Expert: Child Abuse Enquiry “doomed due to Scottish Government interference”

An independent expert has resigned from his position on Scotland’s child abuse inquiry claiming it is “doomed” due to Scottish Government interference.    Logo-The-Scottish-Government-high-res

Professor Michael Lamb, a professor of psychology at Cambridge University, said the inquiry’s fact-finding was being “constrained” and “micro-managed” by ministers.

QC Susan O’Brien is leading Scotland’s inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care, which is expected to last four years.

Professor Lamb joined Ms O’Brien at a launch event in March during which the QC told abuse survivors the inquiry would “shine a light into the dark corners of the past”.

But in an open letter to education secretary John Swinney, Mr Lamb said he had grown frustrated that the Scottish Government was continuing to interfere “in ways large and small, directly and indirectly”.

He said: “Continuing interference threatens to prevent the Inquiry from investigating thoroughly and taking robust evidence of the highest quality.

“To be worthwhile, the inquiry must ask fearlessly about what happened to children in care, who and what institutions failed in their duties of care at the time and subsequently, how the affected individuals can ‘be made whole,’and how we can ensure that such unconscionable events never happen again.

“Crucially, its fact-finding should not be constrained or micro-managed by one of the bodies whose actions or failures to act may ultimately be criticised.”

Mr Lamb, who headed a research unit at the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Washington DC for 17 years, said “repeated threats” to the inquiry’s independence had undermined its work and left it “doomed before the first witness has been heard”.

He said the government had delayed or prevented the appointment of members of staff and said the inquiry had to wait for prolonged periods before making key decisions.

The inquiry is looking into the treatment of children by institutions – including churches and independent boarding schools – going back decades.

Alan Draper, a spokesman for In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), said Mr Lamb’s resignation was a “devastating indictment” of the government.

He added: “This will have a major detrimental effect on the confidence of survivors. Mr Swinney must make an urgent statement to parliament.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We entirely reject Prof Lamb’s comments about the Scottish Government.

“The Scottish Government has a clear obligation to fulfil its responsibilities within the requirements of The Inquiries Act 2005 and other relevant legislation. Our primary focus remains on supporting the successful operation of the independent statutory Inquiry.

“Ministers are grateful to Prof Lamb for his work.”   Scotsman 

Comment: 

Professor Michael Lamb’s resignation exposes the hypocrisy of the Scottish Government’s determination to press ahead with its controversial Named Person Scheme 

Their alleged concern for the “well-being” of children (from even before they are born!) has led the Scottish Government to effectively label  every parent in Scotland a potential abuser, so what possible reason can there be for their interference in any independent enquiry into child abuse in institutions in Scotland?  What is it – if anything – that they are trying to hide?  

And, crucially, why are the Bishops not leading a serious fightback against the Scottish Government’s interference in family life, now that the Government’s hypocrisy has been exposed by the resignation of Professor Lamb?  It seems the Government’s alleged concern to protect children is bogus and – since the Catholic Church in Scotland is committed to honesty in dealing with and exposing any child abuse by Catholics, whether by priests or laity – the Bishops should be as concerned as the rest of us at this apparent interference in an important enquiry into the abuse of children in institutions. Yes? No?  It would, would it not, give an excellent example of disinterested leadership, if the Bishops were to speak out now in support of Professor Lamb’s concerns.

Comments invited… 

29th June: Feast of SS Peter & Paul

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? Or distress? Or famine? … For I am certain of this; that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.          (St Paul : Romans: 8:35)


From the Gospel of St Matthew…

At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying Whom do men say that the Son of Man is? But they said “Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: but whom do you say that I am? 

St Peter
Simon Peter answered, and said: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And Jesus answering said to them: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in heaven: and I say to thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee  will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.  (Matthew: 16:13-19)

 

Comment:

This is a Feast Day thread with a difference.  It is posted to mark the Feast, with bloggers encouraged to discuss all and any relevant issues connected with this holy day, as usual,  and to post favourite prayers, hymns, stories, even jokes (in the “good clean fun” category). That’s what we normally do on Feast days. 

In addition, however, this time, I wish to draw attention to the fact that a home-schooling family asked me if it would be possible to draw on the great knowledge of the Faith displayed by our bloggers, to answer some questions about key teachings on this centrally important Feast of the Church;  the doctrine of indulgences was mentioned since they’d been learning about indulgences in a lesson recently – and, naturally, I said “yes, of course”.  Ask away! 

I will email the link to that family and then it’s over to our committed team of bloggers to deliver the goods and services… 

Happy Feast day to all readers, bloggers and visitors to this site! 

Extraordinary Form: What’s In A Name?

Juliet:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

The impetus for this thread came from a short discussion during the week, when, to my surprise, a group of people attending the Traditional Latin Mass in a Glasgow church expressed the view that it was no big deal to use the term “Extraordinary Form” for the TLM, arguing that as long as it gets people along, that’s the main thing.  I disagree.  The false claim that the two almost entirely different Masses are one and the same rite, is perpetuated by the use of the terms “Extraordinary” and “Ordinary” forms.  The following article on the subject is taken from the Rorate Caeli blog – not because we agree with its arguments: it certainly requires some clarification – over to thee… 

In his July 7, 2007 letter to bishops, Pope Benedict XVI said that we should think of the two Masses as being two forms of a single Roman rite, rather than as two separate rites. Thus he prefers that instead of “new rite” and “old rite,” we say “Ordinary Form” (his name for the Mass of 1970, or Novus Ordo Missae) and “Extraordinary Form” (cf the Missal of 1962, or the Traditional Latin Mass).

FROM RORATE CAELI…

We never thought it would be necessary to write this, since both aspects we will treat seem to be obvious, and have seemed so since 2007. Yet, there have been so many misunderstandings regarding the expression “Extraordinary Form” that we feel constrained to make two points clear.

(1) Why was the name “Extraordinary Form” introduced by the Holy Father in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum? Answer: in order to solve a liturgical law conumdrum.

Traditionally, throughout the history of the Church – at least since the differentiation of rites became clear and attached to specific patriarchies and geographical areas – bi-ritual priests have been exceptional. They still are an exception. Additionally, the Pope felt the need to finally undo the injustice that had been kept – and defended by most canonists – since the advent of the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, of Paul VI (1969), that had created theNovus Ordo Missae: had it, and the previous and subsequent documents that modified all rites of sacraments, abrogated the Traditional Roman Rite?

The use of the term “form” solved both problems: it did not make all priests in the Latin Church, including the vast majority of secular priests, immediately bi-ritual (in law), which would be rather untraditional; and, most importantly, it solved the apparent problem of the impossibility of the abrogation of a liturgical rite of immemorial origin. (It was anapparent problem because, as the Pope implied when he said that “what earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful,” the immemorial liturgical Rites and Uses of the Latin Church could not and cannot simply be abrogated.) In a sense it is an artifice, a noble intellectual construction, since the common celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass seem to express two very distinct rites – but the use of such legal constructions is quite common in law, and there is nothing immoral in it. The use of the terminology made clear that celebrating the Traditional Mass is a solemn right of each priest of the Latin Church.

(2) Despite this, the expression “Extraordinary Form” is NOT the “official” name of the Traditional Roman Rite. It is just one of the many ways to refer to it. In fact, as can be seen in the very texts of the official documents, several different names are used to refer to the Traditional Roman Rite.

The motu proprio itself speaks in its first words of the “extraordinary use” and of the “ancient form” (antiqua forma) of the Roman Rite. In its articles, mention is made of “the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII” (that is, Missal of St. Pius V also is as “official” as “Missal of Bl. John XXIII” – no wonder Cardinal Navarette-Cortes used the term in 2008); it is an “extraordinary expression” (extraordinaria expressio), and also “extraordinary form” (forma extraordinaria). It is also called by the motu proprio the “earlier liturgical tradition”.

The rites of sacraments according to the Traditional Rituale Romanum are characterized as according to the more ancient ritual (Rituale antiquior), same adjective applied to the Pontifical, and to the form itself: earlier form (forma antiquior).

All these names are included in the short text of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum itself!

In the letter to bishops, mention is also made of “the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970”. The Pope says in the letter that they are not “two rites” (though in the letter he uses the name “new rite”! – making us quite comfortable with also using the expression old rite…), but also uses different names for it therein: a “usage”, the “earlier Form”, the “1962 missal”, the “old Missal”, the “ancient Latin liturgical tradition” (a very beautiful name, by the way)

In the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae, preference is given to the expression “forma extraordinaria”, but also there all kinds of different expressions: “usage”, “use”, “Usus antiquior“, “1962 Missal”…

These are just the “official” names used widely in the documents themselves – not forgetting the need for clarity that demands a continued use of expressions that are established in the vernacular, such as Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)in English, and “Tridentine Mass” (even if not particularly exact) in English and in several European languages. Not to mention the very respectable use (for instance, by former President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei CardinalCastrillon Hoyos) of the expressions “Gregorian Rite” and “Classical Roman Liturgy”.

THEREFORE: (1) do not feel forced in any way to use the name Extraordinary Form as if it were the only acceptable name – it is not even the exclusive name used in the documents themselves;

(2) do not complain when others use it, as if it were illegitimate or unacceptable; if you do not like it, fine, just do not use it yourself.

Comment:

Straight away, let me disagree with the author’s exhortation “not to complain when others use the term “Extraordinary Form”  as if it were illegitimate or unacceptable.”  Sure thing, I will never use it myself but that’s because it is completely unacceptable; calling the ancient Mass the “Extraordinary Form” whilst acknowledging as “the Ordinary Form” , the new Mass, described by Pope Benedict XVI as a “banal, on the spot fabrication” is just too, too, much. Or maybe you disagree? 

Will UK Leaving EU Lead To Restoration Of The Reign of Christ The King?

Blogger, Westminster Fly offers the following prayer, in the light of the EU LEAVE vote, predominately in England: 

Prayer to Royal St Joseph for the restoration of England, Mary’s Dowry

St Joseph, advocate of the dying and the sinner, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

St Joseph, advocate of the dying and the sinner, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Royal St Joseph, chosen by God the Father to be His Son’s earthly Father. Look down upon England, Mary’s Dowry. See the House of Nazareth is broken.

Do not look upon this poor sinner and turn away, but through your most powerful intercession, take your heavenly tools and rebuild your Spouse’s House and give it back to Her more resplendent than it was before.

Restore to the Mother of God what is rightfully Hers, so England may once again be a light to the Nations, where Christ the King reigns over us, and His Mother is seated at His right Hand as Our Immaculate Queen.

Christ The King2

Christ The King


Glory Be. O Christ the King, reign over us. Glory Be. O Mary, Immaculate Queen, intercede for us. Glory Be. O Royal St Joseph, hear us through our Guardian Angel. Amen.  

                                                                                                 With ecclesiastical approval.

 

 

Comment:

In his resignation announcement this morning, David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, listed his promotion of same-sex marriage legislation among the achievements of his Government.  

Is it likely, then, that his successor will be instrumental in bringing about the restoration of [Catholic] England, Mary’s Dowry – i.e.  the restoration of the reign of Christ The King –  or will life continue much as before in an independent England/UK? 

Francis: Anti-Christ? Only God knows…

Steve Skojec, at the blog One Peter Five (IP5) writes:  

Over the weekend, noteworthy Catholic blogger Ann Barnhardt published an essay in which she states that she believes “Jorge Bergoglio, ‘Francis’ to be an Antipope, never having been canonically elected, and that Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI is still the Roman Pontiff.” She goes further, asserting that

The sheer quantity of evidence, and the diversity of the confluent evidence sets, is now so utterly overwhelming that I believe that a person, fully informed of the dataset, would have to engage in the willful suspension of disbelief to continue to acknowledge Bergoglio as Roman Pontiff.

The same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his abdication, lightning struck the Vatican twice.

The same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his abdication, lightning struck the Vatican twice.

I am friendly with Ann. We’ve done a couple of podcasts together, and we correspond occasionally. When she’s right, she’s a rhetorical weapon of mass destruction, and one that can be a wonder to behold. That said, I don’t always agree that she’s completely dialed in (or needs to go to 11). And in this case, to be honest, I find her argument significantly less persuasive than she does. Nevertheless, I’m beginning to see it referenced in our comment box, as well as in other places online. This makes it difficult to ignore – in particular since opinions along this spectrum have, in the wake of one papal scandal after another, been showing up with increasing frequency in online Catholic discourse.

I’m not going to devote the time and research necessary to write a deeply substantive critique of Ann’s theory. Briefly, though, I do want to address some issues I have with her argument.

To begin with, three of the five prophecies she cites are of questionable provenance. The St. Francis of Assisi prophecy is the most significant of these, since to read it one feels as though it is meant for our present time. Nonetheless, it is considered apocryphal by scholars of Catholic prophecy like Desmond Birch and Emmett O’Reagan (among others). No one has traced this prophecy back to St. Francis himself — it does not appear in his existing works. The prophecy as Ann cites it comes from the 1882 book, Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, by R. Washbourne. The introduction to this book itself states that it is a translation “made from the edition of the ‘Works of St. Francis’ published at Cologne in the year 1848. As the work is intended to be a practical and devotional one, no critical notes have been introduced, nor references to the authors from whom Wadding made his collection.” The Wadding in question was the 17th century Franciscan Friar Luke Wadding, whose own work is considered by some scholars to include spurious texts. In the editor’s introduction to a 1906 edition of Wadding’s text, now available online, we read that

Wadding’s edition of the Opuscula differs mainly from all preceding collections in this, that whereas the latter contained only those pieces which as regards both matter and form were the handiwork of St. Francis, Wadding felt justified in including among St. Francis’ writings many dicta of the Saint found in the early Legends.  […]

Thus it comes to pass that in Wadding’s edition, side by side with the undisputed writings of St. Francis, we find doubtful, even spurious, extracts from different sources attributed to the Seraphic Father. It must ever remain a matter of regret that Wadding, instead of following the oldest MSS. that he had at hand, was content to transcribe the incomplete and often interpolated parts of them he found in second-hand compilations, like that of Mark of Lisbon. His work from our standpoint is vitiated by imperfect research and unreliable criticism.

This 1906 edition, in fact, had many of these questionable writings removed by the Friars Minor of Quaracchi, including “all the colloquies, prophecies, parables, etc…”

The message of La Salette concerning Rome becoming “the seat of the Antichrist” bears some merit according to the Church’s prophetic understanding of that figure, but this section of the otherwise-approved La Salette apparitions has been in dispute for some time as a possible later invention of the seer Mélanie Mathieu, who was struggling with cloistered life at the time. Many scholars do not therefore consider this portion of the messages authentic. In any case Francis is most certainly not the Antichrist, though one could argue that he is a type thereof.

Finally, the Fatima message Ann cites is part of a rumored text, not part of any of the officially released secrets of Fatima. Fr. Paul Kramer — himself also of the same opinion as Ann about Benedict being the true pope — attributed this quote to a paraphrase of Cardinal Oattaviani concerning an unrevealed Fatima secret in May of this year. With no official documentation of this language, it serves as a point of interest, but cannot be relied upon for accuracy until the full texts of those messages is finally published.

Moving on to the question of Pope Benedict’s resignation, Archbishop Gänswein’s statements about an expanded papal ministry, though newsworthy because of his closeness to both popes, are still technically nothing but his own theorizing. Similarly, the idea that Pope Benedict’s abdication falls under the canonical invalidity of “substantial error” is, as far as any outside observer is concerned, tenuous at best. We don’t know that he actually believed that he could expand the Petrine Ministry into a diarchy (and in fact he has flatly denied the theories that there was some defect in his resignation) regardless of what Gänswein theorizes. Recall the letter that the Pope Emeritus sent to Andrea Tornielli in 2014:

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry” and the “speculations” surrounding it are “simply absurd”.

Joseph Ratzinger was not forced to resign, he was not pressured into it and he did not fall victim to a conspiracy: his resignation was genuine and valid and there is no “diarchy” (dual government) in the Church today. There is a reigning Pope, Francis, who leads the Catholic Church and an Emeritus Pope whose “only purpose” is to pray for his successor.

I understand why people question this, but barring something concrete from Benedict himself, it remains within the realm of conjecture, not certitude, to assert that his abdication took place under different circumstances than he himself has admitted.

The questions surrounding the election of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio are, I think, somewhat more meritorious, inasmuch as we have the admission of the members of the so-called “St. Gallen Mafia” of a conspiracy to put Bergoglio on the Petrine throne. That said, we do not know that Bergoglio himself colluded with them, and if he did not, even their offenses would not invalidate his election (though they should, if Universi Dominici Gregis is to be believed, result in the automatic excommunication of those involved.)

Ann goes on to list “Bergoglio’s Litany of Heresies,” and she’ll get no argument from me that these are all deeply troubling. Are they all manifestly heretical, though? Are they obdurately and formally so? Again, this is where certitude fails. And if they did amount to material heresy, theologians remain uncertain about whether the Bellarmine/Suarez hypothesis really plays out as hypothesized.

The rest of Ann’s nearly 5,000 word essay deals mostly with her own competence to make such claims, and rebuttals to anticipated responses. Her argument, such as it is, is expended in the first half of her piece. In fact, if one removes her introductory statement and the sections on prophecy, Bergoglian heresies, her authority to make such statements, and anticipated objections/rebuttals, one is left with less than a thousand words of actual argumentation about the improper resignation of Benedict and the invalid election of Francis.

And I find neither section persuasive, for the reasons I’ve already stated.

Is it possible that Ann is correct? Yes, it is, but we can’t know it with certainty until the Church makes a declaration as such. Is it possible that she’s wrong? Yes, and I find this to be more likely. Not that it improves things — it’s a much harder situation to deal with if Francis is a validly elected pope than if he isn’t; in the latter case, he can simply be dismissed, and his works undone. In the former case, we have to contend with the reality of the most theologically destructive pope in Church history, and the fallout of that is most likely going to take generations to set right.

But again: I think arguments like these waste valuable time. Someone wrote to me a few weeks ago to get my opinion on another article along the lines of Ann’s essay. My response was as follows:

Frankly, I tend to stay away from these kinds of arguments. They can be interesting, but they can also tempt us to try to ascertain with some degree of certitude what can only be known by an authoritative judgment from the Church.

Is it possible that Francis was invalidly elected or that Benedict invalidly resigned? Yes. It’s possible. Will attempting to reach these conclusions on our own give us any peace of mind, or even a form of actionable certainty? Nope.

For my part, I trust that while Christ may be asleep in the boat as the storm worsens, He can quiet the waves with a word. He is asking us to simply be faithful enough to trust that He will do so when the time comes.

Eventually, this will all get sorted out. Whether Francis is an antipope or a valid pope, his papacy will undoubtedly be condemned by future generations. The charisms of indefectibility and infallibility still apply, and Francis will not be able to unmake them. Instead, he’s forced to go around them. And that means being sneaky and underhanded, which is what we’re all picking up on. He will lead many souls astray, but  Our Lord predicted that there would be such false teachers and prophets, and St. Paul said (Acts 20, IIRC) that there would be wolves who would enter in amongst the shepherds.

We’ll get through it. The way I see it, we all have enough headaches without trying to sort out a juridical mess that might just require divine guidance. And nobody wants to be a sedevacantist. They’re about as much fun as lemonjuice at a papercut party.

Ann is NOT a sedevacantist, as she makes clear. She just thinks we still have the same pope we had in February, 2013. Is she right? Not my call. Does it matter? On an objective level, of course it does. To know the true pope from the false one is better than not to know it. But we can’t know that with the certitude of an ecclesiastical judgment. Not yet.

Trying to figure out whether a man who claims to be pope is or is not the pope by reading things on the Internet and drawing conclusions from them is like trying to diagnose your own ailment by Googling your symptoms: the odds are you’re going to convince yourself you have some rare or incurable condition instead of whatever ordinary malady you’re actually suffering from; but even if you get it right and it’s something just awful, what are you going to do about it? You still have to go to the doctor to get it taken care of. You can’t just treat yourself.

Ann herself admits, practically speaking, that her conclusion really changes nothing for the average Catholic in the pews:

First and foremost: Masses in which an antipope is commemorated in the Canon by the priest offering the Holy Sacrifice IS A VALID MASS.  The Eucharist is confected, the Holy Sacrifice is offered.   

Further, I have been assured in the strongest possible terms that for me to receive Holy Communion in a Mass in which I know that Bergoglio has been commemorated as Pope is NOT an act of hypocrisy on my part. I know that the Mass is valid.  I know that the Eucharist was confected. I know that Our Lord is desirous to come to me and I to Him in the Sacrament of the Altar, provided I am in a state of grace.

If my position on Bergoglio is correct, which I obviously believe that it is, what this means is that the commemoration of him as Pope in the Canon is either ILLICIT, or MISTAKEN.  We have a clear historical precedent for this.  During the Great Western Schism, due purely to political intrigue and NOT any questions of heresy, there were three men simultaneously claiming to be pope.  One of these men was the True Pope, and the other two were antipopes.  These antipopes were not blaspheming heretics like Bergoglio.  Again, the entire situation was due purely to POLITICAL INTRIGUE.  And so, two giants of the Church – both saints and one a Doctor of the Church, backed different “popes”.  What this means is that one of these saints was wrong, and one was right.  Who was the saint that backed the True Pope?  It was St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, and laywoman. Did you know that St. Catherine was NOT a professed nun?  She was a Dominican tertiary (third order) who was given permission to wear the Dominican habit.  She was a laywoman.

And who was the saint, one of the true intellectual giants of the Church, who was wrong and backed an antipope?  It was St. Vincent Ferrer, who was a priest, and thus offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass many, many times having commemorated an antipope in the Canon.

Here is an interesting precision: St. Vincent Ferrer’s commemoration of an antipope is not even called “illicit” – it is called “mistaken”.

My suggestion is this: rather than worry about which one of the two popes in Rome is the real one — something the Church will resolve in time, without our help — I believe we should focus our efforts on combating the errors that Francis is promoting and Benedict is doing nothing to stop. And we should do so by promoting authentic Catholic teaching as an antidote. Coming to a better understanding of that teaching, and finding new and effective ways to disseminate it, is far more efficacious than idle speculation over something we can’t determine definitively and will never have the power to remedy.

Comment: 

The position taken by the author of the above article at One Peter Five is exactly that of Catholic Truth, as regular readers and bloggers here will know.  Steve’s excellent research work, especially with regard to the quotes offered to substantiate the theory that Pope Francis is the “anti-Christ”  (notably the quote popularly attributed to St Francis) makes the above article a singularly important contribution to the debate about this pontificate;  comments are invited which will, I’m sure, largely merely endorse the thrust of Steve’s argument that it is really pointless to speculate on the status of Pope Francis’ pontificate, because only God knows the answer to the “anti-Christ” question.  We have no authority or power to pronounce on this.  If necessary, the Church will do so in due course.  Our task is simple: we recognise Francis as Pope but resist his errors – as we resisted the errors of his modernist predecessors elected since the Second Vatican Council.  

EU Migration – Charity or Betrayal?

EUPassportFlagBlogger, Andrew Paterson reports on the Joint Statement issued by the Heads of Caritas Europa and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe and submits his correspondence with them, for our comment…       

While interior ministers meet tomorrow and Friday to discuss EU migration policies, people trying to reach the safety of Europe continue to die en route. Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration. Policies focused on deterrence, including the agreement with Turkey, are not stopping people from trying to reach our countries. Instead, they prolong suffering and push people into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, who find even more dangerous entry routes.  Read the entire statement here

In the above Joint Statement, the Heads of Caritas and JRS quote Pope Francis in support.  I sent them a long diatribe pointing out errors and that they were betraying the West, the Church, and the people of Europe. I challenged them to publish my letter and refute it – so far they have not done so.

My letter (see below)  is quite long:  

My response:

To: “jnmayer@caritas.eu” “Jean-Marie.Carriere@jrs.net” 9 June 2016, 17:24

Subject: Migrants and the European Union

I note that you have yesterday, 8th June 2016, made a joint statement, in the name of your organisations, requesting the EU to remove the barriers to migrants arriving in Europe.

There are a number of reasons why these barriers should not be removed.

It is fair and reasonable, and an act of Christian charity, to assist refugees. However, it has been demonstrated that assistance to refugees is best provided as close to home as possible, preferably in a close neighbouring country. Lebanon and Jordan have taken very considerable numbers swelling the combined population of 14 million to around seventeen million. A sudden unplanned increase in population of over 20% puts a huge strain on the resources of these two fairly fragile countries. It would be a good thing to support these countries, and others, to the greatest extent possible in caring for refugees in situ, until such time as these genuine refugees may return home. It is here and in their own countries that assistance should be given, and not in any other manner or place.

The migrants who are illegally pushing their way into Europe are not, in the main, refugees. Approximately 90% of these migrants are superficially economic migrants who are seeking better conditions for themselves. They are leaving safe countries in order to push their way into countries where they will receive the benefits of housing, education, health care and a weekly income without doing anything in return. They will make no contribution to the countries which they invade because they are incapable of doing so. A German study has suggested that two-thirds of migrants are functionally illiterate in their own language.

They will therefore be an ongoing costly burden on the economies of the countries which receive them. This burden will increase as under “human rights” legislation enacted in most European countries they will be allowed to bring in family relatives increasing fourfold the numbers of such people, all wholly dependent on the largesse of those on whom they impose. In the not too distant future this will certainly become clearly seen as an unsustainable drag on the economies and citizens of those countries.

The economic migrants should receive no assistance as they are acting illegally and out of worldly selfishness at the very least. They are superficially economic migrants indeed, but many and probably most are jihadists, mobilised to invade. It would be overly disingenuous to avoid seeing this vast movement of Muslims for what it is, an invasion of the West. It is the jihad in action. Around 80% of these migrants are young men of military age. If these young men wore uniforms and carried black banners it would be clear beyond any doubt that they constitute an army. They are an army of Islam.

Their intention is that of Islam and that intention is, as it has always been, to take over the world, by fire and sword, or any means available.
They are not armed as they travel, it is true, but that is no disqualification. When soldiers of the British Army fly in passenger transport aircraft of the RAF their weapons do not fly with them. The weapons travel in other transports.
Their weapons will arrive later, but soon.
These men have mobile phones, an expensive item for penniless migrants, and a difficult one, considering that they have no income and no fixed abode. Have you not considered this?

The armies of Islam have attacked Europe in the past, and have held territories including Spain and Hungary for many long decades, suppressing the Faith in these regions. By great effort and determination and at great cost in money and blood the Muslims were expelled from Europe and their repeated attempts to conquer were met with courage and the sword. These defences of Christendom were just that. Without the actions of Charles Martel, Don John of Austria, Jan Sobieski of Poland and Graf von Starhemberg and many other brave and faithful men, the entirety of Europe would have fallen. Catholicism would have been crushed and the flowers of science, medicine and technology would never have bloomed, and countless Animated-Flag-EUmillions of souls would have been lost to God.   

Your exhortation to allow this modern army of Islam into the West is a betrayal of the West, of Europe and of civilisation. It is a betrayal of the Catholic Faith. The Catholic Church gives great importance to the Magisterium, which is backed by the historical teachings, thinking, debates and decisions of the theologians and clerics, of the Church Fathers, handed down the centuries since Christ founded His Church. This now reposes with the Pope and Bishops in union as you know. Yet the theological deposit of Faith would likely have perished without the strength of those who defended it by force of arms.

Why then do you give no importance to the actions of the Catholic heroes who defended the Church and the West? Why do you negate and spurn their heroism as if it was not only nothing, but even wrong? Why can you set yourself as having greater understanding and having a superior vision of the Church by attempting to reverse the actions of those Catholic soldiers who gave their lives that we might live in the freedom that we have now. A freedom that now permits you to embrace the enemies of the Bride of Christ?

The teaching of the Church in respect of “human rights” does not go so far as the modern human rights activists and lawyers would insist.

In 1942 Pius XII said, (men have):
“the right to maintain and develop one’s corporal, intellectual and moral life and especially the right to religious formation and education; the right to worship God in private and public and to carry on religious works of charity; the right to marry and to achieve the aim of married life; the right to conjugal and domestic society; the right to work, as the indispensable means toward the maintenance of family life; the right to free choice of a state of life, and hence, too, of the priesthood or religious life; the right to the use of material goods, in keeping with his duties and social limitations.”

And also:
“That each person has a right to a government which will protect these rights,

And also:
“The right to existence, the right to one’s good name, the right to one’s own culture and national character, the right to develop oneself, the right to demand observance of international treaties, and other like rights, are demanded by the law of nations, dictated by nature itself.”

Nowhere does His Holiness say that the “human rights” of contumacious interlopers take precedence over the “human rights” of the citizens of established and civilised countries.

It should be obvious then, that the “human rights” expounded by the United Nations and substantially endorsed by the Holy See do not include the right to forcibly or clandestinely enter another country and steal and defraud.

They also most certainly do include the right to defend one’s country and one’s people against invaders who would reshape its culture and character. That these migrants are even now changing both the culture and character of the countries of Europe is incontrovertibly true. This is no surmise as hideous evidence of this exists in France, the United Kingdom and many other countries and does not need to be searched out. It is plain and evident.

You say, “Like Pope Francis, Caritas dreams of a Europe that acknowledges the necessary contribution of migrants to our societies and commits to respecting the dignity of every human being,” (Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa).”

This is, without further qualification, utter nonsense. It is not any the less nonsense because the Holy Father supports it. On the contrary, in this vague way he has fallen into error and leads others astray.

You make requests of the Ministers of the Countries of the EU as if it were proper for them to give away willy-nilly the countries of the people of Europe. You make a case that the “human rights” of economic migrants extend to the right to make forcible demands that they be supported by the hapless citizens of Europe.

It would be no surprise if the supine and pusillanimous EU leaders cave in to all demands, even offering more of other peoples’ wealth. The incontinent demands of the importunate migrants are subtended by the moral blackmail of our secular leaders. The faith of the politicians who have Europe in their blind amoral grip is a faith in money. They forget that their responsibility is primarily towards their own citizens and so act against them.

Why do you side with the forces at work against the moral core of Western Christianity?
Why do you speak of encouraging the foot-soldiers of Islam to enter and overpower us?
Why do you work to betray all that we have striven to build over centuries?

I encourage and challenge you to publish this letter and refute it if you can.

Regards,

Andrew Paterson

Reply from Jorge Nuno Mayer, 14 June

Dear Mr. Paterson,

Thank you for sharing your concerns. Indeed Caritas in the Middle East and in many places around the world – where hatred is pushing people to flee from war, violence or hunger – are providing help to refugees coming from neighbouring countries. Those Caritas organisations are being supported by local staff and volunteers and also by Caritas organisations from all around the world. The Caritas family is committed to peace and supporting people in all the neighbouring countries.

But Caritas is there to implement the programme of the Good Samaritan, i.e. to help people in need wherever they are, without asking for their background. Also the Good Samaritan has not asked about the background, believes or behaviour of the beaten person. Let me also tell you that our experience at grassroots level in many European countries working with refugees and migrants doesn’t coincide with your figures and opinions. Caritas is attending many families, women, children, but also young men who are also suffering and are not attended by any other institution. We Christians believe in the message of Jesus, who commanded us to love, especially the poor, the migrants and even our enemies. Only the practice of love will bring peace to our world. Only the practice of love will bring the message of the Gospel to the last corner of the world, especially to the people who don’t believe in love. In our advocacy towards the EU and the governments we defend not an open borders model, but a humane treatment of any human being – humane treatment on their journey, at the borders, in our countries -, especially for the weakest in our societies. The Social Teaching of the Catholic Church through the different great Popes we had over the last decades has been very clear; Caritas doesn’t separate from this Teaching, we put it into practice.

Kind regards,

Jorge Nuño Mayer
Secretary General

Now, what Mr Mayer says sounds exactly as it should, in line with a desire to assist those less fortunate. However, Europe is on the cusp of a demographic disaster. If we let people in, muslims, to add to the many millions here then within twenty years we will have destroyed the Europe in which we grew up. On a practical note migrants dilute the assets available for care of the population, and depress the wages of the natives. (No wage rises in 10 years in UK.)

Comment:  

Is it basic Christian charity to welcome incomers no matter whether they are refugees or economic migrants, or do you agree with Andrew that by essentially advocating unrestricted migration to EU countries,  Caritas and JRS are ” betraying the West, the Church, and the people of Europe”?   

Bp Williamson Blindly Leading The Blind

Bp Williamson

Bishop Williamson was expelled from the SSPX in 2012

Martin Blackshaw, aka Blogger Athanasius, writes:

I know Bishop Williamson is yesterday’s news, but I thought it worth remarking on his latest Eleison Comments (EC – Number CDLXV (465) June 11, 2016) to demonstrate once again the blindness that comes upon those who surrender themselves to a truly schismatic spirit.

On cue as always, this spiritual director of an increasingly fragmenting “Resistance” minority is seeking to rekindle suspicions of betrayal in the minds of Society priests and faithful as the very real possibility of a reconciliation with Rome gains momentum.

Like the authors and implementers of the conciliar reform, Bishop Williamson knows well how to manipulate words and human emotions to suit his own agenda. On this occasion he directs all at the end of his comments to familiarise themselves with arguably the most hard-hitting and forthright interview with Archbishop Lefebvre from 1990, one year before His Grace’ death. 

And just so that we all know what conclusions we should reach from that interview, Bishop Williamson takes up almost the entire length of his EC page preparing us to read according to his mind, i.e. without context or objectivity.

Two things need to be borne in mind here. The first is that the Archbishop gave his interview 26 years ago at a time when liberals in the Roman Curia still held the upper hand and were insisting on SSPX recognition of Vatican II reform as fundamental to “reconciliation”. That situation has drastically altered with Pope Francis, who acts unilaterally and determinedly with respect to the SSPX to the great chagrin of said Curial liberals.

We saw this when the Pope directly intervened with the Argentinean government to ensure recognition of the SSPX as a valid Catholic organisation, thereby countering the actions of Pope Benedict’s Papal Nuncio who had written to the President of that Country before Francis’ election to encourage rejection of the SSPX.

This brings me to the second point which is that Archbishop Lefebvre was more than a little angry over the two-faced betrayal of certain senior prelates who said one thing to him in private and the opposite in public. Francis’ maverick style of Papal governance greatly reduces the possibility of a similar betrayal this time around.

It is also worth recalling that in 1988 His Grace was dealing directly with then-Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger, who was both theologically unsound and personally untrustworthy. I believe the Cardinal, when he became Pope Benedict, expressed some regret himself over the way he had handled the 1988 negotiations. Perhaps that was why he dispensed altogether with the lie that the ancient Mass of the Church required a Papal Indult for celebration, a lie that his predecessor John Paul II perpetuated to the great detriment of truth and justice.

At any rate, a close inspection of the Archbishop’s words in the aforementioned interview, hard hitting as they are, leaves us in no doubt that His Grace had left the door firmly open to further negotiations with Rome should circumstances change for the better, a turn of events that he did not foresee in the immediate future.

Before highlighting the appropriate passages from this and a similar interview from 1989, one year after the consecrations, it is important for us all to reflect on the Archbishop’s assurance that the Society is a work of God and will not therefore disappear as a result of the machinations of the Church’s enemies.

Bishop Williamson and his rebellious cohorts at first tried to turn this to their advantage, claiming that they represented a fulfilment of the Archbishop’s prophetic promise against a Judas-like “sell out” by a compromised Bishop Fellay.

Of course time has proven this to be a total falsehood; the so-called “Resistance” movement comprising today of a motley crew of bitter little groups at war with each other as well as with everyone else who does not share their particular point of view. Many indeed no longer have even a weekly or monthly Mass to attend through shortage of partisan priests. 

Pope Francis: SSPX is Catholic - it is evident.

Bishop Fellay – Superior General of the SSPX

Bishop Fellay, for his part, is well chastened after his 2011 negotiations with the Roman authorities under then-Pope Benedict XVI, who, just as they had done with Archbishop Lefebvre, gave the impression that they were willing to accede to the requests of the SSPX only to back track at the last moment and demand that the Society acknowledge the validity of the conciliar reform, including ecumenism.

His Excellency is a much wiser man for that encounter and that’s why on this occasion he has decided to include all thirty SSPX superiors in the scrutiny of a supposed offer of Personal Prelature with no strings emanating directly from Pope Francis.

Strange how divine providence works! That the most liberal Pope ever to sit upon the Chair of Peter should be pursuing a no-strings settlement with the SSPX, a setup that could pave the way for much good in the return of Tradition to the Church. It’s true that God’s ways are not ours. To reject such a proposal out of hand before even exploring the detail would be imprudent of the authorities of the SSPX to say the least. At worst, it could be taken as a formal declaration from the SSPX that it no longer acknowledges any legitimate authority or good will in the Holy See. Now that would be very worrying indeed.

But it won’t happen. Bishop Fellay is a sound prelate who is faithful to the Church and to the spirit of Archbishop Lefebvre. His Excellency together with his superiors will scrutinise this supposed offer from the Pope and will accept it if the demands of the SSPX are met and protection for the apostolate is guaranteed. We are not, after all, at war with the Roman Pontiff, just faithful to the Traditions handed down and vehemently opposed to the Modernism that has invaded the Church.

Would it not be in line with the actions of divine providence, which confounds the proud, to begin the restoration of all things in Christ by a provision made for the further strengthening of Tradition in the Church by a liberal Pope? It is, I argue, much more likely than that elusive Damascus-like conversion of the Modernist hierarchy that Bishop Williamson and other self-appointed rebels claim was Archbishop Lefebvre’s view of things.

Let us now read sections of those interviews that show the Archbishop Lefebvre’s thoughts on the crisis in the Church was not remotely akin to these isolationists.

ArchbishopLefebvrequotepictureArchbishop Lefebvre’s address to his priests given in Econe, Switzerland on September 6, 1990. Transcribed and slightly adapted from the French.

“Someone was saying to me yesterday, “But what if Rome accepted your bishops and then you were completely exempted from the other bishops’ jurisdiction?” But firstly, they are a long way right now from accepting any such thing, and then, let them first make us such an offer! But I do not think they are anywhere near doing so. For what has been up till now the difficulty has been precisely their giving to us a Traditionalist bishop. They did not want to.”

Would anyone seriously argue that this is the situation we face today? Are not the Bishops of the SSPX recognised as Catholic Bishops by Rome? Of course they are. There is a dramatic change in this regard from the Archbishop’s time. And note how the Archbishop demands that they first make this offer, indicating that he was not opposed to considering it. Yes, His Grace was always open to positive approaches from Rome, even if he was careful to weigh them with some suspicion.

Extracts from Archbishop Lefebvre’s interview of 1989 with emphasis by me that demonstrate what the Archbishop wanted from Rome. The same as Bishop Fellay today.

“…I think that is what actually caused a certain change in their attitude towards us. They were afraid of the episcopal consecrations, but they did not believe that I would actually do them. Then, on the 29th of June 1987, when I spoke about them in public, Cardinal Ratzinger was nevertheless a little upset. At Rome, they were afraid that I would really get to consecrating bishops, and that is when they made the decision to be a little more open with regard to what we had always been asking for – that is to say, the Mass, the Sacraments, and the pontifical services according to the 1962 rite of John XXIII. At that moment it seemed that they would not make any demands upon us to go along with the Second Vatican Council. They made no mention of it, and they even alluded to the possibility of our having a bishop who would be my successor.

Now, that was definitely a somewhat profound, radical change on their part. And so the question arose to know what I should do. I went to Rickenbach to see the Superior General and his assistants to ask them: What do you think? Should we accept the hand being offered to us? Or do we refuse it? “For myself, personally,” I said, “I have no confidence in them. For years and years I have been mixing with these people and for years I have been seeing the way in which they act. I have no further confidence in them. However, I do not wish people within the Society and Traditional circles to be able to say afterwards, you could easily have tried, it would have cost you nothing to enter into discussion and dialogue.” That was the opinion of the Superior General and his assistants. They said, “You must take into consideration the offer which is being made and not neglect it. It’s still worthwhile to talk with them.”

At that moment I accepted to see Cardinal Ratzinger and I insisted strongly to him that someone should come and make a visitation of the Society. I thought that such a visit would result in the benefits of maintaining Tradition being made clear at the same time that its effects would be recognized. I thought that that could have strengthened our position at Rome, and that the requests that I would make to obtain several bishops and a commission in Rome to defend Tradition, would have more chance of succeeding.

Nevertheless I wished to go as far as possible in order to show what good will we had. That is when they brought up the question of the Council again, which we did not want to hear of. A formula for an agreement was found which was at the very limits of what we could accept.

Then they granted us the Mass and the Sacraments and the liturgical books, but concerning the Roman Commission and the consecration of bishops, they did not want to accept our requests. All we could get was two members out of seven on the Roman Commission – without the president, without the vice-president – and I obtained only one bishop whereas I was asking for three. That was already virtually unacceptable. And, when, even before signing, we asked when we could have this bishop, the answer was evasive or null. They didn’t know. November? – They didn’t know. Christmas? – They didn’t know …Impossible to get a date.

That is when, after signing the protocol, which paved the way for an agreement, I sat down and thought. The accumulation of distrust and reticence impelled me to demand the nomination of a bishop for the 30th of June from amongst the three dossiers which I had left in Rome on the 5th of May. Either that, or I would go ahead and consecrate. Faced with such a choice, Cardinal Ratzinger said, “If that’s how it is, the protocol is over. It’s finished, and there is no more protocol. You are breaking off relations.” It’s he who said it, not I.

…Realizing the impossibility of coming to an understanding, on the 2nd of June I wrote again to the pope: It is useless to continue these conversations and contacts. We do not have the same purpose. You wish to bring us round to the Council in a reconciliation, and what we want is to be recognized as we are. We wish to continue Tradition as we are doing.

…No doubt we suffered from the departure of some priests and seminarians. But, that is a little like the pilgrimage of Chartres, which this year split in two, into a traditional and a conservative pilgrimage. We may thank the good Lord for having allowed those who are not completely in agreement with us, who do not completely understand what we are fighting for, to leave us. In this way we are stronger and surer in our actions. Without that we would all the time be mixing with people criticizing us, who do not agree with us, within our own congregations, and that would cause division and disorder.

Question: If Rome had accepted to give you just one bishop, the protocol of an agreement could have issued in an agreement, and one may be surprised that such a concession, which after all doesn’t commit them to very much (one bishop amongst three thousand in the world), should have been refused you.

Archbishop Lefebvre: Yes, it is extraordinary. It can only be explained by their fear of Tradition. It is unbelievable, but they are afraid of a traditional bishop working against the errors of the Council and they cannot bear it.

The entire interview with Archbishop Lefebvre can be read here

One final observation that I believe some of the more Traditional leaning in the hierarchy are today reflecting upon is this amazingly foresighted statement of the Archbishop from that interview:

“…the pope has just named Msgr. Kasper a bishop in Germany. He was Secretary of the Synod of 1985 presided over by Cardinal Danneels of Brussels. Kasper was the leader, the mastermind, of the Synod. He is very intelligent and he is one of the most dangerous of Conciliarists. He is a little like the bishop of Trier who is President of the German Assembly of Bishops, and who is very dangerous also. They are absolutely men of the left, who, deep down link up with the Rahners and Hans Kungs but who take care not to say so. They keep up appearances in order to avoid being associated by anyone with the extremists, but they have the same spirit…”

How Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider and others must now be reviewing this warning from 26 years ago and realising just how holy and prophetically wise Archbishop Lefebvre was. Times have changed and the SSPX has many more friends in the hierarchy than it did way back then. We need to recognise this fact, trust in God and let Bishop Fellay and his assistants assess matters accordingly.

Comments invited…