A confession

Writing new and original things on CP&S is difficult for me.  On other sites I find it easy enough to write long comments attacking the position of another, making counter-arguments, presenting evidence.

But here I have to try to initiate the conversation.

And it’s hard work.

I would love to express my worry about Michael Voris’s style of communication (not to mention his unlikely hair) while worrying about the apparent witch-hunt against him, but Fr Blake does it so much better (I also have the strong feeling that my only grounds to disagree with some of what Mr Voris is that he says what I’m thinking without all of the pussy-footing around that I am prone to and, for the avoidance of doubt, I disagree with a lot of the things that he says because I think that they’re batsh** crazy). And let’s face it, Mark Shea makes the case better than I could.

I would equally love to discuss the issue of religious freedom, in the context of Nostrae Aetate and the interesting new interpretation of the tradition of the Church, put forward by Prof. Thomas Pink, but Ches has beaten me to it, and explained it in a far more intelligent and intelligible manner than I could ever aspire to.

So, my plea to you, dear and gentle reader: please pick a fight with me, as I need some inspiration to provide you with a little entertainment.

[EDIT: insertions to reflect the fact that I am rather less taken with Mr Voris’ oeuvre than the first draft suggested]

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89 Responses to A confession

  1. Mr Badger says:

    (I also have the strong feeling that my only grounds to disagree with Mr Voris is that he says what I’m thinking without all of the pussy-footing around that I am prone to).

    My main problem with Michael Voris is that he is an enemy of of civil society, and in effect, a Catholic fascist. —- Overstatement!! I hear you say:

    Well here it is straight from the horses mouth. The man either has no knowledge of history, or he has wicked inclinations.

    He has reiterated his views in print as well


  2. The Raven says:


    Thank you, that’s an apposite reminder that Voris has said some deeply unpalatable things about the state. Although, I am not sure that I was ready to be greetedwith the spectacle of his “hair” at this time in the morning.


  3. JabbaPapa says:

    Voris occasionally has some more generally interesting points, but he’s more typically right-wing traditionalist rather than Catholic Pure and Simple, if you don’t mind the borrowing of that phrase 😉

    As concerns not initiating discussions, I really wouldn’t worry about it all. I’m typically more reactive than an originator myself, but it’s worthwhile to remember that the Church asks us to listen and respond more than it will ever ask us for original commentary. We are not Protestants, Agnostics, nor Atheists ; and we do not need to impose our own views to the detriment of the Universal Commonality of our Religion !!


  4. toadspittle says:


    Well, Raven, Toad sadly knows nothing of ‘Voris’ or the other matters of which you wot.
    But he (Toad,that is, not Voris) is always anxious to please – so here is a more general question that has been perplexing the somewhat skeptical sappo recently:

    Does Toad have too much imagination to believe the requisite six impossible Catholic things before breakfast each morning – or not enough?

    (Love the illustration. The beast looks a bit like the Jabberwocky.)


  5. joyfulpapist says:

    It is the improbable I have difficulty believing. People frequently do the impossible. They seldom do what is improbable for a person of their age, type, and personal history.


  6. JabbaPapa says:

    Me : We are not Protestants, Agnostics, nor Atheists

    hmmm it’s just struck me that EVERYONE in the West accepts this quadripartite classification of Catholic/Orthodox – Protestant – Agnostic – Atheist … which is ultimately Catholic in nature and origin. Isn’t it simply cool that everyone in our civilisation is implicitly defining himself or herself in relation to the status of his or her belief in God and the Catholic Church ? 🙂

    Saint Augustine spoke of those true Christians who are outside the Church and indeed ignorant of their own Christianity, and I have faith that those good people outside our Church that have been deluded by the recent onslaught of Satanic propaganda will be forgiven for their sins by our Lord.


  7. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Jabba, I think you’ll find that most people don’t define themselves as you suggest, rather they are totally indifferent.

    Herr Voris reminds me greatly of the 1930s in his rhetoric, and I’m sorry that he broadcasts his repellent views. I think of Brecht’s play ‘ The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’, and its closing words about fascism which remind us that “the bitch that brewed it is in heat again”.

    I find it troubling that Raven expresses concern only about Voris’s style. and admires his way of not pussy footing around the views which Raven seems to share.


  8. The Raven says:

    I’ll be honest, I often agree with Voris when he talks about the Church, but his views on politics are, to my taste, ugly and authoritarian.


  9. toadspittle says:


    ” People frequently do the impossible. Says Joyful confidently, and that’s where Toad and Joyful must part company.
    Because, as she very well knows, the moment anyone does ‘the impossible’ it immediately becomes part of the realm of the real – the ‘unimpossible.’

    Toad has to suppose she means that sometimes people do things that were hitherto considered ‘impossible.’ Not the same thing at all.

    So, the truly impossible cannot be accomplished.
    Any more than the infinite can be measured.
    Or things can be made “more perfect” than they were.

    As Joyful, who is very smart, is well aware. (Semantics, here,to be sure, but they matter. Thinks Toad..)

    So what is she really talking about? We wiil be told.


  10. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Interestingly, because of Herr Voris and the like, I am reminded of my concerns that the Catholic church has historically been at ease with a variety of authoritarian governments, on the spectrum from paternalistic (Ireland, Poland) to Fascistic (Spain, Portugal, Italy). Of course the Catholic Church is not and doesn’t claim to be a democratic institution. It is dogmatic and hierarchical; this is with mother’s milk. When young, it expressed itself in my working class household by a frisson of alarm when we kids were told that the knock at the door was the visiting parish priest. Authority was at the door. I’m sure any sensitive priest who was only caring for his parishioners was troubled by this response, but there it is.

    I’d say that this distance from the democratic instinct was a contributing factor to the Reformation, and a total failure to read the writing on the wall . I’d also say that the authoritarian culture was a factor in the attempt to suppress the recent child abuse scandals. With tragic results. I’d say this was a factor in the opposition that Latin American Liberation theologists received from the church, from its acceptance of Archbishop Romero’s murder as he held Mass, to the finger wagging scandal by our last Pope to the Lib Theo priests on the airport tarmac in South America.

    Raven has asked that someone pick a fight with him. Well I won’t do that actually, but I’m sharing a view. It is much easier to be reactive (most of us) than to be proactive (those who offer topics) .I’m quite sure it’s not easy, as he says, to offer topics here, and I thank him (and others) for what he has offered so far.

    Even if he seemed to side with Herr Voris.

    Mr Whopper


  11. toadspittle says:

    I have faith that those good people outside our Church that have been deluded by the recent onslaught of Satanic propaganda will be forgiven for their sins by our Lord.”

    What JabbaPapa appears to be saying is that it is to be hoped that God will forgive the sins of those who had no idea that they were actually sinning in the first place, not being Catholics..

    Easy for Jabba to say.

    A little uncharitable. And a little narrow of viewpoint.


  12. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Jabba, you write of ‘Satanic propaganda’.

    Can you say what this is, for it sounds quite interesting and worth reading, like a banned book.

    Go on!



  13. toadspittle says:


    When Toad was still a tadpole, he often heard people in the UK remark that: “The Anglican Church is the Tory Party at prayer.”
    In Spain, thanks to the very comfy links between Catholicism and Fascism, (such as Opus Dei, and National Catholicism) you will find very few people – be they from either right or the left – that will not agree that The Catholic Church here is the Fascist (Falange) Party at prayer.
    Always was.

    Matter of taste, Toad supposes.


  14. The Raven says:


    My own (rather limited, admittedly) experiences of modern Spanish Catholicism have demonstrated that the Church in Spain (Aside, perhaps, in the Basque country) dishonoured itself greatly by cosying up to the Falange, and that there is a sort of dismal acceptance of irrelevance and loss of moral authority.

    There seems to be a hideous timidity in the modern Spanish Church: it seems that it is compounding the sins of commission of the last generation with sins of omission in the present.


  15. toadspittle says:


    Very well said Raven, thinks Toad.

    Did you know that there were at least 30 Basque priests shot by Franco’s people for supporting the democratically elected Government?

    Only Basques, to be sure, but still..

    A little more timidity on the part of the Spanish Church, in view of all the horror it gave its unalloyed blessing to, would be appropriate. Thinks Toad.


  16. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you Mr Badger, for your first post above.

    You may recall a previous remark of mine that to be rightwing was to be unChristian. At the time you suggested I was a tad over the top. Not really, I mumbled.

    But I’d say “Catholic fascist” was a tad on target for unChristian rightwingery.


  17. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Raven seems to distance himself from supporting Herr Vortex. I am mightily pleased, for I intuit that Nerva is not a bad person. Yet despite his appeal above for a bit of bovver, he has flapped off.

    Sometimes I too say things which I fear will be picked apart by others, and am relieved when I get away with it. It’s worse when I’ve had a few, and only see what I’ve written next day – with fear and loathing. But not too much.

    Silence is godlen.


  18. afmm says:

    Let us not forget the Spanish Republic’s persecution, by default and by commission, of all things Catholic. Do read, for example, Hugh Thomas. Or George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. Neither author is/was Catholic.

    Chippy obviously is a ‘peace ‘n justice’ type “Catholic” and therefore (a) can be expected to applaud the extreme left policies which the Republic and its supporters progressively (pun intended) supported, and (b) cannot be expected to honour our great Pope or his fine predecessor. BTW, Chippy, the Spanish taxpayer did not pay for WYD.

    I, however, am happy to contribute to Michael Voris with or without the tax deduction. Readers might want to look up the recent article on the CNA site, where they will see that the vast majority of those who commented on the article supported Mr. Voris.

    Toad, your ironic comments are often appreciated. But today I wonder if you know how many religious were mutilated, shot, etc. by the other side.


  19. joyfulpapist says:

    Toad, Joyful was attempting to be a smart aleck, and succeeded only in the aleck part.


  20. Mr Badger says:

    Well Weighed Mr Wobbly,

    Michael Voris is indeed a very unpleasant person. — That doesn’t preclude him sometimes saying things that people of goodwill such as Raven agree with, but the video I posted shows him tapping into a very dark aspect of Catholic history. It is entirely appropriate that the discussion turned to the Black Spain. Talk of replacing democratic institutions with a benevolent Catholic disctatorship should given any person of culture chills.

    As to the assertion that to be right-wing is to be unChristian, I still can’t accept that equation. — If only because “right-wing” is an umbrella term that covers diverse views and philosophies. It is also a relative term, what is centre right in New Zealand politics is safely “left-wing” in the U.S when it comes to economic policy.

    I choose to avoid Michael Voris, in that he is orthodox, I can find more articulate advocates of orthodoxy, in that he is venal, I don’t want him.


  21. Mr Badger says:

    Toad, Joyful was attempting to be a smart aleck, and succeeded only in the aleck part.

    don’t be down on yourself JP!!! Toads withering pedantry is quite silly really 😉


  22. Mr Badger says:

    Chippy obviously is a ‘peace ‘n justice’ type “Catholic” and therefore (a) can be expected to applaud the extreme left policies which the Republic and its supporters progressively (pun intended) supported

    Do you know anything about Spain in the first third of the twentieth century?


  23. toadspittle says:


    Afmm, Toad has read just about everything on the Civil War that he could lay his little webbed fingers on, the latest being, “The Spanish Holocaust,” by Paul Preston, ( a real catalogue of horror not yet published in English – Autumn, they say) and he knows well that many wicked things were done by the Left. But they were not ‘comissioned’ or sanctioned by the government.
    Burning churches and killing priests and nuns is wrong. But we have to wonder why some Spaniards were so violently anti-Catholic. Surely the Church, along with the military and the ruling classes, had not been oppressing and exploiting them for centuries?
    Still, it’s history now.


  24. The Raven says:

    The problem with a discussion of historical events is that we tend to be taught narratives about them that have been “tidied up” (either by the participants themselves or by academic historians after the fact). For example, good people fought on both sides in Spain, but the leaderships of the forces of both sides were monsters: we know what happened following the tragedy of the Frankist victory, the indications are that a victory of the Republicans would not have been much more pleasant (the creeping Stalinisation of the Caballerists and other socialist factions in the Republican government predated the Franco’s coup).

    Similarly, when people write about the “left” or the “right” they are, more often than not, writing about their own definitions of these terms than anything else. Personally speaking, I see nothing particularly “Catholic” or “Christian” in systems of state economic control that are bound to fail; nor do I see anything much to commend in “left wing” social policies that give peverse incentives to familial break-down.


  25. manus says:

    Having deferred hurling myself into this particular bearpit until now, I can only say that everyone is heading towards a rather grown-up conclusion. Just to add to the complexity of the mix, and extrapolating Toad’s point, the extreme failings of either right or left can only inspire the moral certainties of the next wave. Whether any of us like it or not, the moral, spiritual and economic bankrupcy we are handing on to the next generation will be judged by them, and I doubt we will be comfortable with the conclusions they draw. And they won’t care what we think.


  26. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Quite right Mr B, to have nothing to do with my statement about rightwingery. However, on occasion, it has stimulated at least disagreement. And it has flushed out one or two extremists here.

    Rightwing does mean different things in different places, I agree, but I still think there is value in using the term. I remember as a youth objecting strongly when reading the rightwing sentiments of Winston Churchill, only to find that he was well to the left of the so-called Labour Party in the UK in the 80s and onward. That shut me up for a minute or two.

    Obama, allegedy a progressive politician, has continued the policies of the extremist G. Bush. Blair, allegedly progressive, turned out to be a war criminal. And so on ad nauseam.

    Yet my point remains – that the Church has been happy to cozy up to the likes of Franco. I think that the days of denial are over for Catholics, because this has led to disaster. The Church will always be authoritarian for many reasons, but sins need to be recognised. I see a tendency here for mistakes of the Church to be automatically denied or diminished. That can’t be good.

    The likes of Herr Vortex must be recognised for what they are, tho’ AF likes him and asserts, completely against the facts, that the taxpayer didnt fund the Madrid visit. The rest of us try to learn from history.



  27. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Af describes me as a “peace and justice” type. Well, yes, actually. Isn’t everyone?


  28. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Arf charges me with approving the ‘extreme left’ policies of the Spanish Republic, and mocks me for knowing little of the relevant Spanish history. Sez Arf.

    These ‘extreme policies’ were such that Stalin sabotaged the efforts of the Republicans, conspired against the POUM, and supplied antique arms when he supplied any at all. He supplied what he did only to groups he approved of, or who were useful to the Communist Party for a while.

    For the first time in its history, Spain threw off the exploiters, with the flowering of co-operatives and anarchist communities. It had European governments such as the British, conspiring against it. I won’t list all the crimes against the Spanish people. But there were many who wanted to see freedom fail. And it did.

    So apologists for Fascism cut no ice with me.

    A question has been asked above in this thread, which you fail to address – why did the people react so violently against the Church at that time? Why is there still deep hatred towards the Church even now in Spain?

    Since you know a lot about this history, enlighten us.


  29. The Raven says:

    Mr Whippy, you’re talking about a situation localised in parts of Catalonia: the position elsewhere in the country was just as rubbish for te working man as it had ever been.

    We also tend to look at the civil war in isolation, ignoring the violent and extremely unpleasant events of the last century, ignoring the rather hideous workers’ insurrection that immediately preceded the war, which drive a lot of reasonable people into the arms of the various factions that Franco eventually twisted into his vile regime.

    Part of the reason (and a large part, at that) for the targeting of the Church was the history of attack on the Church, from the Bonapartists through to the liberals the first thing that was done to advertise a rebellion was to burn down and loot a monastery or several: there was money in the Church and it was an established way to demonstrate quite how progressive your little band of radicals (or bandits) were.

    Monasteries and churches made easy targets for bands of armed men who essentially lived off the land.

    The attack on the Church undertaken by the various leftist factions ha more to do with proving their cojones as radicals than dealing with a simmering popular resentment.


  30. joyfulpapist says:

    Having looked at a number of countries in which there has historically been popular sentiment against the Church, there seem to be several elements: one – some venial self-seeking priests, bishops, and religious attempting to protect their own patch (it doesn’t have to be a majority or even the most powerful, but it helps if there are one or two real crimes to point to); two – social dislocation; three – political interests with an interest in removing the church as a power base; four – propoganda that twists anything done by any cleric or religious to show it in its worst possible light; five – outright lies about what the church believes and teaches.


  31. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you Raven

    The church had historically allied itself with landowners and industrialists and then opposed the democratically elected republican govt. Any alert Vatican strategist would have predicted the outcome. But, as with recent scandals, denial was the order of the day.

    When Franco came along the church supported him in his campaign to overthrow the govt. Many clergy were killed in an outbreak of bitter resentment, all over Spain. Franco caused 500, 000 to be killed over the course of the war.

    I think the ‘cojones’ comment was pointless – there were real reasons, justified or not, for the leftist killings. Being macho had nothing to do with it. Likewise your comment that banditry was an important factor in attacks on monasteries etc. If you were a strategist for the Falangists then this misreading would be fatal.


  32. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Franco caused 500,000 people (not clergy) to be killed etc…..


  33. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Joyful, the tenor of your post is to shift the blame for antiCatholicism onto rogue individuals; hostile interests; propaganda; lies.
    (social dislocation…???)

    It’s all the fault of others. Nothing to do with us……………..

    Plus ça change….


  34. The Raven says:

    Sorry, the reference to bandits was a reference to the bands of outlaws who called themselves “liberals” in the nineteenth century.

    My point about cojones was that an attack on the church was seen as a good (and profitable) way to demonstrate progressive seriousness – the equivalent of trashing McDonalds to give a modern radical analogue. The attacks on the Church often had little to do with real or perceived grievances.


  35. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    I take your useful point about mindless ‘trashing’, tho’ here I can’t agree.

    Vandalism and opportunistic criminality are often used to shift attention away from real issues.


  36. The Raven says:

    A post script to my last comment: isnt it a hall mark of democratic government that people and institutions are permitted to oppose policies that they disagree with? Was the CofE being undemocratic when they opposed many of the democratically electedThatcher government’s policies in the 1980s?


  37. The Raven says:

    Who is talking about mindless vandalism? The campaigns of destruction and murder were conceived of as deliberate political acts.


  38. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Re: Thatcher and the church opposition. Absolutely! That’s what churches should do; oppose evil. Yet they did not support the illegal overthrow of the Tory Govt. However, allying oneself with a Falangist dictatorship in a coup d’etat is hardly likely to endear one to the people who didn’t want fascism..

    Re: the ‘campaigns of destruction’ etc. You initially referred to this as ‘bands of armed men’. I called that ‘banditry’. You initially suggested that this was mere criminality, and not ‘political acts’, which you now say it was.


  39. The Raven says:

    Mr Whippy, do keep up! My remarks about bands of armed men concerned the nineteenth century shenanigans.

    As for opposing evil, you seem to forget that in Spain, evil came dressed in red as well as in blue. That should and must not diminish the sins of the Church in supporting the Frankists, but to propose that the Cabalerists and socialists on the Republican side were not promoting evil plans alongside their good one is to turn a blind eye to the truth of the matter.


  40. joyfulpapist says:

    Shift the blame, Mr Whippy? I don’t seek to blame. I seek to understand. And of course it is about individuals. We sin as individuals even when we sin in groups. And when bishops and even popes support tyranny and evil, they are not acting as Church, they’re acting as individuals.


  41. joyfulpapist says:

    That clerics are the Church is one of those ‘outright lies about what the Church believes and teaches’. It has suited clerics in some time and places to have people believe this; but it always comes back to bite them in the nether portions.


  42. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Raven, I do not forget that evil comes in many colours. It’s in my posts.

    Joyful, your response shows me that I’ve failed to make my point, and that some are blindly determined to shift responsibility away from the institution and on to a few individuals, be it about Spain or abuse. This is not good.

    For example, with regard to the recent scandals, many blamed sick individuals for the rot, and not the institution, even tho’ that institution covered up the widespread, massive crimes against persons (and church). Your post of 19.51 today is, I’m afraid, a classic example of blame shifting and denial. Don’t be annoyed at this comment.

    This wouldn’t matter if it weren’t so common, and my concern (which will earn me much hostility) is that if this denial isn’t changed, then the whole Holy Enterprise becomes a Titanic, where deck chairs are shifted in face of disaster. We’ve tried the Three Monkeys policy and it’s an abysmal failure.

    I don’t criticise individuals here, but ideas.


  43. joyfulpapist says:

    Whippy, I’ve clearly also failed to make my point clear. There is no such thing as an institution without individuals to run it, to serve it, and to make the decisions in it.

    The ‘Church’ hasn’t failed; the people in the Church have failed. For example, with regard to the recent scandals, many people blamed sick people for the rot, and many others blamed the institution. Meanwhile, they were all busily washing their own hands . Priests could not have got away with abuse, or with being moved from place to place, if lay people had gone to the police, if police had done their jobs properly, if, if, if. That doesn’t remove the responsibility from the perpetrators or their powerful protectors. They should be stopped, and I am sick and tired of excuses for failure to take decisive pre-emptive action. I’d like to see investigators go through the records of every diocese in the world, and I’d like disciplinary action for those who have been involved in cover ups, starting with those in the Vatican who are still in denial or actively hiding things. r

    But as long as it is ‘somebody else’s problem’ it isn’t going to change. We are the Church. And we’re all volunteers. Our bishops and priests have only the power we give them. We have to take responsibility for allowing people to continue in their errors.

    I don’t give a brass razoo about blame. Blame is pointless. Blame is a way of avoiding action. You can blame the ‘Church’ all you like. But all you’re doing is chopping up the deck chairs on the Titanic.


  44. JabbaPapa says:

    Excellent point by the other JP : That clerics are the Church is one of those ‘outright lies about what the Church believes and teaches’. It has suited clerics in some time and places to have people believe this; but it always comes back to bite them in the nether portions.


  45. JabbaPapa says:

    Concerning the cover-ups, JP, the difficulty is that the most clearly guilty of them, people like Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, have not actually committed any punishable crimes, because no Laws existed to define their horrendously disgraceful activities as such.

    It’s therefore quite impossible to charge them with anything tangible, as the Irish Police discovered to their own chagrin concerning the Irish cover-ups…

    In places where the Laws vigorously punish non-denunciation of Crime, such as in France, no significant scandal of cover-up occurred because anyone engaging in such would be committing a serious crime. Not that the secret of the confessional has been breached in any way, it’s protected by Law ; but confession is hardly the only way that clergy can become cognizant of crimes committed by their brethren…


  46. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:


    You say “our bishops and priests only have the power we give them” but I don’t recall ever being asked to participate in the appointment of a priest. Was it you on this forum who once said that the Church is not a democracy? I agree; it is hierarchical and authoritarian, which is part of its character.

    Yet the Church has no mechanisms for popular accountability, and so our sorrows accumulate. I refer not to liturgical isues, but where the Church engages directly with society, as in abuse, contraception, abortion and so on.

    I remember an inquiry found the London police guilty of ‘institutionalised racism’ because it was so much part of the police culture. Once this was accepted by the police, the way forward was clear and much healthier. Of course some said that it was only a few rotten apples who were the problem, but then they’d been saying that for a long time – fiddling while Rome burned. Before the inquiry, those who criticised the institution of the police were heavily condemned.

    Your evident passion for the Church you love also reveals a great frustration in being unable to influence things which need change; but there is no mechanism for that.

    Thank you JP


  47. JabbaPapa says:

    I’m not the same JP, but : I don’t recall ever being asked to participate in the appointment of a priest

    In fact, every seminarist training to become a priests is normally attached to a specific parish during his training, and the parish (council) gets to vote on whether he’s suitable or not.

    This is a veto power.

    That you have never been involved in such yourself, is merely another sign of the dearth of vocations at the present moment … 😦


  48. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you JPB

    Perhaps it is also a sign of distance from the ordinary faithful.

    I refreshed my memory during these posts about the subject of the Church refusing to pay heed to warnings of what was going on. It was worse than I knew. Ignoring pleas from priests who saw wrongdoing went very high indeed, up to Cardinal Ratzinger’s office, which was charged with dealing with these affairs.

    On the dearth of vocations, all older Catholics in the UK will remember the number of priests who came from Eire to fill the gap. Now that vocations are in free fall in Eire, we see the gap being filled from Africa, for example. I remember as an 11(?) year old being asked to consider the priesthood, which I and my classmates did very seriously.

    After Africa, who knows? Power and paternalism have cost us so much. If this had been effective, then we wouldn’t see the troubles we do now.


  49. JabbaPapa says:

    Ignoring pleas from priests who saw wrongdoing went very high indeed, up to Cardinal Ratzinger’s office, which was charged with dealing with these affairs.

    Nope, that’s an anti-Pope calumny.

    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had no authority whatsoever in these matters, until Benedict XVI himself had the canon law changed so that it now does. Cardinal Ratzinger had no authority in these matters.

    The man who had authority was in fact Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, at the time head of the Congregation for the Clergy, who not only actively participated in the cover-up by ordering the Bishops to remain silent ; but actually abused papal authority for himself by claiming secret orders from the terminally ill JP2, that nobody except the Pope himself would have had the authority to contradict. And he’s been defending himself since JP2’s death by claiming the existence of these orders, basically dumping the responsibility for this scandal at the knees of a dead person …


  50. JabbaPapa says:

    … and a Pope, which is probably an excommunicable offense BTW.


  51. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you Jabba

    I entirely reject your charges of calumny and an excommunicable offence, and find that such unpleasant nonsense is part of the culture of denial which I object to, not for my sake, but for the future well being of the Church, which you seem to be blind to.

    Your dark allegation is part of the authoritarian, paternalistic and gagging culture which has led the Church to the predicament it is now in. You seem to have learned nothing, unfortunately. Your post of 18.15 is an exercise in denial, I’m sorry to say. Just one sad example will suffice – New York Times March 24, 2010. “Cardinal Ratzinger did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys”, despite repeated warnings.

    Your response is no surprise. Your arrogance in declaring what is an excommunicable offence is breathtaking. I think you might feel at home in Spain in previous centuries. A new day is dawning in the life of the Catholic church, but you are still asleep. You will not be part of the new day.

    For the good of your soul, would you please consider some kind of retreat and meditation, which would allow you to reflect a little?


  52. joyfulpapist says:

    Whippy, that particular case has been trashed out in detail on a million blogs. The repeated warnings went to Weakland, the Archbishop who later blamed Cardinal Ratzinger for his own 20 years of failure to act. Weakland said he should have acted at least ten years earlier than he did, but now that Murphy was dying, he wanted him to die as a layman.

    To refresh your memory, the offences occured between 1950 and 1974. Weakland had complaints from the time he took office in 1977. He first approached the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1996, and got no reply. At that time, the dioces had been approached by a lawyer acting for the people who had been abused, but it would be uncharitable to suppose that Weakland was prompted to act at long last by this.

    At the time, CDF were not in charge of investigating complaints of abuse, but Weakland suspected abuse of the confessional, and this was the issue on which he wrote to them.

    In 1997, Weakland contacted another dicastery (presumably Cardinal Hoyos), and in 1998, he went back to CDF. The process for a full canonical trial was begun, but halted in May 1998 when CDF found that the accused was dying.

    Was it a mistake to refuse to go through a full trial (as was required at the time) of a man who was living in retirement and was on his death bed (and who in fact died later that year) in order to defrock him? Perhaps it was. Was it ‘cover up’. Yes – too right. By Weakland, for 20 years.


  53. joyfulpapist says:

    As to the breathtaking idea that the Church has no mechanisms for popular accountability because we don’t participate in the appointment of a priest – I can only assume that Mr Whippy has had no involvement in a parish or a diocese. And has not read the lives of any of the women saints or lay men saints, none of whom where part of the appointment process and none of whom, by Mr Whippy’s assessment, were able to extract accountability from the priests and bishops they counselled (and, in some cases terrorised and bullied – but with love, of course).

    I totally agree, however, that power and paternalism have cost us so much.

    But I repeat, we are volunteers. And the Church depends on our labour, and the money in our pockets, in order to keep functioning. A bishop may have absolute authority over his own diocese, and a priest over his own parish. In theory. In practice, at least in Europe, the US, Canada, and Australasia, priests and bishops listen to their pastoral councils and other lay workers, or find out how uncomfortable life can become if they don’t. And those people need to live and do business in their local communities, so they, in turn, need to be aware of what will, and what won’t, be acceptable.

    In earlier times, people have rioted if they disapproved of a priest or a bishop. Today, we close our wallets and buttonhole the bishop at the morning tea after confirmation to realign his paradigms. And if we fail to do so, and others with a different agenda take that place, then we have only ourselves to blame.

    But, as I said above, blame is pointless. The cause? In my view, generations of lay people who expected our priests and religious to be our professional Christians – the people we pay to pray publically for us, do our charitable works, run our Church, and take the blame when things go wrong – and priests and religious who bought into that false model of Church.

    The ‘Father can do no wrong; the Pope can do no wrong; the Church can do no wrong’ model that Mr Whippy objects to is, in my view, no less clericalist that the ‘its all the Priest’s fault; it’s all the Pope’s fault; it’s all the Church’s fault’ view.


  54. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you JP

    I have, and will avoid detailed discussion of this topic, because it is painful. And there lies my own personal denial, at least to a degree. I do it too. There is a huge weight of comment and recent evidence which shows culpability. The world has seen it, and it can be found with the use of any keyboard. It’s a new world. If we don’t bend, we’ll break.

    The enemies of the Church are the likes of Jabba, who seek refuge and satisfaction in finding a regulation to silence the other voice, rather like Beria’s secret police in the dungeons of the Lubjanka.

    But let’s be cheery – with openness and honesty, all this can be put behind us in a decade, and if we jettison our sinister ‘allies’.


  55. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you JP

    Re: your comments that we laity do indeed have an influencing voice…..how did this help us discover and prevent the dreadful things that happened?


  56. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    JP, I didn’t mention the word ‘vote’; you projected that onto me. Would you kindly rewrite all of your last post to acknowledge this?

    Thanks [Done. JP]


  57. joyfulpapist says:

    Whippy, we can’t change the past; but we can be vigilant now and in the future. Here’s an example of what we can and must do. Note that the bishop failed – clericalism lives. But the laity protected the children despite him.


    And if +Finn has learned from this experience, well and good. I fear not, and that he or some of his fellow bishops – through incompetence, inertia, or croneyism – will fail to take decisive action in the future. But if enough lay people in each diocese take responsibility, the children we raise to protect one another and stand together will remain safe until some of them are bishops themselves.


  58. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you Jp

    A fine post.


  59. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you JP,
    Can you now excise your assumptions?


  60. The Raven says:

    Whippy, I think you may owe JabbaPappa an apology: he was saying that Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos was defiling the memory of Bl John Paul; I don’t think he was suggesting that YOU had incurred excommunication.


  61. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:


    If this is so, then I will offer an unreserved apology.


  62. joyfulpapist says:

    No, Mr Whippy. You made assumptions about what I meant; I made assumptions about what you meant. Was I making a serious suggestion in the passage that begins ‘I can only assume…’ No. I was using ironic hyperbole – exaggerating for rhetorical effect. You have done no less at times – unless you indeed assume that I am the kind of right-wing automaton that your responses often picture me as. In point of fact, I know nothing about you except what you chose to disclose, and I am content to take your word for that.

    I was happy to correct an error in ascribing to you words you didn’t use. But the rest stands, unless one of my colleagues on the blog team censors me (which they have the right to do, of course).


  63. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thank you JP

    I referred to your words where you say that you “assume” that I have or haven’t done this or that. It’s not grave, incidentally. I only asked that you avoid assumptions. But no doubt I’ll make assumptions on something/someone tomorrow. This happens. It’s ok.

    I don’t, incidentally, think that you are a right wing automaton. No-one is so glibly defined, nor are most of us. I do fear the left wing automaton, though. I think you passionately defend the Church yet see its difficulties, and want to do what you can to see it move on. All quite honourable, I’d say.

    You know as much about me as you do about many others on the forum – and that goes for me too.

    By all means let ‘the rest stand’ .I’m ok with that.


  64. joyfulpapist says:

    A gracious response, Mr Whippy. Thank you.


  65. JabbaPapa says:

    Thank you Jabba

    I entirely reject your charges of calumny and an excommunicable offence, and find that such unpleasant nonsense is part of the culture of denial which I object to, not for my sake, but for the future well being of the Church, which you seem to be blind to.

    Your dark allegation is part of the authoritarian, paternalistic and gagging culture which has led the Church to the predicament it is now in. You seem to have learned nothing, unfortunately. Your post of 18.15 is an exercise in denial, I’m sorry to say. Just one sad example will suffice – New York Times March 24, 2010. “Cardinal Ratzinger did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys”, despite repeated warnings.

    Your response is no surprise. Your arrogance in declaring what is an excommunicable offence is breathtaking. I think you might feel at home in Spain in previous centuries. A new day is dawning in the life of the Catholic church, but you are still asleep. You will not be part of the new day.

    For the good of your soul, would you please consider some kind of retreat and meditation, which would allow you to reflect a little?

    Cripes !!!

    Notwithstanding the obvious literacy of this attack, which makes a lovely change from the mouth-dribbling rubbish that everyone is subjected to at DT Religion forums, I have not in any way at all accused you of what you seem to be ranting about, but I have been accusing one Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos of having orchestrated the cover-up of paedophile crimles at the highest international level.

    And “culture of denial” honestly ? Did you actually y’know read my post ?!

    The highest Vatican official responsible for these evil crimes is not Ratzinger, but Castrillón Hoyos – notwithstanding whichever lies have been spread, and that you may have believed.

    I’m not offended by your post in any case, it’s not easy research to start with, besides being hampered by some pretty destructive propaganda, that none of us are directly responsible for…


  66. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thanks Jabba

    If I have gone off at the deep end and ranted, sorry. Well, not super sorry, because I think a good rant is healthy. Better out than in. It seems from what you say that I got the wrong end of the stick; if so, then mea culpa – but being wrong isn’t too healthy, tho’ not fatal. I’ve been wrong so often in my life.

    But I like vivid debate, and I’m ok with a bit of colour in discussion, if I’m among friends. I find overpoliteness to be a form of dishonesty – and I don’t accuse you of that. Au contraire, I like your provocatively dismissive “Nope”, which invites an assertive response to which we can all contribute. And I wish more would contribute. A good bunfight can attract more people to join in here, for the nucleus of respondents here is too small. I opine.

    I, Wall.


  67. kathleen says:

    Well, I’m very belatedly “hurling myself into this bearpit” (as Manus so amusingly put it) to pronounce a few words of vindication for the maligned Michael Voris.

    Although I totally agree with Raven’s earlier comment above: “I’ll be honest, I often agree with Voris when he talks about the Church, but his views on politics are, to my taste, ugly and authoritarian” – and caution (at least) is necessary when Voris expounds some of these unacceptable viewpoints, his faithfulness to Catholic teaching on Faiths and Morals is utterly orthodox. He worries that many leaders of the Church are not giving their flocks this vital Catholic ‘fullness of the Faith’, and consequently many souls are being lost through ignorance and poor education. He denounces a watered-down, lukewarm Catholicism…… and that is not popular with a lot of people! He wants even the uncomfortable Catholic truths (e.g. the consequences of unrepentant sin, the existence of Hell, the evil of contraception etc.) to be made known, as only then can man become truly holy. Ignorance of the Faith is rife, and Voris denounces this.

    According to ‘The Reluctant Sinner’ (a well-respected Catholic blogger): “[Michael Voris] is obviously someone who is deeply committed to the Catholic faith and to upholding the truths of the Church, even if that results in him being unpopular. His return to Catholicism, through the intercession of his dying mother and at a time of great personal loss, was also quite an amazing and humbling story – which explains why he is so determined to save as many souls as possible through helping them discover the joy of being Catholic. It also explains why he can sometimes be “hard hitting”, for it was as a result of a “jarring” comment made by his gravely ill mother that he was forced to confront reality for the first time. It was only then that he was able to accept the transforming power of Catholicism. In fact, he appear[s] hurt by those who have called him “uncharitable”, as he knows himself how seemingly uncharitable words actually led to his own truly charitable conversion of life.”

    All those who, like Michael Voris, fearlessly expound the fullness Catholic teaching, are bound to be victims of vituperative attacks.


  68. Mr Badger says:

    Who has maligned him and subjected him to vituperative attacks?


  69. kathleen says:

    Do you really want me to answer your question Mr Badger? 😉

    Anyway, apart from the earlier comments on this thread re Michael Voris, the internet abounds with “vituperative” attacks against him.


  70. Mr Badger says:

    Kathleen, perhaps, I of course said that he is in effect a Catholic fascist, which would have been exceptionally rude had I not provided evidence, but I did. hardly vituperative


  71. JabbaPapa says:

    Been watching some of his more recent stuff, and it seems less extremist than what he was saying last year or so. I guess that means that he does take criticism into account…


  72. kathleen says:

    Yes Mr Badger, when you criticise someone or something, it is a well-thought-out criticism, and not just a self-opinionated rant……. like some give.
    In the case of Michael Voris though, as I said above, I believe his seemingly “fascist” outlook is only in his dubious political views. I would not call him a “Catholic fascist”, as the very name itself is a bit of a paradox.
    Anyhow, I agree with JabbaPapa that Voris seems to have moderated some of those outspoken views recently, so that could even be a sign of humility……. a virtue not often attributed to him.

    Fr Ray Blake posted on his recent talk in London:
    The comments section below might interest you too; mostly laudatory, but some constructive criticism there as well.


  73. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    K says
    “his seemingly “fascist” outlook is only in his dubious political views.”
    Oh! well, that’s all right then; no need for any of us to be concerned. We’re not turkeys ignoring what happens at Xmas, are we?

    And a “Catholic Fascist” should ideally be a bit of a paradox, but sadly, it is not.


  74. Mr Badger says:

    Yes Mr Badger, when you criticise someone or something, it is a well-thought-out criticism, and not just a self-opinionated rant

    Very gracious of Kathleen to say so. and almost the polar opposite of what my wife said on the way home after the last time I met an unreconstructed hard right libertarian at a social function

    In the case of Michael Voris though, as I said above, I believe his seemingly “fascist” outlook is only in his dubious political views. I would not call him a “Catholic fascist”, as the very name itself is a bit of a paradox.

    Well I won’t pursue the “fascist” line, after all it is a very strong word indeed. “Catholic fascist” is indeed inherently paradoxical, sadly some blaggards have tried to mesh the two, as we all know. when it comes to politics, in the last analysis I think Voris is more naive than anything else.

    Oh and one more thing:

    the hair!!

    Yeah that’s right baby, I went there


  75. Mr Badger says:

    *My quote from Kathleen should be in italics, not my reply. As is the case. Irksome.
    A kindly, but right-wing, moderator has helped you out.


  76. toadspittle says:


    Well Badger, sadly, Toad sees little or nothing paradoxical in the notion of a “Catholic Fascist”. He has known several in his day. Including his dear old Dad.

    Still does know a few, but far fewer than before..


  77. Mr Badger says:

    Toad, I’m choosing to play nice


  78. kathleen says:

    The ideologies of Fascism – and indeed Communism too – have nothing to do with being a true Catholic. (No need to spell out what these are to the intelligent readers on CP&S.) That baptised Catholics have sympathies towards either of these extremist ideologies, even trying to implement them by force, there is no doubt…… they’ve been plenty of examples throughout the 20th century, and the results have been devastating.
    But to be truly Catholic, to ‘pick up your daily cross’ and follow Jesus every day, obeying the teachings of Holy Mother Church, cannot include ethics and beliefs that are so ultra-extreme and full of loathing for all men of differing ideas and practice.

    Fortunately, as Jabba says, I think Michael Voris has learnt that lesson.


  79. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    “a true Catholic” – quite a phrase. Does it mean ‘true’ Catholics as defined by Kathleen? Perhaps not. By me? Perhaps not.

    Communism, I’d say, has a lot to do with being Catholic. By which I mean it’s all about care for the other, sharing common resources – all that sandal wearing stuff. “Love thy neighbour” etc. That we have never seen an effective Communist society links well with the fact that we have never seen an effective Christian society. I’m reminded of Gandhi’s remark on being asked what he thought of Western civilisation, “I think it would be a good idea”.

    There are plenty of horror stories about both Catholicism and Communism, though. History and the body count illustrate the faults of societies which claimed to be one or the other.


  80. The Raven says:

    I’ll be blunt, Whippy, cobblers.

    Communism is a work of human vanity masquerading as the embodiment of charity. The state can barely organise the things that it’s supposed to do (collect the bins and mend the road), it has proven utterly inadequate as a planner of the economy or as a provider of social care. The twentieth century demonstrated that Communism is not an alternative to capitalism, it is an alternative to being able to feed your population.

    Here’s an alternative for you: how about an economy organised so as to allow businesses to thrive, but where all of the population feel a personal obligation to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked and to visit prisoners. I think that we call this Christianity, not the hubristic poseur that calls itself communism.


  81. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    I’m glad you were blunt, Raven; I knew someone would come along dragging examples of state inefficiencies and horrors in a naive interpretation of what I said.

    I did say, quite clearly that we had never seen a communist society. Nor a Christian one. I could misrepresent and caricature what you have said, as you have to me, but I can’t be bothered.

    However, I like the passion with which you make your points. That’s what makes the world go round.


  82. The Raven says:

    Sorry, Whippy, you’ll need to deploy a beter defence than that: a system that depends on state omnicompetence is debunked by a singular instance of state failure.


  83. Mr Badger says:

    Communism doesn’t depend on state omnipotence Raven!! A communist society would in effect be stateless, the state would “wither”, we remember our Marx right?? He would not have regarded any of the twentieth century states as communist societies. Some critics of communism talk as if what Marx had in mind was the Soviet Union.


  84. The Raven says:

    Badger, Marx defined “State” narrowly and certainly had the idea of the nation-state in his sights when he suggested that it would wither. His doctrine was based on state corporatism, whether you define “state” as a nineteenth century nation-state or adopt some sort of supra-national ideal.

    As to the old canard that Marx would not have recognised the states that took his ideas as their founding principles, I can only say that I cannot agree, his choice of terms, “dictatorship of the proletariat”, seems revelatory to me (and let’s be clear, he had as good a classical education as could be got in those times, he would have known the import of the term “dictatorship”).

    Call me a Bakhuninite if you like, but Marx’s prescription looks like “state”, “state” and more “state” with little space for the voluntary association of individuals.


  85. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Raven you say I’ll need to offer a better defence than I have. But I’m not defending anything.

    And I won’t offer any rebuttal to the examples of state failure which you post, because I didn’t promote them in the first place.

    Mr B’s comments about the state withering away are right on the money; that’s the ideal I regret never happened. Don’t blame me or Marx for the failings of the Soviet Union. I don’t blame Christ for the failings of Christianity.

    If you want examples of central control, then you might look closer to home.


  86. The Raven says:

    Whippy, you posited that there were positives in Communism that were similar to Christian ideals of society. I have explained why I take a greatly divergent view to your own of that proposition.

    Please don’t erect a large corvid-shaped bag of hay and then go yelling “strawman”: it betokens poor manners to do so.


  87. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Raven, thank you for explaining your differing views even if you introduced red herrings (no pun etc), and tilted at windmills. There’s a bag of metaphors!

    Your comment on manners was a good laugh. I don’t mistake a crow for a man, even a scarecrow.


  88. The Raven says:

    “Messieurs and Mesdames, I have the pleasure of introducing M. & Mme Harengs-Rouge to the company. Don’t mind the strawman and the strawraven, they’re busy knocking each other over and be careful of the metaphors, they’re fully mixed this evening”


  89. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Absolutely! Well said!!!!!
    All that mixing of fish and fowl …


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