Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Traición de los Clérigos

John Zmirak on superb form, as these extracts illustrate:

"As American citizens, it is our duty to our neighbors -- to our fellow citizens who feel the impact of our votes -- to use those votes responsibly, in the legitimate interests of the country to which we profess loyalty. We might feel a stronger bond to our fellow Catholics in Mexico and the Philippines than we do to our Mormon or Jewish neighbors; indeed, on a supernatural level, we are more closely bound to them. We might well prefer to marry one of them, instead of an unbelieving American. We owe these Catholic foreigners the respect deserved by every human being, and the prayers that knit together the Mystical Body of Christ. There's just one little thing we don't owe them: the duties we have incurred toward our fellow citizens."

"One out of three Catholics who grows up in America leaves the Church. The only thing that has kept our share of the population from shrinking is mass immigration of uneducated poor people. Their arrival bucks up the numbers, gratifies a deeply dysfunctional bureaucracy, and fills the empty pews . . . for one generation. This influx of "fresh souls" from poor countries lets us pretend that our Church is successfully passing along the Faith, is reverently offering the sacraments, and generally chugging along as it always did. In fact, by losing one Catholic out of three, American Catholicism is collapsing almost as quickly as English Catholicism did under Elizabeth I. Except that we aren't even being persecuted -- and our Spanish Armada didn't sink. It crosses the Rio Grande, in small contingents, to the tune of around 1 million people per year. “Subsidizing” the U.S. Church with a constant influx of fresh Catholics to alienate and scandalize is no more prudent than paying General Motors to go right on building Humvees for the suburbs."

In fact, far from Hispanics' being the great hope of American Catholicism, Latin America has never been a very Catholic place, with slight if any Mass-going majorities, huge numbers of the unbaptised, rampant syncretism and surviving paganism, and a very heavy dependence on (historically European, these days usually North American) missionary priests.

Likewise, whereas eighty per cent of people in Poland are practising Catholics, only one in 10 Poles in Britain is a practising Catholic. I live five miles from a predominantly Catholic former steel town and its attendant former pit villages, several of which are also predominantly Catholic, and all of which have large Catholic populations. I have repeatedly heard Polish spoken in the street there. There are certainly Polish goods in the shops and so forth. And the Catholic churches and Catholic schools are still going strong. But they are as Anglicised-Irish as ever, with scarecely a Pole in sight. There are some, but not very many.

The sooner the Bishops stop urging their flock to accept the loss of their jobs, the running down of their wages and working conditions, and the confinement of their children and grandchildren to the bottom of the heap by means of de facto State bilingulaism, the better. No, these things are not somehow to the good of the Church.

It is also worth pointing out that the Navy that defeated the Spanish Armada was not in fact commanded by El Drac, still the bogeyman used to frighten children to sleep in Spain and Latin America, but rather by Lord Howard of Effingham, a Catholic (though probably forgotten just because he was less colourful than Drake) as loyal to his Queen Elizabeth as I am to mine.

Even the early-twentieth-century Catholic Encyclopedia, pre-Conciliar and basically Irish-American, has this to say:

"Among the many side-issues which meet the student of the history of the Armada, that of the cooperation or favor of the Pope, and of the Catholic party among the English, is naturally important for Catholics. There can be no doubt, then, that though the Spanish predominance was not at all desired for its own sake by the Catholics of England, France, and Germany, or of Rome, yet the widespread suffering and irritation caused by the religious wars Elizabeth fomented, and the indignation caused by her religious persecution, and the execution of Mary Stuart, caused Catholics everywhere to sympathize with Spain, and to regard the Armada as a crusade against the most dangerous enemy of the Faith.

Pope Sixtus V agreed to renew the excommunication of the queen, and to grant a large subsidy to the Armada, but, knowing the slowness of Spain, would give nothing till the expedition should actually land in England. In this way he was saved his million crowns, and spared the reproach of having taken futile proceedings against the heretic queen. This excommunication had of course been richly deserved, and there is extant a proclamation to justify it, which was to have been published in England if the invasion had been successful. It was signed by Cardinal Allen, and is entitled "An Admonition to the Nobility and Laity of England". It was intended to comprise all that could be said against the queen, and the indictment is therefore fuller and more forcible than any other put forward by the religious exiles, who were generally very reticent in their complaints. Allen also carefully consigned his publication to the fire, and we only know of it through one of Elizabeth's ubiquitous spies, who had previously stolen a copy.

There is no doubt that all the exiles for religion at that time shared Allen's sentiments, but not so the Catholics in England. They had always been the most conservative of English parties. The resentment they felt at being persecuted led them to blame the queen's ministers, but not to question her right to rule. To them the great power of Elizabeth was evident, the forces and intentions of Spain were unknown quantities. They might, should, and did resist until complete justification was set before them, and this was in fact never attempted. Much, for instance, as we know of the Catholic clergy then laboring in England, we cannot find that any of them used religion to advance the cause of the Armada. Protestant and Catholic contemporaries alike agree that the English Catholics were energetic in their preparations against it.

This being so, it was inevitable that the leaders of the Catholics abroad should lose influence, through having sided with Spain. On the other hand, as the pope and all among whom they lived had been of the same mind, it was evidently unjust to blame their want of political insight too harshly. It point of fact the change did not come until near the end of Elizabeth's reign, when, during the appeals against the archpriest, the old leaders, especially the Jesuit Father Robert Persons, were freely blamed for the Spanish alliance. The terms of the blame were exaggerated, but the reason for complaint cannot be denied."

"Let me pose a deeper question: Does transferring Catholics from a relatively traditional society such as Mexico to the slums of Los Angeles further their spiritual well-being? Are they really better off moving to parishes run by priests who dissent from Church teaching, in a state with same-sex marriage, a country with legal abortion, and a culture corrupted by Hollywood?"

"I have the firm support of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which, after encouraging decent treatment of immigrants, teaches: "Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens" (2241). Does that include entering illegally, using false documents to work and avoid paying taxes, waving foreign flags, and colluding with foreign officials to undermine U.S. law? If it doesn't, then immigrants who have shirked those obligations have lost any claim on our hospitality."

Well, there is certainly no point voting for McCain, then.


Ælfhere said...

Yup! Screw the darkies! They're not real Catholics anyway.

Is there something I've missed there?

David Lindsay said...

So you're in favour of unlimited immigration into the US from Latin America? Hardly the TFP line, one would have thought.