Monday, 30 November 2015

No Peccadilloes here...

Albeit the esteemed blog host declined to comment, I put forward two reasons here that I would be an unlikely seminarian in both the Church of England and the Papal communion given the strict, one might say "politically correct," requirements for prospective candidates to orders these days - assuming I had a vocation thereto. A clean bill of mental health, completely asexual and having no tendency to question authority seem rather ugly characteristics in a priest to me, but in the pseudo-profound words of pope Francis: "who am I to judge?"

I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2008 and I have various issues with depression (a seasonal thing best described as malignant cynicism), self-esteem (which my mother, rightly, says I don't need), a distinct lack of confidence and a fear of confrontation - an easy target for bullies. I am also lazy and resentful. Those would be sufficient to bar me from ordination these days, but there is much more. I am also homosexual. Now, before we get into the ethics of labelling I am using these terms for the purposes of convenience. I have my own views about homosexuality, which are influenced both by St Paul and Quentin Crisp. Trying to explain this odd combination to most people is usually a colossal waste of time because most people make assumptions about the word "homosexual" and about people in or out of "the closet." My openness about it is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it indicates to secularists that I am not ashamed and that I may be in an unnatural relationship with another man; both of which I am not. To men of faith (this is not solely limited to Christians - see here), I am already suspect. They think that the inclination is a lifestyle choice based on a belief, and, despite my actual beliefs, has led to a number of unpleasant and humiliating experiences, chief among them my gratuitous expulsion from a church to which I had devoted several formative years of my life. But to both secularists and men of faith alike my openness about this cross to bear seems to equate in their minds with an unquestioning support for equalities, diversity, gay pride, abortion, and other abuses. Please let me tell you unequivocally: it does not.

"And his wife looking behind her, was turned into a statue of salt." Genesis 19:26.

So what are my views about homosexuality tangential to the rest of Creation, the present life of men, and so on? Well, the obvious source for any of our positions in life should be God's Word, in which we read (attend):
"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Romans 1:24-27.
And so the orthodox doctrine on homosexuality is that it has its uttermost source in idolatry. As a result, God gave them (an idolatrous nation) over to "vile affections," and so on. To me, this does not mean that individual homosexuals are necessarily idolaters; many of them are, but that the idolatry of the nations to which they belong is written in them and manifests as sexual attraction between men and between women. I have no doubt there are other manifestations too but we're not here to account for those. Now, there is an obvious parallel between the decadence and apostasy of the West and the seeming rise in homosexuality. Where aforetime a homosexual was seldom someone you had met but was never someone you knew personally, nowadays we all probably know at least one. Congregants at many of England's most prestigious churches will see one celebrating Mass every Sunday, mincing about in a lace cotta whilst the clandestine boyfriend sits in the pew. Most of my past friends have been homosexual and believe me I didn't go out looking for them! But readers will have noticed here that assignation, immoral soliciting and crude invitations into the beds of various men have invariably been turned down.

Of course, much as I despise the world (1John 2:15), I am not immune from worldliness. I doubt any but the most austere and isolated monks are, such as the anchorite I saw in Kathara. Someone said to me recently that my openness about being queer was "courageous." Is it, though? It might have been a century and more ago, when men like Karl Ulrichs and Robbie Ross were as open as they dared and withstood the hydra of public contempt. Quentin Crisp said it was a miracle he'd reached old age, and many times bewailed his lack of luck with a cheap, untimely death. These days, with so many safeguards, being "out of the closet" is no more courageous than having brown skin or wearing a hijab; it's called ad hoc ethics and multiculturalism. But I choose not to hide behind those safeguards. In my never-ending search for a less humiliating job I never tick the "equal opportunities" box. And so the only opprobrium with which I have to contend every day is that of the ugly Slavic men who laugh at my appearance at church, or comments like these and these (and these, and these) from people I've never met who do so from the safety of anonymity online. Of course, my appearance and manner are against me. I am not ostentatious but I am one of those persons who just looks queer. My appearance probably facilitates situations like this.

Tell me he isn't beautiful...

Homosexuals inevitably carry a great weight of shame their whole lives, or you would like to think so. In these latter days, some, like Sir Elton John (living proof that the British honours system is a joke), whose new hero is pope Francis, have aggressively cast off shame and replaced it with pride and a reflection of married life misshapen by perversion, arrogance, anger, ostentation, and many other evil things that fuel modern "lgbtism." And then there are ineffective, impecunious people like me. Now, during my teenage years I was ambivalent towards being queer. To some extent I still am. I knew it in myself and I did try to "stop" being queer, short of seeking "conversion therapy" (which I have never quite hated myself enough to seek), but it didn't work. I resented people, mostly Roman Catholics, who said that there was no such thing as homosexuality and that "same-sex attraction" was just a temptation like any other. What did they expect of me? Cold showers and fishing trips with dad? I thought it supremely ignorant for people to say that homosexuality didn't exist. It seemed to me that theft existed apart from thieves, and saying: "I have same-sex attraction," rather than simply saying: "I am queer," a pedantic platitude. Suffering, therefore, constant ignorance from fellow churchmen, I turned to the world for comfort and confirmation. In a spirit of hilarious research, as Quentin Crisp would say, I read the works of Oscar Wilde, Gore Vidal, The Sins of the Cities of the Plain, and Mr Crisp himself. I never read The Well of Loneliness because I was never interested in lesbians. (I make no secret of my contempt for lesbians. I hold it to be axiomatic that lesbianism is unnatural in a way that mos Graecorum is not. Lesbians just seem to me to be frustrated, impotent pseudo-men pulling at each other). You may be surprised to learn that I actually enjoyed this literature, and still do. I found The Naked Civil Servant to be a commendable, honest, humorous and edifying work which uplifted my spirits when they were lowest. And I have always measured against the opprobrium of the Church and world the company of some of the most distinguished men; Plato, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, &c. I was tempted to add David and Jonathan but I am not entirely convinced that that their relationship was more than platonic!

I could go on but I've said enough about homosexuality. To sum up, I would say that my ambivalence is inevitable. It saves me from hypocrisy. I accept the orthodox doctrine for reasons which I have already explained. But if sodomy goes on without my knowledge I won't be the first to stone the sodomites upon discovery of the sin. I don't think homosexuality should be against the law either, even in a "perfect" society in which the law is based on the Eternal Law of God. There must be a distinction between crime and sin, and two men "working that which is unseemly" behind closed doors may have implications for their own immortal souls, but, I would argue, no more than someone who decides he can't be bothered to attend church on Sunday. I am neither proud nor especially ashamed to be queer. I don't want to feel sexually attracted to women. If anything, my existence is a burnt sacrifice. My openness is more about shewing to the church and world that there are those of us who live life without scandal, just trying to stagger on. Or would you rather I were back "in the closet" and had a number of secret love affairs? I put it to you that the world would be a merrier place if none of us had peccadilloes. "And all things that are done, God will bring into judgement for every error, whether it be good or evil," Ecclesiastes 12:14.

As for the third point, namely having no tendency to question authority, well I am deep down an anarchist and a leveller. I see no prudence, wisdom or goodness in doing what you're told, believing and thinking what you're told, and worshipping in a certain way for no other reason than somebody in authority has mandated that. That is why I despised Lady Diana Spencer, who put her personal happiness before her duty to be a miserable wife. It is also why I despise John Zuhlsdorf, who is an obvious charlatan. I was scolded in my old parish for speaking plainly about what I think of him as a person and a "priest" (with dubious orders...), for no other reason than I ought to have a modicum of respect for his office. Why? I don't go to church on Sunday for one measly collect! So why would I want to read his recycled rubbish about the "extraordinary form?" And who wants to fund his extravagant lifestyle? But to come back to me, because this is about me (!), I am ostracised because I think this way. Because I don't hold with the 1962 party line; because I don't hold with imaginary liturgical "directions;" because I won't walk in the shadow of the London Oratory; because I think that "pope emeritus" is an unprecedented and rather silly title; because I have a mind of my own, I would not be suitable. I am not willing to jump through hoops in order to try and appease a dubious system. If a doctrine about a bishop says one thing, and the empirical evidence says another; or if liturgical history says one thing, and the pope declares another, I am not going to betray intellectual and moral integrity by making the facts fit the theory. My allegiance is first, and will always be, to the Truth, not ideologies and lies.

As Crispina said in The Magdalene Sisters of another priest, "you're not a man of God!"

Of course, this doesn't hold out much hope for somebody with no job prospects and for someone who thinks about little else but religion.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


Brother Nathanael offers an alternative view of the recent Paris attacks. One of the comments, from a Greek journalist, is interesting.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Thoughts on Paris, and the hereafter...

So far, media commentary on the well-planned, professionally executed, and completely successful mujahedin operations in Paris have been really rather quaint. Listened to closely, the ponderously sombre pundits will have you thinking that it's September 2001, rather than November 2015. The canned, fifteen year old comments and questions flow freely: "Horrific attacks kill 124 innocents;" "the attackers have nothing to do with Islam;" "how are the young men radicalized?;" "Muslims must condemn the attacks;" "we are not at war with Islam;" "why this senseless violence?;" and blah, blah, blah.

Mr Hollande's response has been predictably feeble. The terrible French reprisals we're all expecting will be "merciless." Well, we'll see about that. "An act of war?" Is he seriously that dim? Mr Cameron's response to the attacks was just laughable. He said: "The terrorists' aim is clear: it is to divide us and to destroy our way of life. So, more than ever, we should come together and stand united and carry on with the way of life that we love." THIS IS EXACTLY WRONG. A witness at the Bataclan concert hall said to police that he heard one of the gunmen tell a hostage: "It's Hollande's fault, (...) he should not have intervened in Syria." One is therefore compelled to ask: if our enemies speak so plainly about what motivates them, why do we not listen?

Media coverage will end in a few days and nothing much will change; at least for the Islamists. Western leaders will continue to blabber on about the rule of law; how Islam is a misunderstood, Quaker-like religion of peace and tolerance; that Jihad is a concept analogous to societal reform, &c. but they will scurry to avoid doing anything that will destroy the enemy in numbers that have any strategic impact whatsoever. "Jihadi John" was just one of many millions out there! The political class will hold impromptu summits of senior officials to condemn terrorism and we will probably see another absurd "Je suis Charlie" parade; with yet more empty promises of "unity" and "further action." And they will publicly beg the Arab tyrants and unnamed "Muslim leaders" in the West to do the dirty work they are too embarrassed or cowardly to let their own military and intelligence services do. And, of course, the public purse will be robbed by the charlatans who masquerade as social science professors. They will descend on Western universities and newsrooms armed with quack answers about how to solve "radicalization," and legislators will give them lots of tax payers' money just so they appear to be doing something. The sum of all of this will be what it has been for fifteen years: motion without movement.

Meanwhile the substantive post-Paris changes from Western leaders will come when they inevitably escalate the war they are already waging against us the people and our civil liberties, rather than by ordering the hugely expensive Western militaries to annihilate the Islamists, their civilian supporters and funders, and whatever infrastructure they possess. Because we in the West have become so cowardly about taking human life, even when it is deserved (except, of course, that of the unborn), we are bound not to kill the necessary number of Muslims, at home and abroad, to mitigate the Islamist threat. As a result, arrogant dogmatics like Mr Obama, Mr Cameron, Mr Hollande, and Mrs Merkel, and their colleagues will increase surveillance of law-abiding citizens like you and me, our communications, and our bank accounts; they will make international air travel more intrusive and inconvenient; and work overtime to silence and/or penalize those people who speak the simple, irrefutable fact that an increasing part of Islam is at war with the West, and that, contrary to the lies of Mr Cameron, that war is motivated not by Western lifestyles, but by what Western governments do in the Muslim world - be it invading Muslim countries, fawning over Israel, or championing those who blaspheme the Prophet Muhammad like that fishwrap Charlie Hebdo. May I say again what I said back in January: Je ne suis pas Charlie! All of these things, for Muslims, are Qu'ranic predicates to wage Jihad. If that is not a religious motivation, I don't know what is! But our refusal to recognize this as a religious conflict is interesting. It's almost as though, as secularists, our political class cannot even countenance the concept of religion in modern warfare. And such arrogance spills over into our foreign policy in the Middle East: surely secularism, the separation of church and state, democracy and women's rights are good for everyone. Muslims just haven't figured that out yet!

In many ways, the Islamists are the Western leaders' best friends in that they give them credible reasons to progressively eliminate civil liberties and continue building the authoritarian police states many of them seem to desire. Theresa May, in particular, is likely to take advantage of the Paris attacks to support her new bill which gives her the power to read our private correspondence and point cameras at whomsoever she likes.

Who's winning to-day? It's certainly not us. There is a good analysis of the attacks on Perceptio.

Paris, again...

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22.

Do you know, as so often happens when I am under attack my first instinct is to feel angry at those in charge who are supposed to protect me. When I was a child that manifested as invective against my parents who didn't protect me from being punched in the face by my brother; then as I grew up it turned into rage against popes for letting the state of the church get so bad. To-day it is bitter laughter at the incompetence and indecision of men like Mr Hollande whose response to the attacks in Paris has been feeble and predictable. We can all shew grave faces and say words like "unprecedented," and "horrific." The fact that a state of emergency has been declared means that yet more French (and by extension British) liberties will be curtailed; air travel will become more intrusive and inconvenient, and the government can now point a camera at whomever it wants and read our private e-mails. Does this help us? Or protect us from "terror?" Of course not. I'd say that nothing can.

But maybe we can do something about it. Maybe by ceasing to be obtuse, arrogant dogmatics we (and by "we" I mean "they") can own up and say: "multiculturalism and open borders were huge mistakes," and "by letting in huge numbers of angry Muslims we've brought this on ourselves," and "our support for tyranny and rogue states and intervention in the Middle East has motivated our enemies, whom we have armed and to whom we have given the keys to the city." But that just won't happen. Democracy, the rule of law, and the other by-words of secularism must be right; and "Islamism" has nothing to do with Islam! It is iniquitous, tyrannous arrogance; or is it just gross ignorance and incompetence? I mean in Britain our political class are, for the most part, Oxbridge- educated.

Having said that, I condole with the families of those killed mercilessly in the attacks. Whatever the faults of our collective political class, and the dogmas that control them, it is always the innocent who suffer because of them.

Friday, 13 November 2015


If we were a Christian civilization, I would wholeheartedly support the defence of the West against the "Islamist" menace. As it is, I couldn't care less. I look at most of my contemporaries with disdain anyway. So let the Islamists come! We have exchanged the Word of God for the dogmas of climate change, multiculturalism, inclusion, diversity and the crippled. We are a decadent, slothful, irreligious people. We are Babel-builders and idolatrous. So let them come. We deserve no mercy whatever. The hand of God decides the victors of battle, and we are in the position of the Greeks in 1453. The only hope for us is to return to the worship of the True God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, with contrite and abject hearts. Until we do, we will all singly be destroyed, in this life and the next.

Let the Word of God be the anvil upon which the dogmas of men are smashed!

Dr Michael Scheuer...

Why Mr Putin will fail and why the Islamic State will win.

See here.

We're done like dinner!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


I never cease to be amazed at just how degraded modern man has become. It is Armistice Day and there are people setting off fireworks. Now, these are the same people who would criticize me for refusing to wear a poppy in token of cheap solidarity and charidee. I'm not going to divulge how much, or even if, I donated to the poppy appeal but you can't blame me for feeling slightly superior to the low lives setting off fireworks. Have they no respect?

I, like the Shire hobbits, enjoy fireworks. But it's increasingly difficult for me to tolerate private ownership when people set them off on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. These days I think that fireworks should be restricted to public displays, not just to save people from their own idiocy but to preserve some semblance of decency in our crumbling society.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Bishop Bell update...

The Archbishop Cranmer blog offers a lucid, principled defence of Bishop Bell's Christian reputation here. I agree with everything said, particularly calling attention to the fact that, contrary to the statement made by the current Bishop of Chichester, history has not, in fact, been treated with honesty and transparency, but the opposite. None of us know the identity, or even the sex, of the accuser, or how much he or she has been paid in compensation - but we can reasonably expect it is several tens of thousands. I equally deplore the fact that Bishop Bell is now an unperson, doubleplus ridiculous and all that, with (so far) four buildings dedicated to him being renamed. It is only a matter of time before his feast day is expunged from the kalendar of the Church of England. I can only repeat what I said before. It is shameful.

Is it a 20th-21st century phenomenon? This hysteria about paedophilia; the tyranny of paedomania, as the eponymous Cranmer puts it. I've heard stories of paediatricians being brutalized because their assailants couldn't tell the difference between the noble profession and the ignoble proclivity. I'm sure you've read about Lewis Carroll's "Alice," and the controversy surrounding that gifted gentlemen's photograph. And then, of course, there's the stuff about Ted Heath, Leon Brittan, &c.We're (or rather, they're) constantly judging the past by the standards of the present. And when I say the "standards of the present," I don't mean by the yardstick of a more civilised, enlightened age; I mean by the narrow, dogmatic view of people who think that the death penalty is intrinsically wrong, that "homophobia" is tantamount to barbarism and that failure to conform to the cults of the poppy, Pudsey bear, and the magic number six million puts you out of the society of decent people.

I wonder which exalted figure from history "they're" going to come after next? It won't be somebody worth trashing, like Lady Diana Spencer or John Paul II, it will be another well-respected labourer in the Lord's vineyard, even such as Bishop Bell. Sometimes I feel like asking: why can't it be someone I hate for a change?

Sunday, 8 November 2015

We used to call them...

Thanks to Anti-Gnostic I came across the story of Madeline Stuart, a model with Down's Syndrome. There is an article about her on the Daily Mail here.

My father sometimes says: "we used to call them [blank]," whether that's "pansies" for homosexuals, "spastics" for the disabled (or crippled), or "mongs," or "mongoloid types" for people with Down's Syndrome. Of course, my father is 58 and comes from a time when Mass was Mass, the law was to be obeyed and miscreant children were actually disciplined in schools. These days we live under the aegis of lies. Simply being polite has turned into a pathological fear not to offend and past "victimhood" has become the stimulant for present, arbitrary prioritisation. Where before some occupations operated bastardy employment policies, nowadays prospective applicants for jobs are collated into whichever minority the doctrine of "inclusion and diversity" can think of, without much regard for competence or qualification. Of course, the irony in this case is that it was easier to get a job years ago. My father said that he left school on the Friday and walked into his job on Monday, where to-day prospective applicants (such as myself) have to vault several difficult obstacles before they even reach the interview stage.

To come back to Madeline, when did it become acceptable, or rather fashionable, to be disabled? I know that's just as consistent as commenting upon the "instant" you enter middle age, but the culture of the "handicapable" is one of the many things about the modern world that I heartily detest. Some years ago, when I expressed my discomfort with the "paralympic" games, I received hate mail. One person said:
"And by the way, your liberal use of hyphens confirms my expectation you have a third rate mind you dumb fascist."
Another person told me, to his credit publicly, that I was not allowed to say those things or even to think those thoughts. Nevertheless, I utterly fail to see the problem. As Lisa Simpson noted, the Guinness Book of World Records used to document actual achievements but has since degraded to really disgusting uniqueness, e.g: world's smelliest tumour. In a similar way, the paralympic games (pioneered, incidentally, by a Jew), set up to encourage war veterans, has since encompassed people with learning disabilities and congenital abnormalities. And it's all done in the name of inclusion and diversity, which, as a stimulant of any course of action, I find disturbing.

In poor Madeline's case, I can't help but feel she is being abused. Whatever callous and cynical modelling agency hired her has clearly cashed in on the inclusion and diversity ratchet and is shewing the world an alternative, but equally superfluous and shallow, form of beauty. That is to say, all the physical attractiveness of a girl with Down's syndrome: short and stubby, thick arms and legs, squint eyes, a fat head, &c; all painted over with a mascara wand. The girl probably has the mental age of a six year old. I expect in her simple, girlish world she is making "friends," and enjoying the runway but the harsh reality is that her contemporaries probably make fun of her appearance and her naivety and her manager probably laughs all the way to the bank.

But there's more! According to the article on the Daily Mail, Madeline has a "long-time" boyfriend. The question to ask ourselves here is: what normal adolescent male forms a romantic attachment to a girl with mental and physical abnormalities?

About three miles from here is an old hospital. I think it operates to-day as a retirement home but it used to be an hospital for "unwanted" children. Problem children and children with mental disorders were sent thither until 1960 when it closed down. I have no doubt that a few of the inmates were children with Down's Syndrome. I sometimes wonder whether it would be better to change our attitude to these issues to the way we used to think before "care in the community" became fashionable. Which is worse? To hide away society's problems in Calcutta's black hole or to deliberately deceive the innocent and the simple into thinking that they are objects of desire and to cash in on their exploitation?

Take your best shot.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans...

The late George Bell, Bishop of Chichester and would-have-been Archbishop of Canterbury (but for that arrogant dog Mr Churchill), is lately embroiled in a posthumous child abuse scandal. I'm afraid that in this, and in a few other cases (such as that involving a certain Fr John Tolkien), I am inclined to disbelieve the accusation as a grotesque calumny. So many people, many of them, no doubt, just opportunist anti-Christians wishing to cash in on the failing credibility of the churches, have come out of the woodwork in recent years with similar stories of alleged abuse. Where is the proof? Why would you wait almost sixty years? Or for that matter what of Bishop Bell's entitlement to presumption of innocence in the absence of proof?

A statement from the Dean and Chapter of Chichester Cathedral can be read here. It seems that the "Centre for Vocation, Education and Reconciliation" bearing Bishop Bell's name is to be renamed in the aftermath of the controversy.

A damning article in the Torygraph can be read here.

This is shameful. I have always admired people that go against the tide. I think this is because I am myself so against the rest of humanity. Bishop Bell spoke out against the indiscriminate bombing of German civilians when it was deeply unpopular to do so, and it cost him significant prestige in the House of Lords and, arguably, the See of Canterbury. He was also a pioneer of the Ecumenical Movement and befriended the Lutheran Confessing church in the 1930's. Perhaps, like the vilification of Pius XII because of his policy toward the Jews and his church's neutrality during the war, this allegation is part of a general movement to discredit Christianity? Who knows. In the meantime, I am in no hurry to suddenly stop keeping in reverent memory the legacy of a hero of Christian principle.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Asswage their malice, O LORD...

O LORD, who didst this day discover the snares of death that were laid for us, and didst wonderfully deliver us from the same; Be thou still our mighty Protector, and scatter our enemies that delight in blood. Infatuate and defeat their counsels, abate their pride, asswage their malice and confound their devices. Strengthen the hands of our gracious Queen ELIZABETH, and all that are put in authority under her, with judgement and justice, to cut off all such workers of iniquity, as turn religion into rebellion, and faith into faction; that they may never prevail against us, or triumph in the ruine of thy Church among us: But that our gracious Sovereign and her Realm, being preserved in thy true Religion, and by thy merciful goodness protected in the same, we may all duly serve thee, and give thee thanks in thy holy congregation, through Jesus Christ our LORD. Amen.

And if we require further proof of the malice of the papists look no further than Traddieland.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgement of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. Rev.17:1-2.

"Very few, if any, of my Eastern Orthodox friends and acquaintances are impressed with this Pope. Instead of seeing a man who is supposed to seriously lead 1.2 billion Christians to the Kingdom of Heaven, they find an inept chairman of the world’s largest and most dysfunctional NGO. His off-the-cuff remarks to pressmen and individual Catholics are oftentimes confusing, if not scandalous. His liturgical style is grotesque, not to mention anti-traditional, and his priorities seem to be directed at accommodating the Church to the ways of the world rather than saving souls. Although the Orthodox are not without their own faults, can anyone imagine Patriarch Kirill of Moscow—head of the world’s largest Orthodox jurisdiction—wagging his finger at those in his flock attached to traditional doctrine, liturgy, and piety? Is there a single Orthodox patriarch in the world—save Bartholomew of Constantinople—who behaves like Francis? Heaven forbid.

"Mills wants Catholics to love the Pope as “their father.” The hard truth is that Francis does not project the authority, leadership, and love of a true father. He is the embarrassing loudmouthed uncle who is begrudgingly invited over on Thanksgiving. He’s family, so you love him; but you still hope your friends never see him."

So we have "inept," "scandalous," "grotesque," "anti-traditional," "embarrassing," "loud-mouthed," and "hope-your-friends-never-see-him." The deference is edifying! Of course, I would describe the liturgical books of 1962 as scandalous, grotesque, anti-traditional and would not dream of inviting any of my friends to a celebration in that rite - it would be like inviting friends for dinner and giving them leftovers - but we all know that the 1962 missal is so antient and so venerable, so it matters not a bit what nasty old Fred Phelps thinks. But exactly what do the tradunculi want in a pope in the modern world? A new Pius IX? A man so despised that on hearing of his demise Bismarck went out and bought an expensive claret. Maybe they should just exhume what's left of Pius XII, their last real pope, dress it in some cheap lace and speak for it as the oracles of their own contemptuous religion. I'm sure they'd enjoy dispensing anathemas left, right and centre and the custom of kissing the papal foot. Maybe, with the restored papal coronation, they could start dictating to secular rulers again and petulantly placing whole countries under interdict when they don't get their way. Whatever.

I make no secret of the fact that I dislike Bogroll. It's just because he's the pope. But I don't despise him in the way that the dutiful traddies do. Doesn't that say something?