyalty led her to publicly oppose all military drafts. She promoted the burning of draft-cards in 1965. “Although it was a protest against the Vietnam War, the fact remains that it was also a public act of defiance against the US government, as Congress had just passed a law making the burning of draft cards a federal offence. The event had been well planned in advance – an article in the September issue of The Catholic Worker had stigmatized Congress’s action as a form of intimidation and an attempt to repress dissent among young people. Catholic Worker David Miller was the first to openly defy this law by burning his draft card in a public demonstration. Then five young men, including Catholic Worker Tom Cornell, with Muste and Day in attendance, staged a publicity act mounted on a makeshift stage before a large crowd of onlookers in Union Square and felt justified in burning their draft cards. One of the group, David McReynolds, later recalled that both Day and Muste addressed the crowds.”[19]

          Day’s anarchism manifested itself in economic life by her advocacy of worker strikes, often started by Communistic infiltrated trade unions. The Communists saw in these strikes a means to weaken the economies of the Free World. Day attempted to justify her stance to Catholic readers by twisted references to papal encyclicals, but the Church nowhere has given license to all strikes without any qualifications. On the contrary, Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum taught, “If by a strike of workers or concerted interruption of work there should be imminent danger of disturbance to the public peace… it would be right to invoke the aid and authority of the law.”[20] “When the State Supreme Court granted Ohrbach’s [Department Store] an anti-picketing injunction allowing police to arrest those strikers who attempted to form a mass picket line and block customers’ entrance to the store, Day boasted that the Catholic Workers helped to defeat an injunction against the picketers. Her personal interpretation of events is revealing. She claimed that the police around Union Square – a large proportion of whom were Catholics – were flummoxed by her slogans taken from the papal encyclicals and were willing to act more leniently towards her group.”[21]

          Her proclivity of supporting strikes led her even to promote a strike of gravediggers against the Archdiocese of New York. As a result, a thousand coffins were left in the open air in the cemeteries when the gravediggers rejected the three percent raise offered to them by the Archdiocese and insisted upon the strike. It is a Work of Mercy to bury the dead but Day considered the wages of the workers of greater importance than the respect for the dead or sympathy for the mourning families. Thus the bodies of the Catholic deceased were used as bargaining chips to raise the pay of the gravediggers. Cardinal Spellman was obliged to ask the seminarians to dig the graves, but even this Work of Mercy has been criticized by CWM supporters including Day’s biographer, William Miller. Such was the strike supported by Day yet Cardinal Spellman called it, “an anti-American, anti-Christian evil and a strike against the Church.” For this he was opposed by members of the CWM who picketed the Chancery office with placards. What may be behind this strike also is Day’s anti-clerical spirit. In her account of her conversion she wrote, “I know now that the Catholic Church is the church of the poor, no matter what you say about the wealth of her priests and bishops.”[22]

          Day was so opposed to privately owned business that she felt that donations from businessmen ought not to be accepted by the Church. For example, in 1909 Charles Schwab, the President of what would become Bethlehem Steel, donated his Staten Island estate in New York to the Sisters of St. Joseph as a foundling home for orphans, Day charged that donor had “sweated and starved” the children of the poor, and that “it is from their ragged pockets that the money is filched to house the others.” Yet it was precisely at this home that Day met the Sister of St. Joseph who prepared her to enter the Church. “Although Day disdained monetary gifts from the rich capitalists to help the poor, she never condemned capitalist wealth in the hands of Socialists or refused to use it for her cause. It may come as a surprise to know that the money she received for her travel expenses to Russia in 1971 from millionaire Corliss Lamont was part of a legacy from his father, Thomas Lamont, Chairman of the J. P. Morgan banking firm and the most influential man in Wall Street. In the knowledge that Lamont used his inheritance to sponsor radical Left-wing causes, any scruple that Day may have entertained in accepting such ‘tainted cash’ disappeared into the ether.”[23]

          Alongside of economic equality, the CWM promoted and encouraged the worker-priest movement which leveled the priest with the laity. This movement was also supported by Communists as a means to prepare society at large for a class revolution. Day said, “there are many priests in Russia driving cabs, working at hard labor.” For her these were a “magnificent beginning.” Priests were encouraged to focus primarily on achieving “social justice” in this world, to the detriment of focusing on leading souls to eternal life in the next. . Hence “she stated in March 1947 that ‘most of our priests’ were deprived of ‘the leadership that the workers have had in Karl Marx, in his analysis of the social order’ and were so concerned with heavenly things that ‘they did not think this world worth bothering about.’ Her words were a paraphrase of Marx’s ‘religion is the opium of the people.’”[24]

          Finally, Traditional Catholic readers will be interested to know that Day and the CWM supported the pre-Second Vatican Council liturgical revolution that led to the current crisis of the Church. The liturgy had to be redesigned to serve as a vehicle to prepare Catholics to accept a laicized Church, ecumenism, and secularism. The CWM headquarters in New York was often used as a showground for liturgical experimentations such as guitar Masses, dining room style Masses without missal or vestments, ecumenical services that included sharing the Eucharist with a Buddhist monk, and Protestantized Masses in the vernacular, facing the people, along with an Offertory procession. In one Mass the priest was dressed in “a black turtleneck, a beret, an old ski jacket.”

          The priests who were favored by the CWM often favored Socialism, unauthorized liturgical experimentation, and doctrinal heterodoxy. For example, Fr. Hans Reinhold who was refused faculties by the Archdiocese of New York for his subversive politics and liturgical innovations, was allowed to address CWM meetings. Day called him a “truly great man.” Mgr. Reynold Hillenbrand allowed Day to be one of the first women to speak to the seminarians at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, in Mundelein, Chicago and she later praised Hillenbrand’s speech in 1943 when he “emphasized the priesthood of the laity” and placed the real value of the Mass on the participation of those attending, the activity of the congregation. Dom Virgil Michel was a leading figure of the Liturgical Movement in America centered at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. He was, according to his biographer Paul Marx, “in contact with the High Church and liturgical movements among the various non-Catholic communions as well as the Anglican and Orthodox communities.” Day spread his ideas so the thinking of American Catholics “will be influenced by the teachers who come from St. John’s.”[25] Finally Day wished that a shrine be set up for Don Luigi Sturzo, the priest who founded the Italian Popular Party which stirred up peasants to seize lands of the rich, not without violence and bloodshed. Day supported Sturzo’s “political vocation,” but Pope Pius XI ended it by obliging him to resign as Party Secretary in 1923.
          This has been a summary view of newly published book entitled, The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis by Dr. Carol Byrne. It is a well-researched analysis of the series historical events and the public writings of the two founders of this movement, Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. The reader is then able to make an informed judgment on the Catholicity of the CWM based on documented facts rather than on CWM self-assessments. Nowhere in this book does Dr. Byrne accuse Dorothy Day or Peter Maurin of being card-carrying Communists. But everywhere in this book does she show that the founders of the CWM were nurtured on a Socialist ideology and walked arm in arm with Communists or Communist sympathizers, who lured the West to abandon its self-defense against Communist aggression in the name of peace, lured the West to form disruptive unions to weaken the West economically, and lured the West to stir up citizens to take by force and distribute private property to ultimately enrich the Communist elite class themselves. The Church has always denounced these machinations against the foundations of Christian civilization. So the Communists aim to gain the support of the Church for their crusade for “social justice” by repackaging it as “Christian Communism” and “Liberation Theology.” The liturgy was found to be an effective means of subtly preparing Catholics to seek a utopian commune instead of the Communion of Saints in heaven. The Catholic Worker Movement and its founders may have sincerely believed in the Communist propaganda that they spread, but when a child is wildly pointing a loaded gun, it is a service to all when someone courageously tries to take it from his hands. Thank you, Dr. Byrne for your service to Christendom.

          ________________________________________

          NOTES:

          [1] http://dorothydayguild.org/hercause.htm.
          [2] Dorothy Day, “From Communism to Christ,” in The Road to Damascus, vol. 2, ed. by John A. O’Brien, (London, A Pinnacle Book, 1950), pp. 67-68.
          [3] “Dorothy Day,” (Sept. 27, 1963), p. 4.
          [4] Byrne, CWM, pg. 213.
          [5] Humanum Genus, n. 31.
          [6] Byrne, CWM, pg. 10.
          [7] Ibid., pp. 17-18.
          [8] Ibid., pp. 19-20.
          [9] Ibid., pp. 20-21.
          [10] Ibid., pg. 56.
          [11] Ibid., pg. 62.
          [12] Ibid., pg. 80.
          [13] Ibid., pg. 74.
          [14] Ibid.,
          [15] Ibid., pg. 166.
          [16] No. 66.
          [17] Byrne, pg. 152.
          [18] Our Apostolic Mandate.
          [19] Byrne, pg. 143.
          [20] No. 36.
          [21] Byrne, pp. 108-109.
          [22] O’Brien, pp. 71-72.
          [23] Byrne, pp.276-277.
          [24] Ibid. pg. 288.
          [25] Ibid. pg. 243.

  19. I’m not boasting or parading our good works, there is no need to twist what I’m saying. I’m simply mentioning these things as to highlight to you the fact that there are a great many good, orthodox and devout Catholics within CW. To suggest otherwise is untrue and unfair.
    The big cut and paste article above is just one big highly selective, out of context, guilt by association exercise and prejudice rant. It’s simply not factual. Traditional Catholics have no obligation to have supported the evils of Francoism or Falangism and the divisions of Muslim rapists, tortures and murderers which Franco brought in from North Africa. It wasn’t a Catholic regime, personally my sympathies are with the Carlist faction among the Nationalists and the Basque Catholics on the republican side.
    Also worth pointing out that the Church has always been against the worst excesses of racism, fascism, militarism, nationalism, capitalist greed, consumerism, materialism, exploitation and misery. There has also always been a place for conscientious objectors and the various degrees of peacemaking and nonviolence from the earliest times until now.
    There’s nothing traditionally Catholic in submitting to injustice or being apologists for regimes which inflict misery and poverty. Otherwise we end up like Charles Maurras and Action Francaise or Marshall Petain and the Vichy regime. That it is to say, outward Catholic, culturally Catholic but essentially agnostic and even atheistic (To live as if God does not exist) In a strange parralel way, the Communist label being applied to CW are almost identical to fascist labels applied to groups like your own.

    • Ross,

      So I take it you have no intention of coming to our Conference. THAT, speaks volumes. Not as if there’s one every other weekend. There are NONE in Scotland for anyone remotely concerned about orthodoxy.

      Your thinking is, to put a charitable slant on it, confused, to say the least. YOU are the one twisting words, not Athanasius or my unworthy self.

      You are, at best, a modernist Catholic which – given that Modernism is the synthesis of all the heresies, should make you think, think, think – and when you’ve done that, think again!

    • Ross

      What you claim to be a “cut and paste” article (above) is actually a Word document resident for some time on my computer hard disk. It came to me from a very holy and learned priest who is also attempting to open the eyes of Catholics to the errors of Dorothy Day and the CWM.

      You say that the article I’ve published is simply not factual. Ok, give me examples of inaccuracies. I’m open to correction if you can demonstrate with resourced evidence that certain statements in the article are wrong. As Catholics we are bound by God to deal honestly and objectively with each other, so please provide the contradictory facts you claim to hold with regard to the above. Thank you.

      As for the members of the CWM, I do not doubt for one second that there are many well intentioned Catholics among them. What I absolutely stick by, however, on the basis of the article I published above and other recorded data, is that these well meaning souls have been led into an organisation whose spirit is at odds with the Traditional spirit of Catholic Action.

      For me that critical review of Fr. Kimball, together with the thoroughly researched and damning work of Dr. Byrne, a Catholic academic of some standing, is presently of more value than your protestations of “foul”. You’ll have to provide some very accurate evidence to counter such well resourced work as theirs. I will await that contribution from you at your earliest convenience, as I am sure others will.

    • Ross

      As regards your comments about Franco, they adequately demonstrate the ignorance that exists among so many of today’s liberal Catholics. They also confirm what I said at the outset through Fr. Kmball’s article, which is that the CWM is a Marxist leaning organisation pretending to be Catholic.

      You will be aware that Franco joined with the hierarchy of the Spanish Church to consecrate his country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, during which ceremony the miracle of the doves took place and many conversions occurred. It was by this joint public act of the Spanish hierarchy and Franco’s government that Sister Lucy of Fatima said that Spain had been spared the horrors of World War II.

      The side you sympathise with, Stalin’s Communist hoards in the Catalan supported by his “useful idiots” from Scotland, Russia and other Communist satelites of the time, slaughtered priests, monks and nuns in their thousands, yes, by the most cruel and unimaginable torments. I suggest you read the book “Catholic Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War”, available through Angelus Press and Amazon. If that doesn’t open your eyes then nothing will.

      The fact that you dismiss Pius XII’s support for the Franco government, as well as the brutality meted out to so many clerics and religious by the Communists in Spain only adds to the already sound conclusion that both Dorothy Day and her CWM, even to the present time, was/is anti-clerical. And that spirit, my friend, is not Catholic.

  20. Athanasius

    If that doesn’t open your eyes then nothing will.

    I think you may have hit on something there!

  21. Oh everyone that comes to CTS is “misguided”, “confused” and “modernist”.

    “CWM is a Marxist leaning organisation pretending to be Catholic” No, it’s not and never has been Marxist. Marxism is of the State, Capitalism is of the Market, Catholic Worker is against both but rather rooted in the early Church, rooted in community life sharing and in the acts of the Apostles. Marxism is also revolutionary and violent, CW is pacifist.

    “you sympathise with, Stalin’s Communist hoards”. Nope, as I said, I sympathise with the devoutly Catholic Carlist Monarchists on the Nationalist side and with the Catholic Basques, especially the Catholic clergy murdered by Franco during the bombing of Guernica.

    Does Franco’s alleged presence at Spain’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary mean that it was Our Lady’s will that many young girls were gang raped to death by Franco’s Muslim army? Was it Our Lady’s will that thousands of people be executed after the war

    • Ross,

      Please! I asked for sourced evidence to counter what Fr. Kimball and Dr. Byrne have written about the CWM and all you do is return with more denials that the CWM is not Marxist. You also quite clearly have a very poor understanding of Marxism, its methods and goals. Check out St. Pius X’s condemnation of “The Sillon”, a so-called Catholic organisation with which one of the founder members of the CWM, Peter Maurin, had previously been associated.

      CW is not, as you say, “pascifist”. Dorothy Day is on record upholding violent revolutions that take place in the name of the oppressed masses. She is also on record as saluting some of the most violent revolutionaries the world has ever seen, and she paid special tribute to Garibaldi who robbed the Church in Italy of her Papal properties. So please, let’s hear no more about the CWM being pacifist.

      Besides that, pacifism in the face of aggression is not Catholic, it’s cowardice. Hitler was a menace to the entire world, a cruel despot who could only be stopped by force of arms and a lot of self sacrifice. The notion that the Catholic Church, that God Himself, frowns on this reaction to threatening evil is a great error. St. Pius V personally raised the Christian forces against the Ottoman Turks to preserve Chrsitian Europe. Other Popes riased Crusades to stop the Muslim hoards from desecrating the holy places in Jerusalem and puting Christians to the sword and worse. Are you more sanctified and enlightened than these great Pontiffs so as to call into question their morality and the Church’s teaching on just wars? If you insist on this blanket pacifism then that is by default what you do.

      Remember also that Our Lord was not pacifist. He took a whip and drove the money changers from the temple while violently upturning the tables holding their ill-gotten loot. Was Our Saviour wrong to act in this way? Certainly not. The serious nature of the violation called for such action.

      Pretty interesting, though, that it was a Communist tactic of the Dorothy Day era to preach pacifism while stirring violence everywhere. As far as Dorothy Day’s agenda is concerned, in addition to her false pacifism she also disobeyed lawful authorities for no justifiable reason, which is against the teaching of the Gospels. She also participated in the destruction of government property link to its nuclear weapons programme. She was an anarchist as well as a pacifist, it seems!

      Now, your claims about Muslim forces loyal to Franco raping thousands of girls is a wild one that you simply must support with sound, well sourced evidence. You must also substantiate your very grave allegation that clergy who died in the bombing of Guernica were “murdered” by Franco.

      We both know that war is an ugly business that no one in their right mind wants. Innocent people get caught up as casualties in war and people die. It’s terrible but it happens. We cannot say that these victims have been murdered, however, if the intent to murder them was absent. To do so is to unjustly accuse others of serious sin. What happened to the innocent victims of the bombing in Guernica is not the same as what the Communists did to the Catholic clergy and religious in their tens of thousands. On that score, I am pleased to note that by your Carlist sympathies we can agree at least on the evil threat that the revolutionary Marxists and their godless cause represented to Catholic Spain.

      The bottom line is that Franco, love him or loathe him, represented Catholicism for Spain while the revolutionary forces represented atheistic Marxism and a despoilation of the Church in Spain. I know whose side I would have been on. There is no middle ground when evil threatens to sap a Catholic nation of its holiness.

      Finally, your claim that the CWM is not Marxist with regard to its Social Action is wrong, as is your claim that it emulates the communal life of the early Christians. Superficially it may appear that way but closer inspection using the teaching of the Popes on Catholic Social Action as a guide very quickly betrays the real danger of the “distributist” ideology of the CWM, an ideology not from early Christianity but rather from the 20th century minds of Belloc, Chesterton and Fr. Vincent McNabb. It is a doctrine that misinterprets Church teaching, is revolutionary in nature and always leads to Marxist “Liberation theology” and action of the Leonardo Boff variety.

      • None of this makes any sense, you can’t criticise CWM for being pacifists because Jesus “took a whip and drove the money changers from the temple while violently upturning the tables holding their ill-gotten loot.” By quoting this passage directly you are becoming the exact same “Jesusist” and primitivist Christian you yoursellves very often attack on here.
        Like all Bible literalists you also miss out the part about how Jesus drove the animals out, there’s nothing to suggest any person was struck by Jesus. The cord seems to have been for driving the animals out.
        But worst of all, you then go on to criticise Dorothy Day, Dan Berrigan and the Catonville 9 etc… for breaking into Nuclear bases and burning draft papers and so on…
        Again, this criticism is highly inconsistent and makes no sense. Especially since such action is highly analogous to the scripture you’ve just quoted, particularly in terms of causing no harm to people while protesting against Nuclear weapons, which are more obviously a bigger affront to God than trespassing. It is also ironic that you are quoting an episode which is often held up as an example of Christ’s opposition to Capitalism and money lending.
        Even more confused is the logic which let’s you support genocidal, nihilistic Fascism and anti-semitism in Spain while attacking pacifists for not joining the struggle against the same violence and Fascism in Germany in the 1940’s. Again, none of this makes any sense.
        I could go on and on but I just don’t have the time or inclination. As for Franco’s Islamic army and the killing of Catholic clergy in the Basque region. I’ll leave you to do your own research. The onus isn’t really on me to provide evidence since such things are historical facts and are common knowledge. Personally I feel that our great saint Josemaria Escriva and Opus Dei’s position, behaviour and response to the Spanish civil was the correct one. (I know you don’t like these “modernists” either)
        Other than the endless labeling and the obvious lack of charity, I think this lack of consistency and lack any real intellectual rigour is the whole problem most Catholics have with Catholic Truth Scotland. I pray your conference will perhaps address this issue.

        • Ross,

          The action of Our Lord in the Temple was not, as you suggest, for the threefold reason of driving out trespassers, clearing out animals or chasing away Capitalist money lenders. Rather it was an action inspired by love of the House of God, then being treated in a blasphemous and sacrilegious manner by worldly men.

          The Scriptural words could not be any clearer on the meaning: “And he saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Matt. 21:13)

          Incidentally, the Catholic Church insists on a “literalist” interpretation of the Bible as the infallible and inspired word of God. If you reject such an interpretation then you are not a Catholic. The teaching of the Church is very clear and insistent in this matter. Only heretics reject it.

          The Dan Berrigan you refer to was Fr. Dan Berrigan S.J., who was imprisoned for breaking into a government nuclear facility and destroying sensitive government property. His actions did not remotely reflect his duty as a priest to sanctify souls for heaven. They were rather the actions of an anarchist fixated on the things of this world, a scandal to the Church. So much for his “pacifism”.

          As regards your remark about anti-semitism in Spain under Franco, the typically liberal card played by people like you when the argument is lost, it’s completely off-the-wall.

          You are clearly not aware that a sizeable number of those who came from abroad, particularly the U.S., to fight against Franco and his Catholic Spain were Jews. This is a matter of historical record. The large Russian contingent sent by Stalin also contained a good number of Jews. So if many Jews perished in the Spanish Civil War it was because they went to someone else’s country to overthrow a Catholic government. Anti-semitism didn’t come into it. The Spanish Civil War was sparked by virulent anti-Catholicism and that’s a fact.

          Dorothy Day was not, as you say, pacifist in this War. While lamenting the murder of clergy by the revolutionaries in her newspaper, she nevertheless upheld the right of those anti-Catholic forces to rise up in arms against perceived injustice. She was on the side of the revolutionaries and anarchists in Spain. Her life long sympathies lay with revolutionary men. Again, this is on record.

          And as for Franco not joining the fight against the Nazis, you make it sound like those who did fight the Nazis did so for the sake of the Jews. The allied forces knew about the plight of the Jews for years, yet did nothing to relieve it. The Catholic Church, the Red Cross and other non-military organisations were the ones who spent themselves to help the persecuted Jews, not the allied forces.

          Franco’s Spain, being neutral, opened up a route of escape for many wartime Jews. It is known that many thousands were given free passage through the country to safety. So what are you on about?

          Franco played Hitelr like a fiddle. He knew exactly how to keep the despot at arms length. No, Spain was preserved from the horrors of WWII because of its consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, just as Sister Lucy of Fatima said.

          Nor is your point about Josemaria Escriva a valid one. With no real sympathy from the so-called pacifists in the U.S., this priest had to remove his priestly clothes and go into hiding for years to avoid the brutality of the revolutionaries. He didn’t want to end up like the priest who was murdered, stripped naked and hung upside down in a butcher shop window with a sign pinned to him reading “Fresh Meat”, or the nuns who were raped, tied to the back of horses, set on fire and dragged burning to till they succumbed.

          No thank you, Ross, you can keep your distributist, pacifist religion and be happy in it. The rest of us will stick with true Church teaching, fixing our minds and hearts on the real revolution that needs to take place, please God, in the souls of men. This world will pass away, eternity is forever.

      • Ross

        The Telegraph is almost as unreliable as Wikipedia. It’s also renowned for its anti-Catholic bias. Try again to find a more trustworthy and objective source.

        You seem quite determined at the moment to cast the worst possible light on the Church and the great Catholic staesmen of the 20th century. That tells me all I need to know about you and the organisation you belong to. Dorothy Day was also very anti-clerical.

      • Ross,

        Here’s an article in the Jewish Press – the Jews seem to think highly of Franco – and the comments about “democracy” are particularly interesting as we keep being told that it’s the best system out there:

        Recently, I was handed a flyer advertising an event billed as “A Day of Remembrance: Recognizing and Honoring Countries and Diplomats for Their Heroism During the Holocaust.” The event took place at a prominent Brooklyn synagogue under the auspices of several respected Jewish organizations. The guest speaker was Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.

        The flyer went on to say that among the countries and diplomats to be honored were Spain and its consul general.

        This raises an interesting question. Spain during the Holocaust was ruled by the fascist dictatorship of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, supposedly an ally of Hitler. So why would an event under Jewish auspices pay tribute to, among others, the regime of Franco as well as his consuls general throughout Nazi-occupied Europe?

        Actually, paying tribute to Franco makes a lot of sense to those who know their history.

        I am anything but a fascist, but the record must be set straight regarding both Franco’s record vis-a-vis the Jews and the Jewish volunteers who descended on Spain from various other countries to fight against Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

        Communist tyranny is infinitely worse than fascist dictatorship. Fascism and Nazism are two entirely different things. Mussolini took power in Italy in 1922, long before Hitler did in Germany, and there were quite a number of Italian Jews active in the Fascist Party – as well as Jewish generals in the Italian Army who helped bring about Mussolini’s victory.

        Anti-Semitism was not part of Mussolini’s agenda. In the early years of his rule he was sympathetic to the Zionist movement and even hosted a cordial meeting with Chaim Weizmann.

        In fact, in the years leading up to Word War II it was not at all clear until months before the first shots were fired whether Italy would fight with Hitler or the Allies, since Italy had longstanding territorial and sphere-of-influence disputes with Germany.

        Further, despite their many contrived photo-ops, there was no love lost between Mussolini and Hitler. Having read Mein Kampf, Mussolini knew Hitler despised Italians along with other non-Germanic races. Only in 1938 did Mussolini, under intense pressure from Hitler, enact relatively minor discriminatory anti-Jewish laws, and even those went largely unenforced.

        Only very late in the war, after the Nazis had invaded northern and central Italy and reduced Mussolini to a puppet, did deportations of Jews begin, and at that time the Italian Army had already honorably capitulated to the Allies and was fighting on their side. (For a comprehensive treatment of Italian Jewry during the war years see The Italians and the Holocaust: Persecution, Rescue, and Survival by Susan Zuccotti.)

        Now let’s turn to Spain. A great American illusion is that Jeffersonian democracy is the best form of government to bring stability and prosperity to all nations. That, of course, is simply not true. The Weimar Republic was a democracy but it produced Hitler. The present-day democracy-on-paper in Iraq is generating nothing but sectarian violence and civil war.

        Similarly, Spain in the 1930’s, while a democratic republic on paper, was in fact a country engulfed in chaos, civil unrest and competing militias. It was in significant danger of becoming the first communist state outside the Soviet Union (located in Western Europe, no less). And that is precisely what would have happened had Franco not seized power.

        Franco felt no personal affinity for either Hitler or Mussolini. Franco was a devout Catholic. Hitler despised Christianity and was in thrall to pagan Teutonic religions, while Mussolini was an atheist. Franco accepted their aid only because no one else would help him – much the way Israel accepted arms from the Soviet bloc during its War of Independence because the United States and the Western European democracies had imposed a strict arms embargo.

        During World War II, Franco maintained strict neutrality, denying Hitler military access to the Straits of Gibraltar and thereby severely hampering German naval operations in the Mediterranean. Franco not only stood up to Hitler and adamantly refused to hand over the approximately 40,000 European Jews who had sought refuge in Spain, he also provided protection for Jews in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe with Spanish passports.

        The Jewish Press recently featured an article that portrayed the Jewish volunteers who went to Spain to fight Franco in a relatively positive light. (“The Jews Who Fired the First Shot Against Fascist Tyranny,” op-ed, May 16). Frankly, I believe President Lincoln would turn over in his grave at the mere thought of his name being associated with the Stalinist Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
        http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-truth-about-franco-and-the-jews/2008/06/25/

  22. Michaela

    Yours is precisely the kind of documented and objective comment that I have been asking Ross to provide. I hope he takes note of the facts in that article and reflects on his position. Thank you for this contribution.

    • Athanasius, thank you.

      I’ve been following your exchange with Ross and it struck me that the Jews would soon have plenty to say about Franco if Ross was right in what he was saying, so I thought it would be good to put the record straight using a Jewish source. I would hate to think of Franco, as a famous Catholic politician, being so callous as to hand over 6,000 Jews to Hitler’s regime so it was more like the thing when I discovered, from the Jewish Press, that Franco had actually saved many more – 40,000 Jews – from Hitler.

  23. Michaela

    It was a timely intervention from an indisputable source. The testimony on Franco’s record of saving Jews during WWII doesn’t get more authentic than the Jewish Press. I hope Ross has taken note of it and now realises how sub-standard were the sources he cited.

  24. I’m very late in closing the March and April threads, so apologies for that.

    This one is now closed with thanks to all who have contributed.

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