Have the Gates of Hell prevailed against the Church?

July 28, 2013 at 5:03 am (Catholic Church, Commentary)

Vatican offers ‘time off purgatory’ to followers of Pope Francis tweets

Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter

The Guardian 17 July, 2013

This should impress the modern world no end!

What in the name of Heaven is the Church doing about the causes of sex abuse committed by its clergy?

Is anyone questioning the wisdom of compulsory celibacy for priests?

The Church’s irrational position on artificial birth control needs modification to say the least.

I would not think that time off from Purgatory would be a great seller to induce Catholics, particularly the young, to return to the practice of their faith.

Pope Francis, if he doesn’t get his act together soon will prove to be just as reactionary as the two previous holders of his office.

Look at the present inquiry in Newcastle into paedophile Catholic clergy, and the manoeuvres of Fr Lucas, a witness for the Church.

The impression most would have of the Church after following this inquiry is very aptly summed up in an editorial in the SMH:

“To people unschooled in legal and canonical niceties, mounting evidence about the Catholic’s Church’s approach to child abuse surely beggars belief.”

In life you have to be a realist and I would say that all the abused can expect from the Church are serpents and scorpions. See: Luke 11:1-13

Oh, I forgot to mention a few indulgences too!

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Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

July 27, 2013 at 5:06 am (Commentary)

 

The events surrounding the build up to and actual birth of Prince George of Cambridge left me with many mixed feelings.

Prior to the birth pictures of crowds surrounding the hospital and in other places around London lead me to believe that something most extraordinary was about to happen.

What were we about to witness? We were told that everything with Kate Middleton was fine.

The assemblies of people had a certain ecstasy about them, almost, I would say, a rapturous enchanted expectation!

Were we about to see eschatological happenings? Watching the television pictures of people waiting I was sure that I saw three distinguished looking men of Middle Eastern appearance each holding something. Immediately the thought came to my mind, were they three wise men of Biblical significance?

I immediately got on the phone to my Protestant Fundamentalist friend and told him that I take everything back about what I said to him previously about his eschatology, as I’m now sure we are witnessing the Rapture or a form of it now in London, and that I had a feeling that the Second Coming was about to happen.

The only things I felt that were missing were the three camels of the three wise men.

At last a birth occurred and we were told that the proud parents were waiting for the Queen to name the male child.

At the very least I expected the child to be called Emmanuel, signifying that God is with us. I know it would be a bit hard to follow Isaiah 7:14 to the letter: “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel”.

But when the name George Alexander Louis was declared I was completely disillusioned. This had nothing to do with the Second Coming only a further boost to the Hanoverian succession and a spit in the eyes of the Stuarts, the rightful heirs to the UK throne!

So out the window went my new found eschatology and in came my strong republican sentiments.

I can now only see and explain all that I felt as something of a pre-tribulation rapture, and say out loud: Viva La Republic!

Let us all save the gold, frankincense and myrrh for the advent of this.

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Before the lights go out!

July 22, 2013 at 11:54 pm (Aborigines, Commentary, Indepentence for PNG, Papua New Guinea, PNG Health)

 Dave Wall with Graham Greene


Dave Wall with Graham Greene

Some years ago, James, a Greek builder, said to me he wanted to  finish the work in building houses next door to me and get among the Spanish women on the Island of Majorca before the lights go out!

He spent about eight years in building and he then suddenly went to earth. For the life of me, I don’t know if the lights had gone out for him, or if indeed, he ever got to Majorca. As to the Spanish women, who can say?

Looking at my picture above you can certainly see that in my case the lights have gone out! Reflecting on Graham Greene could perhaps be of some help. Hold your breath though!

If all those years ago James didn’t make it as a good-looking Greek with a ponytail, what chance would I have as a broken-down Anglo Australian? I’d say my school friend the Silver Fox in spite of his years with his mixture of German, Irish, and Gallic charm would leave many old would-be fellows like me for dead!

The thing I share with Graham and his life is certainly not his talent, but something of his Catholicism, and the way it continually gets in the way of desire in matters of the flesh. My saving grace has always been a lack of opportunity. Graham in his life didn’t have this problem.

My years have taught me to walk softly in the footsteps of the Aboriginal elders. In fact this came to me years ago when Deborah, my wife, was living in the Block in Redfern. If you didn’t walk with care there was always a good chance you would be robbed. Over the years There were some splendid fellows in the Block in those days. If you did feel an urge to be part of the indigenous spiritually there, it was always possible to arrange a smoking ceremony, and what an experience that was!

The smell of burning gum leaves and the mumbling of incomprehensible words left many in a heavenly state and in touch with the dreamtime and the songlines.

Some of those bag snatchers of old in the Block were probably only preserving the old indigenous tradition of hunters and gatherers!

Deborah, my wife has encounted a variety of robbers and would be robbers: The hunter and gatherer type in the Block, a dysfunctional Anglo-Celtic with a hypodermic syringe full of blood near Broadway in Sydney. In Madrid she was mugged and robbed by a North African follower of the Prophet, well, perhaps a follower!

From the Dept of Planning and Community Development we are given a format in acknowledging our first people:

“I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land [or country] on which we are meeting. I pay my respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Elders from other communities who may be here today.”

This of course is to be commended, but I would like to see from time to time that some sort of recognition  be given to the eary settlers in building the Australia we have today.

Many of our younger generation seem to have the idea that all the early settlers did was slaughter Aborigines. I must admit that to my shame a lot of this was done, but they also did many noble things.

I approved of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the First Australians for the way they had been treated in the past. But at least today they live in a country that offers them a reasonable level of law and order, access to education and to a good medical service and social security, and generally speaking work if it is really wanted.

On the other hand let’s look at Papua New Guinea, and if any country needs an apology from Australia it’s PNG. The so-called Independence  given to PNG in 1975 has lead to a breakdown of law and order in the country. Fostered a bunch of corrupt politicians and ruined the health service, and disadvantaged the majority of the people. There’s practically no system of social welfare in the country, and the whole place is on the verge of chaos.

Please Mr Rudd apologize to the people of Papua New Guinea for the bad and misguided actions of John Gorton and Gough Whitlam for their part in getting Australia out of PNG.

You have to remember it was the famous Gough who gave Suharto the green light to take over East Timor, need we say anything more!

Many years ago two relations of mine in an RSL were well and truly under the weather, one said to the other pointing to two women:Take your pick they are both goers! I don’t know what happened, maybe they didn’t take a pick, but I don’t think the fate of nations depended on whatever they did. But Whitlam giving Suharto the green light had dire consequences!

If I die or I should say when I die, I want to be buried with Mungo Man – what a splendid end to a life. I wonder when the lights went out for Mungo? Did Mungo pre-decease the Aborigines in Australia, and is of a special race apart? I don’t think the scientific proof is there for this!

On the other hand if the Captain can give me a time within a year period of the Rapture I’m prepared to wait around for this.

I did dare to tell the Captain that his Eschatology was a load of rubbish. I advised him to return to the faith of his pre-Reformation ancestors and bent the knee to Rome. Eliminate all those generations of heresy from his mind – read: Europe and the Faith by Belloc.

We all often think of spiritual places and in the Sydney of old the Block in Redfern often comes to mind. Daryl and Narelle true hunters and gatherers in the old Aboriginal way. Val adding to the charm of the place.

I can’t move on without mentioning an Aboriginal who I have a lot of respect for. In the big protests against Australia getting involved in the Iraq war Shirley Lomas made an impassioned speech in Hyde Park and she ended by stating that we are all Abos!  Sometime after I met her at St Vincent’s in Redfern,and she told she had put her name forward in ATSIC. I don’t think the community realize what a gem they have in Shirley. Her efforts came to nothing. What I like about Shirley is that she tells it as it is without any bullshit. Good luck to you Shirley, wherever you are!

My thoughts go back to a Bible-based community in Queensland under the leadership of Brother George. At the time in the 1980s Brother George and his followers were doing ground-breaking work on the New Age. One of the most enlightened researchers with the community was Brother John. Brother John lived in a caravan at the back of Brother George’s house and did a lot of work with a Sister Cheryl.

Apparently the wife of Brother George was concerned with the amount of time Sister Cheryl was spending with Brother John. One day she knocked on the door of the caravan and said: “What are you two doing in there?” To which Brother John answered: “Working on the New Age for your husband!”

It was to be commended that the purity of the Bibical message was not being undermined by any hanky-panky!

I think in the evolutionary story the poor old Homo Erectus and the Neanderthals get a rough spin. I have it on good authority that both these groups were blessed with immortal souls. So that when we are welcomed into eternal life by St Peter there also with him will be numbers of Neanderthals and others. Life and death are covered with mysteries!

Of course we all know that Jesus has returned in the person of A.J. Miller. Do I need to say anything more? As A.J. says “I’m Jesus deal with it.” Yes, A.J. I will deal with it, by saying you are not Jesus!

One may not always agree with what the famous journalist Helen Thomas, recently deceased, said, but her words in 2010 should be considered concerning Israel and Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else.”

The geopolitical decision in creating the state of Israel after the war has destabilized the Middle East every since!

Let’s look at the agreement between Rudd and O’Neill, the so called PNG Solution:

I would imagine that what was said privately between Rudd and O’Neill probably went along these lines:

‘Don’t worry Peter, after we announce our policy hardly any boats will turn up anyhow, after the refugees fully realize that if they arrive by boat PNG is where they will finally end up, and just think of all the perks we are giving in exchange for your agreement!’

O’Neill in answer would have said:

‘Good point Kevin, I’ll go along with it provisionally for a year, and see what happens.’

Claire Harvey’s piece in The Sunday Telegraph gives us food for thought:

But also, and perhaps most importantly, Rudd’s PNG plan has exposed the intellectual dishonesty of the “refugee lobby”.

“But but but but but but but,” they have spluttered, “but but but but … ” But PNG is a shithole?

Yeah. It is. And now it’s our shithole – and you know what else? It’s a signatory to the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention.

I must say that I agree with Henry Reynolds that the the Aborigines who died fighting against the white invasion of their land should be honoured like other Australian soldiers.

This blog rant of mine started with a reference to James the Greek builder. It has now come to my notice, and it is rumoured that James is seriously considering taking Holy Orders in the Greek Church – a Church from the Roman point of view that is schismatic but not in heresy – the continuity and validity of their Orders have been maintained throughout the Ages.

I’ll end by posing this question: Have the lights gone out for James?

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Where are the seven gifts and the Holy Ghost in Australia?

July 7, 2013 at 5:02 am (Australian Politics, Catholic Church, Commentary)

Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit

They are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord (wonder and awe).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I rather like the old term Holy Ghost, but the above gifts are what they are and who would you say in our society has received them?

Let’s first look at  at same of our present-day politicians.

BILLIONAIRE James Packer has been given the green light to move ahead and build Sydney’s second casino at Barangaroo.

The decision by the NSW government means Crown moves to the final stage of the approval process.

Premier O’Farrell announced Mr Packer’s Crown would pay an upfront licence fee of $100 million; that non-rebate gaming would be taxed at 29 per cent – not the 27.5 per cent proposed by Crown and “the total of licence fee and gaming tax payments to NSW over the first 15 years of full operation must exceed $1 billion, a guarantee Crown proposed for its alternate option.

“Growing tourism[is] an important part of our strategy to achieve economic growth,” the Premier told the press conference.

The O’Farrell government made its decision after considering a detailed report by a government appointed panel led by former banking chief David Murray.

The report weighed up the Crown proposal and Echo Entertainment’s $1.1 billion plan to transform The Star at Pyrmont into a massive integrated resort, featuring two new luxury hotels.

The Premier said the Crown proposal had been more lucrative for government than the proposal from the Star Casino for an upgrade.

From the Telegraph

In granting this provisional approval, to what extent did O’Farrell bring to beat the seven gifts, if indeed he has them?

Are the elements of: wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord, to be found in Barry’s approach?

I’ll leave this to my readers to decide.

Let’s go back in history and see how our past leaders in Australia have handled the seven gifts.

Take the lifting of tariffs under successive governments:

“The election in December 1972 of the first Labor government for 23 years, with a strong mandate for social and economic reforms, gave a boost to the advocates of trade liberalisation. Prime Minister Whitlam moved quickly”

Source: Privatization  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Was this responsible for the deskilling of the Australian workers, and unemployment in the country?

What about the way successive governments have been so anxious to flog off government owned corporations?

Former Commonwealth government-owned corporations include Telstra, established in the 1970s as Telecom Australia. Telstra, now Australia’s leading telecommunications company, was privatized in 1997 by the government of John Howard. As of June 2010 Telstra owned a majority of the copper wire infrastructure in Australia (the rest is owned by Optus) and is pending sale to its former parent, the Australian government, for a non-binding amount of 11 billion Australian dollars, as ducts in the copper wire tunnels are needed to install the fiber optic cable.

In Victoria many GBEs were sold in the 1990s to reduce the state’s level of debt. The State Electricity Commission of Victoria and the Gas and Fuel Corporation were the best-known government enterprises to be disaggregated and sold.

The commitment of the leading figures in the government to privatisation was evident by the late 1980s, but it took some years before the opposition of the Labor party membership could be overcome, and large scale privatisation could be implemented. Over this period, the Labor leadership displayed almost unparalleled hypocrisy; attacking the coalition’s proposals to privatise the Commonwealth Bank in the election campaign of early 1990, but making a decision in favour of partial privatisation later in the same year. At each stage in the privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank, solemn assurances were given that this sale would be the last.

From 1991 onwards, the policy of privatisation was essentially unchallenged within the Hawke-Keating government. The Commonwealth Bank was privatised in three stages, the last stage being implemented after Labor lost office in 1996. At each of the first two stages, apparently binding commitments to continued majority public ownership were made by the government, and subsequently broken.

A striking feature of the this process was the way in which the failures of deregulation and privatisation simply the paved the way for more deregulation and privatisation. The most notable examples were the collapses of the Victorian and South Australian State Banks.

These disasters were not the result of old-fashioned socialists interfering in the private sector, but followed the adoption of market-oriented policies advocated by Keating. The Cain and Bannon governments came to grief by dutifully adhering to the Keating gospel of financial deregulation. During the financial bubble of the late 1980s, they allowed a free rein to State Banks and to private, but state-regulated, financial institutions. Both governments came to grief when Keating gave us ‘the recession we had to have’.

Amazingly, Keating not only escaped any blame for these disasters but used them to push his agenda further. The need to rescue the State Bank of Victoria was used to force through the full privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank, while the example of the State Bank of South Australia has been used repeatedly to press the case against all forms of public ownership.

The privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank was a financial disaster for the Australian public, although investors in the float did very well indeed. The capital structure established prior to the sale of the first tranche of shares in 1991 involved the issue of 835 million shares. Although the par value for the shares was set at $2, the relevant consideration for valuation is the issue price which was set at $5.40. This implies a valuation of $4.5 billion for the Bank as a whole, (or about $5 billion valued in 1995-96 dollars0. The procedure for the sale of the second tranche of shares in 1993 ensured that the government received an amount close to the market price of the shares at the date of sale, which turned out to be around $9.50, implying a valuation for the Bank as a whole of $7.9 billion, or about $8.5 billion in 1995-96 dollars. The final share offer for the Bank was announced in June 1996. The sale price was around $10 per share, also implying a valuation of $8.5 billion in 1995-96 dollars. The total proceeds from the three stages of the sale amounted to about $7.8 billion in 1995-96 dollars.

Average real annual profits over the period 1988-93 (which covers a complete business cycle) were around $560 million. Computing the present value of this stream of profits at a discount rate of 5 per cent yields a value of $11.2 billion for the Bank as a whole. Therefore, even if profits had not increased after 1993, the public would have incurred a loss of around $3.5 billion from the privatisation. In fact, primarily because of the removal of restrictions on the monopoly power of the banks, profits have soared. Profits for the three years from 1998 to 2000 totalled $5.4 billion, or more than half the total sale proceeds received by the Australian public.

Financial deregulation has been similarly disastrous. Since the advent of financial deregulation, banks have raised fees and charges, cut services and exploited their collective monopoly power whenever possible.

Prudential regulation is in a similar mess. As a result of recent reforms, no one knows whether or not bank deposits are guaranteed by the Australian government. However, because the major banks are considered ‘too big to fail’, they are generally considered to be effectively guaranteed. Of course, except when faced with irresistible political pressure, they reject any notion of a corresponding social obligation.

Source:

Quiggin, J. (2001), ‘The ‘People’s Bank’: the privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank and the case for a new publicly-owned bank’, Australian Options

When you look back on privatisation in Australia, what a sorry lot our politicians are! Not a sign of the Holy Ghost in most of them!

As for our Churchmen the less said the better. Where was the Holy Ghost in the Catholic Church in Australia when the sex abuse scandals came to light?

Just have a look at: Broken Rites Australia – fighting church sexual abuse since 1993

Where have the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost gone to in Australia? Probably to a lot of little and ordinary people who have little influence in the country.

Maybe the Holy Ghost should get his/her act together and descend with gifts on those in power.

As readers, what do you think?

I must apologise for the rather hurried compilation of this piece, but I hope you get my general drift.

Australia does need more leaders like my great friend the Silver Fox, running things here. So Fox, came out from your legal practice, and stir the country up, for if anyone has the seven gifts, you do!

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