Thursday, September 17, 2015


Some of the African Bishops at the Synod for Africa in 2009

The Catholic Bishops of Africa and Madagascar  have released a major document condemning " neocolonialism and idealogical slavery" being attempted by NGOs and international organisations who seek to blackmail African nations into compliance with their cultural agendas by tying compliance to various aid programs.  The document was agreed and signed in June but its release was delayed until now for greater impact at the Synod on the Family and the forthcoming United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015.

As reported by Aleteia :

In particular, the African bishops voiced concern about a superior, neo-colonial mindset from the West that seeks to impose its own moral sensibilities upon African governments and culture, under the guise of humanitarian aid: “It can no longer be denied that under the euphemism of ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’, such programs are plainly imposed as a condition for development assistance.”
The bishops put into question the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (better known as the Maputo Protocol), implemented in 2005, asking, “what right do western NGOs, who only represent their own ideological interests, claim to legally bind African states to their world vision?
“. . .We Africans must categorically say No to this plan, which is killing our continent. Pope Francis exhorts us to “be on guard against colonization by new ideologies. There are forms of ideological colonization which are out to destroy the family. They are not born of dreams, of prayers, of closeness to God or the mission which God gave us; they come from without, and. . .they are forms of colonization.”
Adding that “The hour has come to demystify what global what global governance calls ‘national ownership’ and ‘country-driven’ initiatives,” the African bishops proclaimed their unwillingness to have Africans seen only as “servile partners” of Western interests, saying “This is a new type of slavery! We want the dignity of our people to be respected.”"

The clarity, intellectual strength, unity and  vigour of this document sends a massive shot across the bows of those seeking to weaken Catholic doctrine, practice and values in the forthcoming Synod on the Family. Full Text :

              More on the Synod :

Friday, September 11, 2015


                     "Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, 
                      shall He find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:8)

From the 4th to the 25th of October, Rome will host the 14th  Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The Synod has been convoked by Pope Francis to discuss matters related to" the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.

We have earlier written about the preparatory Synod of last October at some length, and on several occasions because of the extraordinary events preceding it and the even more sensational events that occurred during it. Here are the links :

In summary, we saw before the preparatory Synod, Pope Francis give exceptional praise to some writings of German Cardinal Walter Kasper, then the Holy Father enabled Cardinal Kasper to address the Synod Fathers before the Synod .In his address Cardinal Kasper strongly advocated the granting of Holy Communion to divorced persons who had subsequently gone through the form of contracting a subsequent civil marriage and who are effectively living in sin. He advocated this for "pastoral reasons".

In the actual 2014 Synod meeting it became quite clear that the Holy Father was in control of the processes adopted to "manipulate"  the Synod - to use Cardinal Pell's reported words when he strenuously objected to that manipulation. The manipulators gave some ground - with the Holy Father's direct consent -  and published the actual text of the Synod Fathers' interventions. However they subsequently included in the final document of the Synod the clauses that had been objected to. And , they made the point that this was done with the Holy Father's consent.

Subsequently, and in preparation for next month's Synod a group of North European Bishops - including Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Berlin, held a Seminar in Rome which was to have been unpublicised.This gathering was to consider and develop radical ideas to change Church practice concerning not only divorced and "re-married" persons , but also homosexual "marriages" and other issues.  This lead a group of orthodox German Bishops to strongly assert their opposition to any such ideas.

Life Site News carries the following report:

Cardinal Gerhard Muller
"In a move that is making headlines in Germany, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has said German bishops are leading the Church to a schism.
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller is warning that the tendency of German bishops to divide doctrine from pastoral practice is not unlike the abuses surrounding the Protestant split in 1517. One should "be very vigilant and not forget the lesson of Church history,” he said.
Last week, in a speech at the release of the German version of Cardinal Robert Sarah's new book God or Nothing in Regensburg, Germany, Cardinal Mueller criticized "a climate of the German claim to leadership for the Universal Church." According to the German newspaper Die Tagespost, Mueller said that he is frequently asked why German bishops claim to be leaders of the Catholic Church -- while flouting teachings on marriage and sexuality -- despite overseeing dramatic reductions in church attendance, shrinking numbers of seminarians, and a drop in vocations to religious orders.
Mueller also said that predictions of a worldwide collapse in Christianity, as has taken place in Europe, were premature. "We should not predict for others that it will all develop as it has developed with us [in Europe] - as if de-Christianization is a process according to a law in nature. No. With the help of the Faith, one can move mountains," he explained.
Only with the help of a "strong new evangelization with an apostolic courage and zeal," can weakness in Germany's Christianity be reversed, explained Mueller. However, such zeal faces an enormous challenge that he described as "an ideological constrictedness," according to which the truth and the unity of the Church shall be sacrificed in order to achieve a change at least in the field of pastoral care.
Mueller specifically identified allowing "remarried" Catholics to receive the Eucharist, as well as accepting a redefinition of marriage, as challenges to overcome. "One tries, with all means - with the help of exegesis, history, dogmatic history, and with reference to psychology and sociology - to deconstruct and relativize the Catholic teaching on marriage which comes from the teaching of Jesus, and this only in order that the Church appears to conform with society," he said."
But of all the parties entering the lists in defense of Catholic orthodoxy in relation to the Synod, none have been more impressive and resoundingly staunch than the African Bishops. Several factors led to their vigorous teaching. One of these , was the visit to parts of Africa by the President of the United States  Brack Hussein Obama who is a firm advocate of homosexuals and abortion and euthanasia. He had earlier received a visit in the U.S. from the recently elected President Buhari of Nigeria. In the course of this visit it was made clear that the United States woud not be giving military aid to Nigeria ( which is fighting against the radical Mohammedan terrorists Boko Haram) because Nigeria has outlawed homosexual "marriage". The Nigerian President made it clear that the  vigour of African culture made any change in the law impossible no matter what pressure was applied. Shortly thereafter Mr Obama was to visit Uganda. Before the visit the President of Uganda publicly warned the President of the United States that Uganda would not bow to "cultural imperialism" in this or any other matter.

Earlier, The African Bishops Conference published an official statement on July 8th,2015 condemning the Supreme Court of the United States' decision to legalise same sex "marriage". The assembled Bishops adopted the following statement of the Nigerian Bishops Conference as their own :

"Official Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria


The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria would like to once again reiterate the perspective of the Church on more recent developments concerning the sanctity and dignity of human life and the institutions of marriage and the family all across the world. The recent rise in Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender activism, the popular vote in the Republic of Ireland and the Supreme Court decision in the United States of America will tend to provoke a notable and rapid shift in public opinion about the nature and meaning of marriage and family as it has been known for millennia. This, in many countries, has inevitably led to powerful legislative and judicial maneuvers to redefine marriage in order to include “same-sex marriage.” We wish to state that this is a sad, unjust and lamentable situation based largely upon a distorted perception of natural law, the will of God and human nature.

Canada, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Ireland and most recently, the United States of America are some of the countries that have gone down this path. They are nations who undeniably have cultural, social and economic influence upon many African nations including Nigeria. Mozambique has not yet accepted same-sex marriage, but they have struck down their legal ban on sodomy, thereby opening the door to the festering of the homosexual culture/subculture within their society. Our people daily interact with these and other nations at different levels. These countries also generate a lot of the media content consumed in our country and continent as well as much of the educational materials used in our schools. They also give generous humanitarian aid to various establishments and projects in our country and continent. In these ways, their views, thoughts and trends are easily embedded into the heart of our society and influence many people, especially the impressionable young ones.

As Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, we are grateful for these interactions and support. We are however also concerned for the influence which some of these trends could have on morality and values. We therefore hereby express our concern with regard to the persistent and continuous propagation and globalization of the homosexual lifestyle and the effort to redefine marriage which is a distorted view of human sexuality, coming especially from the Western world. We call on our leaders to be circumspect. Accepting this Western trend by officially endorsing homosexual unions or “same-sex marriage” will be devastating and detrimental to our nation of Nigeria, as it will lead to the inevitable deconstruction of the family and the society at large, with other serious but negative implications.

For our part, we hereby re-emphasize that Marriage is the sacred union of one man and one woman for the begetting and care of children. It forms the core of the family, which is the bedrock and foundational cell of our civilization and as such judges to shun all pressures and protect all Nigerians from the growing but dangerous influence of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender propaganda.  We appeal to professionals in the domains of media, music, entertainment, teaching, medicine, marketing and business to become faithful gatekeepers by protecting the public from the infiltration of this propaganda, which is often spread through various media and forums. We encourage parents to educate their children on the immutable meaning of marriage so as to strengthen them to stand fearless by the indelible truth in a rapidly changing world. We urge young people to learn and hold firmly unto sound religious and cultural values that celebrate the beauty and blessings of marriage as the lifelong union between one man and one woman.

Finally we pray that God will grant us all the courage, integrity and perseverance needed at this time to uphold the unchangeable truth about the dignity of human sexuality and the sanctity of the institution of marriage."

This surely left the North European radicals in no doubt where the African Bishops stand concerning the Synod. But, if they did have any doubt, this contribution from African Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, would have set them straight :

"The African cardinal who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship has high hopes for the Church on his continent – he believes that it can bring about the renewal of the family across the globe.
“I have absolute confidence in African culture,” Cardinal Robert Sarah told the Catholic weekly La Croix du Benin.
“I have absolute confidence in the faith of the African people, and I am sure Africa will save the family. Africa saved the Holy Family (during the Flight to Egypt) and in these modern times Africa will also save the human family,” the cardinal said Aug. 19 during a national Marian pilgrimage at Dassa-Zoumè.
Originally from Guinea, Cardinal Sarah chose be in Benin, one of the countries of his native Africa, during the launch of his new interview book in Rome.

Entitled “God or Nothing,” the book is a conversation between the cardinal and French journalist Nicolas Diat.
“God or Nothing” covers numerous topics, ranging from political questions to the sex abuse scandal in the Church to the post-modern world’s relationship to God.   
Reflecting on whether democracy is an inherently Christian system, Cardinal Sarah responded, “Without a doubt there is a Christian conception of the equality of human beings,” adding that “a democracy that contributes to the integral development of man cannot subsist without God.”
One chapter of his book, entitled “Cornerstones and false values,” is dedicated to the family and addresses various pastoral challenges such as the defense of life and marriage.
Concerning the divorced and remarried, the cardinal said: “(T)hey find themselves in a situation that objectively contradicts the law of God.” He also voiced concern about “gender ideology,” saying, “My worry is that this is due more to certain governments and international organizations that are trying to impose this philosophy any way they can, sometimes forcibly.”
Ordained a priest in 1969, Cardinal Sarah became the youngest bishop in the world 10 years later. Pope John Paul II called him to Rome in 2002 to serve as the Secretary for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Pope Benedict XVI selected him as president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum in 2010, and in 2014 Pope Francis appointed him head of the Vatican dicastery on the liturgy. "

The Synod next month is sure to be a robust forum, and we can be sure that those entirely committed to the teachings of the Catholic Church will not only be outspoken, but will secure the correct recommendations from the Synod to the Holy Father.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Here is a recent Post from my personal Blog BUT NOUGHT.BLOGSPOT .It equally merits a place here on Vexilla Regis.

The occasion of the re-burial of the lately re-discovered remains of King Richard III, and their re-interment in the Anglican Cathedral of Leicester,a City 1 1/2 hours North of London and 1 hour South of Birmingham, might well  have caused His Majesty's rather pained look in the above image. 

 Leicester is in the region known as East Midlands.As you will no doubt have read, following his death on 22nd August ,1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field, his remains were interred in the Greyfriars (Franciscan) Priory  church in Leicester. This was destroyed during the Protestant Deformation.The King's remains were thought irretrievably lost until in 2012, they were discovered during the archaeological excavation under a Municipal Car Park.

There were several highly-dedicated enthusiasts who pursued the quest to locate the King's remains. The skeleton was not hard to identify superficially, given his moderately deformed back - which is clearly visible in the spine and rib structure , and the wounds evidenced in damage to the remains. Following this initial assessment, his last remaining descendant was located and DNA samples from him and the skeleton , proved conclusively that these were indeed the remains of King Richard III of England. And this, nearing  500 years after his death. Marvellous sensational grist for the Media mill!

But immediately the question arose : what to do next?  It was finally decided to re-inter the body, this time in Leicester Anglican Cathedral .


But Catholics were quick to point out that His Majesty was born and raised and , lived and died a devout Catholic. There were no Anglicans in his time and no "Anglican Church". Evidence of His Majesty's Catholic Devotion is ample : his Will provides for many , many Chantry Priests to offer Holy Mass daily for the repose of his soul, and there also survives his beautifully illuminated personal Prayer Book, a   Book of the Hours replete with Catholic prayers and devotions.

 Ah! But those are not relevant considerations said the authorities - English King, English Anglican Church set-up by Parliament and Headed by the current Monarch  - he is OURS and will be buried in an Anglican Cathedral. As a concession , the Service of interment was to become an "ecumenical" affair along with several Mohammedan clerics, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal  Vincent Nichols would attend . His Eminence did attend and was seated in the front row whilst the Mohammedans were somewhat further back.

Leicester Anglican Cathedral a stolen Catholic Parish Church

Leicester Cathedral was chosen because Bosworth Field was in Leicestershire.The Cathedral is not one of the great former Catholic Cathedrals stolen at the time of the Deformation, but rather a large former Catholic parish church stolen at that time.  It was initially built around A.D. 1000 and enlarged over the centuries in some odd ways ,which make it look in some internal views, more like a Pavilion. In Victorian times the church was renovated  and the results appear less than happy.There is a considerable amount of timber structures in evidence internally, and these look rather more modern and even cheap.  In   1927 it was given the status of Cathedral by the Anglican Church.

  The interior of the Cathedral

Richard III had suffered a longtime " bad press".  This resulted from popular belief in his lifetime that he was responsible for the deaths of the "Princes in the Tower"  to clear the way for his accession , Further rumours were put about that he had his wife killed. There can also be little doub that in his times, his deformity would have induced much prejudice and presumption of evil. 

Most of the after death image making can be laid at the feet of William Shakespeare who portrayed the decisive  conflict between Richard III and the ultimately successful  Henry Tudor as the struggle between quintessential evil and shining and glorious virtue. However , we need to  remember that Shakespeare was adept at intermingling fiction and fact for the sake of a good story. We also need to remember that he was writing in the reign of   a Tudor Monarch at all times - so prudence might have dictated his decision to join in the "spin" on the reputation of the last Plantagenet King.  There seems to be a growing movement to rehabilitate the memory of Richard III.

Military Ritual

The Television coverage  in an hour long documentary was fairly extensive. In  some respects, the arrangements were entirely satisfactory : the actual tomb seems quite impressive in the modern manner,as was the Military Ritual of bringing in the Coffin and lowering it into the floor, which was well done. The Catholic actor Dominic Cumberbatch (of Sherlock fame) read a poem  - very well of course given his training and superb voice.

The Religious Ritual was something else. The Principal Cleric was Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby an Evangelical who is obviously ill at ease in Liturgical settings. It was the usual Anglican "comedy of copes" conveying the impression of a gathering of  some mysterious sect. Whenever Archbishop Welby had to look at the prayers in the Ritual held up before him, he made a labored point of screwing -up his face , peering long and hard at the book  - much as one might do staring at an IKEA set of assembly instructions. The choice of music and the choir itself was more insipid than solemn, Even the Coronation Anthem "Zadok the Priest" which Anglicans love to scream out, got a rather delicate rendition. (Zadok , for those interested, was the Jewish Priest who anointed King Solomon! -another little touch of traditional self-aggrandisement on the part of the Monarchy.)  All in all it was a bit embarrassing to watch.

Cardinal Nichols was spared any part in the liturgical events. Though he did seem to get to make some sort of a statement, though at what stage of the proceedings was not clear  at least to me. There had been a lot of editing of the video coverage.



The decision to deny the late Catholic King burial in a Catholic Church , with a solemn Requiem Mass said for the repose of his soul is a scandal.

This is doubly so, when we consider his intention in his Will to have Holy Masses continually said for the repose of his soul.Here he could not have one said even at his Interment! And, to add insult to injury, he was being interred in a church stolen from his Catholic Church  by the successors of the very people who desecrated the church and his original tomb at Greyfriars Priory.

The action was a shoddy piece of grandstanding at the expense of integrity and justice and true religion. And it gives the lie entirely to the much vaunted "ecumenism" of our day. Rather, cynicism ruled on this occasion.


Thursday, July 23, 2015


NIGERIA (Showing the States)

Nigeria is the 7th most populous country in the world , and the most populous in Africa. With an estimated population of 183,500,000 it contains 2.5% of the entire world population.Even by economic standards it is the 22nd largest country in the world by GDP and the largest in Africa.
( For comparison's sake - for my fellow Australian readers - Australia is the 52nd largest country in the world by population with 23,800,000 people -0.328% of the world's population , but it ranks 12th in the world by GDP which is more than double that of Nigeria.)

By any standard, what happens in Nigeria is of world importance. But it is fair to say that this fact is not well-recognised in the mainstream media, and even less well appreciated in Australia where the popular focus on Africa is hazy or almost lost in impenetrable fog.


Most readers will be familiar with the name BOKO HARAM even despite that "impenetrable fog". The name means " Western Education is forbidden". Needless to say, it is yet another violent Mohammedan organisation. Very recently it has declared itself to be aligned with DAESH ( sometimes called ISIL or the Islamic State - though it is not a State at all). 

We will give an account of the depredations of Boko Haram upon the the People of Borno State in far North-Eastern Nigeria . The mindless violence and horrible nature and extent of the persecution will shock most readers. Our story will have at its centre the effects on the Diocese of Maiduguri . Maiduguri is the third largest city in Nigeria after  Lagos the large port city in the South West of the Country and Abuja the National Capital in the centre of the Country.

Boko Haram was founded in 2002 and is said to have between 7,000 and 10,000 adherents. Its present major stronghold is in the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.Increasing radicalisation of the organisation led to a 2009 rebellion which was defeated and led to the execution of  Boko Haram's Leader. Many of its fighters were imprisoned, but they later escaped en masse. Since then the organisation has launched an increasingly vicious terrorist war.

The Diocese of Maiduguri

Surely one of the great success stories of Catholic evangelisation activity in Africa, the Diocese of Maiduguri was carved out of the original Apostolic Prefecture of Jos in nearby Plateau State. Maiduguri was set up as an Apostolic Prefecture  in 1953 and then in 1966 it was erected as a Diocese in its own right, Suffragan of the Archdiocese of Jos.

The majority of the population within the boundaries of Maiduguri Diocese - 5,200,000 before the recent Boko Haram terrorism,is Mohammedan. In fact, Borno State is regarded as the cradle of Mohammedanism in Nigeria.There are 221,000 Catholics - 4.25 % of the population. In addition, there are believed to be some 1,000,000 plus Internally Displaced Persons who have come within the bounds of the Diocese to escape the depredations of Boko Haram.


We need to recall that the first Mass was celebrated in the region of the future Diocese only in 1939.

To-day the Diocese of Maiduguri has a Nigerian Bishop - Oliver Dashe Doeme ( appointed 6th June, 2009) and there are 63 Nigerian Priests. There are 56 Major Seminarians and 192 Minor Seminarians ,and 38 Nigerian Nuns, and 5 Religious Novices.   All of this was begun in the work of Father J. Hanley OSA -  an Irish Augustinian starting from that first Mass in 1939. The Holy Spirit has been vigorously at work, and we recall that " wherever two or three are gathered in My Name, there Am I in the midst of them."



Here is an account of the present situation given by the Vicar General of the Diocese Father Gideon Obasogie :

"What is known as the circumscription of Maiduguri diocese has gone through untold hardship and pains. Our people are been massacred daily. Traveling from one part of the diocese to another has become dangerous as it is deadly. From Maiduguri which houses the Episcopal Throne – the head quarter of the diocese to the Adamawa part of the diocese which before now takes just three hours now lasts about fifteen hours by road.
Traveling for hours is not our major plight but the danger on the way has recently become a constant threat. We now have to travel through Damaturu in Yobe state, Gombe state and Yola before making it to Mubi axis of the Catholic diocese of Maiduguri.
Commuting along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway was halted again for the fourth ‎time in a week, as security operatives battle to prevent travelers from driving into an ambush by the blood-thirsty insurgents. I passed through this road to Maiduguri from Jos on Wednesday 15/7/2015. A lot of cars were intercepted and burnt down. A good number of the residents of most villages along the Maiduguri – Damaturu highway had fled their communities for fear of further attacks. The rate of the Boko Haram attacks in the past few weeks have become worrisome and dangerous. This remains the only route linking Maiduguri city with the other parts of the world. One can only imagine what it would look like, if the terrorists succeed in cutting us off from the other part of Nigeria. Boko Haram has in the last one year bombed all major bridges on ‎four of the five highways linking the rest of the world with Maiduguri. The group has also planted landmines on the roads, killing several travelers.

The only surviving road

Maiduguri now hosts over a million internally displaced persons, and now relies only on the Kano-Damaturu-Maiduguri highway for access. But with the incessant onslaught on the highway by the Boko Haram terrorists, there are fears by residents that even the only relatively safe route might be taken by the terrorists.
We hope that soldiers would be deployed to Benisheik town, 85 kilometers from Maiduguri, to specifically guard the major bridge along ‎the highway; for fear that the terrorists might be plotting to attack the bridge. If that happens, ‎we are doomed in Maiduguri, because that is the only surviving road that thousands of travelers ply daily.
Two days after the attack on Mainok town in Borno state, which left over 30 persons dead and most part of the village burnt, Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday returned to attack villagers returning to count their losses. Mainok is a town located about 65kilometres from Maiduguri, in Kaga local government area of Borno state. The attack lasted about five hours as the gunmen took their time to ensure that no single edifice in the village was left untouched, even as more than 30 villagers and travelers were said to have been killed during the attack.


Damaturu-Maiduguri highway is becoming a dead zone

Sources said more than a hundred Boko Haram terrorists had, at about 5:30pm, stormed Mainok town and opened fire on civilians, killing at least 40 helpless civilians. More than 30 vehicles that were trapped near the village were also burnt as well as hundreds of homes.
Warsala, a village located on the boundary between Borno and Yobe states, in northeast Nigeria, was the latest community along the Kano-Maiduguri highway that is being attacked by Boko Haram extremists. The attack took place at about 8pm when the gunmen arrived in Warsala shooting sporadically and killing innocent citizens freely.
The agrarian community is not more than 5km from Ngamdu, another village along the highway that buried 10 persons killed by Boko Haram terrorists on Friday night. Travelers along the route on Wednesday drove through villages practically deserted, as they sighted some smoking trailer trucks and many cars abandoned by the road side. Some spots were stranded villagers fleeing the dead zone. A group of travelers along this same route were attacked, and many killed in Ngamdu village about 2 kilometers away from Warsala, which is a village under Yobe state.
The rampaging Boko Haram terrorists have forced the village to start fleeing their homes en mass. People numbering over 3,000 were seen trekking, some were conveyed in trucks and available vehicles. The Damaturu-Maiduguri highway is becoming a dead zone; this is the fourth attack this week from Monday. We pray intensive patrol measures be launched to stop this massacre.
We still have a good number of helpless citizens/ Catholics and priests who must ply this highway daily….your prayers and constant intercession to Our Blessed Lady the Queen of the highway is best needed now than ever."


Several times since the mid-1960s Maiduguri has experienced outbreaks of Mohammedan violence against the Catholic and other Christian minorities. Mohammedan supremacists in the region have repeatedly resorted to mass murder. In 2006 , in the wake of the Danish publication of cartoons of Mohammed, massive Mohammedan riots resulted in the death of 15 people in the region and the destruction  of 12 churches. The Army and the Police together succeeded in suppressing the riots and the Government imposed a curfew.

In July, 2009 Boko Haram really began to make its presence felt, It perpetrated a series of  religiously based terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of over 700 people. From that time on, like diabolically crazed hordes,they have, month after month, carried out their evil attacks relentlessly killing up to 13,000 people.Human nature is such that readers would find a timeline record of these  attacks tedious reading.But do consider the impact on the communities, the widows, the orphans, the bereaved, the homeless and the destitute , and you will begin to appreciate the scale of this tragedy.

Since we are not going to review all of the attacks, we will detail several to further highlight the evil nature of what is going on.

In 2011, on Christmas day, 41 people were killed in Boko Haram attacks on Christian churches.
In 2012, on January 20th, Boko Haram terrorists killed 183 people including 32 Police Officers in Kano State.
In 2012 on Christmas Day 27 Christians were killed in Maiduguri and Potiskum by Boko Haram terrorists.
In 2013 on 6th July, 42 were killed at Yobe Public School by Boko Haram terrorists.
In 2014 on 14th February, 121 Christian villagers in Konduga, Borno State were killed by Boko Haram terrorist attack.
In 2014 on 15th April Boko Haram terrorists kidnap 276 Christian girls from Chibok in Borno State.
In 2014  on 5th May Boko Haram terrorists kill 300 people in the twin towns of Gamboru and Ngala in Borno State.
In 2015 on 10th January, a 10 yrs old female suicide bomber killed herself and 19 others in a market at Maiduguri,
In 2015 on 7th March, 5 suicide bombers of Boko Haram killed themselves and killed 54 citizens and wounded 143 others in Maiduguri.

We could choose many other dates on which the same or worse atrocities were perpetrated by Boko Haram .Everyone will realise the destabilising effect such random death and destruction causes among the large population of the region.


In this dramatic situation there are very many true refugees. In fact identifying them is not difficult, because no less than 36,000 of them from Maiduguri Diocese have fled across the Border to Cameroon where they are confined in a Refugee Camp , established by the UNHCR  in the Diocese of Maroua Cameroon. Earlier this year the 36,000 refugees received a visit headed by the remarkable Bishop Lucius Ugorji of Umuahia Diocese accompanied by Maiduguri's Bishop Dashe Doeme to offer the refugees comfort and pastoral care from their own churches in Nigeria.They responded warmly to the Bishops' Blessings and to the assurance of concern from home.


In a truly remarkable intervention Our Divine Lord Himself has appeared to Bishop Doeme as he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in his chapel.

Our Lord held out to him in His two hands a sword.....the Bishop reached out with his two hands to receive it and, as it came into his hands it was transformed into a rosary.Then Our Lord spoke, repeating three times "Boko Haram is gone". The Bishop has said that he plainly understood that the saying of the Rosary would be the weapon that will drive the evil of Boko Haram out of the Diocese, Accordingly, he has urged his people to pray the Rosary for that intention.

How brilliant an act of solidarity if we do the same on a continuing basis!

The recent Federal Elections in Nigeria gave the country a new President Muhammedu Buhari  was swept to power in the election displacing President Goodluck Johnson. Many hold high hopes for significant change and that includes change in success against the Boko Haram insurgency. Late in the Presidential term of Goodluck Johnson, the Army had at long last begun to have significant success against Boko Haram, recovering some territories they had controlled. But in the early weeks of the Buhari regime,progress in this matter seems slow and the appointment of new Defence Chiefs seems likely to slow things down even more.

In fact just in recent weeks, Boko Haram has intensified its attacks on Maiduguri and nearby cities. So serious have these attacks been , that the Army has road-blocked the City from all but one of its approach routes.

Only yesterday reports began coming in concerning Boko Haram's brazen attack on the home town of the newly appointed Army Chief Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai. Last reports were sketchy but witnesses reported seeing many bodies and the family home of Buratai in flames. Upon his appointment Major General Buratai had said that he intended to wage war on Boko Haram.. They have boldly struck first.


Imagine your own Diocese or even State Government having to suddenly cope with and provide for thousands of orphans, thousands of widows, thousands of homeless, thousands of traumatised fellow citizens.

Well, it is time we remembered that spirit of brotherly love which characterised the first Catholics in the midst of the Roman Empire. Their love and concern for one another stunned their pagan fellow citizens. Here are our Catholic brothers and sisters in Maiduguri totally distressed and in need of the devoted love and assistance that we can provide - by prayer, especially the Rosary  - and out of our abundance and peaceful plenty.

If you wish to come to their aid in a material sense, we hope to be able to advise soon how that might be done in the most direct manner possible Please do what you can. 

But every one of us can pray - especially the Rosary which is God's "sword" in the struggle against Boko Haram which is the Devil's work.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


The recently concluded visit by the Holy Father to South America will be remembered for two things at least, neither of them desirable. On his home continent, there is no doubt that the Holy Father was feeling very much "at home" - these are the people and the problems he knows well, and they responded warmly and tumultuosly to their distinguished visitor. The tri-nation tour took the Holy Father to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. But it was in Bolivia firstly, on the 8th of July and then again on the 9th of July, that events became surprising to say the least.

On the 8th July,the Bolivian President one Evo Morales was received by the Holy Father and in the course of the Audience presented the Holy Father with an object in the shape of the Communist Hammer and Sickle upon which was mounted a Corpus from a crucifix:

               PRESIDENT MORALES MAKES PRESENTATION  TO POPE UNSMILING POPE                                                                                                                                                                       

As expected, Pope Francis held an in-flight press conference on his way back to Rome this Monday. ....... he made use of this opportunity to personally clarify his thoughts about the Hammer and Sickle "crucifix" (and the medallion, the "Order of Fr. Espinal" featuring a smaller version of the same)... presented to him by President Evo Morales of Bolivia. Catholic News Agency has, thankfully, published a translation of the entire press conference (Full text of Pope Francis' in-flight interview from Paraguay to Rome.) The relevant portion is reproduced below :
Aura Vistas Miguel, (Radio Renascenca): Well, there’s no group. It’s just me from Portugal. (laughing) Holiness, what did you think when you saw the hammer and sickle with Christ on it? And where did this object end up? What did you think when you saw the hammer and sickle with the Christ on it, given to you by Evo Morales? And where did this object end up?

Pope Francis: Ah, yes, truly. I heard 'mantello' (editor’s note: mantle, cloak: ‘mantello’ is similar to ‘martello,’ the Italian for hammer, that’s why the Pope needed the question repeated), and I didn't understand. It’s curious, I didn't know this, nor did I know that Fr. Espinal was a sculptor and also a poet. I learned this in these days. I saw it and for me it was a surprise. Secondly, you can qualify it in the genre of “protest art” – for example in Buenos Aires, some years ago, there was an exhibit of a good sculptor, creative, Argentine, who is now dead. It was protest art, and I recall one, it was a crucified Christ on a bomber that was falling down, no? It’s Christianity, but a criticism that, let's say, Christianity allied with imperialism, which is the bomber. The genre that first I didn’t know, and secondly, I would qualify it as protest art, which in some cases can be offensive, in some cases. Thirdly, in this concrete case, Fr Espinal was killed in 1980. It was a time when liberation theology had many different branches. One of the branches was with Marxist analysis of reality. Fr Espinal belonged to this, this. Yes, I knew because I was in those years rector of the theology faculty and we talked a lot about it, about the different branches and who were the representatives, no? In the same year, the general of the Society (of Jesus), Fr. Arrupe, wrote a letter to the whole Society on the Marxist analysis of reality in theology. Stopping on this point saying, “it’s no good, these are different things, it’s not right, it’s not correct.” And, four years later in 1984, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published the first small volume, the first declaration on liberation theology that criticizes this. Then comes the second, which opens to a more Christian perspective. I’m simplifying, no? Let’s do the hermeneutic of that time: Espinal was an enthusiast of this Marxist analysis of the reality, but also of theology using Marxism. From this, he came up with this work. Also the poetry of Espinal was of this kind of protest. But, it was his life, it was his thought. He was a special man, with so much human geniality, who fought in good faith, no? Making a hermeneutic like this, I understand this work. For me it wasn’t an offense, but I had to do this hermeneutic, and I say it to you so that there aren't any wrong opinions.

Vistas: Did you leave it there?

Pope Francis: No, it’s traveling with me. Maybe you heard that President Morales wished to give me two honors, the most important of Bolivia (editor’s note: the Condor of Andes) and the other of the Order of Fr. Espinal, a new order (editor’s note: the Senate of Bolivia approved it June 30). If I ... first, I’ve never accepted honors. I don’t do it. But, he did it with so much good will and with so much pleasure to please me. And, I thought that this comes from the people of Bolivia. So I prayed about it, what I should do. (I thought,) If I bring it to the Vatican it'll go to the museum and end up there and no one ... I thought about leaving it with Our Lady of Copacabana, the Mother of Bolivia, which will go to the sanctuary. The two honors will be in the Shrine of Our Lady of Copacabana, the Madonna, while the Christ is coming with me. Thanks. 

In a later comment , the Holy Father went on to explain:

“The President of the Nation, in a gesture of warmth, was so kind as to offer me two decorative honours on behalf of the Bolivian people. I thank the Bolivian people for their affection and the president for this courteous gesture. I would like to offer these two decorations to the patron saint of Bolivia, the Mother of this noble nation, so that she may always remember her people and from Bolivia, from the shrine where I would like them to be, that she may remember the Successor of Peter and the whole Church and care for them from Bolivia”.( These extracts come from the Catholic News Agency via Rorate Caeli Blog.)

It should be noted that the Priest /Marxist/Designer Father Espinal had been assassinated years ago. Further , whilst the pictures above could be used to show the Holy Father's approval or alternatively, his disapproval, his words are unequivocal : he approves of the present and the "Honour".

It is hard to understand how the Holy Father  could so greatly be at variance with the general Catholic population - and even the non-Catholic population in this matter. The object is instinctively recognised as being sacrilegious combining the representation of Our Crucified Lord on the atheistic Communist symbol which is identified with the deaths and torture and persecution of so many faithful millions of Christians, Yet his thinking as he presents it in the aircraft interview is blissfully unaware of this logic, but rather, is pre-occupied in the Marxist thinking of his Jesuit brother Father Espinal. It seems impossible to go further faithfully.

The following day, in the course of an address to The World Meeting of Popular Movements in Santa Cruz (ironically "Holy Cross") the Holy  Father spoke with great vigour and heavy emphasis against Capitalism. Here is what he said :

The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished. And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called “the dung of the devil”. An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.
(Emphasis added.)

A few very artful defenders of the Holy Father were quick to try to counter the media coverage of the address. The media for once got it right -they reported that the Holy Father had likened Capitalism to the "dung of the Devil". The defenders said "Ah! But he didn't literally say that, he was criticising greed....."  Their effort was in vain  - it is crystal clear that the Holy Father was damning capital (thus capitalism) for almost every woe under the Sun, and thus definitely attaching the " dung of the Devil" to the system : Capitalism.

It is pointless to endeavour to logically deal with this statement, for it is bereft of logic itself. It is in fact a denunciatry harangue made for effect on simple souls pre-disposed by political persuasion to lap it up. It has no need of logic, or rather, logic would obstruct its delivery. 

We have not been accustomed to this type of rabble-rousing from Popes or most Prelates ( the Holy Father's protege Cardinal Maradiaga is an exception).  

Perhaps further reflection might have alerted the Holy Father to the fact that it is Capitalism that employs most of the people in the world, that produces 90% of the wealth in the world that makes possible government processes, economic health, the employment of the "masses" the Marxists like to talk about,aid to the poor and the suffering and the development of new medicines and relief to those in need.  We might think it more appropriate to apply Basil of Caesarea's epithet to the alternative : for it is truly Socialism and Communism that are and have been the "dung of the Devil" truly enslaving, burdening , killing by the millions the "masses" and at the same time attacking God and religion.And all the while Socialism and Communism , so successful in fermenting unjust wars, have failed dismally in economic terms . Indeed the only way Communist China has continued has been through its pragmatic adoption of Capitalism to finance development and growth.

It has not been so long that one would never have found it necessary to write about Papal statements in such a way.We need to pray for the Holy Father.