Wednesday 28 January 2009

Stauffenberg: lines of descent and divine destiny...

The ancestry and lineage of Colonel Claus Schenk, Count von Stauffenberg, show him to have been seemingly ordained by heaven for his dangerous and courageous task.

His family are amongst the most eminent and noble families of Bavaria, with close connections to the Royal House of Wittelsbach, which family is, for Jacobite Legitimists, the senior legitimate line of succession of British royalty.

Two nieces of the Duke of Bavaria are married to two brothers, first cousins twice removed both of Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and of his wife Baroness Elisabeth Magdalena von Lerchenfeld, Countess Monika von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg to Count Christoph Schenk von Stauffenberg and Countess Maria-Anna von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny to Count Alexander Schenk von Stauffenberg.

Another niece of the Duke of Bavaria, Countess Walburga von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg is married to Baron Carl von Lerchenfeld, first cousin of the aforementioned brothers Counts Christoph and Alexander Schenk von Stauffenberg.

The Lerchenfelds are direct descendants of Lord Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, by his second marriage.

St Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel was the only son of the latter's first marriage.

St Philip Howard,
Earl of Arundel and martyr for the Catholic Faith.
Countess von Stauffenberg (born von Lerchenfeld) was a kinswoman of the great English saint.

Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, though a Protestant, was executed for his alleged involvement in the Ridolfi plot, for proposing marriage to Mary I, Queen of Scots (and de jure II of England and Ireland). The Royal Pedigree of the Duke of Norfolk is well attested.

The Lerchenfelds also have impeccable Scottish pedigree, from the Royal Stewarts (via King Robert II of Scotland and his wife, Euphemia, daughter of the Earl of Ross) and from very many Scottish noble families.

Biography and portrait of Nina, Countess von Stauffenberg,
born Baroness von Lerchenfeld

Count Claus Stauffenberg's granddaughter, Countess Sophie Schenk von Stauffenberg is married to Baron Marcus Berchtolsheim, the Chancellor of the Duke of Bavaria and himself a descendant of the Royal Stuarts, through the brother of the Royal nephews, and Cavaliers during the English Civil War, "Prince Rupert" and "Prince Maurice of the Rhine", Edward, Count Palatine (Pfalzgraf) of Simmern, who became a Catholic on his marriage to Anna Gonzaga, heiress of the Gonzaga Dukes of Mantua.

His grandson, Count Hans Caspar Schenk von Stauffenberg is married to Gräfin Josefa von Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems, a Habsburg, Bourbon and Royal Stuart (Charles I) descendant.

It is as if the hand of God were on Stauffenberg ordaining him to make the attempt on the life of the Nazi Antichrist.

The wedding day of Count and Countess von Stauffenberg, the union of too great and ancient Bavarian families with many ancient connections and roots with the greatest Catholic families of Europe.
On this happy day doubtless the newly-weds could hardly have foreseen then that he would be the one man in Germany who would get closest to ridding the world of the leading Nazi Antichrist.


George Weigel writes an unhelpful article in Newsweek

Here it is:

This article is very far from good, alas.

It directly undermines the Pope's reconciliation efforts and is disloyal to the Pope, accordingly.

That is doubly shameful given that George attacks Lefebvre precisely for disloyalty!

I'm sorry to see this article from George since he has hereby chosen to undermine the Pope's work of peace-making and let us not forget "blessed are the peace-makers".

Some of the very things that he accuses Bishop Fellay and others of doing, he does himself - distorting the facts, arrogance, impeding the healing process, raising the stakes, attacking the Church's self-understanding, pick-and-choose cafeteria Catholicism.

As I know from the late Cardinal Gagnon, Lefebvre and he DID agree a settlement during the 1987-8 negotiations.

It was the Secretariat of State that rejected the agreement, in the first instance, not Lefebvre.

Gagnon had been given plenipotentiary powers but when he used them to reach agreement the Secretariat simply vetoed the arrangement.

To say that John Paul II "got nowhere" with Lefebvre is thus simply untrue and George should be ashamed for uttering it - especially at a time when the Pope is trying to build bridges.

The truth is that just as Lefebvre was formed through the political and religious disputes of his culture, so has George been formed in the disputes of his culture.

These include the "bitter hatred" that defined American society and culture in its war against the old world and - let us admit it - the Church, from the time of the American revolution through to the revolutions of the 1960s which gave America the likes of Clinton and now the most anti-life President that America has ever seen.

If George could point to a long line of holy, orthodox, Catholic Presidents, political leaders and US governments, just as the Catholic kingdoms of Europe can with their holy kings and governments, or even if he could point to a line of Presidents who adopted mainstream historic Christianity then he might have something to dwell on - but he cannot.

The only Catholic President was chiefly notorious for his marital infidelity. He also secured the vote of Protestant ministers by assuring them that he did not support the Catholic Church's teaching on Church and State.

Neither, it is clear from this article, does George.

The end result of revolution - violence, hatred and death

That, together with his clear undermining of the Pope's pacific and reconciliatory objectives, is perhaps the most serious mistake that George makes in this rather sad, angry and disloyal little article.

Paragraph #55 of Blessed Pius IX's Syllabus condemns the doctrine of universal separation of Church and State.

It is clear that George disagrees with Blessed Pius IX's teaching and, instead, thinks the State should always and everywhere be neutral on matters of the truth-claims of the Church.

He has also clearly never read the letter of St Pius X entitled Our Apostolic Mandate in which that saintly pope condemns the principles of the French Revolution, as did all his predecessors, including the Pope of the time, Pius VI. St Pius X even states:

"all that is needed is to take up again, with the help of the true workers for a social restoration, the organisms which the Revolution shattered, and to adapt them, in the same Christian spirit that inspired them, to the new environment arising from the material development of today’s society".

and this:

"Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists".

George, spuriously calling up the name of Vatican II as if it supported his separation of Church and State error, defies the teaching of Pius VI, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Bl Pius IX, Leo XIII, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII and Bl John XXIII on the subject and pretends that Paul VI and John Paul II support his error when they never taught it.

Now he is directly undermining the peace efforts of Pope Benedict XVI to reconcile with SSPX.

George is even doing so in the frankly shameful way of trying to lump Bishops Fellay and Williamson together as if Fellay were really supporting Williamson's shameful remarks when Fellay has expressly distanced himself from them.

That directly undermines the Pope's objective of reconciliation by trying to paint Bishop Fellay in the worst possible light, ally him with Williamson's odious comments and so put a wedge between Fellay and the Pope.

That directly undermines the papal peace-making.

Shame on you, George!

Where is your charity? Where is your love of souls? Where is your outreach to your fellow man?

Even the French and German bishops have given a better example on this issue.

No - this article is a shame and a pity.

I had expected better so much more wisdom and charity from George Weigel.

How sad that he has so missed the mark.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

And for the avoidance of any doubt...

...and for the record, I think Bishop Williamson has made some exceedingly foolish and harmful comments and he should either stop or more reasonable people in SSPX should ask him to leave.

Equally for the record, the fact that the Pope has lifted the excommunications does not (repeat not - oh ye mendacious secular media) mean that he has in any way approved any of Bishop Williamson's highly unhelpful comments.

But, of course, that will not stop the media attacking our Pope, grossly unfairly.

They will go on doing that because they have another agenda than the truth and that agenda is to attack the Catholic Church and the Catholic faith and that includes vilifying the Pope.

However, as to Bishop Williamson, I say no more since I do not think the bishop should be given any more publicity.

I prefer to speak about our great father in the Faith, the Supreme Pontiff, the Pontifex Maximus, the Supreme Pastor of God's Church, the Patriarch of the West and the Bishop of the Holy City of Rome, the one and only...



Sunday 25 January 2009

SSPX: the excommunications lifted by Pope Benedict XVI

And so the news has finally come.

I am not a member of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) and I particularly would distance myself from some of the sillier comments made by Bishop Richard Williamson but I do think the Society has been rather shabbily mistreated for the last 20 years or more.

It has become the soft target for every pusillanimous soul who thinks he can gain a few worldly "brownie points" with the fashionable modern pundits by joining in the general frenzy of vilification and venom against the Society, so reminiscent of a pack of bullies kicking a man when he is down.

Defending the underdog somehow doesn't apply when the underdog is the SSPX.

Such are the strange values of some modern liberal Catholics who have joined the unseemly rush to be first to kick those whose principal crime was to continue to worship and believe as did their Fathers in the Faith.

Many simply did not bother to take the time to find out what the SSPX actually taught and held.

Time and again falsehoods were spoken of them - they were sedevacantists (false), they rejected all of Vatican II (false), they were crypto-Protestants (false), they considered the Novus Ordo Missae invalid (false), they rejected the authority of the Pope (false), and even that they were Fascists or Nazis (false). And so on, and so on. It was as if no-one really wanted to find out what they taught and believed but rather just wanted to use them as a useful kick-butt to vent one's spleen upon.

Now read the new decree and you will see that our beloved Holy Father has a rather different, much more pastoral, charitable and compassionate view.

See also that no legal reasons are given for the lifting of the excommunications. That may, however, have been carefully planned.

Is this an act of clemency? Could be.

Is this an act of justice? Could be.

It is (deliberately?) left vague. That way no "side" can claim a victory and all must exercise caution, care and charity. Not a bad solution, that!

The Society of St Pius X long ago appealed the excommunications but it has taken 20 years to hear their appeal - a grave injustice toward anyone, let alone fellow Catholics, regardless of what they may have done or what one may think of them. Everyone should be equal before the law - not just those currently in favour.

Now the appeal has finally been heard and, mirabile dictu, upheld.

The decree of 1 July 1988 was not a decision to excommunicate but rather a declaration of a penalty automatically imposed latae sententiae. Moreover the decree was not signed and for a long time did not appear in the Acta of the Holy See.

The Society appealed the decree which, under the 1983 code, meant that the penalty was suspended until the appeal was heard (Can. 1353) but one never hears this part of the story.

The Most Rev Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre CSSSp

Archbishop Lefebvre argued that his actions had been necessary because the traditional form of the Catholic faith and sacraments might be in danger of extinction without a traditionalist clergy to pass them on to the next generation.

He called the ordinations "opération survie" - "Operation Survival", citing in his defence Can. 1323 and 1324 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

Can. 1323 provides that a canonical penalty is not binding when a person has acted "by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience, unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls".

Can. 1324 states that, if the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls, the penalty must be diminished or replaced by a penance if the offence was committed by a person who was coerced by grave fear, even if only relative, or by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience.

In all these circumstances, Can. 1324(3) concludes, automatic penalties do not apply.

Accordingly this was an appeal with a reasonable prospect of success. But it was simply not heard. Scandalously, it seems that it was simply ignored. Justice delayed - especially for 20 years! - is justice denied, even if the final result would have been a refusal.

But now we have a new pope. And the final result has not been a refusal. On the contrary, the result has been, in effect, that the appeal of SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre, made all those years ago, has been allowed and the excommunication lifted.

The Assisi debacle in which the Blessed Sacrament was removed from the Tabernacle and the crucifix replaced by a small statue of the Buddha: one of a number of apparent scandals that the SSPX felt moved to criticise

It is rather a shame that the Holy See allowed Archbishop Lefebvre to die with the apparent penalty of excommunication lying upon him - seemingly unjustly, as it now turns out - but at least the matter has now finally been addressed.

No retraction, nor contrition, nor apology, nor recantation has been required by the Holy See of any member of SSPX, it seems.

Indeed, in recent times the Ecclesia Dei Commission has apparently stated that members of the Faithful may fulfil their Sunday obligation by attendance at SSPX masses.

Yet this would not normally be permitted if the celebrant priest was suspended a divinis from administering the Sacrament - still less if he was excommunicate.

Catholics were therefore seemingly permitted to consider that SSPX members and priests were neither excommunicate, nor suspended, or at least that the excommunications were suspended, presumably in in accordance with Can. 1353.

Some, of course, will reject that analysis, but, either way, the precise canonical position is by no means clear, save that they are not excommunicate. That being so, why have not more people given SSPX the benefit of the doubt?

The late Michael Davies who wrote Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre at a time when the Archbishop was being most widely vilified

In any event, it is now quite clear that the policy of the present Pontiff is toward rapprochement and toward lifting penalties (if any) that exist or prevent SSPX priests from administering the Sacraments.

Even though this would seem to call into question the whole policy of purported sanctions in the first place, our holy Pope has had both the courage and the humility to lift the sanctions.

The stuff of martyrdom consists in keeping one's integrity, one's Faith and one's conscience, even in the face of the most overwhelming persecution, even if abandoned by father, mother, son, daughter, friends and superiors and still more so if unjustly attacked by them.

Is it martyrdom to attack the man whom everyone else is attacking and that unjustly? No - of course not.

But what of that man unjustly attacked? Well now, there you do indeed have a possible candidate for martyrdom.

Perhaps now some shoddy-thinking, liberal Catholics with little compassion and less sense of justice may begin to see that their all too hasty jumping onto the bandwagon of vilification of the SSPX may perhaps not have been a matter for such self-congratulation.

Perhaps they may even see the unfairness and uneven-handedness of crying out against the religious vilification of Jews, Moslems and non-Catholics whilst, at the same time, themselves religiously vilifying the SSPX and its members. They might also see that he who calls for justice - as liberal Catholics constantly are - ought to make an attempt to practice that virtue himself.

Even if I may have reservations about certain members of SSPX (and I certainly do!), I seem to hear from some of their more vociferous liberal antagonists the words of the Pharisee: "O God, I give Thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this [SSPX?] publican" (Luke 18:11).

Well, let us follow the lead of our Holy Father, hope for better things and for a spirit of reconciliation, fraternal charity and forgiveness.

Here, then is the decree and Bishop Fellay's rather moving response:

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior of SSPX

Gloria Olivetae:
our wonderfully humble and compassionate Pope, gloriously reigning!
God grant that he may do so for many years to come!


Saturday 24 January 2009

Valkyrie: Stauffenberg and the sacred Germany against the profane Germany...

"Es lebt unser heiliges Deutschland!"

"Long live our sacred Germany!"

These are reputedly the last words of 37-year-old Bavarian Catholic aristocrat and cavalry officer, Colonel Claus, Count Schenk von Stauffenberg, before he was summarily shot in the courtyard of German Army Headquarters in Bendlerstrasse, Berlin, for his attempt upon the life of murderous Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler.

Accurately, the film released yesterday in Britain, and titled Valkyrie, includes this memorable and dramatic scene, played well by American actor, Tom Cruise, as Colonel Count Stauffenberg.

The film is, in my humble view, an excellent portrayal of this true story of patriotic German officers, civilians, politicians, aristocrats and commoners alike, who opposed the Hitler regime and took courageous action to overthrow it from within, risking their lives so to do.

I have followed the Stauffenberg story for decades and got to know his son, Major-General Berthold von Stauffenberg, when he was German military attaché in London.

It is my belief that the film is an accurate portrayal, well handled and well presented. It is also a gripping story presented with all the excitement and drama that it so well deserves.

A clip from the film

Hollywood's homage to the men who risked - and lost - their lives in this courageous attempt is long overdue but now it has come and it will, I am sure, have a considerable impact on the way many cynical moderns view the story of Germany and its people who found themselves governed by a brutal tyranny.

Numerous famous actors play the parts of the key figures in the plot (from left standing) Carl Goerdeler, the Mayor of Leipzig, Stauffenberg, Colonel-General Ludwig Beck (who had resigned in 1938), Major-General Henning von Treskow, (seated) Colonel Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim, Lieutenant-General Friedrich Olbricht and one other.

What was the "sacred" or "holy" Germany which Stauffenberg cried allegiance to?

Quite simply it was the holy empire which had placed Germany and Germans at the centre of a Christian, Catholic Europe for 1,000 years and which had built up, lead, governed, protected and enhanced European Christian civilisation for most of its history.

We are apt to forget this when we lump the thousands of years of German history into those very few short years when, after a period of anarchy, the political elite turned its back on the past and installed a new and diabolical ideology in place of the Christian past.

That ideology was a materialist, Socialist, racist, secular, anti-monarchist and anti-Catholic creed called National Socialism.

Goering surveys the bomb damage

As is crystal clear from his early autobiography, Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"), its devilish leader hated all that was associated with the Catholic and Habsburg empire of the past whilst he - schizophrenically and contradictorily - claimed to be restoring the ancient, thousand-year old, empire of the past, albeit in a new and "modern" guise.

The real, thousand-year old, empire of the past was, in truth, the Holy Roman Empire, a Catholic, not a Socialist, empire sometimes called Das heilige römische Reich der deutschen Völker or "The Holy Roman Empire of the German People".

This empire was begun in what later became France by the Emperor Charlemagne, a Frank, a race of people who were ancestors of both French and German people.

Later the Empire was restored to glory by the Emperor Otto the Great and gradually became centred upon what is now Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Northern Italy and parts of France, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary.

This Empire was Roman and Catholic. Its Emperor - successor to the Roman emperors of old - was the first Catholic layman of Christian Europe and recognised as such by all Christian countries and political leaders. This Empire and its rulers recognised their duty of allegiance to the Roman Pontiff as their spiritual superior.

And for this reason it was called "holy" or "sacred". It was titled Sacrum Romanum Imperium and recognised as such by all the popes who ever ruled.

This was the "sacred" or "holy" Germany to which Stauffenberg referred and which he had come to realise was - and must always be - implacably opposed to the dirty little Social Darwinist, secularist tyranny that Hitler and the National Socialists had imposed upon a once noble Germany.

Stauffenberg (left) with Colonel Albrecht, Ritter (Knight) Mertz von Quirnheim, a fellow army officer and co-conspirator in the 20 July 1944 plot against Hitler. He was shot with Stauffenberg outside Army HQ.

The decline and fall of religion in Germany, partly a by-product of the Protestant Reformation, had finally sapped all the life out of the true Germany and the vacuum had been filled with a legion of devils from Hell who inspired this new and grotesque National Socialist ideology, said to be based upon science but actually based upon the spurious findings of a entirely perverse, modern science, based upon Darwinism, among other ideas.

Many were opposed to Hitler - Social Democrats, liberals, Jews, Communists, Evangelicals, conservatives - but only one man summoned up the skill, courage, tenacity, perserverance and commanding personality to hatch a plan to deliver Germany and the world from the tyrant and, moreover, was willing to carry it out himself.

That man was Claus von Stauffenberg.

Stauffenberg with 2 of his children

He came from a noble family of a line 700 years old. That gave him a certain upbringing, education, moral formation and self-possession as well as a sense of responsibility arising from his family background.

His father was the last Oberhofmarschall of the Kingdom of Württemberg and Claus, from an early age, had had impressed upon him that his family heritage was not merely a social status but imposed a solemn duty to serve God, nation and conscience above self.

Interestingly, it was the aristocrats who really showed determination and courage to stand up to the tyrant.

Above all, however, let it not ever be forgotten what most went to make up the core beliefs of Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and what was his source of strength, discernment and loyalty, as well as courage, and to which he turned for counsel before making his final decision to carry out his plans.

Before deciding to take part in the plot and lay the bomb, Stauffenberg went to confession.

It was his religion, first and foremost, that gave him the tools for reason, emotion and decisive action. His religion was one truly worthy of the name.

And that was because Colonel Claus, Count Schenk von Stauffenberg was a traditional Roman Catholic.

Banner of the Holy Roman Empire


Whoops! Spoke too soon. Obama re-opens international abortion funding...

Look left folks.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a "blob of jelly"?

None of the above.

It's a defenceless, baby human being who has no civil, human or legal rights.

Obama's nasty side came out yesterday when he over-turned the pro-life policy on US funding to family planning groups abroad that counsel abortion.

With the full range of anti-life fatuity, he said that the policy was "unnecessarily broad and unwarranted" and had become too politicized an issue.

Too politicised? What? And just who did the politicising, eh? The anti-lifers, that's who.

Is the "ban" on eliminating adults "unnecessarily broad and unwarranted"? No? Then why is it so when the victim is a human baby?

Obama said in a statement that the policy had "undermined efforts to promote safe and effective voluntary family planning in developing countries. For these reasons, it is right for us to rescind this policy and restore critical efforts to protect and empower women and promote global economic development."

What priceless tripe.

What's safe about killing?

And how does it "empower" women or "promote global development"?

"I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate" says the new President. Really? And will he be saying that to NARAL? Or is this newspeak for "I am only against such debates if I disagree with the view expressed"?

The fatuity gets more and more bizarre.

By resuming funding to the UN Population Fund, he said, "the US will be joining 180 other donor nations working collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries."

So abortion prevents HIV now, does it? And improves the health of children?

Yeah, right.

And what sort of "family planning assistance"? This means condoms instead of food and medicines, contraceptives instead of hospitals, schools and proper care.

But, hey folks, let's not worry because new Secretary of State, representative of America's new foreign policy and Feminist loony, Hillary "Marry your man and get a top job" Clinton, welcomed the step.

So that's OK, then.

Anyone seen my broomstick?

"This policy has made it more difficult for women around the world to gain access to essential information and healthcare services," Clinton said. Sure, Hillary. For "healthcare services" read "abortion services". If this is the newspeak for "healthcare services" then God help the Third World countries that place any reliance on US aid!

Clinton said she was looking forward to working with "the NGO (non-governmental organization) community to promote programs and policies that ensure women and girls have full access to health information and services".

That is, "abortion services".

After all, Hillary dear, we can't have all those poor, foreign people with different coloured skins and foreign, non-American cultures, having children, now, can we?

Come back Margaret Sanger and all her racist fellow-travellers - all is forgiven. At least by Hillary and other phoney humanitarians.

Remember the Feminist legacy, folks. Here it is, again, just in case you forgot what Feminism has done to the world and to humanity. Figures are from the notoriously and odiously pro-abortion and anti-life Alan Guttmacher Institute:

Approximately 46 Million abortions per year worldwide
Approximately 126,000 abortions per day worldwide.

© Copyright 1999-2000, The Alan Guttmacher Institute.

So, if these figures are right, when it comes to the killing business, Feminism dwarfs both Communism and Nazism put together!

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Inaugural: Mr President says...

Well, it was a barnstorming speech. You have to admit it.

But does he mean it?

And what did he leave out?

Barack Obama has made it clear, in his very short period as a US Senator, that he is one of the least pro-life members of Congress.

Will he be the least pro-life US President ever?

Does he really think that nurses should kill babies that managed to survive the abortion process alive?

Does he really think that Catholic and other hospitals should be forced to do abortions against the consciences of doctors, nurses, managers and donors?

If so, how is that in any way "liberal"?

A US TV show compared the words of President Obama with those of President Bush and much was expressed in similar terms - war on terror, strength of America will not be defeated by terrorists, supporting the troops, defending freedom, the importance of markets in the economy and so on. Nothing Socialist there.

Does he meant it?

We shall see.

Here are a few extracts:

"...In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

...Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

...We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations.

...We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honour them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny..."

Great stuff - but does he mean it?

Saturday 10 January 2009

Defiance: it's powerful...

This is a still from the new film Defiance recently out and starring Daniel Craig as a Jewish partisan leader in Nazi-occupied Belarus.

The Bielski family were farmers in Nowogrodek, Belarus. After Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Nowogrodek became a Jewish ghetto, as the Nazis took over.

The three Bielski brothers, Tuvia, Alexander Zisel "Zus", and Asael, managed to flee to the nearby forest after their parents and other family members were killed in the ghetto in December 1941. Together with 13 neighbours from the ghetto, they formed the nucleus of a an independent fighting force.

The group's commander was the older brother, Tuvia Bielski (1906–1987), a Polish Army veteran. He recruited over a thousand to join the group in the Naliboki Forest.

They lived in underground dugouts but built a kitchen, a mill, a bakery, a bathhouse, a medical clinic for sick and wounded and a quarantine hut for those who suffered from infectious diseases such as typhus. Herds of cows supplied milk. They ran small factories and even made weapons. The camp's many children went to dugout school. The camp even had its own jail and a court of law.

Religion even flourished in the camp and many of the group were Hasids or fully Orthodox Jews. These authentic Jews believe the Old Testament fully. They are identifiable today by their dress - ringlets, beards, long coats, shawls, broad-brimmed hats and so on.

Today many of them are even anti-Zionist because they believe that there can be no State of Israel until the Moshiach (the Messiah) comes.

Catholics believe the same, the only difference being that we believe the Moshiach ("the anointed") has already come and His name is Y'shua (Jesus or Joshua) meaning "Saviour" and the current "Kingdom of Israel" is the Church. Catholics are the spiritual Jews.

Jews call this "replacement theology" and disparage it but that is only to be expected and - from their point of view - quite right and proper. If they did not think so then they would cease being Jews and become Catholics. So we ought not be unduly offended by the disparagement.

The past record of the Holy See should be our guide. The popes of the past - even at periods of persecution of Jews - have always taken the Jews under their special protection. No historian dare gainsay this truth because he or she will never find any evidence to the contrary, however much they may find evidence against bad Christian kings. The Jews was never expelled from the City of Rome - ever.

No-one - Catholic or non-Catholic - can have anything but the greatest anger and indignation at the disgraceful attempt to destroy defenceless men, women and children as this film again reminds happened even in once-civilised Europe. The twin evils of Nazism and Stalinism combined to make of the 20th century the bloodiest, dirtiest and most destructive of centruies in the history of mankind. How could man behave so unless he were first possessed of a legion of devils? What an appalling legacy it has left us!

The activities of the Bielski partisans were aimed at the Nazis and collaborators in the area. They also undertook sabotage. The Nazis sent out whole formations to track them down but they fled safely to a more remote part of the forest, still offering protection to the non-combatants among their band.

The real Bielski partisans

Several attempts by Soviet partisan commanders to absorb Bielski fighters into their units were resisted, so that the Jewish partisan group retained its integrity and remained under Tuvia Bielski's command. This allowed him to continue to protect Jewish lives whilst fighting.

In the summer of 1944, when the Soviet counter-offensive began in Belarus and the Germans withdrew, the Bielski partisans, numbering 1,230 men, women and children, emerged from the forest and marched into Nowogrodek.

Asael Bielski served in the Soviet Red Army but was killed at Königsberg in 1945.

Tuvia Bielski returned to Poland, then emigrated to Palestine in 1945 but he and his brother eventually settled in the United States.

Some of the acts of vengeance they undertook, and shown in the film are plainly immoral but they come to regret them and the effect of the whole is one of the triumph of courage and dignity over evil.

It is a powerful story - as is the film - of defiance, courage, horrifying, bloody murders and eventual escape from a most hellish episode in human history.


Friday 9 January 2009

A bishop who has simply lost it...

This is the bishop who lost his way, spiritually, pastorally and theologically.

He has just lost it.


Below are 2 articles in The Catholic Herald which show Kieran Conry as he really is.

Since he plainly no longer believes the Catholic faith and has made this loud and clear both publicly and pertinaciously, he has effectively deposed himself as Ordinary of Arundel and Brighton.

One cannot pertinaciously and publicly repudiate the faith and remain an Ordinary. So says the law and the teachings of the Church, not to mention the great saints like Aquinas, Bellarmine and Liguori.

So now is the time for the people of Arundel and Brighton to petition Rome to give them a bishop since the present pretender has effectively repudiated the job.

Read on:

The "wisdom" of Kieran: we cannot talk about salvation of souls; regular confession is not a good idea; Humanae Vitae might be wrong; don't talk about Hell; the Latin Mass is to be kept at bay; let's just talk about saving the planet.

This is secularism with a cheesy, clerical grin.

It is not the Catholic faith. It is a trahison des clercs and an abandonment of the flock by the would-be shepherd. It is pathetic. And sad.

And he is a bishop!

Welcome to the Church in Britain, folks - dying, for want of leadership.


Thursday 8 January 2009

In the Octave of the Epiphany: "the kings of Arabia and Saba shall bring gifts"

The Epiphany

of the Lord
to the Gentiles

on the same day as
the Baptism of the Lord
the miracle of wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee

"When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him. And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: and thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; and sending them into Bethlehem, said: go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him. Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country."

[Matt 2:12 - Gospel for the Mass of the Epiphany]

The shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral

The Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral contains their relics brought from Milan by ship to the City of Cologne on the order of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, in 1164 as a gift to the Prince-Elector Archbishop, Rainald of Dassel.

This gave rise to the English Carol "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing in".

The relics had first been taken from Constantinople to Milan in 344 by Bishop Eustorgius of Milan.

Around 1199, the Roman Emperor Otto IV gave three golden crowns made for the three wise men as a present to the church of Cologne, the city where, the previous year, he had been elected King of the Romans and Emperor-elect by the Prince-Electors of the Empire (he later gained the support of all the imperial princes at Frankfurt in 1208).

An inscription reads:

Otto rex coloniensis curiam celebrans tres coronas de auro capitibus trium magorum imposuit.

Emperor Otto IV was the only member of the Welf dynasty to be elected Holy Roman Emperor and, being the son of Matilda Plantagenet (married to Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria), he was allied to England in the Franco-English wars. He was also the personal preference of Pope Innocent III, who crowned him Roman Emperor at Rome in 1209, although they later fell out over the issue of the imperial rights in Italy.

Because of the importance of the shrine and the cathedral for the later development of the city, the Coat of Arms of Cologne still shows these three crowns symbolizing the Three Kings.

Construction of the present Cologne Cathedral was begun in 1248 to house these important relics. The cathedral took 632 years to complete and is now the largest Gothic church in northern Europe.

On July 20th, 1864, the shrine was opened, and remains of the three Kings and the coins of Philip I, Archbishop of Cologne, were discovered.

An eyewitness report reads:

“In a special compartment of the shrine now there showed - along with remains of ancient old rotten or moulded bandages, most likely byssus, besides pieces of aromatic resins and similar substances - numerous bones of three persons, which under the guidance of several present experts could be assembled into nearly complete bodies: the one in his early youth, the second in his early manhood, the third was rather aged. Two coins, bracteates made of silver and only one side striken, were adjoined; one, provably from the days of Philipp von Heinsberg, displayed a church, the other showed a cross, accompanied by the sword of jurisdiction, and the crozier on either side.”

The bones were wrapped in white silk and returned to the shrine where they remain to this day to be venerated by all the Faithful.

By long tradition, on the Feast of the Epiphany – called Dreikoenigsfest (the Feast of the Three Kings) in the lands of the old Holy Roman Empire – the Rector of the Parish (or in his absence, the father of each family) visits each house with a cross-bearer, 2 acolytes and 3 children dressed as the kings, one bearing a censer with lighted incense. At each house a little ceremony takes place, the house is blessed with Epiphany water, and over the door lintel of the house the following is inscribed with blessed chalk:

20 + C + M + B + 09

In my house we always perform this traditional ceremony.

This symbolises the present year and the blessing of the 3 Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, upon each home.

The symbols remain all year or until the weather has washed them away.

Blessed Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, wise men and kings from the East, pray for us!


The Journey of the Magi

by T S Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

+ + +

"three trees on the low sky... I should be glad of another death."


Of men and animals: the new revolution

Some will have seen the interview of Professor Peter Singer (left) in the Catholic Herald conducted by Quentin de la Bedoyere.

Our Quent (actually the Marquis de la Bedoyere) is a lovely chap in many ways but has historically had a slightly ambivalent attitude to the moral teachings of the Church to which he belongs. In recent year he has matured and mellowed and now sees a lot more sense in the Church's teaching than he did in the days when he wrote, with his wife, Irene, Choices in Sex: a booklet for young people in which they describe love, among others things (to be fair), as a prostitute ensuring that her client gets value for money.

Err, right, Quent. Don't ring us. We'll ring you.

In fairness, though, silly thing as it was to write, I don't think they quite meant it to sound as bad as it inevitably does.

Now Quent writes for the Catholic Herald on a regular basis on the subject of science and faith. In that column he recently interviewed Peter Singer and did so in a manner which has since been described as "non-judgmental".

Right. Got that? Non-judgmental.

Well read it and see what you think. Here it is reproduced on his website called - perhaps a tad pompously - "Second Sight".

Can one really be "non-judgmental" about all things? Or might one be open to the criticism that one gave too much ground by so doing especially when dealing with particular evils.

To illustrate the point let us re-write our Quent's "non-judgmental" interview as if it had been written in the 1930s after interviewing the infamous founder of the Third Reich. Here goes:

"So the German government is almost certain to remove allegedly human rights from the Jews (as reported in The Weekly Waffle on August 8). I read this with mixed feelings; like many readers, I am strongly opposed to giving special rights to any ethnic group but that is a long distance from suggesting that we should say that they have no human rights. So I went to the fountainhead: Adolf Hitler, who - among other appointments - is now Fuehrer of the German Reich. He is regarded as the political champion of the cause.

Herr Hitler is a highly accomplished political leader with a particular interest in the racial question. But his views are seen by many as extreme. He has been nicknamed "the Great Dictator"; he has been attacked in Britain and America as having eugenic views at odds with civilised society; the Churches have been strongly critical; some political leaders even suspended diplomatic relations with Germany when Herr Hitler was became Fuehrer; there have been loud outcries from organisations devoted to the care of Jews.

A little imp in me suggests that such a chorus of indignation only musters when their target has something of threatening substance to say. And Hitler wrote in 1926: "As the Churches do not feel themselves bound or limited by political confines, so the National Socialist Idea cannot feel itself limited to the territories of the individual federal states that belong to our Fatherland".

The Weekly Waffle prefers to reserve its indignation until it has listened to what a leader actually has to say, and then to make a reflective judgment of the points with which we, or more particularly our readers, agree or disagree. I must thank him for his cooperation in entering into dialogue with us.

Herr Hitler on a stroll with friends to look at the sights...

Herr Hitler described himself to me as a National Socialist. That is, he holds that the criterion for proper political action is the Volkisch idea of "One Nation, One People and One Leader" as the best way of meeting the needs, or interest, of the people and of the parties required to make any political decisions for the nation. But the parties, he insisted, must include only fit Aryan people. Hitler argued that race is race no matter what sort of Aryan is involved. To think otherwise, he claimed, is to fail to discriminate on the grounds of health and race - a characteristic which is far more relevant to any political decision than anything else.

I asked how he could hold that all fit Aryans should be treated preferentially and the unfit and non-Aryans not. “To be sure, the races differ in their characteristics and therefore in the degree of importance they may be afforded. The rights, which is a popular but potentially misleading term, of the unfit and non-Aryans can’t by definition be human rights; and political judgments will vary from race to race according to their Aryan or non-Aryan origins, fitness and health and the political circumstances pertaining.” He clarified this for me with an example. “Should we have to choose between rescuing a fit person or an unfit person from death, we would - other things being equal - give preference to the fit. When it comes to a question of taking life, or allowing life to end, it matters whether a being is one who is fit, healthy and of the master race or not. Such a being has more to lose than a being incapable of being fit and healthy or part of the master race.”

But, and it was a significant point: “If, for example, a person had suffered brain damage so severe as to be in an irreversible state of unconsciousness, then it might not be better to save that person.”

The uncompromising application of the criterion of race and health had already led us into controversial territory. I felt this took us further. His principle, it seemed, must lead to the unfit or non-Aryan, not being a healthy member of the master race, having no special status. He concurred firmly. “And even when the non-Aryan is developed and educated, it will still be inferior to the healthy Aryan master race, and so no claim can be made on the basis of that either. The new-born Aryan will have greater right to consideration than the mature non-Aryan or the unfit and so merits preferable consideration. Though the inconvenience that may be caused to the state should be taken into account, of course. The same could be said of any non-Aryan or unfit person who lacks the racial superiorityad health of the Aryan master race.” I instanced the objections made about this view by so many people of substance and concern. But he did not resile.

“I think that every fit Aryan is entitled to equal consideration of his or her interests. The joys and the pains of the unfit or non-Aryan should not be given equal weight with the joys and pains of the fit Aryan - and here Aryan includes both you and me, but not the lower races, the unfit and, above all, not the Jews. I don’t think that is devaluing the non-Aryan.

“On the other hand, just as I think it is less wrong to kill a non-Aryan or an unfit person, say, than an Aryan (because the non-Aryan or unfit person has no right to live, and so has less of an interest in continuing to live) so I think non-Aryans and the unfit who are thus not members of the healthy master race have less of an interest in continuing to live than fit Aryans. I’m open to other arguments, but it isn’t easy to see what can justify us in granting a more serious right to life to an unfit or non-Aryan person than we give to a fit Aryan who will always have superior racial characteristics and physical and mental level.”

How about the use of non-Aryans or the unfit for medical research? He thinks that much more effort should be put into other methods which involve Jews but he would not necessarily exclude all non-Aryans or the unfit if the balance were right. “A good test would be whether experimenters who use Jews would be prepared to carry out their experiments on non-Aryans at a similar mental or physical level - say, the unfit or those of an inferior race like the Slavs.”

I put it to him that he is often quoted by militant American eugenicists and white supremacists. But he told me that he had no sympathy with this. “They do harm to the cause. National Socialism can only achieve its objectives by winning the struggle in Germany and persuading the German nation that it is right. Opening up the struggle to include American people is not the way to do that.”

The concept of the sacrosanctity of human life, as Catholics would see it, is derived from a belief system which Hitler rejects. It must be translated as a special status given to the healthy Aryan, at any stage in his or her life, because they belong to the fit master race. So I asked him how he saw the Catholic view that humans have an obligation towards their people and homeland, and that lack of pride in one's nation is not only a defiance of God but a corruption of the individual who chooses to ignore his duty. It comes, he told me, very close to his objectives - although the basis differs.

So what are we to make of Herr Hitler? At the very least we cannot question his sincerity. His views have been well and consistently worked out and he has maintained them against manifold attacks over the years. And even if we disagree, perhaps strongly, with his basic criterion and where it can lead, I think that many of us would share some of his key objectives. I am left with a comment from my daughter, a biologist who has written much about racial characteristics: “I’m not worried about the philosophy, but if giving Aryans special rights means that they are protected from the weakening of their gene pool and race and are enabled to prosper, then I am all for them.”

The Weekly Waffle

Well! That makes you sit up and think, doesn't it? Maybe "non-judgmental" interviews aren't always such a brilliant idea after all. It just depends whom you are interviewing!


Tuesday 6 January 2009

Replying to the Animal Libbers: man is not a beast but made in God's image

I have been replying to an Anglican who claims that animal liberationism is Biblical and who criticises the Catholic Church for not being interested in rights.

Once again, we see the image of Satan trying to get Christians to accept beliefs that are fundamentally opposed to Christianity and to pretend that there is no difference between them and Christian beliefs. Thus does the Father of Lies work.

Between radical Animal Liberationism and God there can never be any compromise because they are utterly opposed to each other. God is truth and love; animal liberationism is an attempt to turn man into a beast.

Here's what I wrote to him:

"There is always something peculiarly odious about an Anglican attempting to lecture Catholics about human rights, especially when one considers the utterly appalling – nay, near-satanic – abuse by Anglicans of the human rights of Roman Catholics that has been, for most of its history, one of the primary hallmarks and dirty little secrets of the Anglican Church.

For sheer hypocrisy there are few things as rank as Anglican hypocrisy toward Catholics and especially on the issue of human rights.

Some of the most odious penal laws ever then invented to oppress Christian men were devised by an Anglican Parliament for the ill-treatment of British and Irish Roman Catholics.

They included, among others: 25 Henr. VIII c.22 (1534); 26 Henr. VIII c.1 (1534); 1 Eliz. I c.1 (1559); 1 Eliz. I c.2 (1559); 13 Eliz. I c.1 (1571); 13 Eliz. I c.2 (1571); 23 Eliz. I c.1 (1581); 27 Eliz. I c.2 (1585); 1 Jac. I c.4 (1604); 3 & 4 Jac. I c.4 (1606); 3 & 4 Jac. I c.5 (1606); 3 Carol. I c.2 (1628).

King Henry VIII, the wife-murdering founder of the Church of England who was the first to bring in horrific laws persecuting Catholics and depriving them of their human rights

Thereafter, came the Test and Corporation Acts.

The Corporation Act of 1661 required that, besides taking the Oath of Supremacy, all members of corporations were within one year after election to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper according to the rites of the Church of England.

This act was followed by the Test Act of 1673 (the full title of which is “An act for preventing dangers which may happen from popish recusants”).

This act enforced upon all persons filling any office, civil or military, the obligation of taking the oaths of supremacy and allegiance and subscribing to a declaration against transubstantiation and also of receiving the Anglican sacrament within three months after admittance to office.

Catholics were thus precluded from holding any kind of public office, in the state, in the law, in the Services, in the Universities, even as Schoolmasters, both by reason of their being Catholics and also by reason of such office-holders having to swear an anti-Catholic oath.

At that time the Penal Laws against Catholics meant that those who did not attend the services of the Church of England every week and take the Anglican Communion 3 times a year were guilty of “recusancy” and were to be fined either £20 a month (a vast sum then) or 2/3rd of their income as the government chose.

This was a requirement most offensive to the consciences of Catholics who were only permitted to receive the Catholic Holy Communion and were, in conscience, forbidden to attend the services of non-Catholic churches.

Furthermore, it was felony to attend the Catholic mass and Catholic priests and those who sheltered them were to be hanged until half dead, then, while still alive, gutted from the genitals to the rib-cage and their internal organs removed and burnt before their eyes, their hearts being ripped out last and held up to the gaze of a blood-thirsty crowd, and then, finally, the lifeless body cut into four parts and displayed on pikes on the city gates or elsewhere.

It was a most disgustingly brutal and savage punishment deliberately preserved and made use of by the very Anglicans who claimed to be opposed to “cruel and unusual punishments”.

Utter, utter hypocrisy and cruelty of the most disgusting, foul and bloody kind.

No-one coming from this Church tradition has any business lecturing anybody else about human rights.

And yet with wonderful hypocrisy you write: “the Catholic Church... has a reputation for opposing humanitarian, progressive movements throughout history – merciful progressive causes such as slavery et alia, now animals”.

Actually, when Anglicans and other Protestants were still arguing in favour of human slavery and the slave trade, the Catholic Church had long since condemned it.

See my posts at:

The Rev Cotton Mather, a Protestant, referred to black people as “Adam’s degenerate seed” and Anglicans in large numbers were profiting from the slave trade. Even Gladstone inherited a fortune made from slaving.

But you Anglicans always have a way of going about with your eyes shut to truths that you do not like.

Actually, the Catholic Church has long since earned a reputation for being a champion of real human rights.

It is the Anglican Church which has an odious and tainted reputation for grossly ignoring the human rights of others and for spilling oceans of innocent human blood.

Try reading William Cobbett’s savage indictment of the Anglican oppression of minorities, Catholics and the poor in
A History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland.

And Cobbett was himself an Anglican, so he cannot be accused of bias.

Frankly Catholics and others are no longer interested in the tired old lies and hypocrisy exhibited by all too many Anglicans.

So you will forgive us if we take your talk of human rights, compassion and care with a very large mountain of salt!

Your claim to go with Abraham Lincoln does not help you either.

Abraham Lincoln was an unbeliever who planned to expel all blacks from America

Since the 1840s Lincoln had been an advocate of the American Colonization Society program of colonizing blacks in Liberia. See his 1854 speech in Illinois.

Lincoln appointed the Protestant Minister, Rev James Mitchell, as his Commissioner of Emigration to oversee colonization projects from 1861 to 1865.

Between 1861 and 1862 Lincoln actively negotiated contracts with businessmen to colonize freed Blacks in Panama and on a small island off the coast of Haiti.

The Haiti plan collapsed in 1862 and 1863 after swindling by the business agents responsible for the plan, prompting Lincoln to send ships to retrieve the colonists.

The much larger Panama contract fell through in 1863 after the government of Catholic Colombia backed away from the deal and expressed hostility to colonization schemes.

In 1862 Lincoln also convened a colonization conference at the White House where he addressed a group of freedmen and attempted to convince them of supporting his policy.

Despite the setbacks in Panama and Haiti, Lincoln discussed plans to renew his push for colonization during his second term.

About a week before the assassination, Maj-Gen Benjamin F. Butler recalls a meeting with Lincoln at the White House, in which Lincoln asked him "But what shall we do with the negroes after they are free?".

He then asked Butler to consult Secretary of State William H. Seward and devise a colonization program for Panama.

Butler would oversee the transfer beginning with the deployment of the United States Coloured Troops to the isthmus, where they would be employed digging a Panama Canal.

So much for the “great” Abraham Lincoln. In fact, Lincoln was no Christian but a self-confessed unbeliever.

If you are an animal liberationist and pro-life then you also oppose the euthanasia of animals, including fleas, pests, poisonous animals and other dangers to human life.

That is plainly ridiculous in which case, if you are honest with yourself, your position is either inconsistent or else not pro-life.

The quality of your mercy is indeed highly selective.

Your next deception is to claim – without any evidence – that Hitler was not a vegetarian.

The fact is that he was not only a vegetarian, he was also an animal liberationist.

Go to this post on my site and you can see for yourself how wrong you are:

So cut the cackle, Barry, and face the facts.

It may be inconvenient for you that Hitler was a veggie in principle and an animal-libber but truth does not become false merely because it is inconvenient.

Hitler did rarely and hypocritically eat meat but so do many moderns who call themselves vegetarians. Hypocrisy among vegetarians (or Nazis for that matter) is nothing new.

Another Animal rights loony who wanted to change the world his way

Your Scripture quotes are also a mendacious deception.

You mention Gen 1:29-30 but omit verses 26-28 which say:

“26 And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. 27 And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.”

Plain as a pikestaff! Animals are under man’s dominion, Barry. And Man was made in the image of God but no mention of animals being so made.

Isaiah 11:6-9 (“the lion shall lie down with the lamb) is a reference to heaven and the new earth at the end of time since – plainly – the lion does NOT currently lie down with the lamb but instead eats it.

Revelation 5 is also about heaven and the new earth but – please note – it also talks about the “lamb that was slain” which is both Christ and the Passover lamb. No Passover lamb – no Christ. The eating of meat was central to the religion of the Jews. No veggies they!

Proverbs 12:10 confers no rights upon animals but merely enjoins the just man to regard his beasts i.e. to tend them so that they can later be used for food and –arguably – not to be unnecessarily cruel to them. But that is an obligation upon humanity for man’s own good – not because the animal has any “rights”.

Genesis 9 says the opposite of what you say:

“And God blessed Noah and his sons. And he said to them: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 And let the fear and dread of you be upon all the beasts of the earth, and upon all the fowls of the air, and all that move upon the earth: all the fishes of the sea are delivered into your hand. 3 And every thing that moveth and liveth shall be meat for you: even as the green herbs have I delivered them all to you: 4 Saving that flesh with blood you shall not eat.”

“Everything that moveth and liveth shall be meat to you” – what could be clearer?

Jews follow the Old Testament and are happy to eat meat

The only flesh that cannot be eaten is flesh with the blood still in it which, as we know, is what orthodox Jews and Moslems continue to do to this day in Kosher and Halal kitchens.

But note this, Barry: THEY STILL EAT MEAT.

Got it?

Animals are not merely “companions” for men. A true companion for man must be another being with a rational soul e.g. other men, angels or God. Animals are for man’s “use”.

It is quite clear even from your own quotes from the Bible that animals were made for man’s use. Yet you still claim that you “go with the Bible”. Sorry, Barry, but you just don’t.

Romans 8:19-23 does not confer any rights upon animals it merely says that corruption shall cease in heaven. That is hardly surprising since there can be no corruption (i.e. death and decay) in heaven, even of animals.

Your chatter about Greek influences on Aquinas shows how little you know him or his work since the greatest influence on him is Scripture and the teaching of the Church.

The only thing you are right about is that the current concept and terminology of human rights isn’t old or Biblical but based upon secular values brought in by the Enlightenment 200 years ago.

You are also correct to say that for a Christian “rights are rooted in God’s creation of us, His sustenance, redemption and concern for our welfare”.

But this is not only for Christians.

This is the meaning of the phrase “the Natural Law”. It is a law of God that is written in the hearts of all men, including those who are not Christian. It is a creation ordinance for men e.g. like not doing murder.

You go wrong in the very next sentence when you say “but all this also applies to animals”.

Says who?

No-one except the loony animal liberationists.

You have no Scriptural, doctrinal or any other Christian authority for your additional claim, at all.

None whatsoever.

It’s baloney.

Not only that, it is baloney that came in with the Enlightenment – the very secular values that you claim to repudiate.

You write: “We are made in the image of God, which means we should behave better”.

Better than what?

Better than animals?

Ah, so they are NOT made in the “image of God” then? Well, then, they are inferior.

On the other hand, if you say they ARE made in the “image of God” then why should we behave better than them when, by your own analogy, they should also behave “better” for the same reason.

But, of course, they don't. They brutally savage each other, kill each other, rip each other up and eat each other, every day.

It is customary to refer to a brutal or savage person as "an animal" indicating that they are behaving like a mere beast instead of a man and that the two are fundamentally different in kind and character and soul.

Your whole argument is an illogical non-sequitur from beginning to end.

It is also totally, completely and radically unbiblical.

Indeed, it is a reversion to that savage, cruel heathenism in which men behaved like animals and treated each other like animals because they thought of themselves as mere animals.

The sad reality is that it is loony animal liberationists like Hitler who have often been the biggest disaster for mankind and for creation.

Is that the destination you really want to travel to?

Take care – you will certainly find Hell at the end of it".

Cronos devouring his children. Francisco de Goya (1746-1828).
If we are all animals and animal eat each other, then shall we be returning to the Greek "god" Cronos who ate his own children? Cronos was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Ouranos, the sky. Jealous of his own children Cronos ate them. Animals sometimes eat their own children, too. Men who eat men are called "cannibals" and are regarded with horror by civilisation and civilised society.


Friday 2 January 2009

"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note..." - 200 years since the Retreat from Corunna and the death of General Sir John Moore

Sir John Moore was one of Britain's finest soldiers.

His greatest trial came in the winter of 1808-09, 200 years ago precisely, when, during the Peninsula War against Bonaparte, he commanded the British Army retreating to Corunna and thence to the coast for disembarkation.

This was a feat of arms and manoeuvre that, according to Wellington, was essential to the later victories in the Peninsula.

This was the Dunkirk of its day and every bit as vital to the preservation of the Army as was that much more well-known withdrawal.

Moore was an officer who transformed the whole approach to the selection, training and leadership of British soldiers, departing markedly from the old, rigid, formalised system that had been the norm for continental warfare. His emphasis was upon flexibility, concealment and camouflage, self-reliance and initiative. His example is now universally followed.

He was born in Glasgow, the son of a doctor. He attended Glasgow High School, but at the age of eleven joined his father and the Duke of Hamilton on a grand tour of France, Italy and Germany. This included a two-year stay in Geneva, where Moore's education continued.

He joined the British Army in 1776 as an ensign in the 51st Foot then based in Minorca.

He first saw action in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War as a lieutenant in the 82nd under the 8th Duke of Hamilton. In 1783 he returned to Britain and in 1784 he was elected to Parliament as the Member for Lanark, Selkirk, Peebles and Linlithgow, a seat he held until 1790.

In 1787 he was promoted Major and joined the 60th briefly before returning to the 51st.

In 1803 he returned to England to command a brigade at Shorncliffe camp near Folkestone, where he established the innovative training regime that produced Britain's first permanent light infantry regiments, including the famous Rifle Brigade, the first to wear green jackets, instead of red, and to be armed with rifles instead of the old smooth bore muskets.

A rifleman of the 95th Regiment
in the new green uniform, with green shako bearing the famous light infantry cap badge,
and using the new Baker rifle. Moore encouraged and developed such units.

These elite rifle Regiments marched at 140 paces a minute so that they could always be "last in, first out" of every engagement, their proud and famous boast.

Sir Arthur Bryant wrote:

"Moore's contribution to the British Army was not only that matchless Light Infantry who have ever since enshrined his training, but also the belief that the perfect soldier can only be made by evoking all that is finest in man - physical, mental and spiritual".

Sir John Moore earned his reputation as an exceptionally humane leader and trainer of men.

Sir John Moore by his horse

Moore took command of the British forces in the Iberian peninsula following the recall of Burrard, Dalrymple, and Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington), who faced an inquiry over the Convention of Cintra. When Napoleon arrived in Spain with 200,000 men, Moore drew the French northwards while retreating to his embarkation ports of La Coruña (Corunna) and Vigo.

The retreat was carried out in terrible conditions amidst slushy snow and ice and matters were made worse by the total breakdown of the Commissariat which in turn led to widespread indiscipline amongst the men. The roads quickly turned into quagmires beneath the tramping of thousands of feet and the troops suffered dreadful hardships in the bitterly cold winter weather.

Hundreds of men - as well as the women and children that had accompanied the army - gave up the will to live and, unable or unwilling to go on, simply lay down to die in the bleak Galician mountains or were captured by the pursuing French. There was little help forthcoming from the local Spanish people who were naturally reluctant to help a so-called "friendly" army that had left behind in its wake a trail of burning, pillaged hamlets, the sprawling, bloody bodies of the occupants bearing testament to the lawlessness of some units of the army.

The retreat continued with all but the most disciplined units of the army suffering a total breakdown of order - only the Guards and the Light Brigade rearguard under Sir Robert Craufurd were able to maintain full discipline and cohesion.

Craufurd - called "Black Bob" by his men - maintained an iron discipline, flogging men who disobeyed but also ordering his officers to share in the hardships of the men. Seeing an officer being carried on the shoulders of a man across a river, he leapt from his horse ordering the soldier to put the officer down and, when he had done so, told the now-soaked officer to go back and re-cross the river like his men.

J P Beadle. The Rearguard.
Sir Robert Craufurd - "Black Bob" - is shown mounted in the foreground inspecting his riflemen of the Light Brigade as they turn again to face the enemy and protect the retreating British Army's rear - "first in, last out" once more, this time on the retreat to Corunna.

The retreat finally came to a climax between January 11 and 16 when Moore's tired and tattered army dragged itself into Corunna, units arriving one by one in various states of dilapidation. The tall masts of the ships waiting in the harbour at Corunna were a welcome sight for Moore's men as they limped into the town.

Soon enough Marshal Soult’s pursuing French forces arrived. Soult had roughly the same number of men but had forty guns to Moore's nine. On the morning of January 16 the French attacked the British position along the entire length of its front, the heaviest attack being launched against the right flank where the French assault was accompanied by heavy and destructive artillery fire. The battle swayed one way then the other, particularly in the centre.

It was at the height of the battle that Moore was struck and terribly wounded by a round shot that flung him from his horse, nearly severing his left arm from his body.

The French troops were as exhausted as the British and as night fell the battle ground to a halt leaving the British troops time to hurry down to the waiting ships that were boarded without any interference from the French.

Both sides had suffered around 900 casualties during the battle which had ended in a British victory and Moore died knowing he had done his duty. As his men climbed into the ships a sad and sombre ceremony was being carried out on the ramparts of the town as Sir John Moore's body was lowered into the ground.

The army was saved, however, in spite of its poor condition and reduced numbers. It was not until later in the year 1809 that British troops were back in the Peninsula under the command of the recently exonerated General Sir Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington).

Marshal Soult, the French commander, magnanimously recognising the greatness of his dead enemy, once the French had taken Corunna, made sure that a fitting monument was built over Moore’s hasty grave. The monument was rebuilt and made more permanent in 1811.

The tomb of Sir John Moore in Corunna today

Sir John Moore's death was also famously commemorated by Charles Wolfe's great poem that so movingly captures the haste and sorrow that accompanied the burial of the great commander.

A contemporaneous representation of the burial of Sir John Moore

The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna

By Charles Wolfe

NOT a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
And the lanthorn dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed
And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that 's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him—
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.