I was having an interesting ginger gin and tonic thingie the other day in a bar near the Circus Maximus (as one does) when a solution for all the problems of the poor German bishops occurred to me. I would be very surprised if very many of the supporters of the plan to administer communion to adulterers are opposed to sodomariage. I suspect they pretty much all embrace the abomination of desolation with enthusiasm. Then it occurred to me that this solves the entire problem. Mormon baptisms are invalid because, even though they use the right form and matter, they mean something entirely different from the Catholic Church by the baptismal formula. It is widely held that Bishops who attempt the ordination of women demonstrate that their understanding of orders is so defective that they cannot thereafter (without public repentance and repudiation of their errors) validly ordain men. Surely therefore anyone who believes in sodomarriage is ipso facto incapable of contracting marriage.

Can. 1095 The following are incapable of contracting marriage:

2/ those who sufer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted;

Seems clear. German liberals cannot get married. None of their marriages are valid and so they do not need to worry about the ‘first marriage’. All they need to do is desist from fornication, embrace the Catholic Faith, go to confession and they can receive communion. Problem solved.

German cardinal Walter Kasper walks on St Peter's square during a break of a meeting of a conclave to elect a new pope on March 4, 2013 at the Vatican.  The Vatican meetings will set the date for the start of the conclave this month and help identify candidates among the cardinals to be the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.   AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI        (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

“The God who is enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offence to man. One must deny him for man’s sake, because he claims for himself the dignity and honour that belong by right to man…. We must resist this God, however, not only for man’s sake, but also for God’s sake. He is not the true God at all, but rather a wretched idol. For a God who is only along side of and above history, who is not himself history, is a finite God. If we call such a being God, then for the sake of the Absolute we must become absolute atheists. Such a God springs from a rigid world view; he is the guarantor of the status quo and the enemy of the new.”

Walter Kasper “Gott in der Geschichte”, Gott heute: 15 Beiträge zur Gottesfrage, (Mainz 1967). Translation of passage from “The New Pastoral Approach of Cardinal Kasper to the divorced and ‘remarried'”, 12th April 2014, Documentation Information Catholiques Internationales.
Reference supplied by Voice of the Family 

So, the Irish have chosen madness and the abyss. Another one for the ‘astonishing but unsurprising’ file.

The Irish State has dissolved itself, and this for two reasons. First of all because it has renounced the Catholic faith that until now was enshrined in the preamble to its constitution. St Thomas Aquinas writes:-

It must never be permitted that infidels should newly gain dominion over the faithful, for this would cause scandal and be a danger to the faith. For easily those who are subject to the government of others can be changed by those under whom they live, so that they may follow their rule, unless those who are subject be of great virtue. . . . And so the Church in no way allows infidels to acquire dominion over the faithful.

This would by itself be sufficient to make the official institutions of Ireland henceforth illegitimate. But there is a second reason. The state has officially declared war on marriage and the family, abolishing marriage insofar as lies within its power. But the State is a society of families united under a common rule. By nullifying the family, as far as lies within its power, it nullifies itself; it denies its own reason for existence and so it denies or dissolves itself.

When the Moors swept over Spain, no Spanish Catholic, surely, would have supposed that those Moors who got permanent control over their particular village or town were their legitimate rulers. They were not in the same position as the pagan Roman rulers who held power from God, according to Romans 13. If the Spanish obeyed the local Moorish ruler, it was from prudence, because until a counter-attack could be organised, it was the lesser of two evils. In the same way, from now on the Irish need not obey the ‘laws’ of the ‘State’ out of justice, but only out of prudence. Heretics, apostates and lunatics do not hold power from God over the faithful.

Ideally, the remaining Catholics should officially secede from the evil pseudo-State, and find some promising young army general to help them set up a new State somewhere in Eire. I am serious. Apparently of the 43 constituencies, only Longford and Roscommon-South Leitrim voted to retain marriage. Since these are contiguous, that would seem to be the best place to found it. Maybe Poland or Hungary would help them.

The MacArthurs are the good Protestant couple in Belfast who refused to prepare a wedding cake displaying propaganda for perversion. They said that they could not stand before God after having done such a thing. Yesterday they lost their ‘trial’. The ‘Equalities Commission’ had spent £40,000 of our money persecuting them.

The MacArthurs were fined £500. That is not much for a business, but that is not the point. The point is that a piece of public ground has fallen to the enemies of Christ, and that if nothing is done it will serve as a place from which they may start a further attack. I suggest that the obvious thing to do is for as many people as possible to make a financial donation to the MacArthurs, so that they may end up considerably better off than when they started. If our enemies know that these kinds of attack will blow up in their faces in this way, then they will stop them.

The web-site of the Bakery, which is called Ashers, does not allow for donations by internet. However, the legal costs of the MacArthurs were met by the Christian Institute. I have contacted the Christian Institute and they have assured me that any general donation made to them will be earmarked for the MacArthurs if accompanied by an e-mail stating that this is the purpose of the donation. The e-mail should be sent to:

I hope all the readers of this blog will think of making such a donation. Yes, it will take a few minutes. But then wars tend to be a bit time-consuming.

I suppose what we might call the Blackadder Goes Forth version of the First World War is pretty standard by now. It might be summarised as “Both sides as bad as each other, engaged in slaughter out of commercial ambition and stupid jingoism, until one side happened to win” (it’s not only materialist historians who speak like this, incidentally; a recent article of John Rao’s seemed to take the same view.) Yet even such a version of history seems preferable to the Daily Telegraph attitude of solemnly commemorating the heroic sacrifice of our forefathers while simultaneously promoting abominations that would have caused those same forefathers to say that the country they defended had simply ceased to exist.

There was a painful juxtaposition of headlines on the front page of the Telegraph at the time of the 100th anniversary of the start of the war last year. One of them said: ‘We will never forget’. The other one said, ‘What’s wrong with {excuse me} sperm banks for lesbians?’, the columnist arguing that nothing was. Never forget, forsooth. When it comes to the civilisation we were fighting for, or rather that those young men were fighting for, whose names we read on the war memorials, often several from the same family in even the smallest English village: they forgot long, long ago.

I’ve been reading recently some of the articles that Chesterton wrote in his weekly newspaper column during the War. While the style is recognisably his, they have an elevation of tone that sets them apart from his peacetime works. He has no doubt that the cause of the Allies is not only just, but that the fight is essentially spiritual: a war for the what remained of Christendom, for natural law, justice, the traditions of chivalry and honour and civilisation, against that mixture of brutality, totalitarianism, and mystical self-worship which is evoked by the word Prussia (I wonder if he had any inkling that the young emperor of Austria was a saint?) In one sense, namely as a defence of Belgium, the justice of the war is obvious, and can be judged by posterity as easily as by contemporaries. With regard to the spiritual essence of the combat, insisted on by Chesterton, things are less easy. It is not one or two obvious facts but a multitude that can justify one in speaking as he does. Spiritual things, though supremely real, are subtle, and it is hard for those who have not directly experienced them to speak of them. Yet Chesterton’s words carry conviction. Here are a few variations on a constant theme:-

Prussia was not a nationalist democracy which chose evil; it was not a nation, or even, in the proper sense, a people. It was simply such accidental crowds of colourless, lumpish, outlying northern men as certain chiefs could hammer and harden into mere regiments conscious of no flag. It is necessary to be ruthless because we must reach the centre of the machine in order to break the spring – or, perhaps, the spell. But it is not necessary to be hopeless, because in a sense the men living under it have never yet lived at all. There is nothing in their native and somewhat mild character to prevent their ripening under a better civilisation into very happy and humane Europeans. In that sense this is quite strictly to be called a religious war – in that it is waged to save souls by hypothesis capable of salvation (March 17th, 1917).

We hear this conflict called, not unreasonably, the most horrible war of history. But the most horrible part of it is that it would not be the most horrible war. Wars more and more horrible would follow the failure to vindicate and restore Christian equity and chivalry in this one. This does not make the fight less ghastly to the feelings; but it does make it more inevitable to the mind. It is, even in its most intense agony, still a problem of the reason, and even of the senses – of the sense of external things (29th September, 1917).

There is one fatal blunder in [the] whole picture of the war between England and Germany, and that is that it is a war between England and Germany. There is no war betweeen England and Germany. What happened, as a simple historical fact, in A.D. 1914 was not  a war between England and Germany, either in origin or occasion, or motive, or proportions, or excuse. What happened was a war between Prussian and the remains of the older civilisation which Prussia had not yet subdued, and with which England only threw in her lot at the last moment, by a belated implulse mainly noble, but almost entirely new. It is profoundly true that now the very existence of England is bound up with beating Prussia; but that is a result of her largely unexpected act and its many unexpected consequences (December 1st, 1917).

What we have been fighting is the half-finished design of a sort of inverted Roman Empire. It is one in which the least civilised instead of the most civilise power is on top; and one which originally radiated not from an old republican city, but from a new royal court. Bavaria is part of it only as Bulgaria is also a part of it. They both belong to it, in the sense that the Bavarian King would say to the Kaiser what the Bulgarian King also said to the Kaiser: Ave Caesar (August 24th, 1918).

Suppose we were at war, like the Children of Israel, with a Phoenician State vowed to the worship of Moloch, and practising infanticide by flinging babies into the fire. If we used strong words about smiting such enemies hip and thigh, I think it would be unreasonable in essence, though it might sound reasonable in form, for some sage to say to us: “Are there no good Phoenicians? Do not Phoenician widows mourn for their warriors? Is it probable that even Phoenician mothers are born without any motherly instincts?” The answer is that all this misses the main fact; which is a very extraordinary fact. The wonder is not that some Phoenician mothers love their babies, but that most Phoenician mothers burn their babies. That some mothers revolt against it is most probable; that many mothers have so many feelings urging them to revolt against it is almost certain. But Moloch is stronger than the mothers – that is the prodigious fact for the spectator, and the practical menace for the world. When Moloch’s image is fallen, and his fane laid waste; when his worship has passed into history and remains only as a riddle of humanity – then indeed it may be well worth while to analyse the mixed motives, to reconstruct in romance or criticism the inconsistencies of cruelty and kindness. But Moloch is not fallen; Moloch is in his high place, and his furnaces consume mankind; his armies overrun the earth, and his ships threaten our own island. The question on the lips of any living man is not whether some who burn their children may nevertheless love their children, it is whether those who burn children shall conquer those who don’t. The parallel is practically quite justifiable; what we are fighting has all the regularity of a horrible religion. We are not at war with regrettable incidents or sad exceptions, but with a system like the system of sacrificing babies, a system of drowning neutrals, a system of enslaving civilians, a system of attacking hospital services, a system of exterminating chivalry. We do ot say that there are no exceptions; on the conrary, we say that there are exceptions; it is our whole point that they are exceptions. But it is an almost creepy kind of frivolity that we should be speculating on the good exceptions at a moment when we ourselves are in peril of falling under the evil rule (July 20th, 1918).

And just after the Armistice:-

There is another form of the same materialist fallacy which fools have sown broadcast for the last four years. Its most fashionable form may be summed up in the phrase, “It will all be the same a hundred years hence.” I have read pacifist poems and essays in which the old rhetorical flourish to the effect that the corn will grow on the battlefield, or the ivy on the ruined fortress, is seriously used to suggest that it makes not difference whether the battle was fought or whether the fortress fell. We should not be here at all, to moralise about the ivy on castles and the corn on battlefields, if some of the great conflicts of history had gone the other way. If certain barbarian invasions had finally swept certain civilised districts, men would very probably have forgotten how to grow corn, and would certainly have forgotten how to write poems about ivy.

Of some such Eastern Imperialist it was said, as a sort of proverb, that the grass would not grow where he had set his foot. Europe has been saved from turning gradually into such a desert by a series of heroic and historic wars of defence, such as that of the Greeks against the Persians, of the Romans against the Carthaginians, of the Gauls against the Huns, of Alfred against the Danes, or Charles Martel agains the Moors. In each one of these cases the importance of the result does not decrease, but does definitely increase with time. It increases with every new generation that is saved from that destruction, with ever new civilised work that is built on that security, with every baby that might never have been baptised or reared, with every blade of grass that might never have grown where it grows today (November 23rd, 1918).

Though the darkness has returned and Moloch is again in his high place, yet what was gained by their sacrifice will at least always have been gained. Whether or not there can still be continuity for our civilisation, those young men have at least left us an example. So in those words of Tolkien that so moved his friend Lewis, both of whom fought on the Western Front, I say that these were “great deeds, not wholly vain”.


Well. Gosh. Cameron is back with an overall majority. He owes it essentially to the SNP (assisted by the polls pointing to a much tighter race). Jim Murphy’s analysis of the reasons seems basically sound: people in Scotland thought they could vote SNP and still get Labour in Westminster; people in England were determined that they were not going to be held to ransom. The only way of insuring they were not was a Tory government. People in Scotland voted SNP for a vast coalition of frequently incompatible reasons:

1. They want Scottish Independence (and don’t care about the other policies)

2. They think the SNP are running Scotland rather well

3. They want a further left Labour Party

4. They think they can soak the English for lot more if the SNP hold the balance of power in Westminster

5. They are fed up of being taken for granted by Labour

6. They hate the English

The first and second of these groups includes many people on the centre right. The sixth includes many people who are essentially far right (and even support Glasgow Rangers). The fourth group are cynics and probably represent quite a large proportion of the whole. The fifth should definitely not be underestimated. The SNP would like you to believe that the third is most or even all of the story. I suspect it is a much smaller part of the story than most people imagine.

The best thing Her Majesty’s Government can do now is to give the greatest possible degree of (especially fiscal) autonomy to Scotland. Without Westminster paying off the credit card the SNP might just find it has won more than enough rope to hang itself.

The only legitimate society is the City of God, the earthly portion of which is the Catholic Church (militant). The visible head (and supreme earthly judge) of the members of the Church is the Pope. The ecclesiastical hierarchy which governs the Church militant is forbidden to administer earthly affairs (that is: matters pertaining to property, autonomy and marriage) beyond the bare necessities required to sustain the preaching of the Gospel, the administration of the sacraments and the maintenance of the canons. Those lay Christians who have not been given the graces necessary to bind themselves to the counsels by vow are obliged to continue to administer earthly affairs and require a social authority to do so. This authority is called the temporal power as distinct from the spiritual power exercised by the ecclesiastical hierarchy. As temporal goods are ordered to the supernatural final end those who exercise the temporal power do so subject to the judgement of the spiritual power and may do so legitimately only if they are members of the Church militant (a question subject to the judgment of the spiritual power). Inside the Church an apostate prince loses power ipso facto.
A temporal community is inside the Church when by its constitutional law it fulfils its obligation to submit to the ecclesiastical hierarchy. This is an obligation consequent upon the obligation of natural law upon all men and communities of men to recognise and embrace the true religion. Once this obligation is fulfilled the temporal community necessarily recognises its limited jurisdiction over earthly affairs and submits to the supreme jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
The temporal power is a necessary part of human life and consequently whosoever exercises it outside the Church the faithful must submit to that authority whenever it does not conflict with natural or divine law (even though such a person ex hypothesi fails in his obligation to worship God individually and qua ruler in the manner God has appointed). Inside the Church a temporal authority which is judged to have sinfully misused the temporal power may be sanctioned and if necessary deposed by the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Outside the Church this power would equally obtain were it not that it would contravene the divine law prohibition on forcible conversion. Those in the Church who exercise the temporal sword may do so upon their own initiative or as directed by the spiritual power to chastise or depose those outside the Church who grossly and obstinately violate the natural law or prevent the preaching of the Gospel, or (inside the Church) to execute the sentence of the spiritual power against an offending member of the faithful (including a delinquent wielder of the temporal power).
In the appointment of the temporal ruler in the Church the relevant civil laws are to be followed. In the event that these laws are entirely frustrated (whether on account of their own failure in particulars or because they cannot be obeyed without sin) the spiritual power may exceptionally appoint the temporal ruler. This is exceptional because the appointment of the wielder of the temporal sword is itself an exercise of the temporal sword which the holder of the spiritual sword may not ordinarily wield. The civil laws may allot to the spiritual power the authority regularly to appoint (or participate in the appointment of) the temporal ruler only where this is unavoidable to sustain the preaching of the Gospel, the administration of the sacraments and the maintenance of the canons. This will generally be the case in regard to the election of the emperor and the appointment of the administrators of the papal state but in other instances only in exceptional (though potentially prolonged e.g. the Dark Ages) circumstances. The temporal power may coerce in regard to divine law only as directed by the spiritual power and only inside the Church. It may proscribe idolatry and the promotion of irreligion even prior to fulfilling its obligation to recognise and embrace the true religion.

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