Monday, 30 January 2017


Yee Haa - its cowboy time
Could it be that, like some knights of old, or a bunch of cowboys in a cloud of dust, the arrival of the SSPX into communion could be a glimmer, just a glimmer, of joy on the horizon?

Rorate Caeli has two brief reports, here and here.

Lasoo me Jesus in the rodeo of life
I would assume that they would have no truck with bizzarreness from Maltese Bishops, or weird liturgical practices. And once they have returned to the fold, and, presumably declared not to have been too affected by all that 'loose talk of excommunication costs lives' business, so that if they wander off again then there would be no talk of invalidity.

Dallas Cowboys - see what I did there?
Cowboys to football in one easy go
I wonder if the SSPX would accept transfers. I believe it happens in football. You can swap from one to the other.

Cowboy Mass - Yikes!!!
Thank would be an interesting thing, wouldn't it? If our bishops start acting like the Maltese ones and demanding that priests give communion "for their salvation or damnation" contrary to the teaching of Christ. And if we go back to the doggerel of 1970s ... etc etc etc. And suddenly there is an SSPX 'Ordinariate (?)' on offer...

New cowboy biretta, note the lack of pompom.
Real cowboys don't wear pompoms.
They just carry the word of God under their arm like a Frenchman carries a baguette...

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Return of Papal Power

Pope Urban VIII who used the Deposing Power of Popes to get rid of Duke Odoardo Farnese
The Deposing Power of Popes is the ability of the Pope to depose any ruler, or government of his or its power to rule, and thus their subjects of their need to obey. You can see a Wiki article here. Many of us had thought that this was no longer operative. However, I myself have always followed the line that until a kind of pan-Christendom came into being again, that the Pope would simply not use it. In fact, here in the University, we were talking about political, papalist claims just a few weeks ago, and the general consensus was that this was one of those things which simply would never be enacted and belonged to a bygone age.  

Pope Pius V who deposed Queen Elizabeth I
Of course we usually do not talk about the Deposing Power much, and definitely not in the days after Vatican II and all that 'discussion' about religious liberty and Dignitatis Humanae. 

Pope Boniface VIII who had a go at King Philip IV of France
However, the Deposing Power is the ability of the Pope to directly intervene in a State's governance and either rule it directly or call for new elections/appointments. It is quite a thing. I had thought that with the existence of the United Nations, and the Vatican nowadays trying to be accepted as an equal, and not as a superior with automatic rights to intervene and depose, that we would never see it even referred to again. 

Pope Innocent III, said to have deposed King John
They say we live in interesting times - in fact, every age says as much, but honestly, the resurrection of a high Papalism from the 16th century is not something I saw coming. 


New Catholic Dictionary (1910): 

"Present day popes have no mind to resuscitate their deposing power. As Pius IX said to the deputation of the Academia of the Catholic Religion, 21 July 1871: "Although certain Popes have at times exercised their deposing power in extreme cases, they did so according to the public law then in force and by the agreement of the Christian nations who reverenced in the Pope the Supreme Judge of Christ extended to passing judgment even civiliter on princes and individual states. But altogether different is the present condition of affairs and only malice can confound things and times so different." "

How will they vote? And why?

The issue of Labour politicians defying their leadership is interesting see here. It seems at first sight that this is a noble endeavour. After all the MP is simply following the stated aims of their electorate. So if a majority of their constituency voted to stay in Europe, they simply couldn’t vote to enact Article 50. They would not dream of going against them.

I wonder… imagine if you will, that a UK government was foolish enough to allow a referendum on the death penalty. Almost everyone says would be passed for some limited cases. Shhhh, but don’t worry, because if it were passed only for child murders or the like, within a few years it would be available for anyone who hadn’t paid their parking fines - after all that’s what happened for the abortion law. So I wonder what these same ‘liberal’ politicians would do then. Would they follow their electorate, or would they follow their party (especially if it were against the death penalty), or would they suddenly have a high doctrine of parliamentary democracy?

I suspect, old cynic that I am, that this is just a way of trying to ignore the referendum… and masking it in high sounding words.

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