31 January 2018

Prof Who Refuses to Use Gender Pronouns Points to Catholicism as Bulwark Against Extremism

TORONTO, November 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Embattled Canadian free speech advocate and self-avowed political correctness opponent Jordan Peterson describes the Catholic Church as one of Western culture’s primary bulwarks against ideological extremism.
A well-known University of Toronto psychology professor, Peterson has challenged human rights laws and regulations as well as his university’s policies requiring the use of new pronouns  demanded by people claiming to belong to one or many of the 50-plus new genders promoted by gender theory.
Peterson has refused to comply based on three grounds: there is no scientific evidence that any genders exist outside of male and female; there are too many new genders and pronouns like “zer” and “xe” to remember; and the requirement to use them is a huge imposition on freedom of thought and speech.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Peterson said religion in general and Catholicism in particular stand as a perpetual bulwark against ideologies of the political left or right, which is why the Catholic Church is under now attack by those ideologies — along with Dr. Peterson himself.
“The Catholic Church warns us against the danger posed by the un-moored rational mind,” said Peterson, who would not reveal his own religious beliefs. He added that religions in general provide a “balanced” and complete understanding of reality, while ideologies such as Fascism or Marxism (which he says lies at the root of gender theory) present a very narrow understanding.
Peterson said 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche intended his statement, “God is dead,” as a warning against the atheism and nihilism of the Western intelligentsia. “When they lost faith in God, Marxism and then Nazism moved in to fill the void,” he told LifeSite.
The target of Peterson’s controversial YouTube videos — the mandatory acceptance of gender theory and polygender names and pronouns — is just the latest product of nihilism, he said.
Peterson has been accused of hate speech and asked to stop talking about gender by his university. He also has been shouted down at a free speech rally. But he has vowed to continue his campaign against mandatory polygenderism even if it leads to jail.
If he is called before the Ontario Human Rights Commission, he told LifeSiteNews that he would refuse to appear.
Peterson, an expert on the psychology of religion, is not a reductionist who believes his field says everything there is to know about it. That is an ideologue’s approach. Ideologies only describe part of reality but claim to tell it all, he says.
For Nazism, race is all that matters about a person. For Marxism, it is one’s relation to the “factors of production.” For gender and feminists, “It is about power.” One of today’s prevailing ideologies is environmentalism. “It depicts man as a corrupter and destroyer of nature and Western culture as pathological,” Peterson said. Political correctness is an expression of Marxism, depicting people as either victims or predators.
“Christianity tells a complete, balanced story. It describes humans as neither good nor bad, but capable of good and evil,” he said. “Nature brings pain and suffering but is the source of life.”
While ideology is the product of human thought — “un-moored reason,” Peterson believes  religion evolved as human beings developed self-consciousness. Indeed, he believes the Biblical description of Adam and Eve acquiring the knowledge of good and evil is about how humans came to realize their own morality and vulnerability — and quickly put this knowledge to use manipulating and terrorizing others. “Animals do not torture each other,” he noted.
“One way to look at ideology is as an assault on the Logos,” he said, noting that Christians identify the Logos with Christ. “The Logos is the principle that brings order out of the chaos.” It also means absolute truth, but ideologies such as Nazism or Marxism do not believe there is even such as thing as truth. They will claim to be true whatever serves the cause of their ideology. “The Soviet Union was built on lies,” Peterson said.
Peterson bristles at the suggestion that religion is an ideology. “Anyone who says that doesn’t know anything about religion or ideology. “

Jordan Peterson Is a Prophet—and a Problem For Progressives

Peterson understands how ideology shapes culture—and that enrages his harshest critics.

A screenshot of Jordan B. Peterson during an interview with the UK's 
Channel 4 News. (Image via youtube.com)

More than four decades ago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn said that we need moralists to challenge the self-destructive and dehumanizing drift of western culture. The writings, lectures, debates, and critiques of Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor, reveal why we need them. Peterson has been called the “most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now,” and his YouTube videos have attracted nearly 50 million views. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Peterson has more than a half-million YouTube subscribers, and nearly 300,000 Twitter followers: “They devour the classics he deems must-reads—Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Orwell. When asked to compare him, they turn to historical figures like Plato, Diogenes, Gandhi. They insist he’s changed their lives.”
Although he has spent the past 20 years at Toronto, he is remembered fondly by his graduate students from his years at Harvard in the 1990s. In a 1995 article titled “Linking Mythology with Psychology,” The Harvard Crimson quoted Peterson’s students as saying that Peterson was “teaching beyond the level of anyone else…I remember students crying on the last day of class because they wouldn’t get to hear him anymore.”
During his Harvard years, Peterson became interested in what motivates individuals to participate in atrocious acts to support their ideological identification. Understanding how ideology shapes culture still motivates him today—and that in turn seems to motivate some of his harshest critics. Peterson’s criticisms of the evils of postmodernism and gender theory led one faculty member at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University to compare him to Hitler. This comparison was a response to a decision by a teaching assistant on the Wilfrid Laurier campus to show her undergraduate students a five-minute clip of a debate featuring Peterson. A faculty committee was assembled quickly to investigate the T.A.; during the interrogation she received from the faculty panel, the T.A. claimed that she showed the video “neutrally” to teach her students that they needed to listen to all sides before reaching conclusions. But her supervising professor angrily rebuked her for showing the video—claiming that giving a platform to Peterson was like “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler.” The professor’s remarks were recorded by the T.A. and although he later apologized to her, the university has not sanctioned him for his bullying behavior.
Peterson inspires passion on both sides of the ideological divide. His most devoted demographic is 20-30-years old, and mostly male. They are Millennials—the most insulted generation in history. While they are often unfairly dismissed as the “snowflake” generation because they are supposedly so easily offended, or the “trophy” generation for all those participation medals, Peterson understands them better than anyone—and he understands just how untrue these stereotypes are.
Peterson understands that these young men are part of the most anxious generation we have ever seen. He understands that more than one-third (34.5 percent) of incoming, full-time college students indicated on UCLA’s 2016 higher education survey that they “frequently felt anxious.” Likewise, a 2016 survey of more than 500 university counseling center directors revealed that for the seventh year in a row, anxiety has been the most predominant concern among the current cohort of college students. Anxiety overtook depression as the number-one concern on college campuses in 2009. Peterson understands all of this better than anyone else, because he knows that the source of this anxiety has more to do with the human condition than with participation medals—and he offers a way to understand and address the anxiety that is plaguing so many of our students. Although he offers no simple “power of positive thinking” to make everyone feel better, his new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, offers chapter titles like “Pursue What is Meaningful, Not What is Expedient.”
In a chapter titled “Be Precise in Your Speech,” Peterson warns about the corruption of language. In fact, it was language that got Peterson in trouble to begin with, when he refused to use the newly created “gender pronouns” promoted by the transgender community and enforced by progressive bureaucrats everywhere. Challenging Canada’s human rights laws and regulations requiring the use of new pronouns like “zer” and “xe” to refer to transgendered individuals, Peterson refused to comply. He maintains that there is no scientific evidence that any genders exist outside of male and female; he also says that there are too many new genders and pronouns to remember. But, most importantly, Peterson claims that the requirement to use them infringes on freedom of thought and speech. Peterson knows that language is key to social change—and to the rise of totalitarianism.
Peterson understands that language is the crucial battleground. Changes in language prompt changes in perception; significant changes in moral perception can begin with linguistic assaults based on individual desires rather than moral categories. Feminism has created an ideology of what they call “rape culture” in order redefine gender relationships; death advocates reclassify assisted suicide as “compassionate choices for aid in dying” in order to normalize killing; abortion advocates at Planned Parenthood refer to “fetal tissue” when discussing the selling of infant body parts. Pedophiles—and their academic enablers—call child molestation “inter-generational sex” as the first step in normalizing sex with children.
In an interview with Lifesite News, Peterson pointed to the Catholic Church as offering a bulwark against ideologies of the political left and right: “The Catholic Church warns us against the danger posed by the un-moored rational mind.” He added that religion in general provides a balanced and complete understanding of reality, while ideologies such as fascism or Marxism (which he says lies at the root of gender theory) present a very narrow understanding. For Peterson, the mandatory acceptance of gender theory and polygender names and pronouns is just the latest product of nihilism.
Peterson’s Millennial followers offer the greatest hope for the future, because they have already suffered the real-world consequences of the corruption of the language and the elite imposition of the new immorality. Their anxiety is tangible. But they are beginning to gain the courage from Peterson to speak out against the moral chaos that has destroyed their neighborhoods and their families, and that threatens to destroy their lives. Assuring them that they can rise above the culture of victimization, Peterson tells his followers to “sort themselves out,” confront the chaos, and avoid being fooled by “the naïve optimism of progressive ideology.” Drawing often from the Old Testament in lectures and debates, Peterson has said that “life is about remorseless struggle and pain.” He says that “life is tragic,” and he knows that we are all capable of monstrous acts. He knows—as Christians have known forever—that life is difficult. Peterson tells his followers that they cannot make the bad things go away by retreating to a safe space, but they can make themselves stronger. He reminds us that when the rains come—as they always will—we can be like Noah. We can find a way to save ourselves and the ones we love by building a better boat in which to weather the storms.

Chevalier Charles Coulombe

As is probably obvious, I am a great fan of the Chevalier. I have known him personally for 25 years. I have read virtually all his books and many of his articles. I'm working my way through his videos on YouTube. I often post those videos here, and I'm sure more will be forthcoming.

I have reviewed his latest book, A Catholic Quest for the Holy Grail, and I have every intention of reviewing his older books as I have time.

In order to further introduce him to my Readers, here is his author page at Tumblar House, his publishers.

Tumblar House

Several of his books are listed at the bottom of the page, and there is a link to an interview with him regarding his novel, 'Star Spangled Crown', as well as a link to another page which contains links to many of his myriad of articles published across the net.


Our Lord Jesus Christ Crowned King of Poland!

I just heard about this, tho' it's over a year old. Good on Poland, and may Christ our God and His Most Holy Mother bless and protect Poland and her people!

It is only fitting, since His Holy Mother, as Our Lady of Częstochowa, also known as the 'Black Madonna',has been Queen of Poland since 1652.

The Black Madonna is said to have miraculously saved the monastery of Jasna Góra (English: Bright Mount) from a Swedish invasion. The Siege of Jasna Góra took place in the winter of 1655 during the Second Northern War, as the Swedish invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is known. The Swedes were attempting to capture the Jasna Góra monastery in Częstochowa. Seventy monks and 180 local volunteers, mostly from the szlachta (Polish nobility), held off 4,000 Swedes for 40 days, saved their sacred icon and, according to some accounts, turned the course of the war. This event led King John II Casimir Vasa to crown Our Lady of Częstochowa as Queen and Protectress of Poland in the cathedral of Lwów on April 1, 1656.

On 1 April 1656, during a holy mass in Lwów's Cathedral, conducted by the papal legate Pietro Vidoni, John Casimir in a grandiose and elaborate ceremony entrusted the Commonwealth under the Blessed Virgin Mary's protection, whom he announced as The Queen of the Polish Crown and other of his countries. He also swore to protect the Kingdom's folk from any impositions and unjust bondage.

From Rorate Cæli

It's official: Christ, the King of Poland!

The Lord Jesus Christ Recognized as the King of Poland

Radio Maryja (@RadioMaryja) reports that the Bishops of Poland have enthroned, or, to use the bishops' more sober expression, "recognized" Christ as the King of Poland. This was done in the official presence of the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda. Many pilgrims were present in Poland for this event. Today the act will be repeated in all the Polish cathedrals and parishes. This took place yesterday, Saturday, at the Church of Divine Mercy in Krakow .

The providential and proximate origin of the act is to be found in revelations received, or said to be received, by the Servant of God Rosalia Zelkova. The Lord -- she said -- demanded that He be enthroned as King by the Polish Nation as such, and not just in the hearts of the Poles, in a particular manner, and this would have saved Poland in the war that was coming.

At first, especially after Vatican II, the idea did not find much support among the bishops. One may think that the shadow of Dignitatis Humanae was a factor, especially since the theme of the social right to religious liberty was so strong in the teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II. Another factor would have been the proximate origin, spoken of above. The same factor afflicts the Fatima Message. Under the diffused influence of theological modernism there is a diffidence even about the possibility of communications from Heaven.

But the social kingship of our Divine Lord is absolutely founded in necessary and dogmatic truths about Christ. It is not merely an element of private revelation. St. Gregory the Great said that they were heretics who denied that Christ is the King of and over everything.

Chevalier Charles Coulombe Discussing Academics Approach to Folklore

In which he has some interesting things to say about modern academia!

Musings of an Old Curmudgeon: 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon' on Facebook

Musings of an Old Curmudgeon: 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon' on Facebook: I've started a group on Facebook under the title of this blog. It's somewhat of an experiment, but I thought it might stimulate disc...

An update-the Facebook page was begun on 9 December. For those who are not members of it, or who started reading it or the blog after that date, I've been going through older posts and sharing some of the better ones to the Facebook page.

Here's the link again The Old Curmudgeon on Facebook

Memes of the Day

30 January 2018

A Novena to be Said Between 21 and 30 January in Honour of the Memory of His Most Christian Majesty King Louis XVI and His Majesty King Charles I

His Most Christian Majesty King Louis XVI was was murdered on 21 January 1793. His Majesty King Charles I was murdered on 30 January 1649. Please pray this novena for the good estate and virtue of all Christian Princes.

Ant. In the sight of the unwise he seemed to die, and his departure was taken for misery; but he is in peace.

Let us pray

Blessed Lord in whose sight the death of Thy Saints is precious; We magnify Thy Name for that abundant grace bestowed upon our late Martyred Sovereigns; by which they were enabled to so cheerfully follow the steps of their Blessed Master and Saviour, in a constant meek suffering of all barbarous indignities, and at last resisting unto blood; and even then, according to the same pattern, praying for their murderers. Let their memory, O Lord, be ever blessed among us, that we may follow the example of their patience, and charity. And grant that our land may be freed from the vengeance of their blood, and Thy mercy glorified in the forgiveness of our sins: and all for Jesus Christ his sake. Amen.

A Memorable Picture

I read an article about this photo. The photographers searched for hours to find the exact spot that the earlier photo was taken in. God save the Queen and God bless the Duke! Long may they live!

Sir John A. Macdonald on Monarchy

"By adhering to the monarchical principle we avoid one defect inherent in the Constitution of the United States. By the election of the president by a majority and for a short period, he never is the sovereign and chief of the nation. He is never looked up to by the whole people as the head and front of the nation. He is at best but the successful leader of a party. This defect is all the greater on account of the practice of reelection. During his first term of office he is employed in taking steps to secure his own reelection, and for his party a continuance of power. We avoid this by adhering to the monarchical principle--the sovereign whom you respect and love. I believe that it is of the utmost importance to have that principle recognized so that we shall have a sovereign who is placed above the region of party--to whom all parties look up; who is not elevated by the action of one party nor depressed by the action of another; who is the common head and sovereign of all." - Sir John A. Macdonald, speaking in 1865 about the proposals for the upcoming Confederation of Canada "As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born — a British subject I will die. With my utmost effort, with my latest breath, will I oppose the ‘veiled treason’ which attempts by sordid means and mercenary proffers to lure our people from their allegiance." - Sir John A. MacDonald

Maj Gen J.F.C. Fuller on Democracy and War

'The influence of the spirit of nationality, that is of democracy, on war was profound… [it] emotionalized war and, consequently, brutalized it…. National armies fight nations, royal armies fight their like, the first obey a mob — always demented, the second a king, generally sane.… All this developed out of the French Revolution, which also gave to the world conscription — herd warfare, and the herd coupling with finance and commerce has begotten new realms of war. For when once the whole nation fights, then is the whole national credit available for the purpose of war.' ~J.F.C. Fuller, *War and Western Civilization*

Is Charles I a Saint (Part II). by Chevalier Charles Coulombe

From Anglicanorum Coetibus Society Blog

SKCM patron (and honorary Vice President of the Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham) Lord Nicholas Windsor has written “Although a small society we remain very active and lively in providing a fitting organisation to keep the memory of the life and death of King Charles. It was the Blessed John Henry Newman who recalled the Church to remember ‘our own Saint Charles’ and John Keble who wrote, ‘It is as natural that the Church of England should keep this day [30th January] as it is that Christ’s Universal Church should keep Saint Stephen’s martyrdom.’ In the King’s personal piety, devotion and support of the Church, his ecumenical understanding (far advanced for his day), his patronage of the Arts in the service of God, his inspiration of the Christian classic, Eikon Basilike and of course his martyrdom, we have much to REMEMBER and be thankful for.”  It is certainly clear to the premiere Catholic layman of the United Kingdom that Charles I is an important part of the continuing patrimony – even as those figures earlier referred to are part of Eastern Catholicism’s heritage.
No less an Ordinariate figure than Fr. John Hunwicke has opined on the matter: “One may, surely, hope for an ecumenical and ecclesiological climate in which King Charles may achieve the style Blessed Charles; in which he will be regarded as the Ordinariate’s Gift to the whole Catholic World; in which the King’s weakness in giving his assent to Acts of Parliament under which Catholic priests were cruelly martyred … to an Act of Attainder under which a loyal servant of the Crown was executed … will be seen as moments in his growth into holiness and the eventual strength of Martyrdom. If it had not been for blessed Charles, would there now be an Ordinariate?”
Now that the first chapter of the SKCM has opened in an Ordinariate parish, how might Catholic devotees of the “White King” proceed? Since judgement on the Sanctity of Charles I is reserved to the Holy See, at this stage there cannot be, among Catholics in communion with Rome, Masses in honour of Charles as a Saint, which have of course long been the point of the SKCM in its strictly Anglican manifestations. But there certainly can be evensong commemorations and/or requiems on January 30, the day of his murder and December 7, the day of his birth – in similar manner to the way French and other Catholics commemorate Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. On May 29, Restoration Day, Votive Masses of Thanksgiving might be offered. But there is more.
As earlier noted, my late friend Fr. Jean Charles-Roux was a patron of the Society of King Charles the Martyr. A noted Catholic theologian (and, as it happened, chaplain on the set of Mel Gibson’s The Passion), Fr. Charles-Roux penned a pamphlet for the SKCM entitled The Sanctity of Charles I. He opened that work with a startling declaration:
Charles I, sole saint of the Anglican Communion since the Reformation, ought, in my view, to be canonised by Rome and acknowledged by the Universal Church, as one of the great Princes of Heaven, as a living illustration of how the union of Christians is to be achieved, as a major historical figure, meant by Providence, to instruct men about the doctrine and order of salvation. For the sanctity of this King is no mere private, domestic, or inner one, but one stamped with predestination and prophecy, moulded and proven by public events, and thus obviously purposed by the Almighty, to stand out through the succession of centuries, in order to present to the whole of mankind a positive and human image of principles and truths of everlasting value.
He goes on to attempt to prove his assertion, and it would be too long to rehearse the whole of his argument here. But amongst other things, Fr. Charles-Roux quotes a particularly telling letter from the King to Queen Henrietta Maria: “None of the reformed Churches abroad, except the Lutherans, can justify the succession of their priests; which, if the Church of England could not undoubtedly do, she would have one less son for me.” In this we see echoed one of the major concerns which has led many an Anglican to Rome since the 19th century – and even more so since women’s ordination. Thus, it would seem to me that Catholic members of the SKCM have a three-fold mission with regard to the memory of the King: commemoration; education (in the sense of learning and propagating the truth about him, as against the rather shallow prevalent modern view); and lastly – as with any fledgling candidate for beatification by the Holy See – private prayer for miracles through his intercession.
When alive, as did all the Stuart Kings and their predecessors on the English throne, and the Kings of France as well, Charles I was reputed to have the power of healing scrofula – “the King’s Evil” – by laying hands on the afflicted and praying. Samuel Johnson had this done for him by Queen Anne, apparently with success (the Hanoverians ceased the practice, but the Stuarts in exile continued to do so – resulting in the creation of several Jacobites!). But after Charles’ murder, healings of this and other diseases were apparently accomplished by application of various cloths dipped in his blood. If the Royal Martyr is indeed in Heaven, perhaps such miracles will be forthcoming. The SKCM could act as a clearing house for any such reports, until at last a diocese in the British Isles or one of the Ordinariates opened an official enquiry into his cause. At that point, the usual procedures would hold sway.
In addition, Catholic SKCM members should cultivate devotion to the 18 Catholics martyred by Parliament “under” Charles I – who in essence shared their parliamentary murderers with him, most especially Anglican converts William Ward and Henry MorseTyburn Convent, a shrine to the martyrs near Marble Arch, should become as much a place of Pilgrimage for Catholic SKCM members as it was for Queen Henrietta Maria (she also played a role in the propagation of devotion to the Sacred Heart). So too should it be with such Martyrs’ shrines as Ladyewell in Lancashire. Indeed, all the English and Welsh, Scots, and Irish martyrs should be foci of our devotion. There is also the approved cultusof Bl. Karl, who, as noted earlier, shares so many traits with the Royal Martyr, and already boasts Ordinariate members among his clients.
But there is yet more that Catholic devotees of King Charles can do. As previously noted, the Neo-Jacobites of the 19th century were of both Communions, as is the current membership of the Royal Stuart Society. As a result, the commemorative calendar of the latter is a useful example for the matters we are discussing. As a general rule, these are: January 30, Charles I (wreath-laying in Trafalgar Square, Evensong at St. George’s Windsor); February 8, Mary Queen of Scots (Catholic Requiem Mass); May 29, Restoration Day (banquet); and James II, June 10 (wreath laying at his statue, and occasionally a Catholic Requiem – being the birthday as well of James III, it is often called “White Rose Day”). On one occasion, 2014, the RSS sponsored a Mass for Bl. Karl I’s feast day (October 21) at the London’s Church of the Assumption and St. Gregory, but this was a one-time event. That church has also hosted Requiem Masses for the deceased members of the House of Stuart on various occasions (in 2014 in cooperation with the Latin Mass Society of Great Britain). It is now the Principal Church of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which covers the British Isles. These commemorations are, for the stated reasons above, all particularly relevant to Catholic members of the SKCM. It is also wise to bear in mind that Henry VIKatherine of AragonMary Queen of ScotsJames II, and his Queen, Mary of Modena have also been the subjects of causes for beatification which – for various reasons unconnected to themselves – are halted at the moment. Perhaps renewed interest, publicity, and prayers can restart them as well.
There are some, Catholic and non-Catholic, for whom the very notion of Charles I’s sanctity is anathema; there others in both camps who are just as convinced of it. It is well that it be so – this is why every Saint’s cause until the time of St. John Paul II had a devil’s advocate, whose role was to disprove the sanctity of the candidate, if possible. This was and is a necessary function, as the Church offers for her children’s veneration only those she is certain are in Heaven. There are an enormous number of Servants of God (folk whose causes have been introduced officially); whether it be Queen Isabel of Spain or Julius Nyerere, most of them come complete with built-in supporters and critics – although, as a Cradle Catholic myself, I wish them all well. At the end of the day, however, opinions do not count in this area – only objective reality; interestingly enough, for most of the office’s history, if the devil’s advocate failed to disprove the sanctity of an individual and canonisation was successful, he did penance at the altar of the new saint. For the Catholic, the ultimate judge of that reality is the Church herself. Until at some level of authority a cause is completed or condemned, Catholics are as free to argue in favour of the sanctity and pray for the intercession of a candidate as to adduce evidence against it – provided, of course, that all is done in the spirit of charity. Without that, it is ridiculous for either side to prattle about sanctity!
But regardless of whether or not Charles I is ever raised to the altars of the Catholic Church, like Louis XVI, Karl I, or Nicholas II, he remains a powerful symbol – a Sovereign willing to shed his blood for Catholic truth and for his people against organised tyranny and what has become the modern State; an entity which in our day has become so bold and so powerful that it presumes to alter at its whim the nature of marriage, of gender, and even of what might be called human. Whatever his or their failings in life, their deaths call for our admiration, and perhaps one day our emulation. Let us leave the White King and his brother Sovereigns with a poem by 19th century Catholic convert Lionel Johnson:
SOMBRE and rich, the skies;
Great glooms, and starry plains.
Gently the night wind sighs;
Else a vast silence reigns.

The splendid silence clings
Around me: and around
The saddest of all kings
Crowned, and again discrowned.

Comely and calm, he rides
Hard by his own Whitehall:
Only the night wind glides:
No crowds, nor rebels, brawl.

Gone, too, his Court: and yet,
The stars his courtiers are:
Stars in their stations set;
And every wandering star.

Alone he rides, alone,
The fair and fatal king:
Dark night is all his own,
That strange and solemn thing.

Which are more full of fate:
The stars; or those sad eyes?
Which are more still and great:
Those brows; or the dark skies?

Although his whole heart yearn
In passionate tragedy:
Never was face so stern
With sweet austerity.

Vanquished in life, his death
By beauty made amends:
The passing of his breath
Won his defeated ends.

Brief life, and hapless? Nay:
Through death, life grew sublime.
Speak after sentence? Yea:
And to the end of time.

Armoured he rides, his head
Bare to the stars of doom:
He triumphs now, the dead,
Beholding London‘s gloom.

Our wearier spirit faints,
Vexed in the world‘s employ:
His soul was of the saints;
And art to him was joy.

King, tried in fires of woe!
Men hunger for thy grace:
And through the night I go,
Loving thy mournful face.

Yet, when the city sleeps;
When all the cries are still:
The stars and heavenly deeps
Work out a perfect will.

A Follow-Up to Francis' Sellout of the Chinese Catholic Church to the Red Slavemasters

From His Eminence Joseph, Cardinal Zen's Facebook page.

From Bishop Joseph Zen
Monday, 29 January, 2018
Dear Friends in the Media,
Since AsiaNews has revealed some recent facts in the Church in mainland China, of legitimate bishops being asked by the “Holy See” to resign and make place for illegitimate, even explicitly excommunicated, “bishops”, many different versions of the facts and interpretations are creating confusion among the people. Many, knowing of my recent trip to Rome, are asking me for some clarification.
Back in October, when Bishop Zhuang received the first communication from the Holy See and asked me for help, I send someone to bring his letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, with, enclosed, a copy for the Holy Father. I don’t know if that enclosed copy reached the desk of the Holy Father. Fortunately, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai was still in Rome and could meet the Pope in a fare-well visit. In that occasion, he brought the two cases of Shantou and Mindong to the knowledge of the Holy Father. The Holy Father was surprised and promised to look into the matter.
Given the words of the Holy Father to Archbishop Savio Hon, the new facts in December were all the more a shocking surprise to me. When the old distressed Bishop Zhuang asked me to bring to the Holy Father his answer to the message conveyed to him by the “Vatican Delegation” in Beijing, I simply could not say “No”. But what could I do to make sure that his letter reach the Holy Father, while not even I can be sure that my own many letters did reach him.
To make sure that our voice reached the Holy Father, I took the sudden decision of going to Rome. I left Hong Kong the night of 9th January, arriving in Rome the early morning of 10th January, just in time (actually, a bit late) to join the Wednesday Public Audience. At the end of the audience, we Cardinals and Bishops are admitted to the “bacia mano” and I had the chance to put into the hands of the Holy Father the envelop, saying that I was coming to Rome for the only purpose of bringing to him a letter of Bishop Zhuang, hoping he can find time to read it (in the envelop there was the original letter of the Bishop in Chinese with my translation into Italian and a letter of mine).
For obvious reasons, I hoped my appearance at the audience would not be too much noticed, but my late arrival in the hall made it particularly noticeable. Anyway, now everybody can see the whole proceeding from the Vatican TV (by the way, the audience was held in Paul VI Hall, not in St. Peter’s Square and I was a little late to the audience, but did not have to “wait in a queue, in a cold weather”, as some media erroneously reported).
When in Rome, I met Fr. Bernard Cervellera of AsiaNews. We exchanged our information, but I told him not to write anything. He complied. Now that someone else broke the news, I can agree to confirm it. Yes, as far as I know, things happened just as they are related in AsiaNews (the AsiaNews report “believes” that the Bishop leading the Vatican Delegation was Msgr. Celli. I do not know in what official capacity he was there, but it is most likely that he was the one there in Beijing).
In this crucial moment and given the confusion in the media, I, knowing directly the situation of Shantou and indirectly that of Mindong, feel duty-bound to share my knowledge of the facts, so that the people sincerely concerned with the good of the Church may know the truth to which they are entitled. I am well aware that in doing so I may talk about things which, technically, are qualified as “confidential”. But my conscience tells me that in this case the “right to truth” should override any such “duty of confidentiality”.
With such conviction, I am going to share with you also the following:
In the afternoon of that day, 10th January, I received a phone-call from Santa Marta telling me that the Holy Father would receive me in private audience in the evening of Friday 12th January (though the report appeared only on 14th January in the Holy See bulletin). That was the last day of my 85 years of life, what a gift from Heaven! (Note that it was the vigil of the Holy Father’s departure for Chile and Peru, so the Holy Father must have been very busy).
On that evening the conversation lasted about half an hour. I was rather disorderly in my talking, but I think I succeeded to convey to the Holy Father the worries of his faithful children in China.
The most important question I put to the Holy Father (which was also in the letter) was whether he had had time “to look into the matter” (as he promised Archbishop Savio Hon). In spite of the danger of being accused of breach of confidentiality, I decide to tell you what His Holiness said: “Yes, I told them (his collaborators in the Holy See) not to create another Mindszenty case”! I was there in the presence of the Holy Father representing my suffering brothers in China. His words should be rightly understood as of consolation and encouragement more for them than for me.
I think it was most meaningful and appropriate for the Holy Father to make this historical reference to Card. Josef Mindszenty, one of the heroes of our faith. (Card. Josef Mindszenty was the Archbishop of Budapest, Cardinal Primate of Hungary under Communist persecution. He suffered much in several years in prison. During the short-lived revolution of 1956, he was freed from prison by the insurgents and, before the Red Army crashed the revolution, took refuge in the American Embassy. Under the pressure of the Government he was ordered by the Holy See to leave his country and immediately a successor was named to the likings of the Communist Government).
With this revelation, I hope I have satisfied the legitimate “right to know” of the media and of my brothers in China.
The important thing for us now is to pray for the Holy Father, very fittingly by singing the traditional song “Oremus”:
Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco, Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Some explanations may still be in order.
1. Please, notice that the problem is not the resignation of the legitimate Bishops, but the request to make place for the illegitimate and even excommunicated ones. Many old underground Bishops, though the retirement age law has never been enforced in China, have insistently asked for a successor, but have never received any answer from the Holy See. Some others, who have a successor already named, may be even already in possession of the Bulla signed by the Holy Father, were ordered not to proceed with the ordination for fear of offending the Government.
2. I have talked mainly of the two cases of Shantou and Mindong. I do not have any other information except the copy of a letter written by an outstanding Catholic lady, a retired University professor well-acquainted with affairs of the Church in China, in which she warns Msgr. Celli against pushing for the legitimization of “bishop” Lei Shi Ying in Sichuan.
3. I acknowledge myself as a pessimist regarding the present situation of the Church in China, but my pessimism has a foundation in my long direct experience of the Church in China. From 1989 to 1996 I used to spend six months a year teaching in the various Seminaries of the official Catholic community. I had direct experience of the slavery and humiliation to which those our brother Bishops are subjected.
And from the recent information, there is no reason to change that pessimistic view. The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom. They are now strictly enforcing regulations which up to now were practically only on paper (from the 1st of February 2018 attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated).
4. Some say that all the efforts to reach an agreement is to avoid the ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church! The Popes avoided using the word “schism” because they knew that many in the official Catholic community were there not by their own free will, but under heavy pressure. The proposed “unification” would force everybody into that community. The Vatican would be giving the blessing on the new strengthened schismatic Church, taking away the bad conscience from all those who are already willing renegades and those others who would readily join them.
5. Is it not good to try to find mutual ground to bridge the decades-long divide between the Vatican and China? But can there be anything really “mutual” with a totalitarian regime? Either you surrender or you accept persecution, but remaining faithful to yourself (can you imagine an agreement between St. Joseph and King Herod?)
6. So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months.
7. Some expert on the Catholic Church in China is saying that it is not logical to suppose a harsher religious policy from Xi Jinping. However, we are not talking about logical thinking, but the obvious and crude reality.
8. Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.

Memes of the Day

29 January 2018

Is Charles I a Saint (Part I). by Chevalier Charles Coulombe

From Anglicanorum Coetibus Society Blog

January 30 marks the 369th anniversary of the judicial murder of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland at the hands of the Puritan-dominated Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell. As every well-informed inheritor of the Patrimony knows, one of the reasons the King was murdered was his refusal to sanction the abolition of the Episcopate in the Church of England.  For this reason, said body essayed to canonise him during the Restoration, and his cultus within Anglicanism flourished or declined as the dominant party in the State was Whig or Tory. In 1859, the date of his Martyrdom was removed from the Book of Common Prayer. But by that time, the “Royal Martyr” had already found favour with the Oxford Movement.
John Keble lauded him in verse, and the Society of King Charles the Martyr was founded in 1894 to revive devotion to him alongside the other “Catholic Societies” and their attempts to reignite prayer for the deadbelief in the Real PresenceMarian devotion, and sundry other such things. Among its earliest members was Fr. Hope Patten, reviver of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham; the Anglican shrine thereat boasts a statue of the King. A number of the founders were also involved with the Neo-Jacobite Order of the White Rose, which in turn involved several Catholics, including Lord Ashburnham. A few years later both organisations crossed the Atlantic; the American SKCM and its White Rose equivalent featured Ralph Adams Cram and Isabella Stewart Gardner among their first members (meetings of both societies were held in the chapel of the latter’s palatial home, Fenway Court). To-day the OWR is represented by the Royal Stuart Society, while the SKCM continues. It has numbered several prominent Catholics among its patrons, including Lord St. John of Frawsley and Fr. Jean Charles-Roux; to-day, the highest-ranking Catholic layman in the United Kingdom, Lord Nicholas Windsor, the Queen’s First Cousin, once removed, is an active patron and member. Without a doubt, the cultus of Charles I is part of the patrimony – but is it a part of the patrimony that should be brought into the Catholic Church?
Apart from mere anti-Monarchism among Catholics (which half-sympathises with the murders of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and is uncomfortable with Bl. Karl of Austriaor any other canonised or beatified Crowned Head), a pathology that cannot be argued with, and often owes its origin to misunderstood Hibernian and Americanist influences, there are some real objections to be answered. Some will claim that the King was weak-willed and vacillating; others point to the Catholics “martyred under Charles I.” In any case, he certainly died outside the visible Communion of the Catholic Church. Yet while these natural questions must be answered, it is exceedingly easy to do so.
When examining the personal character of Charles I, one must admit that his policies do appear to the casual viewer to have gone back and forth. But the truth is he was faced with an impossible situation – humanly speaking – and was forced to deal with it from a very weak position. The British Civil Wars – now more poetically and accurately referred to as “The Wars of the Three Kingdoms” – were just that: conflicts involving an incredibly varied cast of characters and interests at cross purposes in three very different realms, the peaceable rule of any one of which would have been difficult. In England, the King faced a powerful oligarchy (ironically created by Henry VIII’s bestowal of stolen monastic lands upon his allies) desirous of taking complete control of the State and consolidating their economic power by enclosing the remaining Common Lands; Scotland saw Charles inherit his grandmother’s losing coalition of Catholics and Anglicans against the Presbyterians; and in Ireland his rule was upheld by the mutually antagonistic Royalists and Confederates of Kilkenny against the Ulster Scots – and even this quick description is a wild oversimplification. The sad truth is Charles inherited a horrible position, and can only be held responsible for what occurred during his “personal rule.”
This last is important to understand with regard to the Saints martyred “under his rule.”  The fact is that there were a number of priests in London’s prisons under sentence of death when Charles became King. Delicate as his situation was (and given his –as we shall see –well-deserved reputation for philo-popery, to say nothing of his Catholic Queen, whose pilgrimage to the site of countless martyrdoms at Tyburn Hill caused some unrest), he did not believe himself to be in a position to pardon them. What he did do, however, was to allow them out during the daytime to minister to the city’s Catholics, said clerics returning to their prisons each night. This situation continued for years, until the Long Parliament seized power, and murdered them as it did Strafford and Laud – whom the King was also unable to save. That these priests – some of whom have been subsequently beatified and canonised – were true martyrs is indisputable; but the King was no more responsible for their deaths than Charles II was for that of St. Oliver Plunkett. One might as well blame King Baudouin I for Belgium’s abortion and Grand Duke Henri for Luxembourg’s euthanasia – but we do not because they resisted to the utmost of their power. A better case might perhaps be made against the plethora of “pro-life” politicians who somehow are rarely able to effect any changes in the law, but are routinely elected on the basis of their self-proclaimed views; but it is always easier to demand perfection from the dead than from the living.
But what of the King’s own personality, apart from his unsuccessful policies? We have a number of useful contemporary accounts, of whom one is particularly telling – that of Bishop Bossuet, in his sermon on the death of Charles’ Queen, Henrietta Maria:
Charles I, King of England, was just, moderate, magnanimous, well informed about his business and the means of reigning. Never was prince more able to render royalty, not only venerable and holy, but also kind and dear to his people. What can he be blamed for, if not clemency? I will admit to him what a celebrated author has said of Caesar, that he has been lenient to the point of repentance: Caesari proprium and peculiare sit clementiae insigne, qua usque ad poenitentiam omnes superavit. Let it be here, if you will, the famous defect of Charles as well as of Caesar; but that those who wish to believe that all is weak in the unfortunate and the vanquished do not think for that reason to persuade us that strength has failed in his courage, nor vigor in his counsels. Pursued to all excess by the implacable malignity of fortune, betrayed by all his people, he did notbetray himself. Despite the ill success of his unfortunate arms, if we could defeat him, we could not force him, and as he never refused what was reasonable, being victorious, he always rejected what was weak and unfair, being captive. I can hardly contemplate his big heart in these last trials. But he has certainly shown that the rebels are not allowed to take majesty from a king who knows himself; and those who have seen with what bearing he has appeared in Westminster Hall, and in the Place of Whitehall, can easily judge how fearless he was at the head of his armies, how august and majestic in the midst of his palace and his palace courtyard. Great Queen, I satisfy your tenderest desires when I celebrate this monarch, and this heart, which has never lived except for him, wakes up, all powder that it is, and becomes sensitive, even under this mortuary sheet, in the name of a husband so dear, to whom his very enemies will grant the title of wise and righteous, and which posterity will rank among the great princes, if his history finds readers whose judgment cannot be dominated by events nor fortune.
In some Ordinariate communities, devotion has grown up to Bl. Karl of Austria-Hungary, beatified by St. John Paul II in 2004. This makes perfect sense, because so much that can be said of the one Charles can be said of the other. Both were eminent husbands and fathers – not only in love with their wives but seeing their marriages and fatherly roles as important parts of their attempts to win Heaven. Both fathered children while their fortunes collapsed, and provided as well as they could for the education of their offspring as Christians. In terms of personal piety, both Sovereigns were devoted to the Blessed Sacrament (bearing in mind that Charles I lived three centuries before Apostolicae Curae, at a time when the Holy See offered Laud the Red Hat – of which more momentarily), the Virgin Mary, relics, and the Saints. Lastly, both men ruled over and attempted to love incredibly diverse peoples whose internecine scandals in the end both destroyed their Monarchs and cast them into immense suffering and atrocities. The second Charles was not martyred outright; but given the nature of his death, he came close.
All of that having been said, it is certainly true that Charles I died outside the visible communion of the Catholic Church. Should not that, at least, disqualify him from being considered for Sainthood? Not necessarily, and here I leave aside the liturgical commemorations of Dr. Martin Luther King – several of which Masses, as a Knight of Peter Claver, I have assisted at. Rather, we should look at the veneration permitted by the Holy See to be given a number of putatively schismatic Eastern Orthodox figures. There are also Emperors Constantine I and XI (the latter considered a Blessed by the Greek Catholics of Istanbul). It should also be born on mind that Eastern Catholics venerate as well a great many martyrs who died rather than abjure Catholicism for Orthodoxy.
The King was an apostle of reunion of the two Churches, long before it was fashionable (it was indeed one of the things adduced against him at his “trial). Charles I had a Catholic Queen, the French Princess Henrietta Maria; not surprisingly, he favoured Catholics – bestowing on the Lords Baltimore both territory in Newfoundland and the colony of Maryland. Indeed, much to the annoyance of his Puritan and Scots Presbyterian subjects, Charles I kept up a close correspondence with the Holy See. In a letter of April 20, 1623, he wrote to Pope Gregory XV:
Never did they [his ancestors] carry the standard of Christ’s Cross against his most violent enemies with a more cheerful spirit than I will use and endeavour, that the peace and unity of the Christian Commonwealth, which hath been so long banished, may be brought back, returning, as it were, from captivity or the grave; for, since the subtlety and malice of the father of discords hath sown the seeds of such unhappy differences among those who profess the Christian religion this measure I deem most necessary… Wherefore by your Holiness be persuaded that I am and ever shall be of such moderation as to keep aloof, as far as possible, from every undertaking, which may testify any hatred towards the Roman Catholic religion; nay, rather I will seize al opportunities by a gentle and generous mode of conduct, to remove all sinister suspicions entirely; so that, as we all confess one undivided Trinity, and one Christ Crucified, we may be banded together unanimously into one faith. That I may accomplish this, I will reckon as trifling all my labours and vigilance, and even the hazards of kingdom and life itself.
As mentioned earlier, numerous witnesses and later authors attest to the King’s use of images and veneration of relics, Saints, and the Virgin Mary. But despite negotiations with Rome throughout his reign, three considerations kept him from reunion: A) the belief in the power of the Pope to depose Sovereigns (not a matter of Faith, to be sure); B) the intriguing of Cardinal Richelieu with his Puritan enemies (an experience shared with Holy Roman Emperors Ferdinand II and Ferdinand III); and C) the probable reaction of a large part of his people. In this last, of course, he was not mistaken. But, as Robin Davies observes: “It is significant that the King, in his last speech on the scaffold, did not make use of the word ‘Protestant,’ but described himself as ‘a Christian according to the profession of the Church of England, as I found it left me by my father.’ It must also be remembered that the word ‘Protestant,’ even in the 18th century, meant primarily, ‘pertaining to the Church of England,’ and that the sectarians, here [England] and abroad, were usually described by names indicative of their tenets – Anabaptists, Lutherans, Calvinists, etc.”  What may be regarded as certain is that the King believed himself to be Catholic, and believed himself to be of the same Faith as the Pope. Much is made of Laud’s laughing rejection of the Red Hat – but it could not have been offered without the King’s consent, and from what we know of Charles’ character, it would have been most unlike him to have insisted that Laud accepted an honour he did not want.
To Be Continued