Category Archives: Catholicism

Short synopsis of ‘In Times of Distress’

On ‘My Books‘ page I have posted a short synopsis of the first book in the Winterbine Tetralogy. I am more than halfway through the writing and am confident of a release date in December 2019.

IN TIMES OF DISTRESS
Book One of the Winterbine Tetralogy.
Fr Jos van Engelen, a Dutch missionary priest stationed in New Guinea, is recalled to Holland in March 1940 to help the Superior-General in combating suspected subversion within the order. At the German invasion of Holland, he is drawn into dangerous covert operations against the Nazis which results in the execution of close collaborators. While in Amsterdam, he saves a young woman and her baby from being crushed in a stampede. It’s the start of a relationship with the young woman and a deadly tussle with her occultist husband. At the same time, he enters into a running conflict with the same subversive elements within his order. The conflict comes to a head during the Second Vatican Council, the result of which is his expulsion to Binawarra, a small country town in Australia. In a parallel plot, Anneke van Engelen, the priest’s niece, goes astray during the student radicalism of the 1960s with disastrous consequences. Fr van Engelen and Anneke van Engelen feature in THE CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS, book three of the Winterbine tetralogy.


The ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult and Gnosticism are introduced as the themes of the Winterbine series. The ideological conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s form the background.
Publication December 2019
More information HERE.

Edmund Burke and Magna Carta

This was a talk I gave on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Edmund Burke devoted the eighth chapter in his Abridgment of English History, to King John’s reign. He records that it was near the end of John’s reign that the barons forced him to place the royal seal on the provisions and undertakings that form the document called Magna Carta, Latin for Great Charter. The Abridgment of English History is a little known and almost entirely disregarded work of Burke’s. He began it in 1757 as a commission from publisher Robert Dodsley. It was one of the projects taken up when he abandoned the law to devote himself to a literary career. He never completed the planned series of books. Indeed, chapter eight is the final full chapter. The eight chapters plus a fragment of chapter nine, ‘An Essay Towards An History Of The Laws Of England’, appeared after his death.

The reader has to take seriously Burke’s title to his work on English history because a distinct purpose is revealed in the process of abridgment. Through the sometimes sparse historical details, the reader finds a concentration on the effect of the different settled arrangements (like custom and tradition) on the development of the law governing the English people. The contrast, though nowhere near as explicit as in his later writings, is between law as developed out of the concrete circumstances of a people being a people and law as the product of abstract speculation.  The fragment of chapter nine confirms this analysis.

Continue reading Edmund Burke and Magna Carta

Gays in Vatican – The Australian censors comments

The Australian ran an article on 16 February headed ‘New book on sex lives of Vatican priests suggests 80 per cent are gay.’ The book In the Closet of the Vatican by homosexual Frederic Martel is ‘based on 1500 interviews with cardinals, clerics and even papal Swiss guards.’ It alleges further that one of the most outspoken prelates against ‘same-sex marriage’ ‘secretly frequented male prostitutes.’ All very sensational.

The article provoked the usual simple-minded, ignorant, anti-Catholic bigotry in the comment section as well as the usual reaction by many Catholics that the anti-Catholic media were at it again. They were, indeed, but they were close to the truth this time. I submitted the following comment:

The Australian media appear way behind the international conversation (especially in the US) over the incidence of homosexuality among the clergy and what it means. Some traditional Catholic groups, like Church Militant, are hammering the hierarchy unmercifully not only over clerical sexual abuse and the cover-up by many bishops, but about the behaviour of some well-known prelates.

Google Cardinal McCarrick and one will find a sensational story of scandal. Cardinal McCarrick is on the point of being laicized – defrocked. There has been a 180 degree turnaround by some traditional Catholics (like me) in their attitude to clerical sexual abuse. They thought it was just a beat-up by an anti-Catholic press. No, we have discovered that the story goes far deeper – and into the past. The huge increase of homosexuals in the priesthood after 1960 was no coincidence. Nor was it a coincidence that the rate of the abuse of male teenagers rose relative to that increase. The figures are there.

The Australian did not print my comment – as I expected. Even Australia’s most reliable newspaper quakes before the power of the far-left homosexual activists.

Cardinal George Pell is on trial – so is Australian Justice

The trial of Cardinal George Pell for ‘multiple historical sexual offences’ is ongoing. If it were up to the media behemoth ABC and the collapsing Fairfax Group plus a legion of Pell-haters, there would be no trial of any sort. They already have Cardinal Pell convicted, and if they had their way he would be hanging from the steeple of St Patrick’s Cathedral.

They can rest assured. They have so poisoned the minds of Australians, particular in Victoria, there is little chance of justice prevailing. Indeed, there may be an even more satisfying outcome for the poisoners.

Behind the wall-to-wall denunciations of the Cardinal there are commentaries that provide compelling argument and evidence in his defence. The following are from Julia Yost of First Things. They should be read one after the other for the full effect.

Children of Desire

The Case Against Cardinal Pell

Waugh on the merits

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh was born in 1903 to upper-middle-class Anglicans who lived in a suburb of London. He attended a boarding secondary school (Lancing College), read history at Oxford, published his first book (a biography of the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti) at age twenty-four, then his first novel a year later. Waugh married that same year (1928), divorced after two years, and converted to Catholicism. After the first marriage was declared null, he married a Catholic by whom he had seven children. He served honorably but ineffectively as an infantry officer in World War II, and was to publish thirteen novels, as well as seven travel books, three biographies, a volume of autobiography, and numerous essays and book reviews. Lionized in the 1920s as a trendy man of fashion, he became increasingly conservative in politics and churchmanship and notorious for his truculent contempt for the sham enthusiasms of modernity. He died on Easter Sunday, 1966, at his house in Somerset. Read on…

David Marr: The left’s purveyor of calumny par excellence

David Marr’s Quarterly Essays on Tony Abbott and Cardinal George Pell have been among the most politically damaging of any writing that has come from the left. They have been damaging not because Marr mounts irresistible argument backed by unassailable evidence. No, they were damaging  because of Marr’s considerable talent as a writer  – a postmodernist writer with the creative power of a skilled novelist. Marr is a writer of ‘faction’ – fiction that is presented as fact. I make my case for Marr’s status as a postmodernist writer of ‘faction’ in chapter 13 of my just released ebook TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION (paperback due February 2019).

Nobody has been more scathing of David Marr’s ‘political analysis’ than Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute. Below is his devastating critique in Media Watchdog No. 343 of Marr’s essay on Cardinal Pell. 

Continue reading David Marr: The left’s purveyor of calumny par excellence