An Independent Protestant Scotland…

One of the Treasures of the National Archives of Scotland, the Declaration of Arbroath was written to the Pope in 1320, on behalf of the barons and community of the realm of Scotland. This eloquent letter, written in support of King Robert Bruce (Robert I) and an independent Scotland, is still regarded as a spirited statement of a nation’s claim to freedom. Click here to read the Declaration of Arbroath

Comment:

With the SNP once again calling for a referendum on Scottish independence, it is worth reflecting on Scotland’s deeply Catholic roots in order to consider the question of  “freedom”. Outside the Catholic Church, can there BE true freedom for Scotland?  Think “gay marriage”; think Named Person Scheme; think the Freemasonic roots of the EU, which the SNP wish to rejoin after Brexit/and (they hope) a successful independence referendum.  Take note of the  reference to “poor Scotland” in the Declaration – a description so apt in our times. Poor, poor Scotland.

In short, knowing that the original call for Scotland’s independence was made by loyal sons of the Church, is it permissible today for  Catholics to vote in good conscience for an independent (Protestant) Scotland?  

The Morality of WikiLeaks…

Whistleblower Julian Assange has given one of his most incendiary interviews ever in a John Pilger Special, courtesy of Dartmouth Films, in which he summarizes what can be gleaned from the tens of thousands of Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks this year.

John Pilger, another Australian émigré, conducted the 25-minute interview at the Ecuadorian Embassy, where Assange has been trapped since 2012 for fear of extradition to the US. Last month, Assange had his internet access cut off for alleged “interference” in the American presidential election through the work of his website.

‘Clinton has been eaten alive by her ambition’

‘Saudi Arabia & Qatar funding ISIS and Clinton’

‘Clinton made FBI look weak, now there is anger’

John Pilger: What’s the significance of the FBI’s intervention in these last days of the U.S. election campaign, in the case against Hillary Clinton?     Source

Comment:

The final words of the above interview are chilling. Yet, there will be many people who will hear the facts peppered throughout this video, and those concluding words, and still think Assange is The Bad Guy.  What do you think?  

USA: Will Donald Trump Hillary?

animatedflagusaThe Church has established Catholic principles of voting and we  have always been exhorted to use our vote carefully, but definitely to vote.  Click here to read a very good article on this subject.

However, note the following editorial update, September 2016:  

“…In the past 9 years since this article was penned by Fr. Peter Scott, the political landscape of the United States has degraded at an alarming rate. Democrats who claimed to uphold the sanctity of marriage at the time this article was written have now all but unanimously changed course. Even Republicans who, for the most part, could be counted on to provide basic Christian values, have begun to embrace these sins against nature, and many are supporting abortion under certain circumstances. It is in this current climate that we wish to explicitly clarify what Fr. Scott implied above – in a political contest or election where both / all candidates support objectively evil legislation, abstaining from the voting process, or leaving sections of a ballot blank, would be perfectly acceptable and even encouraged.

Comment:

How might an American Catholic use his/her vote in the forthcoming national Election, to avoid displeasing God?

WILL Donald Trump Hillary, or will the notoriously pro-abortion-up-to-birth Mrs Clinton trump Donald?

Is it unthinkable that any Catholic would vote for Hillary Clinton?  Indeed, is it possible for a conscientious Catholic to support either candidate?   

donaldtrumphillaryclinton

Church Militant aka Soldiers of Christ…

Featured Image

Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will

RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish. 

“Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to defend the preborn and Fr. Arsenault has failed in his duty as pastor to admonish Sen. Kaine and to instruct the rest of his congregation on the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity of human life,” Virginia pro-life activist Maggie Egger told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“I, along with a group of Catholics from various parishes around the Diocese of Richmond, went to St. Elizabeth’s yesterday to do what Sen. Kaine and Fr. Arsenault will not: defend our preborn brethren by exposing abortion as the decapitation and dismemberment of tiny human beings, instruct the parishioners of St. Elizabeth’s on the teachings of the Church, and inform them that Sen. Kaine publicly supports the decapitation and dismemberment of tiny human beings under the guise of being ‘personally pro-life,’” Egger said.

Kaine’s parish, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, gave him a standing ovation at Mass after he became Hillary Clinton’s running mate. His pastor, Father Jim Arsenault, praised Kaine in an NPR interview.

“I know that he’s definitely against capital punishment and works to help defend those who are on death row,” Arsenault said. “The church has a teaching with regard to we’re pro-life, and we believe in that seamless garment of life. We respect sometimes lawmakers make difficult decisions.” Arsenault was commenting on how as governor of Virginia, Kaine oversaw several executions. The priest told NPR that he thought the issues most important to Kaine were women’s pay and “social justice issues.”

Frances Bouton, one of the event’s organizers, told LifeSiteNews that the protest didn’t disrupt Mass and the pro-life activists felt St. Elizabeth’s was an appropriate venue to protest given it was where Kaine was praised so heavily after becoming the Democratic vice presidential candidate. She said the protestors waited until the 9 a.m. Mass had begun and latecomers had arrived before setting up outside the church.

Most of the people at the Mass saw the anti-Kaine signs outside St. Elizabeth’s when Mass was over, Bouton said, but none of them spoke to the protestors.

“We understand that the priest had told his parishioners … not to talk to the media. We don’t know whether that also included … us,” she said.

“There were some people who stood at the top of the stairs and spent time reading our signs” after Mass, Bouton said. “Some of them took a long time to read the signs.”

The protestors’ message to St. Elizabeth’s was “by honoring Tim Kaine you are supporting all that he supports,” Bouton said.

Kaine touts his Catholic faith and Jesuit education but supports abortion and same-sex “marriage.” As governor of Virginia, Kaine opposed partial-birth abortion and authorized the state’s “Choose Life” license plate option. Nevertheless, “I don’t think ultimately we ought to be criminalizing abortion,” he said at the time, and maintained his support for abortion as governor.

But once he became a U.S. Senator, the role of Kaine’s “personally pro-life” views in his politics became nonexistent.

Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 percent rating for his time in the Senate, when he has supported the abortion giant. NARAL Pro-Choice America also gives him a 100 percent for his time in the Senate. Kaine co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to undermine pro-life laws across the country.

Upon announcing Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential candidate, the Clinton campaign immediately said Kaine had decided to support taxpayer-funded abortion in order to assume that role. Several days later, Kaine denied doing so

Kaine said he has become “comfortable with the notion that I can have my personal views but I’m going to support the president of the United States — and I will.”

“In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Catholics and people of good will are called to perform acts of mercy,” the protestors said in a press release. “In the Catholic Church, we are given specific corporal and spiritual works of mercy — seven of each.  The corporal works include feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and burying the dead.  But it is two spiritual works of mercy [that] we hope to perform in front of St. Elizabeth’s Church — admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant.”

There are a lot of “low-information Catholics” who “just haven’t been [properly] catechized,” Bouton said, and when “they don’t see bishops” calling out pro-abortion politicians, they are led to believe one can separate faith and public actions as a politician. “In this particular circumstance,” it’s a scandal that Kaine’s priest is praising him, Bouton said, and this can lead to further confusion.

Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has said Catholics have a duty to determine their worthiness to receive Holy Communion “through an upright and informed conscience.” He has not ordered priests in his diocese to stop admitting Kaine to Holy Communion.

Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law instructs that those “persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

“No parishioners talked to us … a few took pictures,” Egger said. “And when Fr. Arsenault was asked a question on his way past us to the rectory, he wouldn’t even look up at us.”  Click here to read the original Lifesitenews report with more photos of the group…

Comment:

WOW!  Now, those are Catholics, Confirmed Soldiers of Christ! 

Shouldn’t we be doing this sort of thing in Scotland and the wider UK? We’ve tried the letter-writing, we’ve tried petitions to enforce Canon 915, we’ve done the hand-wringing all round; nothing has worked. Would direct action make any difference – didn’t seem to make any difference to the priest in the above parish or his parishioners, let alone the bishop. Dead consciences. Still, it is, is it not, the sort of “in your face” militancy that just might hit home on our turf, if only because the clergy and hierarchy hate adverse publicity.  To be exposed as negligent, with “Canon 915” screaming forth from posters, just might have an impact.  Certainly, on the few occasions when we have publicly gathered a few faithful to protest (e.g. when St Patrick’s church in Glasgow was handed over to Buddhists for a concert) we felt that, at least, we had alerted those with open minds and hearts to the scandalous nature of the event.

Time to do more of this, perhaps close to elections – to name and shame the pro-abortion “Catholic” MPs/MSPs?  

Ideally, of course, it shouldn’t be left to us; we would be happy to follow the lead of the pro-life groups but they tend not to like this sort of thing.  A tad distasteful, although not half as distasteful as the sight of a murdered baby in a stainless steel dish, or the sight of the “Catholic” legislators responsible lining up in the Communion queue on Sundays.

So, ought we to consider following the example of these American cousins of ours? What thinkest thou, folks?

Pope To Youth: Find Jesus In Ecumenism

Click here to read Zenit report

Comment:

All the blether about youthful “restlessness” reminds me of the assumption, commonly heard in conversation, that all teenagers  are rebellious.  I questioned it when I was a teenager myself and I question it now.  It seems designed to ignite rebellion in young people.   And sadly, only a minority, seem to be mature enough to not want to be “restless” or “rebellious”.  The Pope peddling the propaganda, really doesn’t help parents trying to convince their young offspring that “Thou Shalt  Rebel” really  isn’t the eleventh commandment. And the Pope encouraging young people to look for or find Jesus at an ecumenical gathering, really doesn’t help them to understand the unchanging and unchangeable teaching from Christ that “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation.”   Does it?

June: Month of the Sacred Heart…

As always on our devotional threads, we may discuss any issues involved, and post favourite prayers, hymns, images, videos, stories etc. in order to pay tribute to, and spread, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  This devotion to the merciful Sacred Heart of Jesus is of particular importance in these times when a false mercy is being preached, even within the Church. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in Thee.

EU: How Should UK Catholics Vote?

ON June 23, Catholics in England and Wales will be confronted by the same question as everyone else: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

We are given only two possible answers – “Remain” or “Leave”. The Church is not officially taking sides and therefore we are free to choose.

But that word “officially” is crucial. Both Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor have endorsed a vote to Remain. These are their personal convictions, they have stressed.

They have not, however, kept these personal views private – unlike the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who probably also supports staying in the EU but who has not jeopardised his authority by saying so.

Anglicans and Catholics therefore find themselves in different situations. The former will arrive at the polling booth unencumbered by advice from their spiritual leader. The latter, in contrast, are being nudged towards a “Remain” vote not only by Their Eminences but also by the Pope.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See, suggested "Brexit" could weaken Europe. In an interview with ITV, the English cleric who has a weekly meeting with Pope Francis, gave a clear signal of Rome's view of the best outcome of the forthcoming in/out referendum on continued EU membership. "The Holy See respects the ultimate decision of the British people – that's for the British electorate to decide," he said.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See, suggested “Brexit” could weaken Europe. In an interview with ITV, the English cleric who has a weekly meeting with Pope Francis, gave a clear signal of Rome’s view of the best outcome of the forthcoming in/out referendum on continued EU membership. “The Holy See respects the ultimate decision of the British people – that’s for the British electorate to decide.”


Last Friday, Pope Francis received the Charlemagne Prize for services to European integration. The prize is awarded by the city of Aachen in the Rhineland, which Charlemagne chose as his capital and which, under the name of Aix-la-Chappelle, was for centuries a direct vassal of the Holy Roman Empire.     

Last week it could have been mistaken for a direct vassal of the European Union. The awards ceremony, held in the Vatican, was addressed by Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, and Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.

They must have been pleased to hear Francis identify Brussels with “the soul of Europe”. On immigration, the Pope brushed aside the fears of Eurosceptics and even the anxieties of pro-EU national politicians. Tighter border controls were a manifestation of “meanness”, serving “our own selfish interests”. It’s not hard to work out where the Holy Father’s sympathies lie in the British referendum. The Vatican’s “foreign minister”, the Liverpool-born Archbishop Paul Gallagher, has said bluntly: “Better in than out.”

Catholic Eurosceptics are not pleased by this collective nudging. And the fact that it is unofficial does nothing to placate them.

Why, they ask, did Cardinal Nichols insist that leaving the European Union “would create more complex problems” than staying in when his own Bishops’ Conference did not encourage a vote in either direction? Why has his predecessor twice come out of retirement to support the EU, first in an interview with an Italian Catholic news agency and just last week in the Spectator?

There is no single answer. Rather, a number of strands of thinking have produced a mindset every bit as inflexible as that of the Guardian’s favourite stereotype, the blazer-clad Kipper spouting rancid xenophobia in a saloon bar.

The most intellectually respectable of these strands leads back to the European Coal and Steel Community, formed after the Second World War by Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer and Alcide De Gasperi. Of these, only Monnet – the French political economist who became the community’s first president – was not a conspicuously devout Catholic. (His private life was complicated: he was married to a woman who left her husband for him and had to travel to Moscow to obtain a divorce; the Monnets could not have a Catholic wedding until the first husband was dead, by which time Jean was 85. The ceremony took place in the basilica at Lourdes.)

Schuman, twice prime minister of France, and De Gasperi, eight times prime minister of Italy and founder of the Christian Democrats, were men of such personal holiness that there have been calls to canonise them. Adenauer, the scheming first Chancellor of West Germany, is not a candidate for sainthood – but he was a trenchantly Catholic statesman during a political career lasting 60 years.

For Schuman, Adenauer and De Gasperi, the European Economic Community was fundamentally a Catholic project with roots that – in their imaginations, at least – could be traced back to Charlemagne.

Protestant Britons smelled a rat. They portrayed the new alliance as an attempt to re-establish the Holy Roman Empire. There was a grain of truth in this charge – though this “imperial” realm was little more than a patchwork of quarrelsome German principalities. To quote Voltaire, it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.

Likewise, there was always an element of fantasy in the goal of “ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”, first set out in the 1957 Treaty of Rome. But the Catholic inspiration for the EEC, left unstated in treaties, was anything but frivolous.

In 2008 the Catholic historian Alan Fimister published a book arguing that Schuman’s plans for Europe were “to a remarkable degree, the conscious implementation of the Neo-Thomistic project of Pope Leo XIII”.

Schuman, De Gasperi and Adenauer all believed that the answer to totalitarian ideologies lay in Leo’s vision of the restoration of “the principles of the Christian life in civil and domestic society”.

But Schuman went further: he subscribed to the Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain’s notion of supranational democracy as the foundation for a new Christendom. “He held fast to the magisterium’s demand that the final destination of Catholic political action must be the recognition by the civil order of the truth of the Faith,” writes Fimister.

And how was this to be achieved? By the voluntary submission of non-Catholic Europeans to the spiritual authority of Rome.

Pope Francis invoked Schuman when he received his Charlemagne speech. But one wonders whether he and other champions of European union fully understand the uncompromising nature of Schuman’s commitment to Catholic civil order.

There is certainly little trace of it in Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s Spectator article, which sets out a less ambitious vision of Catholic Europe.

The cardinal wants the EU to stay open to  “the transcendent dimension of life” and its own “humanistic spirit”. He does not, however, define transcendence or humanism, concepts that had an exclusively Catholic meaning for Schuman. This lack of clarity is made worse by the platitudinous assertion that “all authentic unity draws from the rich diversities which make it up”.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor is more convincing when he writes that he feels “close to Europe because I lived for many years in Italy and, as a bishop, I have been in touch with fellow bishops from all the European continent on a regular basis”.

The genial cardinal is popular in the Vatican; more than any other English cleric, he embodies Romanitas, the Roman way of doing things. If you want an audience with the Pope, or a recommendation for a trattoria in the Borgo Pio, ask the retired Archbishop of Westminster. His affection for the EU is an extension of this Romanitas.

Cardinal Nichols is also fervently pro-EU, but his support for it has a less Roman flavour. He is, as I remember from his days as general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference, a man who works through committees and relishes bureaucratic procedure.

His politics bear the stamp of his Liverpudlian upbringing. He favours public expenditure over private enterprise; his speeches employ the vocabulary of the state sector. It’s hard to think of a bishop less in sympathy with Eton-educated Catholic Tory Brexiteers such as Charles Moore and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The Nichols philosophy embraces the dirigism of Brussels; in this he is typical of the moderate British Left, which changed its mind about the Common Market after Jacques Delors persuaded it that Europe was an indispensable ally against “free-market fundamentalism”.

One suspects that Cardinal Nichols would admire the modus operandi of the European Union even if it had no association with the Church. The same could be said of many bishops of England and Wales.

But not, perhaps, all of them. The failure of the Bishops’ Conference to recommend a “Remain” vote is a mystery. Until recently its stance was ultra-Europhile. Did one or two bishops refuse to back such a recommendation because they are sympathetic to the arguments for leaving?

It’s a possibility. Interestingly, some of Cardinal Nichols’s own clergy in Westminster are pro-Brexit. They include one well-known priest who believes that Brussels – which has just granted visa-free visiting rights to 75 million Turks, preparing the ground for Turkish membership of the EU – is dismantling what remains of Christendom.

Might Robert Schuman have shared this priest’s view that the 21st-century European Union is more an enemy of the Church than its friend? Unsurprisingly, no one considered this possibility on Monday, which was marked across the EU as “Schuman Day”.

But there are clues in an interview Alan Fimister, now a professor of theology and Church history at St John Vianney Seminary in Denver, gave to mark the publication of his book. Schuman “would have been appalled by the culture of death” embraced by pro-abortion European politicians and officials, he said. The “creeping dictatorship of relativism” emanating from Brussels is a corruption of his vision.

Obviously we don’t know whether Schuman would have disowned a swollen, secularised EU in its current form. But Fimister believes that those European Catholics who share the founder’s views have done just that.

As he told the Catholic Herald in March, “orthodox Catholics across the EU … are overwhelmingly negative about the European Union, and not just for reactionary reasons. They’re negative because they just see it as part of the general secularising trend.”

Cardinals Nichols and Murphy-O’Connor would no doubt challenge Fimister’s use of the word “orthodox”: they might say he is referring to a particular brand of conservative Catholic.

But, even if we are talking only about theological conservatives, Fimister’s point surely holds. The ranks of prominent Brexit supporters contain a surprising number of practising Catholics for whom the contemporary EU is an obstacle to the revival of Europe’s Catholic identity. These views are ignored by the Church hierarchy, from the Holy Father downwards. So, for that matter, are the opinions of less polemical Catholic voters who see the referendum question as essentially political and want to quit the EU for reasons that have little to do with their faith.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and – more sotto voce – Cardinal Nichols think the decision does have religious implications. Both men associate our EU membership with “welcoming migrants”, though neither seems prepared to debate the effects on society of uncontrollably shifting demography.

Some Catholics feel the English cardinals’ personal interventions are inappropriate. There has been no great fuss, however, because they are unlikely to affect the outcome of the referendum.

In the end, their arguments are not persuasive. This is partly because they are only half formed and partly because they do not really harmonise: Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s post-conciliar Romanitas and Cardinal Nichols’s 1980s-style defence of the bureaucratic status quo reflect their different ages and backgrounds.

That would not be a problem for them if Catholic enthusiasm for Brussels still had its traditional taken-for-granted quality. But today Schuman’s utopian project seems outmoded, almost quaint, in an age when globalisation is pulling apart every stitch of the social fabric once known as Christendom.

One result of these changes is that, to put it bluntly, the opinions of Catholic clergy carry no weight with the public. And another is that, despite the award of the Charlemagne Prize to the successor of Peter, the strands of thinking that once attached Catholic Europe to the European Union are unravelling. Whichever way we vote, they will continue to do so after June 23.   Source

Comment:

Should the Catholic  hierarchy in any part of the UK try to influence Catholics to vote one way or another in the EU referendum?  Is there a “Catholic” way to vote” – a “right or wrong” way to vote?   Or are we free to make up our own minds?