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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

There was a rather embarrassing documentary called “Jesus Camp” on yesterday. It primarily followed kids on the way to and on a Bible camp, also giving ample time to a ‘youth minister’ of the female persuasion. A bit of a battleaxe. Interspersed with the takes from the kids was those of a radio DJ -if that’s the word I’m looking for- who was not very taken with the ‘evangelical Christian’ ideas for society. Something of a woolly-eyed liberal. Much was made of the increasingly political role of the Christian Right in the American colonies, perhaps more than of the treatment of the kids. Now, is it bad if I think that their take on how to organize a Christian society is, well, a bit liberal? Thought so…

These commentators, camp leaders etc. still fall into the heresy of Americanism which is an idea of accommodation to secular society and a form of proto-modernism e.g. separating Church and state, supporting all-out parliamentary democracy etc. contrary to the prescriptions of among other writings of the Holy See; Quanta Cura. Therefore their ideas of a happier, more Christian USA are deeply flawed. These ‘radicals’ simply aren’t radical enough. That of course is apart from them basing their ideas on the false, sandy foundation of protestantism rather than on the bedrock of Catholic Truth.

Most of what made it an embarrassing thing to watch was the simple thing that the objects of the documentary were some of the worst happy-clappy charismatics I’ve seen on TV, helped of course by some prejudicial editing. The lack of intellectual depth and prudence among some of these groups keeps surprising me, adding to the embarrassment.

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I took the time yesterday evening to go to a pub in Holborn for a Theology-on-Tap session. It’s a program for young adults apparently arranged by the Jesuits, the format was simple enough some socializing, a talk, a break to get more beer, group discussions and a short general discussion. The theme for this Thursday was Catholic schools, more specifically the state sponsored ones. These schools get around 90% of their funding from various government sources and as far as I understood they make up the vast majority of Catholic schools. The speaker for the evening was the father provincial of the Jesuits in the UK, a former headmaster at the society’s school in Wimbledon. He presented us with the arguments raised against faith schools most of which -aside from parental choice of schools- correlate with the arguments around the role of religion in society. His colleague then proceeded to refute them. This presentation left a bit to desire e.g. the role and purpose of faith schools while it -apparently only for me- raised some concerns about the ideas about multiculturalism, interfaith collaboration and therefore the relativism inherent in the present system.

At the group discussion we were presented with a number of points for discussion out of which my group only got to no 1, whether or not it’s legitimate for the state to fund schools that are more or less exclusively tied to a particular religion. I think I was the only one who said that it’s not only legitimate but even a duty for the state to do so. Even without relating the discussion to the infallible judgments in Quanta Cura, parental control of the child’s education would require the state to support schools of this type.

It was an interesting evening and an educational foray into modernist territory, that otherwise well educated Catholics can come up with and support such liberalist and releativist attitudes as those I heard baffles me. If I am not busy it would be interesting to see what they have to say on the next occasion when the subject is the Eucharist.

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What actually is the status of the SSPX? They of course say that no, they are not now, nor have they ever been excommunicated. A lot of trads apparently tend to agree while the modernist of course is convinced that they are in fact -and hopefully perpetually- excommunicated. Every last one of the old church scum. His Eminence Cardinal Hoyos makes things a bit clearer, he says to Zenit:

“The excommunications for the consecration[of the four bishops at Econe in 1988] done without the Pope’s permission affects only those bishops who carried out the consecration, and those bishops who received episcopal ordination in this illicit form in the Church, but it does not affect the priests or the faithful. Only those bishops are excommunicated.”

Now some questions do remain in my mind, does that mean that no priest of the SSPX is in fact excommunicated? Does that include those ordained by the excommunicated bishops?
In practice, making the broadest interpretation of the good cardinals words I could then simply treat the local SSPX chapel as any other ordinary church within the diocese.

However, and here comes the problem with the SSPX priests, they may not be excommunicated, their sacraments are certainly valid but they are not incardiated into the local Church, consequently they do not have the celebret which gives them the canonical right to offer Mass and administer the sacraments, making their actions canonically illegal.
I’m not a canonist, but the whole situation seems rather messy. Could their status be summed up as canonically irregular but not schismatic, except for the bishops of course?

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Zenit reported yesterday that the Motu Proprio is having the effect of bringing back some of the schismatic groups. None of course were mentioned by name.. Except fro the SSPX which is still outside full communion. And things there are not looking all that promising, at least not if we are to take bishop Williamson’s word for it. According to him things can only be resolved if:

a)Rome converts
b)the SSPX is corrupted by modernism.

Some of the other SSPX bishops might be more inclined towards re-unification but may well risk an internal split with Williamson and some of his more radical followers. No news either on some of the more radical groups that are even further to the right than the SSPX, if such political language may be used.

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One could argue for the use of coercion, by some force if necessary, in religious struggles where the faith is being attacked. For example; a priest who openly defies and preaches against the teachings of the Church can, and should, be removed from his office and if need be forcibly be compelled to leave his pulpit and rectory -with the help of proper legal forms and police intervention. Similarly, a layman who works as an abortionist and belongs to the communist party can and, indeed should, be excommunicated (indeed he is, latae sententia) and told that he cannot call himself a catholic in good standing with the Church before he repents and turns from his wrongful practices. A bishop furthermore can be compelled to ‘retire’ or be transferred if he teaches and acts against the Faith. There are in fine several such disciplinary measures available, all having the benefit of 1) helping those of the faithful that may be ignorant to see what the Church teaches, and 2) providing an impetus for the one that is disciplined to repent.

Other religions too have disciplinary measures that can be taken against wayward adherents. However, rather than being therapeutic in natur, as for instance excommunication, these are more often that not strictly punitive. Today the Torygraph had a short article pertinent to the issue. A daughter of a British Imam is living under police protection after her own family has threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. This, not to be named woman, (though the name of the imam might be interesting to know) has been a Christian for 15 years now has been forced to move 45 times in those years to escape the blade. What she says is a very interesting point about the practices of the mohammedans, especially concerning their faithfulness to the letter of the koran.

“I know the Koran says that anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word…”

This is not some story about someone in Saudi Arabia or Sudan, but actual fact in present day UK. Nor is this woman alone, a documentary recently highlighted the same problem interviewing several others in the same situation. What does this tell us about the status of islam in the UK? of islam in general? Personally it makes me more and more convinced that the Byzantine emperor Pope Benedict quoted in his Regensburg speech last year (part of it here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XVI_Islam_controversy) was right in his criticism of islam and of the violence found among it’s adherents. I invite any muslim readers to show me that I’m wrong, preferably with reason and examples..

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For some time now there has been rumors circulating about mass-conversions of anglicans to the one true Faith. It reportedly formed part of the agenda at the consistory the other week. The story is that some of the more conservative anglicans, or as it’s called (quite properly) a ‘breakaway’ group are set to be received into the Church en masse. The holy father apparently is all in favour of the thing and their ‘bishops’ have requested full, sacramental union in a letter to the Holy See. So far so good. But there has to be a twist to the story doesn’t it?

Of course. Kasper the friendly Cardinal, the President of the Pontifical Council for Cristian Unity. Apparently he is standing on the breaks, worried that an untoward action like this would be ‘un-ecumenical’ and upset the leaders of other christian sects, notably the Archlayman of Canterbury Rowan Williams. This naturally would go against the stated goals the cardinal has in relation to mr Williams. He says: ‘We are on good terms with the Archbishop [sic] of Canterbury and as much as we can we are helping him to keep the anglican community together’.

Now, doesn’t keeping the anglican community together as a separate entity rather than encourage conversion and unity with Rome, work more for the disunity of Christendom? In no way does it help to ease schism, in no way does it help to reconcile heretics. In fact, it helps only to perpetuate disunity, not quite the brief given to the dear cardinal when he took over the Council.

What is infinitely more serious is the grave danger to the souls of these anglicans that are looking to convert. To remain outside the Church while being convinced that being part of the Church is necessary for salvation is a mortal sin. This sinful state the cardinal is not only encouraging, but almost forcing these would be converts into. But then.. sin is so pre-Vatican II isn’t it? And the hospitality at Lambeth palace is very warm… Sherry anyone?

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A Travesty of Justice

Many, especially in the UK have been made aware of the English teacher in Sudan who has been sentenced to 15 days of jail for inciting religious hatred, showing contempt for Islam and whatnot. This punishment is down from an original 40 lashes and six months in jail that Mrs Gillian was first threatened with. The whole thing has the press in an uproar. Yet, something is amiss. In condemning the harsh laws of Sudan everyone seems to turn a blind eye to our own laws. While one might hope that some common sense would be applied here in the UK it does seem possible that the very same ‘offense’ i.e. naming the Teddy, could result in a visit and a warning from the local thought police about inciting religious hatred. With threats of say, 7 years as a guest of Her Majesty’s Prison Service. The prison sentence by the by is -if memory serves- as long as the one for rape…

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