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?  

Defend Donald – Sign Counter-Petition

MORE than 1.6 million Britons have signed a petition calling for Donald Trump’s state visit to be cancelled. But will it stop the new US President coming to the UK?  Click here to read more

There’s now a counter petition – I’ve signed it and hope you will, too.  Click here to sign or click on the image to reach the petition…

trump-counter-petition

The media in the UK is 100% agin Donald Trump.  The hatred of him coming from TV news broadcasts is palpable.

But why?  IS it because he is seeking to improve security by imposing temporary restrictions – his spokesperson insists there is no “ban” and only a very small number of people have been detained as part of an attempt to review security. So, what’s really going on here? 

Comments invited…

 

 

 

Russia: Politics & Faith-The Inside Story

kremlin

Blogger, Benedict Carter writes:

Apparently Russia is now a Christian country and Putin, the champion of Christian values, is in Syria solely to protect the Christian population. Putin is the Traditionalist’s friend because he has banned homosexuality. He should be supported simply by virtue of his enmity to our own godless Western leaders. Orthodoxy is a safe haven for the Traditional Catholic as the Catholic Church lurches towards apostasy in the form of liberal Protestantism, rampant Modernism and (soon) open schism. Fr. Malachi Martin said that “salvation will come from the east” so this means that Modernism in the Church and Vatican II will be swept away by Russia and then true religion will be restored. After all, according to Joanna Bogle and others, Russia has already been converted. (Funny that the period of peace doesn’t seem to have accompanied this conversion Joanna, but I suppose we can’t have everything).

Over the last eighteen months to two years these views have been heard more and more openly on some Traditionalist sites and blogs. Sadly, what these views have in common is that they are so full of factual inaccuracies, false assumptions and ignorant claims that this latest blip on the Traditionalist radar constitutes a material danger and really should be dismissed before it becomes an accepted part of the global Traditionalist mind-set.

The Remnant in the USA has on several occasions pushed the ideas in question. Although to be fair to him Michael Matt, the Remnant’s Editor, has in one or two recent articles rowed back somewhat from his earlier position (which tended to canonise Putin and ascribe to him a divine mandate of some sort), nevertheless he has led the way in promoting the trend in question, even banning posters who sought to balance his and others’ speculation and even pagan-like numerology (the 100 years meme) with a dose of Russian reality.

My objective is to show that these views about Russia are all false, resting as they do on a total lack of understanding of the current nature of Russia and of its so-called Christian revival. Suffering from a sense of helplessness and even despair at the vacuity of Western policy, and the state of the Church and society, it is my contention that those who hold these views are investing an inchoate hope in a “false Messiah” and that this hope will surely be dashed. Indeed, ultimately I hold that those who place their hope in Putin and Russia are guilty of a serious spiritual fault in that they are putting their trust in politics and in a man rather than in Jesus Christ.

My own interest in this subject comes from my own long association with Russia. Having been a student of its literature and history from my early teenage years, in the middle 1990’s I started what was to be a twelve-year plus period living in the former USSR. During that time I lived for nearly three years in Central Asia and then more than ten years in Moscow. I speak Russian, I am married to a Russian, I owned a business in Russia, I know the history of the country and of the Russian Orthodox Church. The years I spent there changed me profoundly. Russia will be part of me until I die. I therefore consider myself well-qualified, at least amongst Traditionalists, to comment on Russian affairs.

Since 1991, it’s true that around 6,000 churches have been built or rebuilt. Ancient monasteries and convents again contain many religious. It is normal for many Russian Orthodox to attend Easter and Christmas liturgies and popping into a church to light a candle is an unremarkable activity. Around 75% of Russians are now baptised. The country’s leadership appear with high prelates on TV on important feasts and all dutifully make the Sign of the Cross (albeit badly) at the appropriate moments. There is a genuine piety to be found among believers. And as everyone knows, Russia has enacted a law preventing the advertising or marketing of homosexuality. All this is of course to be applauded. But does it mean that Russia is now a Christian country? What is the state of Russian society? This should tell us how real is Russia’s Christian life.

State of Russian Society

  • According to a Moscow Times survey, only 1% of the population attends the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. This is almost exclusively the old, particularly the women. The same picture is found in another study (http://tinyurl.com/q5r8xvb).
  • Another Moscow Times survey from last year showed that both trust in the Moscow Patriarchate and support for the building of a new church in one’s immediate locality have plummeted. Has indeed the high-water mark of the restored Patriarchate been reached within twenty-five years of the fall of the Communist regime? It may be so: I am told by one Catholic religious in Moscow that the number of students in Russian Orthodox seminaries has drastically fallen in the last two or three years. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/hu365zo).
  • While the excellent law against homosexual “propaganda” certainly exists, so do gay clubs. Homosexuality is not criminalised nor is its practice restricted in any way. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/z56lzmd).
  • Abortions continue by the million. Both Ukraine and Russia have debated banning abortion in their respective parliaments but neither have done so. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/jm55enf).
  • AIDS cases are now in excess of one million and are rising fast. Drug-resistant TB has broken out of the prisons where it was nurtured for decades and is now rife among the general population. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/hbqgb6u).
  • Drug use is decimating the younger generations in the cities, particularly in Siberia and other places riven by poverty and is growing out of any control. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/zeq85q6).
  • The moral leadership of the government is nil. Putin and those close to him are thieves, knaves, plunderers and looters on a scale beyond the imagination. The very language they use between themselves is the colourful (and utterly vile) “blatnoi yezik”, or “thieves tongue” of the “vor v zakone” (thieves-in-law, aka the mafia).
  • Putin has not conducted any reform of Russia’s economy which would eventually benefit the poorest. The reason is that if he did, his entire system would be in danger of collapse and his power with it. The pigs with their snouts in the trough would get rid of Putin before they allowed other pigs to take their place. Battles between oligarchs are at the moment controlled by Putin as the top Godfather, but if too many pigs lost their place at feeding time that control might be lost. Billions upon billions of dollars are at stake. Some thoughtful Russians I know now worry about civil war conducted between rival oligarchic armies fighting for control of Russia’s natural resources.
  • Crime as ever pervades Russian life. Life expectancy, particularly for men, is static at around 60 due to alcoholism, a collapsed health service and hopelessness. Corruption pervades Russian life. There is no rule of law as understood in the West. Innocence is lost at a very young age (Source: http://tinyurl.com/zgkbch9).
  • Many Russians are turning to eastern sects, philosophies and religions. Buddhism, Indian “spirituality”, Siberian shamanistic paganism: all these are growing in popularity. (Source http://tinyurl.com/zdwfkjz).

State of the Orthodox Church

As ever, the Orthodox Church is the creature of the State. It has been so since even before the Church’s submission to Tsar Peter and his suppression of the Patriarchate. Imagining the Russian Orthodox Church without the crutch of the Russian State is impossible. In return for the State’s provision of tax benefits, cash, Presidential and Prime Ministerial time and constant TV exposure, the Church plays the part of chief cheerleader for the Russian regime. It has always been thus and it certainly is now. Both parties gain but one does wonder who or what the Russian Orthodox Church really worships. Is it the Holy Trinity or the Russian State?

For some, the Russian State undoubtedly comes in first place. For Father Vselovod Chaplin for example, America is Satan, Britain is his chief demon and God demands nuclear warfare against both. And, according to Chaplin, Russian women should have their reign of debauchery ended by the practice of universal female genital mutilation. This oaf has said so many mad things that the so-called philosophy of “Eurasianism”, as developed and taught by Alexander Dugin, seems almost sane in comparison. For Dugin, by the way, the SS was the perfect society and as usual for fanatics of Slav nationalism, the chief enemy for him is the Anglo-Saxon, which means Britain and America. Today’s Russia is semi-fascist and so is its national Orthodox Church.

There is much else that is deeply rotten in the Russian Orthodox Church. Apart from the very ugly nationalist ideology and greed for material reward (remember the Patriarch and his $450,000 watch?), anti-Catholic sentiment remains very high. As told directly to me by a Catholic priest in Russia (and confirmed by an Anglican), some years ago the Catholic Archdiocese in Moscow had to go through the local Anglican vicar to arrange meetings with the Patriarchate. The Catholic side would state what subjects it wished to discuss, the Patriarchate would say how many BMWs and Mercedes it wanted in return for the meeting. (Ecumenism Russian Orthodox style …).

No, the Russian Orthodox Church inspires no confidence. It is this body that is to save the West? I think not. In fact, despite its high position in State and society, it may well have already entered a period of decline only two decades after the fall of Communism.

Putin

Putin is lauded as a strongman who runs rings around Western leaders and makes them look foolish. There can be no doubt that he is a clever man. But consider: if you do not operate by the norms of international law, if you are prepared to lie and cheat your way to your objectives, it is an easy thing to surprise those who do operate by the norms of international law and those who do more or less, in their dealings with each other, tell the truth and act honestly. Thus Putin is a very strong tactician but no strategist. Russia may contain much of genius but in global terms, whatever its showing in Syria (a Russian success only possible because Obama reneged on his “red line” promise) its influence is that of a regional power.

Led by thugs and gangsters, Russia has no vision beyond its own preservation. This indeed is the real key to understanding Russian policy. Russia is an almost-failed State governed by serial liars, thieves and Secret Police operatives. I can personally confirm that FSB officers still, to this day, have a statuette of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the mass murderer who founded the CHEKA, on their desks.

Is Putin a believer? He may be, it’s truly difficult to say. I think he probably is, but that this belief does not prevent him from doing all manner of murder in the interests of his true god who is Mother Russia. God for the Orthodox is a strongly Slavic nationalist deity.

Did Putin ask the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart? I do not believe it for a moment. The Orthodox Church is extremely hostile to Fatima and Putin would not antagonise the Patriarchate unnecessarily. Nevertheless, does Russia have a role to play in the cosmic battle currently being fought? Yes, it does: Our Lady has told us so. If the Consecration does not come as Heaven wished it, then instead of being converted, Russia may well play the part of being the instrument of God’s punishment on an unfaithful, godless world which has long since been soaked in Russia’s own atheistic, Bolshevik errors. It is interesting that some pre-Revolutionary Orthodox prophecy supports a very old traditional reading of Scripture which states that Gog and Magog is Russia.

We can see I think that the real attraction of Putin to Traditionalists is that he provides clarity whereas our own leaders are mired in leftist social engineering (through mass immigration) and political correctness, and thus are imposing on us a revolutionary globalist ideology that is straining our system and very civilisation to the limit. Similarly, the attraction of the Orthodox Church to many Traditionalists is the beauty of its liturgy and music. But do either of them offer the West anything that we cannot better find by restoring what has been taken, both from our society and from the Church? I strongly believe not.

The waters have been badly muddied for the Traditionalist by those useful idiots in the modern Church who hold that Fatima is fulfilled and Russia has already converted. Aside from the asinine suggestion that Our Lady would be pleased by the conversion of Russia to a schismatic sect, the reality of Russian society today cannot but exclude the possibility of Fatima’s completion. I myself am not so hard on this question as many Traditionalists: I am quite able to accept that the 1984 Consecration might have led to the fall of Communism and a partial conversion of Russia; however, this was not what Our Lady requested, desired or promised. That there is no period of peace is self-evident. So the likes of Joanna Bogle not only fool themselves but sadly many others too and the popularity of Putin among so many Traditionalists is at least indirectly and in part due to this false Fatima propaganda.

Following Putin and trusting in Russia is a dangerous temptation and one that must be resisted. The true solution to our woes, which are real, is the restoration of a truly Catholic (= Christian) civilisation, not the adoption, out of despair, of a rotten schismatic and heretical Orthodox one.

Comments invited…

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?  

17/10 Brexit: Letter from a [Catholic Truth] Scotsman to The Scotsman!

Today’s Scotsman carries the following superb letter from our blogger Athanasius. It’s little short of miraculous that it ever saw the light of publication.  I wish I could be that lucky fly on the wall when the powers-that-be in Holyrood read it – as read it they will!  

“Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don't seem to see this.” ― Doris Lessing

Click on flag to read original letter

From Martin Blackshaw – Brexit Hypocrisy…

It was very interesting listening to the new SNP deputy leader, Angus Robertson, speaking on STV’s Scotland Tonight programme about Brexit and a second Scottish independence referendum. The misinformation and hypocrisy emanating from the man were just astounding.

Like Nicola Sturgeon, he commenced with the old chestnuts that 62 per cent of Scots voted to Remain in the EU and that the people of Scotland are therefore entitled to their democratic right to a second independence referendum in the event of a “hard Brexit”.

In fact, that 62 per cent he speaks of was 62 per cent of the 2.68 million who actually voted, not 62 per cent of the 3.98 million Scots who were eligible to vote.

In reality, then, only 1.66 million of almost four million Scots voted to Remain in the EU while just over one million voted to Leave and 1.3 million (33 per cent of the population) didn’t bother to vote at all. This significantly alters the intensity of what the SNP calls “the voice of the Scottish people”.

As for the “democratic right to a second independence ref- erendum”, the SNP is still furious with David Cameron for granting the people of Britain a democratic vote on the EU, a right that they and others resolutely declare should have been denied us. Yet now they demand the right to a second referendum on independence, having already been accorded that privilege just two years ago. What about “the voice of the Scottish people” in 2014, a voice that said NO in proportionally greater numbers to separation from the UK?

So here’s where we actually stand on true democracy. By the democratic voice of the Scottish people we remain part of the UK, and by the democratic voice of the British people we are leaving the EU. Attempts to undermine this free and unanimous choice of the people with nationalist propaganda is not democracy, it’s a form of anarchy.

Furthermore, if David Cameron, then Prime Minister of the fiftth largest economy in the world, could not persuade the unelected bureaucrats who run the EU to grant a few urgent constitutional concessions to the UK, then what chance does Nicola Sturgeon think she has persuading them to act in Scotland’s interests?

Like the old Supreme Soviet of the Cold War era Brussels has become the centralised government of Europe. Its apparatus exists to gradually eradicate national identity and sovereignty from individual member states, primarily by the bait of the single market, and bring all under the control of unsympathetic and untouchable foreign dictators. Our military personnel fought and died in two great wars to preserve us from just such a fate.

Woe betide us, then, if we sever the bonds of a 300-year successful union with the rest of Britain in order to shackle ourselves to a centralised government in Europe. It would be the equivalent of selling ourselves into slavery. MARTIN BLACKSHAW – Source

Comments invited. 

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

Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office: New Director, Same Old Message

“Faith should be allowed to play a role in public life” writes newly-appointed Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office.

Writing in today’s Scotsman (Thursday 4 August) Anthony Horan counters claims that society is becoming less religious simply because increasing numbers of people no longer tick a “church” box on census forms suggesting this doesn’t mean they are not interested in the spiritual dimension of life or religious belief. Rather, the national census still shows that most Scots consider themselves Christian, while an overwhelming majority describe themselves as “spiritual”.   ESupremiPopePiuxXFRONTCOVER

Quoting Pope Francis, he says, “Our various religious traditions serve society primarily by the message they proclaim. They call individuals and communities to worship God, the source of all life, liberty and happiness”.

Whilst pointing to an increase in the number of Catholic in Scotland and across the world, Anthony sets out his mission to promote the Catholic faith and Social Teaching “in a way that positively engages secular society.”

The above extract is taken from the Scotsman article, reproduced in full below on the website of the Scottish Catholic Media Office…

Anthony Horan, Director, Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office

The political landscape in Scotland and the UK has rarely transfixed global media and international audiences as it has in recent weeks. The outcome of the Referendum on membership of the European Union has dominated the news cycle endlessly and engaged voters of all ages, creeds, nationalities and backgrounds.

Inevitably, given the nature and scale of the challenges at home and abroad facing our elected representatives, including economic security and trade, migration, education and medical ethics, it is unsurprising that their values, track records and proposals have been subject to intense scrutiny. Indeed, it seems society is in a state of flux. Faith and belief in a constant and ever-loving God can guide us in such times of deep uncertainty, and opportunity.

Yet whilst issues of belief and faith, in how human beings perceive the world have rarely been so important in society, they have perhaps never been so poorly understood. Indeed, increasing calls for the removal of religion and faith from public life continue to fill columns in our newspapers and social media. But faith in and of itself is not just important for human flourishing and the renewal of society, rather society can best flourish if faith is given freedom to make its unique contribution.

As Pope Francis has said, “Our various religious traditions serve society primarily by the message they proclaim. They call individuals and communities to worship God, the source of all life, liberty and happiness”.”Religious freedom” he said, “certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.” Indeed, Pope Francis has warned against modern tyrannical societies which “seek to suppress religious freedom, or try to reduce it to a sub culture without right to a voice in the public square.”

Faith should be allowed to play a role in public life. The legacy of Christianity is to uphold the respective competencies of the spiritual and the temporal.

Unsurprisingly, however, some commentators have sought to exploit recent Scottish Social Attitudes survey figures which suggests that over half of respondents do not identify with a church or religion, as an indicator of society’s declining religiosity – a reason to remove God, once and for all, from public life. However, the fact that increasing numbers of people no longer tick a “church” box on census forms doesn’t mean they are not interested in the spiritual dimension of life or religious belief. Indeed the national census still shows that most Scots consider themselves Christian, while an overwhelming majority describe themselves as “spiritual”.

Globally the Catholic Church continues to see growth. In Scotland, there are currently more students studying for the priesthood than at any time in the last ten years, while the number of Catholics measured by the National Census increased between 2001 and 2011.

As newly appointed Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office, my mission is to promote our faith and Catholic Social Teaching in a way that positively engages the secular society in which we live. We need to reach out to all people and an important part of this will be working with young people to tap into their energy and enthusiasm; they are the future of our Church and of our country.

I am looking forward to meeting politicians and other stakeholders and building positive, friendly relationships with a view to developing ways to promote Church teaching in the political environment. The Catholic Church in Scotland is devoted to the common good and has the wellbeing of all people at her heart.

Enshrined in our Catholic faith is a commitment to bear witness to Christ in our daily lives, at home and in public. In my role I will work for the Bishops of Scotland, the Catholic church and people of all faiths and none, striving to respect and uphold the dignity of each person, particularly the weakest and most vulnerable; upholding the value of all human life from conception to natural death; cherishing the family as the fundamental unit of our society; advocating social and economic justice for all; and caring for the common home we inhabit.

Scotland is a diverse, vibrant and politically engaged nation with a rich social, economic and political history. Faith and religious belief in the public square can play a role in shaping a resilient Scotland in the future.  It should be welcomed and valued, without fear or favour. As Pope Francis said: “We are all Political animals, with a capital P. We are called to constructive political activity among our people.” Visit Scottish Catholic Media Office website to read more.

Comment:

The following commentary on the recent appointment of Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office, is published in the September edition of our newsletter, which will in the post early next week:

To date, the Scottish Government has not been challenged at all, either by the Bishops themselves when invited to offer a “reflection” in the Parliament, or by their spokesmen in the Parliament.  Despite the evil legislation already passed, the Bishops have remained silent, with Pontius Pilate as their Patron Saint.  It took, remember, families and a pro-active Protestant organisation (The Christian Institute) to mount a legal challenge to the intrusive Named Person Scheme. 

It does not augur well, therefore, to hear the new official Parliamentary spokesman for the Bishops set himself the goal of developing positive and friendly relationships with parliamentarians.  Let me assure him, from firsthand experience, that when there is a stark divide in religious beliefs and morals, there cannot be “positive and friendly relationships” between a fully believing Catholic and those who seek to overturn God’s law in the name of equality and diversity. Just as there is no “diversity” for drivers on any motorway you care to name, so there can be no alternative to God’s law.  We keep it, or overturn it at our eternal peril. And any Bishop or lay spokesman who does not spell that out to the politicians with whom they interact, will make VIP friends, sure enough – but with the following blunt warning ringing in their ears: “For, what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? (Matt 16:26) To quote Archbishop Fulton Sheen: “A religion that doesn’t interfere with the secular order will soon discover that the secular order will not refrain from interfering with it.”

Additionally, having read the Scotsman article since penning the above commentary, I would add two points: firstly, the idea of “Faith” (The Church) seeking permission to “play a role in public life” is ludicrous: secondly, the quote attributed to Pope Francis is in stark contradiction to Christ’s command to “baptise all nations”. Pope Francis apparently thinks it’s better that “Our various religious traditions serve society primarily by the message they proclaim. They call individuals and communities to worship God, the source of all life, liberty and happiness.” The entire tone of Mr Horan’s article reflects this “inter-faith” mentality.   Thus, there will be no grace in this new appointment.  In summary, there is, in effect, no change at the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office. A new Director, no new direction. Same old “diplomacy” with the politicians laughing all the way to their next piece of evil legislation, aware that there will be no meaningful challenge from the Catholic Church.  Perhaps you disagree? Let’s hear it…    

I'm hoping I'll get diplomatic immunity at my Judgment...

I’m hoping I’ll get diplomatic immunity at my Judgment…