Sunday, 27 December 2015


I undertook an experiment with a Twitter account back in August. As predicted, it became addictive and a distraction, very much like Facebook, so I have gone through my account and deleted everything. I have also requested that my account be deleted. I am firmly convinced that social networks are no good and means of spying on people. So I am going back to good old puritanism. The idea was that I needed to promote this old blog, and my other neglected one, because I feared I was becoming irrelevant. But who cares? So long as I can influence, even in a small way, the way people think then I can sleep at night.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

St Lucy of Syracuse, and more...

We who follow the True Kalendar remember St Lucy to-day and the comfort of the knowledge of Christ's imminent birth for us. One of the finest sermons I ever heard was preached at a carol service on her Gregorian festival day, in a prominent Anglican church some years ago. I wish I could produce it here but the general thrust was the significance of celebrating this lady of light in the cold and dark of the year, even as a glass through which Christ's eternal light shineth in the darkness (c.f John 1:5). Remember how Shelob was confounded by Frodo's star glass? Power of night old and strong she was, as Tolkien says, and she comprehended not the light that stabbed with awesome fire into the depths. I consider Frodo's star glass as a type of St Lucy, inasmuch as her life was a vessel filled with God, even as Frodo's cry Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! can be seen as an invocation of St John the Baptist, who bore witness to the light.

All these new saints just don't compare...

I read The Dean of Westminster's Christmass address the other day. It was accompanied by seasonal addresses by a Muslim imam and a Jewish rabbi. Of them all I actually thought Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra's was the best. The Dean's address seemed mistaken on a few points, such as Christ's apparent coming to bring peace (which contradicts the Saviour's express words in Matthew 10:34) and the ideal of material well-being. The "rabbi's" typically contained no religion whatever. So you can see how much more we have in common with Muslims. You can read them here.

Thursday, 24 December 2015


In chapter eleven of The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp discusses how society's attitude towards marketing had changed considerably over the course of his life. "In that happy time when I first became a free-lance artist," he says, "advertising was a disgraceful trade. The confession that it was your chosen profession was received as though you had said, 'I'm in burglary.' It was run by businessmen who were presumed to have failed in more reputable concerns and staffed by artists and copywriters who felt that they were exiles from fine art and literature. Their function was to think up the atrocious pictorial and verbal puns, jokes and riddles (Sheila Dore drinking Oxo) that appeared on the hoardings...

"In the 'sixties, if you told anyone that you were a practitioner of advertising, you would still be treated as though you had said you were in burglary, but morality had changed. The increased scale of your operations would lend you respectability. Who, except possibly the Postmaster General, would refuse to shake hands with one of the Great Train Robbers?"

I thought of these observations as I made a few of my own this week, and not just about marketing. If working in food retail affords me any benefit at all, if it can be so considered, it's seeing up close just how far we have declined as a civilisation. I can be forgiven for going about with an air of superiority and resentment, especially when around this time of year I witness a supermarket, which is already an avaricious corporate chain, turn into a cash and carry. This morning (at the time of writing, 23rd December new style) my store opened at 5am. The customers poured through the doors and fell upon the stock like vultures. At the entrance to the store were stacked ten pallets of Maris Piper potatoes, which, in my view, seemed to compromise fire safety. The aisles were congested with excess stock; mostly cases of Prosecco, spirits, tubs of chocolates, bottles of Coca Cola, and other seasonal fare. But the store itself was filthy. There were empty pallets lying everywhere, cages of stock and cardboard just abandoned in the aisles, and the floor hadn't been swept or mopped. There were spillages and leaks everywhere, just left with a yellow cone. The online shoppers were still picking the stock after 9 o'clock, by which time the store had become so busy with customers that free movement was checked. This inevitably led to complaints, from both senior management and customers; the former apparently not seeing the gross stupidity in opening the store one hour after picking customer orders in excess of 50,000 items commenced; the latter frustrated that the pickers' trolleys were blocking their access to the excess stock. Overtime was "expected," and the department's overbearing and manipulative team leader went about asking people to stay, in addition to the constant messages we received on our hand-held terminals complaining that we were behind schedule and requesting that we "pick up the pace."

I was largely oblivious and went at my own pace. I only became angry when a customer complained to me that: "this is ridiculous;" presumably because my trolley was in his way. I simply said: "I'm sorry," in a nonchalant way and moved on. But I spent at least the next twenty minutes musing on exactly what he found ridiculous. Was it that he had arisen from his bed at stupid-o'clock and was complaining because he was tired? Was it because he found food shopping at that ungodly hour distasteful? Was he perhaps put off by the contents of his own trolley, which was, for the most part, ready-made party food and cheap lager? Perhaps what he found ridiculous was the pervading climate of impetuous greed that had driven him thither? After turning all these things over in my mind for a while I shrugged it off as nonsense. As I looked into his eyes I saw the same disease, the same universal malady as I saw in everyone else around me. And so the answer was simple. I was a stumbling block, an obstacle in his path to undeferred gratification. I thought then how ridiculous he was and I saw the emptiness of his life. At a guess, I'd have said he was 35 years old and by his voice I could imagine the football on the television, the cans of Stella Artois and the promiscuous, gutter-mouth girlfriend to fornicate with afterwards. A common, secular young man, of the kind that corporate marketing and merchandising are designed to impress. I can see his Saturnalia as I write this now; a protracted, gormless and meaningless celebration; and a celebration of nothing but greed. No doubt he's been buying mince pies since November (which go stale by mid-December), and he will have decked his halls with tat and folly. He's probably been wishing his friends a "merry Christmass" all month. Perhaps his gutter-mouth will scold him for "ruining Christmass" if he doesn't buy the right wrapping paper? And so, he goes about the cash and carry with his trolley, picking up the first things that catch his eye on the shelves, or stacked to the ceiling; buying too much food, food that can't possibly be consumed within one day (for that's all it is), and will be wasted. I can't imagine the gutter-mouth can cook, hence the pre-packed Christmass cake, pre-basted turkey crown (what happened to the rest of it...), ready-made mashed potatoes, pre-diced carrots, instant gravy, &c. Slovenly...And to procure all this rubbish he's prepared to get up at 4am, drive to the cash and carry and has the temerity to complain that I'm in his way!

These are just general complaints and observations about the vulgarity of December. Others have done this better than me but it seems to me that marketing Christmass is, next to Charles Dickens, the most pernicious influence upon the month of December than any other. The general public are so impressionable that when something is provided, they buy it. When something is advertised, they go out looking for it. Morality and propriety are irrelevant, as is a sense of truly seasonal preparation, expectation and advancement as opposed to this flattening out of the year. This is why people buy strawberries in the winter. It's also one reason people don't save money anymore but make recourse to credit cards; a situation facilitated by low interest rates. Ever noticed that shop-bought flowers have no scent? We live in a perpetually unripe society. But, as Quentin Crisp observed, morality has changed. I sometimes wonder whether people like me are the modern descendants of 17th century Puritans with our attitude towards Christmass. People have accused me of being a "Scrooge" plenty of times. But I have nothing against making merry. I toast the Lord Christmass with my port and mince pie and I am deeply fond of a traditional Christmass tree. But I am confident that my readers will share my disdain and mistrust of what practitioners of advertising have turned Christmass into.

I'm sorry, I wrote this post in haste and I am not in the best mood. I wish my Anglican and Roman Catholic readers all the fun and joy of new kalendar Christmass!

Monday, 14 December 2015


When the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster cannot even dress himself for Vespers, you know something's terribly wrong. The Cathedral, once a centre of liturgical excellence fit to compare with Westminster Abbey itself, is just an embarrassment these days, in large part due to the actions and ideology of Cardinal Heenan. But doesn't Vinnie look rather silly in bright red and pink! From both an aesthetic and liturgical point of view, Vincent's attire is an aberration. It could almost be a parody of itself. Couldn't you imagine his vestments on shew in the window of a fancy dress shop? The man himself at a Tarts 'n' Vicars do? "What are you, then?" "Oh, I'm the gay prelate!" Whatever happened to the dignity of a winter cassock of rose merino wool, and a violet cope? Bright pink is not a liturgical colour, and to pair it up with bright red just makes him look like a clown. And look at the plywood over the magic door of mercy! O tempora! O for the palmy days of constancy, tradition and dignity!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Most highly-favoured Lady...

I have to work Sundays. It was a bitter reality I had to face when food retail was the last thing that would save me from poverty. Anyway, this morning one of my favourite Advent carols came on the radio. Well, actually it's not a radio; it's somebody's iPhone put on the shop's loudspeaker system. As I walked the aisles with my trolley collecting peoples' shopping, amidst all the secular cacophony was heard The Angel Gabriel sung by an unknown choir. I know the words by heart and was singing them to myself. As I walked round to the Produce department a woman said: "I don't know many Christmass songs, but this one's fucking depressing!" Another woman laughed. I looked at the former woman, who said: "what?" I said "nothing," and walked on, but I couldn't help but be reminded of this exchange between Frodo and Gollum.

"'Yess, yess, nice water,' said Gollum. 'Drink it, drink it, while we can! But what is it they've got, precious? Is it crunchable? Is it tasty?'
"Frodo broke off a portion of a wafer and handed it to him on its lead-wrapping. Gollum sniffed at the leaf and his face changed: a spasm of disgust came over it, and a hint of his old malice. 'Sméagol smells it!' he said. 'Leaves out of the elf-country, gah! They stinks. He climbed in those trees, and he couldn't wash the smell off his hands, my nice hands.' Dropping the leaf, he took a corner of lembas and nibbled it. He spat, and a fit of coughing shook him.
"'Ach! No!' he spluttered. 'You try to choke poor Sméagol. Dust and ashes, he can't eat that. He must starve. But Sméagol doesn't mind. Nice hobbits! Sméagol has promised. He will starve. He can't eat hobbits' food. He will starve. Poor thin Sméagol!'
"'I'm sorry,' said Frodo; 'but I can't help you, I'm afraid. I think this food would do you good, if you would try. But perhaps you can't even try, not yet anyway.'" The Lord of the Rings, Book IV, Chapter II.

Saturday, 12 December 2015


In the six and a half years that I have been writing an online journal my articles, reflections, comments and images have inspired both devotion and revulsion. I have lost a number of regular readers because I have not shied away from saying what I think. Most Christian blogs have nothing to do with me, and I am proscribed by such fora as Fisheaters and Ship of Fools. Nevertheless, I have been profoundly touched by the many messages of support, encouragement and good will that I have received from the occasional reader over the years. It is for such well wishers that I stagger on chiefly, if not only for myself. If I ever wanted anything from writing this awful blog it is some credibility and the stimulant for actual publication. When my father dies I can see myself going the way of "Old Smoky," the nickname my father has given to the tramp we sometimes see around Crayford town centre. I would say that I am trying to collate the best of my stuff into a publishable form but I am otherwise engaged in wrestling the job situation and my own chronic indolence. Sometimes I am too depressed to face the uphill struggle against failure and rejection so I retreat to my Nintendo.

So far I have received no reaction at all to my post on the latest defecation from Rome. There was the usual disclaimer, "this is not doctrine," &c. but everybody knows that's a ruse. The two covenant heresy is already established in inter-religious dialogue with the Jews, and appears to have been personally believed by John Paul II and by Francis. Now, the doctrine of the two covenants is an heresy. It was never believed by the Apostles, the Fathers, or the Scholastics. It is, in fact, new. Now, what do we usually call people who choose not to assent to the truths of faith? That's right, we call them heretics. So if John Paul "the Great" believed in the heresy of the two covenants, and proclaimed his error in a Roman synagogue, then we can safely call him an heretic. As we can call Francis an heretic. 2+2=4. It's that simple. We're not in Room 101 here! I don't particularly care for subtleties and nuances, as Fr Hunwicke has described this heretical document. I only care about forthright, blunt proclamation of the Truth of the Gospel with absolutely no room for ambiguity or misinterpretation. That has been one of the chief evils of Christianity, as I see it (besides the Papacy).

In many ways I see this as myself.

That a Roman pope is an heretic puts the traditionalists out of reckoning. That's where the backtracking, and the qualifications, and the cognitive dissonance come in handy. Not for me, though. I don't believe in that kind of nonsense. I have no difficulty in accepting that bishops can be heretics but I see no value in believing that the bishop of a particular see cannot possibly be an heretic. This document, while not "magisterial," is going to be an embarrassment to the traditionalists just as much as the impetuous utterances of Frank when talking to journalists. Who am I to judge? Just someone who cares about Truth more than league of friendship or allegiance or the communion of heretics.

New Catholic-Jewish developments...

Ecclesia in triumph, in beauty and majesty.

I'm sure you've seen by now the latest watery, inter-/intra-religious nonsense from Rome. It's called "The Gifts and Calling of God are irrevocable," an obvious nod to Romans 11:29, and the document expounds the history, rationale and long-term ends of inter-religious dialogue with the Jews.

I am concerned by this document, deeply concerned. While the document makes clear that: "the text is not a magisterial document or doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church," it does make extensive use of past and recent papal pronouncements to advance its case which can be considered magisterial. And in any case recent developments, such as this, in the Roman communion have repeatedly undermined the "magisterium" to the extent that doctrine can be pushed into a dusty old corner and covered up, like so much embarrassing furniture, to safeguard the sensitivities of our "elder brothers," or the secular media, or whoever else Rome is seeking constantly to appease (never people like me). "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels." Luke 9:26.

I have read the sixteen pages in detail. You can read them here. As usual with documents like this, it is vague where it should be forthright and forthright where it should be vague, or even silent. It begins with a history of Catholic-Jewish developments since the promulgation of Nostra Aetate in 1965. An evaluation of past Christian "anti-Semitism" in history, accelerated by "the dark and terrible shadow of the Shoah" (more on that later), precipitated the church's revision of its past relationship with the Jews. It goes on:
"From a theological perspective it also makes good sense to link this Commission [the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews] with the Council for Promoting Christian Unity, since the separation between Synagogue and Church may be viewed as the first and most far-reaching breach among the chosen people."
Extraordinary! And again:
"'The existence of the State of Israel and its political options should be envisaged not in a perspective which is in itself religious, but in their reference to the common principles of international law.' The permanence of Israel is however to be perceived as an 'historic fact and a sign to be interpreted within God’s design' (VI, 1)."
I find this hard to accept. It seems at once to suggest that the "State of Israel" has no religious significance (for whom? Christians?) but simultaneously has a kind of "permanence" "within God's design." So which is it? Do God's designs interpenetrate with the designs of Zionism, a movement whose pioneers were mostly atheist and whose present champions are American protestants? Or what of Pius X's meeting with Theodor Herzl in 1904? Parasitic worms that burrow through the eyeballs of children in West Africa may be considered to be within God's design but I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that Zionism can be so considered. Furthermore the document uses the noun "Israel" in a seemingly haphazard way; to designate both the historic Hebrew people and the fertile regions of Canaan, and the lands occupied by European Zionists since the Nakbah. Does this vagueness give tacit recognition to Israeli interests in the West Bank?

The document goes on:
"The Sacred Scriptures of the Jewish people are considered a 'fundamental component of the Christian Bible...'"
I trust the writers didn't have the Talmud in mind, but you can guarantee they mean the Masoretic which, in my view, has no standing whatsoever within Christianity, being a mediaeval rabbinic corruption.

The document continues:
"The bonds of friendship forged in the meantime have proved to be stable, so that it has become possible to address even controversial subjects together without the danger of permanent damage being done to the dialogue. This was all the more necessary because over the past decades the dialogue had not always been free of tensions."
Is this a subtle reference to the controversy surrounding the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews? The document nowhere mentions that but I recall in 2007 the reaction of the (Jewish, Zionist) Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish pressure groups who were outraged at the restoration even of the 1960 version of that prayer. So, as usual, secular pressure dictated Roman policy and Benedict XVI composed a new one.

"Over the past decades both the ‘dialogue ad extra’ and the ‘dialogue ad intra’ have led with increasing clarity to the awareness that Christians and Jews are irrevocably inter­dependent, and that the dialogue between the two is not a matter of choice but of duty as far as theology is concerned."
A "duty" as far as new theology is concerned. And since when? 1965? It seems strange to me that this unique insight into so important an area of theology came so late in the history of Christianity. A bit like papal infallibility, I suppose. With the development of doctrine, the implication is that previous generations of Christians were mistaken. But I take it to be axiomatic that nothing can be both new and true! The older praxis carries more weight than the new so this "duty" can go hang as far as I'm concerned.
"Without her Jewish roots the Church would be in danger of losing its soteriological anchoring in salvation history and would slide into an ultimately unhistorical Gnosis."
I am hesitant about ascribing to the pentecostal church a sense of "Jewishness" because contemporary people use the same word of the talmudic, turko-mongoloid people who have no part in the biblical Twelve Tribes.

Under "The special theological status of Jewish-Catholic dialogue," the document says:
"Judaism is not to be considered simply as another religion; the Jews are instead our 'elder brothers' (Saint Pope John Paul II), our 'fathers in faith' (Benedict XVI)."
The document is careful to ascribe sainthood and blessedness to John XXIII, John Paul II and Paul VI respectively but where other (real) saints have been quoted, namely Sts Paul of Tarsus, Augustine of Hippo, Gregory the Great, and Bernard of Clairvaux, they have simply been quoted without a title. One wonders whether this is deliberate and has something to do with their particular attitudes towards either the status of the Law under Grace or the Jews themselves as opposed to modern popes. But I'm afraid, as in so many other instances, the Qur'an-kissing pontiff is wrong, exactly wrong, in his view that modern Jews are our "elder brothers." Even assuming that modern Judaism was in genuine continuity with the Temple, the sacrificial priesthood, and so on; Jews do not recognise Our Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah. Since Christian teaching must be tested first by the New Testament, which says: "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son;" I wonder that the pope, the self-proclaimed oracle of Christ on earth, was so ashamed of his master in heaven! Yea more, the notion that modern Jews, even Sephardic Jews, are descendants of the biblical Twelve Tribes, and therefore arguably our "elder brothers" of the seed of Abraham, albeit well-established in the ignorance of the people, does not stand up to historic scrutiny. Jesus Himself was certainly not  Jewish in the modern sense! Neither were His Disciples, except Judas who was an Edomite Jew. Rather Christ was a direct descendant of Judah, son of Jacob (it's in the beginning of the Gospel according to St Matthew), which ancestry modern Jews do not share; and the Jewish authorities of the time were Christ's bitterest enemies; the "transgressing and lawless nation of the Jews," which: "devised vain things against [Christ]," as it says in Byzantine Mattins for Good Friday. And because the Jews conspired to put Christ to death they have been under God's curse ever since. It is only in this sense that there is a "special theological status" for the Jewish people, that is to say, as the collective tribe of deicidal transgressors in the ministration of death, not the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:7-11).
"In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah."
This is the quote you'll find (in part) in the articles of the secular media. Needless to say, it blatantly contradicts the words of St Paul: "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek," and the constant praxis of the Church. With the qualification "in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah," it's clear to me that, as in secular politics, cultural Marxism (yet more insidious Jewish influence) has infected the Roman communion. It's just as well that this document carries no magisterial authority because I would call upon you all to complain to your bishops about its heretical content, saying that in matters politic, Christians are under no obligation to believe the Jewish victim narrative. In matters theological, it behoves us to believe the Word, which has a clear mandate for supersessionism. See, for example, Philippians 3:3 and 2 Corinthians 3:10-11.

The redundancy of Synagoga, blind and ashamed.

I've gone on long enough. I was going to comment upon the conspicuous absence of any call for an end to Jewish anti-Gentilism and the timely quote: "The principle that Jesus gives his disciples when he sends them out is to suffer violence rather than to inflict violence," which can only be an endorsement of our impending subjection at the hands of our Muslim masters, but I haven't the time.

Aren't you all sick to death of the same wishy washy, relativistic rubbish from the political and religious class? I certainly am! Oh, and before I forget, one of the rabbis (Dr Edward Kessler) present at the press conference at the publication of this heretical document is the founding director of the Woolf Institute which recently called for the expulsion of Church of England bishops from the House of Lords and for a more pluralist ethos in British politics. Sound familiar? I wonder what influence, if any, he had in the drafting of this document? One remembers the fuss traditionalists made about the Protestant pastors present as "observers" at the Second Vatican Council.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Happy this, happy that...

I have to say I am becoming increasingly annoyed with so many so-called conservative voices within the Christian world wishing people of other faiths and cultures a happy "Ramadan," or a happy "Hanukkah," or a Chinese new year, and so on. I understand that "religious tolerance" is oftentimes a practical necessity but you won't find me going about wishing Jews well on their tribal festivities; pagan Indians a happy "Diwali," or papalists well when they heap opprobrium on Tradition by keeping San Giuseppe Comunista. To wish them well is tantamount to confirming them in their error and giving credence to the false and pernicious dogma of multiculturalism. No, the gods of the heathen are but idols (Psalm 96:5), we are called not to conform to this world (Romans 12:2), but to bear witness to Christ (Acts 1:8), even as He bore witness to the Truth (John 18:37). There is ONE LORD, ONE faith, and ONE Baptism (Ephesians 4:4). All else is vanity, idolatry and superstition.

Nazi flag and all...

"For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11.

A fine scripture on which to reflect this time of year. Not that Advent is in any sense upon us yet...

Friday, 4 December 2015

Ordo MMXVI...

My copy of the Ordo Recitandi published by The Saint Lawrence Press arrived this morning. Do go over and avail yourselves of a copy. As you probably know, I don't actually use the Ordo as such but I like having it as a reference and I would strongly encourage my readers to support the work of The Saint Lawrence Press by purchasing a copy (or two). The ordo itself is the most detailed, accurate and well-presented ordo for use in the Latin Rite published in our time. Its pages open a window sealed shut by the so-called "Extraordinary Form" of the Novus Ordo onto the better half of 20th century liturgy, before octaves and vigils were stripped away and Sundays had more than one Collect. I have taken some pictures of pages that interest me.

Since the Creation of the World, 7215 years.

The shibboleth of Liturgiae Causa. The feast that has hideously supplanted Sts Philip and James on its proper, traditional day. Of course, on this page, unlike in the ordines published by such reputable organisations as the Latin Mass Society, the feast matches the day, and vice versa.

St John before the Latin Gate, as in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Roman Rite can be a truly unifying principle until the changes happen. So much of modern Ecumenism could be corrected by a simple return to traditional praxis.

The Nativity of St John the Baptist. In all my years as a traditionalist I cannot recall ever attending, or even reading about, a high Mass on this great feast. But there are plenty on such feasts as the "immaculate" Conception of St Mary, or the Precious Blood...

The eponymous St Lawrence whose feast has both a vigil and an octave. I think this was the reason for the dedication of The Saint Lawrence Press.

St Lucy, one of my favourites. Notice the Quarter Tense begins on the seventh day within the Octave.

Tuesday, 1 December 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 alb 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.