Thursday, 9 November 2017

Three quotations


You must eat life or it will eat you.  Proverb - but from which country?

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer

To the liberalism they profess, I prefer the liberties we enjoy; to the Rights of Man, the rights of Englishmen. Benjamin Disraeli


  1. To speak of the Christian heritage of Europe bothers me. And for even
    greater reason, speaking of “Christian civilization.” Christianity was
    founded by people who could not have cared less about “Christian
    civilization.” What interested them was Christ, and the reverberations
    of his coming on the whole of human existence. Christians believed in
    Christ, not in Christianity itself; they were Christians, not

    It took centuries to translate Christian reality into institutions.
    Think of the time it took for the Church to reverse inveterate habits
    and impose the consent of the engaged couple as the sole indispensable
    condition for marriage. The famous monogamous marriage that we now
    call “traditional” was in fact a hard-won innovation. What is really
    traditional is the contract between two families for an exchange of
    spouses, whose opinion was seldom asked. Until quite late, so-called
    “Christian” society regarded with a jaundiced eye those who
    married—before a priest, to be sure—without consulting father, mother,
    or the social conventions. In one telling example: when the
    silk-worker Gonzalo de Yepes married Catalina Alvarez, a poor weaver,
    for love, his family disowned him. Moreover, when Catalina became a
    widow, she had to make her way alone to raise her son, later known
    under the name of St. John of the Cross.

    Who can say that Christianity has had the time to translate the
    totality of its contents into institutions? I have the impression that
    instead we are still at the beginning stages of Christianity.

    Rémi Brague

  2. I stepped back from parish music involvement and now just sit in the pews, suffering with the rest of the Catholic faithful. I still love writing for choirs, though, and from the sidelines I encourage the application of Gregorian chant in simple, vernacular ways, as well as in Latin. The Orthodox chant I heard in Romania in September was astonishingly beautiful. Perhaps there is a way of incorporating it into choral music for the liturgy here too?

    James MacMillan

    1. This comment made me smile bleakly. I forwarded it to two left wing Catholic friends who go to the English language mass in Bucharest.


    2. Catholicism and other forms of establishment Christianity in the West
      tend to take the form of bourgeois religion. That term denotes the
      fusion of church culture with the moral consensus held by the good,
      respectable people who set the tone for society as a whole. For a long
      time now it has been socially acceptable to divorce and contracept.
      Soon thereafter it was OK to cohabitate, and then the good and
      responsible people who run things adopted an affirmative attitude
      toward gay sex. During all this, the same consensus became hostile to
      those who say otherwise. It became “cruel,” “hateful,” and “bigoted”
      to call something wrong that the bourgeois consensus now deems right.
      In this way, the good and responsible people did not just accommodate
      themselves to the sexual revolution; they took ownership of it.

      It has become apparent that Pope Francis wants to make this retreat
      more explicit. Pope Francis and his closest associates have no interest in
      the sacramental coherence of their positions on matters such as
      divorce and remarriage, nor do they care one wit about defending the
      logic of the arguments they put forward.
      Pope Francis and his associates want to
      sign a peace treaty with the sexual revolution. They will use whatever
      arguments and rhetoric are necessary to achieve this goal.

      This papacy’s goal of aligning the Catholic Church with the bourgeois
      consensus has other dimensions that show how unprincipled this process
      will be. Euthanasia is not something our bourgeois consensus wishes to
      endorse, at least not enthusiastically. Most good and responsible
      people have misgivings. They recognize the dangers it poses to the
      weak and vulnerable. But they believe that intelligent, self-possessed
      people like them ought to have the option of doctor-assisted suicide,
      at least in some cases. The general tone of the Francis papacy thus
      encourages bishops to mirror this position. Doctor-assisted suicide is
      not OK, exactly, but it is OK-ish. It falls under the rubric of
      “accompaniment,” which means saying “no” without saying “no,” which is
      a way of saying “yes” without saying “yes.”

      But Francis also will denounce where denunciations are wanted.
      Recently, he declared capital punishment always and everywhere
      forbidden. One can argue that this pronouncement is inconsistent with
      the Church’s two-thousand-year tradition of moral teaching on the
      matter. But that’s beside the point. The notion of Pope Francis
      defining any act as intrinsically evil is laughable on its face, given
      how often he attacks the “doctors of the law” who speak about
      objective moral norms. And didn’t Fr. Antonio Spadaro very clearly
      tell us that the time has passed when we can speak of “a norm that
      stands above all”? Pope Francis takes the hard line because it’s
      required if the Catholic Church is to remain aligned with the good and
      responsible people.

      Pope Francis and his associates echo the pieties and
      self-complimenting utopianism of progressives. That’s not surprising.
      ... there’s no disputing that for centuries Jesuits have shown great
      talent in adjusting the gospel to suit the powerful. And so, I think
      the European establishment can count on the Vatican to denounce the
      populism currently threatening its hold on power. I predict that this
      papacy will be a great defender of migrants and refugees—until
      political pressures on the European ruling class become so great that
      it shifts and becomes more “realistic,” at which point the Vatican
      will shift as well.

      This will not end well. The West has seen a long season of loosening,
      opening up, and deconsolidation, of which the sexual revolution is but
      a part. Our establishment is committed to sustaining this consensus.
      This is why it has been at war with Catholic intransigence, which is
      based on the Church’s insistence that she answer to timeless,
      unchanging, and demanding truths. It’s foolish for the papacy to make
      a peace treaty with this establishment consensus. It’s theologically
      unworkable. It’s also politically inept. For the establishment
      consensus is failing...

      R. R. Reno

    3. Links:

    4. Not surprising Bergolio has restated former fake-Pope Wojtyla's false teaching on the death penalty. Its hard to fathom the sheer scale of the arrogance of the Vatican II sect to proclaim that they know better than 2000 years of Catholic teaching on capital punishment. Murderers MUST be executed. To preach the exact opposite of Catholic teaching, in the name of the "Catholic Church" is utterly evil and despicable.

  3. Paul, e-mail me soon. Let's talk on the phone.

  4. No more fags at The Vatican:

    Dichiarazione del Direttore della Sala Stampa, Greg Burke, 09.11.2017

    The Holy Father has decided that the Vatican will cease to sell
    cigarettes to employees as of 2018. The reason is very simple: the
    Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the
    health of people. According to the World Health Organization, every
    year smoking is the cause of more than seven million deaths throughout
    the world.

    Although the cigarettes sold to employees and pensioners in the
    Vatican at a reduced price are a source of revenue for the Holy See,
    no profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk.
    [01679-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]


    The sale of large cigars though will continue, the spokesperson
    continued, since the smoke is not inhaled. The Vatican tobacco stores
    have a discreet selection of Cuban cigars, marked at 20 percent less
    than their cost in Italy, making them among the cheapest good-quality
    cigars in the world.

  5. Perhaps now no more fags in Westminster either since an inquiry by the COF has at last been approved on Gibley and his protege.