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.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Heritage Missal

Melancholicus satisfied his first Sunday obligation of the new liturgical year at the parish of St. Charles Borromeo in Tacoma, Washington. The church itself is nothing to write home about (it is an unbeautiful modern edifice dating from the late 1950s), but the resident clergy are orthodox, the liturgy is generally tasteful, and the preaching is good. One particular difference Melancholicus has noticed between churches over here and in Ireland is that there are generally no hymnals or liturgy-books in the pews of Irish churches, whereas in the United States these things abound. Whether such is a good thing is quite another matter; studying the printed materials provided in each pew (the “Gather” hymnal and suchlike), Melancholicus is less than impressed, and has often wished that American Catholics cared more for the modern equivalent of Low Mass (Irish style). This because the fare to be found in these books seldom rises above the level of tawdry mediocrity, and the pathetic little ditties often employed in American churches in lieu of sacred music serve only to make one cringe.

Since last week the pews have been filled with brand-spanking-new copies of a paperback volume called “Heritage Missal”. This is published afresh for each liturgical year, and contains the Mass ordinary and the propers, including readings, for each day. This in itself is a useful function, as it obviates the need for those wretched missalettes which litter the floors and porches of churches in Ireland. But because the propers are set out day by day according to the civil calendar, the missal is good for one year only, is out of date the following year, and must be replaced by the next current edition. Accordingly, there is an annual turnover of these cheap paperback missals, which no doubt generates tremendous revenue for the publisher. Hence the reason it is re-issued every year. One can only conclude that the American Church has too much money if it can afford to fritter it away on such disposable resources.

The “Heritage Missal”—which Melancholicus can only declare is a misnomer, since there’s precious little heritage in it—is published by an organisation named OCP, or Oregon Catholic Press. This organisation makes a tidy profit churning out these throwaway missals year after year; every church Melancholicus has visited in Tacoma has sported them. A visit to the OCP website reveals that this organisation is a vehicle of the liturgical revolution. OCP publishes the musical compositions of people such as Michael Joncas, Dan Schutte, David Haas, Paul Inwood, Marty Haugen et al—a veritable Who’s Who of songsters that Traditional Catholics love to hate (not without reason). Wikipedia gives us the sobering information that the products of OCP are used in two-thirds of all Catholic churches in the U.S. The result of this near monopoly is a tyranny of the mediocre, since the “Heritage Missal” contains not only the Mass propers, but all the music composed for those propers by third-rate artistes. Thus we get jolly little ditties pitched at grade school level; weak paraphrases of the psalms; jarring modern ‘hymns’ with a pop beat; anthropocentric ‘feel-good’ clap-trap, and other obscenities. There is the occasional kernel of wheat among the chaff; last Sunday’s Mass featured the traditional Advent hymn Creator Alme Siderum in a decent English translation, and to the same melody familiar to users of the Liber Usualis, but overall, the musical contents of the “Heritage Missal” must be judged inadequate for the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

This is tremendously frustrating for those faithful who abhor the triumph of bad taste, not only because of the poor quality of these compositions in themselves, but because of their perpetuity; by printing an annual missal in which such musical settings are included, OCP maintains a stranglehold on Catholic liturgy in the U.S. At present, there is small hope that the depressed state of the liturgy will be relieved; the domination of musical arrangements by the mafia of the mediocre is too firmly entrenched. The forthcoming revised translation of the Roman Missal may have some impact, but owing to the looseness of contemporary liturgical law, in which musical compositions need not follow the authorized text of the Mass verbatim, there is no reason why the same old ’seventies folk-songs (together with ’seventies ICEL) will not continue to irritate Mass-goers yearning for a little solemnity for a generation or more to come.

We might ask: who owns OCP? Is it a private concern? Is it answerable to the bishops? In either case, there must be some way of compelling it to forget about the spirit of Vatican II and conform instead to the principles of the Benedictine reform. If OCP is a private concern, perhaps the dioceses of the United States could cease purchasing its products, and turn instead to a more orthodox, Catholic-minded publisher who would be only too delighted to assist in the reform of the reform, and make a good living in the process. But if it is an organ of the conciliar church, it will doubtless continue to exercise its baleful influence long after Joncas, Haugen, Haas, Inwood et al are all dead.

Small wonder hardly anybody joins in the singing at Mass; most are probably as embarrassed by it as Melancholicus.

The spirit of Vatican II rages against the dying of the light. We might have landed the troops in Normandy (liturgically speaking), but there is a long and bitter fight ahead of us before we stand finally at the gates of Berlin. In the meantime, OCP will continue to churn out volume after volume of the so-called “Heritage Missal” until either legitimate authority or market forces compel them to stop. At present there is no indication that either source of relief will be forthcoming.

The prospects are gloomy.

Cranmerian obtusity

There’s nothing so driven and so single-minded than a blogger with an agenda.

In this instance the blogger is Adrian Hilton, a Tory across the water who blogs under the pseudonym of Archbishop Cranmer.

Despite Irish history, Melancholicus is a bit of an anglophile, and he must admit to rather enjoying Mr. Hilton’s blog; its self-description as an “august blog of intelligent and erudite comment upon matters religio-political” is no idle boast. Mr. Hilton is indeed intelligent and erudite, and is possessed of a formidable and persuasive eloquence.

But at times Mr. Hilton can be remarkably, vindictively—almost pathologically—anti-Catholic. Melancholicus does not object to such anti-Catholicism in itself (since Mr. Hilton is a convinced Protestant and clearly believes in the truth of that religion) but his conspiratorial superstition is irritating coming from a man of such intellectual prowess. One might have hoped Mr. Hilton would be above the hysteria of sixteenth-century polemics, as its effect, sadly, is to undermine his considerable authority as a political commentator.

Occasionally, this anti-Catholicism descends to the level of farce. While Melancholicus shares Mr. Hilton’s attitude towards the European Union’s increasingly oppressive centralization—at least in general—the latter’s urgent warnings against a secretive and sinister cosy relationship between the EU and the Roman Catholic Church are so divorced from reality as to be laughable. Such nonsense lands him squarely in Dan Brown territory and cannot be taken seriously.

More recently (27 November), Mr. Hilton posted on the difficult subject of the recently-released Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. His scathing criticism of the culture that allowed depravity to flourish unchecked is well merited. But Mr. Hilton cannot content himself with denouncing clerical turpitude or episcopal negligence; he must attack Catholic theology (witness the sarcastic reference to the sacrament of penance) in general, and the Church’s discipline of celibacy in particular.

Here he allows his anti-Romanism to run wild, taking his reason with it. For in order to denounce the Roman Church in the matter of clerical sexual abuse, he must perforce denounce the discipline of celibacy; and in order to denounce celibacy, he must portray it as a source of innumerable evils, even to the extent of perverting the sexual identity of one who embraces that state.

The last two sentences in particular are such crazy nonsense one might say they constitute calumny in their sweeping generality:

While the novice, priest, bishop, and cardinal have vowed and aspire to be asexual, in reality they cannot deny their human nature, and so adopt the masculinity of the hermaphrodite. And as their public face is that of purity and holiness in deeply-fulfilling celibacy, the private paradox is confused, constrained and yearning deeply to express itself. And if it cannot be with a woman, as St Paul observed, it will be predatory upon the malakoi - the ‘soft’ or ‘effeminate’ prepubescent ‘pet’.

What sort of a mind can produce such verbal ordure? If Melancholicus may here quote the venerable Fr. Hunwicke, “Ee, for an apparently intelligent man, that’s a bloody silly thing to say”.

Since when are the clergy required to “aspire to be asexual”? Mr. Hilton had better consult his Oxford dictionary, since he clearly (deliberately?) minsunderstands the term. We shall pass over the peculiar intrusion of the hermaphrodite and proceed to the last sentence, in which Mr. Hilton goes so far as to put words into the mouth of St Paul. Was the apostle really the sort of determinist that Mr. Hilton implies? Here Mr. Hilton has shorn sin of its voluntary character, which in effect means it is no sin at all, for if a man MUST act in a certain manner without the freedom of will to choose otherwise, how is he guilty of sin? Perhaps this is just the fatalism of Mr. Hilton’s Protestantism asserting itself against his reason and common sense. Mr. Hilton also has some special insight into the interior lives of Roman Catholic clergy denied to the rest of us; Melancholicus wonders how the man can blithely assert “the private paradox is confused, constrained and yearning deeply to express itself” as though he were privy to the inner psychology of countless individuals he has never met. Of course every person must express himself; but here Mr. Hilton means a specifically genital sexual expression, without which, apparently, a man is warped to the extent of becoming a danger to all around him—especially the children.

Mr. Hilton’s post has attracted considerable attention (74 comments at the time of writing) but not one commentator—not even the Roman Catholics among them—has seen fit to rebut the harmful notion that lacking an outlet for genital expression must necessarily result in the corruption of one’s moral and sexual identity, at least among the generality of men; that celibacy is of itself a source of homosexuality or pederasty.

Mr. Hilton expresses horror and outrage that the number of criminal clerics should be as high as FORTY-SIX (capitalization as in the original). He is right to express such outrage. But if his views on the harmful effects of celibacy were true, one would expect to find a much higher number involved in such acts; well over a thousand secular and religious priests have ministered in the archdiocese of Dublin since 1975.

So what is Melancholicus’ interest here? It is not to play down the horrible reality behind the disclosures of the Murphy Report; these things must be published and faced by the Irish Church, especially by those who enabled and facilitated the abuse. Nor is it to defend the discipline of the Church. Celibacy is not a doctrine, and is not de fide. It is a discipline, which might be emended or revoked at any time without prejudice to the deposit of faith.

Rather, Mr. Hilton must be confronted where he makes erroneous and unwarranted claims about human nature, particularly where he implies that the sexual appetite is so imperious that it simply must be exercised lest it twist an abstinent soul into a child-molesting monster. What an incredible insult, not only to the majority of Roman clergy who are innocent of such crimes, but to any person living in the world who has not yet found a suitable partner for marriage. Mr. Hilton must also surely be aware that marriage is no panacea for sexual corruption. A sexual deviant will be no less a deviant in wedlock than in the single state. This is so obvious as to need no demonstration; a brief perusal of the newspapers on any day of the week will bear it out.

The clergy of the Church of England have been permitted to take wives since 1549. Other Protestant denominations likewise boast a married clergy. Rabbis are married. So are Imams. On the basis of Mr. Hilton’s logic, one should expect to find no incidence of sex crimes among Protestants, Jews and Muslims. Melancholicus thinks Mr. Hilton would shrink from such a claim, yet it is the logical conclusion to his thesis.

Or are the Romish clergy necessarily wicked because they are Romish? Whores of Babylon, and all that?

I wonder.

More clerical turpitude

This time it’s the Dublin diocese. There’s no end to it, is there?

Go here for the ugly details.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Farewell to a shitten shepherd

fee, fie, foe, fum!Meet Willie Walsh, the smiling, welcoming, thoughtful, paternal and ever-so-inclusive bishop of Killaloe.

He is your friend—unless, of course, you happen to be an orthodox Catholic (or, for that matter, one of his priests). But if you’re a just an ordinary “I’m ok, you’re ok” kind of Joe, with no fixed opinions about anything and a relaxed laissez faire attitude to Church doctrine, he’ll like you. If you’re an ethnic or sexual minority, he’ll positively gush over you. Just as long as you’re not one of those rigid, hidebound types that like services in Latin and think that good clean gay love is an evil thing, you should get along with him just fine.

It is less than a month since Melancholicus announced an end to blogging on Infelix Ego, but whenever a member of the Irish hierarchy opens his mouth in order to spew forth drivel, nonsense and general heretical ordure, the occasion just cries out for comment.

Mercifully, this barley-water prelate turns 75 in January and will tender his resignation to the Holy See. Doubtless his resignation will be accepted at once, since bishop Walsh has so far shown himself to be rather less than indispensable as a pastor of souls. By his retirement, bishop Walsh will have been steward of the diocese of Killaloe for fifteen years. Fifteen very long years. Let us take stock of his tenure and examine how he has arrested the decline in the fortunes of his diocese, how he has encouraged vocations, how he has revitalized catechetics in the schools, how he has restored the sacred liturgy, how he has injected a renewed vigour to the Catholic religion by expelling the secular ideological cockle that had been sown therein by enemies of the faith, and how he has reversed the stagnation and apathy brought on by three decades of gross mismanagement at the hands of the conciliar church.

Oh, wait.

He did none of those things, did he?

Bishop Walsh is the very type of the conciliar prelate. His words reveal him as that lamentable sort who yearns to turn the holy Catholic Church—of which he is a bishop—into a carbon copy of the Episcopal Church, replete with clerical divorce, lesbian priestesses, theological lassitude, blessing of same-sex unions, and a focus on the temporal which excludes any consideration of the hereafter—in other words, a sort of pseudo-religious social club in which the spirit of contemporary political correctness can flourish, where preaching the Truth is replaced by a convivial consensus-finding chat over tea and biscuits and in which nothing really matters at all so long as no-one ever says anything that might be construed as offensive.

Will the good bishop leave the diocese of Killaloe in better shape than he found it? That may be doubted. There were no “priestless parishes” in Killaloe when he took office in 1995. By 2004, there were five such parishes. God knows how many there are today, but Melancholicus would be surprised indeed if there were fewer than that. There are actually sufficient priests, between secular and religious, to staff the Killaloe diocese adequately, but bishop Walsh does not want the trouble of them. Priests, you see, get in the way of “lay ministry”, which is the current fad of the hour; apparently, the laity are unable to realize their “true vocation” or their “potential” with all those priests about. Sunday Mass: who needs it? Much better to have Sister Julia from the local Mercy convent or Mrs. Moriarty from down the road kit themselves out in quasi-sacerdotal attire and concelebrate a priestless communion service in lieu of the Holy Sacrifice—at least this sort of thing is what the empurpled princes of the conciliar church are anxious to promote.

What of vocations? Here Melancholicus cannot speak with authority since despite extensive trawling he has been unable to locate any statistical source on the number or quality of students for the Killaloe diocese in 1995 vis-à-vis 2009, but given that episcopal orthodoxy equals plentiful vocations whereas episcopal heterodoxy equals few or no vocations (which state has been observed so often as to require neither proof nor demonstration), he would be surprised in the extreme to discover that Killaloe is not one of the most consistently under-performing dioceses in the whole of Ireland. If any of his Irish readers is able to furnish him with the relevant facts and figures, by all means please comment!

What of the liturgy? Melancholicus is perhaps fortunate at never having attended a Mass celebrated within the borders of bishop Walsh’s diocese, save for a single offering of the Traditional Latin rite at Kilbaha in 2001. But the fact that, in a recent interview with the Irish Independent, the good bishop dismissed the entire liturgical heritage of the Church before 1969 with the remark that he had ever received “only one request” for the liturgy in Latin (whether traditional or novel was not specified) surely suggests he is unconcerned with theological precision, with beauty in worship, and with the shockingly irreverent manner in which the vernacular liturgy is so often handled; and that, Summorum Pontificum notwithstanding, he just can’t bother his arse.

Finally, has he brought an end to the apathy, the stagnation and the decline that has bedevilled Catholic dioceses generally since the revolution of the ’sixties? Has he taken pains to shake off the aura of the high-powered company director which has unaccountably attached itself to the modern episcopate, and begun to adopt the attitude of a genuine pastor of souls? Alas, not a bit of it. This scandalous newsletter, in which the new executive style is talked up in management-speak replete with countless buzzwords, says all that needs to be said on this score. All the clichéd bromides are there; all the tired formulae of yesterday, rehearsed as though this were something new and exciting. Melancholicus is already bored, so he shall not attempt to make a list. Souls eager for spiritual torment can follow the link if they have a mind to.

But don’t take my word for it, gentle reader; let Google assemble a litany of the fellow’s crimes and posturings and show us—via the Indo alone!—how far astray this successor of the Apostles has actually gone. True, there is wheat mixed in with the chaff. But the discerning reader will surely agree that there is an awful lot of chaff.

It is hardly necessary to add that, so far, none of his brother bishops have taken the trouble—publicly, at least—to encourage the faithful by explaining how their colleague’s secular liberal wish-list is at odds not only with the Tradition of the Church, but with the integrity of the faith itself. There is not a peep of a correction to be found on the website of the Irish Bishops’ Conference. Suppose that bishop Walsh had uttered something egregious from the liberal point of view; suppose that—mirabile dictu—he were to denounce homosexuals as “notorious sinners” and to describe their bedroom antics as “grotesque”. Need we rehearse what would happen then? His brother bishops would be falling over themselves in their haste to distance themselves from his remarks and to smother them with the face of welcoming, inclusive tolerance that the conciliar church considers the supreme virtue. Not hard to be politically correct, is it? Much harder to be a Christian. There is still time for one or more of the Irish bishops to practice a little discreet fraternal correction. But Melancholicus won’t be holding his breath.

The patron of the Killaloe diocese is St. Flannán, who (I am confident) would not see eye-to-eye with his Wishy-Washy successor on multiple matters. That being so, it behooves us (and especially the unfortunate Catholics of that wretched diocese) to pray fervently that when Wishy Washy’s vacant seat is filled again, the new incumbent will be an appointment worthy of such high office, that he will, and that he will not sow confusion and indifference among the flock or court the admiration of the media like his predecessor. The first task of the new bishop will be to begin repairing the damage wrought by this shitten shepherd.

Friday, October 23, 2009


This is the 485th post on Infelix Ego.

It is also—at least for the time being—the last.

Those who still bother to drop by in the hope of finding fresh material will have noticed that posting has been light in 2009, and since July has dried up almost entirely.

Personal circumstances have changed. Melancholicus is no longer employed at the university, does not have the same unfettered access to the internet he once enjoyed, and in any case is now preparing to uproot himself from Ireland and move—permanently—to the United States, where it will no doubt take him some time to establish himself and have at his disposal both the leisure and facilities requisite for blogging.

Melancholicus is now also married to a wonderful young woman. Grateful thanks are extended—from both of us—to those readers who have offered their prayers on our behalf, and to those especially who attended our wedding.

Now Melancholicus is preparing to join his wife in the state of Washington. He has received his K-3 visa, and will depart these shores finally in late November.

He hopes to resurrect Infelix Ego some time in the future, circumstances permitting, but that time is probably far distant. Until then there shall be no fresh posting. However, as he has a large number of posts in draft from past months, he may be able to publish one of these from time to time. That will be the only updating of this blog until further notice, and not all of these drafts are suitable for publication anyway since they concern analysis of news stories and suchlike that are now out of date and no longer relevant.

But Infelix Ego will remain live, to edify, amuse, bore, annoy, embitter or infuriate those whom Google shall send this way.

There is now nothing left to do but to thank you all for reading, and for offering your comments—even if I responded to less than half of these. Particular gratitude is extended to those fellow bloggers who were so generous as to provide me with links. I shall not embarrass you; suffice it to say you know who you are, and I am most grateful.

Oremus pro invicem!


Ego non iam infelix, Melancholicus, peccator

Friday, October 02, 2009

Yet another reason to vote No

Should the Lisbon Treaty be ratified, we, the proud citizens of the glorious new European State, can look forward to having this man as the first Priest-King of the new Empire, or “President”, as he shall be officially known.

Yes, Tony “Faith Foundation” Blair.

One step closer to the End of Days.

Lisbon in a nutshell

If Ireland should reject the Lisbon Treaty again, the Commissars will punish us by withholding all the cash they weren’t going to give us anyway if we had voted Yes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two minutes and fifty-eight seconds

Last Christmas, one of Melancholicus’ close relatives, familiar with his interest in matters religious (but unfamiliar with matters religious herself), gave to him a CD-recording of Desmond Tutu (!) reading Jeffrey Archer’s improbable piece of alternative history masquerading as fiction, namely The Gospel of Judas.

Melancholicus had to feign delight in order not to give offence by rejecting this gift in horror (as it was obviously chosen with some thought), but regular readers of Infelix Ego will know what passed inwardly in his soul when he realized what he had been given.

The gift was well meant, the giver desiring to please but without knowing what it was she was giving.

The CDs were later thrust into a seldom-used drawer containing various oddments, and there they reposed until Melancholicus, preparing for his imminent emigration to the Land of the Free by emptying his rooms and boxing up all his possessions, discovered them afresh as the oddments drawer was being cleared out. With a moue of distaste he almost consigned them to the trash, but as it was a personal gift from someone close he decided at least to give Archer’s Gospel of Judas a chance and not to pass judgement until he had subjected himself to the contents thereof. After all, as the text was read by a Christian archbishop considered by many to be a veritable pattern of holiness (yes, I know...), The Gospel of Judas really couldn’t be that bad.

Could it?

In went the first CD (there were three of them). First there was a short preface, which was innocent enough. The reading of this lasted for about a minute. Then we were into the story, narrated from the viewpoint of one “Benjamin Iscariot”, putatively Judas’ son.

Almost immediately Melancholicus was confronted with a string of obnoxious Christological heresies and nauseating attacks on the early Church and on the testimony of the canonical gospels.

Whereat the CD was removed, replaced in its case and the whole dumped unceremoniously in the wheelie bin outside the front door.

It had taken only two minutes and fifty-eight seconds of listening for the nature of the beast to out. Is that a record?

Even Dan Brown takes longer than that to really get going.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Saracen or sacristan?

The story is told of Pio Nono entertaining a visiting grandee at the Vatican.

While on their knees in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the pope’s private chapel, they could not help but notice a person who, emerging from the shadows and strolling casually from one side of the chapel to the other, gave only the briefest and most perfunctory nod in the direction of the exposed Sacrament. Whereat the holy pope said to his guest, “That’s either a saracen, or a sacristan!”

This story was related orally to Melancholicus several years ago, so he has no idea of its source, but it was brought rather forcefully to mind after Mass on Trinity Sunday. Immediately after the celebrant had left the sanctuary, and as the singing of Salve Regina was still in progress, the sacristan suddenly appeared and began dashing about the sanctuary like a thing possessed, whipping the missal and altar cards off the altar, snatching the cruets with graceless haste, and with heavy footfalls stomping back into the sacristy without even a nod to the tabernacle. This behaviour was unseemly, unedifying and—especially for the members of the schola—most distracting.

The sacristan in this particular parish is a woman somewhere, Melancholicus guesses, between sixty and seventy years of age. Once she had started her squawking and flapping, she made no effort to be quiet so as not to disturb the still-singing schola or the members of the congregation praying privately in their pews. It is no secret that she strongly disapproves of the Traditional Latin Mass being offered on what she evidently regards as her territory, and her outrageous behaviour was no less than a wilful display of hostility for the benefit of those of us attached to the ancient liturgy. Her irritation was palpable. Melancholicus and his companion in the choir loft looked at one another in disbelief.

After the recessional had ended Melancholicus knelt to make his thanksgiving for the Mass, but prayer was impossible, for now the termagant was darting about the nave like a blue-arsed fly, collecting all the red Mass books in a frenzied rush. When she had finally finished driving forth the few remaining faithful, she vanished back into the sacristy and within a few moments the church was full of piped music. She had put a CD on the sacristy stereo—some cleansing new age tune to wash away the taint of all that Tridentine gobbledygook.

Melancholicus does not know the name of the piece that was played, but under the circumstances we can title it A Sacristan’s Revenge.

Or should that instead be A Saracen’s Revenge, perhaps?

Friday, June 05, 2009

The bishops on the European elections

Ah, the bishops! Where would we be without their magisterial guidance?

Last Sunday the Irish bishops’ conference put out a press release on voting in the European elections. The local elections get only a passing mention, but the bishops are keen that we all get us out today to elect the next batch of MEPs. Melancholicus shall not reproduce the text in full, since much of it is written in the lorem ipsum of management-style boilerplate—although, unlike last year’s pastoral on the Lisbon Referendum, the bishops don’t actually go as far as instructing us how we must vote. Helpfully, however, the bishops have summarized the whole in two basic points:
  • To vote is a concrete way of fulfilling the Gospel challenge to serve our neighbour

  • MEPs should promote respect for freedom of religion and religious expression as a fundamental right and a defining value of the Union

With all due respect to our fathers in God, both of these are problematic. First of all, the notion that we “fulfil the Gospel challenge to serve our neighbour” (what lovely newchurch newspeak!) by casting a ballot. Does such necessarily follow? In 1932, 37% of the German electorate cast a ballot for the NSDAP. Look how that turned out. I humbly suggest we can “fulfil the Gospel challenge” perfectly legitimately by, when the occasion merits it, abstaining from casting a vote. Abstention is certainly preferable in cases where the only choice is between two equally impious alternatives. In such instances, a non-vote is itself a sort of vote. Not voting should not be seen as a ‘failure’ to vote, and certainly not as a “failure to serve ourselves, our neighbour and our children”, as the bishops have the temerity to describe it.

To be fair, the bishops are probably influenced in their attitude by the existence of non-democratic forms of government in certain countries where the struggle for the establishment of democracy is literally a matter of life and death. In such places courageous souls risk life and limb in order to win for their people the privilege of voting. If one chooses not to exercise the privilege one enjoys, the fact that the same privilege may be denied to others does not make one’s choice worthy of blame. No-one should be forced to vote; the beauty of democracy is that one can vote for any particular candidate—or indeed for none of them, if one prefers. The choice is up to the enfranchised individual, and it will not do for the bishops to imply that there is always a moral obligation to vote in every election or plebiscite or whatever.

Then the bishops address the subject of freedom of religion. This is what they say:

The newly elected MEPs will need the political competence and skills necessary to deal with the above mentioned challenges. They will need the qualities of mind and heart to work in the multi-cultural, multi-lingual and politically diversified environment of the EU and its institutions.

This includes giving full recognition to the contribution of Christianity to the construction and values of the European Union and to the importance of religious faith in the lives of its citizens.

MEPs should promote respect for freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression as a fundamental right and a defining value of the Union. They should hold strong convictions on promoting respect for human dignity, upholding the right to life and the rights of the family. They should be committed to shaping a political order that provides justice to everyone, especially the poorest.

There is nothing worthy of condemnation here, but the loose language employed robs the text of any power it might otherwise have had. What, precisely, does it mean to give “full recognition to the contribution of Christianity to the construction and values of the European Union”? We might be talking about history here, and nothing more. There is not even the slightest suggestion that the EU bind itself in its workings to the moral principles of Christianity. Furthermore, what of “the importance of religious faith”? What “religious faith” would that be, then? The Catholic faith? If so, why not say so clearly? Or perhaps their Lordships mean the whole babel of religions taken as a totality? It is hard to see how in practice such could be even remotely workable, unless their Lordships have in mind not particular religions with particular beliefs and a particular praxis, but a vague, secular religiosity of the kind practiced by His Eminence Tony Blair.

And as for freedom of religion—a noble idea in itself—let us see, by the addition of just a few words, how the current trend of the EU will implement the bishops’ call in practice:

MEPs should promote respect for freedom of [the Islamic] religion and freedom of [Islamic] religious expression as a fundamental right [for Muslims] and a defining value of the Union. They should hold strong convictions on promoting respect for human dignity [of Muslims], upholding the right to life and the rights of the [Islamic] family. They should be committed to shaping an [Islamic] political order that provides [sharia] justice to everyone, especially the poorest [Muslim immigrants].

Can it be denied that they’re doing this already?

H/T to Seen and Unseen.

Election day!

Today, June 5, elections shall be held in the Republic of Ireland, giving the electorate an opportunity to chastise the ensconced oligarchy for its negligence, its corruption and its misrule.

Last Saturday’s episode of The Emergency on Newstalk 106 featured a sketch about door-to-door canvassing for elections in Germany in 1949, shortly after World War II. Two canvassers introduce themselves as members of the Nazi party and ask the incredulous householder if he would consider giving his vote to the Nazis. The householder is aghast and tells them “No! ... Impossible! ... you destroyed the country!” The comparison in our own time and place with Fianna Fáil (which is what the sketch writers were aiming at) was immediate, obvious, and not a little amusing in a bitter-sweet kind of way.

Today’s elections come in three varieties:

  1. There shall be a by-election to fill Dáil seats left vacant by the repose of two TDs, namely

    • Seamus Brennan (†9 July 2008)
    • Tony Gregory (†2 January 2009)

    These elections concern the Dublin South and Dublin Central constituencies respectively, and as such Melancholicus (who lives in Dublin North-West) has no vote in either of them. Here are the contenders in each:

    • Dublin South:

      Shay Brennan (son of the late Seamus Brennan)
      George Lee (former RTÉ economic analyst turned FG candidate)
      Alex White
      Shaun Tracey
      Elizabeth Davidson
      Noel O’Gara
      Frank O’Gorman
      Ross O’Mullane

      George Lee is the hot favourite to win here.

    • Dublin Central:

      Maurice Ahern (Bertie’s other brother)
      Paschal Donohue
      Ivana Bacik (good grief!)
      Christy Burke
      David Geary
      Maureen O’Sullivan (the Gregory candidate)
      Paul O’Loughlin
      Malachy Steenson
      Pat Talbot

      The late Tony Gregory’s seat will probably go to Independent Maureen O’Sullivan, billed as “the Gregory candidate”, or else to Christy Burke of Sinn Féin. Paul O’Loughlin (Christian Solidarity), who has stood for Dáil elections in this constituency on previous occasions, can be confident of his usual 200 or so votes. Even the Nazis, in their first serious electoral outing in 1928, while winning a derisive 2% of the overall vote, did better than Christian Solidarity ever did or will. Malachy Steenson (Workers’ Party) and Pat Talbot (Immigration Control Platform) have no chance.

      It is safe to say that neither of the government parties (FF and Green) will win a seat in either constituency, although the young and untried Shay Brennan may well benefit from the dynastic nature of Irish politics.

  2. Then there are the elections for the European parliament. For this purpose Ireland is divided into four constituencies: Dublin, East, North West and South. Three seats are up for grabs in each. Melancholicus shall here confine his attention only to Dublin, since this is where he shall be voting. The candidates are as follows:

    Eoin Ryan (outgoing MEP)
    Eibhlin Byrne
    Gay Mitchell (outgoing MEP)
    Proinsias de Rossa (outgoing MEP)
    Mary Lou McDonald (outgoing MEP)
    Deirdre de Burca
    Patricia McKenna
    Caroline Simons
    Joe Higgins
    Emmanuel Sweeney

    This is a tough one to call. The fact that only three seats are available means at least one of the sitting MEPs will lose his/her seat. Melancholicus was briefly tempted to cast his vote for Mary Lou, if only to force Eoin Ryan out, but also toyed with the idea of sending Joe Higgins off to Brussels out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Regular readers of Infelix Ego know this writer’s opinion of Socialism, but politics aside, Mr. Higgins is in many respects an admirable man. In the end, however, Melancholicus shall be responsible and vote instead for Caroline Simons as the candidate most fully representing his attitude to the EU.

  3. Finally there are the local elections to city and county councils throughout the country. Attention here will be confined to your blogger’s home ward of Artane-Whitehall. Here be the list:

    Sean Paul Mahon (outgoing councillor)
    Julia Carmichael (outgoing councillor)
    Declan Flanagan (outgoing councillor)
    Noel Rock
    Paddy Bourke (outgoing councillor)
    Andrew Montague (outgoing councillor)
    Sinead Seery
    Larry O’Toole (outgoing councillor)
    Denise Mitchell
    Martin O’Sullivan
    Anna Harvey

    A motley crew, and no mistake. There are only 5 seats available in this ward, which means at least one of the sitting councillors will lose a seat. Melancholicus is not even going to attempt to guess who will win here, for he is trying to decide how he shall vote on this one. Fianna Fáil do not deserve to retain their seats. However, he is loath to vote Fine Gael despite coming from a long line of blueshirts, and voting Labour is absolutely out of the question. Perhaps one or other of the two independents — but Melancholicus knows neither of them, and he never casts a vote for someone he knows nothing about. The only alternative is to cast a spoiled vote. He has never spoiled a vote before, but there is a first time for everything. A spoiled vote at least registers a protest, and hence is better than boycotting the polling station altogether.

The main problem with such elections is that there are almost no credible alternatives to the grasping, venal party currently in government. This is not a general election, but a catastrophic defeat for Fianna Fáil in the local elections may precipitate a general election, in which the main government party has no assurance of success. Fianna Fáil do not deserve a majority in the Dáil, or even a share in coalition government, but what other alternative have we? Any coalition not involving Fianna Fáil must of necessity involve the Labour party. Labour has always been on the left, but since its absorption of Democratic Left in 1999 it has swung even further leftwards. Any coalition in which Labour has a share will forge ahead with ‘multicultural’ fascism, political correctness and social engineering. Expect such a government to produce a raft of ‘progressive’ legislation. The consequences for the defence of human life, marriage, the family, education and even religious freedom could be severe.

There is no conservative party, socially speaking, in Ireland—not even Fianna Fáil, although the track record of the latter is generally better than that of other parties. But we can’t keep voting Fianna Fáil forever. No party should be kept in power longer than three terms; Fianna Fáil have already proved themselves incapable of keeping their hands clean.

But what alternative? It is maddening.

Geert Wilders and the BBC

Don’t you just love the partiality of the BBC! Don’t you just love the way al-Beeb views very social, political, historical or cultural matter through such a red-tinted lens that anyone even slightly on the wrong side of the centre line is blasted as “far right”, as though the Dutch Freedom Party were the quintessence of fascism, akin to the Nazis?

Well, the Freedom Party appear to be showing strongly in the European elections, strongly enough to claim at least four seats in the European parliament.

This has sent al-Beeb into conniptions. Count the number of times the expressions “right wing” and “far right” appear in the following story.

When does the BBC ever use the terms “left wing” or “far left”? Answer: it doesn’t. This because that organisation is slanted so far to the left that to be “left wing” is to be positively centre, which is where al-Beeb fondly imagines itself to be.

Dutch far right in poll triumph

The party of the right-wing Dutch MP, Geert Wilders, has come second in the country's elections for the European Parliament, partial results indicate.

Mr Wilders, who is facing prosecution over anti-Islamic statements [interesting that no-one ever faces prosecution over anti-Christian statements], said his Freedom Party (PVV) would get four of the 25 Dutch seats in the parliament.

With more than 92% of votes counted, the ruling Christian Democrats are top.

Voters are now going to the polls in the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland. The UK voted on Thursday.

Dutch and British voters were the first to go to the polls to elect the EU's most powerful legislative body.

Some 375 million people in 27 member states are eligible to vote. Most will cast their ballots over the weekend.

Partial results released on Friday showed Mr Wilders' PVV was on course to win 16.9% of the votes in the Netherlands. The PVV currently has no seats in the European Parliament [looks like this is about to change—unless the EU decides to refuse acknowledgement of democratic results it doesn’t like, which is not beyond the bounds of possibility].

Mr Wilders was refused entry to the UK in February on the grounds that he had sought to incite hatred with a film he made last year that equated Islam with violence and likened the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf [one cannot even debate this subject without drawing down on oneself the hysterical fury of the multiculturalists, never mind the far more dangerous psychopathic fury of the islams, but one can trash the Bible with as much vilification as one likes without the slightest consequence].

EU officials concerned

Voters are deciding who gets the 736 seats up for grabs under various forms of proportional representation.

The European Commission has asked for an explanation from Dutch officials, who broke EU rules by releasing partial results early. Results are not supposed to be announced until polls close across Europe on Sunday night [perhaps the real explanation they’re looking for is why the Dutch electorate have dared to deliver such an unpalatable result. Re-education, anyone?].

In the UK, elections were also held in some areas for local councils.

The results of both UK polls are keenly awaited to see how they might affect the national political scene, following weeks of turmoil over MPs' expenses claims.

Latvia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia vote on Saturday, while the Czech Republic and Italy vote over Friday and Saturday, and Saturday and Sunday respectively. People in the remaining 18 member states will vote on Sunday.

In Ireland, the vote is seen as a key test ahead of a second referendum on the EU's controversial Lisbon Treaty, expected in October.

The Irish government, stung by the voters' rejection of Lisbon last year, is opposed by Declan Ganley's Libertas. The millionaire entrepreneur, who helped fuel anti-Lisbon sentiment in Ireland, hopes to win one of the 12 Irish seats.

Coalition ally hit

The anti-immigration Dutch Freedom Party MEPs will be headed by Barry Madlener and Mr Wilders will remain an MP in The Hague, Radio Netherlands reports.

The partial results in the Netherlands also showed gains for two staunchly pro-EU parties - the social-liberal D66 and Green Left. Each is on course to send three MEPs to Brussels.

The Christian Democrats' governing coalition partner, the Labour Party (PvdA), was the biggest loser - its share of the Dutch vote fell nearly 10% percentage points to about 14%.

"We dare to talk about sensitive subjects like Islamisation and we use plain and simple words that the voter can understand," Mr Wilders has said in the past.

The controversial politician is facing prosecution in the Netherlands for making anti-Islamic statements, following a court ruling in January [once again, would Mr. Wilders be facing prosecution if he had made anti-Christian statements? Rhetorical question...].

Polls show that Euroscepticism among Dutch voters has increased since the last European elections, with EU enlargement and integration the most unpopular issues.

Across Europe, far-right [there we go again!] parties are hoping to win at least 15 seats. However, the centre-right European People's Party bloc is expected to remain the main force, followed by the European Socialists.

Geert Wilders is now unmasked as a known agent of Goldstein, and he must be stopped before he spreads thoughtcrime throughout the European Union!

What is heartening, however, is that the Dutch at long last seem to be waking up and recognizing the reality around them. This is a country Melancholicus had long given up for lost, but the Islamic infiltration of Europe has now reached such a pitch that even the liberal, left-leaning Dutch have started to notice. Why are so many Dutch people casting their vote for the “right-wing” Geert Wilders and his “far right” Freedom Party? Because they are afraid. They see their liberal, tolerant, easy-going society and culture being filched from them little by little, and supplanted with a replacement which is anything but liberal, tolerant and easy-going, abetted by the Dutch government and by the EU.

Just ask the good people of Rotterdam.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ordination day

Iam non dicam vos servos sed amicos meos, quia servus nescit quid faciat dominus ejus. Alleluia. Vos autem dixi amicos, quia omnia quaecumque audivi a patre meo nota feci vobis. Alleluia.

Last Saturday, the vigil of the feast of Pentecost, Melancholicus’ former classmates were ordained to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ by Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Owing to personal circumstances, Melancholicus was unable either to be there or to assist at the First Masses of his friends. He has not yet received any photographs of the happy event but hopes to remedy this defect before long.

In the meantime he earnestly solicits the prayers of his readers for the new priests as they begin their priestly ministry:

Fr. Brian Austin FSSP
Fr. Matthew Goddard FSSP
Fr. Michael Stinson FSSP

While we wait for the ordination pictures, here are a couple of shots from Father Austin’s First Mass, celebrated on Pentecost Sunday at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska (see the rest of them here):

Ad multos annos.

Fr. Goddard will celebrate his first solemn Mass in his English homeland at 11am on 6 June (Saturday) in St. James’ church, Spanish Place, London. British readers of Infelix Ego in London and the south-east are encouraged to attend. Tell Fr. Goddard afterwards that Melancholicus sent you. He’ll be amused.