General Discussion (15)

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

However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

Readers, all too often, go straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you! Your “news” may simply be a different angle to a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here.   OR it would be helpful if you could check out the most recent thread on that subject, in case it is still open. In which case, your comment would be best placed there.  Example: if your news is about the Mass or the SSPX, scroll or check the archives to find the most recent thread on that topic.   If there is no thread still open, then it’s safe to post on the GD thread.     

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions on this thread. Whatever.   Enjoy!

To read previous 10 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.

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130 responses

  1. I’ve just returned from London, representing Catholic Truth at a conference organised by Mass Resistance which promote the Traditional family, traditional marriage and resists attempts to redefine marriage and force immorality on our children. I plan to write up a report and it will be published in due course. It was very interesting. Here is the link to the Mass Resistance website.

    • Petrus,

      Thanks a million for going down to London for that Conference – hugely appreciated by your colleagues at Catholic Truth, where we are still arguing about your pay rise versus an increased Christmas bonus 😀 In the meantime, you’ve been voted…

      Looking forward to reading your report in due course…

      • I am truly humbled! I was just worried about the potential of meeting a pigeon down on the London Underground! Thankfully, there was not a doo in sight!

          • Lily, have you never heard that yarn about the customer in the Asian general store, who asked for tinned pigeon?

            The proprietor’s response….’ah, very sorry sir – no canned doo’….

        • Dear Petrus,
          Re. (contact details in article)
          I don’t know if you are aware of this (Gender-Neutral uniform which is due to happen in Primary “Catholic” school in Sept.) Editor on this web-site has already published this article and written to the bodies concerned.
          I have e-mailed various people included Cardinal Nichols, but nobody replies. They don’t want to implicate themselves, they prefer the darkness to light.
          If we don’t get this reversed soon, schools will break up and this evil agenda will spread to ALL Catholic schools!
          Any suggestions on taking this forward would be appreciated.
          Thank you

      • Vianney,

        Yes, I remember Larry Grayson – he always was cheerful, even before it became acceptable and fashionable to BE so… if you get my drift… so to speak!

        • We also have got to the point that those who disagree with “marriage” to “gay partners” and say so, are the ones being arrested for hate crimes. The world is standing on its head.

    • Editor

      I think we are all getting a bit sick to the back teeth of this homosexual agenda being forced on us. There was a so-called “Gay Pride” march in England at the weekend and it was disgusting. Half the people in it were walking around in the streets in their underwear, thereby betraying the lustful spirit that really drives the homosexual agenda.

      Well they can tell me it’s normal till their blue in the face, I will never accept it. Our society is now completely degraded, lost to all shame and all sense of morality.

      It’s an interesting fact of history that general moral degeneration in the ancient pagan empires marked the point of decline and death for those empires.

      This is precisely what we are witnessing today. They are in God’s face with what St. Paul described as “filth”, and they do not fear to declare this war against the divine law as originating from “Pride”, the sin of Lucifer. All the governments of the world now endorse this Luciferian pride. They have no idea what they are doing challenging God, their Creator. I shudder to think what will come upon this world soon if they do not quickly repent of this evil “Pride”.

      • Athanasius,

        I couldn’t agree more. Watching that “Pride” march on the TV news does bring it home to anyone with an open mind on the subject and a smidgen of moral sense, just how degenerate western societies have become.

        And such is the domineering nature and influence of the “gay” lobby, that almost nobody dares to object – including the majority of the hierarchy and clergy of the Church.

        But, as you intimate, God will not be mocked much longer.

        • Madame Editor,

          There are two points I should like to comment on:

          Firstly, how is it that a Member of Parliament can be censured and suspended for uttering a phrase about a dark person in a wood pile, on the one hand, and yet on the other hand, almost any degree of depravity is lauded and even given permission to parade in the streets?

          Secondly, there is a commercial currently being run on TV about an elderly couple in a bus-shelter holding hands yet being taken away by the police for the “crime” of being in love. The message is that “50 years ago, certain people were arrested for being in love” – or sentiments to that effect, this commercial being sponsored by the people who have commandeered the colours of the rainbow. My point is that it was never a crime to be in love, even 50 years ago, and even among people of a certain sexual orientation. The crime lies in their actions, and the Church’s teaching in Traditional circles has always been very clear: “Love the sinner but hate the sin”.

          How much longer can this situation pertain?

          • Leprechaun,

            The problem is that homosexuals do not truly love each other. For them, love is simply about physical sensation. That’s not true love. If my wife and I could not have marital relations, I would still love her. The same doesn’t go for homosexuals.

            • Petrus,

              I am not sure where you get that idea to generalise in such a way. I would imagine the relationships in some cases is based on more that just physical sensation. How can you know?
              I am certainly no apologist for so called Gay Pride however, Gay Shame would be more appropriate and I think many are embarrassed and disassociate themselves from the whole degenerate spectacle. It is for exhibitionists.

              • Elizabeth,

                Well, I think homosexuals themselves give us a clue. They constantly tell us they deserve the same right to “love” us anyone else. We shouldn’t be “ill-defining love” they tell us. As Leprechaun rightly pointed out, it has never been illegal to love. However, it has been illegal to practise sodomy. So, what homosexuals are telling us is that sodomy = love. This is a lie. True love is sacrificial, not self serving.

                • Petrus,

                  I think what Elizabeth means is that we can’t really say that two homosexuals don’t feel emotional love for each other – that’s not he point. A married man may feel genuine emotional love for a women who is not his wife, and that is not a sin in itself. Only if that love is expressed through sexual activity, does it become sinful.

                  Think about it. You love Athanasius, don’t you?

                  I rest my case 😀

                  • Editor,

                    Yes, I see what you mean. We can’t say for certain what anyone does or does not feel. I agree with that.

                    My issue is the claim by homosexuals that they should have the “freedom to love”. There has never been a law that prohibits love. What they really mean is that they should have the freedom to sodomise. The high levels of promiscuity amongst homosexuals show that the normalisation of physical activity between homosexuals is what drives the homosexual propaganda, under the guise of “equal love”.

                    My suspicion then is that homosexuals do NOT love each other, as the evidence shows that they equate sodomy with love.

                    However, I think we do all agree on this. Including the fact that I love Athanasius (although I love Crouchback more!)

  2. Now for something quite different.

    ……’Be ye perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect’….Matthew 5:48. The nearest we get to ‘perfection’ is surely when we hear the sweet words of absolution in the confessional. But no sooner have we left the church and (unless we get run over by a bus) we’re back to ‘the world, the flesh and the devil’, in our thoughts and in our words, in what we do and in what we fail to do.

    When He instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession, as old timers like me prefer to call it), Our Lord surely must have known that there would always be sin in the world. That there would always be people like us ‘in the booth’ who would be saying how sorry we were, pledging that we ‘wouldn’t sin again’, knowing full well that in a few short weeks we’d be back, status quo.

    I once heard a priest give this definition of sin…. Sin is when we say to ourselves ‘ok Lord, I know you’re out there somewhere and you’ve told us not to do this – but on this occasion I’m going to have my own way’… How dangerous it is for us to think ‘well, it’s ok because I can always be forgiven’. As St. Alphonsus Liguori pointed out, it’s ‘old nick’ who is promising forgiveness here. And surely a priest can always deny absolution ‘in persona Christi’ if he thinks the penitent is being disingenuous (‘be not deceived, God is not mocked’).

    As St. Augustine famously said…’Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in Thee’… Your reflections would be most welcome here, dear regular bloggers.

  3. I wonder if you folks will find this interesting. ‘Ideological colonisation’ – the African lady tries several times to explain that Africa doesn’t want ‘contraception’ (i.e. abortion, ‘birth control’) and the interviewer completely ignores her. “We want education, food, healthcare” “Yes, but surely you want contraception” “No, Africans don’t want this.” “But contraception is a human right.” And so on.

    We see this with African Christians getting lectured by the West that their view of homosexuality is ‘outdated’. ‘Get with the programme’ as David Cameron once said.

    • William,

      WOW! Interested in that interview? You betcha!

      As for the African lady’s accusation of ‘Ideological colonisation’ – spot on! She knows what she’s talking about. If only the interviewer could say the same but she is no more than a pusher of the tired old contraceptive mentality propaganda.

      I’m just amazed that the BBC allowed the African woman so much air time. She got loads of facts into that interview – and so clearly and convincingly! WOW!

      Yet, despite the facts before her, the whipper-snapper interviewer still didn’t get it. How could she, working for the British Brainwashing Corporation (BBC)…

      Thank you very much for posting that video clip – excellent!

      It’s a pity you didn’t post it on the Pro-Life thread though – I will post the video there right now, to make sure it doesn’t get missed.

  4. Sorry – above link doesn’t seem to be working to Gloria TV. Anyway, it says: July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Those who are enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions.

    Homily on the Brown Scapular can be found here: Click on the link on the Rorate Caeli page and it will take you to the homily.

    Happy Feast Day!

    • RCA Victor,

      That is an excellent article at Rorate. Every Catholic should have to read it to sort out their minds on the authority of the pope.

    • I had to laugh – Fr Tim Finigan’s blog ‘The Hermeneutic of Continuity’ had that article in the ‘Recent posts from my favourite blogs’ sidebar!

    • I’m replying to my own post, so I hope I’m not guilty of a split personality….

      Rorate Caeli, having trounced the “hermeneutic of continuity” the other day, now reverts to form with a new article on that subject by Bishop Schneider, who says:

      Those statements of Vatican II which are ambiguous must be read and interpreted according to the statements of the entire Tradition and of the constant Magisterium of the Church.

      But then, perhaps reflecting the split opinions (speaking of split personality) of Rorate Caeli itsself, he says:

      Some of the new statements of Vatican II (e.g. collegiality, religious liberty, ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, the attitude towards the world) have not a definitive character, and being apparently or truly non-concordant with the traditional and constant statements of the Magisterium, they must be complemented by more exact explications and by more precise supplements of a doctrinal character. A blind application of the principle of the “hermeneutics of continuity” does not help either, since thereby are created forced interpretations, which are not convincing and which are not helpful to arrive at a clearer understanding of the immutable truths of the Catholic faith and of its concrete application.

      As for Vat. II having a “prophetical role,” I agree: it was the disguised blueprint for the deconstruction of the Catholic Church and Faith, in order to integrate it into a Masonic One World Religion.

      Enough of these pointless calls for discussion, your Excellency: toss the tainted documents of Vat. II in the furnace, where they belong, and restore the original draft schema! (except for Bugnini’s schema on the liturgy, that is…)

      • RCA Victor,

        “I’m replying to my own post, so I hope I’m not guilty of a split personality….

        LOL! That’s really good. I will save you having to reply to your last post by doing so myself!

        I have always thought the description “hermeneutic of continuity” was just Pope Benedict’s way of trying to replace the word “Tradition” and fool us all into thinking that there has not been any split from the past. It doesn’t work, and I agree with everything you say about the purpose of VII being to really pave the way for the new one world religion they are all determined to create.
        Right now, it looks like they are on course to succeed but we still have to see what happens on or about 13 October, 100th anniversary of the miracle of the sun. That might bring a turning point.

    • WF,

      Some emailed me that link this morning and I did toy with posting it as a new thread, but you’ve blown it now!

      Shocking stuff – it’s horrendous to see the desecration of the Fatima shrine.

      • I’m going to Fatima in September (traditional Mass pilgrimage) so I’ll be able to give you more details. But I can tell you from previous visits that the new round ‘basilica’ is absolutely shocking inside. The chairs are fixed with no room at all to kneel, so one has to sit or stand – it seems more like a conference centre to me. All the ‘art’ around the place is modernist and ugly. There is an underground walkway with chapels leading off from it, and I thought that someone had been doing graffiti on the white tiled walls, until I realised it was part of the ‘artwork’. And interestingly, I noticed that where the water feature is (yes folks, a water feature as part of the basilica complex), the metalwork has started to rust and corrode already. I have a feeling the building won’t last that long – these modernist structures seldom do.

        I was very shocked to learn in that report that they were going to tear down the old basilica. That would have been a real crime. At least the recent ‘restoration’ (i.e. vandalism) that has already taken place (masonic high altar, Stations of the Cross removed etc) can be restored in time when the Church has come to its senses. But I doubt if that basilica would ever have been rebuilt had it been torn down. A frightening thought.

    • The long-range goal of Masonry is to subvert the Church by seducing Catholics — through the Council’s “new theology” — to join with other religions in an inter religious spirit that plays down religious differences for the sake of the unity of the human family. By doing so, these poor, misled Catholics are led, little by little, to deny the Faith and embrace the new Conciliar religion — all the while believing themselves to be Catholic. Yet, by adopting the new Conciliar mind-set, these people are actually being assumed into the Masonic Religion of the New World Order.

      • Steven,

        You are right – the majority of Catholics really don’t have a clue. They are the original “useful idiots” helping to destroy Christ’s Church.

    • Prognosticum,

      I saw that report earlier today about the Jesuit baptising himself a Buddhist, whatever that means,

      Truly shocking stuff, even if, as you say, we can hardly claim surprise. And that same Jesuit, would undoubtedly warn against attending a “schismatic” SSPX Mass! Completely crackers.

  5. The Herald has a story about St Brides Church in Cambuslang, Glasgow. The Church is being praised for its “strong public message” on homosexuality.

    Here is the message taken from Facebook:

    GAY CATHOLICS – Fr Morton wants to repeat again that all gay Catholics are accepted and welcomed in this parish.
    Every single human person is loved by God and created to love by Him, this is a fundamental belief of our faith. No one is ever excluded from God’s love or his concern or his care or his plan for them.

    In God’s house all are welcome and are the blessed and loved children of God. There should be no place in our language or our attitude which allows for prejudice or exclusion.

    Anyone who is gay and who wishes to share or discuss this with Fr Morton please feel free to come to the parish house. Also any family member who wishes to discuss or share this please come along.

    We must do everything we can to redress the harm that has been done in the past by the negative stance we seem to have taken up. We must join with others who are seeking to build a more inclusive society.

    The Herald says the message has won the support of “thousands”. The post on facebook has (currently) about 800 ‘likes’.

    Fr Morton is right that God loves all His children and excludes no-one from His love. However, the message might have done better to remind us that Gods love is on His own terms, and that homosexual conduct is against His plan and thus sinful.

    This is the typical approach of the modern Church, to focus on the nice bits of teaching and ignore the hard parts – thus creating a “pick n’ mix” religion.

    Also, it is not clear if Fr Morton is referring to the Church or Society where he talks about “harm” and “negative” stances. Perhaps he deliberately leaves this open for people to decide themselves?

    In any case, the effect of this unbalanced message can be seen immediately in the first response to the post, where a father of a homosexual person uses Fr Morton’s post as a vehicle for attacking the (very moderate) language of the catechism and promoting his own teaching that if God made people gay then it must be OK to live such a life.

    You can see he has no concept whatsoever of people having their own cross to carry. Also evident is the lack of understanding of human sexuality, which he understands comes in various flavours – “gay” / “straight” etc – when in fact these are meaningless terms and there is only one form of sexuality, as proclaimed by all human bodies.

    The Church must ensure its authentic message is always heard over these “beliefs of convenience” which people fall into, in their efforts to avoid recognising sin.

    Fr Morton was actually in my parish when I was a child. I remember liking him, though I obviously knew nothing about Catholic teaching back then.

    He has since has an eventful time of it: I recall him being in the paper attacking the idea that Scotland harboured any anti-Catholic prejudice and he has also been exonerated from accusations of abuse.

  6. Does anyone know anything about this site: ?

    It was described in another blog article as being the “Catholic version of the Drudge Report,” which it indeed appears to be. However, I notice their repeated use of the terms “FrancisChurch” and “FrancisVatican,” which to me indicates the possibility of them being sedevacantists.

    • RCAVictor,

      I have never read that website, but I recall Fr Z plugging it previously. He described it as an “edgy new Catholic news aggregator”.

      See here from 2016:

      I think his mentioning it means it will be free of sede influence, but what is interesting is the comments his article received. One poster said:

      Take care with what you read there, some of it is rather fringe, off the reservation, type stuff. Some of it is also very solid. Rather mixed bag.

      • GS,

        Thanks for the reminder, Fr. Z is in fact where I came across that. I think that commbox comment you posted is very accurate!

    • RCA Victor,

      Didn’t take to it at all – and I’m always suspicious of two things:

      1) a blog with no “about us” section and no way of contacting the administrator
      2) a site with a link to Church Militant

      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

      • Editor,

        You sure your suspicious self wasn’t born in New York City? 🙂

        I also noticed the missing “about us” – and it seemed they frequently take sarcastic liberties with the headlines, putting a distorted spin on the actual linked articles.

        Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of….Hilary White!

        • RCA Victor,

          I didn’t think of that – Hilary White? Hmmmmm…

          Later, I will take a more detailed look at that site. It is, in my view, unattractive visually with the large font hitting between the eyes immediately and the lack of any navigation system, everything on the one page, including a few columns of links, none of which lead to our site – which is beyond incredible 😀

          Since HW considers me to be a “Scots Nutjob” that may be a clue!

          More in due course… Stay tuned…

            • Therese,

              I don’t like that site for a number of reasons.

              1) everything on one page – too much to take it & no clue as to who is running it

              2) huge font at top, poorly laid out, and type in more than one colour (red and black)

              3) several columns at foot of page with links which include the Tablet and other dodgy publications/sites – e.g. Church Militant – all in capitals, so considered “shouting” on internet. Adds to the frantic feel of the page.

              4) Unsavoury headlines such as “Breitbart’s Sexy ‘Father’ Thomas Williams: High-Flying FrancisChurch ‘Conservative’ ” which is , in fact, a link to an article of that name on another blog, with the first comment underneath from a lady writing about this “hot American guy”… referring to her husband, but there is a clear link to the headline and photo of the priest referred to in headline.

              Not my idea of a Catholic site but then, I’m probably a fuddy duddy by today’s standards.

              I’d be interested to know, specifically, what it is about that site that you like, Therese.

              • Editor

                I’m not bothered about the font size or colour, but then I never did have any taste. I do agree that it’s not an easy site to manoeuvre one’s way around. I like Frank Walker’s daily updates; I sympathise with his outrage at what is happening in the Church, and I like his style. There are also regular updates from across the world and from the Vatican concerning the on-going crisis both in the Church and the world, which I find invaluable as I don’t have either the time or the desire to check every publication or blog to keep in touch with what’s happening. The style of some of the headlines may be rather vulgar, as you say, but the one you mention is an apt description. The “hot American guy” is indeed the husband of the woman tweeting; he is also a Catholic priest. The articles goes on:

                The woman who made the tweet is Elizabeth Lev. She is the daughter of former ambassador to the Holy See and Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon, a darling of the neo-conservative wing of the American Catholic Church. The “hot American guy” is Lev’s husband, Brietbart columnist Thomas Williams. Williams is actually the longtime public face of the Legion of Christ, Father Thomas Williams, who married Lev in a lavish New York City wedding in December of 2013, after carrying on a notorious “open secret” sexual affair with Lev for well over a decade, and fathering Lev’s fourth and youngest child in the early 2000s.

                Given fallen human nature, there have always been a small number of priests who, in a moment of weakness, or, in cold calculation and contempt of their priestly vows to Jesus Christ and His Church, have kept concubines and fathered children. This is nothing new. What is new is the utter shamelessness with which such scandals are now treated – by the sacrilegious fornicating priest and his concubine. Up until the post-conciliar era, when a priest would be laicized and leave the priesthood to marry his concubine, the couple would move far away and live a very quiet life of sober repentance, presumably in the sole interest of raising their children, never drawing attention to themselves or the circumstances surrounding their marriage. This was done to protect from scandal the surrounding community. Any appearance of a priest or a woman flaunting or luxuriating in having committed the grave sin of not merely fornication, but also of sacrilege, as all sins against the 6th Commandment by or with a priest under vows of celibacy are, was to be assiduously avoided by the couple themselves, and insisted upon by the Church in order to protect the community from scandal, be it the scandal of inciting others to sin, or the scandal of causing people to lose their faith when confronted by the horror of such human depravity.

                I can’t understand why there are so many links to other sites though – many of them not Catholic. That is a mystery.

  7. The Vatican has started shutting off its famous fountains amid a prolonged drought in many parts of Italy.

    Vatican Radio said the move was in line with Pope Francis’s teachings on the environment.

    The Pope laid out his ecological fears in a 2015 encyclical, which denounced wasteful practices and highlighted the importance of clean drinking water.

    The prolonged drought has hit two-thirds of farmland and has cost Italian agriculture some €2bn ($2.3bn; £1.8bn).

    The Vatican has about 100 fountains, including two Baroque masterpieces, and all will be switched off, including those in its gardens.

      • Editor

        Agreed. That particular font of supernatural putrefaction has been swiched on 24/7 since Vatican II, and now Pope Francis seems to want to raise its spewing capacity to max. Unlike the natural scenario with water, this fountain causes drought, spiritual drought.

      • Editor,

        Pope Francis reviews his progress report:

        Mozetta – Long Term Storage – Check

        Limo – Trade in for Mini Cooper – Check

        Papal Apartment – For Rent – Check

        Muslim Immigration – Check

        Earthquakes – Check

        Drought – Check

        Coming Soon – Famine – Check

  8. Does anyone have any information about any validity or other problems with the Novus Ordo blessing of the holy oils by Novus Ordo bishops?

    • RCA Victor,

      No, I’ve never heard anything like that. A bishop blessing holy oils, is blessing holy oils. I presume there has been a change to the rite of blessing, but I don’t think there is an issue, I’ve never heard anything like that.

    • Westminster Fly,

      I’d never heard that before – as you say, there’s probably lots from Sr Lucia that we don’t know about. That is very good news about Germany, though. Cardinal Kasper would make sure that was kept under wraps, LOL!

    • Prognosticum,

      That very long report is worth reading through, because it shows the machinations of the enemies of the Church and of human life, and how determined they are to further their evil agenda to make abortion available everywhere. I took encouragement from the bloggers’ comments underneath the report, especially this one about Soros:

      “He’s old and death will visit him soon..Then he can explain his myriad of sins against mankind to the Highest Judge there is..”

      That’s why we should pray for him to repent and undo some of the terrible damage he’s doing.

  9. The Herald, The Telegraph and Fr Z (quoting the Telegraph) all cover a story where a group of seven seminarians in clerical dress were refused entry to a pub in Cardiff.

    They were mistaken for a “stag do” (“Bachelor Party”) and turned away due to the pubs policy of no fancy dress.

    As they were leaving, the pub manager realised they were genuine and so invited them back in and gave them a free drink. What struck me was the reaction of the other pub patrons:

    He invited them back in and when they walked back in the entire pub burst into a round of applause, and they had a free round off the City Arms

    I thought that was quite a nice story and welcome reminder that the perpetual hostility towards the Church, so evident in the media and certain sections of society, is not universal. At times it can be easy to think it is universal.

    Apparently the Archbishop of Cardiff (++Stack) is known to favour the specific pub! Here is the Telegraph link:

    At the same time, this should be sobering news for the Church, highlighting that because of the modern trend for many priests to wear secular clothes, priests are often invisible in society and so the appearance of clerical garb is often taken as a joke at first sight.

    Interestingly, Eponymous Flower reports on a similar story – a German Bishop being refused entry to a folk festival because of his “fancy dress”. That situation was also resolved amicably, but the story recalls that Cardinal Marx had been at the festival previously and celebrated mass there while wearing a suit.

    In light of the Cardiff story, I have resolved to start wearing a cassock when I visit the pubs of Glasgow, if it means I can expect to receive applause and free drinks on arrival! 😛

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Maybe I’m a prude, but I cannot see anything to applaud in a group of seminarians (whether dressed in clerical garb or not) going pubbing.

      Call me old fashioned if you like, and most people will these days, but a discreet drink at home with friends would appear to me to be more appropriate. But then I’m a teetotaller 😀

      I wish you’d posted this on the Catholic identity thread because – in my view – it relates to how we expect priests and seminarians to behave, but, too late now. The fact that you didn’t see that link, however, proves either that things are worse than I had imagined, or I’m way out on a limb here. I just doubt that I would be too impressed if I spotted one of our priests knocking back pints in any pub into which I had been dragged, kicking and screaming, to enjoy a glass of lemonade.

      • Editor,

        Call me old fashioned if you like

        I was tempted (haha), but I don’t think its a question of old-fashioned versus modernity.

        I don’t think its at all unreasonable for a priest or seminarian to enjoy an occasional and moderate beer or glass of wine with friends, especially to mark a celebration.

        That’s very different from having a priest rolling drunk in the gutter, or propping up the bar every week, drinking the parish collection money. Of course such examples would be grossly inappropriate.

        The Catholic faith is bound up with alcohol – it is used in our worship and the Church has a long history of producing beer and wine. Some of the best French reds come in bottles bearing the symbols of the Papacy.

        You might have a point regarding pubs, but then it very much depends on the establishment: a den of ill-repute versus a respectable venue. I cringed when I heard the story of (then) Fr Keenan accompanying students to nightclubs, which is ridiculous, but then I am sure there are more appropriate examples.

        Ultimately, men like gathering in male company to chew the fat and enjoy a beer. While they have a certain apart-ness from the world, I think its healthy for priests to have some company at times too.

        Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s always laughter and good red wine

        This part of a Belloc poem is how I like to think of the faith, a source of happiness and pleasure. And I like how Chesterton put it too:

        The Catholic Church is like a thick steak, a glass of red wine, and a good cigar

        Although I’m not too keen on steak myself! But its interesting how both men liken their experience of the faith to the pleasure they get from a glass of wine.

        I’m a teetotaller

        I didn’t know that – please reserve your wine ration for me, at the next social event we are at together – haha! 😉

        Regarding how we expect clergymen to behave – one of the points I wanted to make above was that i thought It was a positive thing that at least some clergy are not ashamed to be seen as such in public.

        PS – all this talk of wine has put me in the mood for some and its barely past lunchtime! haha! 😛

        • Gabriel Syme,

          I think you misunderstand – it’s not the idea of seminarians or priests having a drink – I understand that. My problem is with them having a drink (which is seldom “a – one – drink” anyway) in a public house.

          There’s more coverage of this story in The Times and it mentions that the seminarians turned up again at the same pub – only this time with a TV camera crew. You can see where this is going, can’t you? I’ve lost count of the priestly vocations lost through media “work” or “fame” of one kind or another. And the typical comments of bloggers underneath the article say it all; “they’re just ordinary blokes wearing a collar” or similar is one which sticks in my mind. No, I’m not bothered about them having a drink with friends – but not in a public house and not in full clerical garb. There’s a difference between bearing witness and giving scandal, or placing oneself in a situation (once called a “dangerous occasion of sin”) where one MAY give scandal.

          I once knew a Carmelite Prioress who was (as far as any of us can discern in this life) very holy. She would sometimes talk about this or that behaviour in clergy as being “priestly” or “not priestly”

          It is my considered view that a group of students for the priesthood visiting a pub in clerical dress (with even the remotest possibility that one or more of them will end up the worse for wear) is not “priestly”.

          And that’s without any suggestion that there may be (what would start out as innocent) flirting with the pretty local girls.

          Given the decadent climate of our times, don’t you feel just a TAD worried about these dangers?

          • Editor,

            There’s more coverage of this story in The Times and it mentions that the seminarians turned up again at the same pub – only this time with a TV camera crew.

            Thanks for this new info, I was not aware of that. it gives rise to something I had not considered before, which is the attraction to “play to the gallery” clergy might experience in a secular setting, leading to inappropriate conduct. The camera crew is perhaps representative of that.

            I think you make a good point regarding occasions of sin and this (as well as the reactions of other bloggers) makes me see that I had misjudged the situation here.

            And I can appreciate the danger of priests mingling with “available” female company: at my high school, the chaplain (a local parish priest) ended up marrying the deputy head teacher and abandoning his vocation. (She was retrained by the school and is now the head teacher).

            Anyway, apologies if I seemed rather blase regarding this issue – I think I was quite taken by the novelty of clergy being visually identifiable as such, and so I did not fully consider the other factors in the story.

      • Editor,
        So all this “pubbing and clubbing” that you often say you are off to is a myth? I am hugely disappointed…!

        • Elizabeth,

          Darn! I forgot about that – I like to give the impression of being a young gal about town, forgetting that I’m 29 (again this year) and that I don’t actually drink alcohol. Occasionally, when people pester me, I give in and order something light (glass of white wine) but I leave it there after the initial sip which is designed to prove that I’m not really an old fuddy duddy, and I CAN drink, blah blah. I prefer a soft drink but the world and his granny is convinced that I can’t possibly be enjoying myself unless I’m drinking as in drinking.

          You’re a bit naughty for “outing” me like this, but at least you had the decency not to out me on an LGBT thread 😀

      • I don’t think you are a prude at all. Just sensible.

        I do enjoy a drink (red wine is my tipple), but I am always mindful of Chapter Forty of the Rule of St. Benedict which is illuminating in this regard as in much else:

        ‘Everyone has his own gift from God, one this and another that (1 Cor 7:7). It is, therefore, with some uneasiness that we specify the amount of food and drink for others. However, with due regard for the infirmities of the sick, we believe that a half bottle [probably about 360 ml] of wine a day is sufficient for each. But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain must know that they will earn their own reward. The superior will determine when local conditions, work or the summer heat indicates the need for a greater amount. He must, in any case, take great care lest excess or drunkenness creep in. We read that monks should not drink wine at all, but since the monks of our day cannot be convinced of this, let us at least agree to drink moderately, and not to the point of excess, for wine makes even wise men go astray (Sir 19:2).
        However, where local circumstances dictate an amount much less than what is stipulated above, or even none at all, those who live there should bless God and not grumble. Above all else we admonish them to refrain from grumbling.’

        How I wish that more of the clergy, or prospective clergy, were possessed of Benedict’s wisdom. A glass of wine, or even two, with a meal is a very civilised habit, and probably does us good into the bargain. Any more than that and one is apt to find the Enemy at one’s elbow. And I firmly believe that our defences against the Enemy are first of all natural in nature. Any substance which has the effect of making one lose one’s self-control should, in my humble opinion, be viewed as dangerous. As a former spiritual director of mine used to say, ‘Don’t ask “What wrong with that?” but rather, “What’s right with it?”‘

        • Prognosticum,

          Thank you for not thinking me a prude – I do wonder, though! So many people are so laid back about everything that I often feel like the proverbial fish out of water. I must start practising my swimming again!

          However, I think you’ve misunderstood, as I think Gabriel Syme misunderstood, so I will refer you to my response to him above – essentially, my concern is not that the seminarians were having a drink together, but I just don’t like the idea of them drinking in a pub.

          I would add just one thing to my comment in reply to Gabriel Syme, and it is to conclude my point about the possible dangers of flirting; it would be a bit different if the group were mixed, say sisters, or good, trustworthy friends of the opposite gender (i.e. non-husband-hunting female friends!) -that would be reasonable. However, I can’t imagine a group of handsome young men sitting in a pub, ESPECIALLY if they are dressed in clerical garb, and not ending up in a situation where they find themselves socialising with young women.The collar, remember, attracts. And it IS the collar – I remember a friend commenting on a priest who had run off with someone and she remarked on the fact that he wasn’t exactly the most handsome man in town: What on earth did she see in him! I pointed out that it is often the collar – the challenge – that is the attraction. Couldn’t you just imagine the texts flying to friends to come along to the pub, there’s a great group of guys here, vicars or something, hurry up!

          So, together with the points made in my post to Gabriel Syme above, I would emphasise that it’s the drinking in a public house that I think is not priestly, as reported of these seminarians.

          But maybe I’m wrong? The feminists among us would certainly be horrified at what I’ve written above, but, in my simple mind, human nature is human nature, and a wee glass of the hard stuff often has a certain effect on said human nature…

          Am I living in the wrong century? I kinda think I’d have looked good and sounded normal in the 17th century… 😀

  10. My opinion would be that priests, especially in clerical garb, should not fequent public houses. In their case I would regard same establishments to be an occasion of sin. However, I think it would be perfectly acceptable to see priests in restaurants, hotels etc., with friends. Now and again!

  11. I’m assuming these seminarans/priests are Catholic. If so they are a disgrace, they’re supposed to have left the lad’s life behind for Our Lord. Clerics drinking in public bars dressed in cassocks detracts from the symbolism of clerical black representing a priest’s death to the world for Christ. How they have lost that spirit of sacrifice. The only time we see seminarians/priests in black cassocks and they have to be out boozing in a public bar. I had hoped they would be Anglicans, now I’m depressed!

    • I find myself, and not for the first time, agreeing with Athanasius.

      I am reminded of a flight I took a few years ago from Scotland to a certain European capital. On the plane was what seemed like–to judge from his garb–a traditionalist priest, replete with soutane, fascia and saturn hat. He looked like Father Brown, and I was suitably impressed … until he opened his mouth, that is.

      This utter chump, in a voice crying out for the forced administration of testosterone supplements, spent what seemed like an age debating with his (lay) companions what drink he was going to order, before plumping for a bloody mary. A more mortifying spectacle I have rarely seen, and one which must have confirmed the worst anti-Catholic, anti-clerical, and possibly even anti-traditionalist sentiments of this small sample of the travelling public.

      The founder of Opus Dei has a line in one of his books about being able to tell if a man reads the life of Christ. And how right he is. The tragedy of so many priests at the moment is that they have no idea of what, and therefore who, they are.

    • There is a lot of having one’s cake and eating it in the priesthood today as worldliness erodes the spirit.

      At the heart of the problem is formation. There is no area of Catholic theology so much neglected as that which is commonly known as spiritual theology. This used to be a key course in priestly formation because it taught how to fight the good fight on a very practical level. Alas, today it is most often supplanted by psycho-babble.

    • Athanasius,

      now I’m depressed!

      Sorry, my fault!

      I had thought this was a light-hearted news story, but its been interesting and informative to read the opinions of bloggers – I can now see that my initial reaction to the story was quite thoughtless in many ways.

      The story said that Archbishop Stack himself is fond of the pub in question – so I would bet the seminarians who visited were under the impression that such visits were entirely normal.

      • Gabriel Syme,

        Archbishop Stack is a major clue – or would have been if you had been aware of the fact that some years ago he went incognito to a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Conference in London! Spying! Yet he’ll think nothing of wearing clerical garb to the local pub! Truly, we live in very interesting times!

      • Gabriel Syme

        I wasn’t really depressed, just wanted to emphasise my exasperation with these modern clerics. I had seen the story on the news anyway so you’re well off the hook!

  12. Prognosticum

    “Alas, today it is most often supplanted by psycho-babble.”

    Couldn’t have summed it up better myself. That’s why many of the confessionals were changed to meeting rooms where the penitent sits on a chair opposite a seated priest on the other side of the desk. Then there’s “the mercy bus”! They’re all psychoanalysts and social activists now, barring a few.

  13. It’s now official – “British Values” includes acceptance of the whole LGBT agenda, and not to do so will affect schools. Click here to sign a petition from CitizenGo…

    I’ll post this on the Pro-Life thread as well.

  14. Editor

    Once again we see the evil being pushed in the name of “Law”. Henry VIII made it “Law” in Britain for all Catholics to recognise him, not the Pope, as the head of the Church in England. He killed many Catholics and ransacked many religious houses in the name of this “Law”. Ofsted now claim that “Faith schools” abide by the “Law” and teach homosexual equality and gender reassignment. But this “Law” is as evil, even more evil, than Henry’s abuse of authority. The greater Law is God’s Law upon which all human laws are based. If human law contradicts the Divine Law then we are obliged to reject it.

    I have signed that petition and I hope many others will do likewise, that is if they value any kind of freedom in the future. Too many people are ignorant of the encroaching despotism of the State over their lives. They need to wake up now before they find themselves one day under a totalitarian regime that is completely evil, like that of Hitler or Stalin. It’s that serious!

  15. “SNP faces call for female priests”

    (Behind a paywall) –

    “In advice sent to SNP ministers, Ben Thomson, who chairs Creative Scotland, links the current restrictions on leadership positions in religious organisations to paedophilia, sexual grooming and genital mutilation.”

    I wonder how Ben Thomson explains widespread paedophilia and sexual grooming outside religous organisations?

    • Mr Thomson’s suggestions are absolutely outrageous and completely inaccurate.

      Suggesting celibacy leads to paedophilia is absurd and would mean that single people and the widowed are possibly dangerous to children and that prisons and football teams are paedophile factories. Its an idiotic comment.

      It a sign of the times that you can make crazy, obvious false statements like this without censure, but to state the fact that Church abuse was overwhelming pederasty (and so a manifestation of homosexuality) brings accusations of bigotry?

      The media and secular society are only interested in Church abuse as far as it is a vehicle for attacking the Church. They don’t give a fig for understanding the crimes, or about the welfare of victims.

      Also to suggest a male-only environment inevitably leads to an abuse or violence environment is puerile sexism and should be treated with contempt.

      Ben Thomson is obviously an idiot. And why isn’t he busy doing his quango job, instead of sticking his neb in here? Attention seeking?

      • Well, at least Catholics have not been accused of genital mutilation, or at least not yet.

        Two thoughts spring to mind from your post.

        1. The Media

        CAN YOU REALLY THAT SURPRISED? The mainstream media is a function of the mindset of our ruling elite. OK, it maintains a veneer (increasingly thinner) of neutrality and objectivity, but only because it knows that open propaganda tends to alienate people. Forget the media. It is for the sheeple. Our default position should be that the media is hostile and act accordingly. In this we should take a leaf out of President Trump’s book and never lose the opportunity to call out the media for what it is, i.e. utterly corrupt.

        We have to wake up. The idea that there still exists a public square in which ideas can be freely exchanged and debated in a climate of fairness and objectivity is, to put it frankly, preposterous. The public square and the public consciousness have long been occupied by the legions of the Twitterati interested only in reciting their litany of modernity. Let’s leave them to it, for neither will they desist nor will they be converted.

        Real analysis and debate are moving more and more underground. For example, I know of a group of intellectuals in the West of Scotland from diverse backgrounds who meet occasionally in each other’s homes to talk freely about the issues of the day. They do this because they have come to the conclusion that freedom of speech has died a death and that to publicly express controversial opinions is to put one’s reputation and livelihood at severe risk.

        2. Paedophilia

        In the abuse scandals involving Catholic clergy (truly scandalous, it goes without saying) in the vast majority of cases it was a matter of homosexual relations between clergy and post-pubescent males. This was branded ‘paedophilia’ to make the attack on the Church that bit more effective in the public imagination.

        • Prognosticum,

          Your post on intellectual freedom is particular interesting to me, following a conversation I had after Mass on Sunday with a very well informed lady who told us about a new system of “censorship” to come. Unfortunately, I cannot remember all the details – some of the readers/bloggers here may know what I am talking about – but it is something along the lines of an inbuilt internet censor which, in percentage terms, decides which writing is acceptable and which not: example – “paedophilia rights” is 100% acceptable! “Christians should not be persecuted” = 3% acceptable!

          I’ll email the lady to see if she has a link to a report about this, because my own few minutes Googling just now has not brought up anything pertinent to this claim, but I would not be remotely surprised if this turns out to be true… er… 100%!

      • I concur, Gabriel.

        The idea of abstaining is so mind-boggling to the modern world that they can only conclude it must lead to sexual disorders. Of course, actual sexual disorders which do indeed lead to paedophilia, etc. are never considered.

        It’s also true to say that this is just another way of attacking the church, seeking to undermine it. It is ironic, to me, that in the new order of ‘tolerance’ it is the church and its views that are not tolerated, in the name of ‘tolerance’. I can only see increasing pressure on all Christian churches to conform to the current trends of society and, unfortunately, not all churches will resist.

        • William,

          A very clearly put comment, and I wholly agree with you about the blindness of the modern world.

          With respect, though, Our Lord only founded one Church and you may rest assured that – bad pope or not, as we are suffering at the moment – Christ guaranteed to be with His Church until the end of time, so, while this awful pontiff may spout nonsense and anti-Christian rhetoric in his private conversations with atheists and Protestant “bishops” , he cannot change one iota of Christ’s revelation including God’s natural moral law. So, what about it… come on in!

  16. Has anyone ever been to a Dominican Rite mass?

    We are soon visiting friends for the weekend in Cambridge and, as far as I can see, a Dominican Rite mass at Blackfriars Cambridge is the only realistic (ie non-novus ordo) option for sunday mass. The SSPX are not close by and the only other alternative is a low mass in Bedford. However, the Bedford mass starts nearly an hour earlier, after close to an hours drive (I don’t resent the drive time, It’s the early start which is the issue).

    Why did the Dominican order get its own specific rite of mass? Wikipedia says some classify it as a Roman Rite, some as a Gallican Rite and some as a kind of hybrid. Why is this and is this seemingly confused identity significant as regards its origin?

    Isn’t it very curious how the Dominicans were seemingly happy to bin their own specific rite of mass following Vatican II, against the backdrop of the traditional Roman rite being binned at that time?

    • Gabriel,

      I am a Dominican Tertiary. I know a little bit about the Rite. A few of the ancient orders had their own Rites and there were some local Rites too e.g. The Sarum Rite, Ambrosian Rite etc. They were mostly identical to the Roman Rite. St Pius V allowed Rites that were more than 200 years old to remain when he codified the Mass.

      I’ve never actually been to the Dominican Rite. However, if it is the authentic Dominican Rite then I would encourage you to go. What I would say is that some of these ancient Rites did “modernise” after the Council. I know there is a modern Ambrosian Rite.

      As far as I’m aware, the Dominican Order did bin their Missal and Office immediately. The brightest stars fall the furthest. Look at the numerous Dominican saints! The modern Order is now a joke! Thankfully, there are Traditional Dominican Friars, Sisters and Tertiaries who are faithful to Our Holy Father, St Dominic and the Order’s motto – “Veritas” (truth).

      • There was a Dominican ‘penitentiary’ (‘confessor’) at St Mary Major’s in Rome who used to celebrate, albeit privately, in the Dominican rite. This was in the years running up to Summorum Pontificum, and I will always remember the conversation I had with this venerable old priest one afternoon after confession.

        He was very knowledgeable about matters liturgical, but also very balanced in his criticism of the Novus Ordo. The combined effect of this was to make his critique of the post-Vatican II liturgy utterly devastating.

        I cannot agree that the Dominicans are a joke. There may be some crazy people among them–seemingly par for the course in religious orders nowadays–but they are far better placed for a revival than, say, the Jesuits whose betrayal of their founder has turned them into the Society Not of Jesus.

        I am not greatly acquainted with the Church in the U.S., but I hear good things on the grapevine about the New York Dominicans.

        • Prognosticum

          I agree with you that the Jesuits are the ones at the root of the present crisis in the Church. Once great defenders of Catholic orthodoxy, they are now the champions of Modernist heterodoxy. The devil has surely made great in-roads with the Jesuits in the last 100 years.

        • I think the Dominicans who are orthodox are now in the minority. There may be one or two around , but the vast majority are raging liberals.

    • In many ways the Dominican rite is a precursor to the reforms which would be undertaken by St Pius V after Trent. The order, once it became truly international in nature, needed a rite which would transcend the myriad liturgical diversity of the West (we are, I believe, in the thirteenth century) in view of occasions like general chapters which saw priests gathered together from all over the place.

      Why was it ‘binned’? Why was St Thomas binned? One must never estimate our human propensity to go with the flow. Once a fully vernacular liturgy became the beau ideal of the Catholic elite, the Dominican’s rites days were numbered.

  17. I’d like to say congratulations to all the families who had children making their First Holy Communion at St Andrews, Glasgow, today. In particular to the Mackin, Paton and Marshall families, whom I am privileged to know a little (apologies if I missed anyone else from Glasgow!).

    A very happy occasion indeed and, while the Church is usually busy, it was bursting at the seams today! My wee girl actually fell asleep on my shoulder, due to (I think) the place being extra warm with the closely packed pews.

    Had some people travelled from other SSPX Churches to join the group?

    • Gabriel,

      Thank you for that kind post. It was a lovely day and your wee girl looked so content sleeping on your shoulder – I was jealous (of her sleeping soundly, not that she was lying on your shoulder!)

      • Petrus!

        What an admission! You wished you could be sleeping soundly (on or OFF of Gabriel’s shoulder) during Holy Mass? What you AT, dude!

        Our American bloggers are affecting my lingo… All we need to make me REALLY indecipherable is a Texan to sign up… I’m practising. It could happen any time now! 😀

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Yes, the First Communicants were lovely today – you missed out the Weir family, one of the two little girls in her beautiful white dress and veil. The children were all beautiful, of course, and such a lovely Feast – Transfiguration of Our Lord – for their First Communion.

      • Argh I knew I would accidentally miss someone!

        My congratulations to the Weir family also!

        (Thanks for letting me know Editor)

    • RCA Victor

      The last I heard (about six months ago) was that Fr. Cooper wasn’t doing so well, his bone marrow transplant having failed. There’s not much news out there about him so I can’t be certain but my understanding at the time was that he is now receiving palliative care. Don’t take that as Gospel but I think it’s the case. He’s a great priest and I would urge all to pray for him.

  18. I thought this was an interesting story, both for the surprising Catholic connection and also because I was unaware of this local project going on:

    Tunnellers building a 3.1-mile long tunnel under Glasgow are invoking the protection of St Barbara, nodding to a statue of her every time they go to work.

    I didn’t know St Barbara was patron Saint of tunnellers!

    I wonder if the original tunnellers protected by St Barbara were military tunnellers, who would tunnell under enemy fortifications (walls, castles etc) in an effort to collapse them?

    This tunnel is for Scottish Water (no subway upgrade then!) whose spokesman said:

    Every tunneller invokes the protection of St Barbara at the start of a shift and thanks her at the end. That’s why there’s a statue of St Barbara placed at the start of the workings.

    “No tunnelling project of this scale would be complete without its statue of the patron and tunnellers demand that St Barbara is present with them underground.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      That’s lovely! It’s great to think of men working underground, praying for protection to a saint!

  19. Confident in the protection of Our Most Holy Mother, we continue to fight. The victory is certain: Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat! So be it.
    To all of you I wish a holy and joyful feast of the Assumption!

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I’m tired of Cardinal Burke. Really tired of him. He should either do what he said he would do – publicly correct the Pope for AL – or keep quiet on the subject.

      Oh and he should NOT have accepted the invitation from the Chairman of Una Voce to offer a TLM in a Glasgow parish, but insisted on receiving said invitation from the Archbishop of Glasgow himself, who should be making his cathedral available for the offering of the Pontifical High Mass.

      That they are all – Una Voce and Cardinal Burke – keeping a low profile for the sake of the false peace which passes for “unity”, is really getting more and more irritating by the nano-second.

  20. N O T I C E . . .

    I’ve received the following email from Margaret USA – I’m guessing that she wants this posted asap, and given the time gap between here and America, she decided to email. If this is not sorted out asap, I will post it as a separate thread. In the meantime, for your prayers and comments, of course, if you wish, Margaret wrote:

    Please ask the CT family to keep Michael Matt, his family and the Remnant in their prayers:

    We need to support the Remnant.

    May Our Lady shield them under Her Holy Omophorion!

    Yours in Christ the King,

    Margaret USA

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