Scottish Bishops Punish Faithful With Annual Reminder of Abuse Scandals

From the Scottish Catholic Observer…

Church establishes yearly Day of Prayer for victims of abuse

The Bishops of Scotland [pictured above] have established A Day of Prayer for those who have suffered abuse, to be marked on the Friday following Ash Wednesday.

The Church issued resources to every parish in Scotland to be used this Friday, March 8, during a ‘holy hour style Service of Acknowledgment, Prayer and Reflection,’ or during Mass.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said: “The Bishops of Scotland have established A Day of Prayer for those who have suffered abuse to be marked each year on the Friday following Ash Wednesday.

“This allows the Church to renew its apology to anyone who has suffered and to stress its commitment to the essential work of safeguarding across our parish communities.”

In February, Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen Diocese, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, attended a Vatican meeting of Episcopal Conference Presidents from across the world in Rome to discuss the Protection of Minors.

The format of the day of prayer on Friday—after the SCO went to press—included prayers for victims of abuse of all kinds and a penitential rite to seek forgiveness for abuse committed by Church personnel.

The Church has proposed that during Mass on Friday the intercessions provided could be used either as intercessory prayers or as an extended Penitential Rite.

An opening hymn reads: “We cannot measure how you heal, Christ be beside me, Christ be our light, Be thou my vision.”

In Dundee, the service took place at 7pm in St Andrew’s Cathedral.

In Motherwell Diocese St Columbkille’s Church in Rutherglen held a ‘Day of Prayer’ for those who have suffered abuse.

A spokesperson for the parish said: “Our parish community will acknowledge and pray for all those who were the innocent victims of some in the Church whom they trusted to protect them.

“We shall pray that survivors of abuse will experience healing, justice and renewal in their lives.

“We shall also pray that the Church, which has been scarred by the grave sin of abuse, will, through repentance and reparation, resolve always to protect the young and the vulnerable.”

The Divine Mercy Novena at 3pm in Rutherglen’s St Columbkille’s would help provide a ‘focus for acknowledgement, prayer and reflection.’   END.

Comment:

Read the current edition of Catholic Truth, which you can download on the Newsletter page of our website here, to uncover the years and years of neglect on the part of the Scottish Hierarchy, where dissident and sexually deviant priests have been (and continue to be) allowed to live as they please, without suffering so much as a  rebuke. Not even discipline-lite.   All, of course, except Father Matthew Despard who had the temerity to write a book exposing the level of homosexual clergy within the Church in Scotland 5 years ago and remains suspended from priestly ministry for his trouble.   

Yet now, we find these same Bishops subjecting faithful priests and laity to an annual reminder of the abuse scandals – as if the clergy don’t feel tainted enough – whereas, what the Bishops should be announcing is that they will be making a Lenten retreat of repentance for their own negligence in so many ways, such as allowing dissidents platforms to spread their poison, and failing to discipline priests who have been promoting the LGBT+ agenda, and in certain cases continue to do so at the present time. 

They’re good at superficiality, the Scottish Bishops – that’s for sure. And this is just one more example of it. Makes a change, I suppose from the annual “Lentfest” – where the faithful in the Archdiocese of Glasgow were encouraged to use the six weeks of Lent, not to do penance for our sins but to get better acquainted with the arts and to, well, enjoy ourselves.  That seems to have fallen by the wayside – or at least, I didn’t find any mention of it just now on a quick visit to the archdiocesan website.  So, hopefully, the penny has dropped that having fun isn’t really true to the spirit of the, er, penitential period of Lent.   I heard a priest tell a really comic-tragic story about this Lenten “fun” mentality just last week during his sermon, when he mentioned a young woman who had decided to throw a party on Ash Wednesday to mark the start of Lent and the main dish was some kind of fancy Ham dish.  Truly, it was impossible to keep a straight face. Father didn’t bother to try. 

This annual service to remember clergy abuse is pointless.  It is but one more way to scandalise the faithful and to belittle Christ’s Spotless Bride, the Church, which has not, and cannot sin.  Only the members of the Church can sin, and we make up for those sins through prayer and penance, certainly, but not in a manner which suggests that “the Church” is to blame.  Churchmen certainly are to blame – priest abusers and their negligent bishops – but  not “the Church”.   Such priests should always be removed from active ministry and again, this would be the case if only the Bishops would invoke Canon Law.  Unless the Bishops add a prayer acknowledging that they are refusing to use their authority to rid the Church of these deviant priests, then such a “Day of Prayer” is nothing but a pretence.  Indeed, this annual reminder service is  not only misleading – it is, in and of itself, a cause of scandal. 

Or maybe you disagree?  Let’s hear it!  

Scots RE Teacher: why lack of teaching on purity & sin in Catholic Schools? 

Pauline Gallagher, an RE teacher in Glasgow Archdiocese, argues that LGBT guidelines make it difficult to keep teaching true to the Gospel

AS a dedicated RE teacher in a Catholic school in Glasgow Archdiocese, I want to share fully the Church’s teaching and the Gospel with my pupils.

In Scotland today, as the authorities prepare to embed LGBT-inclusive education across the curriculum, those who disagree with the unquestioned promotion of the LGBT agenda have lost confidence.

We are marginalised and branded as old-fashioned. Injustice towards marginalised groups, such as LGBT people, is real. I know this. I witnessed and abhorred it as a teenager in Glasgow in the 1970s.

However, the old voiceless, intimidated groups have been replaced by new ones; faithful Catholics for example.

I am concerned about the legacy of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign and the new LGBT materials which will be delivered in Scottish Catholic schools early in 2019.

I support inclusion, yes, but not without open debate and a full encounter with Gospel values and of the Youth Catechism on this issue. However, protecting and promoting Church teaching in its entirety is easier said than done.

Catholic schools have a distinct character and duty. This distinction has Gospel values as its cornerstone.

I have been an RE teacher for 30 years. Maintaining this spirit has been both a privilege and a challenge.

Catholic RE teachers propose rather than impose the Gospel. This is what Jesus did. God is love and love does not force.

When pupils ask their RE teacher a question about morality, including sexual morality, we should be free to share with them Catholic teaching even if it is not politically correct.

Pupils love engaging in the marketplace, or battlefield, of ideas. They may not agree with us but they respect our right to speak. They are happy when a strong set of Gospel values is witnessed to.

They prefer this to woolliness. They understand that difficult truths, shared out of genuine concern, are a sign of love. Children feel secure with clear boundaries. Rebellious teenagers are no different.

In Catholic schools this should mean responding to pupils’ questions as a faithful follower of Christ.

However fidelity to the Gospel has been growing steadily more difficult in recent years.

Many topics concerning human sexuality are considered too risky to engage with. LGBT issues, in particular, are off-limits. Meaningful dialogue is stifled to avoid ‘triggering’ anyone.

This is frustrating; pupils keep asking questions and, sometimes, we have to avoid giving them the answers we would like to give. At a time when they need us most we are spectacularly failing them.

Why is purity a bad word? Why is sin a banned word?  

The Catechism teaches that homosexual feelings are not sinful but like all sexual attraction are subject to the call to chastity inherent in the sixth commandment. The new LGBT materials are extensive, scriptural, quote the Catechism and, as their point is anti-bullying, emphasise Catholic social teaching.

Church teaching on sexual morality, on the other hand, is minimised and unclear in these materials.

This is a missed opportunity since the Youth Catechism alone deals comprehensively and eloquently with the sixth commandment.

RE teachers in Catholic schools in Scotland no longer have freedom of conscience. To be politically correct, we have to be compliant or vague.

Jesus was never vague. He was passionately inclusive yet crystal clear when pointing out sin.

The Catechism is like this. Teachers and pupils have no need to fear or avoid it any more than we need to fear Christ himself as long as we have honest hearts.

Jesus was gentle with sinners because everybody sins, everybody makes mistakes. This is why he told us not to judge each other.

The Church in Scotland is full of men and women of integrity and valour struggling to deliver the Gospel while trying not to offend anyone.

Their task is rendered even more difficult due to a priesthood made fragile by scandal. This is truly a cross of great weight for our bishops, priests and all those in the Scottish Catholic Education Service.

Many priests are exceptional in their fidelity to Christ and his doctrine. But they need support.

All Catholics, and those of us involved in Catholic education in particular, need to stand with them.

We are leaving our clergy ever more alone; we should wake up and stop walking on PC eggshells.

It could cost us dearly to rebel. Do we fear the loss of Catholic schools?

Yes! But I would argue that we are en route to that destination anyway if we take the path of further dilution of Gospel values. Our distinctive character is growing faint.

Scottish Catholics need to take a sgian-dubh and cut the fetters with which our bishops, priests, and RE teachers are bound.  Source – Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO)  [emphases added]

—The author can be contacted at: paulinemarygallagher@gmail.com

Comment: 

Congratulations to Pauline Gallagher for her courageous article.  Catholic teachers challenging the modernist stranglehold in Catholic schools have been known to suffer, even finding themselves visiting the local jobcentre.  So, we must pray that Pauline’s right – indeed her duty –  to bring her perfectly legitimate concerns to the attention of the wider Catholic community without fear of reprisal, is respected.  Her SCO article reflects the concerns expressed in the Catholic Truth article published on page 4 of the current, January newsletter, LGBTI Issues in Catholic Schools,  which you can read by clicking here

One key point of discussion for this thread might focus on the following comment from the above article: “Catholic RE teachers propose rather than impose the Gospel. This is what Jesus did. God is love and love does not force.”

This idea of “not imposing” Catholic teaching/the Gospel, seems now to be rooted in the contemporary philosophy of Catholic education – I first heard it formally stated in a newspaper article by the then new (now former) Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Commission, Michael McGrath.  However, this way of thinking stands in stark contradiction to the traditional purpose of Catholic schools which was to pass on the Faith, to nurture the Catholic religion in pupils;  parents were required to take their children to Mass, inculcate devotions, while Catholic dogma and morals were systematically taught at school, just as every academic subject is taught.  The Faith was to be taught across the curriculum so that pupils would leave school with a Catholic world-view.  Catholic home-schooling programmes continue to pursue the traditional method, with much success. 

The modern, rather apologetic attitude, this reassurance of “not imposing” the Faith suggests that it is optional, that the Catholic Church is not God’s means of salvation. The ecumenical times in which we live, the fact that we have both teachers and pupils from non-Catholic backgrounds in attendance at our schools partly explains this major omission, although it must be noted that from the beginning, certainly in Scotland, Catholic schools could not even have been established without the help of non-Catholic staff. And, in my own experience at Open Evenings with prospective non-Catholic students  (including Muslims) visiting, those parents understand that their child will be exposed to Catholicism;  as one Muslim parent told me, that was why she had chosen that particular school!  

Pauline adds that Jesus Himself did this – i.e. He “proposed not imposed” the Faith, because “love does not force”.  But, surely, it’s not about “forcing” – nobody speaks of proposing to give family and friends gifts and cards at Christmas. It’s not an imposition to offer gifts.  The gift may not be accepted – the recipient may choose to return the gift, buy something else with that gift receipt, but few would consider the offer as an imposition, of being forced to accept a gift. And the Faith IS a gift – from God.  He has given us free will in the expectation that we will accept this great gift.  There really is no right to refuse.  And that is because, in fact, Our Lord did NOT simply “propose” the Faith – his very last words on this earth were a clear instruction to His apostles:  “All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Certainly, we cannot “force” the Faith on anyone, in the sense of coercion; but we must avoid the sin of omission by failing to teach the elementary dogma that – as the Fathers of the Church have taught from the beginning – outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation (Catechism of the Catholic Church #846).  One famous educational psychologist, whose name escapes me at the moment, said that children can be taught anything, as long as the teacher has thought it through carefully.  In other words, this dogma CAN be taught, without “offending” anyone – the current (and perhaps only) mortal sin! 

Of course, given the weakness of the Scottish Catholic Education Commission for many years now, it is extremely difficult for any Catholic school to truly offer an authentic Catholic education in the sense traditionally understood.  Goodness, as Pauline indicates, it is almost impossible for Catholic schools to teach  purity and the abhorrence of sin, let alone imbue young people with a Catholic world-view.  

For now, though, congratulations to Pauline Gallagher – I will email her the link to this blog so let’s assure her of our prayers and support, with gratitude for her courageous article,  sincerely hoping that she will be able to make a real difference in the work of restoring authentic Catholic education in our schools.  

Does God Speak To Us In Dreams?

There’s a very good reason why we are often advised to “sleep on it” when faced with a decision. It’s possible to wake up with an entirely different mindset, glad that we didn’t act, as initially planned, since now we have a fresh perspective after a good night’s sleep. Add to the benefit of “sleeping on it” in terms of decision-making, it’s sometimes true that ideas come to us during sleep.  Against this backdrop, then, I found this article in the Scottish Catholic Observer by Father John Bollan very interesting – here’s a short extract, where he speaks of his forthcoming holiday and the need to step back from the noise and the fuss of everyday life. Prayer is, of course, the principal way in which a priest should slough off the cares of life, restoring balance and perspective. Our recently acquired ‘sleeping St Joseph’ statue is a reminder that sleep is also a door, not only to physical refreshment but also to that space wherein God can speak to us in dreams.”

The key question is that contained in the headline: does God speak to us in dreams? Any examples you’d like to share?

Note:  whether or not we agree with this young priest’s comments is not the purpose of this thread. If, like moi, you are green with envy about his holiday destination, having just survived the horrendous snow and ice that hit us in Scotland (and, indeed, across the UK) over the past couple of weeks, say nothing!  As you will see if you read his column, he’s quite stressed out enough without having the Catholic Truth Blogging Experience (CTBE) sometimes doled out, in true charity, of course, to the clergy.  On this occasion, we’re cutting him some slack.  What fascinated me about his column is precisely what is outlined here – the truth that God speaks to us, enlightens us, even as we sleep. Something we’ve never discussed before but which is fascinating… Yes?  No?   

Why On Earth Do We Need Una Voce Scotland Or The Latin Mass Society?

FR JOHN BOLLAN, St Joseph’s Parish, Diocese of Paisley writes:

“I’m conscious of a dissonance in my own mind with regards to Mass in the Extraordinary form (sic).  It appeals to me aesthetically… And yet I make excuses. Perhaps my principal concern is that this Mass should not be a vehicle of protest or nostalgia, but something free of such baggage. In other words, the Mass is no place for the grinding of axes…” Click here to read the entire article (and click on image right, to watch a Traditional Latin Mass on video).

Attempting to uncover this priest’s age (he is kinder in his remarks about the Traditional Latin Mass than priests of the older generation although unfortunately he uses the modernist name “Extraordinary Form” and appears blissfully unaware that there IS a need to “grind axes”) I discovered an interesting incidental detail: that clergy lists seem to be disappearing from some diocesan websites; on one site, for example, there is a list of deceased clergy but not the parish priests still alive and, we presume, well.  Curious.

Anyway, while reflecting on Fr Bollan’s piece on the Mass published in the Scottish Catholic Observer, consider, too, the following piece written by Ellen, a member of the Catholic Truth team:

Ellen writes…

I was shocked by the article by Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society in England and Wales, published in the Catholic Herald, 1st September, 2017.
[Ed: in which he calls for “liturgical pluralism”: “Rather than throw every parish into confusion with a new top-down reform, it is better to foster the existing liturgical pluralism, which includes the reformed Roman rite…” [ i.e. the novus ordo – the new Mass]

Both the Latin Mass Society and Una Voce Scotland were established for the preservation and restoration of the Tridentine Rite of Mass. The chairmen of both these Societies seem to have lost sight of these aims.

I am really troubled by the hatred of the Traditional Mass that we have encountered recently from Novus Ordo going Catholics. The ignorance of these Catholics is appalling; they don’t see anything wrong in their going along with all the novelties introduced and which have in turn destroyed their true Sensus Fidelis.

What horrifies me is that the above Societies are spending their time and their subscribers’ hard earned cash on promoting heresies and on the cult of personalities. They have always, from their establishment, been too subservient to their bishops in the hope of a few scraps from the table instead of fighting for the right of every Catholic to serve God in the way Catholics have worshipped since time immemorial.

I think the time has come when all good priests who say that they prefer the Traditional Mass would stand up and say this Mass only. The parishioners are so entrenched in the new ways that they would require much education but with good leadership and encouragement it could be done. When the Cure D’Ars was first appointed to that parish, no-one attended Mass; he persevered and with his prayers and holiness eventually it became a great parish. Priests today must see that the real answer to their problems is the lack of that holiness. This can only come from the Holy Mass and Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

We, the laity who are aware and love the Mass must really rally round and not accept anything less. And if we truly love our neighbour we must try to encourage them to seek the nourishment they would receive from the truth rather than the insipid falsehoods peddled to them by false shepherds. END.

Comment:

When she speaks of the the hatred of the Traditional Mass that we have encountered recently from Novus Ordo going Catholics” Ellen refers to various conversations we have had in the context of spreading the Fatima Message.  The minute the issue of the new Mass is raised, so are hackles, and a tangible atmosphere of animosity and, yes, hatred quickly becomes evident – and this, we must emphasise, among the older generation, who should know better.  Safer to recommend attending a Salvation Army service than a traditional Latin Mass.

It’s all about what we enjoy, what we find beneficial – the very concept of offering true worship to God  doesn’t arise.  It didn’t arise, either, in Father Bollan’s piece. His claim that “the Mass should not be a vehicle of protest or nostalgia” is only partly correct; martyrs, like our own Scottish Saint, John Ogilvie SJ, died in defence of the Mass. It was essential to protest attacks on the Mass during the Protestant Reformation (more accurately, “revolution”) as it is essential, lamentably, to protest attacks upon it now – in the form a new Mass created in the most worrying of circumstances and for the express purpose of making it acceptable to Protestants.  Pictured below, Pope Paul VI with the six Protestant Ministers who actively contributed to the creation of the new Mass –  click on the photo to read an article on the subject, and see Michael Davies: Pope Paul’s New Mass for thoroughly academic coverage of this scandal, in the context of the history of the Novus Ordo Missae.

From Left: A. Raymond George (Methodist),     Ronald Jaspar (Anglican),
Massey Shepherd (Episcopalian),
Friedrich Künneth (Lutheran),
  Eugene Brand (Lutheran),
Max Thurian (Calvinist-community of Taize).


Father Bollan is right about the nostalgia though.  There should be no need for “nostalgia” – the Mass for which St John Ogilvie and the other martyrs gave their lives should be available in our parishes on a daily basis; it’s a dead cert that there would be sufficient priests to make it available daily, had the Second Vatican Council never darkened the doorstep of the Catholic world.  As it is, we have priests here today and gone tomorrow, because the new Mass does not nourish them – little wonder that it’s easier to find that needle in the haystack than a lengthy clergy list on diocesan websites today. 

So, things have developed quickly, from the pleasure at having a new Mass in the vernacular, to hatred of the Mass that nourished Catholic souls, and raised them to sanctity for many centuries.  How come Catholics have moved so far away from the very fundamentals of Catholic life and the truths of our Catholic Faith? And how come the organisations allegedly set up to preserve the ancient Mass for us, have decided to go along to get along, after all?

For,  Una Voce Scotland (UVS) and the Latin Mass Society (LMS) appear intent on organising everything and anything except a simple Low Mass in the local parish; instead they are organising sung Masses, High Masses, you name it, with members of the episcopate, including the recent visit to Scotland of Cardinal Burke, invited for the purpose of drawing large crowds, and perhaps some kind of kudos. Who knows.  What we do know is that some of us love the Low Mass, the peace, the reverence, the time to concentrate of the prayers of the Mass, the action of Calvary, but, it seems, that is not good enough for the Chief Executives who seek higher things, in a manner of (satirical) speaking.  

Perhaps it’s time to replace UVS and the LMS … or, on second thoughts,  perhaps not. Is it a case of “better the devil(s) you know…?”  Or is there any need for such groups at all, given that they are all too ready, as  Ellen writes, to accept the crumbs that fall from the episcopal table. Shouldn’t every knowledgeable Catholic simply encourage others to seek out a chapel of the Society of Saint Pius X, and go there for Mass, until they can persuade their Parish Priest to provide one in their local church? After all, it is to the sacrifice of Archbishop Lefebvre that the Chairmen of UVS and the LMS owe their living, so to speak.  But for that saintly Archbishop, there would BE no traditional Latin Mass available to us in this “post-Catholic” Catholic Church…  Below, to remind us all of that truth, is a short video clip on the subject. Then, share your thoughts…

Jiggery-Pokery At The SCO…

ScottishcatholicobserverlogoIn June 2013, we re-published a letter written by Martin Blackshaw, aka Athanasius, to the Scottish Catholic Observer, correcting certain errors proposed by Dr Harry Schnitker in a series of articles published in the SCO, on the history of the papacy. Click here to read that letter and blog discussion.  We were more than a little surprised that the letter was published, but hey, if that sounds like a complaint, scrub it. Credit where it’s due.  

Now, today, however, Martin writes in an email to my unworthy self: In the March 18th edition, Dr. Schnitker began another of his back page serialisations, this time on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si. Upon reading his first instalment, it became evident that he was up to his old tricks of trying to make Catholic that which is not Catholic. He has set himself up as an apologist for Pope Francis’ environmentalist screed, attempting to bend it to Church teaching by any and all means. 

It’s more than a little disappointing, therefore, not to say shocking, that  the editor, Liz Leydon, is now refusing to publish Martin’s latest corrections to Dr Schnitker’s misleading musings.  At Catholic Truth, however,  we share Mr Blackshaw’s concern that Catholic newspapers must not be permitted to publish uncorrected error, so we’re happy to allow publication of his articles here… 

Reiterating unseasonable truths

By Martin Blackshaw

I have followed with interest these past months the various articles of Dr. Harry Schnitker in the SCO. The experience, sad to say, has been neither educational nor uplifting.

The reason for this is that Dr. Schnitker is more of a revisionist than an historian. In other words, he is an apologist for the modernist/liberal mindset of these tragic times and he moulds history in this image rather than in the true image in which it was framed.

Hence it was, for example, that in his series treating of contemporary Church Councils up to and including Vatican II, he made it appear that there exists doctrinal consistency in teaching on such as ecumenism and religious liberty when in fact no such consistency exists. These two doctrines are entirely innovative, unique to Vatican II and contradictory of past magisterial teaching.

Pope Francis was more honest in this regard when he wrote of these novelties in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Nowhere in that lengthy Papal document is there a single supportive reference to pre-Vatican II magisterial teaching, because none exists.

I could provide other examples of this jiggery pokery in Dr. Schnitker’s past writings but space is short and so I must come to the point, which is that Dr. Schnitker has now begun a new series of articles examining Pope Francis’ latest Encyclical Laudato Si, and he seems to have got off to a very bad start.

First, credit where it is due. Dr. Schnitker rightly points out that this Encyclical of Pope Francis has left many Catholics bewildered and many others angry. Why? Because the mission of the Church on earth is to save souls, not the planet.

We are witnessing in our time a crisis of faith in the Church and in the world that is unprecedented in 2000 years of Christian history. God is either rejected completely today or is paid lip service for His mercy while His justice is conveniently omitted from the conversation.

The result is that people are now generally comfortable with sin, and in particular with sins that were once unmentionable. And so, while increasing numbers of souls are merrily winding their way to Hell in a handcart, the Pope writes about saving the planet.

Let us make no mistake about this, Pope Francis did not restrict himself to ecological teaching in his Encyclical, as Dr. Schnitker declares. On the contrary, the vision expressed by the Pontiff went way beyond ecology to encompass the environmentalist agenda.

And it is replete with errors. For example, the earth is not, as Pope Francis declares and Dr. Schnitker re-echoes, “our common home”. Heaven is our common home. Earth is our exile. Hence the petition we make in the prayer to Our Lady “…and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb…”

Nor is the earth our “Mother”. This turn of phrase properly belongs to the worshippers of Gaia, a pagan cult. We Catholics supernaturally have the Church and Our Lady for our Mother, not the earth. God created the earth and He sustains it by His Divine Power. Perhaps a little more trust in Him and a little less of the humanistic hand wringing over today’s extremely controversial, not to mention tax lucrative Gospel of man-made climate change would re-introduce some sanity back into this liberal world gone mad. God made the world for man, not man for the world.

I mean, does anyone actually care any longer about the salvation of immortal souls through membership of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, as the infallible dogma declares, or is it now all about happiness in this world?

Whatever happened to the Traditional Catholic teaching that we live in the world but are not of the world? Our Lord declared that He is not of this world. Consequently, if the conciliar reformers assert that the Church must embrace the world, then what becomes of its embrace of the crucified Christ?

I’ll tell you by observation what becomes of it, it weakens until there is nothing of the Cross left in the lives of Catholics. The dignity of God gives place to the dignity of the human person, divine charity grows cold and is replaced with philanthropy, religious truth gets muddled with error, zeal for souls becomes a crusade for social justice and divine mercy is preached in presumptive isolation from a necessary repentance for sin and firm purpose of amendment.

Our Lord said to His Disciples: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me first”. This is the real truth about the world, it is a fallen world in need of Redemption yet hostile to the light of Christ. It is therefore in perpetual need of missionary evangelisation, not modernist embracing.

In other words, what the Church is crying out for right now is proper supernatural leadership from its shepherds, as of old. Embracers of the world, of false religions, of trees or of anything else that is not Christ we can live without, as also their apologists.

Surely fifty years of utter devastation in the Church is evidence enough that something has gone seriously wrong since Vatican II. We need only review the unparalleled global decline in priestly and religious vocations in the decades since that reformation to realise that it has been less a “New Pentecost” than a new Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ.

The universal loss of countless tens of thousands of seminaries, religious houses, parish churches and priests is hardly consistent with the influence of the Holy Spirit, now is it? Nor is the apostasy of millions of Catholics from the faith since the Council, or of a younger generation so deprived of Catechetical formation that it can barely recount the Decalogue, consistent with an outpouring of divine grace on this new conciliar entity.

Well did Cardinal Suenens, no friend of Tradition, publicly assert that Vatican II reform is the French Revolution in the Church. This is the real apocalyptic climate change that Catholics should be beating their breasts over, a seismic shift in teaching from Divine Revelation to doctrinal relativism and moral reductionism.

In respect to the latter, Our Lord says “if you love me you will keep my Commandments”. There is no muddying of the waters about access to Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, co-habiting couples, practicing homosexuals, etc., in that clear declaration of what constitutes true charity! His teaching was firm and unambiguous, “you are either with me or against me”. The house divided is a house of desolation.

This is the teaching Catholics need to hear again, and quickly. Sending out confused messages to those estranged from the Sacraments is not the answer to this crisis, nor is a fast track marriage annulment service.

It should be remembered that Pope John Paul II tightened the rules of annulment in response to the great U.S. scandal that saw annual annulments rise from around 700 in 1969 to more than 50,000 by the late 1980s.

Neither is there a recovery of lost grace and virtue to be had from Papal Encyclicals endorsing unqualified scientific declarations of an impending ecological or environmental apocalypse.

To quote Our Divine Saviour again: “Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat; nor for your body, what you shall put on. The life is more than the meat, and the body is more than the raiment. Consider the ravens, for they sow not, neither do they reap, neither have they storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them. How much are you more valuable than they? And which of you, by taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit?

If then ye be not able to do so much as the least thing, why are you solicitous for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. Now if God clothe in this manner the grass that is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more you, O ye of little faith? And seek not what you shall eat, or what you shall drink: and be not lifted up on high. For all these things do the nations of the world seek. Your Father knows that you have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Pope Francis has declared that he is open to respectful correction by  subordinates at all levels in the Church. Well I am respectfully correcting His Holiness, not by my own opinion but by the constant teaching of the Church up to the fateful Vatican II.

To this end I leave the final word to his predecessor Pope Gregory XVI, who prophetically warned thus in his Encyclical Mirari Vos of 1832: “To use the words of the Fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human Church…

And now to Martin’s second reply – this time to Dr. Schnitker’s second SCO article in the Laudato Si series (March 25). Here he expresses his admiration for one Dorothy Day, a U.S. “Catholic” Socialist activist whose cause for beatification has begun. Pope Francis likewise praised Dorothy Day along with Martin Luther King and Thomas Merton during his recent visit to America. As Martin notes, what follows will surely make a few jaws drop in shock…

[Dear Editor, SCO]

“I see that Dr. Schnitker is up to his old tricks again this week. His article begins by pulling out a one-liner about sin and fallen nature from the Pope’s Encyclical to demonstrate that it is not fundamentally about climate change and environmentalism.

The problem with this is that almost everyone else on the planet has focussed their attention on the several hundreds of other lines that are clearly environmentalist. This makes Pope Francis’ document more naturalist than supernatural, which is not what we Catholics are used to in the writings of our Popes.

The atheistic media and environmentalist anarchist groups are far more at home with Pope Francis’ doctrine than the faithful, and that is extremely worrying.

But apart from the first couple of paragraphs of Dr. Schnitker’s latest offering, what he effectively proposes to us again is his own theological interpretations and presumptions. There is very little in that lengthy piece that actually comes out of Laudato Si. This is not the correct way for Catholics to interpret Papal documents.

There is only one way to commentate on Papal writings and that is in accordance with the constant teaching of the Magisterium throughout the centuries. In the case of Laudato Si, the inconsistencies are far more numerous than the consistencies, rendering impossible any positive Catholic spin on it. So why is Dr. Schnitker attempting the impossible?

And why his introduction and adulation of Dorothy Day, the renowned American Socialist activist? This only confirms in my mind that Dr. Schnitker has a particular take on Catholicism that is not only not Traditional but is dangerous to unwary souls.

Dorothy Day fits very well with today’s Modernist liberal Catholicism, which is more interested in this world than the next. The reality about Dorothy Day is that despite her “conversion” to the faith, she remained until death committed to the Communist ideal.

I urge you to study her life a little more closely, whereupon you will discover that she consistently aired her public admiration for, and empathy with, the most brutal Communist dictators, including Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro. If her loyalty was somewhat tempered by a certain regret over the methods employed by these butchers, she nevertheless applauded their revolutionary spirit and their demonic anarchies. She also consistently praised the ideas of Karl Marx.
Indeed, at a time when Pope Pius XII was formally declaring that one cannot be at the same time Communist and Catholic, Dorothy Day was living precisely that very contradiction. Her publication, The Catholic Worker, took a decided pacifist stance on the Spanish Revolution, lamenting on the one hand the “martyrdom” of the priests and nuns at the hands of the Communist revolutionaries, while on the other recognising the legitimacy of the revolutionary uprising.

And if that is not enough to put any Catholic on their guard against this Socialist anarchist wrapped in Catholic tinsel, her opposition to the American government’s entry into the fight against the evil Hitler should clinch the case.

How anyone could believe, much less advocate, that pacifism in the face of such evil as the Nazi regime is the duty of all Catholics in accordance with the teaching of the Church is just perverse. But then she already held perverse views on the teachings of the Popes on Social Justice, going so far as to defend civil disobedience against legitimate authority in matters not pertaining to faith and morals.

In this regard the Jesuit priest Fr. Daniel Lyons S. J. called Day “an apostle of pious oversimplification.” He said that The Catholic Worker “often distorted beyond recognition the position of the Popes”. I suggest that Fr. Lyons’ critique was itself an oversimplification of Day’s erroneous position, though it could be satisfactorily applied to Dr. Schnitker’s.

Researching contributing columnists to her publication we find such names as Fr. Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk whose suspect relationship with a young nurse cast a dark shadow over his priestly celibacy. He more notoriously attempted to marry Catholicism with Eastern pagan mysticism. Then there was Fr. Daniel Berrigan S. J., who, together with other anarchists, broke into a U.S. nuclear facility damaging warheads and destroying files. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison, a sentence he evaded by going into hiding until eventually tracked down and arrested by the FBI. Then there was Ammon Hennacy, another Socialist anarchist who “converted” to Catholicism in 1952 but abandoned the faith in 1965 claiming that St. Paul had spoiled the message of Christ. He subsequently divorced his wife and remarried. For the remainder of his life he called himself “a non-church Christian”.

These are only a handful of the people Dorothy Day surrounded herself with; all Socialist political activists known to each other who demonstrated against all forms of war, refused to pay their taxes, vandalised government property and generally agitated against the established order, including the order in the Church. One of the magazines Day wrote for – Commonweal – was a dissident liberal publication that opposed Paul VI’ Humane Vitae. She later founded her own Left Wing dissenting magazine called Liberation.

You really need to read about Dorothy Day, whose only daughter described in adult life how her mother’s activism had deprived her of her presence and love in childhood. Need I point out that a mother’s first duty before God is to love and care for her children.

It is a great shame on the Church that such a person as this is being considered for beatification, and that names such as Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King, a non-Catholic advocate of contraceptive population control, are also exalted by our Popes in these confusing days. This kind of scandal was unheard of prior to Vatican II, which proves yet again that a major shift in belief has taken place in our Churchmen since that Council. They are now more Left Wing Socialist than Catholic, obsessed with that new doctrine called “integral humanism” which suppresses the supernatural mission of the Church in favour of a crusade for earthly social justice. The Communists preached that doctrine long before it was adopted by our post-Vatican II visionaries, and for very good reason. It destroys the supernatural spiritual life of Catholics, turning them into humanist activists and revolutionaries. That’s why the Popes pre-Council forbid any collaboration whatsoever between Catholics and Communists.

As a senior prelate once observed in this regard: “the martyrs sacrificed their lives for the faith. Now they sacrifice the faith”. It’s painful to admit, I know, but it is a reality, as Pope Francis’ Maundy Thursday washing of the feet of non-Catholics, non-Christians and women, against Our Lord’s own example, amply demonstrates.

This change is now being noticed by some senior prelates in Rome and elsewhere, who have very publicly expressed their fears over Pope Francis’s methods, his repeated dangerous statements to the press, his praise of the most suspect of theologians and activists, and his Encyclical on the environment. Popes are not impeccable, they make mistakes and we have a duty as subordinates to respectfully correct them, as did St. Paul with St. Peter. Only dead fish flow with the current! You have my permission to pass that line on to Dr. Schnitker.

Permit me one final observation in summation of this lengthy message. When Our Lady was appearing in Fatima in 1917, imparting a divine warning to the three children of impending world chastisement by means of “the errors of Russia,” Dorothy Day was celebrating the overthrow of the Tsarist government by Bolshevik forces in Moscow. Some 50 years later she visited Moscow and was “moved” to see the names of former Communist activist colleagues, C. E . Ruthenberg, founder of the Communist Party USA, Bill Haywood, key figure in the United States IWW labour movement, and Jack Reed, American Communist journalist and author of Ten Days That Shook The World, an eyewitness account of the Bolshevik uprising, inscribed gloriously on the Kremlin wall. All three betrayed their country and sought refuge in Moscow, where, upon death, they received burials with Communist honours. Does any of this make us think of the life of a Catholic saint in waiting?”

Comments invited…  

Scottish Catholic Observer: No Future For Traditional Mass – Good Riddance!

In a disgraceful attack on the traditional Latin Mass in a recent edition of the Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO), Hugh Dougherty reveals himself to be about as Catholic as John Knox.   Martin Blackshaw, aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, wasted no time in submitting a rebuttal, which has been rejected by the editor on spurious grounds.  

Interestingly, the Dougherty masterpiece has not been published on the SCO website. However, you can read it by clicking on the title Ghost dancing won’t do us any favours and then read Martin’s response below. Thanks to the internet, the editors of the so-called Catholic papers can’t get away any longer with their blatant censorship and skewing of the truth.  We’re on to them. Big time!

The Traditional Latin Mass is the Catholic “Mass of all time.”

By Martin Blackshaw

TLMwithsaintsIt has been my experience that when a Catholic writer goes out of his way to denigrate the ancient liturgy of the Church, the Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs, it is because he is either ignorant of the subject he ridicules or he is a nominal Catholic of these morally relativist times; for whom the traditional holy Mass and discipline of the Church have become anathema.

In Hugh Dougherty’s case, I would venture to suggest that there is a little of both impacting on his objectivity (November 7).

Given that his article against the ancient Mass was clearly personal and superficial rather than scholastic, it merits only a statement of the facts in response. Fact number one is that the new vernacular Mass he values as progress is, in reality, copied from the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century.

Mgr. Annibale Bugnini, its author, admitted as much in a March 19, 1965 interview with L’Osservatore Romano. He was even more candid in 1974, describing his new vernacular liturgy as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church,” a statement not so far removed from Martin Luther’s “destroy the Mass and you will have destroyed the Catholic Church”.

Professor Peter L. Berger, a Lutheran sociologist, acknowledged the truth of Bugnini’s declaration in these words: “If a thoroughly malicious sociologist bent on injuring the Catholic community as much as possible had been an adviser to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job.”

Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by Pius XII “a twentieth century Doctor of the Church”, expressed himself a little more forthrightly, saying: “Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better.”

In 1967, the Synod of Bishops in Rome, having been privy to a first-hand celebration by Bugnini of his experimental liturgy (called ‘the Missa Normativa’), overwhelmingly rejected it.

This rejection was followed up by two senior Roman Cardinals (Ottaviani and Bacci), who wrote to Pope Paul VI on behalf of many prelates and theologians describing the new liturgy as representing “in whole and in part, a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass.”

Cardinal Ratzinger more or less echoed this observation when he famously described the Bugnini product as “a banal on-the-spot fabrication.”

So now let us consider fact number two, ‘the fruits’ as the method given us by Our Lord for discerning good from evil. The New Mass has resulted in more liturgical abuses in its short 45-year life than all Latin Masses together from the early centuries of the Church right up to Vatican II.

To recount but a few of the more documented scandals of recent decades, I cite those infamous clown masses; balloon masses; coffee table masses; milk and cookie masses, rock masses and ‘liturgical dance’ masses, including one performance of a Salsa in the Sanctuary.

I feel certain that if Mr. Dougherty digs a little deeper into this unprecedented catalogue of sacrileges he may even stumble across some of those “Indian ghost dancers” he referenced so contemptuously as analogous to Traditional Catholics who remain faithful to the Mass of the ages.

At any rate, more telling even than the sacrileges committed in the name of the New Mass is the effect this liturgy has had on vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the devastation it has wrought on the souls of the faithful.

It is no exaggeration to state that in the 45 years or so since Bugnini’s experiment was imposed on the Church millions of Catholics worldwide have formally apostatised from the Faith. This has resulted everywhere in the closure of parish churches, seminaries and religious houses at a rate unparalleled in history.

In Scotland alone we have seen the closure of all five seminaries, many religious houses and countless churches as vocations and Mass attendance continue to decline apace, and these same depressing statistics apply to each and every country in the Western world.

Indeed, I read just last week that in the U.S. another 100 parish churches are to be closed or merged in New York, and that in France priestly numbers have deteriorated to the extent that each priest now has a dozen parishes on average to care for.

In contrast with this inevitable decline around the New Mass, the last 10 years have witnessed enormous growth within the Church of seminaries, religious houses and parishes flourishing around the ancient Mass, which brings me to fact number three.

Contrary to the prevailing myth, it is the young rather than the old who are migrating in increasing numbers back to the pre-Council Latin liturgy of the Church.

This verifiable phenomenon brings to nought Mr. Dougherty’s depiction of Latin Mass enthusiasts as a small clique of coffin dodgers re-living happy memories of their youth like an exclusive group of ageing steam train hobbyists.

In truth, it is the younger generation which is emerging today as a sign of contradiction to those old liberal Catholic hippies who robbed them of their sacred patrimony in the name of conciliar reform.

These young faithful are being drawn in ever increasing numbers to the ancient Mass not by curiosity or nostalgia, but by that sensus fidei, that gift of the Holy Spirit which has the dual operation of attracting souls to the sacred and supernatural while making repugnant to them the irreverent and the profane.

In conclusion, then, the future lies not, as Mr. Dougherty suggests, in further radicalising our holy religion to appease the rebellious of this hedonistic age. Rather, the future lies in a return to the Latin “Mass of all time” and in fidelity to the Faith handed down unaltered for nineteen centuries up to Vatican II.

St. Paul puts it this way: “Jesus Christ, yesterday, today; and the same forever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines, For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which have not profited those that walk in them…” (Hebrews 13: 8-10).

Comment:

No prizes for guessing why Ms Leydon, the editor of the SCO wanted to suppress the above response to the appalling Dougherty attack on the Mass which she unconscionably published. I’d love to see her trying to explain herself to the saints and martyrs who loved that same Mass and even died in defence of it – the same Mass which she most shockingly allowed to be described as of no more importance than the steam train, happily now consigned to history.  The fact is, it is her newspaper which will soon be consigned to history, along with the tired and ignorant views of the likes of Hugh Dougherty, who is (in all fairness) not alone in writing palpable nonsense in what passes for Scotland’s only national Catholic newspaper.  There can be no good fruits from this publication which, in almost equal measure, routinely denies and distorts the Catholic religion.  Indeed, there can be only one justifiable reason for reading it, and that is to expose the errors therein, preferably by addressing a letter or article for publication, to the editor. But that’s a hit and miss business, as we can see from Mr Blackshaw’s experience.  Anyway, your thoughts on the Dougherty article and Martin Blackshaw’s response  to it, should make for an interesting discussion.  Comments invited. 

Should Catholic Newspapers Employ Lapsed Journalists?

Confessions of a part-time Mass-goer    newmass

It’s the time of year when the experience of Jesus is most profound and vivid, even for non-regular Mass attenders, says KEVIN McKenna

My name is Kevin McKenna and I don’t go to Mass every week. If there was a self-help group for Catholic back-sliders like me I’d probably be getting the hugs and back-rubbing treatment right now. “Amen brother, just let it out,” someone would say, gently. “We’ve all been there,” another would whisper. There could be tears. Afterwards someone might quote Luke 15:7. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” It is one of the favourite Biblical verses of recusants everywhere. Along with ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone,’ and ‘judge ye not, lest ye be judged.’ All three of these verses, taken together, offer a wee exegesis of redemption for those of us who have become, ahem, somewhat neglectful of our Catholic duties.

I can’t quite recall when the rot first set in. And it certainly wasn’t due to any theological or philosophical quarrel I had with Rome, or the teachings of Holy Mother Church. I might be a haphazard Catholic but I still believe in the whole package, even those bits of it that I cheerfully choose to ignore in the trade winds of everyday secular life. I remain within the ambit of the magisterium, as they say. Nor is it because of the recent waves of scandal that have broken on our shores. I may have been vociferous in my criticism of our leadership over some of these issues but, in the midst of it all, I acknowledge that these are only mere human beings and as prone to error as the rest of us.

The Faith is eternal, sacred and divine… and unshakeable—except on some Sundays where I’ve lamentably found other things to do.

To read more, click here

Comment

Now, it would take too long to highlight all the questionable statements in Kevin McKenna’s article. He has, for example, made his views on “gay rights” abundantly clear over time,  notably at the time of the same-sex marriage debate, so to claim that he “believes the whole package” is stretching it a bit, to put it mildly.

McKenna was once Deputy Editor of The (notoriously anti-Catholic) Herald, which position he abused by instructing the then Letters Editor to send anything from Catholic Truth “upstairs” (to him) and so it came to pass that our letters, which once graced the letters page of The Herald with reasonable frequency, were seen no more and this state of affairs continues at the present time. 

Kevin McKenna, then, is not a man of integrity.  That’s a given.  This latest revelation – that he’s a lapsed Catholic, employed to write for Scotland’s only national Catholic (in inverted commas) newspaper – is but one more piece of evidence in that regard. 

Don’t fall for all that pseudo-humility dressed in selective biblical quotes, wrongly interpreted. For example, he blithely quotes the verse about there being “more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents…” without mentioning the fact that he has shown no sign of repenting of his deliberate choice of lapsation – which is, contrary to his personal opinion, a mortal sin.

What kind of journalist – and what kind of editor – would imagine that practising, regular Mass-going Catholics are remotely interested in reading the ramblings of a man who cannot even get the basics right in his own life? What has he got to say that is of any interest to any Catholic? A man who doesn’t even know the teaching of the Church, that to miss Mass on Sundays without good cause is very much a mortal sin. Who, in other words, does Kevin McKenna think he is, to mislead readers as he does – shamelessly… Or maybe you think it’s no big deal that a lapsed journalist should be employed to write for the Scottish Catholic Observer? After all, they handed a column to the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge not so long ago.

Come to think of it, maybe I’m making much ado about nothing… what do you think?