Is the UK no longer free? 

The treatment of Tommy Robinson, coupled with the contrived outrage over Boris Johnson’s ‘burka’ remarks this week, do beg the question: is Tucker Carlson right to question whether, in fact, the UK really is a free land?   And why are the Catholic bishops not asking the same question? 

Comments invited…   

Hate Speech: Former Irish President Calls Catholic Teaching “Evil”…

Former Irish President Mary McAleese has described the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality as “evil”.

But McAleese also said that she was hopeful that the Pope Francis will eventually change the Church’s homophobic attitudes.

She said that Pope Francis “exploded that myth” that the Church can’t be changed and she believed he could now rid the Church of its “homophobic messages”.

The former Irish President also accused the Pope of having “bad manners” and being “disrespectful” for failing to reply to a letter she recently wrote to him. She had penned him a letter after an attempt was made to exclude her from an international women’s conference in Rome.

“I had faith in this pope and it would be wrong to say anything other than I am disappointed,” she said.

McAleese made her comments when receiving the inaugural Vanguard award for her support for the LGBT community.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Sarah Williams, chairperson of the Board of the GAZE LGBT Film Festival said: “Dr McAleese’s unwavering support for the advancement of the LGBT+ community has been widely acknowledged and praised, and we felt very strongly that we wanted to present her with this award this evening to mark her achievements.”
And Filmmaker John Butler said: “It’s an honour to present this award to a life-long hero of mine, what an inspiration and what a contribution to Irish life!”  Source

Comment: 

Just imagine for a second if Mary McAleese had described the teaching of Islam on homosexuality as “evil”  or the teaching of Judaism on homosexuality as “evil” – can you just imagine the ruckus?  But the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality (or anything else) well, that’s fair game.  No hate speech here, move along. 

You must not say a word out of place about Islam or Judaism, on pain of being labelled Islamophobic or Anti-Semitic, and finding yourself the subject of a police complaint.  But anti-Catholic? Bring it on…

Is there any point in lodging an official complaint about Mary McAleese’s bigotry, her attack on the Church which, if applied to any other religion would fall foul of ‘hate crime’ laws – or will Catholics simply do what we’ve always done, turn the other cheek, make every attempt to “love our enemy” – and, believe me, McAleese is an enemy of the Catholic Faith.  Mind you, so is Pope Francis, whom she applauds for his attempts to change Catholic teaching.  Now that he’s undermined traditional teaching on capital punishment, is the ultra-feminist/pro-“gay”  former Irish President likely to see a similar change to the Catechism paragraphs on homosexuality?  Don’t get me wrong; no pope has the authority to change the moral law, and when good order is restored to the Church, the damage done by this disgraceful pontiff will be put right. No question about it. Still, given that he has form on “revising” the Catechism, might he re-write the prohibition of homosexual activity, just for the hell of it (so to speak…) 

Share your thoughts – which is worse: the bigoted, hate-filled Mary McAleese, or her sometime idol, Papa Francis? Or, is it a case of “you pays your money and you takes your pick…”?  

Do Muslims Worship The True God?

From the Catholic Herald

Some time ago I wrote a blog in which I remarked that only Christians worship the true God, that is, the Trinitarian God who is composed of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; God as three divine Persons: creator, saviour and sanctifier. This led to an exchange of emails with a reader of the blog in which we discussed the Muslim idea of God. He thought Muslims worshipped the same God as Christians; I thought they didn’t. He referred me to the philosopher Peter Geach’s book God and the Soul (1969) and specifically to his chapter “On Worshipping the Right God”.

In this chapter, Geach does not specifically refer to the Muslim idea of God but he does make a number of interesting statements. For instance, he writes, “A sufficiently erroneous thought of a God will simply fail to relate to the true and living God at all. Where the line is to be drawn God only knows…” He also comments, “ For Christians, “God” is not a proper name like “Woden”, but a descriptive term, true of the Blessed Trinity and not true of Woden.” In another place he writes, “Only by turning to the true God can a man win grace and forgiveness.”

So do Muslims worship “the true and living God?”  For the [writer’s]  answer, click here

Comment:

It has been commonplace for years now, to hear popes, priests and teachers claim that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.  Here’s Pope Francis:  “Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”.  [emphasis added].

Nobody ever quotes the words of Christ Himself in the matter of so-called “Abrahamic faith”:  “Before Abraham was made, I am.”  

Still, if the Pope thinks Muslims and Christians worship the same God, that must be true … mustn’t it?  

Trump & Jerusalem: A Moral Move, A Politically Smart & Valuable Move…

Comment:

Well, do you agree that in publicly recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and moving the U.S.A. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,  President Donald Trump has made a “moral move, a politically smart move and a politically valuable move” – or is he making things worse in the region?   After listening to the potted history on the video, doesn’t it seem odd that the media seem to be united in criticising Trump for this “moral, smart and valuable move”? Or, is it actually the case that no matter what he does, Trump will be criticised… A case of his not being able to do right for doing wrong?

Pope Francis: Vicar of Allah?

From the Fatima Center…

December 5, 2017

Pope Francis made headlines recently for his championing of the Rohingya. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it is one that Muslim refugees from Myanmar use to designate themselves. The term is rejected by the Buddhists of Myanmar, as it suggests that the Muslims are native to their country, a claim they deny, insisting that they are intruders from neighboring Bangladesh.

While in Myanmar, the Pope avoided use of the term, but readily adopted it once he had crossed into Bangladesh to meet the Rohingya of the refugee camps. For this supposed act of courage, the Pope was lauded for his shunning of diplomacy in favor of plain-speaking and justice. Apparently, it did not occur to the adulatory media that courage in this matter was only possible while the Pope was in Myanmar, where he carefully avoided its use. He was in no danger among the Rohingya.

Wearing a Yankees’ cap at Fenway Park requires courage. Wearing one at Yankee stadium makes you one of the gang.

While aboard his jet during his return trip to Rome, the Pope, as is his habit, addressed the international press corps that travels with him, chronicling his acts of courage. He explained he did not use the word Rohingya in public addresses in Myanmar because, “They already knew what I thought.” The “they” he is referring to are presumably the political and religious leaders of Myanmar, whom the Pope supposes are so familiar with his views that he need not spell them out. But, as St. Thomas More reminded the court that tried him, the maxim of the law is “Tacet consentire” — silence implies consent.

In any event, once among the Rohingya and safely out of Myanmar, the Pope was bold enough to break his silence and pronounce the term. The Pope told the press corps, “I wept. I tried to do it in a way that couldn’t be seen.” Not to presume too much, but we might suggest to the Holy Father that to keep his weeping secret, it would be best not to announce it to the media. Reporters are terribly indiscreet and very likely to, well, report.

The Pope said he wept over the suffering of the Rohingya, whom he credits as being the blameless victims of persecution, based on their self-declaration and anecdotal accounts.  In an astounding act of presumption, the Pope then appropriated the right to speak in the name of their alleged persecutors:

“In the name of all those who have persecuted you, who have harmed you, in the face of the world’s indifference, I ask for your forgiveness.”

Did the Buddhists of Myanmar commission the Pope to speak for them? Did they admit wrongdoing and confess their guilt and express a desire to seek forgiveness through the agency of the Pope? If not, why should Francis speak in their name? Indeed, why should he presume to speak in anyone else’s name unless he has permission to do so?

But the Pope not only takes upon himself the unwarranted ambassadorial role of speaking for the alleged miscreants of Myanmar, he goes on to apologize in the name of the whole world. Whatever may be happening along the borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar apparently imposes a moral obligation on the rest of mankind, an obligation we have failed to meet by our “indifference.” The Pope, then, believes it incumbent upon him to acknowledge our failure to the Rohingya and ask that they forgive us.

We might express some skepticism about the probable success of the Pope’s plea, as Muslims have not been notable for their readiness to forgive those who slight them or their religion. Mohammed was not known for his willingness to turn the other cheek, and “Live and let live” is not an attitude that informs the spirit of the Koran.

As for our supposedly sinful “indifference,” just what are we — the world — morally compelled to do, in the Pope’s estimation? We are not eyewitnesses to what is taking place. We cannot tell which stories are true, which are fabricated, whose claims are legally or historically justified and who initiated violence in particular instances. In short, the “world” — you and I — are in the dark about what is going on in this part of the world. And we are under no obligation to become informed.

Are we obliged to patrol the streets of our own cities, righting wrongs, like a superhero? The idea is absurd. How much more absurd is the notion that we must be engaged in conflicts in distant lands, deciding whose claim to justice is the more credible? And even should we become so engaged, what precisely does the Pope propose that we do? Mount crusades for Rohingya Rights?

A moment’s reflection on this Theater of the Absurd that the Pope scripted in his most recent and entirely unnecessary papal trip should make plain to anyone with common sense that nothing the Pope said or did has any connection to the governance of the Catholic Church and the safeguarding of its doctrine, which is the Pope’s designated job.
Why Myanmar and Bangladesh? The Catholic populations in these countries is marginal (about 1 percent in Myanmar; about 0.2 percent in Bangladesh). This dispute is between Muslims and Buddhists, neither of which acknowledge the authority of the Roman Pontiff in any area of life. Why should the Pope travel to the far reaches of the non-Christian world to insert himself in a regional dispute where he exercises neither jurisdiction nor acknowledged moral authority?

Both Buddhists and Muslims reject Christ and the claims of the Catholic Church. Indeed, for Muslims, the Pope is an infidel, leader of the Dar-Al-Harb – the world of war that must be conquered for allah. But the Pope has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the incompatibility of Islam and Christianity and is ever intent on showing compassion for Muslims. If only Francis were as eager to show compassion for members of his own persecuted Church in Muslim nations, or even Europeans maimed and killed in Paris and London to the cry of “allahu akbar!”

But the plight of the Rohingya draws the Pope halfway around the world, where he weeps and apologizes for all of us for the sufferings of a group of Muslim refugees to whom we have supposedly shown a sinful “indifference.” When will the Pope weep for us? When will he weep for Catholics who have been victims of doctrinal confusion and contradiction? When will he cry over the destruction of our liturgy? When will he tear his robes and lament the hideous perversion of his own clergy and the criminal cover-ups of his own bishops? When will he turn a tearful eye to Europe, bereft of Faith, its culture in tatters, Muslim rape gangs roaming the streets of its cities, mosques replacing churches, the bells of the Angelus being drowned out by the cry of “allahu akbar,” calling ever-multiplying numbers of Muslims to prayer – in Rome, in Paris, in Berlin, in Madrid, in Brussels, in London?

We need no apologies from the Pope in the name of supposed oppressors of the Rohingya. We are not edified by his hidden tears, later broadcast to the media, that he shed in Bangladesh. We need no empty words of condemnation or “sorrow” about the atrocities that have become a regular feature of modern life.

How wonderful it would be if useless words were no longer spoken by the Pope. How wonderful it would be if the Pope were to say: “I know little about climate change or environmental science or international economics. I cannot intervene and decide who is right and wrong in the many armed conflicts that perpetually erupt around the world, nor is it my duty to do so. I have no advice to give Buddhists or Muslims except this: turn to Christ and His Church. In our doctrine is truth. In our Lord is peace. In our worship is love. Come inside. Be with us and be saved.”

If the Pope were to do this, how many souls might be drawn to the Church? If the Pope were to use his power for the purpose intended by Our Lord, to strengthen his brothers and sisters in the Faith, the crisis in the Church would end. The Holy Father is the most powerful person on God’s Earth, but only as the Vicar of Christ, not as the vicar of the environment, or the vicar of economic equality, or the vicar of immigration, or, Heaven help us, the vicar of allah!

If the Pope really wants peace, for the Rohingya as well as for the rest of us, he has it in his power to bring it about: He can consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, along with his bishops. Were he to do this, there would be an end to much weeping, both public and private.   Source – Fatima Center

 

Comments invited…  

Islam, Terrorism & The Battle of Lepanto – 7 October: Feast of the Holy Rosary…


That light-hearted response to the threat to conquer Rome  contrasts with the reaction here

The following extracts are taken from How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe…

For those who know little history, today’s battle with the Islamic State in the Middle East may seem new and unprecedented. It is not.

In a.d.  622, Mohammed set out from Medina to conquer the whole Christian world for Allah by force of arms.  Within a hundred years, his successors had occupied and pillaged every Christian capital of the Middle East, from Antioch through North Africa (home of Saint Augustine) and Spain.  All that remained outside Allah’s reign was the northern arc from Southern France to Constantinople…

Even today, in the eyes of political Islamists, the expansion of Islam is far from finished.  The dynamic obligation at the heart of their Islam is to conquer the world for Allah, and to incorporate it all into the great Islamic Umma.  Only then will the world be at peace.  Submission to Allah is the reason the world was created…


The Greatest Sea Battle in History: Lepanto, October 1571

For more than three years, Pope Pius V had labored mightily to sound alarms about the deadly Muslim buildup in the shipyards of Istanbul.  The sultan had been stung by the surprising defeat of his overwhelming invasion force in Malta in 1565.  The savagery of Muslim attacks on the coastal villages of Italy, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece was ratcheted upwards.  Three or four Muslim galleys would offload hundreds of marines, who would sweep through a village, tie all its healthy men together for shipment out to become galley slaves, march away many of its women and young boys and girls for shipment to Eastern harems, and then gather all the elderly into the village church, where the helpless victims would be beheaded, and sometimes cut up into little pieces, to strike terror into other villages.  The Muslims believed that future victims would lose heart and swiftly surrender when Muslim raiders arrived.  Over three centuries, the number of European captives kidnapped from villages and beaches by these pirates climbed into the hundreds of thousands.

The reason for this kidnapping was that the naval appetite for fresh backs and muscles was insatiable.  Most galley slaves lived little more than five years.  They were chained to hard benches in the burning Mediterranean sun, slippery in their own excrement, urine, and intermittent vomiting, often never lying down to sleep.  The dark vision that troubled the pope during the late 1560s was of even more horrible calamities to befall the whole Christian world, bit by bit.  But unity in Europe was hard to find, and even more scarce was the will to fight for survival.

There is no point here in giving the whole narrative of the battle. Suffice it to say that in the center, the volleys from the galleasses out in front destroyed one Muslim vessel after another. ..

As news of the great victory of October 7 reached shore, church bells rang all over the cities and countryside of Europe.  For months, Pius V had urged Catholics to say the daily rosary on behalf of the morale and good fortune of the Christian forces and, above all, for a successful outcome to the highly risky preemptive strike against the Turkish fleets.  Thereafter, he declared that October 7 would be celebrated as the Feast of “Mary, Queen of Victory.”  A later Pope added the title “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary” in honor of the laity’s favorite form of prayer.  All over the Italian peninsula, great paintings were commissioned — whole galleries were dedicated — to honor the classic scenes of that epic battle.  The air of Europe that October tasted of liberties preserved.  The record of the celebrations lives on in glorious paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and many others.  Click here to read How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe

Comment: 

It is a well established fact that Our Lady won the Battle of Lepanto for the Christian armies, and so maybe it’s time to redouble our prayers, take Our Lady at her word and trust totally in the power of the Rosary to defeat heresies, and time, too, for us to remember the words of the Fatima seer, Sister Lucia, that there is no problem, whether temporal or spiritual that cannot be overcome by the power of the Rosary.  That’s quite a promise. 

So we learn plenty about the power of the rosary; Is there anything else to learn from the Battle of Lepanto in the context of the contemporary threat from Islamist terrorism? Are we, for example, praying sufficiently for the conversion of Muslims?