Lower our expectations we must, hmm

All right, let’s take a brief look at the current issue of That Magazine We Don’t Mention, for there’s something in it that’s been annoying my brain the last few days. I mean, more than usual.

Bobbie Mickens has been at a trendy theological conference in the Alpine city of Trent, site of the famous ecumenical council, which gives him the opportunity to whine about the Extraordinary Form and, indeed, the whole of Church history prior to 1962. But this is par for the course, and it’s not that that’s been annoying me.

There’s a big ad for this West End debate on 14 September about whether compulsory celibacy should be abolished, which is an interesting topic even if the discussion is usually hackneyed, and I fear the orthodox side is seriously rhetorically outgunned. On the reformist side of the argument is Tablet trustee Baroness Helena Kennedy, who is a formidable debater, and Tablet director Professor Tina Beattie. On the status quo side are the ubiquitous Jack Valero, who is commendably game to go in for these things; Bishop Malcolm McMahon, who evidently has nothing better to do two days before a papal visit; and Fr Stephen Wang of Allen Hall Seminary. All I have to say about the latter is, if you haven’t yet been exposed to the devastating charisma of Fr Stephen Wang, you’re in for a treat.

But it’s not that.

There is a very short and anodyne piece on the Birmingham Three, which can’t be ignored any more, especially as more keeps leaking out. Since it can’t be ignored, there’s an article that reports the situation without actually explaining what’s going on, let alone asking awkward questions like what exactly Iggy Harrison thinks he’s playing at.

But it’s not that.

We turn to the latest in the patchily interesting “Understanding Benedict” series, and this week the author is the shambling miscreant Ed Stourton. Lord, give me strength. If that wretched toad had been a hoodie-wearing, cider-drinking yob from a sink estate, the Daily Mail would be holding him up as the cause of Broken Britain, but of course Ed went to Ampleforth and is a Tablet trustee, so that’s all right then. Anyway, at the point where theology needs to be discussed, we usually get a load of guff from Fr Tim Radcliffe, but oddly Ed eschews the obvious in favour of quoting extensively from… Fr Stephen Wang. If you think this sounds like an old boys’ club, you have grasped a great truth about the Tablet.

But it’s not that. Nor even is it the editorial on Turkish membership of the EU, which I’ve read three times in the vain hope of finding a point. No, I’m thinking of Clifford’s column. Because, once again, dear old Clifford is in his Karl Rove mode.

We begin with Clifford recalling opinion polling prior to JP2’s visit to Britain in 1982, and the expectation that there would be Protestant resistance to the visit:

In fact, after the Catholic population itself, it was the members of the Free Churches (arguably the most Protestant section of opinion) who were most favourable to the visit. But the greatest opposition came from a hitherto unsuspected body of opinion, which was mainly detected by correlating the result with newspaper readership. Yes, they were Guardian readers.

You don’t say, Clifford! Actually, that could have been determined by just reading the Grauniad, whose approach to such matters often resembles the Protestant Telegraph circa 1971.

…it’s a safe bet that at least as much media attention will be given to those relatively few activists who want to wreck the visit as to what the Pope actually says or does himself, or the hundreds of thousands who will turn out to greet him.

This is true. In fact, something that has struck me about the Protest The Pope Coalition is the disconnect between the amount of sympathetic media coverage it’s been given and the uniformly derisory turnouts at its events. The last picket of Westminster Cathedral attracted fewer than thirty people – even Peter Tatchell only claimed fifty – and they seemed to be heavily made up of professional protesters like Peter. To understand that, you have to consider the Coalition itself, which is the usual anti-religious lash-up of OutRage!, the National ‘Secular’ Society and the Worker-Communist Party of Iran plus a few waifs and strays. When this constellation are organising anti-Islam rallies, it’s normally the WPI who provide the warm bodies, but the Iranian exiles don’t really give a stuff about the Pope either way, and Maryam Namazie seems to have concluded that her time is better spent broadcasting Hekmatist propaganda to the freedom-loving peoples of the world.

If you then factor in the rather elderly and inactive membership of the NSS, and then realise how small OutRage! actually is (hence its reliance on headline-grabbing stunts), you come to the conclusion that there really isn’t a coalition at all. It is no wonder that their public meeting next Thursday, to be addressed by Tatchell, Terry Sanderson and that Italian wackaloon who wants Berlusconi to annex Vatican City, is not being held in the Albert Hall but in a library in Richmond. What the coalition does have is Peter Tatchell, with his tremendous media profile, the enormous respect he’s held in, and his unparallelled ability to sit in a TV studio energetically talking rubbish to anchors who know even less on the subject than he does.

And yet, the Rod Liddles and Johann Haris notwithstanding, Clifford doesn’t care to speculate on why the other side dominates media discourse so completely. That’s a slippery slope that might lead to pondering why the Church’s comms are so awful, and tactless vulgarians might start to wonder aloud what exactly Alexander DesForges and Mary Wang have been doing to earn their keep. And, since CCN is essentially a vacuum, one’s mind turns to Jack and Austen’s Little Voices project and thinks, “Well, it can’t be any worse.”

Catholics might meet trouble halfway by lowering their expectations of the visit…

That would be difficult, as Benny hasn’t even touched down yet and it’s shaping up to be a monumental shambles. Or perhaps by lowering expectations Clifford means taking a stoical attitude towards downsizing plans, like holding the Newman beatification in a shed in Sparkbrook.

…hoping, for instance, that Pope Benedict won’t actually make things any worse than they are already.

It’s not really B16 I’m worried about, not in an environment where Kieran Conry can hail a passing journalist and unload his stream of consciousness with impunity. I suppose a cynic may think Clifford was worried about the Pope saying something controversially orthodox and out of step with the liberal zeitgeist, but that would just be silly.

…the Pope is sometimes the author of his own misfortune, with a clunky public relations touch that leaves ill-chosen words or phrases open to misinterpretation by correspondents looking for copy.

Well, Benedict doesn’t share JP2’s instinct for sugaring the medicine, but those familiar with his work will know that he’s very careful and precise in his choice of words. What he doesn’t do is express himself in soundbites; and let’s also concede that the Holy See press operation (that is, Fr Federico Lombardi and his trusty fax machine) is not state-of-the-art. I merely draw attention once again to the transcendental crapness of English Catholicism’s media operation, which Clifford is surely aware of, and wonder whether our old friend is being slightly disingenuous. Surely not.

We needn’t doubt that Pope Benedict is capable of delivering a message to the British people that they need to hear, despite the strong chance it will be drowned out in the clamour. But the medium is often also the message.

This is Clifford McLuhan just getting into his stride…

They say that to teach mathematics to Jimmy, you not only need to know mathematics, you also need to know Jimmy. So to offer the insights of Catholic faith to the British, you have to know the faith, which the Pope surely does inside out, but also to know the British.

And so we come back to the old Tabletista trope of a Catholicism so thoroughly Anglicised that only some minor liturgical details would distinguish it from the good old C of E. I also for some reason recall Clifford’s old story about how in the runup to JP2’s visit the English bishops organised a team (including a young Fr Vincent Nichols) to draft papal texts with a view to JP giving the feelgood messages he so excelled at, while sidestepping moral or ethical issues that might upset the Guardian-reading public. I get the feeling that some people would quite like to see that happen again.

Finally, Clifford ends up with a little conclusion on the relevance of Cardinal Newman, but sagely warns us against the tendency of modern observers, whether conservative or liberal, to create a Newman in their own image. Tu quoque, mate.


  1. Mark P said,

    August 7, 2010 at 1:13 am

    What’s so lunatic about favouring the abolition of the Vatican as a state? It doesn’t seem any more obviously crazed than advocating the abolition of the various tax haven principalities.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      August 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      That’s a perfectly respectable position. Thinking that Berlusconi is preferable… perhaps more dubious.

      • Mark P said,

        August 10, 2010 at 10:44 pm

        I’m not sure how Italy currently having a pretty malevolent government effects the argument very much at all. It isn’t as if Vatican City has a citizenry aside from a handful of church functionaries and their families to subject to Berlusconi’s misrule.

        In fact, speaking of the rights of those church functionaries and their families, they currently live in a “state” which denies them the vote, which habitually revokes their citizenship when they cease to be useful and which, I think a case could be made, exercises a policy of religious discrimination in employment.

        Perhaps the Soros Foundation could be convinced to set up a few “democratisation” NGOs amongst the oppressed citizenry of the Vatican.

  2. Ken MacLeod said,

    August 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

    There’s always the chance that some of your new readers will wonder what ‘Hekmatist’ means, and Google it …

  3. August 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

    “..the Grauniad, whose approach to such matters often resembles the Protestant Telegraph circa 1971”.

    Naw, that’s just silly, even if meant as a joke.

    The Guardian is representative of a kind of bastardised ‘Sea of Faith’ influenced agnosticism – a very liberal Anglican agnosticism if you like. Basically it’s default mode is to think religion – qua religion – basically Isn’t Very Important But May Just Have Something In It If All Those Cultured and Clever Religious People in the Past Thought Important Thoughts. The paper generally thinks religion is important sociologically though. But, in my view correctly, it barely registers English Catholics as a coherent sociological group in this sense. To be fair, it’s more sensitive to Scottish and, obviously, Irish differences.

  4. Tiggy said,

    August 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Superb again Mr Sunrise. Find it hard to disagree with anything you say here.
    Charlie Mc. Sense of humour by-pass?

  5. The Sanctimonious One said,

    August 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    What a devastatingly accurate critique. The piss-poor Vatican PR operation could only be outdone in ineffective incompetence by AdF and CCN. It’s not as if there haven’t been generous financial offers to provide a proper PR function in the run up to the Papal Visit. The only possible explanation is that they’ve realised just how crap they are and don’t dare let anybody come in from outside and show our outstandingly unaware Bishops what the rest of us can plainly see.

  6. Chris Williams said,

    August 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Splinty, if I opined that the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the people behind the Tablet were the same, you would point and laugh. I’m afraid that your attempt to treat the Guardian’s approach to religion and that of the NSS as the same is equally point- and laugh-worthy. “Just how big is Splinty’s blind spot?” is the question. I’m not enjoying this ongong process of finding out the answer, as it happens.

    Come on man, analyse – it’s what you can do. Any fucker can winge incoherently about his oponents, and most of them do, which I why I don’t bother reading them. Coherence is rare and to be prized.

  7. The Sanctimonious One said,

    August 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    But the problem, Chris, with your post is that the people behind The Tablet and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in E&W are the same people or, at the very least, the former are the proxies of the latter. It was, after all, Clifford Longley who was asked by the Bishops to draft for them the oft quoted but lamentably economically ignorant ‘The Common Good’ and its illiterate

    • The Sanctimonious One said,

      August 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      (sorry-train went over points)

      …little sister ‘Taxation for the Common Good’.

  8. Sue Sims said,

    August 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    “Splinty, if I opined that the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the people behind the Tablet were the same, you would point and laugh.”

    Would he? I wouldn’t. To be fair, the bishops aren’t ‘behind’ the Tablet, but the bishops and the Tabletistas read from the same hymn sheet: the hymns were mostly written by Hubert Richards, Bernadette Farrell, the St Louis Jesuits and Paul Inwood.

  9. Sadie Vacantist said,

    August 7, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    The key issue is whether Iran and a.n. other “rogue state” will be bombed before B16 sets foot. If so, and history does tend to repeat itself, it could be 1982 revisited.

    Guns of August anyone? This could be the big one …

  10. robert said,

    August 8, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I doubt the US will attack Iran or allow Israel to do so.


    • Sadie Vacantist said,

      August 8, 2010 at 10:35 pm

      If the NZ Herald says the US and Israel will not attack Iran then I guess it must be true.

      On the subject of NZ, a soccer player from that country had a ghosted column in the London Daily Mail for the duration of the World Cup. After the match against Italy he used the column to accuse the Italians of cheating on the basis that they kept placing their cheekbones next to his elbows in order to get him yellow-carded.

      I am now a convinced Holocaust denier.

      • August 9, 2010 at 3:20 am

        LOL, you’re talking about Rory Fallon, who believes that the Lord God almighty specifically told him not to leave Plymouth Argyle. (But the Italians did spend that entire game diving and milking free kicks. Didn’t do them much good – 1-1, greatest football result in NZ history.)

  11. shane said,

    August 8, 2010 at 3:10 am

    What is secularism? Should it just involve the government remaining neutral in religious disputes or should the government be actively anti-religious? It seems like the NSS believes in the latter.

    Religious liberty includes more than just the right to privately hold religious convictions. It also encompasses, at least in most developed countries, the right to freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to campaign on political and social issues, the right to own property, the right to maintain schools, the right to inculcate followers, the right to worship, the right to proslytize and the right of churches to organize their internal affairs free from government interferance.

    In Mexico, the 1917 Constitution forbids the Catholic Church from owning any property; all church buildings and temporalities are declared the property of the state:

    Religious institutions known as churches, regardless of creed, may in no case acquire, hold, or administer real property or hold mortgages thereon; such property held at present either directly or through an intermediary shall revert to the Nation, any person whosoever being authorized to denounce any property so held. Presumptive evidence shall be sufficient to declare the denunciation well founded. Places of public worship are the property of the Nation, as represented by the Federal Government, which shall determine which of them may continue to be devoted to their present purposes. Bishoprics, rectories, seminaries, asylums, and schools belonging to religious orders, convents, or any other buildings built or intended for the administration, propagation, or teaching of a religious creed shall at once become the property of the Nation by inherent right, to be used exclusively for the public services of the Federal or State Governments, within their respective jurisdictions. All places of public worship hereafter erected shall be the property of the Nation.

    Mexico has a particularly monstrous, even bloodthirsty, history of anti-clericalism. Up until recently, clergy and religious were denied the franchise and were forbidden from wearing religious garb in public. When John Paul II visited Mexico in 1979, he was threatened by state officials with a fine of 50 pesos for wearing his habit (the then-president Jose Lopez Portillo offered to pay it).

    While many of these disabilities (penal laws) have been repealed, the Mexican constitution still bans clergy from speaking out on ‘political’ matters: “Religious ministers shall neither enter into political associations among them, nor promote or attack any candidate, political party or political association whatsoever. They shall abstain themselves from attacking either the country’s laws or the country’s institutions in any public gathering, religious activity or through any religious publicity. They shall also abstain from attacking the national symbols.”

    When Cardinal Rivera campaigned against the legalisation of abortion and same-sex marriage in Mexico City, the left-wing Institutional Revolutionary Party -which has strong Masonic ties and a long tradition of anti-clerical terrorism- called for him to be prosecuted for ‘political interferance’. Left-wing mobs, including the leader of the Democratic Revolution Party, also invaded the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral and, according to the Archdiocese, proceded “kicking open the doors, breaking the security barriers, destroying things, scratching the pews and physically attacking the faithful, which caused a panic among those present, which included old people, women and children”. The Archdiocese was forced to temporarily close the cathedral – which outraged the Mexican left, who publicly reminded the Cardinal that the cathedral was state property. The NSS came close to rationalizing the conduct of these thugs (they refer to them, rather fraternally, as ‘secularists’), mocking the Archdiocese’s ‘overwrought’ reaction. Revealingly the Church’s campaign to repeal persectory laws was described by the NSS as a means of getting “its hands on the levers of power”.

    Mexican lawmakers recently made moves to amend the constitution to help totally eradicate any trace of religious influence from the public sphere, outlaw private and cement the ban on religious ministers from commenting on public policy. The amendment would also ban private schools from giving any religious instruction. According to human rights activist, Luke Goodrich, the Deputy Litigation Director for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty:

    Last week, Mexico’s lower house of Congress began the process of amending the Mexican Constitution to formally declare the country to be “laica”—meaning “lay” or “secular.” […]Unfortunately, the context surrounding the amendment suggests that it might be a step backwards for religious liberty and true separation of church and state. The amendment comes on the heels of a heated political dispute, in which Catholic officials condemned Mexico City politicians for legalizing same-sex civil unions and adoption. Church officials have also drawn attention by leading vocal, public opposition to a 2007 Mexico City law that legalized first-trimester abortions. Thus, Jaime Cardenas Garcia, a congressional supporter of the amendment, has said the amendment is necessary because of the presence of “a militant Catholic Church” that opposes legal reforms. Another congressional supporter, Feliciano Marin Diaz, has argued that the amendment is necessary to ensure that “religious beliefs” will not be used to support political allies or oppose political adversaries. In short, the proposal of the amendment shortly after these high-profile political disputes, together with some statements of its supporters, suggests that it might be an attempt to suppress the Catholic Church’s ability to engage in public policy debates.

    […]In 2009, Mexico City hosted an international conference on religious liberty in Latin America sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization—the first event of its kind in Mexico City. In his speech during the conference, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson decried the notion, still prevalent in Mexico, that “religious beliefs are not welcome in the public square, or worse are not allowed in the public square.” Jorge Trasloheros, a prominent Mexican sociologist, explained that many Mexican elites view religion not as “the opium of the masses” (as Marx did), but as “the tobacco of the masses”—an unhealthy habit that should be eradicated from public spaces.

    Thus, in Mexico, public expressions of religious belief are often viewed as impolite or worse, especially when made in connection with politics. For example, when President Calderon suggested in June that “young people drug themselves because they don’t believe in God” he was excoriated for violating the separation of church and state and, more tellingly, for forgetting that faith is “reserved to the private sphere of individuals” and is unwelcome in politics, which is “a primary activity of the public sphere.” In short, under one popular view of “separation,” religiously motivated arguments—offered either by the church or by politicians—are an illegitimate form of public discourse. The proposed “laica” amendment looks like it might be an attempt to codify this sentiment.

    But who cares? Why not codify the idea that religious arguments are unwelcome in the public square? First, since religious beliefs are inseparable from the individual, forcing religious arguments from the public square effectively forces religious individuals from the public square. Utilitarians, Nihilists, Capitalists, and Socialists can all bring their philosophy to bear on public life, but Catholics (or other religious minorities) must check their religion at the door. Such second-class citizenship is no more acceptable when imposed on religious individuals than when it is imposed on racial or ethnic minorities. It is, simply put, religious discrimination.

    This appalling attack on religious liberty is implicitly praised by the NSS as a ‘reassertion of Mexico’s secular credentials’. According to the NSS: “the Catholic Church wants a version [of secularism] that permits it to retain, and even expand, its political influence, whereas modernisers want the Church to be stripped of all political control.” “Political control” here being nothing more than the ability to articulate the Church’s social doctrine. Not only do the NSS want an institutional seperation of church and state (which I can live with) but they also give their support, at least in this instance, to the criminalization of religious ministers who speak out against abortion or gay marriage.

    In NSSland, the state would not only seperate itself from religion, it would actively persecute it.

  12. shane said,

    August 8, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Even in more developed countries, such as Australia, Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Hickey were threatened with legal action for ‘contempt of parliament’ when they said that MPs who voted for cloning, embryonic stem cell reasearch or abortion would not be allowed to receive Holy Communion. In Canada, federal and provincial Human Rights Commissions have been regularly prosecuting Christians who speak out against homosexuality and recently investigated a Catholic bishop for sacking an openly homosexual altar server. In Ireland, when the Vatican issued a directive banning those with ‘deep seated’ homosexual tendencies from entering seminary, it was denounced by quangocrat Niall Crowley, then CEO of the Equality Authority (a statutory body) and the Irish Times wanted the document’s instructions to be made illegal. Likewise priests who disseminated a Vatican document condemning homosexuality were warned by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties that they could face up to 6 months imprisonment under the Incitement to Hatred Act.

    I suspect religious liberty throughout the world, but especially Europe, will be severely curtailed in the next few years. Religious property will be confiscated, religious schools abolished or denied public funding and secular civics courses made mandatory (as in Spain, where children are taught in schools that homosexuality is acceptable) and also compulsory (relativistic) RE courses (as in Quebec). Watch out for ‘anti-discrimination’ laws making it illegal for churches to refuse ordination to women, recently called for in the Irish Times.

    • Tiggy said,

      August 8, 2010 at 8:14 am

      Bring on the persecution, a sure sign that The Church is following the master. It will also make it stronger. It always has in the past. Ireland being case and point.

      • shane said,

        August 9, 2010 at 12:42 am

        If the economy goes to the dogs, churches will be the among the first (perhaps after the banks) to go up in flames. I think you may see a return to what Catholics faced during the Spanish Republic or Revolutionary France: the mass-murder of clergy along with violent campaigns of dechristianization. Of course such an unhappy prospect does also give hope of finally clearing out the Vatican II dead-wood and ‘traditionalizing’ the Church in Ireland.

      • Phil said,

        August 10, 2010 at 8:56 am

        So not all bad, then.

  13. Tiggy said,

    August 9, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I wonder, if the Church would not be the place people turn too in harsh times. Ireland, as I am sure you know, is very different to France and Spain.

    • shane said,

      August 9, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      An anti-clerical campaign won’t necessarily be by popular demand. I can certainly see some militant anti-clericals (anarchists, socialists, bourgeois liberals, general looters etc) exploiting an economic calamity to avenge historic grievances. You don’t need a lot of people to burn down a church. If we end up like Greece a few months ago (and Prof Ray Kinsella is predicting much worse), and if we see worker demonstrations on the streets, or a general breakdown of law and order, it’s always very hard to keep crowds under control. The anger is certainly there.

  14. Sadie Vacantist said,

    August 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Pius XI complained about the treatment of Catholics in Mexico (Leon Trotsky sort refuge there) and drew attention to the role Jewish intellectuals were playing both there and in Spain.

    Many are oblivious to the dangers now facing the Church. This is an opponent which is capable of anything. I share Shane’s pessimism and see only 2 ‘outballs’. A 3rd World War and/or a Second Revolution in the USA. The latter is the least bloody of the two options but will be bloody nevertheless.

    Thomas Jefferson’s quote is sadly prescient:

    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty … And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

    The same goes for us as well. Who is pumping “Gaudium et Spes” now?

  15. robert said,

    August 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    There’s a flamewar about the Pope’s visit going on over at SUN


  16. Garibaldy said,

    August 10, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I doubt anyone sees the catholic church as enough of a power in the south to warrant burning it in an orgy of revolutionary excitement/mob violence.

    And as for why the church was on the receiving end of violence in revolutionary France and revolutionary Russia, I strongly recommend that people read Arno Meyers’ book The Furies. If you foment civil war against the new regime, people tend to react badly.

  17. sadie vacantist said,

    August 10, 2010 at 10:48 am


    I think it was during a public address and not an encyclical. I can’t find the reference – apologies.

    In any event unless the stranglehold of the neocons is broken in the USA, the World is becoming an increasingly unsafe place. If Israel or USA nuke Iran then goodness knows what will happen. I have stopped reading or listening to anything anymore other than the likes of you on blogs such as Splinty’s. I pity anyone who spent 50k studying history at a British university for I suspect Irving and Williamson have been right all along. The Catholic Church has bought into the lies and we have actively participated in our own destruction since 1962.

  18. Heavens to Betsy said,

    August 10, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Oh God Almighty.

    (Bangs head against brick wall)

    Ever heard of Edith Stein, Sadie?

  19. Heavens to Betsy said,

    August 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Those Jewish intellectuals we should be very very scared of:

    Edith Stein.

    Bernard Nathanson.

    Israel Zolli.

    Jean Marie Lustiger.

    Robert Novak.

    Professor David Oderburg.

    Saul of Tarsus.

    By the way, has anyone seen Jim Denham?

    There are times when I wish he’d show up. This is one of them.

    • Sadie Vacantist said,

      August 10, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      None of these are Jewish but Catholic converts. What is your point? As a tea party activist’s banner in Washington read recently:

      “You’re gonna say I’m racist/anti-semite* whatever I put”.

      *Delete as necessary.

      I would suggest that the growing resistance to the cabal controlling Washington is now our only hope.

      • Phil said,

        August 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm

        If you make dark comments about the insidious influence of “Jewish intellectuals”, darn tooting we’re gonna say you’re anti-semitic.

  20. robert said,

    August 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Yes one can get so infuriated by bogus allegations of antisemitism by defenders of Israel that it’s easy to forget that there is plenty of genuinely noxious anti semitism out there.

    • Dr. X said,

      August 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

      ‘Out there’? Some of it is on here.

      • robert said,

        August 10, 2010 at 10:55 pm


  21. Sadie Vacantist said,

    August 11, 2010 at 9:54 am


    What is a “dark comment”? Please show me an example of me indulging in dark commentary.

    I understand the predicament and the silly games one is forced to endure both in the USA and Europe: accuse someone of racism or anti-Semiticism as a dialogue stopping tactic.

    Israel is contemplating a tactical nuclear strike of Iran. It is now anti-Semitic to question the wisdom of this?

  22. CharlieMcMenamin said,

    August 11, 2010 at 10:32 am

    On your dark commentary.

    It certainly is anti-semitic to suggest that ‘Jewish intellectuals’ (are they ‘cosmopolitans’ too I wonder? ) were singled out for blame for the perceived problems (from a Catholic point of view) in Mexico, Republican Spain and the USSR. Either it is true – and even Shane doubts it I note – that a Pope said this which would be prima facie evidence of his anti-antisemitism or you’ve made it up, which would be prima facie evidence of yours.

    In the light of this, one must also stir uneasily at your use of the word ‘cabal’. Wiki succintly defines the word:
    “Cabals are sometimes secret societies composed of a few designing persons, and at other times are manifestations of emergent behavior in society or governance on the part of a community of persons who have well established public affiliation or kinship. The term can also be used to refer to the designs of such persons or to the practical consequences of their emergent behavior, and also holds a general meaning of intrigue and conspiracy. Its usage carries strong connotations of shadowy corners, back rooms and insidious influence; a cabal is more evil and selective than, say, a faction, which is simply selfish; because of this negative connotation, few organizations use the term to refer to themselves or their internal subdivisions.”

    Now where have I heard that before I wonder?

    And the fact that Edith Stein was a catholic convert hardly saved her from antisemitism, did it?

    In short, I think Splinty is making something of an error in allowing your increasingly offensive comments.

  23. Dr. X said,

    August 11, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Either that or Splinty has buried himself so deep in the bosom of ‘Mother Church’ that he actually endorses Sadie’s disgusting views.

    Which is it, Mr. Sunrise?

  24. Heavens to Betsy said,

    August 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Of course he doesn’t, anymore than I do.

    Let offensive comments be made and be seen to be made.

    Then let us attack them at our leisure.

    Free speech is a weapon against bigotry, Dr X, not a hindrance.

  25. Dr. X said,

    August 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Who’s calling for anyone or anything to be banned?

  26. Sadie Vacantist said,

    August 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    SYLVESTER I. Condemned Jewish anti-Christian activity.

    GREGORY I (‘The Great’). Protested wholesale circumcision of Christian slaves by Jewish traders, who monopolized the slave trade in Europe and the Middle East and were widely suspected of supplying white girls to Oriental and African buyers.

    GREGORY VIII. Forbade Jews to have power over Christians, in a letter to Alfonso VI of Castile.

    GREGORY IX. Condemned the TALMUD as containing “every kind of vileness and blasphemy against Christian doctrine.”

    BENEDICT XIII. His Bull on the Jewish issue (1450) declared:

    “The heresies, vanities and errors of the TALMUD prevent their knowing the truth.”

    JULIUS III. Contra Hebreos retinentes libros (1554) ordered the TALMUD burned “everywhere” and established a strict censorship over Jewish genocidal writings – an order that has never been rescinded and which presumably is still binding upon Catholics.

    PAUL IV. Cum nimis absurdim (1555) promulgated immediately after his coronation, was a powerful condemnation of Jewish usury. It embodies a model legal code to curb Jewish power that was recommended to all communities.

    PIUS IV. Condemned Jewish genocidal writings.

    PIUS V. Hebraeorum gens (1569) expelled all Jews from the Papal States.

    GREGORY XIII. Declared that Jews

    “continue to plot horrible crimes” against Christians “with daily increasing audacity.”

    CLEMENT VIII. Condemned Jewish genocidal writings.

    ALEXANDER VIII. Condemned Jewish genocidal writings.

    BENEDICT XIV. Quo Primum 1751) denounced Jewish control of commerce and “systematical despoliation” of the Christian through usury.

    PIUS VII. Known generally as an ‘anti-Semite’ by Jewish writers.

    BENEDICT XV. Warned, in 1920, against

    “the advent of a Universal Republic which is longed for by all the worst elements of disorder.”

    This is resented by some Jews because of their active sponsorship and direction of such projects as the League of Nations and United Nations. – And in effect, all Popes who have issued editions of the Index Expurgatorius, in which Jewish genocidal and anti-Christian writings are condemned, according to the instructions of the Council of Trent.

    • shane said,

      August 11, 2010 at 9:53 pm

      Sadie your extensive references are very interesting but I think they can be interpreted in a different spirit. Undoubtedly both popes and councils throughout history – with the perfectly laudable intent of preventing Jews from abusing the hospitality of Christian countries – have exhorted Catholics to suppress the explicitly murderous and anti-Christian contents of the Talmud. Similar proscriptions were directed against the popular dissemination of Protestant heresies, but moreso in the interests of preserving religious purity. But these are disciplinary canons – and even if the Julian decree (Contra Hebreos retinentes libros) was still extant, it would have been deprived of juridicial force by the promulgation of the 1917 Codex Iuris Canonici. But even a few years after that decree, we see Sixtus V giving dispensations, and even Blessed Pius IX allowed copies of the Talmud to be printed on condition that the more repugnant contents be expunged. I think we would do well to emulate Gregory IX’s maxim: “Est autem Judæis a Christianis exhibenda benignitas quam Christianis in Paganismo existentibus cupimus exhiberi” (Christians must show Jews the same kindness which we desire to be shown to Christians in pagan lands)

      “BENEDICT XV. Warned, in 1920, against “the advent of a Universal Republic which is longed for by all the worst elements of disorder.” This is resented by some Jews because of their active sponsorship and direction of such projects as the League of Nations and United Nations”

      I think Benedict XV is speaking there specifically about the communist conception of a global utopia (to quote Lenin: “the complete victory of Communism will bring about the definite disappearance of every State”), in which nationalities and private proprietorship would be entirely abolished. Immediately after your quotation his Holiness concludes: From this republic, based on the principles of absolute equality of men and community of possessions, would be banished all national distinctions, nor in it would the authority of the father over his children, or of the public power over the citizens, or of God over human society, be any longer acknowledged. If these ideas are put into practice, there will inevitably follow a reign of unheard-of terror..

      I don’t think he’s condemning a League of Nations as such; in Pacem Dei Munus Pulcherrimum he seems to commend the idea:

      17. Things being thus restored, the order required by justice and charity re-established and the nations reconciled, it is much to be desired, Venerable Brethren, that all States, putting aside mutual suspicion, should unite in one league, or rather a sort of family of peoples, calculated both to maintain their own independence and safeguard the order of human society. What specially, amongst other reasons, calls for such an association of nations, is the need generally recognized of making every effort to abolish or reduce the enormous burden of the military expenditure which States can no longer bear, in order to prevent these disastrous wars or at least to remove the danger of them as far as possible. So would each nation be assured not only of its independence but also of the integrity of its territory within its just frontiers.

      18. The Church will certainly not refuse her zealous aid to States united under the Christian law in any of their undertakings inspired by justice and charity, inasmuch as she is herself the most perfect type of universal society. She possesses in her organization and institutions a wonderful instrument for bringing this brotherhood among men, not only for their eternal salvation but also for their material well-being to the sure acquisition of eternal blessings. It is the teaching of history that when the Church pervaded with her spirit the ancient and barbarous nations of Europe, little by little the many and varied differences that divided them were diminished and their quarrels extinguished; in time they formed a homogeneous society from which sprang Christian Europe which, under the guidance and auspices of the Church, whilst preserving a diversity of nations, tended to a unity that favoured its prosperity and glory. On this point St. Augustine well says: “This celestial city, in its life here on earth, calls to itself citizens of every nation, and forms out of all the peoples one varied society; it is not harassed by differences in customs, laws and institutions, which serve to attainment or the maintenance of peace on earth; it neither rends nor destroys anything but rather guards all and adapts itself to all; however these things may vary among the nations, they are all directed to the same end of peace on earth as long as they do not hinder the exercise of religion, which teaches the worship of the true supreme God.”And the same holy Doctor thus addresses the Church: “Citizens, peoples and all men, thou, recalling their common origin, shalt not only unite among themselves, but shalt make them brothers.”

      • Garibaldy said,

        August 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

        Of course Benedict XV meant communism. Interesting though that Sadie links “the worst elements of disorder” with Jewish people. I think we all know what we are dealing with.

        And Shane, bit surprised to see this from you.

        “with the perfectly laudable intent of preventing Jews from abusing the hospitality of Christian countries”

        That seems to suggest that Jewish people were guests in christian countries. Even Cromwell recognised this as bigoted persecution. And then of course the French Revolution did away with such thinking at a political level, in one of the seminal moments of modern democracy – equal civic rights for all religions.

  27. CharlieMcMenamin said,

    August 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Dr X,
    “Who’s calling for anyone or anything to be banned?”

    That would be me….

  28. August 12, 2010 at 12:10 am

    This thread reminds me of I Claudius: “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.” (I wish the “Jewish intellectual cabal” crowd here would meet up with the “criticism of Israel = you personally did the Holocaust” crowd who infest Socialist Unity and the two could mutually annihilate.)

  29. Sadie Vacantist said,

    August 12, 2010 at 7:33 am


    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

    “Christians must show Jews the same kindness which we desire to be shown to Christians in pagan lands” – I agree and this kindness has been extended in the USA in particular but look and see what is happening. Or look and see what happened in the Soviet Union before they were compelled to restart the pogroms. Putin has also been lukewarm to Jews and Russian history books are now starting to explictly record the role Jewish intellectuals and apparatchiks played in his country’s own bloody past.

    Wiki’s description (above) strikes me as excellent. What is interesting is the use of the legal term “prima facie” by the blogger. In essence anyone who dares criticise Israel is placed on trial or is subject to criminal proceedings and then presumably banned from the blog: you anti-Semite, racist etc …! It is a very aggressive way to proceed and mirrors the aggression that the Jewish cabal have wrought in Iraq and Afghanistan. My contention is that this same group is pushing the USA to ‘green light’ military intervention in Iran of a devastating variety and who knows where else? The ancient, noble and highly educated people of Iran believe that at least 2 countries will be attacked in the coming weeks or months.

    The Catholic Church has bought into the post-1945 paradigm and the complicity became more aggressive after 1962 with J23’s disastrous council. We are now a situation where the present Pope is having to defend reason itself in order to spearhead dialogue with the modern World. The Holy Father’s clear implication is that the post-1945 ‘settlement’ (as in the present status quo of Anglo-American hegemony in support of Israel) is nothing more than a racket and that there is nothing reasonable (nor ever was) about the victors’ behaviour and thus contrary to what we read in 98% of our history books or glean from Hollywood’s effusions (did I mention Hollywood?). The most the Holy Father is allowed to say about the war for example, is that the “German people suffered too”. Suffered? 100,000 women in Berlin alone were raped during the occupation. German soldiers wre either slaughtered or continued to be used as slave labour up until at least 1947. Cities of negligible strategic value blown to bits. Women and children deliberately murdered. The same is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. That it is a German Pope implying all this is not the irony it first appears. Or, as I stated before, I suspect there is no irony in it at all or the “irony” has been grossly and absurdly exaggerated.

    Of course, there are different interpretations of B16’s “The German people suffered too” as there of any papal declaration some of which you have kindly endeavoured to interpret and these are all very interesting especially to the scholastic tutored mind. My suspicion though is, that presently, the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran are less than interested in such scholastic interpretations and simply want the holocaust to stop.

    • Phil said,

      August 12, 2010 at 9:22 am

      look and see what happened in the Soviet Union before they were compelled to restart the pogroms


      (Also, what Charlie said.)

  30. CharlieMcMenamin said,

    August 12, 2010 at 9:01 am

    You’re not criticizing Israel – you’re expressing regret that the Catholic Church has turned away from its long history of antisemitism which, as your own references show, long predates the creation of the state of Israel. Personally, as a non Catholic, I would have thought this is a tradition to be deeply ashamed of and to profoundly regret. I cannot imagine you speak for any significant number of contemporary Catholics.

    You are also proposing a very particular interpretation of the traditional libel which has a shadowy Jewish cabal directing international affairs from behind a cloak of secrecy. The only difference in your weird modern twist to this age-old trope is that the American neo-cons (and presumably the Beltway Jewish lobby) have replaced the the former bogeyman of Jewish controlled international communism.

    As Garibaldy says above, I think we all know what we are dealing with.

    It’s Splinty’s call as to whether he wants this sort of thing on his blog of course. Personally, I’d hit the delete button pronto if faced with such sentiments being expressed on mine.

  31. Garibaldy said,

    August 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

    “German soldiers wre either slaughtered or continued to be used as slave labour up until at least 1947.”

    My heart bleeds.

    • Sadie Vacantist said,

      August 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

      Like it does for the Iraqis, Afghans and Iranians?

      • Garibaldy said,

        August 12, 2010 at 11:16 am

        If you’re going to try and link me to support for imperialist wars, you’re really going to have a difficult time. See though if you can spot the difference between fascist troops who had raped, murdered and slaughtered their way over much of Europe, and especially the USSR, and civilians in those countries. It shouldn’t be that difficult. You could start with the theory of Just War.

      • Sadie Vacantist said,

        August 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

        If you are an Englishman then you’re going to have a difficult time not being linked to imperialist wars.

      • Garibaldy said,

        August 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm

        I’m not necessarily sure that’s at all true. There are anti-imperialist English people. But what makes you think I’m English?

        I’m trying to decide if you are someone taking the mick. Alas, I suspect not.

        Although I do find your assumption that you are in a position to judge the pronouncements of the catholic church a little, well, protestant. As I am sure some of the popes you like to quote would have also done. Although they might have termed it heresy.

      • Sadie Vacantist said,

        August 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm

        With respect, I didn’t say you were English. I merely suggested that being English renders a discussion of the horrors of German lebensraum difficult. Given that in an earlier post you took pleasure in the atrocities visited upon unarmed Germans, one might safely assume you are not from Germany.

      • Garibaldy said,

        August 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm

        You implied I was English as far as I could see. And I don’t believe that English people today bear any more responsibility for Bomber Command than Germans do for the Waffen SS.

        As for the poor suffering Nazi soldiers who were treated with a great deal more consideration than they treated others, both military and civilian, like I said. My heart bleeds.

        And as it happens, I’ve met plenty of Germans who believed that extreme measures were necessary to defeat the fascists.

  32. Sadie Vacantist said,

    August 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

    “The only difference in your weird modern twist to this age-old trope is that the American neo-cons (and presumably the Beltway Jewish lobby) have replaced the former bogeyman of Jewish controlled international communism”
    No just the neo-cons all of whom were on the hard left of the American political spectrum. These abandoned the left as their comrades (not illogically) became more and more pro-Palestinian. That move had received initial impetus as Jews started leaving the Soviet Union for Israel as the Russians reacted to the dominance of Jews within the Soviet communist system.

    You clearly have not read Shane’s well thought through rebuttal of my quotes. Catholic Church teaching is and never has been anti-Semitic although anti-Semiticism clearly existed amongst Catholics (as it did everywhere). In fact it was the protestants and secularists who voted Hitler in 1932 and not Catholics and of that we Catholics can be justly proud. Anti-Semiticism was rife in Poland however before the War and Chamberlain found dealing with the junta of anti-Semitic Polish generals who controlled the country more distasteful than negotiating with Hitler. He basically agreed with the latter over Danzig but was forced into offering a ‘vague’ (and it was vague) war guarantee to these anti-Semites in March 1939 by the labour party and his own neocon backbenchers including Churchill. The craziest political decision of the 20th Century. If he had not given the guarantee, an isolated Poland would surely have returned Danzig to its rightful owners.

    • CharlieMcMenamin said,

      August 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

      “You clearly have not read Shane’s well thought through rebuttal of my quotes. Catholic Church teaching is and never has been anti-Semitic”

      That would be Shane’s post where he referred to the “…explicitly murderous and anti-Christian contents of the Talmud..” I take it?

      I note your implied view that WW2 might have been prevented if only Britain had kowtowed to Hitler’s wishes over the Danzig question. I rather take EP Thompson’s view on alternative history: “it’s shit”.

      • Sadie Vacantist said,

        August 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

        We are straying from the subject here but all evidence points to the fact that Chamberlain agreed with Hitler over Danzig. It was the Poles that would not compromise.

    • neilcaff said,

      August 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      Dear oh dear.

      Look Sadie why don’t you have a nice cup of tea and a lie down before you embarrass yourself and your Catholic co-thinkers on this blog any further?

    • Chris Williams said,

      August 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      FFS. Chamberlain issued the guarantees to Poland and Romania without reference to their anti-Semitism or otherwise. He did so because Hitler had just torn up the Munich agreement by annexing the rump of Czechoslovakia. SV, as well as an antisemite you are also an ignoramus. If you’re representative of contemporary Catholicism then it’s bad news for those of your co-religionists with brains.

      • sadie vacantist said,

        August 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm

        That is not what Chamberlain saw happening. He saw everybody grabbing a piece of the disintegrating construct “Czechoslovakia” and not just the Germans. This included the Poles who took a piece. (The construct also disintegrated after the collapse of the Berlin Wall). The Czechs and Slovaks were, for the most part, well treated by the Germans and Prague remained in tact. By 1945 however “Czechoslovakia” was in a worse state than in 1938 as in occupied by the Soviets. So much for Britain’s concern about its fate. In stark contrast, the Poles who threw in their lot with Britain, were devastated which included most of its major cities. The final indignity was when Churchill dumped them in 1945 just as he done the Czechs. Britain should have gone to war at Munich for Prague? Then why was Prague part of the Soviet empire in 1945? Britain did go to ‘phoney’ war for Warsaw in 1939. Then why was Warsaw also part of the Soviet empire in 1945? These questions are all glossed over by the sadistic pleasure Britain and the USA took in destroying Germany.

        My advice is never believe anything an Englishman tells you. If forced to negotiate with him take with you a fork, mercury and someone of De Valera’s calibre as your adviser. Indeed Hitler’s biggest mistake was that he failed to do just that in 1938. The British public schoolboy class have a capacity for viciousness which Hitler totally underestimated and found completely confusing. All reports indicate that he could not for one moment understand why Britain declared war in 1939 for a country they could never save and in the end never lifted a finger to help.

      • Chris Williams said,

        August 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

        Gosh, really, ‘Sadie’? Well, thanks for putting me straight on all that. I am totally convinced and accordingly will jack in my job as a lecturer in History. By the way, I’m English, and I’m telling you here and now that the sun rises in the west. Enjoy.

      • Sadie Vacantist said,

        August 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm


        “Enjoy” Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and if you are bored by that list Iran is coming soon and goodness knows where else!

      • Chris Williams said,

        August 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm

        I am a well known supporter of these and other wars, and in no way at all am I someone who’s opposed to them, up to the point of organising antiwar demos with several thousand people on them, and going on the radio and the TV as one spokesman for some of the many people who are against them. Keep on disbelieving the Englishman, ‘Sadie’.

        To Splinty: Is this twat representative of Catholicism? If so, I think that I might rejoin the NSS in order to complain that Sanderson’s not being nearly nasty enough about the RCC.

  33. BenSix said,

    August 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    No just the neo-cons all of whom were on the hard left of the American political spectrum…neocon backbenchers including Churchill

    Wrong, and neatly self-refuted. If these neocons were “all…on the hard left of [American politics]” where does our Winston fit in? I suspect that his credentials as a lefty are as thin as his claim to be, er – from the U.S..

    I pity anyone who spent 50k studying history at a British university for I suspect Irving and Williamson have been right all along.

    Irving was right all along? Well, considering that, at various points, he’s said the Holocaust happened, didn’t happen and happened in part, this means history is damn confused. Either that or you are.

    • Sadie Vacantist said,

      August 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      This was just a manner of speaking on my part in respect of the bloodthirsty and war obsessed Churchill. Neo-con seemed a more polite label than calling him a tyrant and a madman. Churchill had clearly gone completely insane by the time Eden succeeded him. In the same way, Thatcher’s insanity was the reason Howe launched a coup against her. By then Sir John Knott has already expressed his concerns about her behaviour during the Falklands War. Churchill though was an even worse case than Thatcher and the consequences even more horrific.

      It is difficult to find an accurate description of the conservative backbenchers who attacked Chamberlain and joined forces with the Labour party to press for War.

      The American neo-cons have their roots on the Trotskyite left (interesting how Hitchens approves the neo-con project also). The neo-cons changed parties for the motives I have outlined and which nobody here has refuted.

      • CharlieMcMenamin said,

        August 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm

        Not all the original neo cons were leftist, though some were. Not all of the ex-leftists were Trostskyist at any point either.

        The most common explanation of their shift is their reaction to the anti-Vietnam war movement and the sixties ‘counter culture’ more generally. Few commentators claim the movement originated in support for Israel: they were (and largely still are) genuine ‘motherhood and apple pie’ American imperialists. This is not to argue, of course, that most of them (Jewish and non Jewish alike) do anything but strongly support Israel, and support Israel ‘warts and all’ to put it mildly. But it just ain’t true to imagine they shifted from the left on these grounds.

        It’s an bonkers take you have on the origins of WW2.I look forward to your attempts to fit the concept of Lebensraum into your wacky framework. perhaps it was those nasties in the Parliamentary Labour Party and the Tory ‘British India’ backbenchers who were really looking for living room and thus destabilising the continent of Europe?

      • sadie vacantist said,

        August 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

        Time magazine’s Joe Klein (Jewish) has suggested it is legitimate to look at the religion of neoconservatives. He does not say there was a conspiracy but says there is a case to be made for disproportionate influence of Jewish neoconservative figures in US foreign policy, and that several of them supported the Iraq war because of Israel’s interests, though not necessarily in a conscious contradiction to American interests:

        “I do believe that there is a group of people who got involved and had a disproportionate influence on U.S. foreign policy. There were people out there in the Jewish community who saw this as a way to create a benign domino theory and eliminate all of Israel’s enemies….I think it represents a really dangerous anachronistic neocolonial sensibility. And I think it is a very, very dangerous form of extremism. I think it’s bad for Israel and it’s bad for America. And these guys have been getting a free ride. And now these people are backing the notion of a war with Iran and not all of them, but some of them, are doing it because they believe that Iran is an existential threat to Israel.”

        The British Empire expanded by a million square miles at Versailles. You really think Britain can grab the moral high ground in a discussion on lebensraum?

    • Sadie Vacantist said,

      August 12, 2010 at 6:22 pm

      In respect of Irving, he has specific legal reasons for changing his pronouncments on the 3rd Reich. He risks prosecution for his views although Holocaust “denial” was not the reason for his imprisonment in Austria. My understanding is that he offered Richard Williamson advice as to what he could and could not say in public. I am not a close student of Irving’s work.

      • CharlieMcMenamin said,

        August 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm

        First congratulations on finding Wikipedia. But if you read the entire entry you’ll find that Klein’s opinion (which is, to put it mildly, not uncontentious) relates to the current crop of neo cons. You were asserting that the original movement came about because the ‘founding fathers’, as it were, found they could no longer be Trots as they didn’t like the leftist analysis of Israel. Klein’s quote quite specifically doesn’taddress this – it is a view of the motivations behind neo con cheer-leading of the invasion of Iraq.

        On the more focused point of the original discussion issue, can I ask you to recap a bit? It’s been going on so long now, after all. As I understand it you:

        1. Deny being anti semitic in your comments number 14,17 and 26;
        2. Are willing to at least consider Irving’s Holocaust Denial is a plausibly true position (comment 17 and your answer to BenSix , comment 33, made at 6.22pm);
        3. Don’t think anyone English ( or possibly British – or possibly just any Anglo public school boy – it’s a bit unclear) has the right to challenge you or anyone else on these matters.
        4. I understand that you are advancing these views on the basis of your commitment to a religion based on the teachings and life example and sacrifice a figure sometimes known as ‘the Prince of Peace’.

        Have I missed anything out?

  34. Phil said,

    August 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    The title of this post is becoming horribly appropriate. I’m just not sure how much further I can lower them.

  35. robert said,

    August 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    The Catholic church’s record on anti semitism and the Holocaust is so dire that it would make sense for conservative Catholics to steer well clear of the subject rather than making asses of themselves.


  36. WorldbyStorm said,

    August 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Well some of the contributions in comments are certainly living up to the title of the post.

  37. shane said,

    August 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    In fairness, Sadie’s revisionist theories on the Second World War are not new and are fairly mainstream among traditionalist Catholics. The popular pundit Pat Buchanan, ex-Republican vice presidential candidate and author of the best-seller Hitler, Churchill and the Unnecessary War, is also a traditionalist Catholic. Not that it is a solely post-conciliar phenomenon; here is the editorial of the [Irish] Catholic Bulletin of June 1938, long before Britain declared war (September 3, 1939):

    “Where is that city of Danzig? A glance at the map shows that East Prussia is separated from the rest of Germany by a strip of land less than fifty miles wide. This is the famous Polish Corridor, a strip of land joining the inland state of Poland to the Baltic Sea. Between East Prussia and the Corridor the river Vistula flows with the city of Danzig lying across the river at its mouth. The city is the river port.

    Now Danzig, as nobody denies, is overwhelmingly a German city. Its population, history, culture and language are German. However, the river Vistula in all except the few miles which run through Danzig is Polish, and the natural part of Danzig as a trading city is to serve the basin of the Vistula; that is, to serve as the trading centre for Poland. We have therefore a German city with a Polish trade.

    What we are not told by the English newspapers is the treatment that Danzig received from the State of Poland after the Great War. Danzig was too German and too large to be incorporated in the Polish State, so the Peace Conference made a Free City of it under a commissioner appointed by the League of Nations—an office which our fellow- countryman, Mr. Sean Lester, occupied not without credit. The Poles were jealous of this German Free City, and they speedily set to work to build another seaport on the Baltic where their Corridor strikes the sea a little to the North of Danzig.

    This new port bears the Polish name of Gdynia. It cost millions of money to build, for a piece of land ill-suited for development as a seaport was used for this purpose. An enormous new city, with splendid docks and quays, was constructed, and almost the whole external trade of Poland was diverted thereto. Danzig was left to languish without trade, and it is more easy to imagine than to describe the sentiments of the German population of this boycotted Free City. Imagine the mind of a population which was refused liberty to be attached to its own nationality, and was starved by the other nationality in whose interest it was separated.

    Elementary justice manifests the demands that the people of Danzig should be free to hoist their nation’s flag in their own city. Danzig ought to be incorporated in East Prussia and thus to form a city of the Reich. Anyone who denies this denies the principles of nationality and of justice.

    The British refusal to assent to the incorporation of Danzig with Germany is all of a piece with the same nation’s refusal to allow the ardently Irish town of Newry to come under the Irish flag.

    It is an act of infamous aggression against the Reich. The Germans are not content, however, to ask that Danzig be restored to German sovereignty. Herr Hitler has asked Poland to assent to the construction of a German highway across the Polish Corridor, linking Danzig and East Prussia to the German mainland. If the Poles are entitled to possess a corridor to the sea, the Germans are entitled to possess a corridor to East Prussia—that is the German argument. That German highway would not entail the loss of territory to Poland; it would simply mean a road and a railway which would be accessible to German use and policed at German expense.

    Whether the demand is just, we leave to the reader’s judgment but at least it may be affirmed that it is not unreasonable. If the Poles were to assent to it, nobody would be a penny the worse save those who desire the permanent weakening of the German nation. Yet it is astonishing to find with what unanimity the English Press has opposed a German-Polish settlement on these lines…Germany must be kept out of Danzig and denied a corridor to East Prussia even at the cost of another world war.

    In the first place, if we contemplate the outbreak of war, with Poland ranged as an enemy against Germany, it is perfectly evident that Danzig would immediately fall. Time Poles could not hold a German city against its will, when that city was adjacent as Danzig is to German territory on the one side and separated from the German mainland on the other by a strip of only a few miles. Within an hour of the outbreak of war, German forces would be in the city and the tiny strip of land called the Corridor would be completely dominated by German aeroplanes and German guns. Wherever Poland was able to make its stand in war against Germany it would not be in this zone… Whether Germany is in Danzig in time of peace or not, she certainly would be there in time of war. Therefore, to keep her out in time of peace can have no effect on a war situation save to intensify the German resolve to obtain that city and the German indignation against the nation which tried to withhold it from her.

    Germany is not guilty on the Continent of any act of aggression comparable to the British occupation of Northern Ireland or the Partition of Palestine, the seizure of the Sudan or the subjection of India. Yet the spokesman of a nation which has these things to its record assumes that Germany cannot obtain possession of a German port or access to German territory without using these proper privileges to the detriment of its neighbours. The Polish nation would do well to consider carefully what purpose lies behind such propaganda…Poles ought to ask themselves whether they would be wiser to treat the great German nation with respect and to grant it those facilities which Poland itself demands; that is to say, to assent to a reciprocal arrangement in the difficult Corridor area. If Poland refuses such a settlement and prefers to serve British interests by perpetuating the Partition of Germany in the East, she must bear the brunt of the conflict whenever it comes to pass.Let Poles ask themselves whether they should risk their country’s freedom and peace in order to become a cats paw of those powers who have seized the German colonies and are determined to prevent the revival of German power

    • Chris Williams said,

      August 12, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Note the date: dates are important in this. Rather than being a pro-Nazi outlier, the Catholic Bulletin’s line of June 1938 was very similar to that of most of the British press, with the possible exception of the Manchester Guardian. The government’s line was that it was time to revise the Versailles settlement so that European borders reflected ‘ethnic boundaries’ [not every potential ethnicity was counted as such, mind] rather than sticking with the 1919 settlement, which drew up the borders to as to give self-determination to everyone except Germans.

      That’s the key to Munich (Sept 1938), and the explanation for the wide support that Chamberlain had in agreeing to it. The reason the the UK drew a line in the sand over Danzig in April 1939 wasn’t that they’d suddenly stopped being convinced of the abstract case for German control of the Corridor: it was that Hitler had just ripped up the Munich agreement, thus revealing that he couldn’t be trusted with anything sharp.

  38. CharlieMcMenamin said,

    August 12, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Sadie’s theories about WW2 may well, as you say, be commonplace amongst traditional Catholics for all I know.They’re still nonsense nevertheless.

    & – let’s stick to the point – even if there was a shred of truth in them, it still wouldn’t justify the kind of rank and offensive racism she has shown in this discussion.

    • WorldbyStorm said,

      August 13, 2010 at 12:27 am

      That’s precisely the point. Doesn’t matter one iota how widely shared those views are, the racism is the problem. And boy, does it come shining through…

      • shane said,

        August 13, 2010 at 12:32 am

        I disagree with Sadie, but I think he’s talking about Jews in the religious sense, and not as a race.

      • WorldbyStorm said,

        August 13, 2010 at 12:50 am

        I’m not so sure Shane. Hollywood, Hitchens, ‘Jewish’ intellectuals, etc, etc… all these dropped in across a thread as proof of the iniquity of the Jews? I think that goes way beyond ‘religion’.

      • shane said,

        August 13, 2010 at 1:37 am

        WbS, would you consider this to be racist? (….not endorsing it, just looking for your opinion – given that Sadie Vacantist is clearly an SSPXer….)

      • WorldbyStorm said,

        August 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm

        Erm… well just a fraction shane, not least that it appears to see some sort of de facto ‘commercial, social [and] political’ apartheid between Christians and Jews as a satisfactory state of affairs. There are one or two other clues, such as the statements referencing the ‘enmity’ between the two, the accusations about ‘Communism’ etc being fronts for ‘Jewish money’, etc.

        I know this is not something you subscribe to.

  39. August 13, 2010 at 3:56 am

    “I think he’s talking about Jews in the religious sense, and not as a race.”

    Yeah, I don’t buy that one as an excuse for Islamophobia, and I don’t buy it for an excuse for anti-Semitism either.

  40. NollaigO said,

    August 13, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Do Tablet trustees not have to resign if they are divorced or living in sin?

    No standards nowadays even in Holy Mother, The Church !

  41. CharlieMcMenamin said,

    August 13, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I suspect that few will plough through the document on the other end of that link you posted @1.37am. It’s called ‘THE MYSTERY
    OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE IN HISTORY’ By Rev. Frs. Michael Crowdy & Kenneth Novak’ and is apparently published by the American District of the Society of Saint Pius X.

    Much of is couched in theological language I am not qualified to decoded, nor particularly interested in doing so.But I think I can easily answer your question about it – yes, of course it is vile anti semitism.

    1. it says the Jews ‘stirred up’ the Gentiles to kill Christ;
    2. It says the Jews have always behind the great convulsions in the history of Christendom, even to the extent that, “The Jewish spirit triumphed with Protestantism”
    3. Wearily predictably, Jews have also been behind the creation of finance capital (
    “..the Jewish sector, relatively small compared to the Gentile sector which devotes itself to the creation of wealth, controls especially the financial power that is exercised through banks”) and, of course, communism ( “It is a matter of public historical record that Communism was financed by Jewish money. “)

  42. shane said,

    August 15, 2010 at 12:26 am

    I should point out that they took it down from their website at the time of Bishop Williamson controversy.

  43. servingblogger said,

    September 14, 2010 at 11:20 am






    PLEASE !

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