Church Closures: Are Catholics Obliged to Obey Govt Ban On Worship Of God? 

Comment: 

Martin Luther King, as pointed out in the above video, quotes Catholic teaching on unjust laws to legitimise the civil uprisings in the USA against the segregation of black people from the rest of the population. King points out that those who invoke this right to disobey unjust civil laws must be prepared to take the consequences – such as imprisonment. Thus, it is made clear that the motive for such civil disobedience is conscience, not malice. 

At this time, when we are prohibited from the worship of God in our churches because of “the virus”, what should Catholics do – pressure priests for “secret” Masses or openly attend churches, bearing in mind that the priest is the person most likely to have to pay the consequences. We’re hearing of a Scots priest who has been handed a hefty fine for allowing parishioners to attend his Mass recently.  Such is the confusion around us that I’m not clear in my own mind whether or not members of the congregation are also liable to fines – informed contributors please enlighten me on that score. It’s not the virus of which people are afraid when it comes to assessing the restrictions, it’s the fines and the fear of losing hearth and home which is forcing compliance. My entirely unsolicited and unqualified legal advice to anyone found breaking a “Covid law” is, in any case, to refuse to pay fines and let the matter go to court in due course. I’ll pray for you 😀   

It should go without saying (but I’d better say it anyway) that if you happen to know of any underground Sacraments which you suspect may be on offer, you must not say so on this thread, or anywhere else on this blog for that matter.  This thread is to discuss the principles of law and our obligation (or not) to obey all laws – even perceived unjust laws. Do the current Covid laws,  especially the prohibition on attending churches, fit the definition of an unjust law, according to the thinking of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine…

IS is true that “an unjust law is no law at all” ?   

Scotland – One of the Authoritarian Outriders in the Western World? 

Extracts below from article published on ThinkScotland.org

Will Sturgeon’s totalitarian waltz speed up in 2021?

by Tom Gallagher

THE NICOLA STURGEON of 2021 is no Adolf Hitler.

But she is in the vanguard of an attempt to weaken and discredit democracy that is being rolled out across the  world.  Democracy has arguably never been weaker since the German Fuhrer took his own life in May 1945 after almost beating Europe into insensibility…  

There is mounting evidence that (in the words of Craig Murray) Sturgeon went to great lengths to try and ‘fit up’ her predecessor Alex Salmond. At least one powerful person at the top of the civil service seems to have been amongst accessories in this seeming act of personal vengeance, the police were less willing participants, and lately senior law officials have appeared ready to cast aside their neutrality to try and protect the First Minister’s flank after her operation effectively backfires.

Due to its position within the democratic United Kingdom, Scotland is constrained from gravitating towards outright authoritarian rule. But the standardisation and synchronisation of political control – resembling the gleichshaltung which emerged in Nazi Germany – has made fearful advances. Party and state are increasingly fused, the opposition fears to oppose, much of civil society has been absorbed into the ruling power structure, local government is suborned, and private institutions are coerced into hailing the new political order.

The pandemic has been used to impose sweeping restrictions on public life that make Scotland one of the authoritarian outriders in the Western world. At the moment churches are closed, outdoor activities by citizens are subject to police swoops, and increasingly the life is being choked out of thousands of small businesses by ever-tightening restrictions on what they are permitted to do.

The impact of the pandemic on the normal workings of society has been felt far and wide.  But in Scotland it has given a mighty push to normalise the abnormal in both daily life and politics. Hitler was able to do this thanks to the violent shocks Germany had endured in the twenty years before he came to power. Mobilisation of society for war, defeat and loss of territory, the rise of communism, endless economic troubles from runaway inflation to mass unemployment, weakened the hold of those old institutions promoting civility and restraint.

An ‘anything goes mentality’ increasingly took hold because given what it seemed the nation had already suffered, there wasn’t much else to lose. It all meant Hitler could be portrayed as a providential figure; his ways were harsh and often extreme but many were persuaded that the times warranted them.  A cult of resentment and grievance was spread through society by the latest mediums of communications even when Germany’s traditional rivals were proving accommodating to the new order…

I hope I will be proven wrong but I am increasingly convinced that Nicola Sturgeon is creating a pre-insurrectionary mood by brazenly exceeding her powers, encouraging MPs to act as ruffians at Westminster, and above all diverting large amounts of UK pandemic business relief funding.

How keen the British government is to face up to the challenge of the separatists who have used the devolved institutions to entrench themselves in power, will probably determine whether Scotland can avoid  becoming a new European trouble-spot in which political fanatics use old hatreds and gangster methods to get their way. 

Most of the British governing classes eventually saw through Hitler and prepared Britain to resist his onslaught.  There is insufficient evidence that decision-makers in London properly appreciate the gravity of the situation in Scotland. Unless this changes, Britain could face upheaval and tragedy as a result of territorial politics being cold-bloodedly harnessed behind an extremist purpose. Click here to read entire article.

Tom Gallagher is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Bradford. He is the author of Scotland Now, a Warning to the World (2016). His latest book is Salazar, the Dictator Who Refused to Die, Hurst Publishers 2020 (available here) and his twitter account is @cultfree54 

Comment: 

There is plenty of food for thought in the above article.  However, the idea that the opposition is afraid to oppose, puzzles me.  It seems clear, all the way from the beginning of the ongoing totalitarian drive to rule by diktat, that all politicians are aiding and abetting the removal of our liberties, with the exception of an occasional intervention in London by – for example – Sir Desmond Swayne MP.  The majority of parliamentarians, however, have supported the Government’s restrictions on our personal and religious freedoms. To their eternal (not kidding) shame. 

The leaders in Westminster and in the devolved institutions seem, self-evidently, to be of one mind – that we have a deadly virus which must be suppressed and until that (impossible) day, we must sacrifice our liberty, even to the point where God is counted among the “non-essential items”.  At least, that’s been the cover story. 

Personally, I believe that the virus is a means of introducing us to permanent totalitarian Communist rule – and God is always “non-essential” in Communist countries; just ask the underground Catholics in China. So, share your thoughts – are we blessed to have Nicola Sturgeon, such a caring leader who is simply trying to make sure we “stay safe” (she said sarcastically), or IS Scotland “one of the authoritarian outriders in the Western world” as Tom Gallagher suggests?   

Death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Glasgow Announced Today – R.I.P… 

Announcement from the Archdiocese of Glasgow

It is with the greatest sorrow that we announce the death of our Archbishop Philip. He died suddenly at his home in Glasgow, this morning, the feast of St Mungo. He was 70 years old. Requiescat in pace Full statement rcag.org.uk    Ends…

Comment: 

The reporting of the Archbishop’s death in the media is misleading.  The headline at Scottish TV news is typical:  “Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow dies with Coronavirus.” Click here to read the report and note that there is no mention of the fact that the Archbishop had suffered a heart attack around five years ago…

Our sympathy and assurance of our prayers for the repose of his soul  is extended to the  Archbishop’s family and friends.  May he rest in peace.   

Open Letter To The Scottish Bishops: Demand End To Govt Abuse of Power… 

Martin Blackshaw, aka blogger Athanasius writes…

Dear Bishops of Scotland,

As we reach the tenth month of a relatively harmless Chinese Flu pandemic, the global governmental response to which will surely one day be recorded for posterity as the greatest crime ever perpetrated against humanity, I thought I would take the opportunity at the beginning of this year dedicated to St. Joseph to once again upbraid you for abandoning Christ’s flock to the wolves.

You may recall that I wrote to you in July 2020 demonstrating, with sound statistical evidence, the falsehood of the official narrative regarding this virus, which the UK government had already downgraded to “non-life threatening” on March 19, the same day it mandated the closure of our churches with your approval on the very feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church.

Despite the detailed information I provided at that time, together with a reminder that the Church’s superior divine mission can never be made subject to secular interference, you have continued to impose the most unholy measures in the House of God in your zeal to appease the “Prince of  this world”. 

For four consecutive months last year you closed the churches completely to your flocks. Over the same period you compounded the scandal by complying with an evil law forbidding Sacramental visits to the dying, thereby abandoning many souls in the most important last hours or moments of their lives.

Since the easing of that failed lockdown you have continued to collaborate with the new government dictatorship in the suppression of people’s inalienable rights to freedom and the worship of God. In this regard you have limited Holy Mass to small groups, obliging the faithful to pre-book as though they were arranging a dental appointment and subjecting them to infantile admittance rules that have absolutely no precedent in Church history and no basis in established science – your unspoken “no mask = no Mass or Sacraments” rule standing out as singularly iniquitous before God.

If only this misplaced zeal were evident in defence of the rights of the Church and our Christian heritage when the secular authorities legislate against the divine and natural law or when Catholic politicians publicly trample the Church’s moral teaching and then present themselves unopposed for Holy Communion, the faithful would scarce have cause to doubt your fidelity to Christ, Our Lord.

This tragically not being the case, however, it is the duty of all subordinate Catholics to call you out for the hypocrites you are; men who strain on a gnat while swallowing a camel, prelates apparently devoid of supernatural faith whose episcopal agendas, like that of Pope Francis, are more aligned with the naturalist doctrines of Socialism than with the divine doctrine of Our Saviour, whose Kingdom is not of this world.

Reading through the three Encyclical letters of the present Pontiff, one is struck immediately by the dearth of references to the immortal soul and the supernatural life. Everything is about this world, i.e., the climate, migrants, the poor, injustice, the marginalised, a brotherhood of man, etc. It’s like reading the worldview of a Communist or a Freemason, not remotely in line with traditional Papal teaching.

Likewise your own mindset as most recently expressed in Bishop Nolan’s ‘Pastoral Letter for Day of Peace’, here 

This disgraceful document similarly emphasises the “new humanism” of Vatican II, to quote Pope Paul VI at the conclusion of that fateful Council in 1962, the bitter fruits of which subsequently led him to lament “the smoke of Satan in the Church” – more specifically identified by an exultant Leo Cardinal Suenens as “The French Revolution in the Church”.

It is hardly surprising then that after almost 60 years of this conciliar destruction of the faith from within, we find you exhorting not to a restoration of all things in Christ, Our King, but to the embracing of the diabolic “Build Back Better” programme of a global Socialist elite presently engaged in the establishment of a New World Order of brutal totalitarianism that they variously describe as “The Great Reset” and “The New Normal”.

Well did Our Lady of Fatima warn of the global spread of the errors of Russia so long as the Pope and bishops of the world refuse to grant her request for a public and solemn consecration of that country to her Immaculate Heart. Well did Sister Lucy describe the subsequent unfolding of the Third Secret chastisement in the Church as “apostasy from the top down”.  She also said (in an interview with an American historian in 1946) that Communism would spread to every country without exception;  it is now here, aided and abetted by you bishops… 

If ever the Scriptural warning that Lucifer often appears disguised as an angel of light were applicable, it is today in this “Build Back Better” doctrine of Socialism that promises a new humanity emerging from a programme of psychological warfare on the peoples of the nations, suppression of their inalienable rights and freedoms, destruction of their economies and a silencing of all legitimate opposition by means of media censure, arbitrary fines and police brutality.

The Bishops of Scotland

Where is your outrage, you who champion Vatican II’s French revolutionary spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity? Why are you not speaking out forcefully against this diabolic assault on our way of life, against these criminal impositions in the name of a virus that has purportedly killed only 1.8 million of the estimated 70 million who die in this world every year?

Untold numbers around the globe are committing suicide in despair, countless thousands more are suffering mental health issues, incalculable numbers have seen their medical treatment for genuine life-threatening illnesses suspended, tens of millions are losing their employment, economies are collapsing, civil liberties are suspended, families are split and isolated, the elderly die alone and the worship of God is forbidden in the public domain while you, disciples of the “new humanism” of Vatican II, apostles of justice and peace, defenders of the poor and marginalised, remain conspicuously silent, your only utterances being to echo the fallacious “Build Back Better” doctrine of the Socialist despots responsible for such evil.

You of all people should know that the only way to “Build Back Better” in this troubled world is to restore all things in Christ, whose universal Kingship must be re-established everywhere, not least in the hearts of men, particularly men of the Church: For as Pius IX declared in Quas Primas: “…as long as individuals and states refuse to submit to the rule of Our Saviour, there is no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ…”   

Christ The King

Alas, this is not the sound doctrine you preach by your indifferentist “common home” vision of a world in which all religions and none collaborate in the creation of some future mythical paradise on earth, as though this place were not after all a temporary exile and a valley of tears to be traversed in the hope of one day arriving at our true eternal home in heaven.

The faithful need to see an end to this destructive Vatican II experiment and the cowardice it has engendered in the Shepherds of Christ’s flock. Our Lord did not come into this world as a hippie to found a commune of earth worshippers and appeasers, He came to found His Catholic Church by His own precious blood for the salvation of souls, outside of which, declares the infallible dogma, there is no salvation.

Why do you no longer preach this divine truth, this certain reality? Is it because, like the ancient Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs, the kneeling to receive Our Lord on the tongue at Holy Communion, sermons on the four last things – death, judgment, heaven and Hell – and so many other holy traditional Catholic beliefs and practices handed down, it represents an inconvenient barrier to the new humanism of that so-called pastoral Council?

You need to open your spiritual eyes and see the devastation this new orientation of Vatican II has visited upon Our Lord’s holy Church, which you have helped reduce to ruins over many years and which you now subject to the demands of inferior secular authorities, turning the House of God, a House of Faith, into a house of Covid fear and forbiddance.

You are the successors of the Apostles called by Our Lord to preach fearlessly, as they did, against sin and irreligion, the real plague that threatens humanity, not wring your hands over a respiratory virus that hardly compares with past deadly pandemics, and certainly not to the extent that requires your approval of vaccines produced from or tested with the stem cell lines of aborted babies, however remote in time.

Pope John Paul II

Abortion, as you well know, is “a sin crying to heaven for vengeance”, to quote John Paul II. It is therefore unconscionable that the present Church hierarchy should approve of vaccines produced or tested using the stem cell lines of murdered innocents, applying sophistry to undermine divine moral teaching that forbids the reaping of benefits from evil acts.

There is quite sufficient sophistry at work right now in those peddling the Covid-19 crisis that never was, your duty as disciples of the Lord is to expose this with the truth, not participate in it to the further detriment of the worship of God and the common good of humanity.

Having read your response to the Scottish government’s latest January lockdown, your timidity was once again on full public display. Instead of using the divine authority invested in you by God to command and demand an end to this unprecedented and inhumane abuse of government power, your letter is best described as pusillanimous and embarrassing. It has to stop, for you are called to be Shepherds of souls and on that alone you will be most rigorously judged by the divine Judge.

In this regard I am reminded of the words of one brave prelate who, when persecuted by his confreres for defending the faith handed down from the poison of the conciliar new humanism, was asked why he acted as he did. His response is sobering:

“When I stand before my judge and He asks me what I did with my priesthood, I do not want to hear those terrible words “you have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them”.

Sobering words indeed, and well worthy of your serious reflection, as are the following concluding statements:

 “I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.” (St. John Chrysostom, Extract from St. John Chrysostom, Homily III on Acts 1:12).

“The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” (St. Athanasius, Council of Nicaea, AD 325). 

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Click here to read Martin’s previous letter to the Scottish Bishops.
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Comments invited…  

Nicola Sturgeon: Worship Virus, Not God – Bishops Must Refuse To Comply…

Summary, Edinburgh Evening News (note:  no mention of ban on church-attending)

Lockdown may last longer than January

Scotland’s new lockdown may last longer than initially intended, Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs.

A legal requirement will be in force to ensure Scots living in Level 4 areas remain at home as much as possible during January.

However, the First Minister told the Scottish Parliament that these changes will be kept “under review”.

She said: “However, I cannot at this stage rule out keeping them in place longer, nor making further changes. Nothing about this is easy.”

Comment: 

As expected by those of us who are totally cynical about the Scottish Government and its leader who is well overdue an Emmy Award for best Scottish TV Actress, Nicola Sturgeon has announced that we are going into full lockdown from midnight tonight.  While Boris/England is agonising over whether or not to introduce another full-blown lockdown, Nicola Sturgeon – ever anxious to portray herself as the decisive-if-reluctant-bearer-of bad-tidings- leader, has plunged Scotland into another lockdown. 

Frankly, I don’t believe the propaganda about the NHS being in peril – but even so, that’s not my problem.  I’ve been paying into the NHS for years and I’m not one bit pleased that my contributions apparently mean nothing, that the NHS is not fit for purpose, it can’t deal with a simple virus.  It’s not my job to protect the NHS.  It’s my job to be suspicious of Government and believe me, suspicious is the understatement of the year, since I can no longer describe myself as a free person living in a free country. 

Sturgeon has the temerity to once again ban worship in churches, and the bishops will no doubt yet again, be obedient servants of the State.  Then she has the added temerity to say that the most painful decision was the restrictions on schools and nurseries.  Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up. 

Catholic Truth calls on the Bishops and, indeed, all those in positions of religious authority from priests to religious superiors to bishops, to refuse to comply this time.  No matter the legal consequences.  We cannot replace the worship of God with the worship of a virus.  Speaking for myself, if our priests decide to defy this unlawful and – I would say – blasphemous action, I will be at Mass on Sunday as I am required by God’s law. 

Our blogger, Athanasius, is preparing a second Open Letter to the Bishops of Scotland, which we will publish as a separate thread as soon as he submits it, within the next day or two, but in the meantime, please make clear your own position on this latest blow to our person and religious freedom.  Are you going to sigh and accept it all – again?   

Scotland’s First Minister: Mask Rule For Thee, But Not For Me! Police Agree… 

From Police Scotland…

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We’re aware of a photograph of the First Minister which appeared in The Sun, on 23 December, in which she was not wearing a face mask at a wake. The First Minister has acknowledged this inadvertent breach, for which she has apologised.

“We remind everyone of the requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public places for public health reasons. Police Scotland will not be taking any further action in relation to this matter.”  Daily Record

Comment: 

A friend was telling me about conversations she’s had with more than one member of the public recently, casual conversations in shops, mostly, where she’s been amazed to learn that the person(s) hated wearing the mask, didn’t actually need to because they were exempt, but were afraid that people would tell them off if they didn’t wear one – afraid, too of someone reporting them to the police.  Now they can rest assured that there will be no police action as long as they apologise.  Yeah right. 

On The Telegraph YouTube channel, there were sympathisers, with the point being made that plenty of other people do this (not wear a mask) so what’s the difference if Nicola Sturgeon does it?  Here’s one printable reply… “The difference is, she makes the rules and fines normal people for not following them. People like you are the reason they’re getting away with the [bleep!] they’re feeding us.

Well, do you agree?  Or were the police correct not to impose a fine for this “inadvertent breach for which she has apologised”... ?

Christmas Gift From Scottish & UK Governments – A Brand New Virus! 

Comment:

This was inevitable. At the first mention of a possible easing of restrictions over Christmas, complaints were raised by “the experts” and those who are demonically keen to keep us all locked down and under strict surveillance, come what may. We were told that a drastic lockdown would have to be imposed in January, if we insisted on celebrating Christmas. “Too bad” was the silent message from those of us determined to mark Christmas as free people living in a supposedly free country. Then, hot on the heels of this defiant silence, came  the expressions of a “fear” that there was a new strain of “the virus” coming to get us.  I remember smiling a wry smile when I heard that, and thought “Christmas WILL be cancelled, after all”.  Who needs to know how to work a crystal ball, these days?  Is there a new virus?  You’re asking me?  Answer: not in a million years.  I do not believe it. Not for a nano-second. 

Now, there are plenty of other much shorter (1 minute +)  clips on YouTube with Nicola doing her pitch for an Emmy but I chose the full blown message because I’m curious to know if other bloggers see what I see – utter insincerity. She really does deserve an Emmy. That is one actress.  She’ll be on Piers Morgan, Good Morning Britain first thing on Monday, be assured – he swoons over these Sturgeon Statements, misreads her “concern”, believing it to be the real thing.  Listen: her concern is to hammer home that she’s not to blame for any of this, she’s empathetic, she doesn’t want to do this, sob, sob.  But when it comes to “tough love”, she’s the queen. She knows what’s good for us, sob, sob, even if it makes her unpopular, sob, sob.  Gimme a break. 

Well, you tell me…  is there a new virus – or did the powers-that-be who are pulling the (purse) strings on this, decide that we might get too used to having our freedom (almost) back if the rules were relaxed for a few days over Christmas, and so the noose had to be tightened?  That’s my best guess – what’s yours? 

China Pursuing World Domination: Brazen – It Could Not Be More Obvious…

Comment:

Are we being prepared for Chinese Communist domination?  Is this why we are being kept in our homes, restricted in our movements, told what is and is not “essential” for us to buy?  A friend  tells me that Christmas cards don’t seem to be on the list of “essential” items, at least not when he tried to gain entry to a shopping centre in Glasgow a few days ago, only to be turned away by a “Marshall”.  The normally very busy city streets, he tells me, were empty.

Is this why, if we wish to receive dental treatment in Glasgow, now only available in an emergency (the patient must be in pain), we have to agree to have our temperature taken as a condition of the treatment being administered?

Every institution has its own lawmakers now – whether it’s a Health Board or a Company issuing decrees,  with employees and other members of the public supervising us all, and/or spying on us, and reporting their neighbours to the authorities. Is this to get us schooled in obedience, so that we get used to doing what we’re told and not asking questions about what is happening, let alone rebelling against it?   

Communism is writ large in Scotland now.  In a sense, we are in the earlyish stages, of course; we’re not (yet) being carted off to re-education centres. 

Am I reading too much into our new way of life?  Will we ever, thinkest thou, return to the “old normal” – as when we would watch the Chinese people on our TV screens, feeling sorry for them  having to wear face masks all the time; or are we set to live, as they do, having had our personal and religious freedoms permanently taken from us, under Communist tyranny?  

Archbishop of Glasgow: “The Church has never said that [anyone] is in Hell” … Eh?

The following reflection, dated 22 November, 2020, is taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow – editorial comment added…

COVID restrictions and salvation

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia

In a far-reaching reflection this week, Archbishop Philip considers the new pandemic restrictions, our duty to live with charity and solidarity during this period, and our final judgement by Christ the King: “Two things make me hopeful for our eternal destiny … I have never met anyone without a scrap of love and charity in their heart.
Editor: allow me to introduce myself…

Secondly, the Church has never said that any individual person is in hell.
Editor: allow me to introduce you to Saint Jacinta – one of the Fatima seers, solemnly canonized by Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, in Portugal on 13 May 2017.  After the vision of Hell, when the seers saw the souls (plural) of those suffering there, Jacinta was so desperate to help poor sinners avoid Hell that she made many sacrifices. Read all about Fatima here  –  you really need to know about it, if you want to make sense of what is happening in the world today. Oh, and to know that there ARE souls in Hell.  Lots, sadly, of individuals.  Our Lord told us that, even before Saint Jacinta… Don’t you remember?  He mentioned “the furnace of fire” where there would be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:5).  Don’t you remember?  And it is the tradition of the Church,  the teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, that Judas Iscariot is in Hell. I’m not sure that we’ve ever covered this in our newsletter, so watch out for our January 2021 edition – we’ll find a spot for it there. Interesting, isn’t it, that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church agree unanimously that there is, at least, one bishop in Hell… Er, moving on…

Jesus is the one who has the authority and the power to look into our souls and find there the love that will permit us to enter eternal life.
Editor: allow me to introduce you to Our Lord’s definition of “love” – He told us that if we love Him, we will keep His  Commandments and voila! Then we will be admitted to eternal life. It’s a tad misleading to speak of Jesus finding “love” in our souls when the word is so misused and abused these days.  Don’t you have a duty to make sure that those hearing and reading your words understand the nature of the love required to achieve eternal happiness?  “Love” (in the sense of the pop song) is NOT “all you need”. 

“Jesus is the one who, despite our sins and frailties, has the authority to validate our existence and our activity forever. Jesus, the Universal Judge, in calling us to unselfish charity, is the one who scrutinises our souls for the spark of divine love that will permit us to live forever with the saints in heaven.
Editor: allow me to introduce you to my previous response. Except I need to mention “validate our existence and our activity forever” – if this is the latest way of describing The Judgment, I’d say ditch it. The Four Last Things is much easier to understand:  Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell.  Nobody needs to run for a dictionary.

“Covid-19 is a particularly nasty virus, and we do not want people to become ill or die. Practical charity in this pandemic may just be that spark of divine love in us that the Lord will look for.”
Editor: allow me to introduce you to St Thérèse of Lisieux, one of the many great Christian souls who longed for death: “During this prayer, I would begin thinking that the day of rest was coming to an end, that the morrow would bring with it the necessity of beginning life over again, we would have to go back to work, learning lessons, etc., and my heart felt the exile of this earth. I longed for the everlasting repose of heaven, that never-ending Sunday of the Fatherland!” Indeed, can you believe this, Archbishop, we’re all going to die of something, some day.  And horrible as this virus is (you are right about that – well, even a broken clock is right twice a day 😀 ) some deaths may be much worse. 

Full text follows:

And then there were 20 … It seems like a huge joke on the Church to proclaim Jesus Christ as King, while being under such severe restrictions that only 20 people at a time are allowed to come together in Church for Mass to celebrate this great feast. I never imagined for a second that I would mark my fifteenth anniversary as a bishop under these circumstances.
Editor:  well, this is one “joke” that’s not leaving any of the faithful amused.  Not one little bit.  I’ve yet to meet any Catholic  anywhere in Scotland who finds this situation remotely funny. I take your point, however, and it is true that we find it disgusting that the bishops would preach Christ is King while effectively handing His crown to Nicola Sturgeon.  An uncharitable soul might accuse the hierarchy itself of being “a huge joke”.  So, your point is not without merit. 

I consoled myself by remembering the crucifixion of Jesus when the soldiers mocked him. “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
Editor: well, don’t console yourself. What you ought to be remembering is the fate awaiting false shepherds, because Scripture reveals that Christ warned against false teachers  more than He preached about love or any other desirable quality. To teach that the Government’s authority is greater than that which Christ the King bequeathed to His Church, is not something which should console you – it should worry you, dare I say it, to death…

When we proclaim Christ as King, we need to recognise that He is a King who reigns from the Cross, and, from the Cross he is the King who can promise paradise. To one who was crucified with him, you remember, and who recognised Jesus’ innocence, Jesus promised, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus is King because, through his Cross and Resurrection, he is the Saviour who has won for us the crown of eternal life.
Editor:  the “Good Thief” was promised Paradise despite his sins and crimes; but why? Because he confessed his sinfulness, unlike the other thief who doggedly taunted Our Lord and refused to accept his own sinfulness before God. We’re still waiting for that “Good Thief” confession from any of our Bishops; nothing, so far.  All we are hearing is that you’re all doing your bit to “save lives” and “protect the NHS”.  No repentance for designating God as non-essential in a public health “crisis”.

Jesus is the King who reigns from the Cross, and those who belong to his kingdom are called to carry their Cross and follow him to the glory of the Resurrection. Because of this pandemic, we are once again suffering even more severe restrictions to our freedom to come to church to worship God. Part of our suffering is the fact that it is not particularly clear why 50 had to drop to 20 in the Tier 4 regulations. It could, however, be worse. In England, Ireland and France, all churches are just closed full stop. We do not want that to happen, so we will bear this cross with dignity, patience and forbearance, hoping that the Tier 4 restrictions are lifted on 11th December as has been promised.
Editor:  this is not a “cross” – this is a dereliction of duty.  A cross of suffering we must accept with peaceful resignation.  Episcopal and priestly neglect we rightly abhor. It is a scandal which we are duty bound to publicly correct.  God is never “non-essential” especially at a time when we are being  frog-marched into totalitarian governance.

If you are frustrated by the Tier 4 restrictions on your personal freedoms, let me point you to today’s Gospel. Jesus is King also because he is the universal judge of every human being, with the authority to admit to eternal life or to condemn to the eternal fire.
Editor: that is a non-sequitur.  There is no connection between my loss of my personal freedom, for which the hierarchy (and each individual member of it) is largely to blame, because the Governments of the UK could never have imposed these restrictions on our religious liberty without the co-operation of the hierarchy, so, to recap, there is no connection between the loss of my personal freedom and the authority of Christ to Judge us in eternity. Unless, that is, you are saying that those politicians responsible for removing our personal (and religious) freedoms are going to face a very severe judgment.  Is that what you mean?  If so, you have a duty to warn them very publicly and very clearly, not hide your warning behind a  vague, generalised statement. 

In this scenario of the last judgment, the measure Jesus will use for his judgment is love and practical charity. Here are his words: “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink, sick and imprisoned and you visited me, a stranger and you made me welcome. When you did this to the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”
Editor:  another non-sequitur.  What do those [beautiful] words of Our Lord have to do with your insistence on obeying a wholly secular and heavily Marxist-leaning Government which is responsible for the introduction of evil laws to destroy the family and legitimise (and promote) sexual immorality, a Government which is planning further evil through its shocking Hate Crime Bill and which is now wielding authority over the Church?   We’re definitely in waffle territory here.

We are told that we are under Tier 4 restrictions because the rate of Covid-19 infection in Glasgow and the West of Scotland remains, in the First Minister’s words, “stubbornly high”. At the beginning of this pandemic, we were all in it together and it was easier to accept lockdown. Now we are not. In some parts of Scotland, people are shopping normally, going to pubs and restaurants freely until fairly late in the evening, and socialising with each other more than we are.
Editor: it’s very interesting – and telling – that you found the first lockdown “easier” to accept, and that you quote the ridiculous slogan “we’re all in this together” which, is balderdash. The fact that the churches were closed meant that no Catholic found the first lockdown remotely easy.  We found it painful and doubly so because you, our bishops were happily going along with the Government’s authoritarian rule. We can’t even accuse the politicians of a coup d’état because the bishops were happy to co-operate and hand over their authority to the Government.  I find it very interesting that, for all the quotes from Scripture relating to Judgment, you do not seem to apply any of them to yourselves.  Your confidence in “love” being the passport into Heaven is troubling.  When Christ pointed out that that the infamous sinner, the woman who anointed his feet with oil would be forgiven her many sins “because she hath loved much”, she had first washed his feet with her tears of repentance. This was no superficial or emotional love – it was the kind of love required of us all, the love that takes us to the confessional box. (Luke 7:37-48).  It is misleading for priests and bishops to speak of “love” as if it pleases God and brings us to salvation, without repentance of our sins. 

Part of this disparity is that in four Catholic dioceses, 50 people can be at Mass; and in the other four (which contain the vast majority of the Catholic community of Scotland), only 20 people can be at Mass. If this makes you frustrated or angry or feel a sense of unfairness, just try to bear it as our commitment to practical charity and to the love of our neighbour, so that infection rates will come down, and we will all be able to enjoy more personal freedoms at the end of this period of Tier 4 restrictions.
Editor:  there are just no words in any dictionary to describe the frustration and anger  (to use your words) felt by Catholics shocked by your subservience to the Government throughout this period.  To speak of “practical charity” and the “love of neighbour” as being the correct response to the limitations set on numbers of faithful who may attend Mass simply beggars belief. Charity and Justice must first be offered to God.  Of course, since the introduction of the new Mass, the emphasis has been on the people, the “community”, making the Mass more enjoyable, fun even, for them but – of course – that is the wrong way round. Charity is first and foremost, the love of God.  Our concern for justice, too, must first be directed to Justice for God to Whom we owe true worship.  The Ten Commandments are more important than any Coronavirus restriction. Thankfully, there ARE some (not many) priests who are defying Government rules – I’ve just been reading about a priest in Ireland who has re-opened his church despite his bishop cowering behind the propaganda about the need to “suppress the virus” – such idiocy!  This priest reveals more insight than any bishop into the reality of what is going on when he says: “There is a suspicion that they want to stop people believing in God … to stop people practising their faith.”  Got it in one.  In Scotland – and indeed across the UK – the bishops, complicit with the Government, are succeeding in doing this, whether deliberately or unwittingly, where the Protestant Reformers of the 16 century failed. 

More than that – much more than that – Jesus the Universal King will judge us at the end on our love and charity.
Editor: to quote  Groucho Marx,  if I’ve told you this before, don’t stop me, I want to hear it again…  (I repeat): we will be judged on the kind of love which leads us to obey the Commandments:  “If you love Me, you will keep my Commandments” (John 14:21-24 ). 

Two things make me hopeful for our eternal destiny … I have never met anyone without a scrap of love and charity in their heart. Secondly, the Church has never said that any individual person is in hell. Jesus is the one who has the authority and the power to look into our souls and find there the love that will permit us to enter eternal life.
Editor: again, in the spirit of Groucho Marx, allow me to repeat myself by introducing you to Saint Jacinta – one of the Fatima seers, solemnly canonized by Pope Francis at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, in Portugal on 13 May 2017.  After the vision of Hell, when the seers saw the souls (plural) of those suffering there, Jacinta was so desperate to help poor sinners avoid Hell that she made many sacrifices. Read all about Fatima here  –  you really need to know about it, if you want to make sense of what is happening in the world today. Oh, and to know that there ARE souls in Hell.  Lots, sadly, of individuals.  Our Lord told us that, even before Saint Jacinta… Don’t you remember?  He mentioned “the furnace of fire” where there would be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:5).  Don’t you remember? And it is the tradition of the Church,  the teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, that Judas Iscariot is in Hell. I’m not sure that we’ve ever covered this in our newsletter, so watch out for our January 2021 edition – we’ll find a spot for it there. Interesting, isn’t it, that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church agree unanimously that there is, at least, one bishop in Hell… Er, moving on…

Jesus is the one who, despite our sins and frailties, has the authority to validate our existence and our activity forever. Jesus, the Universal Judge, in calling us to unselfish charity, is the one who scrutinises our souls for the spark of divine love that will permit us to live forever with the saints in heaven.
Editor: once more, in the spirit of Groucho Marx, allow me to repeat myself.  If by “validate our existence and our activity forever” you mean The Judgment, I’d say ditch it. The Four Last Things is much easier to understand:  Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell.  Nobody needs to run for a dictionary.

Covid-19 is a particularly nasty virus, and we do not want people to become ill or die. Practical charity in this pandemic may just be that spark of divine love in us that the Lord will look for.
Editor:  the problem with all this talk of “practical charity” is that the Government tells us to stay away from people.  I’m surprised that the bishops haven’t picked up on that in their anxiety to obey Mz Sturgeon & Company.  There’s not a lot of “practical charity” any of us can legitimately do when we are supposed to be wearing masks (which discriminates against the hard of hearing who struggle to understand what is being said behind the muzzles) and when we must keep a distance of six feet or whatever it is now from others  – I no longer keep up with these crackpot rules. I’ve worked it out that God has given me a mind of my own for a reason.  So, really, with all due respect, we don’t need exhortations from our bishops to “practical charity” or patience in carrying this “cross”; we need to see some backbone, some pushback, some practical charity towards God by a declaration that “enough is enough”.  The virus has been used by Government to introduce totalitarian governance by stealth, using the fear of  infection and death to control us.

Shame on you, Archbishop Tartaglia, and your brother bishops for allowing yourselves to be complicit in this spread of Communism, which was foretold at Fatima.  You must seek to make amends urgently, and where better to begin – after opening your churches, refusing to pay fines and accept prison if necessary – than by asking the Pope to arrange for the Consecration of Russia to be carried out in the manner prescribed by Our Lady at Fatima. When she spoke to the Fatima seer, Sr Lucia, Our Lady requested  that the Pope, in union with all the bishops of the world, consecrate Russia, the first ever nation to publicly deny the very existence of God in its governance, the first ever Communist country, to her Immaculate Heart. Only when this is done, will peace and order be restored in both the world and the Church. 

This public giving back to God of Russia, this Consecration must be done by the Pope and the bishops of the world at the same time. A short prayer of Consecration, as requested by God through His mother at Fatima, would see off  the fear of this virus (which is not at all the deadly threat which the schemers claim) and we would enjoy the promised period of world peace. To date, we are seeing a purely worldly response to a contrived public health crisis, absent any spiritual, religious or moral leadership from the hierarchies around the world.  There’s plenty of talk of “judgment” in the above reflection but it is all askew – it is clear evidence of the lack of any Catholic sense.

At Catholic Truth, Archbishop, we are praying for you and for your brother bishops in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. But what we cannot do, is defend your negligence and your worldly complicity with the politicians who are brazenly changing the way we are governed in order to remove our personal and religious freedoms.  Of this you must repent, as a matter of the utmost urgency, in the knowledge that judgment for any of us can come at any minute, day or night. You may take refuge in the Woody Allen philosophy: “It’s not that I’m afraid of death, I just don’t want to BE there when it happens!”  Well, Archbishop, Breaking News, you WILL be there. 

St Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! 

To read Archbishop Tartaglia’s Reflection on Covid restrictions and salvation, click on   Source

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