Category Archives: The Left

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.

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.

Lutheran Pope? Non-Catholic pope? the Anti-Pope?

In his youtube video, Pope Francis says “Commandments NOT as Absolutes” – Is Francis Lutheran? Rahner’s Fundamental Option, Dr Taylor Marshall tackles Pope Bergoglio’s recent comments on the Ten Commandments.

At a General Audience (August 2021), Bergoglio asked two questions: ‘Do I live in the fear that if I don’t do this or that I will go to hell?’; and ‘Do I despise the Commandments? No. I observe them, but not as absolutes because I know that what justifies me is Jesus Christ.”‘

Marshall compares the “Fundamental Option” theology of the Jesuit Karl Rahner with Bergoglio’s non-absolute view of the Ten Commandments. Rahner’s fundamental option, Marshall says, is the critical choice for God or against God. If you choose for God, you’re on your way to heaven no matter how many sins you commit.

Marshall relates his exchange with a priest who declared ‘straight out’ that even if he died lying on a prostitute, he would go to heaven once he had chosen God as his fundamental option. He goes on to compare some key statements of Martin Luther on ‘Justification’.

Luther: Be a sinner and sin boldly.

Luther: If Moses should attempt to intimidate you with his stupid ten commandments, tell him right out: chase yourself to the Jews; to the gallows with Moses. (Luther’s Works 35:159)

Luther: God only obliges you to believe and confess. In all other things he leaves you free, Lord and Master, to do whatever you will without any danger to your conscience; on the contrary, it is certain that, as far as He is concerned, it makes no difference whether you leave your wife, flee from your Lord, and are unfaithful to every obligation. What is it to Him if you do or do not do such things. (Werke, Weimar ed., XII, pp. 131 ff)

In a searching examination, Dr Marshall offers an answers to the questions raised here.

Note: There is a statue of Martin Luther in St Peter’s Cathedral, and the Vatican issued a stamp celebrating Martin Luther, celebrations unimaginable pre-Vatican Council II

A powerful response to Milligan and the mob

Keith Windschuttle, editor of Quadrant Magazine, has written a book that is a must-read for those Australians who fondly think we live in a society unassailably based on the rule of law. Here he gives an account of the focus of his book.

*****

A Kafkaesque Scenario

Keith Windschuttle, Editor, Quadrant Magazine

The case of Cardinal George Pell and child sexual abuse is still not finished. There is the matter now being investigated by the Australian Federal Police about whether Pell’s opponents within the Vatican sent money to Australia to try to influence public opinion and legal proceedings. However, given the enthusiasm to persecute Pell displayed by those arrayed against him in Australian legal and media circles, if such bribery did exist it was probably wasted. As Humbert Wolfe observed long ago, when you see what they will do unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

Moreover, with today’s benefit of hindsight over the competing perspectives that now come into view, the Pell case seems even more important on levels other than the multi-pronged witch hunt by the desperate characters who brought him down. Above all, the case is a demonstration of the fragility of the rule of law and of civilised social and professional relationships. Within the ideological imperatives that prevail today, any one of us could become George Pell. We could be accused by strangers of reprehensible behaviour, and then find the weight of the nation’s structures of law, government and public opinion piled on top of us—a Kafkaesque scenario.

Pell was lucky to be saved at the last minute by his only remaining hope, the judges of the Australian High Court. They retained enough independence and integrity to see the truth of his case as it was. However, these qualities had been beyond the ability of the majority of judges in the Victorian Court of Appeal and beyond the comprehension of the six former judges and legal officials who sat on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, all of whom displayed embarrassing failings in the logic of their findings. There are no guarantees that future members of the High Court will act as creditably as those who acquitted Pell.

In my book published last month, The Persecution of George Pell (Quadrant Books, 408 pages, $39.95), I not only cover the minutiae of police, court and Royal Commission proceedings in what defence counsel Robert Richter accurately described as “Operation Get Pell” from 2013 to 2020, but also place it within the history of the culture wars, political ideology and consequent changes to legal procedures related to sexuality that have accumulated since the 1960s.

Read the rest here…

The Crisis in the Church

Archbishop Vigano, Pope Francis’s most outspoken critic, recently raised serious questions about the Second Vatican Council. He has joined a long line of critics over the years, with Archbishop Lefebvre of the Society of St Pius X at the forefront. Archbishop Vigano has followed Archbishop Lefebvre in demanding the documents of the Council be jettisoned and the Church start again, with Traditional belief the starting point.

I follow St John Paul II and Benedict XVI in their interpretation of the Council documents. The documents should be read in the light of Tradition – according to the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’. Any apparent ambiguities are resolved by placing them in the teaching of what went before Vatican II. There have been a number of crucial documents following the Council that have corrected the alleged ambiguities.

The collapse of the Church after the Council was due to the adoption of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’, which ignored the documents and created a whole new church, which was the stated aim of its promoters. The so-called ‘spirit’ prevailed politically, not doctrinally. The overthrow of the Traditional Church was a political victory.

The political forces for the new church were tightly organised before the start of the Council. On the 11th of October 1962, the opening of the Council, they went into operation. Their political manoeuvring and manipulation steamrolled the thoroughly unprepared Traditionalists, those defending the centuries-old Church. Several years’ work in the preparatory documents were tossed out and a new start made, at the head of which were some of the most notorious dissenters in the years following the Council. Indeed, it was only the intervention of Pope St Paul VI at critical points that stopped the Council tipping over the edge into heresy.

My thesis that the Second Vatican Council was primarily a political contest is grounded largely on Fr Ralph Wiltgen’s THE RHINE FLOWs INTO THE TIBER, reissued in 1978 as THE INSIDE STORY OF VATICAN II, and Roberto de Mattei’s magisterial THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL (AN UNWRITTEN STORY). There is also my experience of the Council and its aftermath. I was sixteen in 1962 and nineteen when the 1960s cultural revolution and the student rebellion exploded on the West in 1965. The Council wrapped up in December 1965.

In a very informative discussion of the Council, Patrick Coffin interviews Dr Ralph Martin about his new book A CHURCH IN CRISIS: PATHWAYS FORWARD. The discussion gives depth to my views. Highly recommended.

Raph Martin’s new book is available on Amazon.

The Pell case: Who’s running scared?

In his Spectator article, The sinister Vatican plot against Cardinal Pell, Damian Thompson writes that he and others have always suspected Cardinal Pell’s enemies in the Vatican had something to do with the cardinal’s conviction. Even so, he did not expect a Vatican cardinal to provide evidence to support those suspicions.

He relates, as others have done (see previous posts), the fall of Cardinal Becciu because of delinquency with Vatican funds, highlighting the mysterious transfer of A$1.1 million to an Australian account around the time Cardinal Pell was running the gauntlet of Victoria’s degraded criminal justice system. In the final paragraphs of his article, he raises some interesting points about where to from here. He says the public may learn more about Cardinal Pell’s ‘solitary accuser’. ‘God only knows,’ he adds, ‘what will happen then.’ If I’m right about the choirboy, some journalists will at this moment be running scared. They will be lucky to come off with no more than mere humiliation.

* ****

Continue reading The Pell case: Who’s running scared?

The best liars are the most convincing liars

‘The High Court decision did not repudiate the former choirboy, with both Cardinal Pell’s senior counsel, Bret Walker, SC, and Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, QC, agreeing in their submissions to the court that he was a credible, believable witness.’

These are words from a (5 Oct) report by Adam Cooper of Melbourne’s Age newspaper whose delirious anti-Catholic bigotry tops all others.

There are two obvious points to make about Cooper’s claim.

The first is a question of logic. It does not follow that because Bret Walker, SC, and Kerri Judd, QC, agreed that the choirboy was a ‘credible, believable witness’ that the choirboy was not lying. Cooper evidently does not see it.

Nor does it follow from this mutual agreement that the ‘High Court did not repudiate the former choirboy.’ Both assertions or premises are unconnected. This is another example of the sloppy reasoning in a hostile media that runs through all the reporting on the Pell case. Indeed, tight logical reasoning is not a priority of most Age reporters who have their political prejudices to promote.

Continue reading The best liars are the most convincing liars

Vatican money to destroy Cardinal Pell – The story so far

The following details are from media reports this last week:

National Catholic Register 29 September 2020

An important, but not the primary, consequence of the stunning sacking of Cardinal Angelo Becciu is that it completes on the Vatican side what was accomplished by the Australian High Court in April, namely the complete vindication of Cardinal George Pell.

As Cardinal Pell arrives in Rome this week after three years in Australia, the counterpoint between the cardinal’s return and Cardinal Becciu’s fall is worthy of a novel.

“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances … and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” Cardinal Pell stated in reference to his brother cardinal’s dismissal. “I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria [Australia].”

Continue reading Vatican money to destroy Cardinal Pell – The story so far