Friday, June 17, 2011

Two Hates

I don't know too much about Pro Ecclesia, I rather admire Daphne McLeod's staunch defence of Catholicism.

As a footnote to the story about Cardinal Burke’s cancellation of his Pro Ecclessiae engagement the Herald runs a story saying the conference has been cancelled, in which it appears that an unidentified person has been telling the management of Westminster Central Hall “Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice were not the kind of people who should speak in their hall.”


I hate that type of thing, it seems to be so much part of the Church in England and Wales. Accusations are made, minds are poisoned through a mixture of detraction and calumny, where the accused knows neither the substance of the accusation or the accuser. He is left unable to defend himself and yet his reputation is destroyed. It is wicked. So often this seems to be the weapon of choice of the liberal Catholic establishment.


The other thing I hate in this story is Pro Ecclesia's choice of “Robert Sungenis... founder of Catholic Apologetics International, [who] had been criticised for his views on Jewish people” being invited as a substitute for the Cardinal.

Why, oh why do apparently orthodox Catholics ally themselves with the politically rightwing? I believe very much in the saying attributed to St. Athanasius, “You can tell an Arian [a heretic] by the way he treats the poor”. If Mr Sungenis is anti-semitic then one should suspect him of other unorthodoxies. Just because someone is anti-abortion, anti-anti-marriage, anti-horrendous liturgy doesn't necessarilly mean they are pro-Christ or as some us would say orthodox Catholics, that depends on the acceptance of Christ himself and the teaching of His Church.

25 comments:

Ignatius said...

"I hate that type of thing, it seems to be so much part of the Church in England and Wales. Accusations are made, minds are poisoned through a mixture of detraction and calumny, where the accused knows neither the substance of the accusation or the accuser. He is left unable to defend himself and yet his reputation is destroyed. It is wicked. So often this seems to be the weapon of choice of the liberal Catholic establishment."
I don't know about the liberal establishment, if there is such a thing. This sounds like a good description of the way the Vatican removed the much loved (by his people) Bishop Morris of Toowoomba.

santoeusebio said...

I am afraid Cardinal Burke's sudden and in my view very regrettable withdrawal at the last minute put Mrs McLeod in a very difficult position not least financially. She seems to have been advised to have Mr Sungenis and Father Kramer as substitutes at the very last minute. Both of them have been accused of having rather strange views. Anti-semitism in the case of Sungenis and the Fatima "secretist" theory which says that the third secret has been partially suppressed as it said that VII was demonic in the case of Father Kramer. Whether Sungenis can be categorised as a holocaust denier I am not sure - he certainly raises questions about it. In view of the recent Bishop Williamson affair this obviously gave the Archdiocese a big fright.

Mrs McLeod seems to have been informed of their curious views only after having announced these speakers by a Mr Williams. Mr Williams seems to have taken upon himself the task of informing the Jewish Chronicle of this which started the ball rolling leading to cancellation by the Methodist Central Hall after taking advice from the Archdiocese. The Jewish Chronicle wrote:

"After Robert Williams, a concerned member of Pro Ecclesia, alerted Westminster Central Hall to the speakers' records, its executive chairman, Reverend Tim Swindell, cancelled the event. "

I am not sure I indorse Mr Williams's action. If he was a member of Pro Ecclesia was this the right way to go about it? He has called for Mrs McLeod's to step down.

I must say I feel very sorry for Mrs McLeod who has done saintly hard work for the Faith which seems at last to be bearing fruit - witness to-day's Catholic Herald.

She was put in an impossible position and in the rush to remedy matters may have made innocent mistakes in her choice of new speakers.

The winner in all this is Satan who must be laughing all the way. The "devout and faithful Catholics" who started this saga off by warning Cardinal Burke off may have something to answer for on the Last Day - by the way I believe that will be a Holiday of Obligation and attendance will be inescapable.

Nicolas Bellord

shadowlands said...

'Just because someone is anti-abortion, anti-anti-marriage, anti-horrendous liturgy doesn't necessarilly mean they are pro-Christ or as some us would say orthodox Catholics, that depends on the acceptance of Christ himself and the teaching of His Church.'


i never thought about it like that before. Well said Father. It's a shame all the money lost though, on the arranging and everything.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

My recollection is that, a few years ago, when the Traditionalist Anglo-Catholic Forward in Faith organisation, which does not favour the Ordination of Women, booked Central Hall, there was a real fear that the authorities would not allow it. The rumour that went round afterwards - I cannot vouch for its accuracy - was that the booking was allowed ... but that FIF were charged above the normal rate for Christian bookings.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Ignatius,
The Twoowoomba affair was going on for over a decade of Rome trying to get Morrison to retract or when he wouldn't to resign.
Eventually ending with an interview with the Pope, seems pretty open to me!

After his dismissal, though Morris made a tour of the media putting his side, the Church kept silent protecting his reputation.

Various people on the net having been saying they had written to the deposed Bishop and then, when they were ignored, finally to the Holy See.

I don't see any comparison.

Auricularis said...

Robert Sugnesis has been accused of anti-Semetism. Can anyone point this out. It seems strange to be complaining of detraction towards others and accuse someone of libel, in the same post.

santoeusebio said...

Auriculus: There has been a massive discussion on William Oddie's blog about Sugnesis. I think the evidence produced lends support to the theory that he has made some pretty unwise remarks about the Jews. Also the Catholic Herald blog:

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2011/06/15/pro-ecclesia-conference-cancelled/#comment-228277936

Nicolas Bellord

Michael Petek said...

I think all this is very unfortunate. Daphne McLeod seems to have been pressurised by circumstances into inviting speakers whose opinions weren't above reproach. In this she made an error of judgement.

I spoke to Daphne a few days ago about some videos I'd seen of Father Kramer on Youtube and told her I wasn't happy about what I saw there. No matter that she'd asked him to speak on uncontentious subjects - mud sticks.

Paul, Anglican friend said...

I question whether the comment on the "traditionalist Anglo-Catholic Forward in Faith organisation" is from the person named.

Why not confirm your identity by email to Father Ray?
Thank you.

berenike said...

I think Sungenis is also a geocentrist ...

The Raven (C. Corax) said...

Dear Father

I'm afraid that I'm going to have to take issue with you, or at least ask you to define your terms.

You identify someone with anti-semitic views as "right wing" and go on to imply that people that are "right wing" mistreat the poor.

Being "right wing" can mean a host of things, but might simply mean that one holds socially conservative views and does not believe in statist or corporatist solutions to economic and social problems.

People espousing those views *may* also treat the poor and the helpless badly, but that does not follow a priori from their "right wing" political views, vile behaviour towards the poor and disadvantaged goes across the political spectrum (if you want the proof of that point, just look at the treatment meted out to George and Diane by Brighton and Hove Council, which is currently in the hands of the ultra-leftist Green party).

Equally, racist views are not limited to persons at one end of the political spectrum (it's no coincidence that the BNP draws the bulk of its support from former Labour voters).

God bless.

Thomas

Auricularis said...

From what I seem to gather, Sugnesis rightly criticized the US conference of bishops for 2006 US Catechism, which stated the following claim:

"Thus the covenant that
God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."

Anyone, with an ounce of the faith, can see that this statement id tantamount to heresy and completely nullifies the salvific work of Our Lord's death and resurrection. Is Robert Sugneis, anti-semetic for pointing this glaring anomaly out, which has become prevalent in the church after the close of the last council?

Richard said...

According to the Wikipedia page on him, Sungenis claims to be anti-Zionist but not anti-semetic.

Interestingly, although Fr Blake complains of right-wingers, that is a stance that is more commonly taken by the Left.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Semitism (chaired by a Labour MP) reported in 2006 that "contemporary antisemitism in Britain is now more commonly
found on the left of the political spectrum than on the right", and that this generally took the form of anti-Zionism that went too far.

See here:
www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/sep/03/religion.immigrationpolicy

Richard said...

But (according to Wikipedia) Sungenis also believes that the earth is stationary and unturning, and that the Sun and planets revolve around it.

In my book that makes it irrelevant whether he is right-wing or left-wing; he's just a loon.

Catholic Voice said...

What Ignatius writes about Toowoomba is complete nonsense and the sad product of the disinformation put out by a prideful and bitter former-bishop.

B. said...

Father,
by what account do you label Mr. Sungenis an "anti-semite"? It seems to me that you are repeating exactly the type of detraction and calumny that you complain about in the earlier part of your post.

The history of Mr. Sungenis alleged anti-semitism is this: He went on a campaign against a part of the official USCCB catechism ("United States Catholic Catechism
for Adults,") that said that the convenant of Moses remains eternally valid for Jews. Following this he was labelled an Anti-Semite and was prohibited to use the word "Catholic" in the name of his organization by his bishop, to which he obeyed.
In the end the USCCB had to change the passage in the catechism, implicitly admitting that Mr. Sungenis was correct.
Here is the Letter to the CDF that Mr. Sungenis wrote.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Richard,
My words are "If Mr Surgens is anti-Semitic ..."
I don't know anything about, except what is reported in the Herald article I cite.

Fr Ray Blake said...

B,
Do you have a copy of the reply from CDF to Mr Surgens letter?

santoeusebio said...

I am not sure that believing in geocentricism deserves the label of lunatic. Where is there a fixed point in the Universe? If you take the earth as being fixed then it makes understanding the solar system immensely complicated but feasible. It is much simpler to take the Sun as the centre of the solar system. But beyond that?

As for Mr Sungenis and anti-semitism this is being discussed ad nauseam on other blogs. I suggest we keep off it!

Nicolas Bellord

B. said...

Father,
here is the Reply. (page 2), a standard acknowledgement of receipt.

Richard said...

Father, I also know nothing about Sungenis (I've never heard of him before), and have no desire to defend him.

What concerned me was that there seems to be a lazy equation behind your post, that "anti-semitic" = "right-wing" = "fails to love the poor".

If that is not your view, then I apologise. But you go straight from criticism of Sungenis' views on Jews, to a claim that he is right-wing, to St. Athanasius' quote about the poor. If that was not your view, then I cannot see what logic links those three sentences.

I am convinced that both of those equations are false:

- Whatever may have been the case 50 years ago (I wasn't around then), anti-semitism is now far more prevalent on the left than the right (worse, it is a far more 'mainstream' view on the left).

- The 'right-wing' approach of work+charity is arguably a better application of love for the poor than the 'left-wing' tax+benefits approach, which often ends up abandoning the poor to an uncaring professional bureaucracy.

But in any case, a disagreement about the best way to improve the lot of the poor does not mean that one side of the debate has a monopoly on Christian love for them.

Father, I do worry about the "right-wingers" that you have met. From the impression you seem to have formed of us, they must have been a bad lot.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Richard,
I use "right wing" in that vague wooley way it is commonly understood, or, as you suggest not understood, meaning by it Conservative/Republican social policies.
I have also criticised the equally wooley left wing".
My point is simply, "You can tell an Arian... etc" and that orthodoxy and orthopraxis go hand in hand, Christianity is not about either political wing but is about love of God and then neighbour.

Auricularis said...

Why, oh why do apparently orthodox Catholics ally themselves with the politically rightwing?... Just because someone is anti-abortion, anti-anti-marriage, anti-horrendous liturgy doesn't necessarilly mean they are pro-Christ or as some us would say orthodox Catholics, that depends on the acceptance of Christ himself and the teaching of His Church.

I really take issue with this statement. With all due respect Father: unless you have the gift of internal discernment like Padre Pio, then I find it quite incredible that you could tell someone is "pro Christ" just by seeing if they are right wing or not. I really don't see how being right wing (or left wing for that matter, although the latter inevitably entails some beliefs which are in contradiction of the church's social and moral teaching) could mean that you do not accept the teachings of Christ and his church.

We all embark on a slippery slope, when we accuse someone of unorthodoxy because they hold political views, we don't share.

Ma Tucker said...

Richard I do not think him loony at all. Even Einstein's theory of relativity supports a fix Earth hypothesis. You can pick your point of reference where ever you please and do the maths from there.

The earth as being the fixed point of reference makes sense given the viewer is earthbound generally. It makes sense from a Catholic perspective because the Word from the beginning envisaged the redemption. It is the centre piece of all creation. Who is redeemed? Man. Where is Man? on earth. If you like, Earth is the stage where the greatest drama of all creation takes place. It is centre stage.

From a mathematical perspective as far as I know the equations look prettier when earth is the centre, This is always a good sign. Truth, beauty and simplicity.


So, if you were free to choose (assuming Einstein's theory is correct), one would have to wonder why on earth would you not choose earth! Frequently, one finds an anti-religious bias dictates the choice.


Auricularis, would agree with you there.

gemoftheocean said...

'Why, oh why do apparently orthodox Catholics ally themselves with the politically rightwing?'

Let me guess: liberals often push for 'gay marriage' 'gay adoptions' abortion, euthanasia, forcing people to pay for their abortions, robbing Peter to pay Paul when Peter is as poor as Paul. To boot they are job killers, freedom haters, and Nanny Staters. They hate any mention of God in schools.

Frankly, any Catholic worth his salt as a catholic, isn't a leftist. Leftist have an anti-Christian agenda.