A young boy was beaten black and blue after catching two nuns in an embrace, an inquiry has heard. A witness said he was six or seven when one of the nuns went “mental” and lashed out at him in a boiler-room at a care institution in the 1960s.
He told Scotland’s child abuse inquiry the “vicious” assault left him bruised and with blood coming out of his ear and nose. The witness, who cannot be identified, was speaking of his experiences at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, which closed in the 1980s. He said he moved to the orphanage, run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, in the mid-1960s and was never given any love, affection or praise from the nuns and staff.
Physical abuse in the form of slaps and kicks was routine “for trivial stuff”, he told the hearing in Edinburgh. Read entire report by clicking here
Reading some of the horrendous allegations from former orphans at Smyllum Park is earth-shattering. If even some of these allegations are true then nobody in their right mind would seek to justify such abuse in any way whatsoever.
However, it would be mindless to presume guilt, not least because, if such apparently unbridled brutality were the norm at that institution, all sorts of grave questions arise, beginning with what sort of women were choosing to enter the Religious Life and why?
Anyone who has taken even a cursory glance at the Rule of any of the great Religious Orders knows that prior to the “reforms” of Vatican II which followed the Council at its close in 1965, they were renowned for their strictness. Not only the enclosed, contemplative Orders, but the active Orders, such as the Daughters of Charity, were bound by detailed rules throughout their daily lives. Permissions were required from Superiors for every little thing, and the idea that two Sisters could find a corner to engage in physical or sexual activity in a boiler room or anywhere else, just beggars belief. That’s not to say it didn’t happen. Obviously, I don’t know, and these allegations do date from the 1960’s when laxity in the Religious Orders as elsewhere, had taken a foothold.
That still leaves the question of the sort of women choosing Religious Life, and their motivation. Were our Religious Houses jam-packed with evil women who detested children and enjoyed inflicting pain and suffering such as that described by former orphans at Smyllum – or, again, assuming the truth of the allegations, is there another explanation, beyond the obvious diabolical activity at work in the souls of the guilty? And were there no postulants or novices who left before final vows in disgust to report this scandal to the Bishop, let alone the police? Surely not every nun was immersed in such evil and brutality. Those are the first questions that came to my mind on reading about the Smyllum scandal. What are the questions you’d want answered?
Since at least 2011, there seems to be a never-ending stream of reports in the blogosphere and even mainstream media that Bishop Bernard Fellay is poised to sign an agreement with Rome. The most recent wave of alleged capitulation occurred this past summer. Yet here, in the autumn of 2017, Bishop Fellay and the Society of St. Pius X remain in the same canonical posture with Rome. Throughout these years of predicted compromise, a number of priests and faithful have preemptively jumped ship, deciding that a break with the SSPX was necessary before the forecasted compromise occurred. Each time a new individual or group breaks the unity of the Society, such persons claim that Bishop Fellay is walking into a Roman trap – canonical regularization – and they must flee before the trap closes. Rome, they say, wants nothing other than the destruction of the SSPX and the legacy of its founder, and that “regularization” is the bait used to lure the Society into a death trap.
Bishop Bernard Fellay
Rome’s Real Trap and Bait
Let us posit this claim as true, that the Roman authorities do share a common intention to destroy the SSPX. But what if the trap and the bait are completely different from what the defectors claim? Perhaps it is not Bishop Fellay who is poised to fall into that trap but, rather, the defectors over the years who have unwittingly taken Rome’s bait themselves.
The Modernists are clearly threatened by any attempt to hold fast to Tradition and thus seek its destruction or, at the very least, its containment. However, there are many ways to achieve that end. One way might be to lure the SSPX into a canonical recognition that was designed to subject it to Roman power in order to crush it. Yet we should consider the possibility that their strategy might be a bit more subtle, namely, to force the SSPX into a continual state of division and defections so as to keep its numbers low enough to be ignored, as opposed to luring the Society into the Conciliar Church. If this were the strategy, the Modernists could be using the constant recurring possibility of canonical regularization to divide and conquer.
A review of the past forty years would suggest that a strategy of “divide the SSPX to contain its influence” seems to explain the Roman authorities’ behavior. Although using different instruments, the goal seems fairly clear: Get as many priests and religious to leave the Society as possible so its growth is artificially controlled.
Divide and Conquer
The defection of priests has been the single most destructive blow to the SSPX. Beginning with the defection of nine sedevacantists in the early 1980s, the Society has constantly been fighting a battle to replace lost numbers rather than growing organically with new vocations. A conservative calculation suggests that, were it not for defections over the past four decades, the SSPX would have over 1,800 priests and religious (SSPX proper + affiliated communities). The Vatican would be confronted by a very different reality if Bishop Fellay spoke for so many priests and religious.
The Vatican strategy from 1988 to the early 2000s seemed to be an attempt to break up the SSPX by luring individual priests (or small groups) into regularized situations. In those cases, the bait employed was to start one’s own little SSPX with canonical recognition. The first batch left in July 1988 following the consecrations. A few more priests trickled out due to Vatican luring through the 1990s and early 2000s. The deal with the Union of St. John Vianney in Campos was the most significant success of this strategy to lure away with the carrot of setting up a new regularized group. By 2010 or thereabouts, the success of this strategy was waning. There was not much more movement after the defection of Campos and the SSPX was starting to rebuild. If my hypothesis is correct, the Vatican then changed tactics. They decided to dangle their carrot of canonical regularization in front of the Society itself, crafting the bait to give the appearance that Bishop Fellay might bite it, all the while knowing he would reject their last-minute demands. This new approach has, in fact, produced two detrimental effects: (1) It caused more defections from the Society for fear of compromise and (2) it has kept the SSPX under the stigma of canonical irregularity.
Such a strategy would explain the cycle of “doctrinal discussions” and “rapprochement” witnessed in 2009-2012 and again in 2015-2017. The Vatican makes it appear as though regularization of the SSPX is imminent. They even take some concrete steps to make the story plausible (e.g. the Motu Proprio granting more tolerance of the old Mass, nullification of the 1988 excommunications, conferral of ordinary jurisdiction for Confession and Marriage). They make suggestions that a relaxation of total adherence to Vatican II is possible. As expectations rise, so do fears and conspiracy theories claiming capitulation is just around the corner. As a result, priests and faithful once again start abandoning ship. And then, at the eleventh hour, Rome adds a demand they know Bishop Fellay will never accept and thus ends the cycle with the SSPX still “irregular” and a path of devastation through the ranks of the Society.
New Strategy Proves Successful
From the perspective of the enemies of Tradition, this new strategy has been more successful then luring away individual or small groups of priests to regularization, as with the FSSP founders and the priests of Campos. This “scare and disperse” tactic has resulted not only in the loss of individual priests and religious but also high-ranking and internationally respected figures of the Society. It has also driven a wedge between the SSPX and several previously affiliated religious orders, resulting in entire monasteries and orders breaking from the Society. Even better, from the enemies’ perspective, it does not result in these priests who favor Tradition and the traditional Mass coming into the Conciliar Church. The defectors in this new wave have not founded or joined Ecclesia Dei communities; rather, they have gone truly independent, scattering to the four winds. Although it is true that the price of canonical recognition for Ecclesia Dei communities has been compromise and silence, their presence within the Conciliar Church is still a thorn in the side of the Modernist destroyers. Even if they are silent about the illicit nature of the New Mass, they spread awareness of the ancient liturgy and preach some traditional doctrines. These “troublesome” conservative or traditional-leaning priests would be less trouble if they were both outside the Conciliar Church and separate from the SSPX. That would diminish the influence of Tradition within the mainstream Church as well as weaken the witness and position of the SSPX by constantly reducing its numbers (notwithstanding the flourishing of new vocations). It would also result in the continued marginalization of the Society in the Modernist twilight zone of “less-than-full communion.”
Niccolò Machiavelli, 1469-1527
Perhaps the Modernists are not so Machiavellian or organized enough to come up with such a grand scheme, but the results of the past 10 to 12 years are consistent with such a plan. The latest cycle seems to have fizzled out in familiar fashion, with Cardinal Müller demanding use of the post-Conciliar Declaration of Faith and adherence to all the documents of the Council and post-Conciliar papal teachings. After six years of talks with Bishop Fellay, the Cardinal had to know these demands would seal the fate of the latest talks in a rejection by Bishop Fellay. Yet the cycle has yielded more fruit for the enemies of Tradition. The unilateral conferral of jurisdiction for Marriage, the last salvo before killing the prospects of recognition for now, yielded more defections and divisions in the heart of the SSPX in France.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
If my theory is correct, then in the early 2000s the Vatican authorities changed their strategy from luring individuals and small groups into regularization to causing division within the SSPX by creating the appearance of a regularization that would never actually happen. If this is true, then it is not Bishop Fellay who has fallen into their trap but, rather, the priests who abandoned him and the Society to which they made promises. By their defection, they have weakened the single most effective force for Tradition the post-Vatican II Church has ever seen, all for fear of a theoretical compromise with Rome that has never happened. Rather than confronting the Modernists with thousands of priests and religious, the clerical and consecrated souls of the Society numbers less than 700 while the ranks of defectors suffer further ruptures and isolation. The enemies of Tradition could not have hoped for more.
In the Gospel, Our Lord tells us: “Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25). May all the members of the SSPX – priests, religious, and lay faithful – take His words to heart and strive “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Source
Title at source: A Society Divided Against Itself: SSPX Ranks Must Preserve Internal Unity by Brian McCall.
This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Catholic Family News.
Pope Francis expressed fears on Monday that the world is at the “very limit” of nuclear war.
Reuters reported that he made the remark when aboard a flight for a visit to Chile and Peru. His statements came following a false ballistic missile alert issued in Hawaii that rattled the United States over the weekend. Pope Francis did not specifically mention the false alert, but said in response to a question about whether he is worried about the prospect of nuclear conflict, “I think we are at the very limit. I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things.” Read more
Such barefaced, faithless hypocrisy from the Pope who could bring peace to the world, simply by obeying Our Lady’s request for the Consecration of Russia
Given that we are, certainly, in imminent danger of nuclear war, what possible reason can Pope Francis offer for continuing to refuse to conduct the Consecration of Russia, as specified by Our Lady… We know that Our Lady said that the Consecration would be done, but that it would be late, so we know that world peace will come for that promised period of time. However, when that time comes, people will not only be perplexed, but angry at the fact that all the worry, all the suffering caused by wars and conflicts the world over since 1929 could have been brought to an end much sooner, but for the negligence of successive popes – especially the one who warns that nuclear war is imminent, hypocritically feigning concern for the suffering to ensue, all the while knowing that he – and he alone in the world – could allow God to use him as an instrument of peace by complying with that part of the Fatima revelation which requires the consecration of Russia.
Is Pope Francis lacking human intelligence, or divine and Catholic Faith, both – or what? WHY won’t he consecrate Russia as specified, and bring us that promised period of peace… Why?
THE REMNANT UNDERGROUND: Headed up by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and two other Archbishops from Kazakhstan, a total of 6 bishops and 1 cardinal have now signed a statement of opposition to the pope-approved interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church. This is revolution and counterrevolution in a Catholic Church in total crisis. Plus, looking ahead to October’s Synod of Young People in Rome—will the Church deep six Humanae Vitae? Will the Vatican give the green light to so-called ‘gay unions’? Finally, an old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Call Northside 777”, includes a sobering reminder of what it used to mean to be Catholic–something Pope Francis would do well to consider.
Today’s news includes clips from the new army advertisement designed to encourage people to join the UK army irrespective of faith, sexual orientation, or “genders”.
Got me thinking. When the Catholic MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, known to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, was quizzed about his views on “gay marriage” and abortion, he was at pains to assure the interviewer (and thus the wider public) that he would certainly accept an invitation to a “gay wedding” (“and probably enjoy it”) and that, while opposed to abortion at all stages and in all circumstances himself, he would not seek to change the law. Abortion would remain legal. Yet, neither these flexible moral principles, nor his unwavering support for Brexit, where in every interview he has shown himself to be thoroughly well informed, were enough to see him brought into the Cabinet in this week’s reshuffle.
No vision. There’s simply no vision. No suggestion that, if elected to lead the nations of the UK, he would order a health campaign to educate the public on the health implications of both homosexual activity and abortion, in the spirit of the public health campaigns on smoking (which led to a successful ban on smoking in public places) and no suggestion that, thus, perhaps with more information, the public would be perfectly happy to see a pro-life Prime Minister in office. No such suggestions because there is simply no such vision.
And – in the case of a weak Catholic – there’s no real faith: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these other things [power, political office, for example] will be given to you.” (Matt 6:33) Put simply, if Jacob Rees-Mogg puts God and His Moral Law first, ahead of peer and public opinion, God will take care of his career.
Surely, too, a politician confident of the truth of his position on such important moral matters who genuinely seeks the well-being of the countries of the UK, would win over public opinion, based on the facts, the objective health data.
That Jacob Rees -Mogg was, yet again, passed over for promotion in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle should bring home to him that fact that his flexible principles have not paid off. If he has any ambition for higher office – and surely, as a pro-life Catholic in politics, he ought to have ambitions for the highest office, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding – he ought to openly oppose the evils of abortion and homosexuality and openly resolve to educate the public on the health issues involved with a view to restoring national good health – physically and morally – under his premiership.
I believe that such openness and honesty would see him brought into the Cabinet and ultimately at home in No. 10 Downing Street – what do you think?
Recently, a priest who was prominent in the pastoral care of those with sex addictions received his fifteen minutes of fame when he revealed to his congregation at a Sunday Mass and to the National Catholic Reporter that he was “gay.” According to news reports, his self-congratulation was met with thunderous applause. In a television interview, he proclaimed there is “nothing wrong with being gay.”
The game plan of a gay priest “coming out” was quite predictable and is politically effective. In revealing his homosexuality, the Midwestern priest was careful to assemble a string of ambiguous assertions that cannot be immediately assailed on grounds of orthodoxy, but when bundled together are morally subversive. Here is the template: Claim that sexual transparency is a matter of personal integrity.
Remind the public that you are a Catholic priest in good standing. Proudly proclaim that you are “gay.”
Cultivate the adulation of your congregation by claiming victim status and the freedom that comes from such an honest revelation.
As a pre-emptive strike against disciplinary actions by ecclesiastical authorities claim that your self-revelation is truly courageous.
Feign humility and presume you have become a necessary role model for others. Remind us that you and all gays (and members of the alphabet soup of sexual perversion) are created in the image of God (implying our sinful neglect).
Commit to celibacy (i.e., not to marry), but carefully avoid the term “Christian chastity.” Each of these assertions, standing alone, would likely withstand ecclesiastical censure. But when woven together, the gay agenda promoting the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle within the Church comes into a clear focus.
The priest’s bishop also responded according to a predictable contemporary ecclesiastical template: “We support [the priest] in his own personal journey and telling his story of coming to understand and live with his sexual orientation. As the Church teaches, those with same-sex attraction must be treated with understanding and compassion.”
The bishop probably succeeded in preventing a media firestorm. He also effectively allowed the priest to rise in stature as a gay freedom fighter. The studied moral ambiguity of the clerical gay activist proved to be an effective political buzz saw. The full and beautiful teachings of Christ on human sexuality, however, were further undermined.
Faithful and orthodox Catholics are at a political disadvantage in our gay-friendly culture. We realize that same-sex inclinations – as with all seriously sinful inclinations – cause great suffering and, unrestrained, can become a true slavery that endangers others including adolescents and even young children. But our opposition to the gay agenda is often crudely characterized as hateful and unreasonable. So a brief sketch of natural law in Catholic sexual morality may be helpful.Click here to read the rest of this article by Rev Jerry J. Pokorsky
The standards for entry to seminaries would at one time have automatically excluded candidates such as the above priest, and ought still to do so today. The strict criteria for acceptance of candidates in Catholic seminaries must be restored as a matter of the utmost urgency – yesterday is almost too late… Yes? No?