astonishing and unsurprising

Whatever else you might say about the two hundred million horsemen, they don’t waste time. On Monday morning it was reported that Janet Daby, the shadow minister for ‘Women, Faith and Equalities’ (not quite sure what principle of division generated that office) had said that registrars who didn’t see how one man could marry another man should have their consciences respected. By Monday lunchtime, it was reported that she had apologised for her misjudged comments and resigned.

I know a cardinal who is a good example. He confided to me, speaking of these things, that as soon as someone goes to him to talk about those sins below the belt, he immediately says: ‘I understand, let’s move on.’ He stops him, as if to say: ‘I understand, but let’s see if you have something more important. Do you pray? Are you seeking the Lord? Do you read the Gospel? He makes him understand that there are mistakes that are much more important than that. Yes, it is a sin, but… He says to him: ‘I understand’: And he moves on. On the opposite end there are some who when they receive the confession of a sin of this kind, ask: ‘How did you do it, and when did you do it, and how many times?’ And they make a ‘film’ in their head.  But these are in need of a psychiatrist.”


Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacrament of Penance

CANON VII.–If any one saith, that, in the sacrament of Penance, it is not necessary, of divine right, for the remission of sins, to confess all and singular the mortal sins which after due and diligent previous meditation are remembered, even those (mortal sins) which are secret, and those which are opposed to the two last commandments of the Decalogue, as also the circumstances which change the species of a sin; but (saith) that such confession is only useful to instruct and console the penitent, and that it was of old only observed in order to impose a canonical satisfaction; or saith that they, who strive to confess all their sins, wish to leave nothing to the divine mercy to pardon ; or, finally, that it is not lawful to confess venial sins ; let him be anathema.


It is not only the possibility of keeping God’s commandments when in a state of grace which is undermined by this document, but other parts of the revealed word of God also:


 Saint Paul recommended virginity because he expected Jesus’ imminent return and he wanted everyone to concentrate only on spreading the Gospel: “the appointed time has grown very short” (1 Cor 7:29). . . . Rather than speak absolutely of the superiority of virginity, it should be enough to point out that the different states of life complement one another, and consequently that some can be more perfect in one way and others in another (AL 161)

The first part of this passage is contrary to the teaching of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, in the days when it was an organ of the magisterium, that St Paul “said nothing at all in his writings that is not in perfect harmony with the ignorance of the time of the Parousia which Christ Himself declared to be part of man’s condition” (Dz. 3629).

The second part is contrary to the 10th definition of the 24th session of the Council of Trent: “If anyone says that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity than to be joined in marriage, let him be anathema”. The only way that you could save the pope’s words here from the charge of heresy would be if you were to understand ‘it should be enough to point out’, as meaning ‘it is enough for our present purposes to point out’; this may be how it got past the CDF. But what a shocker, to mention a dogma, and then to refuse to assert it.

Capital punishment

 “…The Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia”, but likewise “firmly rejects the death penalty”. (AL 83)

The quotations in this passage come from the final report after the 2015 synod, which itself, absurdly, cites the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2258. CCC 2258 says that no one may directly destroy an innocent human life. This has nothing to do with capital punishment, which the CCC, in line with the universal and ordinary magisterium of the Church, explicitly declares lawful in para. 2267.

Headship of the husband

 Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected.  This includes all improper interpretations of the passage in the Letter to the Ephesians where Paul tells women to “be subject to your husbands” (Eph 5:22).  This passage mirrors the cultural categories of the time, but our concern is not with its cultural matrix but with the revealed message that it conveys. . . .

The biblical text is actually concerned with encouraging everyone to overcome a complacent individualism and to be constantly mindful of others: “Be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21).  In marriage, this reciprocal “submission” takes on a special meaning, and is seen as a freely chosen mutual belonging marked by fidelity, respect and care (AL 156).

Again, this is absurd, though to be fair it is the same as what John Paul II did in Mulieris Dignitatem. As if only the ‘be subject to one another’ counted as the word of God, and ‘wives, be subject to your husbands’ were just words ‘mirroring a cultural matrix’, and of no more relevance now than the kind of ink that the scribe of the Letter to the Ephesians used when he wrote them.

Enough is enough. These errors need to be publicly denounced by bishops before this parallel universe anti-magisterium gets any stronger.

When Ian McEwan writes in today’s Guardian:

The inheritance of the XY chromosome is inalienably connected to maleness. However, biology is not always destiny. That the transgender community should want or need to abandon their birth gender or radically redefine it is their right, which should be respected and celebrated

what on earth does he mean by the word ‘gender’? I suspect that he means nothing by it, and that the true intelligible content of this passage is: “While facts are facts, hurrah for freedom!”




Human beings and other animals have a sex. In certain languages, nouns and sometimes also adjectives have a gender.



If someone says, “I am biologically male, but I identify as a female/feminine/a woman”, there are various things he might mean (identify is a transitive verb, but let that pass.)

He might mean “I am male but I want others to think that I am a woman”. But this is to wish evil to others, for a male human being is necessarily a man, and to be wrong about a necessary truth is an evil for the intellect.

Or he might mean, “I am male, but I should like to be a woman.” But this is a vain and foolish wish, since if someone is a male human being he is necessarily a man, and being a man is incompatible with being a woman.

Or he might mean: “I am male, but I ought to have been a woman.” But this is a confusion of mind, since one’s identity is established by the infusion of a soul into matter which is so disposed that either a male or a female will result. So there is not, and never has been, any ‘I’, independent of the male human being which he is, that could have had some requirement or fitness to exist as a woman.

Or he might mean: “I am male, but I intend by drugs and knives to become a woman.” But this is a vain and vicious plan, since he cannot in this way cease to be a male human being, and therefore a man, but can only mutilate and deform himself unlawfully.

Or he might mean: “I am male, but I wish to pursue the activities characteristic of women”, then he may refer to activities which are necessarily proper to women, such as giving birth, in which case his wish is vain; or he may refer to activities which in his time and place are considered suitable for women and not for men, for example (it may be) cooking or sewing, in which case his wish is not necessarily vicious of itself, but may easily become so in act, by neglect of duty or dignity or needless offence given to others. Thus where men’s and women’s clothes are clearly distinct, a man who wears a woman’s clothes offends his proper dignity and shocks others.



The word ‘gender’, used of men and women, is either a synonym for ‘sex’, in which case it is superfluous; or else it is used to foster vain and vicious desires, or mental confusion, in which case it is pernicious.

Today it is not used as a synonym for sex; and so it should not be used.

The great march of mental destruction will go on. Everything will be denied. . . . Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. . . . We shall fight for visible prodigies as if they were invisible. . . . We shall be of those who have seen and yet have believed (Chesterton in 1905).

Today is perhaps the worst day for Christian civilisation since the fall of France to the freemasons in the 18th century. If I were an American citizen I should certainly be hoping for a secession of the healthier states from the tyranny now being exercised from Washington D.C. Let the whole land-mass be shared between two entities, a real State and the pseudo-state. One cannot live with such people. They are brain-washed. They are more like zombies than human beings. This is not like the co-existence of Catholics and pagans in the Roman empire. The pagans did not by their laws abolish marriage and the family, or even dream of such a thing.

One can pray for these people and do penance for them; one cannot live with them in society.

IT is a miserable time when a man’s Catholic profession is no voucher for his orthodoxy, and when a teacher of religion may be within the Church’s pale, yet external to her faith. Such has been for a season the trial of her children at various eras of her history. It was the state of things during the dreadful Arian ascendancy, when the flock had to keep aloof from the shepherd (from Newman’s ‘Idea of a University’)

The Vatican announced on Monday that Heiner Koch would be the new archbishop of Berlin. He was one of the bishops who participated in the ‘Shadow Synod’ in Rome the other day which according to one of its participants (and the fact is well-known, in any case, and denied by no 0ne), sought “a pastoral opening on issues such as communion for the divorced and remarried, and the pastoral care of homosexuals”.


In a February interview with a German newspaper, Bishop Koch called for changes in the pastoral care of homosexuals, saying that to “portray homosexuality as a sin is hurtful,” adding that the Church “needs a different language when it comes to homosexuals … I know gay couples who value reliability and commitment and live these in an exemplary manner.”

The archbishop of Berlin knows ‘gay couples’ who live their ‘commitment’ to each other in an exemplary way? Clearly we are not talking here about people who suffer from but resist temptations to unnatural lust, or how could he speak of ‘couples’. I don’t see how any reasonable person can think that Koch accepts the Church’s teaching about the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts. Yet this teaching is infallible in virtue of the ordinary and universal magisterium, and whoever denies it is a heretic.

So, what should Berlin’s Catholics do now? If we read in a history of the Church that some Catholics of the mid 4th century had blockaded the door of a cathedral so that the Arian bishop appointed to that see might not take possession of it, we should admire their initiative and determination. I suggest that it would be a good idea for Berlin’s Catholics to do the same. Not to stand to one side and hold placards; to keep him out. They are soldiers of Christ, in virtue of their confirmation. Let them fight for Him, and against Sodom.