Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Striking suicide bombers

Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda management have so far failed to produce an agreement.

The unrest began last Tuesday when Al Qaeda announced that the number of virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death will be cut by 25% next January from 72 to only 60. The rationale for the cut was the increase in recent years of the number of suicide bombings and a subsequent shortage of virgins in the afterlife.

The suicide bombers’ union, the British Organisation of Occupational Martyrs (or B.O.O.M.) responded with a statement that this was unacceptable to its members and immediately balloted for strike action. General secretary Abdullah Amir told the press, “Our members are literally working themselves to death in the cause of jihad. We don’t ask for much in return but to be treated like this by management is a kick in the teeth.”

Mr Amir accepted the limited availability of virgins but pointed out that the cutbacks were expected to be borne entirely by the workforce and not by management. “Last Christmas Abu Hamza alone was awarded an annual bonus of 250,000 virgins,” complains Amir. “And you can be sure they’ll all be pretty ones too. How can Al Qaeda afford that for members of the management but not 72 for the people who do the real work?”

Speaking from the shed in the West Midlands where he currently resides, Al Qaeda chief executive Osama bin Laden explained,

“We sympathise with our workers' concerns but Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their demands. They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day jihad, in a competitive marketplace. Thanks to Western depravity, there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife. It’s a straight choice between reducing expenditure and laying people off. I don’t like cutting wages but I’d hate to have to tell 3,000 of my staff that they won’t be able to blow themselves up.”

He defended management bonuses by claiming these were necessary to attract good fanatical clerics. “How am I supposed to attract the best people if I can’t compete with the private sector?” asked Mr. Bin-Laden.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Prayers for a departed soul

In your charity, gentle reader, please offer a prayer for the soul of my grandmother, Mrs. Kathleen (Mai) Brady, 19.v.1911—7.xii.1999.

She died ten years ago today.

Reflections on the feast of St. Ambrose

Today is the feast of this courageous and holy saint who withstood a bloodstained Roman Emperor (Theodosius) by barring the latter from his church until he had done penance for his sin; he had slaughtered 7,000 of the inhabitants of Thessalonica in retaliation for the assassination in that city of his governing appointee. To resist a fourth-century Roman Emperor was a different matter to resisting a pro-gay, pro-abortion politician in our own time, but with only a few honourable exceptions, our bishops show themselves more timorous in dealing with such pygmies than did Ambrose with the mighty Theodosius.

A bishop truly worthy of the name.

We have lately begun a new liturgical year, and stand almost on the cusp of a new civil year. Melancholicus does not know how many episcopal Sees will become vacant in 2010, but as the world is divided into two-thousand-odd dioceses, apostolic vicariates, prefectures and administrations containing three-thousand-odd bishops (including auxiliaries, titulars and retirees), there are bound to be more than a few vacancies in the coming year. Will many of those chosen to fill vacant Sees pattern themselves on St. Ambrose, or solicit his intercession for their episcopate? Melancholicus is not confident that they will; poor-to-middling prelates seem to be a perennial fact of ecclesiastical life. But if even one of the new appointees would take Ambrose as a model, what a difference it would make to the whole world!

Thursday, December 03, 2009


As Melancholicus has recommenced blogging, he kindly requests his brethren (and sustren) who have removed their links to Infelix Ego owing to inactivity, to reinstate them without delay!

Pretty please, with sugar on top?

Gratias vobis,

Melancholicus, peccator.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Expect further growth in the Church of Ireland

Melancholicus is sure that their Graces Harper and Neill (Church of Ireland archbishops of Armagh and Dublin respectively) are not given to schadenfreude, nor are they—however privately—enjoying the current discomfiture of their Roman Catholic opposite numbers in the wake of the horrors revealed by the Murphy Report. Both worthy prelates are undoubtedly saddened and ashamed that so many persons in sacred orders, consecrated to the service of the Lord, have stooped to such incomprehensible wickedness and that their overseers in the faith have conspired to keep such wickedness hidden from the light, with the result that its perpetrators remained at large to prey upon the innocent again and again and again.

The evil of sexual abuse is as old as humanity itself. As reprehensible as such evil is, what exercises the dismayed, disgusted and betrayed faithful most of all is not the abuse itself, but the conspiracy of silence wherein our fathers in God sought to conceal and enable it.

Melancholicus guesses that defections to the Church of Ireland—already at a level high enough to have attracted the attention of the secular press—will increase still further in this season, the Catholic hierarchy having nothing to offer their demoralized flock but politically-calculated apologies and a never-ending stream of horrendous revelations.

One might almost conclude the bishops think themselves the victims in the midst of this horror!

One wonders how Anita Henderson, wife of the Anglican bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, whose 2007 conversion to the Roman faith was treated as a cause célèbre by the media, is taking these ongoing storms. She must feel that she has been shat upon by our shepherds, and in that she would not be wrong.

This disillusioned report comes from Ireland online. Melancholicus has added a few half-hearted comments in red.

Mass-goers in the heart of the Dublin Archdiocese today claimed that the devastating clerical abuse scandals were wiping out trust in the Catholic Church [unsurprising. The hierarchy seems to have learned nothing since the first spate of scandals in the early 1990s].

As the daily afternoon service began at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral – the capital’s main parish – many people said the shocking revelations were turning away a once deeply devout nation.

Vincent McGuinness, 60, from Whitehall, said the hierarchy had been deliberately covering up the truth [this, sadly, is nothing less than the truth].

“Money won’t compensate them (the victims). What do you give someone who has been raped?” he asked.

“They’re hiding an awful lot.

“Where did they send the priests? Off to America, get them off-side.

“They’re not all bad. But... they’ve left a stain now that will never be lifted.” [Another incontrovertible truth. There are so many good priests, and a great many more mediocre ones, who are not guilty of these crimes. But the stain caused by the inaction of the bishops will not easily be erased]

Mr McGuinness said his own grown-up children refused to go to Mass because they did not trust priests [it is easy not to trust priests; Melancholicus does not trust too many of them himself. But there are probably a good many other reasons why Mr. McGuinness’ children do not practice the Catholic religion in which they were reared. At the same time as our fathers in God were enabling the deviants in their parishes, they themselves were busy destroying the faith of their flocks by implementing the conciliar revolution and then refusing to take action when it inevitably ran out of control].

“Half of this is not going to come out. What they’re doing is they’re actually censoring the damn thing before we see it,” he said [one wonders how much more there is to come... and how much more will never see the light].

A website – countmeout.ie – has been set up for disaffected Catholics who have left the church.

To date 3,365 people have completed a Declaration of Defection [As of this writing, the number has risen to 4,204].

The 19th century cathedral [actually it’s a church, not a cathedral, but we won’t get too pedantic just now], in the heart of the city, was around half full for the service, mostly with elderly women [ah, the conciliar church at prayer! This picture is hardly different from Melancholicus’ memories of youth in the early 1980s. Mind you, half-full is quite impressive, bearing in mind that if this were on a weekday, the 12:45 Mass is unlikely to be full of younger persons since these would likely be engaged in employment].

Many declined to comment, waving off questions before shuffling [?] into the large chapel [we’ve gone from a cathedral to a chapel now].

But some of those at St Mary’s claimed not to be surprised by the scale of the abuse.

Margaret Gavin, from the north inner city, said she knew many people who attended Church-run schools and saw the effect that years of physical abuse had on them.

“Yeah, it was shocking. I don’t really trust them (priests) as much now,” she said.

“In other years we were pushed to go to church, but if my children want to go to church now it’s up to them really.”

The shocking report is the third devastating scandal to rock the Catholic Church in the last four years.

Mark O’Brien, 38, now living in London but born in Dublin, was waiting on the front steps of the church to speak with a priest about a recent death in the family.

He said people were being turned away from the Church because they were not supporting their communities [they’re also overworked, and have to waste a good deal of time on bullshit busywork dreamed up by the conciliar revolutionaries—workshops and that sort of nonsense—in the frenetic and ceaseless quest for ‘renewal’. Also, a lot of priests don’t go visiting any more owing to the hostility and intimidation they often encounter when they knock on people’s doors].

“You looked up to priests for most of your life,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It’s disgusting. It’s just a disaster when you think about it.”

Annette O’Brien, from north Dublin, said only the elderly in her neighbourhood went to Mass regularly [this is true everywhere, but once again the reasons for this are deeper and more far-reaching than the disgust over clerical turpitude].

“They’ve walked away scot-free from this, the majority of them,” she said.

“I only know two priests that have done time for it, and one of them died in prison. They should be treated like everyone else if they’ve done the crime.” [it should be added that a good deal more than two priests were jailed for this crime, but it is also true that many did indeed get away scot-free; their names may be mentioned in the Ryan/Murphy Report, etc., but as they are now deceased, no action can be taken]

Countmeout.ie may be visited here. It makes illuminating if depressing reading. There are of course reasons other than sexual abuse why persons should wish to leave the Church; some of these will be apparent to anyone who takes the trouble to peruse their FAQs page. But the bishops have only themselves to blame that such a website exists.

Merely lapsing from the faith makes the return easy; a good confession and a firm purpose of amendment is all it takes to get back on an even keel again. But formal defection from the Church is quite another matter. Of course returning to the Church after formal defection is not difficult, but as defection is covered by canon law, the repentant defector may encounter certain difficulties as a result of having defected; he may not be permitted to receive sacred orders without a dispensation, for instance. As defection is a formal act, the defector must formally return to the Church before he may again receive the sacraments. While in the state of defection, such a one may be denied ecclesiastical burial, or encounter problems if he wishes to marry in church. At the same time, it is hard to imagine that any such defector would be interested in marrying in church or receiving a Catholic funeral anyway.

Expect the number of defections to rise in the coming weeks. Also expect at least some of the outgoing traffic to find its way into the Church of Ireland.

Litany for the Church

Melancholicus was browsing recently through Vercillo’s Catholic book and gift shop in Tacoma, and came away with a bunch of holy cards, one of which contains this most excellent litany for the Church. Catholic readers, please publicize this widely! If many were to recite this litany once daily, with the intention that the usurping pirate that is the conciliar church be overthrown and Catholicism restored to its rightful place once again, it would give the righteous the edge in the ongoing struggle against the darkness.

Litany for the Church

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, Divine Founder of the Church, hear us.
Christ, Who warned of false prophets, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us.
St. Michael, defender in the day of battle, pray for us.
St. Peter, the rock upon which Christ built His Church, pray for us.
St. Francis of Assisi, re-builder of the Church, pray for us.
St. Anthony, pray for us.
St. Pius V, pray for us.
St. Pius X, foe of Modernism, pray for us.
All you holy Angels and Archangels, pray that we may resist the snares of the devil.
St. Catherine of Siena, pray that Christ’s Vicar may oppose the spirit of the world.
St. John Fisher, pray that bishops may have the courage to combat heresy and irreverence.
St. Francis Xavier, pray that zeal for souls may be rekindled in the clergy.
St. Charles Borromeo, pray that seminaries may be protected from false teachings.
St. Vincent de Paul, pray that seminarians may return to a life of prayer and meditation.
St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray that religious may rediscover their vocation of love and sacrifice.
St. Thomas More, pray that the laity may not succumb to the great apostasy.
St. Francis de Sales, pray that the Catholic press may again become a vehicle of Truth.
St. John Bosco, pray that our children may be protected from immoral and heretical instruction.
St. Pascal, pray that profound reverence for the most Blessed Sacrament may be restored.
St. Dominic, pray that we may ever treasure the holy Rosary.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Jesus our God, in these dark hours when Thy Mystical Body is undergoing its own crucifixion, and when it would seem almost to be abandoned by God the Father, have mercy, we beseech Thee, on Thy suffering Church. Send down upon us the Divine Consoler, to enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills. Thou, O Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived, hast promised to remain with Thy Church until the end of time. Give us a mighty faith that we may not falter; help us to do Thy holy will always, especially during these hours of grief and uncertainty. May Thy Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Thy holy Mother, be our sure refuge in time and in eternity. Amen.

The world's newest sovereign state

Melancholicus fled his Irish homeland just in time, for as from yesterday, 1 December 2009, the Republic of Ireland no longer exists—at least de jure if not quite de facto.

Other sovereign states which similiter no longer exist include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Cyprus, and Malta. Current candidates for non-existence include Croatia, Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic Of) and Turkey.

Hysterical exaggeration?

I wish that were so, but it is not. The Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by all 27 member states of the European Union, and it came into effect on Tuesday, 1 December. By means of the ratification of this treaty, the EU has been elevated to statehood; it now has its own Constitution, its own President, and its own Foreign Minister. Its already considerable powers to overrule the laws of its constituent nations have been amplified still further, and now that those constituent nations have been relegated to the status of constituent provinces, expect the emergence of a centralized European government which shall impose a uniform social and economic policy throughout its domain. The President and the Foreign Minister are only the beginning; other pan-European cabinet posts will not be long in coming. Let us recall that the Lisbon Treaty is self-emending which obviates the need for any future referenda in the process of ever-tighter integration.

What palpable difference is there in Ireland, or indeed in any of the other nations provinces? Did the world come to an end on 1 December? No indeed. The elevation to statehood of the EU will have silently passed many Irishmen by, as it will have done the citizens local inhabitants of the other provinces. Life goes on as normal. There is still an Uachtarán na hEireann, the houses of the Oireachtas are still functioning, there is still a government and there is still a Taoiseach (however unpopular he may be at present). But these have ceased to be instruments of national sovereignty, and have instead become organs of local government, for they are subject to the new Constitution of the European State. We may still choose our elected representatives on this local level; the central government, however, is composed of unelected and unaccountable officials chosen by the ensconced elites. This is the death of European democracy, as surely as it is the death of the sovereign states.

Melancholicus is not given to sentimentality, but he is grieved by the fate that has overtaken the nation which gave him birth.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Feast of St. Andrew

A day late perhaps, but better late than never.

With grateful thanks to St. Andrew for favours received. Melancholicus is certainly in much better fettle now than when he published this gloomy post two years ago.

This year Melancholicus wishes to present his readers with the collect from the 1928 American Prayer Book—we are in America now, so the American book shall be our source. Let there be no tut-tutting from pious papists; let us recall that for the most part the Prayer Book collects are of unimpeachable origin (Sarum) and that much of the traditional content of the Anglican Prayer Book has since received the approbation of the Holy See. Moreover, Melancholicus’ Roman Missal and breviary are still in transit and have not yet arrived at his new home; the only liturgical texts currently available to him are traditional Anglican or Novus Ordo—and we definitely don’t want to have to do with the latter now, do we?


ALMIGHTY GOD, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed Him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfil thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

My thanks to you, holy Andrew, your intercession has been powerful with God!

The Novus Ordo at 40

In ancient days, the Greeks considered the age of forty to be the pinnacle of a man’s prowess and achievement. During the Golden Age of Athenian civilization in the fifth century BC, the philosophers reckoned their predecessor Thales to have been born in 625 BC* — simply by counting back forty years from the date of his greatest achievement, namely the prediction of a total solar eclipse visible from his home city of Miletus (Asia Minor) in the year 585 BC. There is no evidence that Thales was in fact forty years old in 585 BC; but to the Greeks, this did not really matter. If he were not forty at that time, then at least he ought to have been.

As of this November 30th, Pope Paul VI’s Novus Ordo Missae is now forty years old. Is it, like Thales, at the pinnacle of its accomplishments?

If those accomplishments include the liturgical presentation Catholic eucharistic theology in an ambiguous fashion, the alienation of the majority of the Catholic faithful, the triumph of a spirit of experimental mediocrity, the apotheosis of the spirit of Modern ManTM, the replacement of stability with flux and chaos and the triumph of bad taste, then yes, the modern rite is indeed at its zenith. Or should that be nadir?

But if it was intended to deepen the faith of the Church, to promote greater comprehension of the liturgical action among the faithful, to increase devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to woo our separated brethren as well as the lapsed back into our churches... oh dear.

I know what you’re thinking. Typical tree-hugging hippie liturgy complete with goof-ballery and stealth priestesses. But take another look. It is not in fact a Novus Ordo Mass; it is a wiccan wedding, or “hand-fasting” as I believe the heathens call it. The reason I have chosen such an image to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the imposition of Bugnini’s liturgy is that there is not much to separate them, at least in terms of appearances; the mode of celebration of the now not-so-New Mass is not infrequently so casual, informal and horizontal in its ethos as to be superficially indistinguishable from protestant and even pagan ceremonies. Moreover, the spirit of liturgical experimentation which accompanied the imposition of the New Mass back in 1969 invited many flaky Aquarian celebrants readily to admit into the rite New Age elements and other ungodly words and ceremonies. Forty years on and Christ’s faithful are still waiting even for an adequate translation of the rite!

Can the Novus Ordo be fixed? Melancholicus rather doubts it. Well-meaning efforts are currently underway to patch the wretched thing up, but it was broken in its very inception, so there is in fact no optimal condition to which the rite may be restored. Melancholicus here prophesies that as time passes, those trying to repair what it beyond repair will recognize the futility of the task, and the New Mass instead will come, little by little, to resemble its Tridentine/Gregorian predecessor until the two become indistinguishable, and there is once again a single form of the Roman rite.

*For obvious reasons the ancient Greeks did not use the AD/BC dating system, much less the newfangled CE/BCE dates beloved of modern cultural revolutionaries. Melancholicus has simply taken the liberty of expressing the ancient chronology in a system familiar to his readers.