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.

Saturday, July 04, 2015


In our last post
we pointed out that the Encyclical "Laudato Si' " contained a beautiful summary of much of Catholic Teaching but dressed up in latter day environmentalist and anti-capitalist rhetoric.

It seems we were not alone in reaching this conclusion. Surprisingly a rather more scathing assessment was made in the Lead Editorial in last week's "WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN" the weekend edition of the nation's most serious newspaper. Oddly, the Editorial attracted little media attention and even seemed to slide by on the Internet forums due to the overwhelming effect of the U.S. Supreme court's decision to make law regarding Homosexual Mirage. But it is worthwhile examining just what this secular Editorial had to say about the Encyclical and its likely effect.

The Editorial begins by praising Pope Francis' earliest initiatives as wholly to be praised. But it is brought up short by its encounter with " Laudato Si' ".

 It soon continues:

" But in his second encyclical " Laudato Si' " (Praised Be) he appears to have swallowed a new, pernicious dogma, that of the anti-development, anti-free market global Green Movement. Much of his 40,000 word letter to the world is a denunciation, dressed up as religious instruction, of free market principles and an enthusiastic embrace of the most dire, catastrophist warnings of the global environmental movement. "To degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate....these are sins", he writes, urging the world to reject the
 " magical conception of the market" and bestowing a quasi-religious status on contentious policy prescriptions. Francis and his advisers, ..... emerge as environmental populists and economic ideologues of a quasi-Marxist bent" .

The paper goes on to say:

"But his "solutions" are secular economic and political opinions. They are not part of the Church's deposit of the faith and they are not tenets of faith and morals.............this outburst betrays a fundamental ignorance of economic history that, given the Pope's influence and moral authority has the potential to hurt those he cares for most - the poor. It deserves urgent rebuttal."

The Editorial goes on to review recent economic history, noting , despite the occasional reversal, that the general trend in the world has been one of the most marked economic progress in free market economies and those that have been liberalised such as China and India. It continues :

" In Africa, economic progress has been throttled by corruption and war, and in South America by repeated reversions to populist socialism. Indeed the Pope's pessimism may stem from experience in his native Argentina which, at the beginning of the 20th Century was - along with Australia - among the richest handful of nations on earth. While Argentina never sustainably liberalised it economy and tumbled down the global economic league table, Australia fought a  feared economic deterioration in the 1980s and 90s by liberalising financial, product and labour markets and continues to reap the dividends."

"The Pope endorses the bleakest predictions about climate change, ignoring the inexactness of the science and the extended pause in rising temperatures".

" To cut emissions, the Pope wants " Enforceable international agreements" and " globally regulatory norms" He also would extend this new form of bureaucratic tyranny to his main moral imperative, re-slicing the economic pie , not enlarging it : "The time has come to accept decreased growth in some parts of the world, in order to provide resources for other places to experience healthy growth." To that end, he favours " stronger and more efficiently organised international institutions" with functionaries appointed by agreement among nations and " empowered to impose sanctions" 

Now comes the crunch :

" In advocating radical change in economic structures and world governance, Francis has stepped over important demarcations between Church and State, blurring the lines between God and Caesar."      

" Francis framed this document around admirable concerns for life and the natural environment. But its flaws which are not about faith could weaken the standing of future encyclicals."


In sum , the Editorial reaches the conclusion that the Encyclical is too greatly involved in matters in which the Pope lacks authority , responsibility and expertise, and damages the attention which encyclicals - in recent times of moral uncertainty - have been accorded.

It is a sad to see this judgement being reached by such a distinguished Newspaper.   

 The summary of authentic teaching gets obscured by all the economic. political and green rhetoric - a great opportunity wasted.   

Saturday, June 27, 2015



"I am naive " said Pope Francis in one of his early garrulous interviews with his favoured Argentinian daily newspaper La Nacion. Well, for someone who is naive, His Holiness has innocently pulled the wool over the eyes of the global media who are lapping up his Encyclical "Laudato Si' ". Under cover of presenting an Encyclical on the Environment, the Holy Father has rolled into the midst of the Media public square a comprehensive presentation of Catholic theology, philosophy, morality and pastoral concerns. This has not been achieved without cost, but we will deal with that later.

"Laudato Si' " is long and wordy, at 183 Pages it is not going to be read by most people, and, even among those wanting to read it, many will not persevere with the effort because of things they encounter in it. So it will live largely in the identity the Mainstream Media give it.And that will come from skimmed reading and selection of sensational bits. But within this "apparent" Encyclical , there lies an authentically Catholic presentation  of Christ's teaching integrated into a way of life. 

What are the key elements of that Catholic presentation - the secrets the Media will  not care to get to, let alone present?

A hat tip to The Acton Institute's " The Stream " for their research on this and to Damian Rhodes of drawing this to my attention.

1. There is firmly asserted that there is a Creator of all things and beings. And that He loves all of His Creation including each one of us. These great realities make us responsible to the Creator God for each other and the Creation put at our disposal 

2.The Holy Father teaches that in this Creation we see a human ecology which obliges us to respect the bodies the Creator God has given us and the particular sex that He has accorded each of our bodies. And this obliges us to care for our bodies and respect them as they are, and to do likewise to others with whom we have contact, be they male or female.

3. The Holy Father points out that Jesus Christ, God Made Man, worked with His hands just as we do , and this fact works to sanctify all human work. In this way, our daily toil tends to allow us to work with Christ  and collaborate with Him for the redemption of humanity.

4. The Holy father urges modern man to engage in real person to person contact with our fellow beings, escaping from the electronic distancing we experience through the inordinate use of mobile phones and digital networks.

5.The Holy Father urges us to protect human life especially the innocent and defenceless life of the unborn.  Loss of sensitivity to the sacredness of the lives of babes in the  womb will lead the sensitivity to all stages of human life to wither away in time.                                                                                                                                                                                    6.His Holiness notes the essential place of work in establishing human dignity and urges that aid to those in need should always be a prelude to assisting them toward gainful employment. Equally technological development should not solely be aimed at displacing human labour.

7.Pope Francis directly criticises those aid agencies which make their programmes integrate population control.He puts the blame for problems not on "excessive population" but rather on the extreme and selective consumerism of some.

8. He teaches that the immense dignity of each person - every one of us created " in the image and likeness" of God  must be recognised.There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature until this is recognised and acted upon. Human beings cannot be expected to feel responsibility for the world, unless at the same time, their unique capacities of knowledge, will, freedom and responsibility are recognized and valued.

9.Politics and the force of law the Pope teaches , are unable to curb bad conduct toward the environment . What is necessary is for the majority of the population to be morally disposed to accept them and to respond accordingly.

10. His Holiness makes it clear that the Church does not pretend to settle scientific questions , but encourages open and honest debate.He recognises the radically different views of the existing situation that are held and the consequent differences in regard to necessary solutions.

11.The Holy Father attacks superficiality which is evident in immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. These have resulted in battles over conflicting interests, new forms of violence and brutality and obstacles to a genuine culture of care for the environment.

These are the contents of Pope Francis' Trojan Horse Encyclical which he has trundled into the public square to vast mainstream media attention and favour NOT because of these matters , but because it is about the Environment. 

The price for getting this traditional Catholic teaching into the public square has been this  :

In order to begin to get traction in the "Environment " arena , the Holy Father has assumed that "The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth "

From this His Holiness  proceeds to assume that anthropocentric Climate Change is a fact and that anthropocentric Global Warming is a fact :

25. Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades.

And there is much more along those lines which is straight out of the Al Gore brigade's copy book. But the truth is simple : yes, there is climate change , there always has been climate change and there always will be climate change and man is incapable of having any significant effect on it . We cannot even regularly make rain when we try seeding clouds, let alone affect the climate. Forces far beyond our control or even complete understanding are at work there : e.g. the influence of the Sun and Sun "spots" , the influence of the oceans and their currents, the influence of volcanic eruptions both on the surface of the planet and underwater.

  For example, changes in climate, to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead them to migrate; this in turn affects the livelihood of the poor, who are then forced to leave their homes, with great uncertainty for their future and that of their children. There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation.

No gesture is made toward justifying this assertion. Whereas we can plainly see that the majority of refugees are in fact economic migrants seeking to escape from corrupt states or genuine refugees from wars, political persecution and religious persecution. 

24. Warming has effects on the carbon cycle. It creates a vicious circle which aggravates the situation even more, affecting the availability of essential resources like drinking water, energy and agricultural production in warmer regions, and leading to the extinction of part of the planet’s biodiversity. The melting in the polar ice caps and in high altitude plains can lead to the dangerous release of methane gas, while the decomposition of frozen organic material can further increase the emission of carbon dioxide. Things are made worse by the loss of tropical forests which would otherwise help to mitigate climate change. Carbon dioxide pollution increases the acidification of the oceans and compromises the marine food chain. If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us. A rise in the sea level, for example, can create extremely serious situations, if we consider that a quarter of the world’s population lives on the coast or nearby, and that the majority of our megacities are situated in coastal areas.

This is the most outrageous bit of misinformation. Firstly, there has been no "Global Warming" for 18 years as NASA and the IPCC have shown. Secondly the planet has been very significantly warmer centuries ago on two occasions at least , and when there was no industrialisation of modern proportions at all. Changing sea levels have been a constant for millenia as the evidence of history shows.Even in Roman times cities that were once ports are now miles from the sea. A visit to Classe outside Ravenna will provide a reality check.

The failure to look critically at these " environmentalist" claims which are so easily disproved is extremely disappointing in this document.

32. The earth’s resources are also being plundered because of short-sighted approaches to the economy, commerce and production. The loss of forests and woodlands entails the loss of species which may constitute extremely important resources in the future, not only for food but also for curing disease and other uses. Different species contain genes which could be key resources in years ahead for meeting human needs and regulating environmental problems.
33. It is not enough, however, to think of different species merely as potential “resources” to be exploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves. Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost for ever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.
34. It may well disturb us to learn of the extinction of mammals or birds, since they are more visible. But the good functioning of ecosystems also requires fungi, algae, worms, insects, reptiles and an innumerable variety of microorganisms. Some less numerous species, although generally unseen, nonetheless play a critical role in maintaining the equilibrium of a particular place. Human beings must intervene when a geosystem reaches a critical state. But nowadays, such intervention in nature has become more and more frequent. As a consequence, serious problems arise, leading to further interventions; human activity becomes ubiquitous, with all the risks which this entails. Often a vicious circle results, as human intervention to resolve a problem further aggravates the situation. For example, many birds and insects which disappear due to synthetic agrotoxins are helpful for agriculture: their disappearance will have to be compensated for by yet other techniques which may well prove harmful. We must be grateful for the praiseworthy efforts being made by scientists and engineers dedicated to finding solutions to man-made problems. But a sober look at our world shows that the degree of human intervention, often in the service of business interests and consumerism, is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey, even as technological advances and consumer goods continue to abound limitlessly. We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves.

60. Finally, we need to acknowledge that different approaches and lines of thought have emerged regarding this situation and its possible solutions. At one extreme, we find those who doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell us that ecological problems will solve themselves simply with the application of new technology and without any need for ethical considerations or deep change. At the other extreme are those who view men and women and all their interventions as no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced and all forms of intervention prohibited. Viable future scenarios will have to be generated between these extremes, since there is no one path to a solution. This makes a variety of proposals possible, all capable of entering into dialogue with a view to developing comprehensive solutions.
61. On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views. But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems. Still, we can see signs that things are now reaching a breaking point, due to the rapid pace of change and degradation; these are evident in large-scale natural disasters as well as social and even financial crises, for the world’s problems cannot be analyzed or explained in isolation. There are regions now at high risk and, aside from all doomsday predictions, the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view, for we have stopped thinking about the goals of human activity. “If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”.[35]

I have quoted the above at length, to give the full flavour of much of the Encyclical which so many will never read. " But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair" A frank look at the facts tells us no such thing as I have shown.

"Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know," This statement in itself shows its own absurdity - even if these "thousands" disappeared, if we can "never know"them how can it be said that they "disappear"?

To be very frank, the nature  of the faults in this Encyclical is such  that its good points listed above are buried as it were in a pile of alien propaganda which has nothing to do with the Catholic Faith or the responsibilities of the Pope and I have no interest in continuing to examine it. 

If one were truly interested in the welfare of the poor of this world why would one not write an Encyclical condemning corruption in all its forms which impoverishes most of Africa and Asia and the Middle East? Rulers and their lackeys who do not blush at stealing  BILLIONS of dollars - yes BILLIONS even individuals have done it , not just the aggregate of them all. And countries like Switzerland have grown fat banking all these ill gotten goods. Here is a subject where man is truly responsible and truly capable of effecting change. And the poor of these countries live in continuing abject poverty . I have seen for myself people living on and from vast rubbish tips in Djakarta Indonesia, while the fat wives of politicians swan around in jewel bedecked vulgarity, and bribery is the norm in Government operations.  And in Nigeria again the poor lack clean running water, lack regular electricity, lack adequate sewerage,lack medicines and lack jobs and yet dozens of political leaders have been shown to have most blatantly stolen BILLIONS of dollars in recent times and over the decades. All of this is stolen from the people. It is not stolen by " capitalism" it is crudely stolen by their fellow countrymen in office. And Nigeria is an immensely wealthy country , presently reduced to heavy indebtedness by the depredations of these monsters. These are only two countries, but the story is repeated in many countries around the world including the Holy Father's native South America.  

But we hear nothing about this.


Let us praise the Encyclical " Laudato Si'" for what is good in it as listed above. Let us with the same integrity ignore those things in it that are false and , or, irrelevant to the Papal office.

Let us cry out for Encyclicals that directly address the immorality of corruption that impoverishes the poor of the global community - the crudest theft in the history of the world.