Thursday, 17 December 2009

Advent - the coming of the Lord

Rorate Caeli...

Let the heavens rain down the Just One!

The Annunciation

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum. Aperiatur terra et germinet Salvatorem.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down the Just One: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a Saviour.

Isaias 45:8

This versicle appears throughout the Offices for Advent and is yet another example of how much more Scriptural the old Roman rite of the Catholic Church is compared with the new rite of Paul VI in which, sadly, it is almost never sung. Most modern Catholics do not even know that this most beautiful Advent antiphon even exists.

The full hymn is sung thus:

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant iustum.

Ne irascaris Domine, ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce civitas Sancti facta est deserta, Sion deserta facta est: Ierusalem desolata est: domus sanctificationis tuac et gloriae tuae, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Peccavimus, et facti sumus tamquam immundus nos, et cecidimus quasi folium universi; et iniquitates nostrae quasi ventus abstulerunt nos: abscondisti faciem tuam a nobis, et allisisti nos in manu iniquitatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Vide, Domini, afflictionem populi tui, et mitte quem missurus es, emitte Agnum dominatorem terrae, de Petra deserti montem filiae Sion: ut auferat ipse iugum captivatis nostrae.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua:. quare moerore consumeris, quia innovavit te dolor? Salvabo te, noli timere: ego enim sum Dominus Deus, tuus, Sanctus Israel, Redemptor tuus.

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Listen to these Spanish monks singing the Rorate in the monastic church of their conventual home, calling upon God to forgive their sins as they await with joy, once again, the great Feast of the Birth of our Most Holy Saviour:

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity : behold the city of Thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of Thy holiness and of Thy glory, where our fathers praised Thee.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean, and we have all fallen as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away; Thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

See, O Lord, the affliction of Thy people, and send Him whom Thou hast promised to send. Send forth the Lamb, the Ruler of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion, that He Himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come. Why wilt thou waste away in sadness? Why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down the dew, ye heavens, from above and let the clouds rain down the Just One!

With this extraordinarily beautiful hymn the prayer of the Church during Advent is lifted up to the heavens in song.

Henry Tanner. The Annunciation. 1898


Further sources on the relativity scam...

I have been asked to provide some further sources on the relativity scam and to put my posts into .pdf form.

I tried the latter and failed so if anyone can give me a clue how to do it, I'd be grateful.

As to further sources, I suggest the following:

1. Dingle, Prof Herbert. Science at the Crossroads. London, 1972.
2. Anything by Pierre Duhem, the great French historian of science.
3. Anything by Christoph von Mettenheim, especially on Eisntein.
4. For the technical, try Tom van Flandern's 1998 article in Physics Letters A which can be accessed here:

That should give you something to think about for a while!

There is a very useful book, in simple form, which summarises many of the modern scientific falsehoods which I cannot now find. If I find it I shall post it to the blog.

Monday, 14 December 2009

John of Alexandria, the 6th century Catholic founder of modern science

John Philoponus (Ἰωάννης ὁ Φιλόπονος) lived from AD 490 to AD 570. Φιλόπονος (Philoponus) means "lover of work" and he was so called for the reason that he spent as much time as he could studying.

He was also known as John the Grammarian or John of Alexandria, was a theologian and scientist who challenged Aristotle’s physics.

Although suspect of heresy, his works were widely printed in Latin translations in Europe from the 15th century onwards. His work was plagiarised by Galileo, by Pico della Mirandola and by others.

He studied at the school of Alexandria and began publishing from about 510. He was a pupil and sometime amanuensis to the Neoplatonic philosopher Ammonius, who had studied at Athens under Proclus.

Philoponus became one of the earliest thinkers to reject Aristotle’s dynamics and propose the theory of impetus which is really nothing less than the theory which Sir Isaac Newton later claimed to invent, namely the law of inertia i.e. an object moves and continues to move because of an energy imparted in it by the mover, and ceases movement when that energy is dissipated by an opposite force (like gravity).


In 529 Philoponus wrote his critique Against Proclus in which he systematically defeats every argument put forward for the eternity of the world, a theory which formed the basis of pagan attack of the Christian doctrine of Creation, just as it does today in the debates between Christians and atheists over evolution.

Around 550 he wrote a theological work On the Creation of the World as a commentary on the Bible’s story of creation using the insights of Greek philosophers and St Basil the Great.

In this work he transfers his theory of impetus to the motion of the planets, whereas Aristotle had proposed as an explanation for the motion of heavenly bodies and for earthly projectiles that they were moved by angels. Philoponus, accurately, put the movement down to impetus. He had effectively discovered gravity long before Newton.

Philoponus’ view of space as homogeneity is influenced by the Hellenic teaching of Aristotle. However, Philoponus and his contemporaries, Simplicius of Cilicia and Strato developed this concept further. This concept guided the Renaissance theory of perspective, particularly that of Leon Battista Alberti, and other architectural masters.

Leon Battista Alberti

Philoponus’ theological work is recognized in the history of science as the first attempt at a unified theory of dynamics. Another of his major theological concerns was to argue that all material objects were brought into being by God (Arbiter, 52A-B). Around 553 Philoponus made some theological contributions to the Council of Constantinople concerning Christology.

In his own time and afterwards he was translated into Syriac and Arabic and many of his works continued to persevere and be studied by the Arabs. Some of his works continued to circulate in Europe in Greek or Latin versions, and influenced Bonaventure.

St Bonaventure

The theory of impetus was taken up by Friar Francesco di Marchia who taught at the Sorbonne. Marchia likened the law of impetus to the Blessed Sacrament saying that grace entered the soul through the Sacrament but was lost by sin, just as impetus was imparted to an object causing movement until an opposite force, like sin, stopped the movement.

Marchia’s teachings were taken up by Jean Buridan, another Sorbonne professor in the 14th century, who developed more fully the law of impetus. It was this theory that was later plagiarised by Newton and presented as his own theory of “inertia”.

It is this law of impetus – or inertia – that is the basis of modern physics, science and so much modern technology.

Thus we see that modern science finds its origins in a law devised by a 6th century Catholic theologian which was later revived in the great Catholic University of Sorbonne as an analogy for the Blessed Sacrament.

So much for the false accusation that the Catholic Church objects to science. On the contrary, it has been the greatest promoter of science!


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Einstein & relativity: Tycho's simpler alternative

There remains, however, an alternative – and simpler – explanation than Kelly's and Beckmann’s idea of light travelling with the Earth on its orbit around the Sun, whilst not adapting to the spin of the Earth.

But it is a thesis too radical for our times and one that no scientist is likely to feel the courage to entertain.

It is geostasis. In short, a stationary Earth or, at least, a revolving but not orbiting Earth.

Nuts? Well, maybe.

Yet this would most easily explain Airey’s failure, the Michelson result and the Sagnac result and would dispense with any need to posit a constant for the speed of light. Nor would it require any of the contradictions of SR and GR. Curved space-time reverts to the academic museum of curios from whence it ought never to have escaped.

One past astronomer of international fame, faithfully reproducing what he observed in the night sky, did produce a model of the solar system which accords completely with what is observed.

He was the famous Danish Astronomer and mentor of Johannes Kepler, his pupil, namely Tycho Brahe, Astronomer-Imperial to the Holy Roman Emperor.

Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer of Rennaissance times. His system - even today - accords most accurately with what you see in the night sky.

Kepler inherited all Tycho’s calculations but later falsified them to fit his new-fangled ellipse theory.

Nevertheless, it is the Tychonian system which, even today, remains the most true to what is observed in the night sky. It explains, for instance, the apparent reversal of motion of Venus and Mercury which the Copernican system explains only by the use of epicycles.

There is a common misconception that the Copernican model did away with the need for epicycles. This is not true. The Copernican model could not explain all the details of planetary motion on the celestial sphere without epicycles. Indeed, the Copernican system required more than the Ptolemaic system. However, the Tychonian system requires none at all.

In the Tychonian system, the Moon and the Sun rotate around the Earth. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn rotate around the sun but the orbits of all save Mercury and Venus encompass also the Earth. Thus, from the perspective of the Earth, both Mercury and Venus appear, at one point in their sub-orbit round the Sun, to go into reverse as the Sun orbits the Earth.

The Tychonian system was geocentric but with the other planets circling the Sun as it circles the earth.

Whilst the Tychonian system may not be the whole answer, it nevertheless seems to accord better with observation than any other current system.

But what of Stellar Parallax? This was the proof, surely, of heliocentrism?

Well, no.

Distance measurement by parallax is a special case of the principle of triangulation. The careful measurement of the length of one baseline can fix the scale of an entire triangulation network.

In parallax, the triangle is extremely long and narrow, and by measuring both its shortest side (the motion of the observer) and the small top angle (the other two being close to 90 degrees), the length of the long sides (in practice considered to be equal) can be determined.

Two different measurements are taken six months apart, to allow for the presumed 186 million miles that the earth travels in its alleged orbit during that time period, from one side of the sun to the other.

Parallax is the appearance that stars move in the sky in relation to each other, or in other words, more “distant” stars shift every six months in relation to nearby stars that are allegedly closer. This is put forth as the evidence that the earth revolves around the sun annually.

Stellar parallax proves only that either the Earth is moving with respect to the stars, or that the stars are moving with respect to the Earth. In other words, it simply does not resolve the issue.

There is a problem however: most of the star data that is catalogued by NASA exhibits negative parallax, in other words, most of the stars do not shift in the direction they need them to in order to support the heliocentric model.

In fact, however, stellar parallax proves only that either the Earth is moving with respect to the stars, or that the stars are moving with respect to the Earth. In other words, it simply does not resolve the issue.

In reality, it may be that the relationship between Sun and Earth, governed by multi-body dynamics with gravitational forces interacting to produce regular movement, cannot be determined by those who inhabit one of the bodies. without some static background which, of course, does not exist.

This is perhaps the reason why the late Professor Fred Hoyle, another Astronomer-Royal, felt able to say that the heliocentric model is as good as any other but no better (The Intelligent Universe, page 17).

Sir Fred Hoyle, Astronomer-Royal, felt able to say that the heliocentric model is as good as any other but no better.

So what is the moral of the story? May I suggest that it is this: dogma is out of place in the natural sciences.

Science can hypothesize and demolish an hypothesis but science cannot dogmatize. Doubts remain about each of the planetary system hypotheses and they cannot be resolved by refernece to unscientific dogma.

In matters of science, where there is no room for dogma, no final “court” and no final magisterial authority, the received wisdom is even more vulnerable to disproof. Yet many hypotheses have been treated as a kind of Delphic Oracle above and beyond any kind of challenge.

The result is that the real truth, whatever it may be, about the motion of the planets will, for the time being, remain obscured by wholly inappropriate scientific dogma rather than real science.

A generation that slavishly follows the media and fashion is unlikely to see the point.

Perhaps, after all, that much-maligned philosopher, theologian and scientist, St Robert Bellarmine, has still much yet to teach us?


Einstein, relativity and false scientific dogma (4)

(Post 4)

Einstein also made mistakes of logic.

So says Dr Christoph von Mettenhem, former lead pupil of Karl Popper and now one of the 39 Special Advocates licensed to practice before the Bundesverfassungsgericht – the German Constitutional Court.

Professor Karl Popper, one of the great scientific thinkers of the 20th century, had, as one of his students, Dr Christoph von Mettenheim, now one of the only 39 Advocates of the German Constitutional Court and himself a great mind, who has shown the logical flaws in Einstein's thinking

Mettenheim shows that the mathematical formulae of SR are inadequate to establish the relativity of time. They are, however, logically consistent, and can therefore be employed to refute the original hypothesis that the velocity of light in a vacuum will be constant and cannot be influenced by the velocity of the source from which the light is coming.

I reproduce the 12 theses of von Mettenheim below for those who would like to follow his logic more closely.

The Theses of Christoph von Mettenheim

Thesis No. 1: The special theory of relativity rests on the premise that the velocity of light in a vacuum will be constant and cannot be influenced by the velocity of the source from which the light is coming. From this premise Einstein concluded that time itself must be relative.

Thesis No. 2: In everyday language the concept of ‘velocity’ will designate the relation of distance and time. This concept of everyday language has never been called into question in the theory of relativity. It implies, and presupposes, a concept of ‘time’.

Thesis No. 3: If velocity is to be constant, then this concept of ‘time’ must not change on the distance observed. In the terminology of the theory of relativity it must therefore be ‘absolute’.

Thesis No. 4: Special relativity therefore presupposes in the premise of the constant
spreading velocity of light that time is absolute, and infers from this that time is not absolute. It therefore includes a logical contradiction.

Thesis No. 5: The formulae of special relativity were regarded by Einstein, and are still being regarded today, as practicable approximations to the formulae of general relativity for circular and elliptical motions.

Thesis No. 6: Whenever observations (experiments) were considered to be confirmations of a relativistic time dilation it was always a presupposed interpretation that the formulae of special relativity can be used as approximations to establish relativistic time dilation.

Thesis No. 7: Any application of the special theory of relativity to facts occurring in reality, in particular to measurements of a relativistic time dilation, presupposes some unit of measurement which must first be defined.

Thesis No. 8: Einstein and the adherents of the theory of relativity have never defined units of ‘relative time’ differing from conventional units of time. Where they make exact calculations, they employ ‘hours’, or ‘minutes’ or ‘seconds’, or units derived from these.

Thesis No. 9: ‘Hours’, and ‘minutes’ and ‘seconds’ have been derived from the conventional standard given by the Earth’s rotation.

Thesis No. 10: Any application of the formulae of special relativity in connection with the time units of ‘hours’, or ‘minutes’ or ‘seconds’ for calculating the relativistic time dilations of circular or elliptical motions will lead to logical contradictions.

Thesis No. 11: The same logical contradictions will arise from the application of other standards of measurement (e.g. caesium beam clocks), provided they are employed consistently.

Thesis No. 12: Hence, the mathematical formulae of special relativity are inadequate to establish the relativity of time. They are, however, logically consistent, and can therefore be employed to refute the original hypothesis that the velocity of light in a vacuum will be constant and cannot be influenced by the velocity of the source from which the light is coming.

Q. E. D.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

Einstein, relativity and false scientific dogma (3)

(Post 3)

With this hypothesis, supposed confirmations of relativity theory can be explained. Thus the bending of starlight near the Sun (said to be a confirmation of the much more controversial General Theory of Relativity - GR) could be explained by a non-uniform light medium or aether. Tensor calculus, Riemannian geometry and Shapiro Time-Delay (when radar beams pass close to the Sun and bounce back from Mercury) which give only an approximation, become unnecessary. Far simpler alternatives exist to the attempt to explain all by means of time-space curvature.

As for the advance of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit, another famous confirmation of general relativity, Bethell reports that the equation that accounted for Mercury’s orbit had been published 17 years earlier by Paul Gerber, before GR had even been hypothesized.

Van Flandern’s simpler explanation dispenses with Einsteinian relativity altogether and re-visits the concept of a light-carrying medium, aether. An atomic clock moving through the aether will run slower because each sub-atomic electron orbits more slowly. Time does not slow down – the clocks do. Says Van Flandern, all the experiments that supposedly confirm special relativity do so because all have been conducted in laboratories on the Earth's surface, where every single moving particle, or moving atomic clock, is in fact ploughing through the Earth's gravitational field, and therefore slowing down.

But what about E=mc^2?

Alternative derivations of this equation existed and, indeed, Einstein provided one himself in 1946 without any derivation from SR.

Many consider that the GPS is a proof of the applicability of SR and GR. It is claimed that without the relativistic corrections (which amount to 38 microseconds/day) the error in the determination of the position would accumulate quickly to values much larger then the observed accuracy – some 10km/day, you claim.

In fact, the positional error due to SR is about 0.8cms which is a tiny figure.

The GPS system is now a common feature of most cars

It is far less than the presently claimed accuracy of GPS of a few metres, so the SR/GR effect is, on its own terms, virtually irrelevant.

However, the SR/GR adjustments that are currently being made do make a difference – but an adverse one. If they were correct then the GPS would be very accurate but the truth is the system has an accuracy drift and no matter what adjustments are made to it, the system needs constant adjustment to maintain some sort of accuracy.

The most famous experiment involving time dilation was probably that of Hafele and Keating undertaken in October 1971. The experiment involved the use of atomic clocks. One placed at the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) another four clocks were placed on scheduled aircraft and flown twice around the world, some heading east and the others heading west.

The late, great Dr Alphonsus Kelly,
not only a great engineer, manager, thinker and writer
but the nicest bloke you could ever wish to meet.
RIP, Al, old friend.

It was predicted from Einsteinian relativity (SR and GR) that the clocks moving in the easterly direction would gain time compared to the clock at the observatory. It is this experiment that is so often used as proof that velocity is responsible for time dilation but in reality it is far from proof. When the raw data was released, the late Dr Alphonsus Kelly obtained it from the USNO and showed that it was averaged in a biased way in order to claim high precision. Later the inventor of the atomic clock, Louis Essen, himself repudiated the Hafele and Keating experiment for the same reason.

These critiques are not argued against but are simply dismissed by some as “not peer-reviewed” and so ignored. However, as Kelly himself found, just like Dingle, the established journals wouldn’t even consider any challenge to the current dogma and so refused to publish. This is more indicative of an increasing lack of respect for true academic freedom and a growing intolerance within the scientific establishment. If the peer-reviewers are themselves unwilling to publish any challenge to the current dogma then their dismissal of such challenges merely for lack of peer review becomes merely self-serving.

Remarkably, Hafele, in his own report, stated that:

“Most people (including myself) would be reluctant to agree that the time gained by any one of these clocks is indicative of anything” and “the difference between theory and measurement is disturbing” .

An analysis of the shortcomings of the tests is given in Kelly’s 1996 paper assessing the results . This shows that a test of an accuracy improvement of two orders of magnitude would be required, before any credence could be placed in the results of such a test.

Later, on the 25th anniversary of the Hafele-Keating experiment, another time dilation experiment was undertaken by the National Physics Laboratory and involved flying a much improved atomic clock from London to Washington and back again and was filmed by the BBC’s Horizon programme.

This, too, has proved controversial. The experiment was undertaken to test if velocity could account for time dilation, so only the height, speed and estimated position were monitored. No data on the aircrafts’ acceleration, nor the forces of acceleration when and if the aircraft experienced any turbulence during the flight, was recorded in either of the experiments. This experiment has never been examined from the point of view of acceleration only. No account has been taken for turbulence during the flight or differences in the acceleration during take-off and landings.

If SR/GR were correct then the GPS would be very accurate but the truth is the system has an accuracy drift and no matter what adjustments are made to it, the system needs constant adjustment to maintain some sort of accuracy. The rate at which adjustments are needed to correct the system for the accuracy drift is increasing and in about ten years or less the GPS will (without further adjustments) become useless, unless the reason for this drift is found.

However, as Kelly showed, it was Georges Sagnac’s experiment of 1913 which put a spoke in the wheels of SR by disproving it experimentally. No-one has gainsaid Sagnac's result.

The Sagnac test 1913

The accuracy of Sagnac’s test was 1:100. Macek and Davis, using lasers, achieved an accuracy of 1 in 10^12. Bilger et al, used a fixed ring-laser and achieved 1 in 10^20.

Einstein did not address the contradiction to his theory in the Michelson-Gale test even though he visited the team working on this problem in 1921 and he does not appear ever to have referred to the Sagnac test at all.

On a disc of huge radius a short light path approaches a straight line. It follows that an observer aboard an object which is travelling in a straight line at constant speed ±v, relative to the laboratory would, if it could be measured, record the speed of light, relative to oneself, as c - or + v. That observer would record "time" as the very same as observers in the laboratory.

Thus it is not “time” that changes, as claimed by SR, but the speed of the light that changes, relative to the observer aboard the object moving at uniform relative speed.

Crash goes the primary assumption of SR.

Some authors, e.g. Post, say that the Sagnac effect can exist as well as the SR effect. This cannot be so, because the Sagnac effect proves that light does not travel at the same speed relative to observers in uniform relative motion . The Sagnac effect is in direct contradiction of SR.

So said Kelly, reviving the Sagnac test, and he therefore proposed, as a result, a new theory. He said Light, generated upon the Earth, travels with the Earth on its orbit around the Sun, but does not adapt to the spin of the Earth upon its axis.


Friday, 20 November 2009

Einstein, relativity and false scientific dogma (2)

(Post 2)

Now comes another challenge but it somehow seems to have slipped the usually careful net of censorship by being less challenging and more pliant to the current dogmas. An editor of Physics Letters A apparently promised Tom van Flandern that reviewers would not be allowed to reject his article simply because it conflicted with received wisdom.

Van Flandern begins his article by recollecting that, as a graduate student of celestial mechanics at Yale, it was accepted that all gravitational interactions must be taken as instantaneous. At the same time, students were also taught that Einstein's special relativity proved that nothing could propagate faster than light in a vacuum. There seemed to be a plain contradiction. He was determined later to get to the bottom of it and now he has, he thinks, done so.

If c is the natural maximum limit at which anything may travel in a vacuum in the Universe, a primary nostrum of SR, then gravity cannot propagate at any speed greater than that natural limit. Yet if gravity does not do so then there must be an appreciable delay in its interaction, just as light takes time to travel from a light source to a receiver.

Thomas Van Flandern, 1940-2009, an American astronomer specializing in celestial mechanics

If this is so, then by the time the gravitational pull of the Sun has reached the Earth, then the Earth itself will have moved on for a further 8.3 minutes (the time interval if gravity propagates at the speed of light, c). By then the Sun’s gravitational pull upon the Earth will not be in the same straight line as is the Earth’s gravitational pull upon the Sun. The effect of this would be to double the Earth’s distance from the Sun every 1200 years.

Clearly, however, this is not happening.

Given that the planetary system has a far greater degree of stability than this, it is clear that gravity must propagate at a much greater speed than that of light, c. Newton himself assumed that gravity acted instantaneously, or near-instantaneously, and this assumption continues to be accepted in practice by astrophysicists.

The data supports this view, moreover, since evidence exists demonstrating that the Earth accelerates toward a point 20 arc-seconds in front of the visible Sun i.e. toward the true, instantaneous direction of the Sun. Its light comes to us from one direction, but its gravitational pull comes from a slightly different direction. The only reasonable inference is that the propagation speeds for light and gravity differ markedly.

The implications for SR are, of course, fundamental.

Others have had occasion to challenge the foundations of SR. In 1987, Petr Beckmann, who taught at the University of Colorado, published his book Einstein Plus Two, which gave explanations of relativity which preserve traditional ideas about time.

In his article “Re-thinking Relativity”, Tom Bethell questioned Van Flandern about the problems associated with challenging Einstein. Van Flandern, he reports, says that the problem is that the Einsteinian experts who have grown accustomed to “Minkowski diagrams and real relativistic thinking” find the alternative of universal time and space actually more puzzling than their own mathematical ingenuities.

Once relativists have been thoroughly trained, he says, it’s as difficult for them to rethink the subject in classical terms as it is for laymen to grasp time dilation and space contraction. For laymen, however, and for those physicists who have not specialized in relativity, which is to say the vast majority of physicists, there's no doubt that the traditional way is far simpler than the Einsteinian.

From whence came the inspiration to posit a new theory like SR?

The answer is that it arose as a kind of sophisticated ad hoc to explain the inconvenient results of the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment, itself designed to measure the isotropy of space and see if the heliocentricity of the solar system could be proven experimentally.

James Clerk Maxwell with his electromagnetism experiments had demonstrated that light waves were electromagnetic like radio waves. The question was to determine the medium through which electromagnetic waves travelled since they could clearly travel in airless space. The substance through which they were said to travel was then named the “aether” and, said Maxwell, it must be uniform throughout all space.

James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish theoretical physicist and mathematician, 1831-1879

Michelson’s experiment sought to detect this aether by showing that, if the Earth orbits the Sun it must move through the aether and so cause a kind of “aether wind” in its tail. But there was no such wind to be observed. Worse than that, the interferometer device that Michelson was using and which ought to have shown a shift in the pattern of interference fringes on the light receptor when rotated through 90 degrees, did not do so.

“Fringe shifts” on the interferometer indicate changes of speed of light striking the equipment. This would show, and could be used to measure, the speed and direction of the Earth’s movement through aether and space. No fringe shifts were found.

This was particularly embarrassing. It seemed to show that the Earth was stationary, just as the water-filled telescope experiments of George Biddel Airey, the Astronomer-Royal, had shown. Given the Earth’s elliptical orbit round the Sun, light passing through a water-filled telescope ought to describe a larger ellipse than light passing through an ordinary scope, since the water would slow the passage of the light. It did not. The ellipses were identical.

George Biddel Airey, Astronomer Royal 1835-1881

The prospect of having to repudiate Copernicus and, more importantly, Galileo, and, worse still, having to apologise for their savage and repeated attacks upon St Robert Bellarmine and the Roman Inquisition, filled all red-blooded, materialistic, religiously sceptical and anti-Catholic scientists with utter horror. A solution was desperately needed. Indeed, an ad hoc solution would fit the bill at this stage, simply to avoid further embarrassment.

It duly arrived – as it always does. An obscure clerk in the Geneva Patent Office with a deep interest in astrophysics wrote his now globally famous paper Zur Elektrodynamik Bewegter Koerper.

Albert Einstein (for it was he) said there was no need of an aether, that there was no fringe shift because the speed of the light (in a vacuum) is the same for all observers, even for observers approaching or retreating from the light source. This was to turn Newtonian physics on its head because if the speed was the same, regardless of the motion of the observer, then light must slow down to meet the oncoming observer and speed up when chasing the observer who was retreating.

Worse, the ordinarily variable functions of time and distance which compose speed would have to dilate and contract accordingly and by just the right amount so that their division always gave the same result i.e. a constant speed for light.

This seemed to throw the obviously observed phenomena of everyday life entirely upon their heads. Ridicule was inevitable but for the simple explanation advanced by relativists that any appreciable degree of change would only be seen at very high speeds of the sort that only occurred in space on sub-atomically. Nevertheless, time and distance were no longer absolute but relative.

In fact, the way had already been prepared for these ideas. First came Fitzgerald, who had posited the idea of contraction in the direction of travel as an ad hoc to explain the Michelson result. Secondly, came Hendrik Antoon Lorentz who had first devised the idea of relative time and space which Einstein went on to perfect.

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, Dutch physicist 1853-1928

It was not long before it was being said that SR had been proved experimentally. Atomic clocks are said to slow down at high speed and sub-atomic particles are said to live longer due, ostensibly, to time dilation. But was this the only explanation for the experiments?

Much papering over the cracks in SR began to take place and dissent was rudely suppressed and silenced in a way that would have shocked St Robert Bellarmine, the Grand Inquisitor bogeyman of modern scientific fable.

Cardinal St Robert Bellarmine SJ, Grand Inquisitor and skilled philosopher, scientist and theologian, Jesuit and Doctor of the Church

Now the cracks are widening and many physicists are beginning to take a renewed interest in the idea of the aether. Instead of the aether being uniform and isotropic, some are now saying that it corresponds to the gravitational field that all large bodies carry with them. Thus, close to the surface of a planet, the field may be more dense but as you move into space it becomes less so.

So hypothesized Beckmann before he died.


Thursday, 19 November 2009

And before you ask..., challenging special relativity (SR) or general relativity (GR) theory is not even remotely like thinking the earth is flat.

On the contrary, SR and GR have more in common with flat earth belief.

In fact, Christians never believed in a flat earth. It was a part of Hindu religious mythology, not Christian. Hindus believed that the earth was flat and was held up by elephants standing on the back of a turtle.

Hindu cosmology stipulated a flat earth

Various cultures have had conceptions of a flat earth, including ancient Babylon, Ancient Egypt, pre-Classical Greece and pre-17th century China. This view contrasts with the realization first recorded around the 4th century BC by natural philosophers of Classical Greece that the earth is spherical.

The belief that medieval Christianity believed in a flat earth is simply false.

St Augustine, writing in The City of God makes it perfectly clear that he recognised there were Antipodes (i.e. a circular orb of the earth with poles at each end).

So, to all the dummies out there who thought otherwise, no, it is nothing to do with a flat earth.


Einstein, relativity and false scientific dogma


In a 1998 article in Physics Letters A, American physicist, Dr Tom Van Flandern, claimed that the speed with which the force of gravity propagates must be at least twenty billion times faster than the speed of light.

For Relativity scientists this is a startlingly controversial claim for it means an end of the current dominance of the Special Theory of Relativity of Albert Einstein, one of whose primary assumptions is that the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant, c, for all observers.

In the Special Theory of Relativity (SR), ordinary Newtonian mechanics are reversed. Ordinarily, if you drive a car, its speed is distance/time, usually measured in miles or kilometres per hour. SR claims, for light, that speed is constant, that time dilates and length contracts in the direction of travel.

This is rather as if, putting it rather crudely, when you put your foot on the accelerator of your car, the car shrinks in length and time slows down.

Put that way, one begins to see why it was that SR was seen as so startlingly and difficult to accept, when first it was advanced.

However, the times were ready for startlingly unusual ideas and men like G B Shaw and Bertrand Russell seized upon the new theory as further evidence that the old world was on the way out and their Brave New World was on the way in.

The late Dr Tom van Flandern

Van Flandern worked in the 1990s as a special consultant to the Global Positioning System (GPS), a set of satellites whose atomic clocks allow ground observers to determine their position to within about a foot. He also shows that the GPS itself is a challenge to SR since it works without so-called relativistic corrections and eventually fails if the corrections are made.

In the 1960s, Professor Herbert Dingle, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Department head at the University of London, after first having supported SR, began to have doubts and wrote of them in his book Science at the Crossroads in 1972. From that time his star declined and eventually he was simply shut out of the scientific establishment who would not brook any challenge to its favourite theory even from someone of the stature of Dingle. The new scientific censorship was moving up a gear.

Albert Einstein's famous E=mc^2 was taken from a published work by a German mathematician 50 years earlier

But Dingle had a point. He cited to the so-called "clock paradox". The Relativity Principles stipulates that if one clock A, is moving relative to clock B, then they are both moving relative to each other.

Yet, at the same time, SR tells us that the moving clock runs slower than the non-moving clock. Moreover, if time runs slow for clock A because it is moving, then it will also run slower for clock B, relative to A. This is simply illogical.

Professor Herbert Dingle was Professor of Theoretical Physics and Department head at the University of London, and, after first having supported SR, began to have doubts and wrote sceptically of the theory in his book Science at the Crossroads in 1972. For this he was expelled by the establishment.

Likewise the so-called “twin paradox”, in which twin A travels away from B at enormous speed and returns younger because time has slowed, is illogical since each twin will thereby be younger than the other.

Dingle wrote:

“a proof that Einstein's special theory of relativity is false has been advanced; and ignored, evaded, suppressed and, indeed, treated in every possible way except that of answering it, by the whole scientific world”.

[to be continued]

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Martinmas - Remembrance of the Dead

Lest we forget...

The Next War
By Wilfred Owen

Out there, we've walked quite friendly up to Death, —
Sat down and eaten with him, cool and bland, —
Pardoned his spilling mess-tins in our hand.
We've sniffed the green thick odour of his breath, —
Our eyes wept, but our courage didn't writhe.
He's spat at us with bullets and he's coughed
Shrapnel. We chorussed when he sang aloft,
We whistled while he shaved us with his scythe.

Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
No soldier's paid to kick against His powers.
We laughed, — knowing that better men would come,
And greater wars: when each proud fighter brags
He wars on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.

In 3 days time it will be Remembrance Day - Martinmas, the Feast of St Martin, the Roman imperial officer who became a bishop.

Let us remember those who are serving in Afghanistan and other theatres of war and let us especially remember the dead and pray for them.

Let us also remember those who died in the 2 world wars and wars since.

Tyne Cot cemetery near Passchendaele, Flanders

Once again, I would like especially to remember the officers and men from that most forgotten Division of all the regiments of the British Army at any time, anywhere, ever.

I mean the 10th and 16th Irish Divisions and their respective regiments.

These brave and dutiful soldiers are little remembered today because the Ireland from which they enlisted to fight for the freedom of small nations had, by 1918, undergone a radical sea-change in national aspirations because of the Rebellion of 1916, the reaction to it and the War of Independence of 1919-20 and the Civil War of 1920-21.

These most noble and brave Irish Divisions vanished into limbo, without honour, lying in an unquiet grave, forgotten by their own country and their own countrymen, save the brave and loyal families of the dead themselves, who were left to grieve alone, forgotten, even reviled, though their sons had faithfully answered the call of the Irish parliamentary leaders, John Redmond MP and John Dillon MP.

It is a little known fact that more Irishmen from the South served in the British Army and fought – in BOTH World Wars – than did those from the so-called “Loyalist” North.

Let us also remember the very young men from other parts of the British isles, too, who died in that terrible war that served to decimate Europe.

I can never help but think of the young lives lost in the First World War - that useless, pointless war brought about by the enemies of civilisation, of peace and - above all - of Christianity. Having started the war, the enemies of Christianity then did their level best to prevent it ending until every Christian nation had either toppled (like Austria-Hungary) or else had been bled half to death.

I think of young men like 19-year-old Roland Leighton, the poet and fiancée of Vera Brittain, who died of wounds on the Western Front.

"Goodnight, though life and all take flight, never goodbye..."
Inscription on the grave of Roland Leighton, the 19-year-old English poet.

God grant them all eternal rest...

In Flanders Fields
by Lt Col John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

At a Calvary near the Ancre
by Wilfred Owen

One ever hangs where shelled roads part.
In this war He too lost a limb,
But His disciples hide apart;
And now the Soldiers bear with Him.

Near Golgotha strolls many a priest,
And in their faces there is pride
That they were flesh-marked by the Beast
By whom the gentle Christ's denied.

The scribes on all the people shove
And bawl allegiance to the state,
But they who love the greater love
Lay down their life; they do not hate.

St Martin of Tours, pray for our noble dead!


So...what do I think about animal cruelty, then?

Here's what I said to my misguided correspondent (who, by the way, seems a nice chap despite his eccentric views).

For the avoidance of doubt as to my own views, I do not accept that animals have rights, at least not in any human sense, but I do accept that wanton cruelty to animals is wrong.

That is not because animals have "rights" but because it is morally bad for humans to practice cruelty, even if only against animals.

For the further avoidance of doubt, I do not consider it cruel to kill and eat some animals.

That is, indeed, one of the reasons God put them on earth.

However, to derive enjoyment by inflicting pain upon them is a form of perversion. No hunter I have hunted with ever behaved like that and, if he did, he would be packed off by his fellow hunters as some sort of pervert to be shunned and avoided.

In heaven, there will be no killing or eating so the issue will not arise.

In heaven we shall be sustained by the love of God and shall be immortal beings like Him, without the need for physical growth and development and thus for food and drink, as we are here below. Our pleasure and contentment will be in loving and praising God which will be greater by far than any pleasure or contentment we could ever imagine, here below.

Moreover, the pleasure that we currently derive from animals will also be there in some mysterious but currently inexplicable way, whether the pleasure of the hunter in the chase or the pleasure of the grandmother stroking her favourite cat.

Yes, there is a sense in which the sacrifice of Christ can be likened to the cruel killing of a defenceless creature and we do well to contemplate upon Him in such fashion since Scripture and the Church themselves liken him to a lamb - nay, the very sacrificial lamb of the old Jewish sacrifice. In heaven we shall also continue to contemplate Him in such wise. Indeed, it the very dumbness of the lamb led to the slaughter that we see in the innocency and silence of the persecuted Christ. This is not a reflection upon the status of the lamb so much as an insight into the pure innocence of Christ and the horror we should have of sin which so caused innocence and holiness to be so persecuted.

It certainly does not mean that men and animals are in any way equal or should be accorded equal rights.

Neither does it mean that granny's little doggy Spot will go to heaven in some naive, anthropomorphic way but it does mean that granny will derive the same pleasure she currently gets from Spot, a millionfold in heaven and that, in some way, will be related to, and derive from, Christ our Lord and God.

There can be no happiness greater than that of the saints in heaven as they contemplate a God of infinite love, mercy and fathomless compassion. Simply to see Him will produce the greatest possible satisfaction, wonderment, love, pleasure and awe in the souls of the saints in heaven.


Thursday, 5 November 2009

More animal crackers...

Proving my point, my animal-worshipping correspondent shews himself yet more obstinate.

Obstinate in refusing even to address the points I make and so - inevitably - obstinate in maintaining his false argument.

Logic escapes animal libbers yet the position is quite simple.

If animals and humans must be accorded the same rights then either animals must be given the full gamut of rights contained in human fundamental law codes like the UN Declaration of Rights, the European Convention and so on, or - which is the real truth - those charters must be changed or interpreted so that humans do not get more rights than animals.

That is what animal libbers like Professor Peter Singer believe.

Animals routinely commit infanticide and euthanasia and shun and reject the weak in total opposition to chivalry, honour and decency. But that is not surprising. They are dumb beasts, act on instinct and do not have the ability to chose right from wrong. It is ridiculous to talk about "rights" without also admitting duties and how can one expect an animal to have any kind of duty?

The result of "equality" between men and animals will mean that men will be reduced to the level of animals and will behave with the same savagery and brutality as animals.

Peter and the pig.
Prof Singer believes animals should be accorded human rights. In reality, that means that human rights should be reduced to the level of animals and, as Singer believes, infanticide and euthanasia should be allowed, as in the animal kingdom, er..., except, of course, for Peter's mother. Somehow he felt a bit different about euthanasia for her!
(Oh, and note that you never see our Pete getting cosy with a crocodile, tiger or shark!)

The difference is that man has a rational soul and can make moral choices.

Thus if he chooses to act like an animal, which cannot make such choices, then he become infinitely worse than any animal, which is but a dumb beast.

Men who behave like animals become far worse than animals and much more resemble devils.

Victorian animal lovers were classically more concerned with dumb beasts than with the fate of starved, sick, abandoned children forced to work in filthy and horrible conditions.

They were but the beginning of the malaise.

She had a lucky escape - the shark only "nibbled" her!


Animal crackers - the devious and obstinate heterodoxy of the animal libbers

The animal lib heterodoxy shows itself as obstinate as many another heterodoxy.

The devious lack of intellectual honesty that so characterises the heterodox is not lacking, either.

Their latest wheeze is to quote Cardinal John Henry Newman from his Parochial and Plain Sermons as if to demonstrate that Newman was some form of early animal libber.

Like many another Catholic animal libber, my latest correspondent quotes from Newman's Parochial and Plain Sermons deviously failing to mention:

(a) that they were written when Newman was an Anglican and not a Catholic;

(b) that they were not intended to be a Christian animal libber manifesto but rather an exercise in drawing comparisons understandable to his 19th century readers so that they could move on to understand higher things;

(c) that he does not, by any stretch of the imagination, pretend that animals are saved by Christ precisely because he knows that animals do not have rational souls;

(d) there were animal libbers of a sort in the 19th century and some of them were more interested in stray cats than they were in hungry, exploited and abandoned children (so much for the claim that animal libbing leads to compassion!). Newman sought to turn the thoughts of these people back to love of humanity from the perverted substitute god that they had created for themselves.

For the record, Newman dedicated his P & P Sermons (and that in 1834) to:


Pusey was a famous Anglo-Catholic and expressly repudiated Roman Catholicism.

The animal libbers also claim to read into Scripture their own perverse and perverted animal lib creed.

The pride of the heterodox is frequently only equalled by their obstinacy which can exceed even that of a mountain goat...

It is a characteristic of the heterodox that they claim to interpret Scripture according to their own fancy and not according to the teachings of the Church.

It is no part of orthodox Catholic theology that Christ came to save the souls of animals.

St Irenaeus of Lyons taught in the 2nd century gloria Dei homo vivens - "the glory of God is living man".

That is because we are made in His image - not because we deserve it but because that is what God Himself wanted.

If animal libbers don't like that, then they'd better take it up with God since it is His idea. They can explain to Him why they think He's wrong.

In fact, the evil of animal libbery is that it aims not so much to raise animals to the level of man (which is impossible) but rather to drag man down to the level of animals so that practices like infanticide and euthanasia - common in the animal kingdom - become acceptable practices among humans.

The animal lib blasphemy that Christ became incarnate as an animal and that His sacred humanity was not to be distinguished, in its humanity, from animals, is an extreme example of the foolishness of those animal libbers who try to marry their views with Christianity. One might as well worship Christ the sacred crocodile.

That humans and animals are intrinsically different is obvious to any 3-year-old child - but not, alas, to the animal libbers.

Here's what animals are really like - irrational, instinctual and frequently savage and brutal:

Here's a particularly amusing piece of self-rebuttal by a Quaker animal libber trying desperately to explain why it was that mankind has always hunted and eaten animals but why it should suddenly stop today in our time. It tries to marry up all the fashionable -isms of our day into one big, politically-correct, Quaker melange. For sheer fatuity it takes a lot to beat this stuff!

"Big-game hunting with neolithic weapons is a male activity, usually requiring teamwork, physical strength, physical courage, endurance, and aggressiveness, with suppression of sensitivity and compassion: in short, the qualities of machismo...[Got that people? No more strength and courage, endurance or teamwork, OK? We shall simply expect buildings to build themselves, roads to re-surface themselves, engineering work to self-construct and tough, unpleasant and difficult jobs will not be permitted to be done, lest anyone become macho, right? In short, we will demand the benefits of civilisation without the work required to build it! Hey! Go to the top of the class, wondergirl!]

Jim Mason [who he?] in An Unnatural Order suggests that males may have initiated the Great Hunt not only because of plant food shortages brought about by climatic and other changes [yep - climate change was on the front page of every Stone Age newspaper, too, folks!], but also to enhance their uncertain status in a group in which women had hitherto held the prestige of bringing forth life and sustaining it [Remember all those pre-historic digs that showed that early cultures were all dominated by child-bearing women? Err, no?, neither. Pity the way the facts keep getting in the way of a good story, isn't it?].

Whatever the reasons, one of the effects of the Great Hunt was that in developing the qualities necessary to take the spiritual power of large and strong animals, men also gained psychological and physical power over the group [amazing how a bit of hunting gives you so much superiority, eh?]. Women, like the physically and psychologically weaker men who could not compete, lost their status, and came to be dominated and held in contempt [yep, fact! Men always held their own mothers in deep contempt. More recent pre-historical digs have proven this, er, haven't they?]...

Clearly [Oh, yes, "clearly", indeed! Er, just a bit of a pity about all that evidence that she, er, forgot to produce] the situation of primal hunters, with its violence, its deep alienations between the sexes and between peoples [funny how that didn't seem to manifest itself much in those early primal cultures. Dratted facts keep getting in the way of a good story again!], is far from being the paradise that contemporary romanticization of primal peoples usually portrays. Yet it evidently co-existed, to varying degrees, for a very long time with an embeddedness in and deep respect and awe regarding nature [Err, shome mishtake shurely? I thought the hunters were the bad guys but now she's saying they co-existed with deep respect and awe regarding nature!?!]. It took the further steps of herding and the discovery of agriculture, to begin to establish an outlook of dominance over nature which diminished the awe and oneness of gathering-hunting peoples [Wha...? So maybe hunting wasn't so bad after all? And agriculture and herding were the real baddies? Is that it?].

Many important factors which cannot be explored here [oh what a pity! We were just beginning to laugh- er, I mean, sorry, get interested!] went into the process of bringing about our present state of dangerous alienation from nature, alienation that threatens global catastrophe [The hunters of the world are threatening the extinction of the planet? I think she may have lost the thread a bit, here...].

...But we who are inspired [oh, but of course she must be inspired! No, folks, let's not allow humility to get in the way of her self-obsession, now, shall we?] by a vision of true Peace among sentient beings, who see the divine in the eyes of an animal [only the eyes? And just how close has she got to a shark's eyes, anyway?], know that hunting, however reverential, always contains the seeds of Might-Makes-Right [Oh, so hunting is "reverential" now, is it? Interesting!].

It is not the answer. We cannot go back to the past [We must go forward to a bright future where there is no hunting, no herding, no agriculture, limited gathering (of what?), no strength, no courage, no endurance nor any teamwork.... just a lot of starving Quakers wondering where their next nut cutlet is going to come from and who will save them from being eaten by the wild beasts again. Golly. Stunningly lovely view of the future, isn't it?].

— Gracia Fay Ellwood"

I shall not be surprised if we one day discover that Ms Ellwood was savaged and eaten by an animal - probably an animal that she tried to ban the hunting of!

Some people actually believe that if you are sufficiently nice to tigers they will stop attacking you. When such people try hugging a tiger they usually end up as its lunch.


Sunday, 25 October 2009

Ave Christus Rex! Viva Christo Rey! Hail Christ the King!

Ave Christus Rex!

The Feast of Christ the King

Munkácsy Mihály. Ecce Homo. 1896.

Ecce Homo!

"Behold the Man!"

"Then therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment. And they came to him, and said:

Hail, King of the Jews;

and they gave him blows. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him. (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them:

Behold the Man!"

[John 19:1-5]

Diego Velazquez. The Crucifixion or Christ of San Placido. 1630.

Regnavit a ligno Deus

"God hath ruled us from a tree"

[Vexilla Regis, Venantius Fortunatus]

Christos Pantokratoros (Christ, ruler of all), ancient Byzantine ikon.

Rex regum et Dominus dominantium

"King of kings and Lord of lords"

[Revelation 19:16]

Dignus est Agnus qui occisus est, accipere virtutem, et divinitatem, et sapientem, et fortiudinem, et honorem. Ipsi gloria et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

[Revelation 5: 12, 13, Introit for the Mass of Christ the King]

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing...Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

Dixit itaque ei Pilatus: ergo Rex es tu? Respondit Jesus: tu dicis quia Rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati: omnis qui est ex veritate, audit vocem meam.
[John 18, Gospel for the Mass of Christ the King]

"Pilate therefore said to Him: art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice".

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."
[Revelation 19:6]

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever."
[Revelation 11:15]

"And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS."
[Revelation 19:16]

"For unto Us a Child is born, unto Us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace".
[Isaiah 9:6]

Jusepe de Ribera. Christ in the Crown of Thorns.

The Kingship of Christ is not like the kingship of pagans, heathens, unbelievers and gentiles. The Kingship of Christ is the kingship of a God-King-Priest Who suffers for the sake of his subjects whom He considers to be His very own children.

His crown is the Crown of Thorns, His sceptre is the Reed of humility, His royal cloak is the Purple Robe of suffering, for a royal girdle He is bound with the Bonds of servitude, His white Seamless Garment of purity and integrity is stripped from Him in public, His subjects mock Him, His servants desert Him, His people for whom He suffers and dies reject Him, His path is a Way of the Cross and His greatest work is Crucifixion as a common criminal.

Behold the King Who is a servant to the meanest of His people!

In so suffering, this great King gives us a model for all Christian leadership - paternal, royal, priestly, loving, unselfish, all-suffering, all-giving and all-sacrificing.

This is how all Christian kings and fathers must conduct themselves. For kings are fathers and fathers are kings, their subjects are children and their children are subjects - to be loved, not oppressed; to be formed, not neglected; to be nourished, not abused.

For these little ones, a king and a father sacrifices all he has and, above all, himself.

That is the meaning of Christian kingship, fatherhood and leadership.

"He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on my right or left hand, is not mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father. And the ten hearing it, were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them to him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister:

And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant.

Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many."
[Matt 20:23-28]

But how few among us - even among us Christians - understands this meaning of Christian leadership? So few. They still think - like pagans - either that leadership and earthly power are useful means to enrich oneself and lord it over others or else, equally falsely, they think they are merely evil, which is to say the same thing.

It is false.

Others foolishly think that it is degrading to be a servant and better to be rich, powerful, and influential, not so as to be a servant, but so as to serve oneself and oppress and humiliate others.

In fact, kingship or leadership is given by God to men to serve others and to sacrifice oneself for the good of others, as Christ the King did for us. The role of Christian leader is one of suffering and self-sacrifice - not selfishness and self-aggrandisement. It is a most noble and holy calling and we must re-learn to regard it as such.

Woe betide those who use power and rule for themselves and not for others!

The Face of JESUS CHRIST on the Shroud of Turin - the face of love.

And so we must return to the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ...

"19. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.

Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men.

'You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men'.

If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent.

Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man.

Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the Kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.
28. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day."

[Pope Pius IX, Quas Primas, Encyclical letter establishing the Feast of Christ the King, 1925.]

Hail Christ the King!