Category Archives: Culture

Cultural vandalism by a culturally hollow elite – we must resist

Once again, I have to ask, ‘How do they get away with it? Why doesn’t somebody do something about these saboteurs and traitors?

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The short story is, they are coming for the classics

Frank Furedi, The Australian, 17 October 2021

Why am I not surprised to read the Welsh National Opera will run a series of lectures on Madame Butterfly to highlight issues of “imperialism and colonialism”?

Because in recent years it has become increasingly fashionable to frame Western art and culture in a negative light. All its great inspiring figures, from Chaucer to Shakespeare through to Jane Austen face the charge of being “too Western”, “too white” or “too racist”. Classical music, ballet and opera are also dismissed in a similar vein. Western classical culture has always been the target of dogmatic radical commissars on the grounds it is elitist, out of date, irrelevant and far too exclusive. Now these philistine arguments have fused with those promoted by advocates of identity politics.

Hostility towards Western classical culture is frequently justified on the ground that it is too old, too white, too male and far too homophobic. This point was emphasised recently by a participant in the Gender Equity and Diversity in Opera Summit organised by the Australian Music Centre. Sonya Holowell took great objection to the traditional meritocratic emphasis on quality in the opera world. She dismissed the idea that “quality comes first” on the grounds that it “ignores the inherent privileges that many” are afforded

Her solution is to “decolonise the high arts”. In praise of this form of artistic vandalism she asks, the “pertinent question to me is what do we want to leave intact?” Judging by recent unrestrained attacks on classical culture, the answer must be “not very much”.

Read the rest here…

How does the Catholic Church compare?

Many times I have pointed out that the incidence of child sexual abuse is no higher in the Catholic Church than in comparable organizations. Indeed, most sexual abuse of children occurs by far in a family situation. The research is there for all to discover.

But these facts mean nothing to such organizations as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who jealously maintains its place at the head of the forces determined to destroy the Catholic Church in Australia. But what about the public school system? What goes on there? Lauren Southern lifts the lid on the US public school system in The Horrors of The Public School System.

Prof John Haldane’s first lecture – better than I expected

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne announced on its website that ‘Professor Haldane is once again in Australia, this time leading an important Catholic educational, cultural and societal project in partnership with the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS).

As part of his visit, he is offering a six-part virtual lecture series entitled The Catholic Contribution, which begins on Thursday 14 October with the question: “What does it mean to be Catholic?”’

One does not know what to expect these days when such an announcement is made about the Church and its history. So, I watched the first lecture, ‘Introduction: What does it mean to be Catholic?’ with curiosity – and some trepidation. No need for the trepidation. The lecture and its tight delivery were excellent. I will be watching the next five.

Louise Milligan – youse are all wrong

Gavin Morris, ABC News Director, has tossed in the towel. Who could blame him? Louise Milligan, whose self-righteous cussedness has topped unheard of heights, would be purgatory enough. But imagine having to deal with Sarah Ferguson, Sally Neighbour and that whole band of whingeing self-righteous man-hating feminists at the ABC? Hell on earth. I wonder that Morris endured it so long. To give a taste of the brain-destroying torture Milligan has in store, I provide a link to Stuart Lindsay’s piece in the 10 January 2021 edition of Quadrant: Ignore the High Court, Louise Milligan Knows Best – Quadrant Online. Stuart Lindsay is a retired Federal Circuit Court judge .

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Ignore the High Court, Louise Milligan Knows Best

Stuart Lindsay, Quadrant, 10 January 2021

If you want a true sounding of the depths to which the trade of journalism and the vocation of writing in our country have fallen I suggest you can do no better than listen to or read the recent interview and transcript of Louise Milligan, the much-feted anti-Pell fanatic, on a podcast called The Garrett.

The Garrett is produced in Melbourne by a lady named Astrid Edwards, who interviews “writers on writing”. However, if you examine her website you will notice that the writers are overwhelmingly women and the writing is overwhelmingly leftist stock-in trade. And if you subtracted from the podcast’s interview catalogue those which deal with either feminist, black- or Islamic-grievance or climate change, you would be left with, well… Richard Fidler. He is the author of a gem of a book about the Byzantines and his undogmatic and agreeable presence on Ms Edward’s site is as anomalous as is his presence on the ABC’s airwaves. The explanation for the narrow range of the podcast’s pre-occupations is obvious enough. The website says it has “ongoing partnerships with the State Library of Victoria, Writers Victoria and RMIT University.” Alas, these days, what good thing ever comes out of an institution with “Victoria” or “Melbourne” in its name?

Remember, too, that most of The Garret‘s subjects have probably already been given their complimentary promotional tour at tax-payers’ expense by the ABC leviathan before they sat down to talk with her. In other words, The Garrett is just another of the vast number of state-funded or state-affiliated organs whose function is to sustain the Left’s stifling overlordship of every aspect of Australian cultural and political life. You know the ones I am referring to; the ones that get all of the government grants and award each other all of the prizes.

But don’t let that prevent you listening to the Milligan episode. You will learn much about Milligan and about her employer, our national broadcaster.

THE High Court judgment which set aside the Victorian Court of Appeal’s upholding (with Weinberg J in vigorous dissent) of Pell’s conviction and the unmistakable language of stern reproof in which that judgement was written don’t seem to have signified much of anything to Ms. Milligan. Rather, the High Court has taught her nothing about either the fundamental tenets of fair reporting or the criminal law. Both the woman and the ABC are unteachable. Why do I say that? Let me take you to the transcript. First, this bit (with my highlighting):

Read the rest here…

The ABC has geared up…

When a picture is worth a thousand words…

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Shock! Horror!
Perrottet is a Catholic

Roger Franklin Quadrant, 7 October 2021

As the dust settles after Gladys Berejiklian’s resignation and what is reported to be the imminent elevation of Dominic Perrottet to the post of NSW premier, Australia’s newsroom hacks thought they heard the faint tinkle of sanctus bells and made like Pavlov’s dogs, slobbering hints and imputations about the danger of having a leader who is not only a Catholic but a conservative Catholic to boot.

And put the boot in they surely did and will, Catholicism being, as Tony Abbot found and William F. Buckley observed, the last socially acceptable target for prejudice. Predictably, Their ABC immediately centred the papist premier-to-be in its crosshairs, even dragging in Perrottet’s school years:

…as a child he attended the Roman Catholic school Redfield College in Dural, which is run by Opus Dei priests.

The Opus Dei sect has been tied to secretive dealings, along with aggressive recruitment methods and accusations of elitism and misogyny.

Read the rest here…

‘Sister’ Nathalie Becquart – symbol of the Church’s future?

Nathalie Becquart is a member of the French order Xavière Sisters. estasblished in 1921, thus one hundred years old. The order is (to quote) ‘achored in the St Ignatius of Loyola’s Spirituality and rooted in his spiritual exercises’ (my translation.) I have had a look at their website.

From the description, you would think it a traditional female religious order. But the description of a traditional religious order is in stark contrast with the many photos of a joyous group of women in full colourful mufti – all smartly coordinated. Hardly a reflection of Ignatian spirituality, if your mind works according to usual associations, and if you have a traditional conception of the Ignatian exercises. But the person of Ms Becquart raises for me a far more chilling contrast than aspects of clothing.

Sr. Nathalie Becquart, a member of the Xavière Sisters in France, is one of the two new undersecretaries for the Vatican's office of the Synod of Bishops, appointed Feb. 6 by Pope Francis.

Sr Becquart has recently been in Australia to talk about – or rather give a pep talk to followers of her very particular vision of the Church. Bergoglio appointed Becquart as one of two new undersecretaries for the Vatican’s office of the Synod of Bishops. This is a powerful position in Begoglio’s ecclesial vision, so it’s useful to know Sister’s thoughts on the Church, synodality, and all that.

Well, we get an unambiguous view inside sister’s head in an interview she gave to Global Sisters Report: a Project of National Catholic Reporter. The interview is titled: Q & A with Sr. Nathalie Becquart: Upcoming synod could ‘turn a clerical church into a synodal church’.

Continue reading ‘Sister’ Nathalie Becquart – symbol of the Church’s future?

The Fifth Plenary Council of Australia – whose idea was it?

The first sessions of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will take place between 3 and 10 October 2021. There has been a great deal of chatter about the Council within Church circles, Indeed, the rhetoric about ‘deep listening’ and ‘discernment’ and the ‘Synodal Church’ has been thrashed to death. But who started all this? Where did it all come from?

Well, Barb Fraze for (liberal) online CRUX tells us the originator was Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who recently announced his support for a separatist voice of Aboriginals in the Australian Constitution. Coleridge, a Francis devotee, is a supporter of such progressive causes.

In 2015, the archbishop was attending the Synod of bishops in Rome when he was illuminated by what seemed to him ‘the work of the Holy Spirit.’ Why not a Plenary Council for the Church in Australia in which the Synod’s mode of ‘discernment’ could be put into action ?

And so, it came to pass that after much organisational work, the first sessions of the Plenary Council were set for early October (3-10 Oct.) Barb Fraze projects much enthusiasm about the Plenary Council’s prospects, no doubt shared by Archbishop Coleridge and the organisers. But let me focus on several important elements in Ms Fraze’s report.

First, the Plenary Council will not be any old Council with a lot of boring unapproachable clerics, adding more bricks to the fortress of clericalism. No, it will involve the laity – women, the young and other marginalised people.

Second, it will be synodal in form. ‘Synodality’, says Fraze, is a buzzword these days in Catholic circles.’ It certainly is. But don’t pass over the word too quickly. Synodality, announced Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, quoting Francis, ‘is not so much about deeper reflection on this or that theme as it is about learning a new way of living as church’ and this deep reflection is to be “marked at every level by mutual listening and by a pastoral attitude, especially when faced with the temptations of clericalism and rigidity.”

There you have it – the glorious new church, ripped from the ruins of clericalism, sexual abuse, and people lost in stone-age ‘rigidity’. The rigid ones are to be counselled and failing counselling are to be cast into the darkness where they will not interrupt the free and open dialogue of discernment and deep listening.

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In Plenary Council, Australians search for ‘a new way of living as church’

By Barb Fraze Sep 26, 2021 Catholic News Service.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the listening and dialogue phase of the Australian Catholic Church’s Plenary Council, 220,000 Australians answered the question, “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”

In 2015, Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge was asking himself something similar. Australia was in the midst of a government-mandated investigation into sexual abuse in the church. Australian Catholics were leaving the church.

The Brisbane archbishop was at the Vatican, attending the Synod of Bishops on the family. It was there he had an idea that “seemed to me at the time and still seems to me the work of the Holy Spirit.”

“For the first time — certainly at a Roman synod — I saw discernment in action,” Coleridge wrote earlier this year. “It was messy and unpredictable; at the halfway mark it looked very unlikely that we would achieve anything worth achieving. Yet at the end we did produce something which wasn’t the last word, but which was a real contribution to the ongoing journey of the church.

Read the rest here…

Book awards for theological works

The Australian Catholic University proudly announced that two of their theologians scored the ATF Literary Trust Theological Book Prize for 2021. They are Fr Ormond Rush and Dr David Newheiser.

Here’s what the ACU said about Fr Rush’s book, The Vision of Vatican
II: Its Fundamental Principles
.

“‘It is difficult to overestimate the magnitude of the achievement of Ormond Rush’s Vision of Vatican II. The author offers a remarkable tour de force of the theological and ecclesial principles the author discerns in the documents, background and fundamental vision of Vatican II. Rush does this from the vantage point of half a century of critical engagement, reflection and reception within the wider ecumenical Church. Combining a breadth and depth of scholarship with creativity and insight the author provides a foundational theological resource not simply for students and theologians of Vatican II but for all who would seek to understand some of the great themes that have preoccupied the hearts and minds of Christians in the 20th and 21st century.”

And Dr Heiser’s book, Hope in a Secular Age:

In a post structuralist environment in which the meaning of language is dissipated by multi layered critical analysis Newheiser undertakes a defence of the central Christian idea of hope.

“In an informed and sophisticated manner Newheiser interrogates the resources of the rich tradition of Christian mystical thought. The ‘darkness of unknowing’ in the mystical tradition (Dionysius) and in post-modern notions of deferral (Derrida) provides Newheiser with parameters to engage in the meaningful development of Christian
language in a contemporary context. This fine exegetical and philosophical study offers a highly original, insightful and persuasive account of a hope that is at once ethical, political and spiritual.”

Let me guess. In these (for most people) impenetrable works, there won’t be too much reference to classical realist epistemology and metaphysics, or to Christian Aristotelianism. Behind Derrida and such companions we may sniff the sour odour of Hegel and Marx.

The process of fitting a square peg into a round hole goes on.

Diocesan Assemblies promote the narrative

Cathnews (21 Sept.) reported the activities on the Adelaide Diocesan Assembly 2021 under the title of ‘Diocesan Assembly shows the benefit of “deep listening”.’

The assembly drew many participants – 400 representatives of various bodies, not just parishes. It is curious, though not surprising, to see CathNews quoting those regurgitating the rhetoric of the soon-to-open Fifth Plenary Council of Australia. Here’s a sample:

‘Issues [discussed] included outreach and accompaniment of young people and families, inclusion and healing, parish life and liturgy, responding to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, and leadership and formation.

Each group discussed two themes and through a listening, dialogue and discernment process came up with 144 recommendations.

Diocesan Assembly coordinator Peter Bierer said the first two sessions of the assembly highlighted the value of “deep listening, withholding judgement, noticing our own biases and feelings, discernment and community”.

Forgive my scepticism, but those exhorted to deeply listen and withhold judgement and suppress biases about divorce, abortion, homosexuality, Church governance, clergy, and female priests would be people like me. If I ever aired my traditional views about the Catholic Church and its traditional beliefs at such an assembly I would be told in short terms to shut my mouth.

But there is no risk of the need for that sort of suppression. I would never attend such a gathering. Once bitten, twice shy. The one experience of nearly forty years ago was enough. Indeed, the parish priest once lectured me from the pulpit – not by name , of course. But I got the message when he unabashedly fixed his reprimanding eyes on me while condemning resistance to the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’.

As an aside, I remark there is hardly a man to be seen in the report’s colour photo showing the Assembly’s participants.

The Conciliar series

The CONCILIAR SERIES will consist of six connected but stand-alone stories. The themes of the ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult and Gnosticism are threads running through the stories.  The Second Vatican Council and the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (1965-1975) form the background to the series. The Second book, FEELINGS DIE NOT IN SILENCE was released September 2021. DESCENT INTO HADES: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, book 3 in the series, is due for release 27 September 2021, COUNTERCULTURE DREAMS, book 4 (tentative title), is due April 2022.