Wednesday, 20 August 2008

How do we know the Pope is infallible?

The simple answer is because God said so at Matt 16:18.

That, however, will not satisfy the sceptics.

Now, as a result of my earlier post, someone has asked me this same question.

I anticipated this, hence, in part, my earlier post on the subject.

So here's part of the answer I gave which I hope might be of interest to others.

Belief in the infallibility of the pope is a rational belief and can be proved rationally. However, an argument can be proved rationally and yet still be disbelieved. That is because people are not always rational.

All belief-systems - even atheism - are claimed by their adherents to be true. For a proposition to be true it has to be proved to be true or, at the least, not proved to be false.

Very few people think that the belief-system they choose to believe in is false, or even doubtful. Otherwise they would not believe in it.

This is the simplest form of "infallibility" - self-belief in one's own belief-system.

Now, if a person can be convincingly shown that his belief-system is false then it is a fair probability that he will eventually abandon it.

Catholics are no different in this respect.

Caravaggio. Martyrdom of St. Peter. C. 1601

The doctrine of papal infallibility is closely defined by the very organ which claims to exercise that infallibility viz., the Pope and an Ecumenical Council ratified by him.

The definition of papal infallibility made at the 1st Vatican Council in 1870 states as follows:

"We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals."

There are 5 conditions set out in this definition.

If this definition is false, it ought therefore to be easy to rebut it by looking at the definitions of popes and Councils over the last 2,000 years of Roman Catholic Christianity.

All one need do is show that one pope or Council made a definition clearly inconsistent with, or contrary to, another such definition.

The problem is that you can't.

It has been tried and no-one has been able to show that the proposition is false.

There have been some close calls e.g. Popes Liberius, Honorius, John XXII and a few others. However, none of these entailed a clear contradiction.

The worst that can be said is that a papal, or papally approved, definition was ambiguous.

Ambiguity is not contradiction.

That is the first test - consistency.

The Altar of the Chair in the apse of St Peter's Basilica,
symbol of the Petrine teaching authority of the popes, given to them by our Lord Himself when He said (Matt 16:18) to St Peter "Thou are Peter, the Rock, and upon this Rock I shall built my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it". Around the interior of St Peter's dome those words are transcribed in Latin: Tu es Petrus, et superhanc Petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.

And it is a remarkable fact that the Catholic Church is the only belief-system in the world that can claim complete consistency of definitive teaching by its definitive teaching authority.

All other major world religions either do not have a teaching authority at all or else have an authority that does not teach consistently.

Round One to the Catholic Church.

And it is a vitally important round because if all other belief-systems fail the test of consistency of doctrine then they are simply not credible as belief-systems. And if the only one left is Catholicism then it has the best claim to be the true belief-system, even if only comparatively.

But consistency is not all. One can be consistently wrong, for example.

In his Development of Christian Doctrine, Cardinal Newman went on to provide a list of 7 truth-tests which he applied to the development of Christian doctrine.

These 7 tests are those which can be readily seen to distinguish a corruption from a true development of doctrine.

By this Newman means, for example, a modern doctrine which clearly contradicts an earlier doctrine which is nevertheless claimed to belong to the same belief-system.

Here is a further example. A sect that claims that its members are the only true Christians but which teaches that faith saves but that virtuous works do not, teaches a doctrine which is not taught by Scripture. Moreover, all relevant historical records show such was not taught by the early Christian teachers. The sect's teaching is therefore a corruption and not a true development.

Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

Newman's 7 tests of a true doctrinal development are:

(1) preservation of type;
(2) continuity of principles;
(3) the power of assimilating apparently foreign material without corruption;
(4) 'logical sequence' of ideas;
(5) 'early anticipation' of the future, mature form;
(6) conservation of the course of antecedent developments; and finally,
(7) 'chronic continuance'.

He then applies all of these tests to the various forms of Christianity and is forced, against his initial will, to conclude that only the Roman Catholic form of Christianity passes all these tests. Indeed, all the other forms fail the majority of these tests.

He considers all major Catholic doctrines in so doing.

Exactly the same exercise can be done for all the other major world religions and there one finds that none of them meet all, or even many, of the tests of a true doctrinal development.

In a further book, his Grammar of Assent, Newman then looks at what is required for logical assent to any set of metaphysical doctrines and shows, with ineluctable logic, why only the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church merits such assent.

This is predicated on both deduction, as is metaphysical logic, but also upon induction, as all science is. From both forms of logic Newman proves the truth of Catholic Christianity and, indirectly therefore, of the doctrine of papal infallibility.

Formal inference is logic in the deductive sense. For Newman, logic is indeed extremely useful especially in science and in society. However, its usefulness is circumscribed by its initial assumptions.

Informal inference is akin to calculus. In informal inference one reaches a conclusion by considering the accumulation of converging antecedent probabilities. Natural inference is when the individual, in a simple and whole process, grasps the antecedent conditions and conclusions instantaneously. For instance, if one sees smoke, one may instantly infer the presence of fire. Natural inference, in Newman's view, is related to experience or innate ability.

Newman maintained that in real life, converging probabilities in favour of a conclusion are the basis upon which decision-making is made. One might cite statistical surveys, polls and so on as modern examples of such. The greater the accumulation of probabilities, the greater the likelihood of truth. This, too, is how a court of law works in arriving at findings of fact.

From his tests, Newman shows that non-Catholic religions are easily and readily dismissed as logically inconsistent and purely fallible, not infallible.

Complete atheism, however, cannot be dismissed so readily on that basis. It is at least consistent in claiming that there is no God at all.

However, atheism fails on other, more obvious, grounds.

St Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican friar called by the Church "Angelic Doctor", probably the greatest of all the Doctors of the Church

These grounds are addressed by St Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Contra Gentiles which was aimed at non-Christians.

In this work he sets out his famous "5 Ways" which prove the existence of God. They are all eminently logical, convincing and rational.

The most famous is the argument for an "unmoved mover", predicated upon a regress of motion or causes back to an original "unmoved mover" or "uncaused cause" which men call God.

We see all around us that events have causes. How is it that all events in the Universe have efficient causes but not the main event, the creation of time and space?

If there was a "Big Bang" then what, or who, caused the "Big Bang"?

To say "no-one" or "nothing" is to say that a Universe of causes and effects has no cause and effect.

This is simply not credible.

Start with a Bang?
There may have been a Big Bang but if so, who or what caused it?

We return to "papal infallibility".

Every belief-system has its teachers. All, except the Catholic Church, are either inconsistent at some time and place or else claim no clear authority and do not claim any definitive truth.

Any rational person must thus either go on and try to prove this statement to be untrue or else admit that papal infallibility cannot be impugned as inconsistent or illogical.

That being so then, if he cannot also disprove the logical inconsistency of other belief-systems, he ought, logically, to endorse papal infallibility by reason of the accumulation of evidence that Newman indicates is the basis of assent in the human mind in real life.

Putting it very simply, if the sun rises every day and sets every day then one cannot with absolute certainty say "the sun will rise and set tomorrow" but one may be sufficiently sure as to say that it is a truth that the sun rises and sets every day.

So, too, if one can show that the popes and Councils of the Roman Catholic Church have never, when making a purportedly infallible definition, contradicted themselves or made an internally illogical or contradictory definition, and that over the full length of 2,000 years since the Church came into existence, then one may say, with the same degree of certitude as in the sun rising and setting analogy, that papal infallibility is a true doctrine.

If it is indeed true then we have a final authority on earth for the declaration of truth and must follow it whenever it speaks, as being an organ through which the divine oracle itself speaks.

On the evidence of its self-consistency and passing of the 7 Newmanite tests, anyone who says that it is not true will either have to show how it fails those tests or else admit that he is saying something as sub-rational as that the sun will not rise and set tomorrow.

Now, no-one has been able clearly to show that the doctrine of papal infallibility fails the test of self-consistency or that it fails any of the other tests of a true doctrine.

Thus to deny papal infallibility is akin to denying that the sun will not rise and set tomorrow.

Our Lord washing the feet of St Peter, His first pope,
a painting by Ford Maddox Brown in the pre-Raphaelite school

Indeed, it is still more absurd since it is more probable that there may come a time when the sun will fail to rise and set. The idea that God could so providentially provide that, for 2,000 years, the organ that claims to be His final teaching authority on earth should teach consistently and without internal contradiction or logical error, but that He might allow it to fail at some future time and so amount to a supreme deception, is as absurd as suggesting that the whole Universe is the creation of a malignant arch-demon bent upon deceiving all mankind for no apparent purpose.

There may be some people who believe such an absurdity but few would give such persons much credence.

Even atheists like Dawkins and Hitchens would laugh at such an idea. They prefer random natural selection - not a supernatural deceiver. If they believed in the latter then they would, logically, believe in a a god-figure but, since they are atheists, they do not.

Belief in papal infallibility is thus entirely rational and far more rational than belief in any other belief-system, whether atheist or theist.


Anyone care to have a go at challenging this argument?

Over to you.

The Roman Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, the chief priest and spiritual teacher of God's Church upon the earth, by command of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself when He personally appointed St Peter as the first Supreme Pontiff of Holy Church

St Peter, the first Supreme Pontiff of Holy Church, pray for us!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Our tainted nature's solitary boast: the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our holy Mother and Queen, the flower of Israel

To the right is the work of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino, 1591-1666, in his beautiful but simple Assumption of the Virgin.

It is scarcely possible for us even to imagine the purity, holiness and spiritual greatness of the Blessed Virgin.

No Feminist, she, but the willing servant of God and man, whether high or low, and the exemplar for us all as she shows us that it is in serving that we become great and not by demanding that we be served.

She became great before the Lord because she was so small before the Lord and before men.

Now she towers over all creation - even the Angels.

She stoops to conquer. By her humility is she the greatest of all God's creatures.

The more man turns from himself and defers to God, the greater he becomes and the more fully human.

Our Blessed Lady achieved this in the greatest manner possible.

Think of the best, gentlest, kindest and most generous lady that you have ever met in your life. Our Lady is a million times yet more kind, gentle, generous and good.

Men have struggled to capture in art the greatness of this woman but all must necessarily fail. We shall not really comprehend her greatness until we see see her kneeling before the Throne of Grace, with Almighty God Himself stooping to embrace her, His greatest creation, for God Himself is yet more humble still even than the Virgin herself.

Think of the humility of God in so stooping as to allow Himself to be born of his own creation, an earthly mother, and to allow her the greatest possible title imaginable for a mere creature, Dei genetrix, Deipara, Theotokos, the "God-bearer", the very Mother of God!

Tiziano Vecelli ("Titian", 1488-1576). The Assumption of the Virgin, 1516-18.

What greater God could there be than this, that He, the very God Himself, should stoop to be, as it were, lower even than His own creation whilst all the time remaining Almighty God. What a marvellous conception! What a pinnacle of perfect love. Of such kind is our God. Words fail. We can but adore, adore, adore!

Think, too, O woman, of the greatness of your dignity simply in being mothers; for by so being you imitate the greatest event in all history and creation, the birth of our Saviour, the very Son of God, JESUS CHRIST, from the womb of the Blessed Virgin.

Through her fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum, she turned all her attention away from herself and toward the Holy Trinity, her Father, her Spouse and her Son. She annihilated self, as the best mothers do, and gave all for the sake of her Father, her Spouse and her Son.

Annibale Caracci (1560-1609). Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

This is the highest perfection man or woman can ever achieve. And she, the Queen of Heaven, embodies it.

Let us recall some of the great prayers that the Church gives us in the Roman rite for the Feast of our Lady's Assumption into heaven.

Ant. Assúmpta est María in cælum : gaudent Angeli, laudántes benedícunt Dóminum.

Ant. Mary hath been taken up into heaven : the company of Angels is joyful ; yea, the Angels rejoice, and glorify the Lord.

Capitulum: Judith 13. 22-23.
Benedíxit te Dóminus in virtúte sua, quia per te ad níhilum redégit inimícos nostros. Benedícta es tu, fília, a Dómino Deo excélso, præ ómnibus muliéribus super terram.
R. Deo grátias.

The Little Chapter: Judith 13. 22-23.
The Lord hath blessed thee by his power, because by thee he hath brought to nought the enemies of thy people. Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God above all the women upon the earth.
R. Thanks be to God.

Pablo de San Leocadio (1445-1520). Virgen de la Leche (Virgin of the milk). 1472-1514.

V. Exaltáta est sancta Dei Génitrix.
R. Super choros Angelórum ad cæléstia regna.

V. Thou art exalted, O holy Mother of God.
R. Above choirs of Angels, unto the heavenly kingdom.

The infallible proclamation of the Assumption of our Lady by the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Pius XII, in 1950. The doctrine had been taught and believed since the time of the Apostles but was formally declared only in the 20th century. Churches have been dedicated to the Assumption since the earliest times and artists have celebrated the event since long ago. York Minster, for instance, is dedicated to the Assumption. Anyone who thinks the doctrine is a novelty invented by the Catholic Church is simply ignorant of history.

Ad Magnif. Ant: Virgo prudentíssima, quo progréderis, quasi auróra valde rútilans? Fília Sion, tota formósa et suávis es, pulchra ut luna, elécta ut sol.

Ant. for the Magnificat: O wisest of virgins, whither goest thou, like to the Day-Spring gloriously rising? O daughter of Sion, altogether lovely art thou, and pleasant for delights, fair as the moon, clear as the sun.

Luc. 1. 46-55

MAGNIFICAT : ánima mea Dóminum.
2 Et exsultávit spíritus meus: * in Deo, salutári meo.
3 Quia respéxit humilitátem ancíllæ suæ: * ecce enim ex hoc beátam me dicent omnes generatiónes.
4 Quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est: * (Fit reverentia) et sanctum nomen ejus.
5 Et misericórdia ejus, a progénie in progénies: * timéntibus eum.
6 Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo: * dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui.
7 Depósuit poténtes de sede: * et exaltávit húmiles.
8 Esuriéntes implévit bonis: * et dívites dimísit inánes.
9 Suscépit Israël púerum suum: * recordátus misericórdiæ suæ.
10 Sicut locútus est ad patres nostros: * Abraham, et sémini ejus in sæcula.
11 Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
12 Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, * et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.

The Holy House in Ephesus where our Lady ended her days on this earth

Luke. 1. 46-55

My soul * doth magnify the Lord.
2 And my spirit hath rejoiced * in God my Saviour.
3 For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden : * for behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
4 For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * (
Here all make a profound reverence) and holy is his Name.
5 And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
6 He hath shewed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
7 He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek.
8 He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
9 He remembering his mercy * hath holpen his servant Israel.
10 As he promised to our forefathers, * Abraham and his seed for ever.
11 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
12 As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

Antonio Allegri da Correggio (1489-1534). Virgin and child.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!


Friday, 15 August 2008

Roy Schoeman: Salvation is from the Jews

This is a fascinating book by a Jewish convert to Roman Catholicism, Roy Schoeman.

He explains carefully how the Old Testament leads directly into the New Testament and neither makes sense without the other.

He explains that God's promises to the Jews have never been negated, apply now to the Church but that, even so, the Jews as a race, a people and even in their religious observances today, still have a part to play in salvation history.

But don't get the idea that he thinks Jews need not convert to Catholicism, as many Catholic bishops nowadays claim. On the contrary, he believes that Christ is the fulfilment of the promises of Adonai (the Lord) to the Jews.

In his second book, he provides wonderful tales of Jewish converts to the Faith, all of them remarkable and holy men and women.

This book is about the role of Judaism in salvation history from Abraham to the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in glory.

It is filled with learned commentary and scholarship and will reward and enrich the faith of any Catholic reading it.

Our Lord as a child teaching the Jewish doctors in the Temple

The author, Roy Schoeman, was born in a suburb of New York City of "Conservative" Jewish parents who had fled Nazi Germany.

His Jewish education and formation was received under some of the most prominent Rabbis in contemporary American Jewry, including Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, probably the foremost Conservative Rabbi in the US. Rabbi Arthur Green, later the head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College was his religion teacher and mentor during high school and early college. Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, a prominent Hasidic Rabbi with whom he lived in Israel for several months, was another of his teachers.

His secular education included a BSc from MIT and an MBA magna cum laude from Harvard Business School.

Midway through a career of teaching and consulting (he had been appointed to the faculty of the Harvard Business School, aged 26) he experienced an unexpected and instantaneous conversion to Christianity which led to a dramatic refocus of his activities.

Since then he has pursued theological studies at several seminaries, helped produce and host a Catholic Television talk shows, and edited and written for several Catholic books and reviews.

I warmly recommend this fascinating book. I also recommend his web-site at

Professor Roy Schoeman, Jewish convert to Catholicism
and author of Salvation is from the Jews

And - better still! - Roy is a traditional Catholic who prefers the traditional Roman rite of mass.


Because it connects us more fully with the Catholic and Jewish past and is more faithful to the New and the Old Testaments. And because it is more fully Catholic.

Yet more proof- if any more were still needed - that the traditional rites are better supported by scholarship and learning.


Franklin Roosevelt and Kristallnacht

When the National Socialist government of Germany was exterminating Jews and seeking to eliminate European Jewry, the rest of the civilized world did very little.

When Ambassador Charles-Roux, France's representative at the Holy See, had learned from Pope Pius XII what the Nazis were really like, he tried to warn his own government of the danger from Hitler and his thugs. They would not listen. What had the French to fear from an Austrian-born house-painter?

The British and American governments were no better, despite the warnings of Sir Winston Churchill and his friends.

Since the seizure of power by Hitler, the murderous intentions of the Third Reich were well-known to Western governments, even if the people were still unaware. Eye-witness accounts were reported in Western newspapers like The New York Times e.g. the account from a boy released from Oranienburg concentration camp was published on 6 October 1933. Reports were given in the British House of Commons, too.

Nevertheless, the US government did not boycott the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936 despite the fact that the grossly anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws had been passed by then.

A month after assuming office, Hitler was already making sarcastic references to the US refusal to allow Jewish refugees into the USA (New York Times, 6 April 1933).

The New York Times tells Americans about Kristallnacht

Just 5 days after Kristallnacht, when Jewish shops were burned and looted and synagogues burned down, and 25,000 Jews were taken to concentration camps, Franklin Roosevelt was asked at a White House press conference if he would recommend a relaxation of US immigration restrictions so that Jewish refugees could be allowed in.

He replied - and let his words live in infamy! - as follows:

"That is not in contemplation. We have the quota system."

Yes, there it is!

The darling of the American Left himself!

Refusing to help the persecuted and oppressed Jews to escape certain death and torture under the Nazis.

What an appalling disgrace!

Jews being led away to concentration camps from the Warsaw Ghetto after Kristallnacht

And Roosevelt did not stop there in his refusal to help suffering mankind.

Under the influence of his wife, Eleanor, he also refused to help those in Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe who were being savagely persecuted by the Communists, too.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn being searched in a Soviet Gulag.
Roosevelt, under the influence of his wife, Eleanor, never condemned them as they imprisoned and murdered millions upon millions

It is frankly amazing that there are still Americans who consider this man to have been a "great" President of the USA.

I beg to differ.


Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Colonel Bigot rides again...

Sorry to say the "Colonel" is not interested in rational discussion but only in mouthing off.

It's a pity. I had hoped for better from him.

There are few things quite as tedious as conversing with your redneck, one-eyed, anti-Catholic, know-nothing, neo-Fascist bigot - except perhaps his Left Wing equivalent.

Apart from knowing nothing about European history, they rarely, if ever, even know their own country's history.

Sadly, they are also often racists who think whites superior to blacks, Anglos to Latinos and are utterly paranoid that America might become a Latino state in which those whom their forebears so bigotedly and insultingly referred to as "greasers" might take charge. They can tolerate a Catholic if he is white and North American - but a Latino? The very idea sends them into a tail-spin.

To be fair, too many Latinos have been taken in by the very Party that used to crush their ancestors to dust, namely the Democrat Party, and so they start to take on board the whole raft of Lefty drivel that is poured forth by the likes of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.

But Latinos can also be conservatives and, if Catholic, the better sort of traditionalist.

Unfortunately, people like the Colonel keep scaring them off.

It is the rednecks who are made of the same stuff of which the authoritarian, Fascist and Nazi regimes were made. Yet, in their benighted ignorance and blissfully unaware of the facts, they comfort themselves with the fantasy that the regimes which so persecuted the Catholic Church and murdered Catholic priests and laity in large numbers, were actually somehow Catholic themselves.

Tell that to St Maximilian Kolbe, St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Blessed Titus Brandsma and the large number of Catholic martyrs under totalitarianism. Tell that to the many Poles and Eastern European Catholic martyrs murdered by Hitler who have no grave and no name. Tell that to the many faithful Catholics who fought against the Nazis.

Tell that to Pope Pius XII, the saviour of over 860,000 Jewish lives, who was imprisoned in the Vatican by the Nazis and only lived because the Nazis feared the backlash if they murdered him.

And let us not forget how the Yankee plutocrats supported - for financial gain, of course - both the Soviet and the Nazi regimes, in their early days, and later!

But the rednecks will tell you that they have never "imposed" themselves on anyone!

Yes! They really believe that they were not "imposing" as they crushed the face of Mexico and other countries with their boots!

There are none so blind as they who will not see...


Monday, 4 August 2008

A message for those seeking the truth...

When, as teacher and pastor of all the faithful, he defines a teaching of faith and/or morals to be held by the universal Church...

the Pope is infallible!

... Or you could just disagree and try valiantly to make sense of the 99,000 other Christian denominations who all disagree over what the Bible actually means.

Or just chuck it all and make yourself your own god.

Let's face it. It's a no brainer. No infallible teaching authority means no truth and no certainty.

So why not stick with the obvious right answer?

Simple, really, isn't it?

Papal infallibility for ever!

PS. and fortunately he is rather a nice bloke, too...


Saturday, 2 August 2008

Apologists for bad Yankee aggression simply make my point for me

They respond with such preposterous fury, indignation and aggression that they simply defeat their own claims and make my point for me.

Most absurdly of all, they simply fail utterly to distinguish between proper criticism of the ills of Yankeedom and the virtue of the good Americans of whom there are a large number and always have been. They cannot see the difference which is precisely what is wrong with their whole analysis (or lack of it).

Take the self-styled "Colonel Alp" for a kick-off. I've no idea who he is but he is representative of a very typical strand of Yankee anti-Catholicism and he attempts to foist his Yankee-centred prejudice and lack of historical knowledge onto us. He will, I hope forgive me, if I use him as an example of what I mean.

He is clearly a conservative but in the American sense of that much-misused word.

He is right to criticise the Catholic bishops of America - whether for saying that it is compassionate to open the borders to all comers - or for any other reason. He will get no argument about the stupidity of many modern Catholic bishops from this blog. I wholeheartedly agree. And I could give him many more examples than he could even dream of.

A conference of the US Catholic bishops. The USCCB often wastes huge amounts of time and money endorsing fashionable viewpoints in as dull a manner as possible.

But the sum of Roman Catholicism is not the Catholic bishops of America - or even those currently living in the whole world.

The sum of Roman Catholicism is all the bishops, priests and laity that have ever lived since Christ first founded the Church. Hence the importance of "tradition" or handing on (it comes from the Latin word traditio meaning "handing on").

As St Vincent of Lerins put it in his famous maxim, since adopted by popes and Councils of the Church, we believe what has been taught always, everywhere and by everyone in the Church (quod semper et ubique et ab omnibus credentur), meaning not just what is currently fashionable but what has been taught and handed on by those who came before us.

That tradition began at the birth and death of Jesus Christ, at the Resurrection and at Pentecost. It began in the Roman Empire, is mediated through the Holy Roman Church and its chief shepherd, the Bishop of Rome, and has been protected historically by the Roman Emperor and monarchs of Christendom. That, by the way, is why this site is called "Roman Christendom" to reflect that reality.

This does NOT however mean that every Catholic bishop will be faithful to his charge and to that tradition. It does not even mean that a majority of such bishops living at any one time will be faithful to that tradition. It does not even mean that the Bishop of Rome, or Pope, will always be faithful to that tradition - although the popes have a remarkably good record for being faithful and the exceptions are rare, albeit colourful (e.g. Pope John XII who was assassinated by the husband of his mistress).

What it means is this - and please note well, Colonel:

The Church's teaching authority, personified by the Pope and any Council authorised by him, will not solemnly teach and define as true that which is false and inconsistent with ancient Catholic tradition.

THAT is what it means.

And so it has proved. No pope, however wicked, has ever solemnly and definitively taught that previous Catholic teaching is false or taught some contradictory novelty. The Holy Ghost has stopped evil popes from so attemptimg.

That is the true meaning of papal infallibility.

It does not mean that each individual pope cannot make mistakes when he teaches without the full solemnity of infallibility (for a definition of which see Pastor Aeturnus of the 1st Vatican Council and Lumen Gentium 25 of the Second Vatican Council).

So... it follows that the entire American episcopate could be teaching complete poppycock (and indeed they sometimes do just that). They would be traitors to the Faith (and often are) but that would not mean the end of the Faith nor would it be a proof of the falsity of the Faith. It would merely be a proof of the treachery of the American bishops, or at least some of them.

No Catholic is obliged to follow his bishop if that bishop teaches falsehood, error or any other kind of falsity. And one certainly does not need to take one's party political lead from the American bishops.

Now to your other false charges.

The USA does not "fee" other countries. On the contrary, thanks to the modern banking system and the nature of the US banking system, the US feeds off other countries. It began to do so by naked aggression in the way that I have already described but it has since learned to do so by more peaceful means, particularly through the banking system. This is not an exclusively Yankee phenomenon: the British and the Europeans are doing it, too. This is not exclusively due to the ingenuity and historical superiority of the Western nations. It is also often enough due to greed and power.

On the other hand, the greed of Western business is not the whole story, by any means. Western business has often enough been simply exploiting the strife and incompetence of foreign governments whose leaders, taught in Western universities, have attempted to impose Western secularist ideas on their people with often disastrous results.


Never more has this policy of Western secularism being imposed through corrupt leaders, and complaisant Western business on the make, appeared, than in the matter of forced contraceptive policies.

In some countries, even food aid is put second to the oppressive requirement of Yankee-dominated agencies that contraception be the first priority. No condom or contraceptive injection - no food aid. It is sometimes as crude, crass and appalling as that.

It is also racist. Some Westerners just do not want to see the population of asians, black africans and hispanics rising.

So they impose enforced contraception. It is disgusting and oppressive.

But let's not forget that many American states once had enforced sterilisation policies and that Yankee bigots and fascists like Margaret Sanger, who funded the Birth Control Review and the research that led to the contraceptive pill, hated the Catholic Church and supported Adolf Hitler and his Nazi eugenic plans.

It wasn't an exlusively Yankee phenomenon, either. Britain had its Marie Stopes and her Nazi sympathies.

All of this was predicted - entirely accurately - by the Catholic Church. It was re-stated by Pope Paul VI - himself a liberal pope - in his now famous encyclical letter entitled Humanae Vitae of 1968. How prescient that letter was can now be seen. He predicted the enforcement in the Third World, the degradation of women and of family life, the cheapening of morals and, above all, the population implosion.

For that is what we are now seeing in the decadent West - including in America. You cannot complain about immigration - illegal or otherwise - if you are not prepared to have children yourself. It is an iron law of nature: the culture that is unwilling to have children and reproduce itself is a culture that will die as sure as night follows day. And no amount of immigration laws will stop that.

That is what is happening to Europe and America. In America, your immigrants are largely hispanic. In Europe, ours are largely Muslim. Europe will thus eventually become Muslim at this rate.

That is what widespread contraception has done for the West.

You are right: there is nothing intrinsically evil in a condom. It is a question of what you do with it. I believe that they make quite interesting balloons when filled with air. It is the policy of deliberate, widespread contraception that is the mistake.

However, one does have to ask what sort of a man thinks it right and proper to introduce a rubber contrivance intimately to his wife. He is certainly no gentleman but rather a species of uncivilised savage.

Now we come to your ignorant howlers. They are all too typical as examples of Yankee anti-Catholic ignorance, supersititon and bigotry.

Castrati: at no time did the Roman Catholic Church sanction the castration of boys to preserve their youthful treble voices for choral purposes. This is another myth. What the Church did was to take pity upon and employ existing castrati who had either been born with the affliction or had suffered it at the hands of some brutish person or by accident during their youth. To employ them as singers was an act of kindness and charity.

It is a piece of the most laughable hypocrisy on the part of anyone, Yank or not, to attack the Church over the Mortara case whilst seeking to defend the massive beam in the pharisaical eye which is the rape of Mexico by Yankee Protestants and secularists.

Rank hypocrisy.

But since you raise the case, I shall address it.

Edgar Mortara was born to Jewish parents but was water-baptised - quite wrongly - during an illness by his Christian nurse. She should not have baptised him since he was a Jew and that was an infringement of the parents' rights. Having been baptised, the laws of the Papal States required that he should receive a Christian education consonant with his baptism. This his parents refused and so the child was taken into care and raised as a personal ward of the Supreme Pontiff who treated him as a beloved son or nephew.

This sort of thing happens routinely in Britain and America where the state considers that parents are not suitable to bring up children and it is absurd for secularists to challenge the Church for doing, with far greater charity and circumspection, what secular states routinely and brutally do today. Remember the little boy in America who was seized at gunpoint by heavily armed police and returned to Cuba?

Mortara was not separated from his parents and saw them often but he was educated in the Christian faith and became an exemplary Christian, loving his parents and, at the same time, loving his Faith. He became a priest, an ardent admirer of Pope Pius IX whom he treated as a second father and later gave evidence in favour of his canonisation which can still be read on-line. It is testimony of the highest praise of Pope Pius IX. He continued to love his parents all his life and he died in 1942 in the odour of sanctity.

How supremely different from the brutal methods of separating parents and children so frequently used by the state and legal system in secularist Europe and America today!

And what kind of laughable hypocrisy is it that turns a blind eye to the brutality but attacks mildness and charity?

The Colonel is, I suspect, a Freemason which may partly explain his anti-Catholicism and defence of Masonry. That Freemasonry was responsible for the conspiracy that brought about the French and American Revolutions is simply a matter of historical record.

Masonic symbolism reeks of black magic and other childish silliness but Anglo-American Masons are a largely conservative force, these days.

Today, consonant with the Colonel's own opinions, Freemasons are particularly active in promoting the pro-contraception conspiracy. Although, in many respects, a conservative force, they nonetheless retain many revolutionary ideas that are harmful to society. On the whole, however, English-speaking Masons are, on balance, a stable, conservative force and I have known a few who have given up high-ranking status in the movement to become Catholics.

Historically, however, the story is very different. In the Catholic world, Freemasonry became the preferred creed and society of those who attacked the opposition of the Church and the Monarchy to slavery and slave-trading. They sought to overthrow both Church and Monarchy so that they would then be free to enslave other men - literally.

In the Protestant world, too, Freemasons were well represented among the slavers and slave-traders, Jefferson being one well-known example. Hence Dr Johnson's famous remark "How is it that the YELPS for freedom come loudest from the drivers of negro slaves?".

The Colonel demonstrates his deepest, and most ignorant, prejudice, last.

He thinks that Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are Catholic countries.

Yes, really!

I kid ye not. He really thinks this. Or, at least, so he says.

Mexico has been ruled since 1922 by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which, until as late as 2002, had consistently held it illegal for any Roman Catholic cleric to wear any kind of clerical dress in any public place.

The anti-Catholic butcher, leader of the Mexican Institutional Revolutionary Party and brtual President of Mexico from 1922, Plutarco Elio Calles, whose reign of terror was largely funded by the US government.

The PRI, and its infamous founder Plutarco Elio Calles, began its infamous career with one of the most savage persecutions of Catholics that Latin America has ever seen.

This led to the creation of a whole wave of martyrs for the Church, including men like St Miguel Pro SJ.

St Miguel Pro SJ, Catholic martyr of Mexico, before a firing squad of Yankee- funded revolutionary stooges of the criminal regime of Plutarco Calles.

Catholics felt impelled to put up a resistance to this naked aggression and murder and they banded together to form the Cristeros who were ultimately defeated but only with the assistance of Yankee money, guns, ships, armour and aircraft, all orchestrated by the shameless US Ambassador, Dwight Morrow, the very personification of Yankee caddishness, claiming to love Mexico whilst conniving at the brutal murder of its sons.

Calles had Cristeros hanged from every second lamp-post and from every second telegraph pole so that trains passing could see what he had done to faithful Catholics as a brutal warning.

So much for Mexico being a "Catholic" country!

And since the time Mexico fell into the hands of these brutal anti-Catholic thugs, needless to say its economy, growth and political standing has fallen into the dust.

But - and note this well - this was accomplished largely with Yankee money and arms. So it is a fitting judgment upon Yankee crimes that Mexicans are now illegally emigrating into the USA.

Brazil is another example. When it was an empire under Dom Pedro II, it is a simple historical fact that Brazil was a richer and more successful country than the United States. But when Yankeedom had time to turn its attention to its Brazilian "competitor", after the War between the US States was over, once again successive Yankee governments funded and armed the brutal rebellions that eventually overthrew the economically successful Catholic government of Brzil.

The result was a foregone conclusion, as the Yankees expoliters well knew: Brazil would become yet another revolutionary basket-case in South America allowing Yankee business to move in and make a financial killing at the expense of the poor and the peasantry.

That, my dear Colonel, was always the prime motivating policy behind Yankee foreign policy. Raiding the Latins to fund the eccenstric lifestyle of all too many fat, bloated, utterly selfish, Yankee plutocrats.

Argentina provides a similar story, as does the rest of Latin America. You can read all about it in a book written not by a Latino but by an American, Bishop Kelley, in his contemporaneous book, written at the time of Calles brutal regime, entitled Blood-drenched Altars.

You could also read The Lawless Roads by famous British novelist, Graham Greene.

So you see, my dear Colonel, if Latin America is poor, unstable and corrupt - and it certainly often is - that is as much as anything, due to the mountain of successive crimes committed by the government of the United States, done to fatten the Yankee rich at the expense of the Latin American poor.

This is nothing to be proud of, my dear Colonel.

Still less is it something to blame the down-trodden and poor for. You might as well blame the Jews for the Shoah! Would you do that? No? Well, then? Don't do it to the Latinos either.

You are quite right that somebody was doing something wrong. But that somebody was, more often than not, the government of he United States.

It's an historical fact. Get used to it, buddy!

Good, old-fashioned, interfering, exploitative Yankee government hucksterism and crime at its very worst.

Naples and Palermo tell exactly the same story, the only difference being that their anti-Catholic revolutions were funded by both the British and the American anti-clericals and for exactly the same anti-Catholic reasons.

So, in case you think I am holding up the British model in preference to the American, think again! They are both as bad as each other, predicated, as they were, upon anti-Catholicism. Indeed, historically, it is the one thing that the British and American governments always had completely in common: a mutual hatred of Catholicism. Where do you think the Yankee Protestants first got it from? British anti-Catholics, of course! Men like John Locke, for example.

John Locke, anti-Catholic British philosopher and ideological inspirer of the American Revolution.

Garibaldi, Cavour, Mazzini and the other anti-Catholic revolutionaries of Italy were all lionised and feted in Britain and America precisely because they were anti-clerical and conspired against the Pope and the Catholic kings of Christendom. If you had paid more attention to this blog you would long ago have read chapter and verse on the whole subject.

Go back and read what I wrote about the film Gattopardo, or The Leopard, a film about how the old Catholic Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was overthrown by the revolutionaries of the Risorgimento, backed, as they were, by British and American money aimed at leading to the overthrow of the Papal States which, in due course, is exactly what happened. The bigots won the day and cashed in big time!

Once again, the blame lies squarely with the Anglo-American Protestants and secularists and their damnable and infernal greed, selfishness and bigotry which you seem so keen to defend.

It should be obvious why the Irish went to North America and not Latin America. They spoke English and not Spanish or Portguese.

In fact, many Irishmen did go on to Latin America, once they had learned the language, and there is, today, a large Irish community in Argentina, for example (also a large Scottish and English community).

Sadly, many of the Irish who stayed behind in Yankeeland soon enough got affected by the anti-clerical and revolutionary spirit of the Protestant and secularist exploiters and, whilst they kept their religion against much hostility, too many of them soon enough blended into the spirit of Jefferson and the other slave-owning, Deist-Unitarian hypocrites.

This should suffice to answer Viator Catholicus who has a good website and is generally a good chap but does not realise that I am just as opposed to British anti-Catholicism and exploitation as I am to the Yankee variety.

And I am not a Limey, by the way, as I was not born in England, nor born of English stock. So think again, Viator, my friend! Why do you think my blog is called Roman Christendom and not English Christendom? Bit of a giveaway, isn't it?

Reveille time, o ye defenders of Yankee crimes! Wake up and smell the incense - if McDonald's hamburgers haven't got you first!

The acme of civilisation?
Or might we be allowed to prefer Mi
Or eve
n just the cuisine of old Catholic Europe?